Before graduating from university this year, I and my group of friends planned a trip to India. It was kind of a farewell trip. We spent the first week of March there and visited beautiful places. We were altogether seven people; I, Jack, Ellie, Robert, Sara, Nate and Jenifer. We booked our tickets online well before time which turned out to be a bit reasonable. The direct flight to India was hell tiring but we did not have enough time for jetlag. Our first night stay was in Mumbai. We slept like a baby after having our dinner in the cheap hotel we checked inn. The food was typical Indian food and it was yummy!
Next morning we travelled in the auto rickshaw to the famous Chor Bazaar where you can buy anything which has been stolen from you. It was one fun place! We bargained and bought jewelry, sarees, traditional shoes and antique pieces. We actually shopped till we dropped. After shopping we headed for our lunch to a nearby eating point. We had something called rajma chawal which is hard to find in Chicago. After seeing major places of Mumbai we checked out from the hotel and went to Amritsar at night.
We booked in the hotel somewhere in a market place. We wanted to have a close look at the culture and living style of Indians which we were able to see at this station as we wisely chose the hotel for our sojourn. After a very heavy brunch, halwa and puri, in the nearby street we went straight to the magnificent Golden Temple. I liked that place a lot. It represented the Sikh minority in India. At the time of dusk, the entire place echoed with the sound of tabla and chanting from the Guru Granth Sahib- Sikh Holy Book. It was a very peaceful place where we saw people from different cultures and creed. We even got a chance to dip in holy tank. The best part was that everything there was free from food to spiritual soul purification.
Our next stop was Agra. We spent the night in a hotel near Taj Mahal. Being one of the Seven Wonders of the World; Taj Mahal is of aesthetic beauty and spectacular architecture. This is symbol of enduring love of Shah Jehan for his beloved wife, Queen Mumtaz Mahal, who died. We hired a local guide for details of the place.
We were left with hardly two days before we departure back to Chicago. We had to choose between Goa and Delhi. Each of us decided to cut out the beach part since we can enjoy that back at home too. We visited Jama Masjid in Delhi. It was the final architecture by Shah Jehan. The Mosque was simply beautiful and spiritual place. The building was manufactured using fine red sandstone and white marble. We had to face little bit difficulty here since we arrived at the prayer time and sadly no visitors were allowed during this time period. But the wait was worthwhile. We went to see Akshardham Temple too. The pundit there was doing puja (Hindus way of praying). The way the people of two religions; Muslim and Hindu prayed was entirely different and unique.
The very next day we were on our way back to home sweet home. It was the most enjoyable vacation I ever had. I brought back unforgettable memories with me. This vacation is very close to my heart since I don’t know that whether after graduation, our group would ever be able to travel again. Each day spent in India will remain cherished forever. – Laura Halbert