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India Trip 2018 – Post two

April 5, 2018
Relaxing in the hotel pool

Our India tour 2018

For more from our India trip in 2018, please see blog one

Day 3 – Ballard India tour

After what seemed very little sleep, we had an early rise and off to see the Taj Mahal. The tension in the coach was electric. Few words can describe the awesome view as you enter the gate to the site, with the Taj set as the backdrop as the sun rises.

A far off view of the Taj Mahal

A far off view of the Taj Mahal – from one of the hotel rooms

The group where given a time to wander and take in both the story and the magnificence of a truly breathtaking building. After returning to the hotel for breakfast once more we set off in the increasing heat. A brief stop to see the deserted city of a Mughal emperor who spent 16 years building it before using it for only four years, then to abandon it, once more for Agra. There was now a consistent theme of increasing heat.

Group photo in front of the iconic Taj Mahal

Group photo in front of the iconic Taj Mahal

Lunch and into Rajasthan

From there to a stunning restaurant for lunch on the border into Rajasthan. From here we were due to drive to the local train station and board a train for a three hour ride to Rathhampore. What transpired however, lead to a very different journey. Whilst by law the old Indian caste system is no longer relevant, the reality is that it still holds firm in Indian culture, especially when mixed with politics. So, we found the train was delayed by two hours and in fact it was as quick to set off in the coach and drive, with an estimated time of five hours. Almost immediately we encountered the riots with mobs of young men with large sticks. They looked menacing but seemed to treat us with respect, smiles and waves. They turned us back on a couple of occasions and in skirting the blocked roads we simply drove up a dual carriageway on the wrong side… All in a day’s works for our fabulous driver.

After a long and very uncomfortable journey an exhausted group finally arrived at the hotel at 9pm…

Day 4

The ‘silly o’clock’ wake ups persist…

Up at 05:00 for a 05:45 start on safari in search of tigers.

Of the dozens of groups entering the national tiger reserve that day only a handful saw tigers. We saw a whole family, the male the female and three cubs. To top this off we were the only group to also see a rare treat of a leopard!

Back to the hotel after for a well earned rest, by the pool. Life is hard!

Relaxing in the hotel pool

Relaxing in the hotel pool

Our tour guided safari

Our tour guided safari

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The afternoon safari was a little more gentle, taking in crocodiles, monkeys, wild peacocks and a multitude of other different bird life.

Bye for now – DD and JD

We tweet from @BallardSchool

Ballard School is an independent, private co-educational school in New Milton, Hampshire, providing an outstanding level of education for nursery to GCSE. With small class sizes and proven academic excellence, we strive to nurture the academic potential of all students. Learn more about our academic programmes, pastoral care, facilities and school ethos by visiting our website or by requesting a prospectus here.

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