I have recently returned home from the trip of a lifetime to India. For three weeks, I travelled around the amazing South Asian country that is India with three friends from my University. We all had a fantastic time and wished that we could have stayed longer!
We travelled from the UK to Bangalore in South India and stayed with my friend at her family home for a week. We visited local Hindu temples, tried local Indian dishes, experienced the city party scene and became accustomed to a somewhat different culture. We also did some major shopping, making the most of the US-style malls and cheap prices- £29 Levi jeans- yes please! My friend’s lovely family made us feel most welcome in their gorgeous home and we instantly clicked with their family and friends out there.
Indian food traditionally from Kerala- all of this delicious food for only £2.30 each!
Entrance to an interesting Hindu temple in Bangalore
After a week in the warm South, we flew to (a very hot!) New Delhi for our tour of the ‘Golden triangle’. We took a day trip to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal which was a wonderful experience. It is difficult to comprehend the grandeur of this amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site, which took Shah Jahan 10 years to build by for his dying wife. On the day that we visited the Taj, the weather was scorching and reached 45°C!
Views of the Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal, with the famous ‘Diana bench’ in the foreground
The following day we visited New Delhi and saw some brilliant sights, including the Jama Masjid, Sikh Gurudwara Bala Sahib, Qutb Minar, Lotus temple and the tomb of Mahatma Gandhi. We even had the opportunity to take rickshaws into the spice markets and purchase spices to bring home. The food was always so tasty that I wanted to bring back anything that I could- my 4 mangos survived my flight home and were so worth it 🙂
After New Delhi, we took the train to Jaipur and spent three days touring this historic, cultural city. We loved the City palace, Amber Fort and palace, and the views of the Floating palace. We even took an elephant ride up to the Amber Fort, and one evening experienced a local Indian dinner served on banana leaves on the floor!
Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque
Qutb Minar in New Delhi
The Lotus Temple in New Delhi
The awesome Sikh gurdwara
Inside Jaipur’s Amber Fort
Following this, we flew back to Bangalore for a day of relaxation before taking a trip to the seaside city of Goa with some friends. We spend a few days lounging by the pool, splashing around on the beach and visiting the local town of Margao. It was interesting to see the Portuguese influence of Vasco da Gama on this beautiful Indian coastline.
Cavelossim beach, South Goa
The main square in Margao
Unfortunately, we were nearing the end of our trip. We definitely did not wish to say goodbye to our kind host family, lovely friends, eye-opening country nor our best friends. However, all good things must come to an end, and I know that it won’t be our last holiday together nor our last trip to this amazing country!