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A visit to India is a feather in any traveler’s cap. Our group went in search of fascinating culture, food, and architecture and we did not leave disappointed.
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Our trip, like many who come to India, began and ended in the capital city of New Delhi. Far from being just a port of entry, Delhi has some amazing sites on offer. Highlights included a rickshaw ride through the insanely-crowded Chandni Chowk – a labyrinth of narrow alleys filled with shops – and a visit to the Qutb Minar complex just outside of town. The next stop on our tour was Agra, where we took an early morning tour of the incomparable Taj Mahal.
That afternoon was spent exploring the massive Agra Fort just across the river. For a little natural break, we spent a night in Ranthambore National Park – a tiger preserve that offers opportunities to see these big cats in the wild. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any on our safari but enjoyed the other wildlife spotting all the same. The next stop on our itinerary was Jaipur, also known as the Pink City. Here we toured the highly-photogenic Amber Fort just outside of town and took in the delicate Hawal Mahal, or Palace of the Winds. We also enjoyed exploring the Jantar Mantar World Heritage Site, which is an ancient collection of unique structures used to map the movement of celestial bodies. The last stop on our tour was remote Jodhpur at the edge of the desert. Known as the Blue City for the center’s predominant color scheme, the main attraction here is the imposing Mehrangar Fort, which sits atop the city like a benevolent (and ornate) giant.
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If I were to take this trip again I would dedicate a little more time to Agra, because just outside the city are the abandoned ruins of Fatehpur Sikri – yet another World Heritage Site. I would also allot more time for additional safari drives in Ranthambore National Park, to increase the chances of viewing tigers in the wild.
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