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I am a foodie who loves to pack food or have junk food and fast food in the evening but I do love fruits and vegetables and gluten free healthy eating to start the day or during a long flight. Luckily for you and I, fruits can be found all over the world for healthy meals though not all are easy to travel with while road tripping.

Many fruits are prone to bruising. As travelers, we all have clumsy moments making some fruits horrendous to travel with on a day trip let alone multiple days. Oh, how I wish bananas had a rock solid skin!

In this post, I'm going to mention some fruits you can find around the world and have a quick chat about their practicalities for traveling (from my experience). Here are the best fruits to eat while travelling.

Travel Fruits

1. Banana


Uganda has the highest average consumption of bananas per person in the world. 500 pounds annually! I absolutely 100% recommend making a banana with peanut butter and raisins for the ultimate snack. Affectionately named the peanut butter banana boat. The banana is found around the world, although they are often imported in non-tropical climates like in New Zealand.

Somehow they manage to bring bananas all the way from Ecuador to the shop shelf undamaged. Crazy! Bananas are easily identified. Although there are lots of varieties with a bunch of different flavors, you will never have issues figuring out if you are buying a banana.

Price wise they are affordable, even when imported compared to the price of other fresh fruit on a per weight basis. Normally they are ready for you to inhale right away! My favorite part about bananas? No cleaning is required thanks to the easy to peel skins.

Bananas bruise easily. If you plan on putting them in a bag for the day, you need to be mega lucky not to bruise the poor thing and if you are like me, I get weird eating bruised fruit. I am not sure if those plastic banana covers work.

If they weren't so impractical for other reasons at least they won't let your banana get well and truly squished at the bottom of your bag.

2. Apples


The top five producers in the world are China, United States, Turkey, Poland, and Italy. Apples are found in western supermarkets throughout the year, with different varieties having different peak seasons. In places like Asia, you have so many amazing tropical fruits that apples tend to be more expensive and less available.

Apples are a sturdier fruit than the likes of bananas so while they can bruise, you do have to really drop them from a height to do so. Apples tend to stay ripe for a longer time than most fruits, so you can eat them in a variety of ways and as the ole saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Floury apples are the worst tasting thing ever.

I think this is similar to what people describe as meaty, but it's never fun to buy a bag of apples then have the first one tastes floury. It makes me nervous to eat anymore from that bag. The skin of apples can attract plenty of bacteria. Easily solved with a wash (with clean water).

3. Avocado


Guacamole is available on chapati for an affordable $2-3 in northern Sumatra. If only guacamole or mashed avocado grew on trees, this would be by far the best fruit ever imaginable. I have actually managed to find avocados in most places I've traveled too, although that will depend on the season. They are full of good fats!

In a world full of complicated nutritional information, no one can argue that the fat content of an avocado isn't good for you.

The core is the devil for your poor fingers. If you somehow have a knife on you, you cut through the skin then there is the risk of cut your finger as it bounces off the core. It is one of most dangerous foods in New Zealand. Disguised bruising.

You might feel like you have found the perfect avo based on the feel of its skin, but when you cut the fruit open, it can be bruised. Losing the taste you were craving before you’ve even begun.

Other than in Sumatra, avocados are an expensive fruit when compared by weight to other strange fruits in most places I've traveled. I am not sure of the reason why but it is definitely something that puts me off getting them regularly and the period of ripeness is narrow.

How many times have you purchased an avocado, waited a few days for it to ripen up and then by the time you remember to eat it, it has gone bad? Life is tough. The drug cartels of Mexico sell avocados from their trees earning over $100 million/year.

4. Mango


The mango is a traveler's favorite in Southeast Asia and South America. Elsewhere they are available, but often in limited time periods and to be honest, the quality is horrendous thanks to being imported. The sweetness of a quality mango is legendary.

The skin on the great to ensure you aren’t eating any unwanted bacteria as well as making it easy to identify how to ripen a mango is. The skin does need a knife, however, not so practical.

In terms of their durability, they aren't easily bruised, though the riper they are the softer they get so popping them in the bottom of your backpack is a no no. I've seen numerous strategies in terms of both preparing and eating the mango and haven't figured out which is best. Which leads to the next point, mangos are messy to eat (the juicier the messier).

Either having a bunch of paper towels nearby to clean your hands of the juice is mandatory. There are more than 100 varieties of mangoes in India, where it is the national fruit.

