Just arrived, saw a bit of New Delhi today, going to Old Delhi tomorrow. Lots of vibrant colors and interesting scents in this town. But none of us are really sure why they call it Delhi.
Sometimes you arrive at a world-famous site only to find that the reality does not quite live up to the reputation. The Taj Mahal is not one of those places.
Actually, Varanasi is very ancient. It’s the oldest continually inhabited city on Earth. People have been living here since around 3000 BC. So long ago that even Star Wars hadn’t happened yet.
That’s the name of an early 1970s musical in which the whole cast disrobes piece by piece, eventually revealing all their naughty bits, while performing skits about sexual mores and taboos and so forth. It has nothing to do with the city of Calcutta.
Jaipur, the first planned city in India, is known as the Pink City because its founder, the Maharaja Jai Singh II, decreed that all the buildings should be, well, pink.
Though the Pink City is no longer pink, the Blue City of Jodhpur is definitely still blue.
Bad pun, Ok, terrible pun. It’s actually pronounced OO-dah-pur. In any case, Udaipur is unlike anywhere else we’ve been in India.
Our travels through Rajasthan took us to Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Udaipur. All those names end in “pur” because that’s the Hindi suffix for “city” – similar to the Arabic “abad” (Islamabad, Jalalabad) or the Russian “grad” (Leningrad, Stalingrad) or the English, er, ah…”city.”
Our last stop was Mumbai, by far India’s most cosmopolitan city, though maybe not its most picturesque. Mumbai doesn’t have a lot of tourist attractions. But the international blend of cuisines made for some wonderful meals, and we managed to find some pretty interesting vistas.