It has taken me what feels like FOREVER to prep this blog post of my amazing experience I was blessed to enjoy! Truth is, India is where my vision of sharing my travel experiences and photo art came to be.
It was in this fascinating country where I realized – WOW…there is SO much to our beautiful planet that I have yet to experience! I know many people have challenges in their life that make it difficult to explore the world, or those who are simply looking for travel inspiration on where to take them to their next adventure.
I thought, well, I usually have a lot to say (I can be a bit of a chatty Cathy lol) and I love taking photos, why not put it into a travel blog to share! 🙂 And so it took me a little bit to actually get the blog up and running, not to mention I had the unfortunate event of my computer crashing – so I did loose some photos which I am still having a hard time recovering…Since our trip in March of 2017, it has been since then I have been putting together content and research to create The Wandering Lioness!
India is a country I had always wanted to visit. Always with a curiosity and fascination for Indian culture, I was often told “you have to be ready” to visit India. I didn’t fully understand that statement until the decision was actually made to go. Something inside me just said – yup, you are at a point in your life where you will benefit greatly from a travel experience like this.
My longtime friend Marina had come to visit me, and I remember asking her – “Hey, would you want to go to India?” Without hesitation she responded “YES!” We had planned the trip for a while before finally heading out in March for our three week adventure.
Honestly, we hadn’t truly planned too much in advance. We narrowed down some top places we wanted to visit (Dehli, Agra, Jaipur, Goa…) and went from there.
Our journey began in the capital of India, New Delhi. We received a recommendation from a fellow friend who had traveled recently there and hired Namaste Tours for her experience and was very pleased. So we had hired this company for our first initial leg of the trip.
Namaste Tour Company was very organized. Communication was great – Professional and efficient. They handled our airport pickup, and our hotel accommodations for majority of our trip. Along with aiding in organizing exactly which major attractions we wanted to visit. The company provided us with a private car and driver (Jagdish Laswai – or as we liked to call him J-MONEYYYY ;p) to take us around to see the sights of New Delhi. J-Money was FANTASTIC! He really went to great lengths to ensure we were safe, and well cared for. Making sure we ate at the best restaurants, took in the best sights, and was a real pleasure to spend time with for our first two weeks of our trip. He was always on time for our pickups, stocked with bottled water for us, a comfortable, clean and well maintained car. He truly wanted us to experience the BEST of his country. He was filled with a ton of knowledge and gave great recommendations on places to visit, stay and eat. We were a little family for two weeks and called ourselves Team Tiger (Find out in my later posts what that stood for ;)) Our experience with this sweet, hard working man really made our India adventure the great trip that it was.
Some of the destinations we visited in New Delhi were: Humayan’s Tomb, Qutb Minar, The India Gate and Dilli Haat.
Explore on to enjoy some of the sights we experienced in this hustling, bustling cosmopolitan city!
In the centre of New Delhi, is The India Gate. This beautiful structure stands at roughly 137 feet high, and is a memorial to 82,000 soldiers of the Indian Army who sadly lost their lives in the fight with the British army during World War I. More than 13,300 servicemen’s names, soldiers and officers from the United Kingdom, are inscribed on the gate. Surrounding the gate are some beautifully manicured gardens and water features.
Another site we explored was Humayan’s Tomb.
This is the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun. Built in 1565 AD, this beautiful complex was designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyas, a Persian architect who was chosen by Humayun’s first wife and chief consort, Empress Bega Begum. It was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, and is located in Nizamuddin East, Delhi, India.
The beautiful attraction features stunning architectures, beautiful water features and gorgeous landscaped gardens.
Ok, I NEED to talk about the FOOD!!!!! 😉 I am such a foodie. And I love food from all cultures. The food in India, was SO DAMN GOOD!!! We were obsessed, and by the end of the trip, the scent of curry was literally seeping out of our pores!
Qutub Minar is a 240 feet tall tower of five storeys. This structure really took my breath away. It built in 1193 made of red sandstone and marble. It really is mind-blowing the detail, and intricacy this structure and complex has. The Minar is surrounded by several historically significant monuments of the Qutb complex, as well as more beautiful gardens, and a few fury friends we had the pleasure of meeting 😉
Feelin’ like Beyonce 😉
Now of course, you take two trendy women and submerge us into such a stunning culture – we had to do plenty of shopping! We tried to explore any markets we could. (There are TONS) I think we had the most success at the Dilli Haat market.
Dilli Haat, INA
Is an outdoor treasure of Indian food and culture. I was on sensory overload here! This food and craft bazaar is located in Delhi, set up jointly by Delhi Tourism and NDMC, D.C. (Handicrafts) & D.C. (handlooms), Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India & Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India. The market is on 6 acres of land which was reclaimed and transformed into an outdoor plaza. Some shops are a permanent showcase, while others rotate usually for 2 weeks.
Here, you can find remarkable fabrics and drapery, rich spices, traditional indian wear and striking jewellery, rosewood and sandalwood carvings, yummy incense, brassware and metal crafts and so much more! I picked up a ton of goodies from this marketplace and also took in a local music and dance show. Items are very reasonably priced, (with some gentle bargaining 😉 )
Dilli Haat is open from 10:30am – 10:00pm, seven days a week. The entrance fee for Indian Nationals is Rs. 30 for adults, Rs. 10 for children. Foreigners are charged Rs. 100
And that is just PART of Delhi that I had to share…there is so much more of the city! Honestly, I had a love/hate relationship. I loved the food, the clothing and accessories, most of the amazing locals, the gorgeous sights. However, by the end of the trip the “local paparazzi” got to be a bit much. They can be invasive in some ways, and can take away from your experience in the sightseeing. The poverty and garbage was also a lot to take in. But, there is beauty in everything. And I truly tried to focus on all the positives this city had to offer.
I can’t wait to share more of this incredible trip with you!
The Wandering Lioness
Our accommodations were with The Florence Group hotels (Hotel Florence, and Florence Inn).