Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Agra, Jaipur, and Jaisalmer

During their work here, our volunteers have the opportunity to travel around northern India. We will organize trips so that volunteers can travel together by train, bus, or taxi. Hotels are about 5-10 dollars a night and food is 2-6 dollars per meal so it's cheap to travel.

Agra- 4 hours away--    http://agra-india.com/
              Of course the main attraction in Agra is the Taj Mahal and it's not a site to miss! Surrounded by gardens, the beautiful pristine marble building towers above you. The tomb is perhaps the most famous building in India and it is truly a wonder of the world. Agra is very clean because no factories are allowed in the city to prevent pollution from contaminating the Taj. I would recommend going for a weekend although the city can be covered in a day trip.

Jaipur- 7 hours away ---http://www.jaipur.org.uk/
               As the capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is a huge and active city in the hills of east India with a population of 3.5 million. As the home of ancient kings of India, the city is filled with forts and palaces. You can get group tickets for all the historic sites for a discount and spend anywhere from one to four days exploring the winding staircases of the forts and intricate architecture of the palaces. To see the sunset from the top of a fort is breathtaking but remember that you will be doing a bit of a hike around the city so be comfortable and be aware of the heat. As many historic buildings as there are in the city, there are just as many animals. You will see goats, pigs, cows, monkeys, peacocks, camels, and elephants to name just a few. You can take an elephant ride to the top of Amber fort and visit a monkey temple where the monkeys will eat peanuts out of your hands.
                     Jaipur is also known for its shopping, filled with jewelery and textile markets that you can get great deals on. I would recommend spending a weekend to a whole week in Jaipur depending on how much you want to see.

Jaisalmer--19 hours from Delhi (take an overnight train with a bed though and you really won't notice) http://www.jaisalmer.org.uk/
                Jaisalmer is in the middle of the desert which is not for everyone but can be a real life changing experience if you're up for it. In the summer, it is almost completely deserted of tourists and has its own gorgeous fort worth wandering around in to really get to see Indian life and locals. Book an overnight camel safari to see the sand dunes, travel on your own camel, and sleep under the stars. You can also travel by dirt bike or jeep to see the beauty of the desert. Jaislamer is a great place to go for a weekend.

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