Last November, my sister and I travelled to India on our first two week solo sibling trip. We went primarily for my final wedding dress fitting (they’re being custom made in New Delhi) but in between the fitting and completion of the dresses, we decided to travel around an area we’d never been to before: the central/southern part of India. We’d previously travelled to Calcutta and extensively road tripped around Rajasthan with our family, so it was time to explore somewhere new.
Our first stop after New Delhi was Mumbai, where we completely fell in love with the city. We explored bazaars, museums and the incredible Elephanta Caves, as well as indulging in some shopping during our free time.
From Mumbai we flew to Hyderabad and were welcomed like queens to our hotel, Falaknuma Palace, complete with horse drawn carriage, rose petals and trays of sweet treats. Hyderabad was a whirlwind of Nizams palaces, forts and tombs and we left to Bangalore having learned so much about the local traditions.
Bangalore brought with it road trips to Belur and Halebid where we saw some of the most beautiful and intricately carved stone temples, as well as Shravanabelagola, which is a place of pilgrimage for Jains. While based in Bangalore, we also drove to Mysore to see the gorgeous palace in the centre of the city as well as Chamundi Hills, where we marvelled at a huge sculpture of Nandi the Bull, who is Lord Shiva’s vehicle.
From Bangalore, we flew to Hubli and drove to the archaeological site of Hampi, where we were free to roam around the temples and palaces, imagining them in all their former glory, among the rocky, boulder-filled landscape.
We stayed in Hampi only a day before driving eight hours to Goa, where we had planned absolutely nothing but relaxing and recharging. That’s exactly what we did, from browsing the stalls at Anjuna market, to lying on the beach and gorging on fresh seafood every day. Goa provided a much needed rest before our return to New Delhi and the final fitting of my wedding dresses, and ultimately, our return home to London.
Overall we had a truly magical time, not just because of the places we saw but also because it was a unique trip that I was able to share with my sister, and the memories we’ve made will last our entire life.