Where do I begin…? India was on our check list for a while, and it’s one of those places that you either know you want to go to, or you just don’t! Some people thought we were a bit crazy choosing India as our destination for Honeymoon, but for us we just knew we’d love it. That being said, India had it’s highs and lows (more to come on that) but this post ill mainly be to give some tips on places to stay, eat and do if you’re thinking to do a similar route to the below….
Rajasthan (the North/ Golden Triangle)
The Route: Delhi ➡️ Udaipur ➡️Jaipur ➡️Agra ➡️ Delhi ➡️ Cochin ➡️ Varkala ➡️ Cochin
So, when I put it on paper, we travelled A LOT over 2 weeks, and on reflection perhaps a little too much. To put into perspective, India’s 13 x bigger than the UK, so that’s a-latta travelling. We did the North in 1 week, which started in Delhi for 1 night and then flew straight out to Udaipur, where we met our driver who looped us round back to Agra/ Delhi, where we finished our first week with the bucket list moment, that is the Taj Mahal.
DO: Red Fort – although very touristy, its worth a wonder around and learning some history, if you look western (ie. pale and blonde like me) be prepared to get asked for a selfie A LOT!! The families especially like to ask tourists to have photos with their children! It sounds sweet, but be warned as soon as you say ok to one… the flocks will follow…!
Udaipur (my favourite place of the trip)
DO: Wonder around the lakes and little shops
EAT: Upre – lovely local restaurant overlooking the lakes, and not too touristy
DRINK: Leela’s Palace – Dress to impress! It’s exquisite and a rare place you can order ANY alcohol drink you can think of (most places are very limited with alcohol)
Known as the lake city, Udaipur is small enough to walk around in a day, but big enough to get lost and discover lots of nooks and crannies. Traditional Rajasthani street art is seen everywhere and hand painted outside a family home following the celebration of a wedding. This one was actually painted in our most wonderful Air B’n’b stay in India, Little Garden guest House that I CANNOT recommend enough, so beautiful, clean (very important, especially in India!!) and attention to detail by the ever creative owner.
A must visit for drinks and dinner (that’s if you can’t afford to stay, its around £450.00 per night…!!) is Leela’s Palace . We’d been told to go, however hadn’t looked it up or known what it was until we arrived (stupidly at the staff entrance!) but that wan’t a problem, the security staff welcomed us through, and called for one of the gardens buggie cars to collect us and drive us to the main palace. We sat and soaked down a few bottles of bubbles and enjoyed the palace’s views across the lake.
DO: Jaipur City Palace – 1/2 a day
EAT: Peacock Rooftop Restaurant
DRINK: Bar Palladio
Next stop Jaipur was back to a bit more of a crazy city, with lots of sites to see and visited an exquisite Jaipur City palace, which is a place to get lost and although very touristy, you can still find corners of the palace where you’ll be all alone, at least for a photo opp (as seen below!)
Jaipur is also home to lots of Bazaars, which are worth spending half a day wondering around, but be warned they get super busy and can get a bit ‘same’, if you’re looking for silver jewellery, be prepared to be beckoned to sit down by every shop owner… they aren’t pushy per se but its not a quick in and out of each store I’m afraid!
We were so lucky to be in the North of India in the lead unto the Holi Festival, otherwise known as the Festival of Colour. Every street adorned with trays of brightly coloured powders for sale in the lead up to the Hindu festival, ready to be thrown in celebration of the beginning of Spring.
So that’s week one of my Indian adventures with Olly. Second week (the south of India to follow soon!)