Happy belated new month – I hope you’re all doing well. I feel like I haven’t sat down to blog for quite some time but I’m happy to be back. I started to draft this blog post whilst I was still basking in the scorching Indian sun, so it feels strange finishing it off in a completely different continent!
Today’s post is a compilation of photos and anecdotes from our recent trip to India. My fiancé and I travelled across the world for a very special occasion – his good friends from school days got married and he had the honour of being a groomsman. The couple are very dear to us and they’ve been together for ten years *(everyone AWW)*
The wedding itself wasn’t just a ceremony, for me it was an experience to witness the beautiful mesh of cultures. Sri Lankan culture from the groom, Indian culture from the bride, combined with their mutual British traditions. The wedding festivities were spread across two wonderful days in the renowned Leela Palace hotel, Udaipur, Rajasthan. We concluded our trip to India by touring some of the country’s most popular sights including the great Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Raj Ghat: Gandhi’s memorial and more.
So grab a snack and maybe a warm drink, this shall be a long one but hopefully you enjoy the visuals!
#FirstOfAll… I was so shocked when we stepped outside of the airport in Delhi. I’m home?! The atmosphere instantly reminded me of being back home in Lagos, Nigeria. Seriously the resemblance is crazy. The hustle and bustle of a highly populated area, the noise of car horns beeping and beeping, the fearlessness of native pedestrians crossing the busy roads, vendors selling everything everywhere, cars weaving through heavy traffic… Even the modes of transport are similar – in India, the yellow rickshaw pictured above, aka the “tuk tuk” is known as a “keke” or “maruwa” in Nigeria and it’s a really common way to get around.
Lots of people have asked me what did you eat in India?! and I’m so sorry to be basic and disappoint, but we did eat a lot of fast food. I did however eat much more Indian food especially at the wedding which we’ll see later. But on our first day in India after 9 hours on a plane, we demolished TGI Fridays and it was fantastic. 😂 😬🍔🍟🍴
Most of that first night in Delhi was spent hunting for an outfit for me to wear to the wedding. I picked this lovely peach and gold embroidered salwar kameez! When in Rome…
We took a plane from Delhi to Udaipur for the wedding. And then the most scenic boat ride to get to the actual wedding venue – the Leela Palace on Lake Pichola (pictured above). Just look at the view; they don’t call Udaipur the City of Lakes for nothing! I get pretty sea sick btw, so that smile was definitely through gritted teeth 😭
Food! I grew to really enjoy paneer cheese (although I initially mistook it for chicken), Indian chilli chicken and good old naan bread whilst we were in Udaipur for the wedding. I wish I remembered to take way more foodie photos, but I was living in the moment for once I guess. Sorry 😭
I also got henna done on my hand for the first time – loved it! At first it didn’t really show up on my skin tone, but as more time passed the markings got darker and I really liked how it turned out.
It felt like the wedding went by so quickly but it was incredible, unforgettable and magical all in one. We danced until 6am! 💃🏽
May God continue to bless Jayan and Leela and may their marriage be fruitful and last forever, Amen! ❤️
With the wedding completed successfully, our next venture was to explore. We took a plane back to Delhi and began our tour the following morning ✈️🇮🇳
That evening when we arrived back in Delhi, we were somewhat suckered into this Indo-Chinese style restaurant by an eager waiter. It ended up being a good choice, all the varieties of chicken were so tasty. Pictured above (top to bottom) is sweet and sour chicken, chicken in mixed vegetables and satay chicken.
And here is my first authentic curry in India: I ordered “chicken curry” thinking this meal surely encompasses rice… alas, it arrived riceless. Apparently one must specify these things as a side order 😂, anyways I’d give it 7/10 for taste. The marinade was very nice, almost sweet tasting. What it lacked in spiciness it compensated for in flavour.
Let the sightseeing begin:
We started our tour off by learning about the history of Old and New Delhi. This guy tried (and failed) to sell us a beautiful hand-knotted silk Kashmir rug… for £500 😅. Did you know Kashmir rugs can take as long as 6 months to complete?!
It was at Gandhi’s memorial (Raj Ghat) in Delhi that I really appreciated how hard people work to preserve these key buildings and monuments. Pictured above is a man gardening in Raj Ghat, in 35+ degrees heat.
Pictured below is the Jama Masjid of Delhi, one of the largest mosques in India which holds a total of 25,000 people:
The drive from Delhi to Agra took four long hours but we made it. We visited Agra Fort, the lesser known “sister monument” of the Taj Mahal in northern India. Agra Fort was built by the Mughal emperor Akbar originally as a military base. The fort was the site of a battle during the 1857 Indian rebellion (which resulted in the end of the British East India Company’s rule over India and led to the direct rule over India by Britain).
Nowadays Agra Fort is also appreciated for its architectural beauty as well as historical significance. Whilst he was in power, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (the guy that built the Taj Mahal in memory of his favourite wife) added to the fort, notable buildings made from white marble.
We also visited a shop where we learned that the descendants of the original builders of the Taj Mahal still hand-make authentic marble ornaments for sale such as photo frames, plates, tables etc. It’s a bit of a hustle/tourist trap but after a bit of haggling I got a cute mini Taj Mahal that glows in the dark haha.
I can confirm that the Taj Mahal looks even more grand in reality than it does on television! Visiting the Taj Mahal was such an experience, there is so much detail and precision that has gone into its design that we don’t even realise. For example, those columns you see on the end are intentionally slanted so that they will fall outwards if ever there is an earthquake and potentially preserve the main building.
Overall our time in India was brilliant. What a richly colourful, charming, country with a story to tell. I learned so much and I appreciate more now why people love travelling/seeing this world that God created.
Hope you enjoyed this snapshot of my trip 😉 Let me know whether you’ve been abroad for a wedding before or where you’d like to travel to next in the comments down below 👇🏾
God bless you!
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. — Proverbs 31:10-11
Christmas is coming and it’s never too early to start thinking about gifts. If you’re interested in high quality personalised t-shirts, make sure you check out Printsome! Printsome offers next day t-shirt printing as well as hoodies, jumpers, tops, bags, accessories and much more. Check them out here.