Winters in North India have their own charm. They have a way of turning on some magical spell on the city. Combine that with the fingerlicking food, and the steaming hot brew of adrak chai and you would have created the most perfect aura, especially when you are out to explore the magnificent history on display
The fascinating image in my head of that cold winter was enough to inspire me to plan a trip and head out on an expedition. A three-week long trip was planned. Places identified. The idea was to travel and extensively gather authentic content around places to be listed on our app (FlippAR Go).
Of course, first on the list was the Golden Triangle - Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. But I was keen for more. That was mostly the 'touristy' thing to do and I was quite clear I was looking for a more holistic travel experience where I wanted to get the feel of a 'true-blue traveller'. No frills. No fancies. No real luxury. I was determined to rough it out. And so I did. In my head this was sure to give me a better perspective as a writer.
Throughout my trip, I picked hostels (my first ever attempt at staying in one). Perhaps the best decision - even for the insociable ones by the way. I might not be unsocial entirely, but I don't do well with meeting new people - making me an antidote to their whole proposition. Well, the folks at 'Moustache' have a new loyalist. The comfort at the end of a strenuous day (read - walking 15-20 kms a day) was thanks to the uber comfortable stay they offered.
I kickstarted my trip in Delhi. If I was to be utterly candid, I was quite nervous. The numerous murmurs that came as advice hinting at North India being different, and a bit unsafe, was enough to have me on the edge. Well, let's just say I figured one thing - I exercised caution (as much as any tourist should when travelling anywhere in the world) and I had no odd encounters.
On the contrary, my trip helped me connect with some very interesting people who were not only from India, but also from across continents. My interaction with them helped unveil different cultures, their perceptions of our culture, and a lot more.
So, in my personal opinion, the slandering and the negative portrayal of these places is also a tad exaggerated (in no way am I being insensitive to the issues faced in North India but I think if one is cautious, it's fairly comfortable and safe as a destination to visit).
The trip had its hiccups of course - with me getting the requisite Delhi belly (my gut needs to get stronger for sure), and an incessant cough, but that did little to dull my experience. Each of the 21 days was a delight filled with new experiences and flavours that tingled my senses. The highlight was waking up each day with the excitement of a kid in a candy store, itching to explore a new place and another slice of history.
The wonder of Qutub, the mesmerising Taj (where I couldn't stop exclaiming 'Wah Taj'. So sue me, Zakir Hussain), the impregnable fort of at Mehrangarh, to the gleaming town of Jaisalmer - every place I visited had me take away a piece of it with me.
My journey was enriched by the stories I heard along the way. It is what They helped me connect to the places. And it is they are what I hope we can bring to you. So look out for our content as we tell you tales of what makes these places special, of and why are they earmarked in history.
In the meanwhile, To learn more, download FlippAR Go and explore the other exciting destinations we have on the app.