July 12, 2013

India photo diary - Part 1 (+ Malaysia)

Hey guys! I'm finally back! :)
As you may already know, I've been travelling around India with my mum for the past 3 weeks and it was amazing. The people were friendly and always willing to help; the culture was so rich and beautiful; the sights, temples, forts, tombs and monuments were breathtaking and so large in scale (it got pretty tiring to walk around every monument in 35 degree heat); and the food was super delicious! I actually had a vegetarian diet for the entire trip! Most people in India are vegetarian, but they sure know how to cook tasty meals :)

Here's an overview of our itinerary:
We had a stop-over in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for a day so I included some pics. After we landed in Delhi, we straight away headed north to the states of Punjab and Haryana. Then we headed back down to Delhi for some sightseeing. From Delhi, we drove south-west to Jaipur and Ajmer in the state of Rajasthan. From here, we drove east to Agra in the state of Uttar Pradesh to see the one and only - Taj Mahal! Then we caught an overnight train east to Varanasi to see the Ganges River. From here, we drove further east to Bodh Gaya in the state of Bihar. This city is home to the Mahabodhi Temple and the Bodhi Tree, under which Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment. Then we drove back to Varanasi where we caught an overnight train back to Delhi. 

It was a jam-packed holiday with so many wonderful experiences and memories to share, and I'm so excited to show you all what I got up to! 

First stop - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia:

Petronas Towers!
Flying out of Kuala Lumpur. Next stop - New Delhi!

Delhi Airport:

Punjab:
Golden Temple - Amritsar.
It was super crowded, but seeing a temple made from real gold was amazing!
This was the queue to go inside. Everyone was sandwiched against each other. After 2 hours of waiting in line, I could finally walk in. It was breathtaking. No cameras were allowed, but the entire interior was gold plated. I even got to walk upstairs and the view was great!
 The one and only - Mahatma Gandhi. His statue was at a local university.
 Streets of Punjab.
 Meeting some locals!

New Delhi:
Humayun's Tomb.

The Lotus Temple - a place where people of any religion can come and pray. So peaceful inside.
Taking my mum for a ride on a rickshaw (local transport). It's hard work!
Jama Masjid. This mosque was massive!
Meeting some locals at Jama Masjid.
Streets of Old Delhi - Chandni Chowk. We walked past in the morning, but these markets are really busy in the evenings and have so many wonderful souvenirs for great prices!
Beautiful home architecture and design among the streets of Old Delhi
The Red Fort. (Excuse my stiff robot-like pose lol...)
Qutb Minar - the tallest minar in India!
 Qutb Complex.
 Laxminarayan Temple. This was breathtaking! The colours, details and craftsmanship of the design inside was amazing! Again, no cameras were allowed.
 My mum and I after we visited the Laxminarayan Temple.

Jaipur/Ajmer:
Merwara Palace. Such a beautiful location!
 Having breakfast, Rajasthani style ;)
The view of the palace from our balcony.
Their main form of transportation was by horse and carriage. It felt like another world!
 A Rajasthani snake charmer! I was definitely a little scared..
 My mum and I on an elephant ride!
 Amer Fort - the route for our elephant ride.
 Hawa Mahal - "Palace of the Winds". It has 953 small windows!
 Casually standing next to a decorated Buffalo.
 Monkey Palace! Sooo many monkeys roaming about.

That's it for now, but stay tuned for Part 2: 
1. Agra (Taj Mahal!)
2. Varanasi (Ganges River)
3. Bodh Gaya (Buddhist Temple)
4. Delhi

If you guys have any questions on my trip to India, let me know in the comments and I'll be happy to answer them!