‘Visiting The Taj Mahal Was Always My Dream’ – Cory Lee’s Bucket Wish #37 Comes True With Enable Travel!

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Wheelchair travel enthusiast, and winner of the Lowell Thomas award for Best Blogger, Cory Lee had always dreamed of visiting the Taj Mahal. But like many other wheelchair users, Cory didn’t expect his bucket list #37 dream to ever come true, as he had always thought of India as an inaccessible country. But when Enable Travel invited him to travel across the Golden Triangle, he didn’t hesitate in accepting the invite!

Golden-triangle: Cory Lee with team Enable

The Enablers of Cory Lee’s Accessible Golden Triangle Holiday. (L to R) Aarti Bhalla – Trip Leader | Kamla Joshi – Team Enable | Musheer Qureshi – Accessibility coordinator, curator & guide | Cory Lee & Pankaj Jain – In charge of products and operation for inbound tours

Cory arrived in New Delhi with his mother Sandy Gilbreath and best friend Kayla Godwin, from super cold Amsterdam, and began to fall in love with India. Cory wrote, “I absolutely LOVE Europe and the US and everywhere else, but after a certain point, everywhere starts to kind of feel the same – pretty buildings, lots of history, etc. I wanted to experience something vastly different than anything in my previous travels… and I certainly did here in India with Enable Travel.”

Waiting to receive them at the airport was a swanky WAV (wheelchair accessible vehicle), setting the tone for the journey ahead! The hotel chosen very carefully for him was The Lalit, which Cory described on his blog as – “My accessible room is FANTASTIC! A hoyer lift/hoist can easily go under the bed, the room is spacious, and the bathroom has a roll-in shower! I’m impressed!”

golden-triangle: Our roll-out ramps help wheelchair users onto platforms and pavements

Enable Travel’s roll-out ramps help wheelchair users onto platforms and pavements that may otherwise be inaccessible

 

Golden triangle: The staff at Lalit was quite courteous and escorted Cory to his entirely accessible room

The staff at The Lalit Hotel were quite courteous and very helpful

 

golden triangle: Cory enjoyed wheeling around the Lalit all by himself

Cory was very happy with wheelchair-friendly The Lalit Hotel

 

golden triangle: An entirely accessible bathroom was made available for Cory's comfort

Cory highly appreciated the state of the art wheelchair-friendly bathroom

The first monument they visited was the Qutub Minar, which was Cory’s first experience of the ever present interest in his wheelchair, with strangers requesting selfies and others clicking away without a by your leave!

‘The people here in India are tremendously fascinated with my wheelchair. Literally every time that I get out of our tour bus, at least 5-10 people are gathered at the bottom of the ramp to look at me. And the number of times I’ve been asked to take a selfie with someone and/or they’ve just started snapping photos without asking is more than I can count. It’s unlike anywhere else I’ve been and it was somewhat weird to get used to in the beginning, but now I’m kind of enjoying the attention. #CelebrityOfIndia #WheelchairInvadesIndia”.

Golden triangle: Cory enjoyed the attention from strangers and willingly took pictures with them through his entire trip

Cory enjoyed the attention from strangers and willingly took pictures with them on his entire Indian trip

1. Qutub Minar

‘The first attraction that I visited here in Delhi was Qutub Minar and WOWZA, it impressed! At about 236-feet high, this UNESCO World Heritage Site was built in 1193 as a tower of victory to signify the beginning of Muslim rule in India. And there were even ramps and decent access around the site. Our Enable Travel guide said that accessibility is sloooowly improving around the country!”

Golden triangle: Qutub Minar

This soaring Afghan-style victory tower and minaret built by Sultan Qutb-ud-din in 1193 is ringed by intricately carved sandstone bands bearing verses from the Quran

 

Golden triangle: Qutub Minar complex

For someone who thought India was inaccessible, Cory tremendously enjoyed the freedom of getting around the complex independently

2. Humayun Tomb

Next on Cory’s itinerary was Humayun’s Tomb, built in 1570 in Delhi, and said to be the inspiration for the Taj Mahal. He wrote, “It’s absolutely beautiful and the route to it, while a bit cobble-stoned and bumpy in sections, was doable in a wheelchair. Yay!”

Golden triangle: The Mughal Dynasty has gifted India many striking monuments and one of those is the Humayun Tomb

The Mughals gave India many striking monuments, one of these is the Humayun Tomb, a gorgeous structure made of red sandstone

3. Raj Ghat

Raj Ghat or Gandhi Samadhi is something Cory was looking forward to, as Mahatma Gandhi’s sayings have always been special to him. He was really pleased to see his favourite quote engraved on a stone at the Raj Ghat– Be the change you want to see in the world – “This is one of my favorite quotes ever by Mahatma Gandhi. Here in Delhi, I was able to visit Gandhi’s cremation site. It’s very simply designed, but beautiful and it was inspiring to be there,” Cory said, describing his visit to the centre of Delhi.

golden triangle: Gandhi's final words, Hey Ram (Oh, God) are inscribed on this thought-provoking memorial.

Gandhi’s final words, Hey Ram (Oh, God) are inscribed on this thought-provoking memorial. Every Friday (the day he died) commemorative prayers are held here at 5pm, as well as on 2nd October and 30th January, his birth and death anniversaries.

Cory’s experience of Old Delhi is best recounted via the video on his blog! ‘‘India’s capital of Delhi is split up into 2 parts: New Delhi and Old Delhi. Old Delhi is much busier and more chaotic, but it’s a definite must-see. Traffic is unlike anything I’ve seen before and our guide said that you need 3 things to drive in India: a good horn, good brakes, and good luck. My wheelchair doesn’t have a very good horn, but the brakes and luck came in handy during my quick roll through part of Old Delhi with Enable Travel,” he smiles.

4. The Bangla Sabh Temple

“The Sikh temple in Delhi, India is easily one of my favorite places I’ve ever visited. The sounds and amount of people here is sensory overload and I love it! 😄 Aside from the beautiful temple, there’s also a community kitchen on-site. Anyone, regardless of how much money they do or do not have, can come eat here and all of the food is made by volunteers. They consider it an honor to cook the food and serve others.”

Golden-triangle: This gurudwara used to be a bungalow-sized residence of Raja Jai singh and was locally called the 'Jaisinghpura Palace'

This Sikh temple used to be a bungalow-sized residence of Indian Ruler Raja Jai Singh and was locally called the ‘Jaisinghpura Palace’

 

The interiors of this temple made it quite easy for Cory to get around

 

Golden-triangle-Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is usually fairly crowded and on a typical weekend, it feeds more than 10,000 people

Gurudwara Bangla Sabh is usually fairly crowded and on a typical weekend, it feeds more than 10,000 people

This was only phase one of the three amazing destinations that make up the Golden Triangle in India. Delhi had a lot to offer, but wait till you hear what Agra and Jaipur were like for Cory.

Coming up soon – Cory Lee in Agra and Jaipur! Until then,  check out Cory’s blog https://www.curbfreewithcorylee.com/ for more fascinating journeys.

Read more articles by Shama here

Visit Enable Travel for more insight on accessible holidays

Write to us on info@enabletravel.com

Or call us on 1800 266 8002

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Shama Noorani

Passionate about accessible travelling for all. Shama Noorani strongly believes that 'There ain't no mountain high enough. There is always a way , never give up, believe in yourself and make your dream a reality'.

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