My Colleague Ulises was planned to arrive in India on Night of 1st October 2010 and he had only 2nd and 3rd October to explore some places nearby Delhi. 2nd Oct Gandhi's Birth Anniversary and 3rd Oct Opening Ceremony of Common Wealth Games in Delhi made it difficult for me to make a plan to explore Delhi's historical places. Keeping in mind that Ulises had an interest in exploring historical places, the final plan I made was to go to Taj Mahal on 2nd Oct and same day reach Jaipur, Explore Jaipur on 3rd Oct and head back to Delhi in the evening, and this makes perfect Triangle on map.
Delhi to Agra on 2nd October 2010
We started our day at 8:00 AM and we had opted for a cab which remained with us for full two days with Driver and a Guide. Since I met Ulises first time so we had enough of topics to discuss about our countries, starting from culture, politics, people to living standards etc. On the way from Delhi we crossed few villages wherein I realised that Ulises was too excited to see cows and buffaloes roaming on the road. And he had numerous questions about it.
|Ulises and me|
Unfortunately the drive from Delhi to Agra was not smooth as we kept getting stuck in traffic jams at many places. It was lunch time when we reached Agra and instead of visiting TajMahal first, we opted for lucnh. Now Spanish man was ready to try Indian Food. Once Ulises had Chicken Tikka and Cheese Nan he reacted in his Spanish accent "Its too Spicy". Well that was relatively less spicy, so I thought what if he had encountered fully spicy Chicken Tikka?
Taj Mahal - Spectacular Monument
Once we were done with our Lunch, we met our Guide who took us to Taj Mahal. The benefit which we got from Guide was that we entered through back gate and skipped all the crowd standing in queue on other side.
|This is what you see first at entrance|
It was not the first time I was visiting Taj Mahal but I have to accept that when I stood at main entrance and looked straight on the monument it looked completely new, fresh and different to me. Last time I went there was around 2 years ago and I had criticized it because of its poor maintenance but this time it looked so fresh that I had to recollect 2 years old experience and compare both, but did not find correct answer for two different opinions. I think that is all about the great work done by Spectacular and Unbeatable Engineering and Art.
|Spectacular monument of White Marble created in 16th Century|
Marble Factory at Agra
After spending some time at Tajmahal and listening to the stories from Guide on Tajmahal, we reached at a Marble Factory in Agra. We learnt that descenders of worker who worked on Tajmahal in 16th Century makes various marble items by hand. I was excited to see as I had never seen it before. Contrary to what we were told it was a Marble Items showroom. But the collection of marble made items was huge. The entire Shop looked really beautiful as if it was decorated for some festival or celebration.
A Chess Table
Drive from Agra to Jaipur on 2nd Oct 2010
Time had become constraint for us so we cut down the plan to visit Agra market and left Agra at 5:00 PM. The drive from Agra to Jaipur was heavenly, our Innova was cruising like boat on water. The National Highway was too good with almost avoiding all main cities with flyovers on it. We reached Jaipur by 10:00 AM in the night and slow traffic and rough roads of Jaipur welcomed us by awaking us from sleep.
Hawa Mahal (Wind Palace) at Jaipur - 3rd Oct 2010
Next day 3rd Oct 2010, Our Guide joined us at Hotel itself and first place he took us was Hawa Mahal. It is situated in the middle of the city and roads crossing Hawa Mahal are too busy with local traffic.
Amber Fort - Jaipur
Soon after parking for a while at Hawa Mahal we went to Amber Fort, one of the most famous and beautiful fort in the city. Amber Fort has an unique characterstick of having built in blend of Hindu and Muslim style. It is situated on the top of a small hill and entire Jaipur City can be seen from there. The fort has been protected by the wall all around the hill.
A view of Amber fort from Jaipur City
A window for Queens to look outside view from Amber Fort
The field was made on Water to grow saffron in ancient times
Wall on the entire hill made to protect Fort
Water Palace is located in the middle of Man Sagar Lake in Jaipur City. The Palace was built earlier than 18th Century. It was renovated in 18th Century by then King Jai Singh II. Water Palace situated on Lake looks breathtaking and small mountains behind lake adds the flavor of greenery into the entire view.
A Boy at Water Palace. At first sight this boy looked to me a beggar but soon I realized that he is a small magician. I have a great respect for him. A true Indian - Earning his living with respect.
As the name suggests, it is situated in the middle of city and crowded roads connects its entrance from outisde. From outside it looks an ordinary building but once you enter it you realize that it is other way round. We spent sometime going through the history along with our Guide.
Busy entrance of City Palace. Neither Ulises nor I missed the opportunity of clicking much talked Cows of Indian Streets
King of Jaipur still live in this Palace
It was noon time and Sun had sucked almost all the energy out of us. We decided to wrap the day and headed for lunch. Ulises was very careful about the food by now and opted for relatively light food.
The last Line of the triangle was yet to be drawn to make a perfect Triangle and we headed back to Delhi immediately after Lunch. I reached home at 7:00 PM and that was the time when Live telecast of Common Wealth Games Opening Ceremony started. It was all over on TV.