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India is one of the most misunderstood countries in the world in my opinion.
When I had booked my trip over a year ago, I had mixed reactions from friends, family and coworkers ranging from positive to downright negative. Rather than listening to people warn me about a place that they’ve never even been to, I wanted to experience India firsthand, so I can gather my own opinion about this eclectic country. From the moment I touched down in the Jaipur airport, I was greeted with smiles and kindness and reaffirmed my decision to visit was the right one.
India is a huge country that is home to a sixth of the entire world’s population. To put it into perspective for you, one country with over a billion people. Yes, it was going to be chaotic, horns blasting all throughout the day and night, cows on the road, the smell of masala chai wafting through the air with the odour of trash in the cities, but you know what? I still wanted to go and immerse myself into the culture, see what it is all about and come home with positive vibes towards India…and I did.
During my two weeks in India, I explored the Pink City of Jaipur and fell in love with the intricate architecture and numerous doorways that were adorned with so much detail that I couldn’t even process how it was all hand painted over the years. I got to taste the most delicious Indian food that I’ve ever had and experience a level of hospitality from the locals unlike any other that I’ve received abroad. In Rishikesh, I fell in love with the Himalayan Mountains, a mountain range that I thought I’d never get to in my life. The foothills of the Himalayas was lush, green and the most relaxing part of my journey. The laid back aura that surrounded Rishikesh and seeing the Ganga River made me want to return in the near future and even venture further north into the mountains. Throwing myself into the streets of New and Old Delhi was mind blowing and put all of my senses into overdrive. We rode rickshaws through the tiny streets of Old Delhi as the scent of spices filled my nose and throat, causing me to go into sneezing and coughing fits. One of the highlights for me though, as with many visitors to India, was definitely seeing the Taj Mahal with my own eyes and just standing in its presence absolutely left me gobsmacked that this man made Wonder of The World was all handmade, with no machines and was so symmetrically perfect that even if you looked for a mistake, you couldn’t find one.
Not only did travelling to India open my eyes to a level of beauty that many people don’t get to see, or refuse to be acknowledged by many, India humbled me in a way I can’t even put into words. I could write about how I felt sorry and sadness for the extreme poor on the streets living in absolute squalor, or how I loved the views of the mountains in the Himalayas and tasted the food that would make my mouth water as I type this post out, but one can never truly express how a place affects them within their travels to people that have yet been there, or refuse to visit.
You’ll never know unless you go, so just GO!
India is a land that seems so far away, yet when you visit, the people make you feel right at home. With that being said, here are 25 photos that will inspire you to book a trip to India.
As hard as it was to only choose 25 photos in hopes to inspire you to visit India, I hope that these photos help you put aside the misconstrued perceptions about this beautiful country and add it to your list of places to visit. xo
I travelled to India with Vivid Life Journeys in partnership with Toerboer based in South Africa and Ashoka Holidays based in Jaipur, India.