India, a country I had never thought I’d be travelling to. But guess what, it was so fun! So here’s the first chunk of my India experience, where I spent three days exploring India’s golden triangle with my six work colleagues.
One of the perks of working in a global consulting firm is the opportunity to travel. Yep, so after a year working in my current company, I had the chance to attend a one-week in-class training, which pretty much like going back to university. Unless it was also about work.
Well, I’m not here talking about my training, cause the travelling part is way more fun!
So I thought, why not extending my stay since I’d be flying long hours to get there anyway? And there it happened, another week of exploring India.
The golden triangle: Jaipur, Agra, Delhi
First thing first, of course, I checked all the must-visited places in India or famously known as India golden triangle.
Jaipur, the pink city
Once I touched down Jaipur, my attention immediately went to the historical architectures that surround almost every corner of the city centre. It is the iconic pink walls that amused me the most.
Apparently, the city used to have yellow-ish colour surrounding its city until one day Prince Albert from England came for a visit. The King of that era decided to paint the wall in pink to impress his guest. Yep, that was a thing back then, I guess.
My first stop was Hawa Mahal or translated to Palace of the Winds. It is a wall. Yes, right, it is a just a wall with windows. Honestly, it wasn’t easy to get a good photo since the road in front of the wall is quite narrow. A few decades ago, this is the spot for the royal women to people-watch and see what’s happening outside their world.
My second stop was the Amer Fort. Oh, I love this one! This stunning palace combines combining Hindu and Islamic architectures. Also, the view is amazing! Located on the hilltop, Amer Fort is a perfect place to enjoy all the city can offer you.
During the repainting process, the palace wasn’t included. It still holds its yellow colours, which makes the place such a picturesque shot, especially on the sunny day with the clear blue sky and dusty hills. Nowadays, the palace is still perceived as a holy place and regularly hosted important religious ceremonies.
Agra and the famous Taj Mahal
I had such a great time in Agra! Although everything is very touristy. The city offers such amazing places from Galtajj temple, Agra fort to the famous Taj Mahal!
Though it was a very short visit to Galtajj temple, it has definitely left a great impression on me. Once I got there, some locals came to me and told us not to take pictures or else I’d get fined. The local said it is a sacred place.
The temple is very far from the hustle of a busy town. Located between Jaipur and Agra, the temple is kinda difficult to access unless you rent a car and drive here. There weren’t many tourists when I came here.
Many sacred and important religious ceremonies are held here. All the process, colourful decorations, songs and how passionate people who involved are incredibly beautiful.
The ultimate destination: Taj Mahal.
I was super excited about the Taj Mahal, somehow. I’ve always been obsessed to visit all the seven wonders (which as far as I know to keep on changing every now and then). One of my colleagues has this fun idea to wear the traditional Sari clothes to Taj Mahal lol. The idea didn’t appeal to me at first but YOLO!
After getting dressed, we all went straight to Taj Mahal (yes, with the Sari) and everyone was looking at us, taking photos even asking for a selfie! It was very interesting…
The Taj Mahal itself is such a magnificent building. The story is one of the sweetest histories I’ve ever heard, about how Maharajah Shah Jahan created this building as an everlasting memorial and resting place for someone he loves the most. All the inspirations were taken from the detailed description of Heaven. Every detail on this building was perfectly fit in together.
Though the place was super crowded, I personally found it very peaceful. I’d love to stay a bit longer there just to enjoy the view.
The mandatory trip to the capital
I only had less than 24 hours in Delhi. To be frank, I should have stayed longer 🙁 Well, there’s always another reason to go back and travel! The only plan I had was to stay at the airport hotel and catch an early flight to my next destination.
So here’s tiny experience on New Delhi.
The city itself is pretty similar to Jakarta, from the crowd, traffic jams and the hustle and bustle of a capital city.
I met a friend from uni at the Townhall Khan Market. Since it was a bit late (around 10 pm), most stores are closed. The place itself is known for its high-end brand and good places to hang out, for coffee, food or drinks.
After over 7 days having full course Indian food every time, I finally turned back into my comfort food, Pad thai (I’d love to have nasi rames or gado gado but of course it is not on their menu :))
So how was it overall?
I’m not a big fan of travelling in a huge group but it has some good perks. Big groups, big laugh and Since we already had our fixed itinerary, travelling in a big group were not a problem at all. No need to worry about how to buy the tickets, handle the street sellers or think about what to eat for lunch. However, I didn’t have the chance to explore the hidden gems, walk in the market or chill at a nice coffee shop.
Overall, I think the golden triangle is a must-visited when if you come to India. Spend a few days and explore the city as much as you could. Anything you see here is so unique and different.