adventures in india (part two)

so after we spent three days with my dad’s side of the family in hyderabad, we all flew off to rajasthan, which is one of the biggest tourist spots in india. we landed to jaipur, colloquially known as ‘the pink city’ because of its unique colored buildings and stones, and basically went on a huge tour of all the palaces and forts. if you’re ever in jaipur, the main palace to visit is amber fort. honestly one of the most gorgeous places i have ever been to! the fort itself sits on top of a hill, so you can either drive up there or ride an elephant all the way up, through the winding and often times beaten paths. we didn’t know about the elephant thing at first, so we just drove up there (which is actually frightening because the roads are so tiny) but we made it! and the view from the fort, overlooking jaipur, is stunning. you can see all the little houses and greenery and it’s definitely worth a trip just to see the pink city from that height. then we went into amber fort and got a tour through the palace where former maharajas and their queens lived, thousands of years ago, and even saw the spot where a bollywood film was shot (kind of a period piece about that kingdom and starring aishwarya rai lol check it out)!! there were also a bunch of little shops in the palace where you could buy rajasthan specific tapestries, flasks, hookahs, slippers, and (my favorite item) old postcards from a hundred years ago with original paintings of elephants, camels, and horses on them. and everything was so cheap too! i’ve been to a lot of places in india throughout my life, and been to many different shopping places, but i’ve got to say that rajasthan is the best place for shopping, hands down. cheap, good quality, and just really beautiful items. we ended up getting an elephant tapestry, two leather bound journals with flower printed paper, colored cotton harem pants (typical tourist wear), patchwork bags, and a ton of postcards!

we also saw the floating palace while in jaipur, which is an amazingly architectured white building that looks like it’s sitting perfectly on top of the water. and basically went to the middle of nowhere for an “authentic” rajasthan food experience. which was definitely interesting. we just sat down on these pillows and they kept filling our banana leaves with heaps and heaps of food; i was pretty sure i was going to explode after it, but it was great! and we rode on a camel immediately after which was a bit nauseating…

after jaipur, we went on a overnight train to udaipur! and sidenote: overnight trains are actually wonderful (or at least, i think they are) because they rock you to sleep and you get your own little berth with a pillow and sheets and blanket and it’s just super warm and comfy and you never really want to leave in the morning. but yeah, udaipur was more of the same palace traveling and sight-seeing and it was bombbb, i loved seeing all these old structures with beautiful stories behind them.

after we took another overnight train and a plane back home to hyderabad (where we  only stayed for one day) my dad’s side of the family all went to puttaparthi which is kind of like an ashram of sorts. not really an ashram that’s tied to a specific religion, but one that’s more for people of all faiths. we’ve been there a couple times before and it was…interesting, i guess, even though i’m not particularly that religious in the first place.

after all that, my mom sister and i took a flight to kerala (another place we’ve never been before) and as soon as we landed, we felt the heaaaat. so  unbearable. like sticky syrup on our skin that we felt the need to wash off every 2 or so hours, but we couldn’t. the beautiful greenery of kerala did make up for this heat though, and i would say kochin is one of the most stunningly lush cities in all of india (from what i’ve seen, at least). we stayed with one of my mom’s friends from college on her 18 acre rubber plantation, with the largest collection of farm animals i have ever seen, it was great. we stayed with them for one day, and then on saturday, went to the backwaters of kerala and stayed on a houseboat for a night. which i would highly recommend if you ever find yourself in india with your family and friends! it’s basically a boat with three bedrooms, a kitchen, a flatscreen tv, and wonderful scenery around you. there are people on the boat who cook your meals for you, so that’s real convenient. and they cook authentic kerala meals, which is a lot of fish, but it was still good to me! and they have the most delicious rice mmm and it’s actually much healthier compared to white rice! so i really loved that part of the trip (except when i got a mild stomach flu the day after…hm)

we finally went to chennai to spend time with my mom’s side of the family for the last four days of the looong 3 week trip and that was pretty relaxing. we went and saw tamil films, got our henna done, shopped for jewelry and snacks (my mom bought me a gold ring and i’m actually terrified that i’m going to misplace it because she would actually murder me i think) but yeah, it was so good! in chennai, we are able to go everywhere in autos, which are little yellow three-wheeled taxis, because it was only the three of us. and autos are really fun, if you’re not terrified of indian traffic. so check that out…

i mean all in all this was a fantastic trip and the whole time i was wishing that i could have brought some of my friends along, because i know some people who would have really enjoyed the experience! but there’s always time for this in the future and hopefully next time, it won’t just be me and the family. i mean, that’s nice and all, but it’s also a bit straining on my patience at times too. i hope you all are having a great second semester back at school, or just a great february!

<3 pratibha

1 comment:

  1. BEAUTIFUL! i am so jealous of the intricate henna work. i think it's stunning.


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