Our daughter’s wedding celebration began in October 2019 in the beautiful town of Monterey, California. However, that was only the beginning, the celebration was to continue at a reception for our son-in-law’s extended family and friends in Delhi!
Of course, a trip to India was more than a one-day event, so a nine-day adventure was planned in and around the Indian capital. The sights and sounds were incredible at every turn…here are some of my favorite memories.
- Red Fort – This historic fort was the home of Mughal Emperors and was reconstructed in the mid-1600s when Shah Jahan moved the capital from Agra to Delhi. As the name implies, 1.5 miles of massive red sandstone walls guard the complex of pavilions, apartments, and gardens. The Red Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Raj Ghat – Located near the Red Fort, the Raj Ghat is a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, built on his cremation site. The black marble structure is the centerpiece of the peaceful, solemn grounds that includes engraved headstones of his many words of peace and wisdom.
- Taj Mahal – Of course, no trip to India would be complete without visiting one of the world’s most recognizable structures! Located in Agra, Emperor Shah Jahan built this as the tomb of his favorite wife. The visit was made even more special as we were there during sunset – I definitely suggest you go at that time for the beauty and smaller crowds. Fun Fact: Did you know that there are two spectacular structures on either side of the Taj Mahal? One is a mosque and an identical building on the other was built primarily to maintain visual symmetry.
- Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple – This temple is the central focus of a large campus that presents the spiritual-cultural history of Hinduism. When you enter the grounds, you are overwhelmed at the size of the temple, one of the world’s largest. I was most struck by the intricate carvings of the building and surrounding life-size elephant sculptures – all 148 of them. You might be surprised to learn this temple was built in only five years and opened in 2005.
- Chand Baori Stepwell – A hidden gem off the beaten tourist path between Agra and Jaipur, this is one of the best-preserved examples of wells that were built between the 8th and 9th centuries. It has 3,500 steep, narrow steps that go down 65 feet, but to really appreciate the engineering, just look at the picture!
- Chandra Mahal – This palace in Jaipur, known as the Pink City, still serves as the residence of the Maharaja – descendants of the Royal family. Tours of the public areas include beautifully tiled doorways, royal sitting rooms, and an armory of historical weaponry. Afterward, stop for drinks at a rooftop café overlooking another magnificent palace, the Hawa Mahal, and Jaipur’s surrounding hills. What a memorable Christmas Day!
And you have to experience the tastes of India. So many great restaurants, it’s hard to remember them all.
- Saravana Bhavan – Yes, it’s a chain, but this restaurant featuring South Indian vegetarian fare is a great place for friends to share so many different options. And you don’t have to travel to India to sample the menu as they have locations in over 20 countries, including the U.S.
- Yeti, The Himalayan Kitchen – If you’re looking for a change, definitely try Yeti. A three-story climb up the stairs and you feel like you’re in the Himalayas. Try a curry dish but with a Nepalese twist, which offered goat, fish, buff, and my favorite, mutton.
- Indian Accent – For a once in a lifetime dining experience, go to Indian Accent. Located in the Lodhi Hotel, we went to experience the Chef’s Tasting Menu. Offering Vegetarian and Non-Veg options in a serene setting of glass walls and reflecting pools, this multi-course meal was one of the highlights of the trip.
I believe this trip reflects the international DNA found in all of the GA Telesis family and hope this inspires you to consider a visit of your own! There were so many more places we visited and would be happy to share with you.