30th April 2019
The food in India is incredible, don’t be scared! You’ll be in good hands with our team on the ground and they know all the best culinary hotspots where only the very best and freshest food is served.
In Mumbai, I was treated to an incredible street food tour one evening where I was taken to a variety of food stalls that were packed with Mumbaikers enjoying some downtime after a hard day’s work.
From the famed Iranian cafes where you can enjoy sweet snacks and a cup of chai, to the popular Chowpatty Beach where family and friends come together to enjoy delicious dishes such as pani puri, vada pav and papdi chaat. I sampled over eight different dishes that evening and can say hands down it was the culinary highlight of the trip.
Without a doubt, the property that really stood out on my trip was RAAS Jodhpur.
Housed in a beautiful 150-year-old haveli, this stunning renovation lies in the heart of Jodhpur’s old city just metres away from Clock Tower Market. The spacious alfresco terraces and courtyard are a welcome escape from the busy streets of the blue city, and you’re treated to incredible views of the Mehrangarh Fort which is perched high on the hill above the city.
Another huge plus of this property is its no-plastic policy and they provide purified water for all guests. See here for more info on our Water Policy and #noplasticcampaign.
There’s no question that witnessing the sunrise over the Taj Mahal is an incredible sight, but for those looking to really escape the crowds, I’m pretty sure I found the best view in Agra - a hidden gem set back from the banks of the Yamuna River.
Perfect for sunrise or sunset, here you can just sit back and take in the stunning views and watch as the Taj Mahal changes from white to pink to blue. And not another soul in sight.
A huge focus of my trip was to look for more unique experiences that really delve deeper into India’s communities and culture, allowing us as visitors to better understand and appreciate the complexities of a country we so love and look at ways we can respectively support these communities through responsible tourism.
One of the last tours I did was in Delhi with the Salaam Baalak Trust, an NGO dedicated to providing a safer environment for street children in Delhi, as well as offering housing and educational support.
I got the chance to explore parts of New Delhi on foot with my guide Dev Raj, a former street child, who gave me an insight into his past and the lives of street children in Delhi’s backstreets, and the important part we can all play in addressing this issue.
One of my favourite experiences was exploring Mumbai at dawn, as it was filled with so many of my favourite moments.
This unique tour is a must-do for anyone visiting Mumbai, as you get to explore the underbelly of this magnificent city and gain a better insight into who and what makes it tick. From witnessing the chaotic docks at 5am as the fishermen come in after days at sea with their latest catch, to watching the newspaper sorters who distribute thousands of papers around the city in time for people’s breakfast, to seeing a young boy practicing ‘Pole Mallakhamb’ as the sun rises over Shivaji Park, every single minute brought something new and exciting.
There’s no contest – the one-off portrait of me taken by the great Tikam Chand, who owns an 1860 Carl Zeiss camera, handed down to him through the generations after it was gifted to his grandfather by the Maharaja of Jaipur. You can read more about my epic little encounter on my blog Jaipur Through a 150-Year-Old Lens.
Not having enough time to shop! Especially in Jaipur you’ll find some of the most incredible textiles, jewellery and artefacts, all so unique to India and particularly this region, and all at such an incredible price given their quality. My next trip will definitely be aimed at ‘’researching’’ more shopping experiences…
Don’t rush your trip. There are some incredible monuments and historical sites to explore in India, but don’t just skim over the highlights, there is SO much more to discover!
We’ve been working hard to develop more experiences that really allow you to connect more with the communities and traditions of each place, and by engaging in some of these activities you’re also helping to support and maintain some truly unique traditions and ways of life that might otherwise disappear. So not only are you gaining a greater insight into a fascinating culture, you’re also helping to keep that culture alive.