We did warn them. Look left, right, left again and pray before you stick your hand out to stop traffic. And then cross the road. This winter, Tushar Singla (WG ’18) and I had the opportunity to lead Wharton India Club’s largest ever India Trek. Organizing a trip for nearly 70 people across 5 states in 12 days would need a lot of luck. As we watched our Trekkers miraculously make their way across the bustling streets of Delhi, we hoped it didn’t run out anytime soon.
Three days in India’s capital introduced us to the organized chaos of Old Delhi’s Spice Market, the significance and splendor of religious monuments like Jama Masjid, Birla Temple and Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, the governance system and Gandhi’s rousing story, and unending extravagant meals. Agra told us a love story for the ages with the wondrous white-marble Taj Mahal and her sister monument, the Agra Fort. Jodhpur treated us to an ethereal night in the desert, ornate and magnificent architecture in the Mehrangarh Fort, and amazing textiles and some excellent salesmanship in the Blue City.
We then took on the mega-city of Mumbai. A Bollywood dance workshop, a relaxed dinner in a quaint South Bombay restaurant, a tour of the oldest grandest buildings or that of the most densely populated slum in Asia, or an NYE bash to remember – the city had something for everyone. Finally, overwhelmed with sights, sounds, smells and stories, we were grateful to land in Goa. Beaches, music, and body massages summed up the perfect sunset.
Touring India with 70 friends is possibly the best way to do it. What truly made our experience special was seeing our Trekkers not only explore the country through honest and curious conversations, but also becoming experts in crossing any streets anywhere!