India Trip Highlights
One Month in India is a mixture of good things, and not so good things. I have lived in India for the last 30 years, and I have still not seen all of it in India. I had traveled to Amritsar, and Delhi, but I had not stayed there enough to see and explore. But traveling extensively is what I wanted, but could not. In May 2016 I decided to change that. I strictly stuck to traveling to the capitals, but took a little detour from my capital run.
If you want to travel, start doing that at home the saying goes. I spent a week riding around the city, taking pictures of places around. I have a home in Bangalore, so I did not have to pay for accommodation. Trying to seek interesting places to see. I made some progress. There are lot of places to see other than Lalbagh, the museums. The Tipu Sultan palace that is hidden from view, but definitely a good one. The Bangalore Palace, the art galleries, and the theaters.
I have lived in Chennai as a kid in the IIT campus when my dad was here for PhD. We used to go out to see places. The Guindy National Park was the favorite family outing. So when I travel to Chennai I am no tourist. A city of culture and heritage, the seafood, the drive to Mammallapuram (Mahabalipuram), or Pondicherry on the ECR is a must do.
After Chennai, I traveled back home to Bangalore, from here I caught a bus to Hyderabad. My first time in Hyderabad happened in the month of Ramzan. So one of the highlight of this trip was (the roza) the breaking the fast at the Charminar in the evening. The Golkonda Fort is an amazing fort that withstood the Mughals. I stayed in a campus at the Secunderabad cantonment with some amazing people.
I took the Falanuma Express to Kolkata. It was the second fastest train to Kolkata taking little more than 24 hours to reach the Howrah station. I wish it was during the Durga Pooja, but I will come back for it. The Kalighat temple, Dakshineshwar, the National Museum, and the food is the best thing in Kolkata. My lovely host is an artist who also cooks some amazing Kolkata fish.
It seems many Bengali people go to Varanasi, either for a short pilgrimage, or move there for good. I took the Himgiri Express to the ancient city of Varanasi. Varanasi has the old town, the new town, and the University campus. I took a boat ride early in the morning and a dip in River Ganga. I took the picture on the homepage during this ride.
One of the most famous structures in the world in here. When in North India, you cannot miss the Taj Mahal. There are no words to describe the Taj. There is also a fort, and the tombs around in Agra. Getting to Agra was a small adventure. I spent only half a day here, I then took the evening train to Delhi.
I took the Gatimaan Express to the nations’s capital, the fastest train as of September 2016. I had been to Delhi in 2006, but I stayed only less than a day after a three day journey from and to Bangalore. The effervescent Hauz Khas village was where I stayed, near the ruins of the ancient city of Siri.
The Rajdhani train I took ran through the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra. I ended my month long travel in Mumbai by staying for three days in the Mysore Colony, a small residential area in Chembur. This is my second visit to Mumbai. My first visit being eleven days long. Mumbai is a fascinating city to explore, with colonial past, iconic buildings like the Gateway of India, Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway station, Taj Mahal Hotel, hidden temples, the Apollo Bandar. Street food at the Chowpatti beach is also a must do.
You could travel in India for a lifetime and still not see everything. There are many things to see, no wonder they call India a subcontinent. Few regions in my mind is the Himachal, Kashmir -Nepal region, Rajasthan – Gujarat, Punjab definitely, and the Northeast India. Besides, trains are the best way to travel in India. No second thought about that. There are some itinerary that people draw up and follow, but not complete. It would be futile to even try drawing up itineraries.