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Second Stop - North India

11, Jun. ~ 24, Jun. 2019

India, the country I always want to visit. Although I had been to India for business trip twice, I merely saw the surface of the Indian culture. This time, I divide my trip into parts, North and South India. In this trip to North India, I traveled with another backpacker who I met in another hostel when I traveled in the past instead of couchsurfing around.

We stayed in North India for around 2 weeks. Night bus or night train will be our major transportation from one city to another. Since we all flew to New Delhi, we decided to stay only one night in the capital. Although New Delhi is capital of India, it is easily found rubbish on the street, not mention about in the bazaar. The city smelled very complicated which I called it "the smell of India". It is mixed with fecal, waste, sweat, perfume, and everything you can image on the street. But don't get me wrong, there are some clean areas in the city. What made me unforgettable was that children on the street or in the middle of road beg for food or money from tourists. They are supposed to be in the age of be naive and curious everything about the world. The scene reminded me the life of the protagonist Jamel Malik in movie "Slumdog Millionaire".

Because both of us have little interesting in New Delhi, next day evening we took night bus straight to Rishikesh, a town famous for Yoga. This was our first time taking night bus in India. Unsurprisingly, although I booked 2 sleepers online before coming to India, the reality was that we got a tiny bunker divided into 2 sleepers. It might be possible if you book only 1 sleeper, you will definitely spending whole night with a new "roommate"!


Our bus unsurprisedly delayed 1.5 hrs. Although I booked a sleeper, I still couldn't even straighten my legs after putting my baggage in this tiny box. Nevertheless, I still fell asleep instantly probably because I was too tired.

It was 8 am when we arrived in Rishikesh. We took tuktuk to our hotel. Before we came here, my friend did some research about Yoga classes. Unfortunately, when we went to the Yoga class my friend wanted to go, the owner said that they were close and will reopen the class in Nov. So we randomly found a Yoga class to get a magic Yoga experience.

Except for Yoga, Rishikesh is also famous for its upstream of Ganga River. Many Indian people soak themselves in the river to sense the holy aurora of the Ganga River.

A suspension birdge located in Rishikesh cross the Ganga River. I was surprised that motor bike is allowed to go on this bridge.

Side view of Trayambakeshwar Temple. It is one of the most important temple in Rishikesh. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Night view of suspension bridge in Rishikesh.


After a short trip in Rishikesh, we hopped on another night bus again to Agra. Agra has the most well-known heritage in the world, Taj Mahal. It took us 12 hours to travel to Agra. Because the road condition was not good, we didn't sleep well during the whole traveling. After arriving our hotel in early morning, we immediately went to bed to recover some energy. In the afternoon, we went to Taj Mahal, which is known for one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages, built by King Shah Jahan in memory of Mumtaz Mahal, King Shah Jahan's wife.

Taj Mahal is still very impressing while viewing in distance

Aside from Taj Mahal, another attraction you should not miss is Agra Fort, which is the one of the biggest red fort in India (the another two are Delhi Red Fort and Fatehpur Sikri). King Shah Jahan was grounded inside the Agra Fort by his son.

Since the distance between Taj Mahal and Agra Fort is only around 2.5 km, King Shah Jahan still could peek Taj Mahal for 8 years in his late life.

SHEROS is a cafe shop that you should not miss out. It's founded by Chhanv Foundation. In India, some women experience acid attack by their friends or relatives for many reasons including rejecting marriage proposal or sexual harassment. Even though they survive from acid attack, they are struggling to live in the society because of shame and trauma. This cafe is established to increase the awareness of acid attack issue and help those survivors rejoin the community. The decoration is colorful. Now there are 9 female employees working in this cafe. Now they also open their second cafe in Lucknow.

Agra city is a small city and has not many attractions, so one day is totally enough to see most of things in Agra. We planed to stayed here one night and then visited next city, Jaipur, Rajasthan.

The etymology of Rajasthan is “Land of King”. From the meaning of the Rajasthan, we could infer that it is famous for its rich cultures and attractive stories of kingdoms. The most well known cities in Rajasthan are Jaipur (city of pink), Jodhpur (city of blue), Udaipur (city of white) and Jaisalmer (city of gold). Due to limited time, we didn’t go to Jaisalmer.


