Reflections On Our Road Trip

We are back from our 1700 kilometer road trip – excluding our flight to and from Delhi – that covered more tombs and places of worship than we have visited in all our years of travel! It was an intense roller coaster ride into centuries of Indian history in reverse, from imperial New Delhi to vedic Varanasi. 

We are glad we chose to drive, despite the abysmal roads and arid landscapes we passed through, for we got a glimpse, however fleeting, into the lives of people in the Hindi belt. And it wasn’t very pretty. The conditions in a state that has given the country eight of its fourteen prime ministers, and boasts the highest representation in the Lok Sabha (Lower house of Parliament), are tragic testimony to the apathy of our political class. For the first time ever, Chennai didn’t seem as ugly and chaotic on our return as it usually does!

But despair at the living conditions of common people and the appalling state of some of the ‘protected’ monuments (and achy bums from the potholes) aside, our trip was punctuated by many sublime moments.

Having Humayun’s tomb all to ourselves one beautiful morning, people watching in the Lodi gardens, paying our respects to Akbar the Great in Sikandra, witnessing the faded decadence of Nawabi culture in Lucknow, being dumbstruck at the exquisite workmanship of the 2300 year old Lion Capital of Asoka (The state emblem of India), a serene dawn boat ride on the monsoon swollen Ganges in Varanasi………….

And oh yes, admiring the first rays of the sun glint off the pristine surface of the Taj…..that was, quite surprisingly, as breathtaking as hyped!

Taj Mahal, Agra

Shall tell you all about it and more. Until then here is a pictorial summary:

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Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on

57 thoughts on “Reflections On Our Road Trip

  1. Wow Madhu! Sounds like quite the journey! I can’t wait to read more! Your capture of the Taj is breathtaking! Mine is no where near as good!

  2. Stunning structures and views. Thanks for sharing, Madhu.

    Traveling can be a double-edge sword. We’ve seen incredible beauty and met wonderful people on some of our vacations, but we’ve also witnessed heartbreaking poverty.

  3. Thanks for these beautiful travelogue photos. I love how you captured the beautiful architecture and the slice of life. It is sad that some places and people seem to have been forgotten in the distribution of wealth and opportunities. I hope that the lot of the poorer places and regions will be improved someday soon.

  4. Ahh Madhu, Humayan’s tomb was a highlight for me in India. It sounds like you had a wonderful trip and that north is a big contrast to your area. Also you hired a car? very wise not to trash your own on those roads 🙂 Looking forward to seeing more.

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