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Posted by Cayla Capri
India The Spice Of Life
India the spice of life cover full
India is a mythical expanse surrounded by the Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean, and Arabian Sea. Gods and goddesses are said to rule the peaks of the hovering Himalayan range, while past Upanishadic sages philosophized deep in the heart of its forests. Bathing ghats, deltas, and teeming rivers abound – nourishing the land, hearts and minds of its people. As you and your sweetheart immerse yourself in its culture, prepare to experience a world of wonder like no other.
the romance
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The city of Agra is no stranger to worldly wonders or the wanton ways of the star-crossed. Enter the Taj Mahal - a serendipitous palace flaunting captivating flora and glinting pools of aqua. Constructed by the 17th century emperor, Shah Jahan, the Taj Mahal stands as a symbol of love for his departed empress.
Come back down from the clouds, and head over to the Adlabs multiplex for the ultimate, multi-sensory media experience. The world’s first interactive theatre incorporates cinematic viewing with such effervescent effects as the scent of ocean and the caress of real wind. Remember to steal a kiss when you can.
Sleep the day away suite-style on a cardamom or coffee estate in the mountainous region of Kodagu, or watch the sun dip below the valley from the look-out of Raja’s Seat.
Steal away to where the ancient sandstone city of Jaisalmer rises up out of the Rajasthan desert. Picnic with peach chutney and papadams on its sweeping, golden dunes.
the scenery
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The country comprised of a manifold of regions. The Golden Triangle of India includes the cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur - all easily accessible either by car or train. Delhi, India’s city capital, is a harbinger of both the historic and the contemp.’ Here, deeply-rooted Old Delhi meets fast-advancing New Delhi. Winsome, winding streets are lined with grand mosques and glistening monuments, while further along boasts art galleries, manicured gardens, and curious, little shops.
the adventure
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Go off-the-rails with a visit to Goa. This beachscape offers a plethora of wet’n’wild water sports such as windsurfing, scuba diving, and jet skiing. Come sundown, let loose with a Goan dance party – a scintillating shindig pulsing with dance-trance beats and spicy seafood fare.
Storm the gates of the Rajasthani Amber Fort on the back of an oh-so memorable elephant. Once you’ve watered down your trusty pachyderm, venture inside to view such stunning rooms as the ornate Hall of Mirrors. Dare your way into Humayan’s Tomb, while the Qutub Complex - seeped in a history of viceroys, generals, and overthrown kings - is not to be missed.
the secrets
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The Ganges River is considered a sacred channel while the city of Varansi one of the holiest of cities. Sail down the river where you can observe first-hand rituals taking place along its shores, and wholly experience the sanctimony of such a fascinating atmosphere.
Rent a fully furnished houseboat (equipped with your very own captain and personal chef - ahoy!), and park amidst the waters of Kerala for some serious, subtropical seclusion. After you’ve both been wined and dined, gather your sea-legs and head onto shore, where you can cool off with an outdoor rain shower or delve into a steamy acre of mangrove trees.
the attractions
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Don’t deny yourself a visit to the delightful Jaipur (or the ‘Pink City’) - where there’s no need for rose-colored glasses because everything already is! Wander its cheery streets, filled with artisans and market wares, then meander up its soft hilltops for a camera-like pan of the world below.
Stop at Orchha where you’ll find painted murals in the style of the Bundela school. Peruse the grounds of Saheliyon ki Bari, or The Garden of the Royal Ladies – a summer palace once home to 48 young maidens. Any tigress should check out the Khajuraho Temples, located in Madhya Pradesh, where the sculptures get physical in world-renowned, sensualist shapes.
The World Heritage Site, Red Fort, is an unmistakable landmark, with its expansive walls and turrets of red sandstone. Make sure to take in the available sound and lightshow, highlighting the rich history of India through the ages.
before you go
What to Expect
Spring: March to May are very hot (30-40°C/86-104°F and above) – this is the best season to avoid.
Summer: June to August are humid and rainy seasons.
Fall: September to November are mild and sometimes rainy.
Winter: December to February are cooler (around 20°C/68°F) and the weather is very pleasant
Light clothing. Women should dress somewhat modestly (avoid revealing too much skin). Bring a raincoat.
Indian Rupee
The Lingo
Hindi, English
A valid passport and an Indian tourist visa. The visa must be applied for in advance – contact your local Indian embassy for visa forms.
Local Delicacies
Samosa: a triangular pastry filled with vegetables.
Tandoori chicken: roasted chicken marinated in yogurt and seasoned with spices.
India the spice of life collage