India: Delhi-Jaipur-Agra

Pappu Singh, driver extraordinaire says:, “Things you need when driving in India: good breaks, and good luck.”

Going through Delhi, I would have to agree that he was right: many side mirrors were folded, if not gone; scratches and dents were the norm; traffic lights were just a suggestion.

It was an assault to the senses (at least to mine). I think this encapsulates what India is: loud, colorful, pungent, spicy, old, new,  crazy, beautiful, millions of voices (amidst cows) trying to make themselves heard all at once.

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If Jaipur were a person, he would be a dusty and leathery maharajah who time traveled to the future but has kept his regal bearing intact.

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Agra, of course, is home to the Taj Mahal, arguably the most over the top profession of love I’ve come upon. Really, shipping all that marble through beasts of burden?

On seeing it up close, the verdict was, “yup, he really did love her.”

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Having said all this, India may not be for everyone, particularly now, when its capital is in the headlines due to safety issues.  Take your wits along should you go, together with trusted travel friends and an open mind and heart. As the owner of our hostel said, “If you expect things to be always comfortable and familiar wherever you go, you might as well stay at home.”

Getting there:

Cebu Pacific (Manila – Bangkok)

Go Indigo (Bangkok – Delhi)

Where to stay:

Delhi: Red Maple Bed and Breakfast

Jaipur: Krishna Palace

*Filipinos can get their visas upon arrival. Just bring a passport photo and USD60.

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