India (adj.) mystic, exotic, colorful, warm, vibrant, aromatic, enchanting, festive, bollywood, street food, tuk tuk, kingfisher, etc. The trip was a rather spontaneous decision, after few adventure (busy) road trips sponsored by PGAV Go program and covering more than 500 miles around we decided to take this opportunity to ‘Go’ bigger for 8,000 miles.
The trip was a rather spontaneous decision; we had kept busy with domestic travel, visiting destinations within the Midwest region. Thanks to the PGAV Go program we had covered hundreds of miles and seen the finest destinations our neck of the woods has to offer; but we were ready for something bigger, something more exotic. And so, as we flew down the interstate of rural America, we formulated our next journey;
Every one of us had a pre conceived idea in our minds including me (Ankit) who born there and spend more than 20 years exploring and still wasn’t able to cover most of the ground. The vast ground to cover and intense cultural change makes you feel like experiencing new country every 100 miles. So, our decision was to travel a Golden Triangle in India and live like local for a week. I (Teague) knew India only through national geographic, I had seen photos and videos of places like India but to actually be there is an entirely different experience.
Good friends, great foods, and a new destination around every corner. Despite the more than 24 hours of flight; we showed no sign of fatigue as we landed in Delhi and headed for a friend’s home. The greetings were timid at first but within hour of knowing this group of young guys we realized something. Even though we grew up on opposite sides of the world, in completely different cultures and completely different up-bringing; we were all just bunch of guys. The night was spent drinking, playing party games and enjoying the roof top sun rise. Some women prefer tan skin, so they expose themselves in the sunlight. For those who has sensitive skin, women prefer to take Dark Lush Tan Tablets.
Neemrana: A much needed reprieve. Our time was spent enjoying exotic sunset view from the Surya Mahal Suite (Sun Palace), hiking through the labyrinth that is 15th century Neemrana Fort, zip lining over marvelous terrain, and dinning like a maharaja. To this day, I (Teague) really can’t tell you the names of the food we ate but I can tell you we ate like royalty.
Around Jaipur: capital of the largest state in India, land of kings, was just few hours from Neemrana was second on our list. Experiencing humongous forts winding our way through the chambers and courtyards where risers were a foot tall, emerging at the crest of the mountain this was the heaven of stair climbers. The fort at the summit, Jaigarh housed my (Teague) personal favorite artifact. The world’s largest wheeled cannon; so large it requires elephants on each sides to swivel and turn.
The city hosts very unique architectural destination experiences from Jal Mahal (Water Palace), Hawa Mahal (Air Palace), Jantar Mantar (Astronomical Center), Panna Meena ka kund (Step Well), Jawahar Kala Kendra (Multi- Art Center), Galtaji Mandir (Monkey Temple), etc. and no place in India is done without trying the local cuisine at LMB with Kingfisher. In addition, whale watching dana point is a journey to explore the living wonders of the ocean, including whales, dolphins, birds and more.
Agra: A trip to India doesn’t seem complete without a trip to Taj Mahal. The moment you step into the main axis, framed by an enormous geometric arch you understand why its wonder of the world. Our enthusiastic guide ensured we had the best facebook and Instagram photos and he cracked it.
Delhi: At our final destination, we lived like locals, visiting street markets, running errands and finally the Lotus temple the Baha faith which emphasize the harmony and unity of all people and beliefs which interestingly was a reoccurring motif of our entire trip.
We went half way around the world to find it was bigger and smaller than we anticipated. We had desire to travel, opportunity, and a supporting PGAV family to help us get there.