A Travellerspoint blog

December 2011

The Golden Triangle

sunny 33 °C

Delhi, Agra, Rajasthan

We arrived in Delhi by train from Varanasi. The district we were staying in closely resembled Kosan Rd in Bangkok; bright lights and boldly loud. Kosan doesn't however have stray cows wandering the streets. Every train from Delhi to Agra was sold out and we were forced to hire a driver to take us through the golden triangle. Ironically all the trains that we were trying to book were cancelled the next day due to dense fog. Perhaps a blessing in disguise.

Our driver (Megesh) proved to be a true jem. He taught us about the Hindu religion, traditions and took us to local restaurants where the food was quality and dirt cheap. It was valuable to know a local that could take us away from the tourist traps and help us to experience India for what it really is.

Pictures from the Taj Mahal:
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After battling the traffic mazes and thousands of tourists at the Taj Mahal, we left Agra the following morning and arrived in Jaipur later that day. The ancient cities of Rajasthan took us back to the time of the great sultans and emperors who built massive palaces and cities inside scaling walls of sandstone bricks. We were amazed at what man power could do back in the day without all of the resorces we now take for granted.

Amer Fort
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Amber Palace
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Ancient water pulley system
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Henna on my hands, embracing culture at City Palace
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Ancient sandstone structure and exotic bird
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We said goodbye to Megesh in Jaipur and headed to Pushkar by train. A short 2 hours later we arrived in the holy town of Pushkar where Eric and I both felt a sense of tranquility and relief from the busy city life. The small lake town is tucked between a few small mountains in the middle of the desert and is absolutely lovely. We took advantage of the down time and dedicated our time in Pushkar to ourselves. We sought out a great Yogi (Jaggu Soni) and spent our time focusing on our third eye.

View of Pushkar Lake from our balcony
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Our Yogi/Reiki Master - Jaggu Soni
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Picture from our Ashram
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After Pushkar we will jump on a plane heading south to the beaches of Goa and Kerala.

Posted by H-Dizzle 00:33 Archived in India Tagged tajmahal Comments (2)

Bohdgaya & Varanasi

The land of head bobbles and circular answers

sunny 27 °C

Bodhgaya

We arrived in Bodhgaya and were confronted with the true India. Chaos combined with poverty, garbage and rancid smell. We started asking ourselves why we were here and contemplated leaving India. When we arrived in inside the temple gates everything became clear again. Suddenly a weight lifted off of my shoulders and my spirits rose into a state of nirvana. We left the temple grounds only to eat and sleep and if we had the option I’m sure we would have stayed 24/7. We spent our days sitting under the Bodhi tree (where Buddha obtained enlightenment) hanging out with the monks and doing Yoga in the park.

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Varanasi

Varanasi is said to be the city of life. Bright, colorful and not for the faint hearted. I would sum it up by saying it is a place of mixed feelings. Being so bluntly confronted with death is a hard thing to absorb. We sat and watched as families cremated their loved ones by the holy Ganges River and then bathe in their ashes. Watching a body burn is an experience I wish not to share. Hindu people believe that fire is purifying and will release the sole of their deceased loved ones. Holy people (Sadhus, people with leprosy or deformities, pregnant woman, and people who have been bitten by a snake) are considered to be already pure. Their bodies are attached to a weight and sunk to the bottom of the Ganges. Although a sad time for many families, tears are strictly prohibited. Tears will make the sole of the deceased feel remorseful and therefore not escape. This is why woman of the families are not allowed at the cremation. Festivals and celebrations go underway every night at the holy river with music and fire dancing, a time to celebrate the holyness of the Ganges.

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From a womans point a view, the large groups of gawking men is overwhelming and intimidating. After time I learned to treat them like children, they just don't know any better. Eric and I practiced the stare down technique and it prooved a good deterant. We discovered a great Yoga Ashram and used it as our gettaway from the chaos. After Varanasi we will head to Dehli, Agra and Rajastan.

Posted by H-Dizzle 23:16 Archived in India Tagged india monk ganges varanasi bohdgaya Comments (1)

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