Express Highway

Posted on February 27, 2014

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The road from Agra to Delhi is long. It’s made even longer if you can’t afford to pay the toll charges on the Yamuna Express Highway. A private road that was built. There are about three toll stops each will cost a car driver around 100 rupees a go.

When I quizzed Ashok which route we were headed back into the city on, he told me that he had planned to use the smaller network of roads rather than the highway. My heart sank as this is badly tarmaced, jammed and doesn’t quite go the whole way.

“You know what, I’m happy to pay the extra,” I said as he picked me up this morning and shoved my rucksack into the boot of the car.

“The drinks party is this evening and I would really like to get to the hotel in good time and get ready with more than 10 minutes to spare.”

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I had already witnessed the traffic in Delhi last week and knew that on a good day it was bumper to bumper. To make matters worse today is Shivratri – a holy Hindu festival and everyone and their grandmother is on the road and making their way to the nearest temple.

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As we got onto the highway I was stunned to see it was practically deserted – you would never have believed this was India. The other road which we took to get to Jaipur was ridiculous packed in comparison. Local people clearly cannot afford to shell out around 250-300 rupees a pot.

After being surrounded by people constantly if felt incredibly isolating to be one of a few vehicles on the road.

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En route we passed a famous Formulae 1 race track and a Shiva Temple, the juxtaposing of these two places could have been further apart. One where money is no object and entrance into the fold gives you status. The other does not differentiate between people making their pilgrimage on this holy day.

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Back in Delhi the traffic was building and so too was the horn blowing. I have not see much of Delhi because I spent my entire day last week sorting out my transportation in an around India.

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First stop a famous Krishna temple…….

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….then close by the Baha’i Lotus Temple…….

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….finally a quick lunch break where i indulged in Rasmali post chicken Biryani at a small shop specialising in Indian sweets – del-icious!

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I must admit I have had a fantastic week but I am a bit monument-ed out!! Can’t wait to see Noodle and Miss India, their family and mutual friends. A lot of the wedding party (60) are doing the golden triangle post wedding on an organised tour while I’ll be headed to the Bollywood capital Mumbai (Bombay). Looking forward to seeing how different it is from the north.

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Posted in: India