5. Mandarins


Not to be confused with the similar shape and color of oranges, the Mandarin is the small of the two. I am not a fan because it is so hard to know whether you are going to get a seedless mandarin or not. I’m not a fan of surprises?

6. Pineapple


I am in the pineapple on a pizza is a good thing camp, so take this with a grain of salt. When it has been prepared for you pineapple is a quality and versatile fruit. But let’s be honest, the skin is prickly and tricky to cut making it a bad fruit in its whole form but a great fruit on the move when prepared for you.

7. Watermelon


Like the pineapple, they are not the easiest fruit to prepare on the road. A time when they are good is when you are slow traveling. You can buy an entire watermelon, cut it in half and simply eat the melon with a spoon from there for breakfast.

The best! If you are buying an entire watermelon, take a read of this, before you end up buying a rotten one like me.

8. Dragon Fruit


Oh boy, I am a massive dragon fruit, but given people say it’s tasteless it is not a popular fruit. Maybe it is the excitement of not knowing whether the flesh will be purple or white on the inside that excites me. I told you I wasn’t a foodie.

9. Kiwi


People think New Zealanders are called Kiwis because of the fruit. If you haven't traveled there yet, knowing New Zealanders are referred to as kiwis because of the bird is useful.

10. Guarana


Guarana or paullinia cupana is a climbing plant of the Amazon, found in Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela. The guarana is known throughout Brazil for being a bright red fruit. The GuaranĂ­ tribe uses it to prepare stimulant drinks. Among the benefits of guarana, the famous Brazilian fruit stand out being a good stimulant and aphrodisiac, in addition to contributing to lose weight.

11. Durian


If you have walked through a market in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore (among other cities), and you have noticed an intense smell, you have probably passed close to a fruit stand where they sold the infamous Durian. It is actually infamous for the unwary tourists who have dared to try it, because it is actually known throughout Southeast Asia as the king of fruits.

The durian grows in trees known as durio and is present throughout Southeast Asia, although it is a fruit native to Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. It is an easy fruit to recognize, not only for its intense smell, but for its appearance. The pulp of the durian is fleshy and of a yellowish-orange color, with a sweet flavor, although it is difficult to tolerate.

Travel Fruits

12. Dry Fruits


Almonds are one of the versatile options found in dried fruits that are easily available in grocery stores. Apart from their much appreciated nutritional value, they compliment savory healthy snack and sweet dishes quite well. We all know that almonds are the best source of good lean protein and fats. Almonds are one of the finest super foods available to us.

Soaked almonds are easy to digest and there are a number of reasons behind it. When soaked in water, almonds swell up, which makes them less dense. Moreover, when the skin is peeled off, they are easy to digest, letting the pregnant women easily avail the nutrition of almonds when her digestive system is already sluggish.

Almonds are a great source of antioxidant agents that are known to ward off oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Therefore, among healthy foods to eat it is recommended to have almonds in daily routine to keep the cardiovascular system healthy.

Sure, not all fruits can grow everywhere but thanks to transportation, most fruits can be found around the world. One last thing, I think we all agree, a high-quality fruit shake made in front of you is one of the nicest things nature has helped create. Now I want to hear your two cents on the best and worst of travel fruits.
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author
One of the things I like to do when I travel is to try the local gastronomy. And of course, if you travel on a budget you have to forget the luxury restaurants of the category. This does not mean that you will have to eat sandwiches every day, or that you will eat poorly and less healthy food. So, are you ready to go on a journey in taste?

Delhi is one of the cities famous for food in India. In fact, if you are planning a trip to Delhi, eating good, nice and cheap street food is easy and yes, be prepared to discover the magical world of stalls, each of which specializes in a different dish of the local cuisine! In front of a few, you will find benches to sit and eat.

In Indian street food, the spices are the heart of the food. They provide a unique color and flavor, and that's why each cook makes his own secret spice mix, and this is how the magic in each dish is produced. Among the famous paratha places in Delhi, there is Moolchand Paranthe Wala and Babu Ram Paranthe Wala. Moolchand ke parathe is very popular among locals.

There are other popular haunts like Lala Babu Chaat Bhandar, Karim's, Kuremal Mohanlal Kulfi wale, Jung Bahadur Kachori Wala to Moti Mahal in Daryaganj.

But my goal is the Chandni Chowk area, a less touristy chaotic market frequented almost exclusively by locals. Beyond the food havens Chandni has the world of spices, perfumes and bright colours with fruit and vegetable markets, and various shops with items ranging from jewellery to toys to souvenirs to cheap clothing and range of electronic gadgets.

