Jaipur, India. January 2014

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A drive from Kushalnagar to Bangalore’s airport took 6 hours and, because our car broke in the middle of the city, we sadly weren’t able to meet up with Kunal, our Oxford classmate. We arrived just in time to catch our flights; I was going to Jaipur and Dimitris was heading back to Delhi. After spending 2 weeks together, exploring, learning and struggling through India, it was time for us to say goodbyes. I knew, Dimitris didn’t like India because of many reasons, but I also knew that my own trials and tribulations were about to begin. Traveling in India alone is equal to being in a war zone, where …

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Aurangabad, India. December 2013.

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December 27. I have never heard of Ellora or Ajanta Caves and after seeing Agra, I haven’t expected Aurangabad to impress me, however, it turned out to be a pretty remarkable place, worthy of a detour from the “standard India package” destinations. Malik Ambar, the Prime Minister of Murtaza Nizam Shah of Ahmadnagar, made Aurangabad (at that time still a small village called Khadki, and later Fatehnagar) his capital city in 1610. Due to Ambar’s love and talent for architecture, it took only a decade for the village to become an imposing city. With the capture of the impregnable Daulatabad fort (i will talk about it later) by the Mughal …

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Agra, India. December 2013.

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After spending a day discovering the ancient cities of Vrindavan and Mathura, Dimi and I arrived to our hotel, ITC Mughal, in Agra very late at night. The hotel is an oasis among the dirt and ugliness of the city. I have read a lot about Agra and its importance as a Mughal capital, 300 years ago, but, unfortunately, very little dignity is left from that time. Behind the car window, it seemed hectic, over-crowded and filthy. Agra was first mentioned in Hindu epic Mahabharata and by Maharshi Angira in 1000 B.C. However, it is generally accepted that Sultan Sikandar Lodhi, the ruler of Delhi Sultanate, established the city in 1501 (or 1504) and it stayed …

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Delhi, India. December 2013.

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Delhi, Dec 19, 2013 My Aeroflot flight to Moscow was delayed by several hours and I completely lost all hope in catching a transfer to Delhi, nevertheless, due to a large number of Indians traveling from the US to India on the same flight, the plane in Moscow waited for us, so we made it and arrived to Delhi not only with a minimum delay but also with all our luggage. Varun K., my classmate from Oxford, met me at the Indira Gandhi international airport and we went straight to his house. He and his family were kind enough to offer me and Dimitris an accommodation in Delhi and his …

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