Feb 21, 2024 - Travel

Highlights from one Seattleite's trip to India

The Taj Mahal in the distance with people and trees closer to the camera.

The Taj Mahal in Agra. Photo: Christine Clarridge/Axios

I loved India and wanted to share a few memories from my trip, which was the best of my life (despite getting COVID on the plane home).

Here are a few favorite moments, in no particular order.

The Taj Mahal

You know how some places are diminished when you see them in person? Not so with this Mughal mausoleum in Agra.

  • It was more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

The Ganga

Watching cremations at the Manikarnika Ghat along the bank of the Ganges River in Varanasi while Hindu chants were sung is something I will never forget.

  • The river smelled clean and sweet from the boat, even though during the day it looked muddy and had candles, flowers and other debris along the edges.
  • Despite advice to the contrary, I couldn't resist getting in, though I did not put my head under.
Thousands are fed each day at the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib Sikh Temple in Delhi.
Anyone can make and serve food at the Gurdwara Bangla Sahib Sikh temple in Delhi, where 30,000 to 40,000 people are fed daily. Photo: Christine Clarridge/Axios

The food

India may be the best country in the world for vegetarian food. Everything I ate was delicious, with the notable exception of one strangely diluted bowl of tomato soup.

Traffic

Watching scooters, bicycles, trucks, buses and more maneuver around each other with centimeters to spare was thrilling and I ended up convinced these were highly skilled drivers.

A homecoming

I went with my daughter, who has Armenian and Persian ancestry, and we were both amazed at how many people asked if she was Indian. (Northern India had strong trade ties with Armenia, Afghanistan and Persia and some of that can be seen in the features of the people.)

  • She said it felt as if the smells were all familiar and that she was "home."

A pharmacy mishap

Somehow, I ended up with a lifetime supply of Cialis, though I had intended to buy just four tabs (not four boxes). When I tried to return them, the pharmacist said, "No refunds, but you have time because the shelf life is 20 years."

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