India has always been on my bucket list, and although everyone thought I was mad, I knew the perfect place for me to start my travels would be there.
I realised, when planning my trip that although I wanted to experience ‘alone time’ – I didn’t want to be totally alone. So decided to use G Adventures, a company that specialises in organising tours.
Undercover India Tour
Friends and family had given me endless information on India and what I should expect to see – but in all honesty, no one can prepare you for the physical affect this country has on your body. I was completely and utterly blown away. With no exaggerating, the smells are beyond any comprehension. Good & bad, with every breath you take, your nose has a new scent up there. The markets and streets are busy and chaotic, but the colours, fabrics and food are incredible.
My trip began in Delhi, where I spent 5 days alone prior to my tour.
My first outing into the streets of Delhi were unbelievably daunting, but I took a deep breath and got stuck into it.
The new metro made it easy getting around the sprawling city in air-conditioned comfort, away from the sticky heat. However, the first trip on the metro train ride was terrifying, unfortunately I somehow ended up in a ‘male’ only carriage. I failed to realise until day two that there is a ‘ladies’ only carriage at one end of every train, clearly marked with pink signage.
Tip: The more you wear, the less they stare. By day five, I was dressed like a local and no one looked at me twice!
5 Things to see in Delhi:
Chandni Chowk Market
I’m going to give you a quick short list of the places I visited in India that have left a memorable print on my heart.
Taj Mahal: A shrine to love
This impressive mausoleum built in the mid 17th century, tells the love story of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, and has melted hearts of millions of listeners since the Taj has been visible. When Mumtaz Mahal passed away, Shah Jahan was so heartbroken that he ordered the court into mourning for two years. Then sometime after her death, Shah Jahan undertook the task of creating the most beautiful monument in memory of his beloved, which took 22 years and 22,000 workers.
When Shah Jahan died in 1666, his body was placed in a tomb next to his wife. This magnificent monument came to be known as “Taj Mahal” and now counts amongst the Seven Wonders of the World.
The long climb to Savitri Temple at 5am was a huge highlight for me in Pushkar, the sunrise was beautiful and the view of the lake is spectacular.
Lake Pichola and the Lake Palace
Udaipur is probably one of the most beautiful place I’ve visited in India. The view of the majestic Lake Nichola Hotel sitting in the centre of Lake Pichola surrounded by the Aravali Mountains is unforgeable. Udaipur has been named one of the most romantic cities in India.
When arriving in Mumbai, the craving for some comfort food was intense. Everyone recommends not eating dairy dishes in India, due to power cuts and then the dairy pasteurising. Stupidly ignoring that valuable information I decided on having spaghetti carbonara – where I ended up in a hospital from chronic food poisoning.
Tips on avoiding sickness:
- Antibacterial wipes and gel – use this after touching money and before eating food / or wash hands.
- Brush teeth with bottled water
- Take probiotics – optibac probiotics are incredible
- I recommend avoiding meat and sticking to vegetables dishes if you can
- Fish should only be eaten when you can see the sea
- Avoid dairy dishes, i.e macaroni cheese and carbonara
- Wash hands regularly
My gallery from India
India has truly touched my heart, the culture, colours, smells and faces are wonderful. This country is beautiful in every way and I can’t wait to visit there again.