I’ll be honest, I was a little anxious about this trip. For the main reason that I had nothing but fear at the thought of having food poisoning. A result of hearing every single travellers account (in detail) of their Delhi belly. Spoiler alert…I didn’t get sick once!
I went to India nervous but within hours of landing was utterly mesmerised. I didn’t want to come home.
We set off on the adventure for my dear friend @RoopGill’s wedding and quite frankly it was the most sensational event(s) I have ever been to. The colours, the smells, the flavours, the parties, the PEOPLE. Everything about this trip was such an excitement. Following the wedding we ventured on for a Friend-moon to tackle the bottom half of the golden triangle, Jaipur and Agra. I absolutely fell in love.
In celebration of my love-affair with this country, here are my tips for visiting:
- Forget what you think you know and embrace the magic and chaos. – The place is a wonder – so many times I sat in awe as we watch monkeys commute across city buildings and cows stop 60MPH traffic on the motorway because they fancied crossing…
- Travel around to explore different cities! But be prepared to have long car journeys. Driving in India is a rollercoaster of a ride but they know what they’re doing so forget your highway code and road rules. Some times you’ll need to stop at motorway restaurants/shops to pee. Take toilet roll on your journeys as well as hand santisers. We visited Jaipur (Highly recommend staying in Shahpura House.)
- Eat the food and prepare to eat a lot! Indian food is generous and so delicious you can’t stop eating. I avoided ice, tap water, raw foods and salads, ate mostly vegetarian. I didn’t get food poisoning at all, despite lots of people telling me I would. I can’t tell you how sensational the Punjabi and Rajasthani cooking was! My absolute favourite dishes were the Dal Makhani (black dahl), Paneer Masala and Keema curry. If you’re in Jaipur I highly recommend grabbing a bite to eat at Baradari restaurant and bar. It’s more spenny than most restaurants you’ll come across but nothing out of question for London. It’s a great spot to stop at before going in to City Palace next door. P.S. don’t order western food here. Their Indian dishes were awesome.
- You MUST visit the Taj Mahal. At first I wasn’t keen on hitting up the tourist hot-spots so (I’m ashamed to say) I toyed with the idea of not going to the Taj Mahal. I am SO glad we did. It was one of the most breath-taking buildings I’d ever seen and it was a marvel to explore the grounds. Everything about this visit had charm. From the monkeys being thrown bananas by the security guards to the Arabic script that graced the marble tiles.
- Say YES to a wedding invite. If you ever have the honour of being invited to a wedding in India – don’t think, just go. It will be one of the most memorable and special things you will experience. An absolute RAVE of a party! Make sure you pre-order enough traditional clothing for each event (there may be four or more). I wish I had ordered more as it made it so much more special when everyone is dressed in the beautiful, bright colours. Prepare yourself for the time of year you’ll be there. I went in December and wished I’d taken warmer clothes. Layering is everything at that time of year.