India is like a radio with every knob—the volume, bass, and treble—turned to maximum. The sights, sounds, and smells are almost overwhelming at first, but they quickly weave themselves into a carpet as electrifying as any that flew in the Arabian Nights, transporting you. If you’re open to it.
It’s been said that you either love the country or hate it. My wife and I loved it. Centuries of British control couldn’t homogenize the culture, which is radically different from any other we’ve experienced. Two weeks there wasn’t enough, only giving us incentive to return. The food alone could lure us back; we’ve possibly never eaten better (though I should note that we were careful not to eat from street-side vendors but only in clean, or reasonably clean, restaurants, thus avoiding the infamous “Delhi belly”).
We began our trip in Delhi and then headed south to Agra and the Taj Mahal, which, even in the rain, was more magnificent than we had imagined, the most beautiful building either of us have seen. We then made a great loop through the eastern half of India’s largest state, Rajasthan, visiting the Keoladeo National Park, Sariska Tiger Reserve, and the cities of Jaipur, Pushkar, Jodhpur, and Bikaner, where we took an overnight camel safari into the Great Thar Desert.
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