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India Round Up

cover - 3 months in india

From tropical beaches, magnificent mountains and desert landscapes, to posh metropolitan cities and spiritual temples – India has it all. 

 

I was lucky enough to travel through India for three months last year and fell in love! How do I even begin to describe such a special place?

 

It has this mysterious and enticingly exotic charm to it. It’s bold and chaotic, marching to the beat of it’s own drum. It is diverse, culturally rich and spiritually awakened. The vibrant sights and sounds captivate and overwhelm the senses – It can be infatuating and infuriating all at the same time. It’s the kind of place that will test your patience and your character; it will open your eyes and challenge your beliefs; it’s a place where comfort zones dissipate and life lessons are unveiled…and to top it off, just when you think you’ve begun to figure it out, India will blow your mind all over again.

 

I really could not have imagined a more fulfilling experience, which is why I want to share it with you! I will work to write more in depth articles on each destination, but for now here is a round up of my 3 month journey through India.

 

3 Months in India:

 

 

Neyarr Dam, Kerala

Neyarr Dam is a small rural village approx. 30km outside of the larger city centre Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram), were I began my journey. From there I set off in search of Neyarr Dam’s serene ‘Sivananda Yoga Ashram’ founded in 1959 by Swami Vishnudevananda. Located on the waters of the Neyarr river, the ashram is as peaceful as it gets, where your days will be filled with meditation and yoga practice.

 

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View of Neyarr River on our meditation walk

 

Varkala, Kerala

Varkala is a tiny, touristy beach town on the Western coast of India. Atop the cliffs you will find various shops, cafes and restaurants overlooking this beautiful beach, perfect for a few days of rest and relaxation.

 

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Varkala Beach

 

Kochi, Kerala

Kochi (Cochin) is a port town off the West coast of India, known for its rich history of trading on its shores. As such, Kochi is known for its spices. Take advantage of this and learn how to cook traditional Indian cuisine.

 

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ingredients for the cooking class

 

Munnar, Kerala

Munnar is home to Kerala’s lush green tea plantations. Discover how tea and cardamom are grown while taking in the picture-perfect scenery.

 

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Munnar’s tea plantations

 

Mysore

Explore the vibrant markets and busy streets of Mysore – the sights and sounds will be sure to wow you!

 

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Hampi

The architecture and geographic landscapes in Hampi are incredibly beautiful and intriguing. Take a tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites to learn about Hampi’s past and present gems.

 

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The stone chariot in the Vittala Temple (Hampi)

 

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Zanana Enclosure (Hampi)

Mumbai, Maharashtra

With roughly 12 million people, Mumbai (formerly Bombay) stands out as the cosmopolitan jewel of India, offering a diverse range of cultures, religions, and cuisines. Its posh restaurants, shopping malls and nightlife are sure to provide tons to keep you occupied during your stay.

 

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Taj Palace in Mumbai

 

Udaipur, Rajasthan

Udaipur is an exquisite lakeside town in the state of Rajasthan, boasting dreamy sunsets, an eloquent palace on the water and romantic outdoor restaurants.

 

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Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

Take a camel-back, camping trip through these dunes in the Thar desert – it’s one of the most incredible experiences I have had! Sleeping out in the open under the stars, you can feel the immense silence and darkness envelop you and calm your senses. The sky is so clear, you may just see out into the galaxy!

 

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Thar desert

 

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my camel friend in the desert

 

Jaipur, Rajasthan

 

With palaces and old-world kingdom walls, the history and architecture in Jaipur is not to be missed! Not to mention the famous Lassiwala shop!

 

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Amber Fort

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Hawa Mahal (Windy Palace)

 

Agra, Uttar Pradesh

 

The world famous Taj Mahal is sheltered within Agra’s city limits – the ivory white mausoleum is quintessential to any trip to India!

 

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Taj Mahal

 

Delhi, 

 

India’s capital city has much to see and do! For world class food, historic sites, theatre, shopping and culture – look no further!

 

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Humayun’s Tomb

 

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Terrific thali in Delhi

 

Manali, Himachal Pradesh

Manali is known for its laid back mountain vibes, positioning itself as a perfect base to explore the himalayan mountains. Take a time out from the hustle and bustle of Indian cities, and find a trekking group to set out in the heavenly himalayas.

 

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The heavenly himalayas

 

Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh

On the edge of the Himalayan mountains, this city is home to the Dalai Lama’s temple and a rich Tibetan culture. Learn about the Tibetan government-in-exile, partake in some meditation courses at the Tushita Tibetan Buddhist centre or get some fresh mountain air in the himalayan foothills.

 

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Houses in the hills in Dharamshala

 

Amritsar, Punjab

Best known for its treasured Golden Temple, pilgrims come from across the world to to bathe in its sacred waters, which are said to be blessed. In the temple complex, you can literally feel the positive vibrations as hundreds of people simultaneously pray and chant to pay homage to the Sikh holy book.

 

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The Gorgeous Golden Temple

 

 

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The Pink Backpack is young and still growing, so if you enjoyed this article feel free to comment below or share it  –  sharing is caring 😉

 

 

Xo

 

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up next - eating like a local

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thepinkbackpack.com said:
Hi Abhimanyu, Thanks for stopping by and for the super compliment. I am so happy you enjoy reading my content :) I will be sure to stop by your blog too.
February 23, 2017 at 5:14 am
Abhimanyu said:
Hey Steph, I have been reading through your lovely blog and just realized its been 1.5 hours. You are an inspiration to travel solo. The pictures are amazing and i look forward to more stories I also have a blog yatripandit.com . do check out whenever you have time
February 23, 2017 at 1:22 am
thepinkbackpack.com said:
I did travel by myself and it was one of the most amazing experiences! I knew a few places that I wanted to go, but also wanted to be open to opportunity, so I only made a loose plan of starting in the south and traveling north. I stayed in a few hotels, but mostly guest houses or with hosts via couch surfing!
June 28, 2016 at 7:42 pm
Sanjay said:
Wow this is awesome! did you go by yourself? How did you think of the places to go? Did you stay in hotels, hostels or with friends?
June 25, 2016 at 4:17 am
thepinkbackpack.com said:
Hi Lauren, So nice to hear from you! I definitely fell in love with India while I was there - Munnar was just so serene and beautiful and the Golden Temple was one of the most spiritual places I've been to for sure! I did visit Mumbai, but not long enough to do the place justice. I hope to write more specifics about my adventures soon!! :) - Steph
June 23, 2016 at 1:43 pm
thepinkbackpack.com said:
I was hoping to highlight the diversity of India with my photos, as well as its sheer beauty which is often not properly portrayed to the West! I'm glad you feel that I grasped its essence because I definitely felt connected to it while I was there! - Steph
June 23, 2016 at 1:41 pm
Satish said:
Your photos of India illuminate a side of India that few get to experience. You covered a lot of territory in so short a time, yet you seem to have grasped exactly what India is all about. A country made up of many nations and many cultures all trying to exist in this modern time while honouring and adhering to tradition.
June 22, 2016 at 10:43 pm
LAUREN @ LAURENSOMEWHERE.COM said:
Hey lovely lady! I am so happy that you had a fabulous time in India. It looks like we've both visited the same places. Seeing your photos makes me squeal with job! Wasn't Munnar just a fresh of breath air from the sweltering heat? Isn't the Golden Temple the most beautiful, awe-inspiring place? Delhi is my faaaavorite <3 Did you happen to visit Mumbai? I fell in love with that city too. Ahh there's just too much to type! Can't wait to hear more soon about your India adventures :) www.laurensomewhere.com
June 21, 2016 at 9:41 pm