Doing the decorations for the 3 day celebration, Diwali.
Our trip left from Dehli, where you get to visit the Red Fort and Old Dehli. Dehli has a population of 23,000,000 people, the pollution is so bad that a person dies every 23seconds from pollution.
The noise and traffic is hard to handle, along with the pollution and you usually end up with a headache.
The tour group we picked was On the Go and we had a great tour guide named Samrind Singh, who we could not fault, he was excellent and dealt with the 20 people on our tour very well.
After Dehli where we spent 3 days we set of for a 6hr road trip to Jaipur, we spent 2 days in Jaipur the pink city where I managed to buy a camel wool carpet, a kantha quilt and a jacket made.
Jaipur 's population is 5,000,000, pollution is no better in Jaipur.
After we left Jaipur we drove another 5hrs to Bharatpur for one night so that we may visit the bird sanctuary, which holds a lot of wildlife and covers 29square miles. We all spent the afternoon being peddled about on rickshaws, a great way to travel through the park.
The next day was to drive to Agra, this would be our highlight of the trip to visit the Taj Mahal, on offer and for a fee of 650rupees you could go to a local poor family's home and get dressed in Sari's to vist the Taj, about 7 girls and 2 men got dressed, me included, a pity it was so hot, but comforted in the thought that this money will help a family in India.
After Agra we travelled to Orchha for an overnight stay to visit the Jehanlgir Mahal palace and see the sunset over the Betwa river.
Leaving Orchha we then travelled to Khajuraho for one night, here was the option to go on a safari to see more wildlife and hopefully a tiger, a tiger was seen so money well spent by those of our group who chose to go. We then flew to Varanasi for 2 days then a train trip to Dehli and the completion of our tour.
The best of India as mentioned was the history, temples, palaces and Granges. Textiles, fabric and art is amazing as well.
Food was a great treat, we only ate in reputable hotels or restaurants and did not get sick.
The worst of India, is the pollution, rubbish, filth and the poor animals. Most Indians are vegetarians and do not eat beef or pork, they do eat goat and chicken.
The cows are supposedly sacred, but when seeing them in the streets they are eating plastic and garbage, not a pleasant sight. The cows are used for milking, and as long as they produce milk, they have value, if a calf is born and is male, it is just left to roam the streets. The cattle just sit in the middle of the roads, and on the verge, in most of the cities, there is no grass for them to eat.
Their are also pigs wandering the streets as well. The streets are littered with mounds of plastic bags and rubbish, and no one is seen cleaning the streets.
The poor beg on the streets and children are sent to beg and if they do not come back with anything, they are maltreated,
The dogs are mangey, flea bitten and in poor health.
Although we did see some dogs that were pets and well looked after.
Not many cats were seen, monkeys were often sighted.
All in all my experience of India was a good one except for what I have just mentioned, but we need to look past the pollution, filth, the poor animals and enjoy the experience of another culture and architecture, we do plan to visit the south in the near future.