Calcutta Cemetery

Tales from a Calcutta Cemetery

“Temple? Go to temple? Science centre?”

“No, no thank you.” We wanted to see the remnants of the Empire. We wanted to see what was left of the chequered past of the colonialists and we had seen plenty of religious architecture after 9 days. Some were unassuming buildings with giant statues of the Buddha, some had massive brick towers and imposing steps echoing the beckoning call to prayer, some had brightly painted elephants and bells and flags. One was set to a backdrop of the Himalaya. Although each one was amazing, I wanted to see ghosts.

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Taj Mahal

10 Days in India – an ambitious itinerary

This time last year, I was in India AKA the coolest thing I have ever done (and I was in a movie once!). We knew the places we wanted to see as a priority, just in case we never get to go back or, as I thought at the time, in case I couldn’t cope and and didn’t want to leave my house ever again to go on an adventure. We pared our list down as much as we could, but our plan was still hugely ambitious (and I wouldn’t have done it any other way).

We also depended almost entirely on Indian trains, with the notable exceptions of the flights there and back, New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling (where the narrow gauge train track had been washed out by a landslide some years prior) and some rather ill-advised cab rides to stations (all the rules of the road but liberal use of the horn are optional, including headlights at night).

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A pinch of salt: New Delhi Metro

Before going to India, we read as much as we could, poured over travel guides and read this really great article on the New Delhi Metro. As this was my first trip outside of the western world I really didn’t know what to expect, or if I could handle it. (I stocked up on those herbal de-stress pills in a fit of desperation.)

The article is a fantastic whistle-stop guide to some of the best sites in Delhi. After reading it, I felt like we could do it. I felt empowered to use the metro and visit Delhi (I assumed) more like we would do at home.
I especially wanted to visit the Qutab Minar.

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