I bet you are already hungry, so let's go to what you came for and get ready to make your mouth water. It is important that you do not have prejudices as the street food here is delicious but sometimes the queue in some of the popular shops especially in evening hours may keep you busy for more than an hour and especially if you have little time it may not be worth it and so if you have less time, try to arrive around afternoon, armed with patience.

There are over hundred food stalls, each with different specialties ranging from fried specialties to famous sweets of Delhi and desserts. I take a few minutes to cross the Chandni Chowk photography market and wander the stalls, admiring the huge variety. As a single dish rarely costs more than 10 or 20 rupees, be sure to fill your pockets with loose change and follow me in this gastronomic tour with lots of surprises!

I begin with the things to do in Chandni Chowk by munching the pakoras, chickpea flour fritters with spices and spinach, which are as essential as the samosas, the potato dumplings. Very typical were also the chili pakoras battered in chickpea flour. If you are still not very familiar with the flavors of Chandni Chowk, let me tell you in my blog the anecdotes of the street food available here, of what is known as Mughlai food that goes beyond the jalebi and the samosa.

Taste of Indian Street Food through Chandni Chowk in Delhi

As evening dawns I tread to the Mughlai havens near Jama Masjid. Are you wondering what is the famous dish of Delhi? I particularly like the chicken tikka masala, the famous dish of Delhi immersed in a creamy sauce of red-orange flavored spices and for its intense flavor and soft fleshy texture.

The chunks of boneless chicken marinated with a secret combination of spices and yogurt are roasted and cooked in a typical tandoori oven. It is seasoned with coconut milk or yogurt or cream, tomatoes and spices, and garam masala precisely. The result is a lovely smoky flavor.

The dish is simple and the base is the tandoori chicken, the famous dish in Delhi. As regards the origins of chicken tikka masala the oldest claim is linked to the Mughal emperors as early creators of the dish. There is not a single recipe to prepare this delicious dish, which depends on the thickness of the sauce and also the spices used. Even if you've never tasted, surely you have noticed at least once on an Indian restaurant menu.

I win over a space and enjoy the chicken tikka with chur chur naan, a flatbread topped with cheese, garlic and onions. I also order a good portion of biryani, which absorbs and amplifies all the aromas in this dish. If I speak of the food that I miss the most, it must be the biryani. The way the biryani is cooked here is different from how others cook.

And here’s a little secret. After a lot of cajoling and breaking the ice through the name of a distant common friend, the cook allowed me in his den (aka kitchen) one Sunday. I will try to explain how it's done, but I think sour plums, yogurt, and pomegranate is what made it a good dish.

I saw him focused on the recipe, and it took three or four hours. He prepared the rice with milk according to his own recipe. Then he would put pistachios on top of the dish. I was very happy because this was a special recipe.

Another of the specialties that they serve only during the night here in Chandni Chowk are the Kebab with one of the most liked being the Nargisi Kebab, made with marinated lamb meat in yogurt for 48 hours and stuffed with eggs. The meat chunks are inserted in a stick and roasted inside the tandoori.

They also prepare very tender, flavourful and succulent Seekh Kebabs and wrap them with a rather thin and smooth Naan along with the salad and sauces, something that sounds pretty standard, however, the taste was quite unique and I can easily eat five or more of these wraps.

To end our eventful hot gastronomic night on a sweet note, we roam through some of the galis, where in the footpaths they then sell excellent fresh juices and sweets, such as lemon soda with generous amounts of ice and we end the night with the most renowned Gajar Ka Halwa, the famous sweet dish of delhi, in one of the carts! It has a very pleasant flavor provided it is ordered with the expectation of a soft sweet cake.

I always say that the gastronomy of each place is a trip within the trip and if you are in a country as immense and as different as India, surprises are guaranteed! Chandni Chowk at night is a feast of colors, smells and tastes that you should not miss.

Tibetan Street Food at Majnu Ka Tilla


When I arrived at Majnu ka Tilla, the gloomy alleys seemed a little uncomfortable at first. But as I went on to explore more, I fell in love with the charm of Little Tibet in Delhi. The sense of style of Tibetan fashion forward is portrayed through the outlets in the market where you can get the best of street style at the most affordable prices.

