Blog: Travelling India – Jaipur and Taj Mahal

Blog: Travelling India – Jaipur and Taj Mahal

  • Posted by @dmin-IndiaTrading
  • On February 14, 2022

To travel in India is amazing, especially for those who loves nature and wildlife – like Nordic people. From hiking in Himalaya to mountains of powder skiing in Gulmarg of Jammu and Kashmir, deserts of Rajasthan, Backwaters of Kerala, beaches of Goa and wildlife with Tigers and Elephants. Or more cultural sites like Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Jaipur, and the old city of Hampi.

Picture 1 – Skiing in India – Gulmarg (Kashmir)

Our first travel this time went to Jaipur in Rajasthan. We also included a daytrip to Agra with Taj Mahal as the key experience. Longer trips in India is normally done via flights or train.  Flying is the easiest by far, and quite cheap based on Nordic standards. If you book some time in advance, flights cost from 3 000 to 6 000 rupees, which is 350 – 700 Norwegian kroner. In the time of Covid-19, many states have had special rules for state-to-state travelling, but only a few like Kerala and Karnataka are still strict. As long as you have a vaccine certificate, you are mostly ok.

Going to Jaipur, we still chose to travel by train. Travelling by train has a special feel to it, the way I see it. We have done it a few times and getting all the view of what India is really about, with the ever-changing nature, new stations and cities – at the same time when the crew of the train are running past all the time, with chai (tee), all types of food, dinner, chips for a nice price.  And sleeping in a somewhat simple but nice overhead bunk bed.

Picture 2 – Jantar Mantar in Jaipur

After our overnight train to Jaipur, we arrived at the hotel. It was very nice and we were told that normally they only had western guests, but now with a price of 1/7 it was tough times for the hotel due to COVID.

The first stop was Jantar Mantar. Unknown to many, including me it is a part of UNESCO World Heritage site, a collection of 19 astronomical instruments from 1734. They give the opportunity to see different astronomical positions, among them the 12 astrological star pictures. An interesting site.

Picture 3 – Amber Fort in Jaipur

Later we went to see the Amber Fort, which is the main thing to see in Jaipur. Constructed of red sandstone and marble, it is an amazing view. It was built in 1592, by Raja Man Singh and was the residence of the Rajput Maharajas, who was ruling Rajasthan for centuries. The fort is worth a visit, and is also a part of the UNESCO World Heritage, together with five other of the Forts of Rajasthan,   Chittor Fort, Gagron Fort, Jaisalmer Fort, Kumbhalgarh Fort and Ranthambore Fort.

Picture 4 – Taj Mahal

Going to Agra and Taj Mahal the next day was the highlight of the trip. Getting to Agra itself took 3-4 hours of what Nordics would call “interesting driving”, but at the end we got there.  Having a guide helping with tickets etc. was a benefit, Covid-19 was another one. We were told that on a normal day it would be at least 25 000 people visiting, with up to 70 000 in the weekend. At our Sunday visit, it might have been 2 000 – 3 000 people there.

The construction of the mausoleum itself is very impressive, but the larger area which also includes the entrance gate, a mosque and the Jawab. Built by the bank of the river Yamuna in 1643, as the tomb of one of the wives of Shah Jahan, it still stands today. The mausoleum itself is build in white marble, with amazing carvings and semi-precious stones.  

The most special feeling however, is when you come inside the mausoleum. With the size and monumental view outside, inside is a smaller round room, with only two sarcophaguses to be found in the middle of the room. For Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Simple but beautiful.

Picture 5 – Agra Fort

The daytrip was finished with the Agra Fort. Also, an amazing place, which was the residence of the Mughals until the moved the capital from Agra to Delhi in 1638. It has an old history, but the ruins were rebuilt in 1573, from red Sandstone. It is also, like Taj Mahal and the other constructions mentioned in this blog, a UNESCO world heritage site.

The trip to Agra, Delhi and Jaipur is often called “The Golden Triangle” and is a very easily accessible and nice thing to do, with relative short distance to travel. It took me a number of years to get there, but should probably be one of the first thing you as a Nordic traveler do when coming to India, except from visiting Mumbai of course!