After 4 hrs on train, we finally arrived in Jaipur. The moment we hopped off the train, we instantly fell in love with this pink city. In comparison previous cities we visited, Jaipur is cleaner and more tidy. However, unfortunately, it started to rain heavily next morning. Even so, we still followed our traveling plan.

The first attraction we went was Jawa Mahal. Although it was raining cats and dogs, I was still impressed by the beauty of the Hawa Mahal. The pink color of facade of the Hawa Mahal seems to be much brighter and pinker after the shower of this rain.

Another attraction you should not miss is City Palace which is around 10 mins walk from Hawa Mahal. Then on the opposite site of the City Palace is Jantar Mantar Jaipur where you can see many astronomical measuring equipment or facilities. We unintentionally went to Jantar Mantar because we saw a long queue and thought the line might be for the City Palace. We are not a big fan of astronomy, so we didn’t spend much time in Jantar Mantar. But it’s highly recommend for people interested in astronomy.

The single ticket for the City Palace is 700 rupee and pass is even higher, 3500 rupee. In consideration of more attractions to visit, I only bought single ticket. However, maybe my expectation to City Palace was too high, I was a little disappointed to City Palace after visit. I didn’t feel any grandeur of royal aristocrat.

On the way back to our hotel, we went to the Bapu Bazar to look around some local commodities. In this Bazar, you can find anything you want. There are also few shopping malls which you can find hundreds of thousands of styles, colors, and textures of Sharee.

Next day, we headed to the Amer Fort. This fort was designated as one of the World Heritage Sites in 2013. Inside the Amer Fort you can see many collections, colorful decorated tiles on the room floor.

If you have extra time, you can also drop by the Step Well nearby the Amer Fort for a short sightseeing. The Step Well is a smart design that people can step down to the well to get water.

By the way, it is also recommended to visit one of the world top 10 cinemas nominated by CNN, “Raj Mandir”, to enjoy the most luxurious and fancy watching experience.


After staying 2 days in Jaipur, we took the train to the Jodhpur, the city of blue, which we also planed to stay for 2 days.

The most famous attraction in Jodhpur is the Mehrangarth Fort which is located in the center of the city. It divides the city into old town and new town. On the way up to the Mehrangarth Fort you will pass 7 big gates. One of them is called Jayapol, Victory Gate.

From the Fort you can have a panoramic view of this blue city. The visiting route is well planed and the relics are well displayed that you can easily go through the history of this Fort. From my personal point of view, the Mehrangarth Fort is better than the Amer Fort, so we spent around 2 hrs here.

After visiting the Mehrangarth Fort, we decided to spend our afternoon wandering in the old town to enjoy the beauty of the town and the chilling atmosphere. The reason why people paint their house in blue color is because Jodhpur is also called the City of Sun. It is said that by painting house in blue can cool down in house temperature. It is suggested to go out near evening time. Maybe you will find something amaze you.

When you are in Jodhpur, you won’t want to miss the most well known Omelette Shop near the Clock Tower. The price is reasonable and the portion is big enough to fill up your stomach.


There is no direct train from Jodhpur to Udaipur, so we took bus to our last city in this trip, Udaipur, the city of white. Udaipur is also called the most romantic city in the whole India. The city is located nearby the lakes and attract lots of couples to come here to savor the sunset.

Aside from the lake, another famous attractions here is Udaipur City Palace. The Palace was built in 16th century along the lake on the east side of the Lake Palace and has become the biggest one in Rajasthan. In addition, Octopussy, one of James Pond movies, was also filmed here.

The Lake Palace now is a luxury hotel. Since we visited here in June, it is hard to feel the the Lake Palace “floating” on the lake.

Similar to the buildings in Jodhpur, most of them here are painted in white. Since Udaipur government cares local tourist industry. On the side of lake, you can have comfortable and chilling walk no matter in the morning or in the evening.

Since it is the hottest season in India, few people would travel around Rajasthan. Especially when we were in Udaipur, the water level of lake was so low that it barely reveals the real beauty of the white city. Nevertheless, those regrets give me another excuses to revisit and explore more about the amazing India.

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