Tibetan memories - especially the crafts and other things that tell the story of Tibet as a nation in struggle, protesting for a free Tibet - are worth a look. Everything about this place excited me so much that I got there well in advance. While the market was being created, I went to Ama Cafe to have breakfast.

There I had pancakes with banana and honey, and Frappé vanilla to beat the heat. Ama Cafe is a great place for breakfast. You can find everything from tortillas, sandwiches, cakes and chorizos to smoothies, tea, coffee and other drinks. After that, I decided to visit the Majnu Ka Tilla Gurudwara . This place has great importance.

The 'Majnu', after whom Majnu Ka Tila was named, was a disciple of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and converted his Khanqah into a sanctuary of Shree Guru Nanak known as Gurudwara Majnu Ka Tilla Sahib. I spent some quiet time here before going out to go shopping.

I went directly to the market right next to the temple in the colony Majnu Ka Tilla. Here I found a wide range of clothes and footwear! Those of us who are crazy shopaholics know how important quality and quantity are both. Majnu Ka Tilla will always have to go out with numerous shopping bags without burning a hole in the pocket.

A trip to Little Tibet seems incomplete without the need to buy some cool Tibetan things, right? So I went to Akama - The Tibetan shop, the perfect destination for all crafts, tapestries, books and shawls. It's good to experiment sometimes, right? Definitely head here for some real spin in your style!

After a long day of walking and shopping, my stomach growled again with hunger. This time I thought about trying something new and went to Dolma House. The place was so warm and the people so welcoming that I swore to come back again! And what about the food, like that, the best Tibetan food I've had! I totally recommend Rut-chose the chicken Thukpa with the evergreen Virgin Mojito.

Although one could never have enough delicious food, my Tibetan delight ended with the warm, spicy and heavenly jokes that delighted me to the core and satisfied my always hungry soul! I hope you have a big one too!

Chagpo Nang! (goodbye in Tibetan)
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Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author
Tasty and juicy, oranges have always been a favorite among the fruits. Orange, besides being a tasty fruit is also a healthy fruit. Orange can be an important part of our diet. There are many reasons why eating an orange a day is a good idea; they are low in calories but full of nutrients, they promote clear, healthy skin and can help to lower our risk for many diseases and conditions as part of an overall healthy and varied diet.

Cumin seeds images

The most common way of having an orange (besides eating it raw) is drinking orange juice. But we can think of other ways of eating an orange or better to say incorporating its flavor in our food, right?

Yes. We can do that. And a simple way of doing that is baking AN ORANGE CAKE. There are many varieties of orange cakes. Sometimes we decorate an orange cake with simple whipped cream frosting. Sometimes, we cover the entire cake with an orange marmalade.

But today, I'll be sharing an easy and simple orange loaf cake recipe. This cake doesn't require any frosting. The good thing is that this cake tastes good even without frosting or any sort of decoration.

As stated above, this cake can be eaten along with a cup of tea or as a dessert. You can also take this, along with other food items, on a picnic. Eggless Orange Loaf Cake is perfect for family trips or a trip with your friends.

This Orange Loaf Cake is an eggless recipe. For this recipe, we will need a cup of orange juice, flour, sugar, oil, baking soda and baking powder. We will also add a tablespoon of orange zest, which will enhance the flavor of the cake. Whenever you take out orange zest, remember not to grate the white part of the orange. This would make the zest bitter in taste. Always grate only the outer orange colored layer of an orange for the orange zest.

EGGLESS ORANGE LOAF CAKE images

Eggless Orange Loaf Cake Ingredients

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Flour - 1 Cup
Oil - 1/4 Cup
Sugar - 1/2 Cup
Orange Zest - 1 tablespoon
Orange Juice - 1 Cup
Baking Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Baking Soda - 1/2 teaspoon

Eggless Orange Loaf Cake Recipe Method -

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.

Now sieve together flour, baking powder, and baking soda.

Grate oranges to take out the orange zest.

Using a juicer, take out orange’s juice. If you don't have a juicer, then just blend the oranges in a food processor. After this, sieve the juice.

Take oil and sugar in a bowl. Mix nicely so that the sugar gets mixed nicely. Now add the orange juice. Mix properly. Add the orange zest and mix together.

Now add the sieved flour mixture. Mix nicely.

Add the cake batter to a greased cake tin.

Bake for 30-35 minutes at 180 degree centigrade.

