Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Taking Pieces of India: A golden Triangle Journey with friends

Finally we got some pieces of India. India is one of the largest country in the world with its population over 1.18 billion people ranked for the second most populous country in the world. It also ranked as the seventh-largest country by geographical area. India has a lot to offer with its large geographical area and its people. They have a lot of beautiful landscape, popular heritage sites, and foods. India is also unique with its cultural and religion in its people. There are lot of things that we could get from India. Something that we could take home. At least some pieces of India that we could bring as s souvenir. A piece of smile, a piece of beautiful landscape, a piece of culinary, a piece of surprise, a piece of heritage. And the most important piece… a piece of story about India that I want to share with you.

I took the India trip with friends in college. Sukma, Zahra, Aris and Afdal are my friends in college. AirAsia and the traveling issue has brought us back together. We decide to travel to India because we agree India have something to offer. Something unique compare to other destination in the world. Then we plan to go with this route: New Delhi-Jaipur-Agra. The golden triangle route. We took AirAsia (AA) flight from Jakarta to KL then New Delhi. We have to take the flight to KL first since AA have no direct flight from Jakarta to New Delhi. The flight from Jakarta-KL took around 2 hours then after having some rest, lunch and praying we continue the flight to Delhi that took another 6 hours from KL. So in total we have to spent more than 10 hours just to get to India for the sake of the cheap ticket.

I feel astonished when I arrived in Indhira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, New Delhi. The Airport was beyond my expectation. In point of fact I am ready to see the dirtiest airport in the world as mentioned in several review on the internet. But what I saw there was great. It has capacity of 34 million people per year in compare with 55 million for Harthrow-London, 70 million Changi-Singapore, 78 million for Beijing Airport-China. This airport turn my view about India. I thought that the Government had renovated the airport just before the commonwealth Olympic game that was held on October 2010.

As promised the Hotel sent a driver to pick up us at the airport. It was Kwality Hotel. A kind of hostel with a good price and located at the heart of New Delhi. Off course they have minimum facilities in the room. But price is our major concern, plus they offer a pick up from the airport to Hotel. That is enough for us.

We have to canceled the first activity on our schedule to visit India Gate at night. I read from the internet that it was closed after 9 PM and its only a slight from our arrival time plus the ride from airport to the center of New Delhi. So after check in we go direct to find restaurant near the Hotel. As an explorer we want to taste the local food although with a little bit of anxiety about the hygiene. We walk around the hotel, looking around the neighborhood, sightseeing while looking for dinner. The first restaurant we go in, then blocked our exploring soul.

I don’t want to be harsh about this, but the unpleasant smell inside the local restaurant is really made us sick. We go out just a few second after we open the door. Then my friend pointed directly to the modern restaurant across the local restaurant. There’s a lot of foreigner there which made us feels more comfortable to choose that one. We still have the opportunity to taste local food there. Just to mention a few are : briyani rice (I got surprice with this one : a portion of briyanni with two chicken and one egg inside of it….imagine that two chicken, plus an eggs) Parathe breads. Te foods was glorious. I love Indian foods. After full, we go back to the hotel for rest. The next day we started our journey to explore India, start from New Delhi on the first day.

Day one : New Delhi. We go around the city by car we rent from the local rental. Our destinations are : (1) Gandhi Fire (2) Houses of Parliament, (3) India Gate (4) Qutb Minar (5) Humayun thombs (5) Janthar Market, but we have to remove the schedule to Bahai Worships House since the drivers have some private mission to drop us to the souvenirs store. You should have know this trick, every travel guide has a connection with the souvenir store which will gave them some tips for every tourist they drop at the store. We have to follow this although we don’t buy any things there. And you know, the drivers looks very disappoint knowing that we don’t bought anything from the store. Our last destination in the first day is the Janthar market for shopping good souvenirs before we go to the train station where we will take a train to Jaipur. Overall, we quite satisfied with this city tour around New Delhi where we can see lots of Indian structure and heritage sites.

Day two : Jaipur. We arrive in Jaipur around 10 PM and the hotel already sent the driver to pick up us at the station. Arrived in Jaipur I feel that this Is what they often told about India, poverty everywhere. But I would call this city as a spiritual city where I feels lot of atmosphere of devotion. As written in many books some people are traveling to India in search of something. They called it as search for devotion or some kind of religious fervor. I heard some talk about this when we are holding a dinner at the roof top restaurant in our hotel Khrisna Palace. Some travelers are talking about their reason for traveling. One of them talks about their previous life where she feels uncomfortable with the world she have. Others talk about havier things about religion. I remembered that one of the girl said “Religion is something in our mind. That’s why we can create it”. I don’t have a comments for this, but this talks are quite common in India. People are coming to India to search somethings, one of it is the search for devotion.

The destination in Jaipur are : (1) Albert Hall (2) The Pink city (3) Observatory (4) Amber Fort & Amber City- the ancient capital of the state until 1728. In Khrisna Palace where we stay we also met our Indonesian friends that we met at the airport on the first day arrived in New Delhi. They have the same schedule to go to Agra the next day by train.

Day three : Agra. This is our ultimate destination: Taj Mahal. We arrived in Agra in the middle of the night without hotel facilities to pick us. The problems is not that we could not find taxi to the hotel but there are to much of them that offering us with pushing. We have to argue with the those several taxi drivers that come around us and made us confuse with the information about the distance from the station to hotel related to the price that we should pay. Finally we hold a white flag. OK they won this time.

The next day, or actually a few hours after we slept we go to the Taj Mahal in the morning but we fail to catch up the sun rise in Taj Mahal.

We took lots of picture while also amazed by the construction built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The construction began around 1632 and was completed around 1653. I heard that there are lots of  people died in construction of this building. Then we are heading back to New Delhi to catch the night plane to KL then go back to Jakarta the next day.


Eronn said...

Thanks for sharing your experience on tour of Golden Triangle India.

Travel Corporation India said...

Golden Triangle Tour Covering Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Golden Triangle Tour is the most popular tourist circuit in India. This incredible Golden Triangle Tour Itinerary comprising the three famous cities of India-Delhi, Agra and Jaipur having grandeur, glory & history.

fajrin said...

@Eronn, your welcome...

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