When you love India and want to create a travel-inspired home, it can be hard to find just the right pieces. You want a balance between travel, India and the room without being kitchsy, cheesy or cheap-looking. And while you don’t want it to be cheap-looking, not being terribly expensive is always good!
India’s Golden Triangle is made through the three points of Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, and contains some of the country’s most incredible treasures. This is a common place to visit India for the first time – you’ll find lots of tours that focus on this area. With so much to see in the Golden Triangle, it can be hard to narrow it down.
Must-See Places in Delhi
This mosque is one of the biggest in India, and in the world! It can hold up to 25,000 people for worship. There are gorgeous entrance gates, and minarets as well. It’s important to know that women will be required to cover up when entering, but they provide robes. Read more
India is commonly described as a whole different experience, even for seasoned travelers. That’s no lie, and there is a lot of stuff I wish I’d taken!
Yes, India is well known for causing stomach issues. The pollution gave me a wicked bad sinus infection. Be prepared for both, and make sure you take something for cold relief! You can even find the whole first aid kit I took on my round-the-world trip.
India is its own kind of overwhelming, and if you’re visiting thinking “I don’t really like Indian food,” think again! Indian food is incredibly diverse – a northern Indian curry is very different from south Indian cuisine. There’s something for everyone!
One important word to know is “Masala.” You’re used to it from Chicken Tikka Masala, but you’ll see it everywhere in India. Masala simply means “mix” and means that a mix of spices was used. So basically everything is masala in India! Read more
India is a whirlwind. I haven’t been to every country in the world, but I’ve been to enough that I can say it is absolutely unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.
It’s hard to know how to prepare for a trip to India! Here’s what I wish I had known before I went to India:
Be prepared for contrasts
India is a land of extremes – extreme wealth, extreme opulence, and extreme poverty. Next to the incredible marble building with gorgeous inlays that is the Taj Mahal, you can see people who are living in extreme poverty.
India is an incredible, awesome country – but it’s also incredibly different from any other. I love immersing myself in books to have a way to connect with and learn more about the countries I’m visiting or want to visit.
India has some of the best books!
My recommendations for books to read when visiting India:
This book is set in Kerala, so I highly recommend it if you’re headed to southern India. Even if you’re not, it’s still a book that deeply examines family life in India. I liked the interplay between the brothers, and the overall family dynamics. It’s also got great scenes to visualize Kerala!
Fiction Books About India
- You will be challenged unlike any other country in the world. India is a world unto itself, and I can’t say enough about how India is a whirlwind even for experienced travelers!
- Their palaces put many of Europe’s to shame. When you walk through the palaces in India, it’s stunning. The marble inlays, and the intricacies of the architecture are awe-inspiring.
One of my favorite goals that I accomplished was to see all 8 Wonders of the World before I turned 30. It was a fun adventure, and in this series I’ll walk you through what the eight wonders are, and about how to visit each one.
The Taj Mahal was always the one on my list I had the least idea how I’d do. India is so far from the US, and I knew I’d need to fly into Delhi and then get to Agra. But I’m SO glad I took the time to make it to the Taj Mahal, and to India in general!
Location: Agra, India
Nearest Major Airport: Indira Ghandi International Airport in Delhi (airport code DEL)
Overall Difficulty to Visit (ranked among wonders, 1 is the most difficult, 8 is the least difficult): 1
Why That Difficulty Rating? I believe that of the 8 wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal is the most difficult one to visit. This has to do with travel to India (it’s hard to get to!) and also travel within India. The public transit system is not especially good, and Agra is a solid 3 hours or more from Delhi. So by the time you get to the Taj Mahal, it’s quite an effort! Read more
The one country on my itinerary that scared me more than any other was India (at least to go by myself). So I decided to buy a tour from G Adventures to handle almost all of the logistics. This made India far easier than it could have been (though not without troubles) but also made it extremely expensive compared to the previous countries I went to. But then, the people that I got to go on the tour with were amazing. So everything evens out in the end!
In all, in 7 days in India, I spent $1,366.05.
How did that work out?
On our second day in Jaipur, I woke up feeling quite a bit better. My cold was still there, and still getting worse (I was still trying not to dip into my antibiotics… I planned those for Delhi Belly, not a cold!). But the headache was gone, and I had a good night’s sleep. I also knew that we had a free afternoon planned, and I planned to use it to do nothing but take a nap and relax!
In the morning, we went to the Amber Fort. It was like something out of Game of Thrones. Even by the standards of all the others we’d seen in India, this was huge and gorgeous! There were three main courtyards, and one of them had some of the most beautiful gardens I saw in India. There was also a city wall that extended for miles around the fort and palace.
The wall went up and down the hills, and I was so reminded of the Great Wall. It really was just like it! Maybe just a little less great. 🙂