EGGLESS ORANGE LOAF CAKE images
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author
A trip is always a great emotion, something that remains inside. One of my crazy adventures was during a trip to Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra. I was hoping to better understand this part of India that has long aroused in me an inexplicable charm. For a bit of my character and a bit of my spirit of adventure, I have always had a passion for travel, and I cannot deny the fact that travel experiences have definitely changed my way of thinking.

Before leaving I still remember that most of my bosom friends told me to be crazy. I admit I was a bit scared and did not know what I could expect, but I never thought I could be mad, indeed! It was a unique and unforgettable experience. I had the opportunity to visit amazing places and meet some very interesting people from India and the world, with some of whom I maintain contacts even today.

Travel Adventures in Delhi

Delhi

After getting down in the New Delhi airport, I met with Abhi, Rishav, and Ruchi, a group of unknown faces coming from different parts of India, and we all knew each other sparsely through our social interactions. I really liked that moment, as there was the excitement of the beginning.

We left the airport and reached our car and we immediately jumped for the sightseeing. We were slightly tired but the enthusiasm pushed us, as we headed to the Turkman Gate, one of the access points of Old Delhi. Shahjahanabad, so was its name when it was founded by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, in the first half of 1600.

As we saw through the gap that made us go beyond the walls, there was the soul of India of those times. If these walls could talk they would tell countless stories of old times, great nobles, palaces, bustling markets and the smell of spices. And here we met the first of the new buddies, Alex, a cheery guy from Mexico, who was busy taking pictures and being alone got friendly with us very quickly.

With him as a new associate, we entered into the heart of Chandni Chowk, one of the largest markets in the world. We sneaked through its narrow streets, with the smell of the first fruit banquets, and merchants intent on unloading the boxes of goods that soon will be exposed to thousands of everyday crowd. The roads were narrow and tangled, with the electricity cables that extend for the entire area, seemed to act as its roof like a huge spider web.

This was Chandni Chowk with a tangle of shops and stalls selling everything from books to clothing, shoes to electronics, gold to silver, leather to jewelry, tapestries to antiques, and in short, everything else that might come to mind. The walk continued and we were now entangled between smells and colors as much as those cables hanging over our heads. The place won me over by the flavors and scents of the food stalls to the bazaars.

The buzz of the people got stronger as they began to crowd the market, and we could feel the clicks of Alex even more. We reached the end of the road and sat down to drink chai and eat aloo tikki, samosas and the Kathi roll made with spicy chicken tikka, while the rhythm of Old Delhi kicked off and the flow of people, cars, auto rickshaws, and rickshaws was now that of a raging river.

From there we moved towards Chawri Bazar, the main street of Old Delhi, through to the Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India and the Red Fort, one of the main monuments of Old Delhi. This imposing temple allows entry to locals and foreigners regardless of their sex. The entire complex was quite large and impressive.

Finally, as the day finally draws to a close, we moved to Paharganj, and we chose this area not only for its strategic location but especially for the very affordable costs of the hotel. We have a heavy dinner with kebabs, makhanwala chicken and the Shahjahani Pulao, the saffron rice.

With Abhi and Rishav, I still recall the moments of laughter, the moments when we ate and shared our rooms together, to a little disturbed Ruchi. We woke her up in the middle of the night without purpose, while she was sleeping and we dressed in black pretending to be ghosts and you could guess her reaction. But then came the surprise as Abhi and Ruchi broke into an impromptu dance and each one of us laughed to our fullest.

Places to Visit in Delhi


1. Humayun's Tomb


Besides being known for its impressive architecture, this is the first garden-tomb in the Indian subcontinent. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site declared in 1993, and has undergone extensive restoration works since then. The tomb was built on commission by Humayun's son, Akbar, during 1569-70, and is also the first structure to have made use of large-scale red sandstone.

2. Red Fort


Also known as Lal Qila, the Red Fort is a world heritage site.

3. Qutub Minar


This 74-meter-high structure is constructed of red sandstone and marble. It is the second highest minaret in the country, coming in second place to Fateh Burj. The Qutub Minar is located in the Qutub complex, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and which houses several major historical monuments.

4. Akshardham Temple


The Swaminarayan Askshardham, also known as New Delhi Askhardham, is a large campus of spiritual and cultural influence. This is one of the largest temples and has a large number of traditional Indian motifs. Located near the banks of the Yamuna River, this imposing temple attracts around 70% of all tourists from Delhi.

