From Tigers to the Taj

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From Tigers to the Taj Tigar2.SS_39057226

Our Picture Editor, Jennifer Day, and writer, Aaron Ogles, capture the essence of India on an unforgettable journey…

India is a land of surprises. But what struck us most was how endearingly chaotic it all was, with helmeted locals whizzing past on tooting scooters carrying brightly-dressed female passengers (Delhi law states that only men are required to wear crash helmets!), and countless vehicles weaving in and out of the barely-defined lanes with zippy determination. But this was India, and we were there!

A real highlight was the trip to Amber Fort (the ‘b’ is silent), overlooking the town of the same name. After being treated to an impromptu snake charming performance we climbed aboard our Jeeps and made the bumpy journey up to the fort through the narrow cobbled alleys of Amber, passing locals carrying pots and baskets on their heads – instantly evoking nostalgic memories of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book’ – to explore the elaborate palaces and elegant ramparts of this hilltop fortification.

And then there’s the Taj Mahal which, when you see it, literally takes your breath away. Your first true glimpse will be through the arch of the great gate which by design frames the magnificent mausoleum perfectly. But even when you’re there it doesn’t quite look real, that’s until you step on to the marble and you’re close enough to touch it…

“Holding my breath as a tiger padded past my Jeep for a refreshing dip in his watering hole, counting the colourful elephants at Amber Fort, seeing the last of Gandhi’s worldly possessions and the very spot where he met his tragic fate, and being moved to tears at the sight of the evening sunshine falling over the Taj Mahal. This is what India is about – with such beautiful culture and an intricate tapestry of history it really is impossible to pick just one highlight…”

Jennifer Day, Picture Editor

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