Holiday Blues: India

OMG first blog post hit over 100 views in one day. I feel a bit famous, thank you guys! Anywhooooo, this one’s a bit different than the previous one. Excuse this one for being rather long, I just had a lot to fit into one blog post. It’s a travels blog post from my travels to Dubai and India back in January. Mainly, I want to focus this post on my short 10 day stay in India because well, culture and I’m very true to my roots *angel emoji*

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As I have only really linked my blog on my Instagram page, I know that most of my readers are Indians as most of my followers on Instagram are Indians anyway. For this very reason, is it safe for me to assume that many of you have visited India already? Meh, I’m going to assume that. But yeah so, we have all had weird and wonderful experiences in India but we mostly just stay where our family stays in India and spend all our time doing some family bonding and then come back wishing we could extend our stay that much longer.

However, this time round, I went India truly as a tourist. In those 10 days, we jam packed almost every famous sight seeing place there is in India. This consisted of daysssssss of planning ahead and online booking as India is MASSIVE and we were going to be spending most of our time travelling and would be needing decent hotels at every city that we were stopping overnight at.

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Yes during my 10 days, I experienced the worst of it as well as the best of it. India’s trains are HORRIBLE on another level. But luckily we only used the train for one journey and then we travelled by road to every other city that we were visiting. After travelling from city to city, we were geographically going further and further from our hometown, which was our final destination. For this reason, we caught a domestic flight from our final sightseeing city to a city nearer to our hometown and then drove it back to our hometown, Daman. T’was a rather eventful experience.

Following are the cities we travelled to in India and the sights that we visited:

  • Udaipur (THIS WAS MY ABSOLUTE FAVE) – here we visited The City Palace of Udaipur and Sahelion Ki Bari which translates to “Friends’ Garden”. The City Palace is a beautifully maintained palace from the times of the Mughals. The architecture work is ABSOLUTELY fascinating! I also got to play dress up here as a traditional Rajasthani (eeeeep!) *see picture below* Then, Sahelion Ki Bari was just a garden (as the name suggests) but the fountains were beautiful regardless

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  • Ajmer – this city was visited more for let’s say religious purposes? But to be honest, I just went for a cultural insight more than anything else. Here, we visited Dargah Sharif which has a shrine of the grave of the revered saint, Moinuddin Chisti. Here I got to walk down with a tray of flower petals over my head, witness the rush of a Dargah (talk about getting squashed amongst the crowd and being bombarded with beggars begging) and even experience a Qawaali show (which my brother decided to join in with LOL)

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  • Jaipur – this is the most famous sightseeing city there is in India. However, as it is based in the same area (Rajasthan) as Udaipur, the sights are pretty much the same. So if you’ve been to one, you’ve pretty much seen everything. Anywayyyyy, here we visited Amer Fort (if you’re a Bollywood fan, this is the site where the movie Veer was filmed) and I got to ride an elephant woohooooo! Yeah, it wasn’t that exciting, it was instead rather scary. We then went to some step wells which I thought was such a cool concept, it was called Panna Meena Ka Kund (in case any of you ever want to visit it). Following that, we visited Kanak Vrindavan Mahal, Jal Mahal and Hawa Mahal. These are all Mughal Palaces with a totally unique exterior but very similar interiors. Lastly, we visited Albert Hall, which was just a museum (no better than New Walk Museum in Leicester anyway)

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  • Agra – THE DAY OF VISITING THE ONE AND ONLY ABSOLUTELY STUNNING TAJ MAHAL! Yes, it actually is that stunning! Buttttttttt, before that, we visited the Agra Fort which I would just describe as a red palace. These palaces were rather repetitive and so by this point, I started enjoying them less and less. However, there was a beautiful sense of culture in the atmosphere. It genuinely felt so good to be so close to my roots for a change from the busy everyday life of Leicester. THEN, came the moment of seeing the Taj Mahal. And believe me, IT IS BEAUTIFUL! Here, we had a bit of a photoshoot moment too and ended up buying a £40 album of our photographs (yeah, tourist places rip you off). But yeah anyway, I’ll shut up now, I’ll let the pictures do the talking

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  • New Delhi – honestly speaking, I was T I R E D by this point. But hey, we were expecting that anyway. Constant travelling does that to you. Sooo, here we visited the famous India Gate (which is very much like the Arc de Triomphe in Paris which I had already visited), Qutb Minar (which is a pillar embedded with Arabic verses constructed by again, the Mughals and it was a beautiful piece of Indo-Islamic architecture) and then finally went to visit the Lotus Temple. I had listed the Lotus Temple at the top of my ‘to-see’ list when we were planning as it looked so stunning from pictures and it’s safe to say that it lived up to that even in person

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  • Mumbai – THIS IS THE CITY! This is where everything happens. Mumbai to India is what London is to England. UNFORTUNATELY, constant travelling played it’s toll on us. After almost a week of daily 5 hour long car journeys and one domestic flight, we were all knackered by this point and my brother was actually ill. Because of this, we decided to leave out sightseeing in Mumbai and instead drive home to Daman. I managed to take one photograph of Haji Ali Dargah from my car. The bad news is, this is the only photograph I have from Mumbai

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Last but not least, HOMETOWN, Daman! You can’t go India and not have a bit of family time ey? Here, we mostly just spent time relaxing before our flight back to the UK. But regardless, what’s a holiday without pictures and so I captured some good moments in the camera even in Daman

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And that brings us to the end of my 10 day exhausting but eventful tour of India. If any of you are looking to visit India, do plan something like this because believe me, it is an amazing experience! Alongside with it does come many negatives, such as the dirtiness of the streets, the inconvenience of Indian toilets and the swarming of mosquitos. But hey, sometimes experience something different right?

P.S. All the pictures taken on my trip were taken on a Sony Alpha Nex-5R (which my very sweet friend kindly let me borrow). I hope you guys actually bothered reading to the end of this and do let me know if you enjoyed this, I’d love to do a blog post on my visit to Dubai too. But I promise my next blog post will be considerably shorter than this one. Until then, namaste.

Love,

Shohrin.

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