4. India Gate


The National War Memorial, popularly known as the India Gate, is a war memorial located in New Delhi. It is dedicated to the 82,000 soldiers, both Indian and British, who died during the World War I and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. The Amar Jawan Jyoti is the burning structure, just below the arch, symbolizing the eternal and immortal soldiers of India.

5. Lotus Temple


Commonly known as the lotus temple, it is a Bahai place of worship. The Lotus Temple is open to all, regardless of religion, or any other distinction. It is located near Mandir Marg in Kalkaji.

6. Jama Masjid


Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan got the Jama Masjid built between 1644 and 1656 with a huge budget. The mosque still has three huge entrance gates from 1656, when it was completed. The structure is made of red sandstone and white marble.

There are many different attractions Jantar Mantar, Rashtrapati Bhawan, Agrasen ki Baoli, Connaught Place, Rajghat Gandhi Smriti, Lodhi gardens, museums through Delhi , including the Kiran Nadar Art Museum, the India Habitat Center, National Science Center and Museum National Railroad to name a few.

Travel Adventures in Triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur

Jaipur

Next day early in the morning began the real adventure and we leave the city by bus to watch a real evolving India, vehicles of all kinds including all the colored trucks, motorcycles and a flood of auto rickshaws. The road was beautiful and lively, as we crossed a succession of villages with fruit markets on the roadside, cows, pigs, motorcycles, people, carts and a crazy chaos that constantly alternated with the open countryside of endless space.

Our trip began with a stop at Abhaneri, where we arrived to see the famous Chand Baori, a stepwell that was just straight out of a painting and headed off to the Galtaji temple, otherwise known as the Monkey Temple. Some boys dressed in traditional clothes come to meet us and show us Sadhu Dubebaba, who leads us into the temple. We were alone as the sadhu leads the way towards a door locked with a huge padlock. He pulls out the key, opens its doors and invites us to enter a room.

We sit on the floor with him and to wish us good luck, he applies an orange tilak, and ties a red and yellow wrist bracelet while anointing the back of our hand with a scented oil and then reads an incomprehensible mantra while touching us with a peacock feather. In this temple, there are over 1000 monkeys and the place was quiet and surrounded by greenery.

Shortly after, we get to Jaipur, the pink city filled with sandstone buildings, which was lively and at the height of its activity. We have lunch in a typical restaurant with tandoori chicken and lal maas. Later we walked out to see the Jaipur tourist attractions through the shops on the main streets, with a few funny moments when a bull gets attracted by the red top of Ruchi, which tries to shove her near a quite busy intersection.

As always, our path was intertwined with that of guardian angels who joined us in every step, lifting our weight often in front of the barriers. This time we happened to come across Remy and Cassie, two new friends from Norway and France, who accompany us during our visit to the City Palace, situated in the center of the old town and the observatory of Jantar Mantar.

The City Palace had a courtyard called Pitam Niwas Chowk onto which four colorful doors represented the seasons. The most photographed was the Peacock Gate, with five bas-reliefs of peacocks with flamboyant plumage. Jantar Mantar, the astronomical observatory had the wacky installations that were perfectly aligned with the major planets and constellations.

After the exit, we continued our walking trail along the old city walls and then we departed for the Amber Fort just outside the town, after a brief stop at Hawa Mahal, the marvelous palace of the winds, located in one of the main streets of the city. The facade was wonderful with the honeycomb windows in all different shades.

The Amer fort was perched on a hill with a small lake at its foot. The whole structure looked like a single piece carved into the mountain. All around there were mighty fortifications that climbed the ridges to form an insurmountable defensive wall.

Among the things to see in Jaipur we had to trek up to the biblical Jaleb Chowk, the main courtyard. Once through the majestic entrance, we overcome the Ganesh Pol, the door which gave access to the apartments of the Maharaja and here it is worth mentioning about the gleaming Jai Mandir, the Hall of Victory, richly decorated with carvings and mirrors. Then we ventured into other corridors and courtyards, and literally, we got lost in the maze of tunnels and passages of the structure.

On the way back we stopped to take some pictures of the Jal Mahal on Man Sagar Lake. The building was literally immersed in water rich in fish and only the top floor and the balcony emerge.

We had dinner in an old palace of the Maharajas in the countryside. The place suddenly lit up and the music started in a scene from the Arabian Nights of the past. Our palate was filled with the naan, jeera rice, bharwan aloo tandoori, zeera murg tikka and murgh reshmi kebab. After dinner, we chew a little jhilmil supari, a mixture of digestive spices that freshen the mouth.

