Arrived New Delhi safely.The group had a welcome lei of marigold and the women were given beautiful Indian scarves.
Rush Hour in Delhi
Local Indian Beer
A look at the real India - old Delhi.
Jama Mazid, the largest mosque in India
Sarnath, the birthplace of Buddhism. This is where Buddha preached his first sermon.
Aarti Puja is celebrated every evening on the west bank of the Ganges. It's a light ceremony performed every evening to bless the Ganges.
Pilgrims arrive daily to attend Aarti Puja in Varanasi
Varanasi - the Holy land of India
An early boat ride to witness the Hindu ritual of bathing in the Ganges- a once in a lifetime experience. They believe that bathing in the Ganges river in Varanasi will cleanse them from their sins. Thousands of pilgrims flock the west bank everyday.
Cremation on the bank of the river Ganges in Varanasi
Old town of Varanasi
Cooking with a local family
Most Hindu families cook only vegetarian meals made up of puri, one or two vegetable dish and daal.
Turmeric and coriander make the basic spices for India cooking plus other ingredients like cumin or cardamom .
Agra - Love of India
Built by the emperor Shahjahan in 1630 for his queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. A true love story.
An era marked by invasions and fortifications where power where palaces and grand forts were symbol of power. It was the main residences of the emperors during the Mughal dynasty until 1638. Only 20 percent of the Fort is open to visitors.
A magnificent castle built by the Mughal emperor Akbar on the mountains of Sikri.
It was residence to the emperor, his three wives and his son.
The palace is made of red sandstone with a mix of Muslim, Hindi and Christian inspired styles.
No sight of the evasive tiger this morning!
The rest of the day calls for relaxation - Nahargarh in Ranthambore
Ranthambore - Jaipur
Yes we finally spotted our tiger thanks to our expert driver/guide that followed fresh tiger tracks along the way. Other than tigers, Ranthambore is home to many animals like the spotted deer, gazelles, antelopes, wild boars, bears and monkeys everywhere .
Women's handicraft co-op . The women make beautiful handmade handcrafted products like quilted blankets. Proceeds go to the women that work here.
Interesting views from our drive to Jaipur. Horns are normal in India!
Horn please! Helmets optional!
Jaipur- the pink city
A slow but steady climb to Amber fort in a time honoured fashion - by elephants.
Beautiful frescos dating back to 350 years and still radiant .
Hall of mirrors
After india's independence in 1947 the royalty was abolished. The Maharaja family still lives in the complex and a portion of their palace are open to the public. The family residence has 78 rooms with six occupants.
An authentic Indian dinner, Rajastan style!
Jaipur - Udaipur
We say goodbye to their jewel of India. The colours of jaipur
Udaipur - Venice of the east
There are 8 man made lakes in this city with a population of half million.
Probably there cleanest city I've seen so far.
Built in 1553, the palace complex has been built over several generations. Owned by the Mewar family, most parts of this complex has been converted into heritage hotels and are quite popular for destination weddings.
Delicate works of art and craftsmanship can be found all over the palace complex.
Saheliyon Ki Bari gardens
Garden was built for the Queen's maidens to spend quality time away from their palace duties. No male was allowed inside the gardens except for the Maharana.
Udaipur - Mumbai
Mumbai is a modern looking city. The British style buildings will give you a feel of Europe minus the crowds and the traffic chaos all over the city.
About 3 million people a day use this train station, a very impressive structure from the outside.
Slums of Mumbai
From the airport you can't help but notice the slums, an eye soar for us North Americans. Unless you've done the walking tour of the slums, your perception will forever change.
This tour was the highlight of Mumbai - a humble and teachable moment. I think the word slum is a misnomer.
The Dharavi slum is a community of people that coexist in an area half the size of central Park with a population of one million . They have water, power, schools, temples, restaurants and markets. The best part is that they all work and have an industry within: plastic recycling, clay pots and bakery. There were no beggars to be seen anywhere.
We could not take any photos during the tour out of respect for their privacy. These pictures were only taken from the outside .
India gate in Mumbai
Mumbai to Nasik
A five hour drive from busy Mumbai to Nasik which is about 163 km. No one ever thinks of wineries when visiting India. There are 31 wineries in Nasik and more in the southern part of india . After touting for two weeks, this is a nice introduction to a wind down and relaxation. What a better way to relax by sampling some wines of the region.
Nasik has been producing wine for about 15 years or more for most of the wineries here. We visited Sula which is the biggest one and 4 boutique wineries. As wine gets better with age, so will these wineries thrive in future years to come. Some have been winning awards and our taste buds don't lie either. Even our non wine drinkers would agree.
Vineyards in Nasik
Five star wine tours
Nasik to Goa
A long day for everyone as we head out to Mumbai for our 50 minute flight to Goa. We arrive at our hotel for some R & R.
Varca beach is located in South Goa. The nice private beach is very clean and quiet. Great for relaxing and families.
More relaxing days in Goa!
Basilica of Bom Jesus located in old Goa. It has the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. Baroque architecture built in the 1600's.
An informative tour at the spice plantation. There is a natural cure for most ailments. Check this out!
Dining by the beach. Our farewell dinner. Lobster anyone?
That's a wrap !
A long day ahead of us but we are all ready to go home. There were many flight delays along the way that was beyond our control but that's India. It's not only the Taj Mahal or the Ganges! We've only seen a portion of it's diversity but more than your average golden triangle tour. The memories are truly incredible. Travelling in India isn't a cake walk but the sights, history and culture is truly remarkable. There will be detours along the way, but just sit and enjoy the scenery!
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