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GTAlk is intended to be an on-line destination magazine to give you an insight into life in our destinations as well as the normal MICE news on new venues.

India- Immense Inspiring Incredible: Tales From My Fam Day 1

Overview

India: dazzles & delights; spoils & overwhelms all in a cacophony of sound & movement, colour and culture like no other.

This was my first Indian Fam and to fit in with a MICE Forum in Delhi- so it was The Golden Triangle in four days, sadly I could not make the first two days.

I found the expected and the unexpected.

The Taj Mahal was even more magnificent than any image can portray and the effect of walking through the approach entrance arch, with the sun rising, lifted the hair on the back of my head. Totally unexpected was walking into a hotel restaurant in Delhi and experiencing the same scalp tingle. You can find out which in a later blog in this series.

Hotel service was of course exceptional, but I had not expected to be sad to leave one hotel for another.

Vast wealth and treasure gathered over many hundreds of centuries was known. But physically sitting a table given to the dinner venue by a previous Maharajah was something else. The heavy, ornately carved, frame was solid silver. Chairs and other furnishing to match!

The Red Fort, Jaipur, was “known” to be an immense structure – at least by image and writings. What was not known was the true extent of the fort – the surrounding hillsides encompassed by battlements. An entire valley being encircled within the fort.

Check out my following blogs for a day by day account on Delhi-Agra-Jaipur & Delhi.

Agra

A Palace For Three Hours!!

Sadly, I could not join the Fam until Monday morning, so missing 2 days in delightful Delhi.

My early morning arrival meant only three hours sleep in the lovely Leela Palace Delhi, breakfast and depart – what a waste.

Loved the hotel & breakfast, Indian of course. Eating breakfast outside in 39 degrees at 07:30 was a rare experience. And so interesting watching the staff meticulously clean, tidy and rearrange. Could not help feeling that if a blade of grass in the lawns were stepped on that the staff would straighten it!!!

There are three options for the trip to Agra – early morning train, the new upmarket special train or by road. Road was our option and my drive out of Delhi was an experience. An experience on two levels – the miracle of how the traffic moves in seeming chaos and the roadside and pavement life of India.

The new toll based expressway meant Agra was only 2.5 hours away and made for a comfortable midday arrival.

Oberoi Amarvilas Agra was our hotel for the night and reception on arrival was superb. Elegant and refreshing.

Oberoi Amarvilas has several claims to fame – the only hotel where every room has direct views of Taj Mahal and frequently voted into the top hotels of the world. A royal and elegant experience with service to match.

Amarvilas has 64 rooms and suites and even the entry level room was big

Lunch was a delight and so loved my India breakfast topped off with a Dosa over a foot long.

But I had to wait for breakfast as we had a sunrise meeting with Taj Mahal – a 05:00 start!

But at least I had a finger licking lovely dinner the night before. ITC Mughal’s Peshwari restaurant brings a feel of the North Western Frontier, campfire, well tandoori, cooking and roughhewn warmth. While eating with bread “spoons” and fingers only is encouraged there is cutlery for the nervous and aprons for the careless/less nimble fingered.

However you eat your food in Peshwari, eating is a total pleasure.

In between lunch and dinner we did the tourist bit with a visit to Agra’s Red Fort. Fascinating but we had better forts and palaces to visit in Jaipur and Delhi.