Finally, exhausted after the day, we reached the bus through a fun ride in a rickshaw, for our departure to Agra, as we enjoyed a sudden tropical storm that accompanied us for half of the night. That was a night trip with a crazy driver, where we met one of our latest acquaintances, Matt from Canada, who slept on the floor of the bus. This adventure was made of artificial giant spiders with which we scared Ruchi.

Agra

Next morning after a light breakfast, we leave for the Fatehpur Sikri, the old capital of the Mughal Empire, otherwise known as the ghost town. We walked for a long time inside. Inside there were many things to see and everything was very nice, from the ladies' garden to the Panch Mahal, the ornamental ponds and the Palace of Jodha Bai, home of the wife of Akbar. It was a perfect mix of styles reminding us that when cultures and people meet there arise extraordinary things.

We moved towards the Jama Masjid, a mosque built in 1571, equipped with a monumental front door, the Buland Darwaza. Inside the mosque was the splendid tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti, a white marble mausoleum. Here childless women tied the marble grate in front of the tomb with a red thread as a votive gesture to propitiate a pregnancy.

In mid-journey, as we were eating slices of cake and black tea, we combined with a group that came from Vienna and started our adventure with whom we walked maybe 6 hours together with the same desire to have fun as we moved to one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal, the beautiful white monument surrounded by a beautiful garden, known throughout the world and of course the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We saw it in photos, on television, but the overall view of the complex was even more spectacular. The white marbles sparkled in the sun and contrasted with the green gardens, while the dome was silhouetted against the blue sky.

Finally, we took a auto rickshaw that leads us to the Agra Fort and with another trek in the sun, we passed the expectant guides through to the Amar Singh Gate, the majestic entrance and begin to discover the gardens of this complex built in 1565. It seemed an ornate royal palace with the best decorations and inlays of Mughal art. We removed our shoes to enter the Nagina Masjid. From here we moved towards the courtyard of the Diwan-i-Khas, the public hearing room, from where we could see in the distance the majestic Taj Mahal.

It was in this fort, inside the octagonal tower called Khas Mahal, Emperor Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb in 1666. We go through the Diwan-i-Am as we get out of the complex and take a auto rickshaw to the tomb of Itimad-Ud-Daula, Chini ka Rauza and then again towards the Mehtab Bagh, a park famous for its views of the Taj Mahal from across the Yamuna river. We go back on the auto rickshaw to Kinari Bazar.

We then get back by bus in the direction of Delhi, where we arrive late in the night. On the way, we have dinner at a restaurant with naan, hyderabadi dum biryani, and Kabab-E-Lajawab, spiced lamb kebabs.

Although we have ahead of us the whole day to spend in the city, we had to prepare our luggage. Luckily a terrible storm rages and keeps us at the hotel, so we had plenty of time to organize our day. As clocks synchronized with the weather when we finished the sun came out and the air was mild.

The first stop was the Humayun's Tomb, a funerary monument that inspired the Taj Mahal. After a while between the trees and squirrels, we met another new friend Suzy, who became the victim of a crazy squirrel, which won't stop following her and finally we had to shield her to the exit.

We took the auto rickshaw to Janpath Market where Ruchi unleashed herself during the last shopping, ranging from scarves to Buddha statues. In the end, we returned to the hotel and booked the taxi to the airport to reach our respective destinations.

Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra were fascinating where every day I had something new to learn. Traveling here undoubtedly changed my perspectives and the way of thinking. I would rather say, traveling broadened my horizons! These experiences helped me to see the world through a different lens and enriched me in every sense. I started with a bang with a crazy group, and half of the participants have become my best friends today. Who would have thought that traveling will make me learns so many new songs?

I still have in my mind the faces of the people I met along my way, their stories and (mis) adventures and realized that in this world we are all equal, but in a different way, to the night dance of Ruchi and Abhi, and then all the laughs and moments spent together that sometimes I forget but remembering them re-emerge those moments that make me smile.

In Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra, I met new people and a new group of friends, who were different from the friends that I have at home, who had another point of view on the journey of life. I tasted a cuisine different than mine with some of the foods for the first time, listened to new experiences and learned new ways of thinking. I'm sure that helped made these experiences so special as they were the wonderful people I met, with whom I shared moments of leisure and with whom I have always felt at ease.

In short, it's just a tribute to one of my best trips, to the smiling groups and to new friends. Once I started the journey, I soon realized that it was hard to stop.
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Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author