North India Does Not Disappoint

From Jaipur to Srinagar – Through the Eyes of a Solo Female Traveller

Words & Images: Nurul Ain Hassan

Nurul Ain Hassan travels to North India and explores the wonderful sights of this colourful region. She shares with the photos and stories from her amazing adventure.

The person on the right is Adam, my new friend from New York. We started talking while having a cup of chai at this rooftop cafe opposite the Hawa Mahal. Since we were wearing black and white striped t-shirts, purely by coincidence, we decided to take this photo.
Jaipur is such a vibrant city and these lovely ladies in their colourful traditional outfits are indeed a testament to this.
Shoppers are spoilt for choice with the array of embroidered crafts in Jaipur. Even if you’re not shopping for anything in particular, you’ll definitely stop to have a look at the unique designs of such intricate crafts.
Built in 1734, the Nahargarh Fort was named after Prince Nahar Singh. A walk up to the top of the fort will not disappoint as you will be afforded with unparalleled views of the city of Jaipur.
From Jaipur, I took a 12-hour train ride to Jaisalmer, the Golden City. The train left Jaipur at 11pm and travelling in this overnight train allowed me the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the real India.
This is me, leaving my comfort zone and heading to the Thar Desert, just outside Jaipur. Also known as the Great Indian Desert, it covers an area of approximately 200,000 square kilometres. And I got to spend a night here, which was surreal!
This is one photo that always brings a smile to my face. This girl was so shy when we first met. But after we started talking, she warmed up to me and it wasn’t long before she was posing for my photographs.
Seeing the Taj Mahal was spectacular but what made it even better was the people I was with. In this photo, I am with my new friends, who stayed in the same hostel as me – Seo Yeon from South Korea and Matthis from Germany. If I had to give travellers one tip when visiting the Taj Mahal, it would definitely be to get there as early as possible. It is absolutely worth it.
The Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden in Srinagar, a city in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, spans over 12 hectares and is the largest tulip garden in Asia. I had never seen so many tulips in my life!  
One evening in Srinagar, I decided to take a shikara (a wooden boat) across Dal Lake, one of the main attractions in the city. Shikaras are an easy way to get across the lake. This ride was so relaxing and I was mesmerised by the surroundings.
I spent a lot of time at Dal Lake taking in the sights, sounds and spell. If I could, I’d go back in a heartbeat!
After a one-hour pony ride, I was rewarded with an amazing view of the Baisaran Valley at Pahalgam. I travel for moments like these!

GETTING THERE: AirAsia flies to India. Book your tickets now at

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