By: Chief Development Officer, Judie Green

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I was lucky enough to lead a group of thirteen of the Auditorium Theatre’s special donors on a trip to India in October.

I really had no idea what to expect. This was certainly a trip of a lifetime and a country that has left a lasting impression on me.  There is perhaps no other country in the world that is comprised of so many marked contrasts as India.  India truly overloads the senses with all of its colors, smells, tastes, and sounds.

img_0565-sizedWe started out our adventure in New Delhi, a city of 18 million. I could not get over the crowded streets, honking horns, and motor bikes weaving through rickshaws. New Delhi was followed by a stop in Agra and a private visit at full moon to the Taj Mahal. As one of the seven wonders of the world, it is truly an architectural masterpiece!

In Ranthambore, we were the lucky safari who actually spotted the Bengal Tigers.  We rode elephants and enjoyed a dinner with a cooking class in the home of a noble family in the romantic “pink city” of Jaipur. In Udaipur, our visit to the City Palace and boat ride on Lake Pichola were breathtaking. The trip ended in Mumbai when we stayed at the historic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel with views of the Gateway of India and the Arabian Sea.

We visited temples and mosques, forts, and palaces. We saw a Bollywood show and a puppet show. We ate Tandoori chicken, paneer, and every type of naan you can think of!

Everywhere we visited, the local people were kind and hospitable. In spite of the constant crowds and chaos, there was always a sense of spirituality intertwined with everyday life that was so welcome and calming!

India is place that everyone should visit once in their lives to get a different perspective on life. It’s impossible to leave India the same person as when you arrived. It will change you forever.

Check out the all the photos Judie took along the way!