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Thread: Going to India

  1. #1

    Going to India

    So in about two weeks I'm going to be off on my honeymoon, and I'm totaly excited because we're going to spend a month in India instead of going to some lame place like a Sandals resort.

    I'm going to spend a long time in both Bombay and in New Delhi (we're visiting friends) but were also going to smaller towns like Darjeeling. I hope to take some fabulous photos. I've been looking into their City planing and getting my excitement level up.

    Here are some cool shots of Delhi from Google Earth



    A ton of traffic circles and greenspace are found in the British planned "New" Delhi



    Which looks like a big change from the dense old city



    There also seems to be a sharp contrast between city and country which being from the suburbs of Long Island, I always find amazing!

    So if anyone knows a particurlaly cool neighborhood or a good place to take photos please let me know! I want to get alot of pics of Urban lifestyle, and unless my camera gets stolen I'll share them when I come back!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Wow! That first pic looks like the orginal plan for Detroit as laid out by Judge Woodward after the 1805 Fire only a portion of it was ever built as the ribbon farm owners had other plans on how to subdivide their lots.

    http://ocw.mit.edu/ans7870/11/11.001...3/image35.html
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  3. #3
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Hmmm.....

    Sounds ok....but for a whole month??

    Let us know if its true that the people/kids just DROP TROU anywhere they want, streets, parks, middle of road.....

    Regardless of the local traditions, I'm thinking of visiting India.....I see there is a non-stop flight from Chicago now.....16+ hours in the air....
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
    John Kenneth Galbraith

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    I went to India for a few weeks after I graduated college about ten years ago. My favorite places were the small villages and coastal communities. Delhi and Bombay are definitely interesting. I'll never forget visiting the public laundry facilities in Bombay- it was absolutely mammoth. There are quite a few old style English buildings left in that city.

    The Taj Mahal is a must visit site, but be prepared for crowds and lots of people coming at you selling stuff. I wouldn't be worried about theft, but just be careful. India felt like a very safe country to travel in. You can use English almost everywhere.

    If you can, go to Jaipur, the Pink City and Udaipur, the Lake City. Udaipur would be a nice romantic place for a honeymoon. Trivandarum (sp?) had some great cave ruins.

    Congratulations!

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally posted by Big Green Scott View post
    So in about two weeks I'm going to be off on my honeymoon, and I'm totaly excited because we're going to spend a month in India instead of going to some lame place like a Sandals resort.

    I'm going to spend a long time in both Bombay and in New Delhi (we're visiting friends) but were also going to smaller towns like Darjeeling. I hope to take some fabulous photos.

    So if anyone knows a particurlaly cool neighborhood or a good place to take photos please let me know! I want to get alot of pics of Urban lifestyle, and unless my camera gets stolen I'll share them when I come back!
    Oh my goodness - you're going to India for an entire MONTH and HONEYMOON - and NO plans for Rajasthan??? You have to make a trip to Jaisalmer - it's the world's most romantic and vibrant place. From Delhi take a train - book yourselves on a first class train ticket; trust me it's worth it and not that expensive - to Jaisalmer (or Jaipur but Jaisalmer is better) and just soak it in for a few days. Rajasthan is mainly a desert and it's breathtakingly gorgeous - the topography, people, culture, food, music, history, jewellery, clothing, all make for a sensational experience. Someone else here mentioned Udaipur but it's pretty "eh"... and from Delhi, J-mer is very easily accessible.

    A word about streetside food, because you can't go to India and miss out on street cuisine - it's perfectly safe to eat as long as it's being cooked in front of you. I.e. stay away from the piles of food on the cart - vendors will gladly make you fresh samosas, fritters, whatever they're selling. Anything hot and fresh is safe, anything cold/cooked before you got there is taking a chance. Roadside chai is safe to have and fantastic - unlike the garbage at Starbucks etc. which incidentally is not chai at all.

    Your friends will take you to all the well-known places in Delhi and Bombay, I'm sure, so I'll list some places within town or within a few hours reach that might miss Indian people's lists:

    Bombay:
    -Ajanta, Ellora, & Elephanta caves
    -Sanjay Gandhia National Park (has the biggest Buddhist monastery on the Konkan coast)
    -Matheran - very beautiful and you can only get there by train - no cars allowed!
    -Chor Bazaar (Thieves' Market) - fantastic place for local life photography but watch your belongings, as in any crowded place anywhere in the world. The Camden Market of Bombay minus hordes of tourists!

