Friday, January 16, 2009

On the Lonely Planet trail

It wouldn't feel right to come this vast country and spend my whole time in Delhi. So Wednesday morning I got the train to Agra for an obligatory stop at the Taj Majal, three hours away. Remember what I wrote about there not being a lot of tourists in India? Retract that statement. Much of Agra's economy is built around Taj Majal visitors, Indian and Western alike. You must have great patience for the question, "which country you from?" -- I heard it dozens of times. But I'm happy I went. It really was a spectacular building, and one thing checked off the life list. Plus, I think this will make a good facebook photo.

After a day in Agra, I took the overnight sleeper train to Udaipur, in Rajashtan, where there is a bustling trade in leather goods and fabrics, as well as yoga sessions, cooking classes, and screenings of James Bond's "Octopussy" which made this place famous.

One of the shopkeepers speculated that, with the terrorist bombings in November, tourists don't feel safe in Mumbai or Delhi, but they still come to Udaipur, supposedly the most "romantic" city in India, although I'm not totally sure what that means.

BTW I posted some of the photos I took of street vendors in Delhi here. Have a look.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sean--Udaipur was one of my favorte spots in Rajasthan, and it definitely counts as romantic. I'm glad you were able to head out of Delhi and check out some other cities. And as much a the Taj Mahal is a cheesy tourist destination, it is also truly magnificent, so I am very happy that you saw it!