THE COLORS OF INDIA
India has one of the most beautiful architectural landscapes we have ever seen, like walking into a Wes Anderson movie and staying forever, but it is also the most overwhelming places we have ever been and we live in the Philippines where it gets pretty hectic already. There is no denying that traveling to India will be a major culture shock no matter where you come from and how can you possibly prepare for something when you've never experienced it yourself? We’re sure of one thing and it’s that India is beautiful and you need to experience it at least once in your life.
HOW TO GET THERE
We traveled via Air Asia with a layover in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Normally we don't prefer to travel with layovers but it is the only way and to be honest its not that bad. We flew first from Manila to Kuala Lumpur (3h 45m), with a one hour layover, then Kuala Lumpur to Jaipur (6h) which came to a total of 10+ hours of travel including delays. What we loved most about our flights was that you can book your seats in the "Quiet Zone" part of the aircraft where you can sit in peace and its not too crowded.
Applying for an Indian Visa is one of the easiest visa applications. All Filipinos are required to apply for an E-VISA online at their website. All you will need is a digital copy of your passport's bio page, a filled application form and a payment of USD 80 (approx. PHP4300). If you are not a Filipino, there is a list of countries on their website that require an E-VISA.
We decided to travel to Jaipur along with my good friends Trisha and Omri. Jaipur is in Rajasthan and it is called "The Pink City" for the obvious reason that the whole city is painted pink, can you believe it?
Traveling to India was bittersweet. When you look around, everything is beautiful, there is so much magnificence in the buildings and in the details of the walls that make the city, there is so many beautiful women in colorful outfits but at the same time the streets are dirty and filled with trash and feces and the smell is overwhelming, a mix of spices, sewage and wet dog altogether. At this point our senses are heightened even more as we go out to the streets and hear non stop beeping. Motorcycles, tuk-tuks and cars constantly beeping at each other like it was the new year. We were overwhelmed to the point of feeling a it tired afterwards, it was a huge culture shock for us.
Walking around India is impossible, we made that mistake when we decided to walk to one of the restaurants that was only "500 meters away", it was easily the longest and probably deadliest walk of our lives, you might as well be a cow if you wanted to cross the street (cows are considered "holy cows").
Driving in India is tough. The Indian people forcefully close their side mirrors because, and i quote "We don't need them, and we just hit other cars". It seemed crazy to us but thats the norm, and no matter how crazy their driving is, believe it or not, we have never gotten into an accident or even bumped another car. Getting around Jaipur, we decided to rent a car which was approximately USD20 per day within city limits, and it was the cheaper alternative as we were traveling with our friends. You may also take tuk-tuks but they are pricey and less comfortable, but good for shorts trips.
PLACES TO SEE IN JAIPUR
PANNA MEENA KA KUND
Our India trip did not stop in Jaipur, we planned to see more of Rajasthan during our stay here. Our next stop was Jodhpur which is famously called “The Blue City”. The car ride was 6 hours from Jaipur to Jodhpur with a quick lunch stop. Jodhpur really tested us to the point of complete exhaustion, not because its hectic but because it seemed to be the city that had the most polluted streets in our trip so far. The smells seemed a hundred times more intense, the trash was everywhere and it really tested our patience but in the end, Jodhpur was still so beautiful with all the houses painted blue, they even said that the blue repels the insects.
Our last stop of the trip before heading back to Jaipur to fly out was Udaipur which is called the “City of Lakes” and is our favorite place of all the three destinations we’ve visited in Rajasthan. We spent 3 days here with no itinerary to just relax and catch up on some work. It’s so amazing to be able to go around freely, explore and find hidden gems around. We visited the City Palace which had one of the most beautiful interiors, found a place by the lake to watch the sunset and the birds flying and found many amazing rooftops to see the whole of Udaipur, just the cherry on top of an amazing trip.
10 days around India was enough for us to really explore and absorb the culture, it could really be overwhelming to visit but we could say confidently it is one of the most amazing, photogenic places we have ever visited. India definitely made us love and appreciate color. Nowhere on this earth you could find anything similar to how India is from the architecture, to the culture.
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