    Delhi: - all of these except Agra are within Delhi
    -Fatehpur Sikri - UNESCO World Heritage site. 16th century complex built by Emporer Akbar. If I remember, it was briefly also the capital of the Mughal empire. You can do this on the same day as Taj Mahal since it's very close to Agra (~20 miles or so), but it's very much worth a visit.
    -Khari Baoli - centuries old fabulous spice market
    -Majnu ka tila - yummy Tibetan food and quaint Tibetan
    -Nizamuddin - historic Muslim settlement with a magical oldworld ambience and superb food!
    -Chandni Chowk - another centuries old market where cars aren't allowed

    Sorry... this is becoming a rather long post so I'll stop, but I hope you enjoy your trip. Go with an open mind and a camera! And if your hosts wouldn't be caught dead at a roadside chai-wallah, then you and your wife go alone and enjoy the experience. I'm sure your friends are fantastic, but many Indians consider it low-ly to eat/drink from roadside stalls... such folks exist in abundance, including within my family!

  6. #6
          bluehour's avatar
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    Oohhh, there is some very interesting british imperial planning in India. Victorian and early modern "sorting out" of the wild subcontinent.

    Also, I believe perhaps an intact modernist new town of some sort (not Le Corbusier?).

    I don't remember the details just now (head like sieve at end of work day). Have the book at home and will try to remember to do my research.

    And enjoy the culture shock!

  7. #7
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Oh man...this should be cool!

    I have not been to India, but I have a very strong desire to go in the future. Not rsure why...exotic culture, prevalence of English speakers, thousands of years of history, mix of "modern" infrastructure with "old" infrastructure.

    Have fun!
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  8. #8

    Thanks for the advice!

    Well because it's a whole month we're going to see alot more than just the big cities. Our last week and a half was still up in the air until recently, since then we've decided to definetly check out Rajistan and probably go to Cochin in the south. Jaisalmer sounds like a nice place I'll have to look into it. Thanks for all the advice!

  9. #9
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Have fun! My daughter and I went for a month in January 2004. It is an amazing place like nowhere else. I would say that the people were my favorite aspect of India. I guess my advice is to try and not do too much on one trip. India is a hugely vast country and unless you are planning to fly from city to city you should take it slow. Go with the attitude that you will go back again. I spent my time in Maharashtra State mostly in Mumbai and Pune and did the usual suspects like Ajanta and Ellora and Elephanta, Matheran, and the rest of the things you will find in any good guide.

    Be prepared for many very poor people asking you for money wherever you go, the sanitation has much to be desired for but if you stick to bottled water, commercially packaged foods, and food that is cooked in front of you everything should be just fine. I think we each suffered from a day or two of stomach issues but the rest of the time was fine. Many Indian people are shy and want to talk to you but sometimes are afraid to approach for fear of seeming rude so do you best to reach out to them and be friendly-they are amazing is all I can say.

    A word about money-most ATM's will take your debit card from the US and give you rupees at a pretty decent exchange rate. You will get 100 & 500 rupee denominations from the ATM. There is a chronic shortage of small bills of 10, 20, 50 denominations. Be aware that most shopkeepers, rickshaw drivers, taxi drivers will not accept a bill that is torn or dirty. Obviously, keep your wallet and money secure because you will get pickpocketed (it's a cultural experience!) and don't leave unsecured valuables in your hotel room either.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally posted by Big Green Scott View post
    Well because it's a whole month we're going to see alot more than just the big cities. Our last week and a half was still up in the air until recently, since then we've decided to definetly check out Rajistan and probably go to Cochin in the south. Jaisalmer sounds like a nice place I'll have to look into it. Thanks for all the advice!
    Sorry I forgot to mention that Udaipur, Jaipur, and Jaisalmer are all in the state of Rajasthan. And of them all, Jaisalmer is the most incredible experience - if you go there, definitely take a trip into the desert - sunsets/sunrises are magnificent and unspoiled. And primetime for photo-ops of camel caravaneers against a backdrop of the red-orange sky.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Be sure to ride the brand new Delhi Metro, opened on time and on budget in a nation known for high levels of red tape and/or corruption. Also, try to check out some of the new "interstate" highways. I read an article a few months back about the juxtaposition of the freeways and traditional Indian village culture.

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