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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Vrindavan and Mathura, India. December 2013.

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December 22. I left Varanasi on the luxury overnight Shiva Ganga express train, which, according to the schedule, was supposed to arrive to Delhi at 7.40 am. Dimi arrived to India the evening before, thus it made me even more impatient to reach the final stop. Morning arrival would also give us enough time to explore some Delhi sights, however, as apparently everything else, time has different value in India. I arrived to New Delhi Train Station only at 3.30 pm. Having no time to explore the city, our friends Priyanka and Varun organized a very nice Indian/Lebanese dinner at Trolleys in Khan Market. The restaurant’s owner, besides the main hospitality business, …

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