I love to travel to incredible destinations and scout new locations for my wellness retreats and India is a place that I hold close to my heart. India is also known as a magical place that helps to deepen your spiritual connection, awaken to new levels of awareness, and lift your vibration.
The combination of beautiful landscapes, sacred places, history, culture, myths, and a sense of unity with God is truly mystical. The people in India are extremely friendly and very welcoming. They treat their guests with the utmost respect and excitement.
Once you get past the hustle and bustle and the constant honking, you will see India through different eyes. During my trips there I experienced great hospitality, incredible food, and learned a lot about their culture.
I have been blessed with the opportunity to visit 5 spectacular places in India and I feel that everyone should visit one or all of these places at least once in their lifetime.
Here are my top 5 places to visit in India:
- Taj Mahal in Agra: The Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders of the world. It’s a monument that represents the immense love followed by the grief the Emperor Shah Jahan had for his late wife. It took between 20 to 22 years to build, about 1000 elephants and 20,000 workers to build it. It’s truly breathtaking. The perfectly chosen white marble decorated with gemstones inlays that create beautiful flowers and ornate designs, and the intricate carvings and decorations make the Taj Mahal a work of art.
Please note: The Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays. If you would like to take the popular pictures in front of the Taj Mahal, make sure to arrive extra early to avoid the large crowds.
- The Red Fort in Agra – After exploring the Taj Mahal a visit to the Red Fort is a must. The Red Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s the emperor’s home a massive structure made of sandstone. Our guide told us that Emperor Shah spent his later years as a prisoner of his son who deemed him unfit to rule. Emperor Shah’s room overlooked the Taj Mahal so he could be reminded of his late wife.
- The Lotus Temple in Dehli is an architectural beauty. This temple has won multiple awards and it’s inspired by the Lotus flower. It is formed by 27 free standing marble slabs to give it the beautiful shape. This Temple welcomes everyone from all religions to walk the well-manicured gardens. Once you are inside the temple you welcomed by a sense of peace that begins to seep into every part of your body, mind, and soul.
Please note: It is important to keep in mind that when visiting any temples in India is recommended that you bring a shawl to cover your shoulders when wearing sleeveless tops or dresses.
- Rishikesh is known as the yoga capital of the world. It is revered as a highly spiritual place and thousands of people go there as part of their spiritual pilgrimage. I highly recommend experiencing the Ganga Aarti ceremony in the evening in front of the magnificent Lord Shiva white giant statue. Also meditating by the Ganga River each morning was one of the highlights of our trip.
Rishikesh offers a variety of activities like water rafting and trekking. You can visit numerous temples, caves and go shipping for incredible fabrics, spices, prayer beads, and resins.Please note: Avoid visiting Rishikesh during the International Yoga Festival around March. It gets extremely crowded.
- Kerala is known for its beautiful beaches. The energy here is different from what you find in Delhi, Agra, and Rishikesh. Kerala has beautiful beaches and small resorts where you can experience Ayurvedic treatments, meals, and great specialized massages. This is a great option if you are looking to unplug, relax, and restore your mind, body, and soul.
Kerala also has beautiful temples and if you are lucky enough you can go into the Kalaripayattu schools and watch this incredibly powerful ancient martial art be practiced.The best time to go to Kerala is between the months of September to March.
‘Mother Ganga’ – The Ganges, begins at the foot of the Himalayan mountains at Rishikesh and gives life to India. A place of being born.
Things to keep in mind when traveling India:
- Only drink bottled water
- Use bottled water to brush your teeth
- Avoid eating salads
- Bring a shawl to cover your shoulders
- Only eat at places that the hotel or travel guide can recommend that are safe for tourists
- Be prepared to get sensory overloaded with the constant honking, the people, and different smells
- You will share the road with cows and monkeys, motorcycles, cars, buses, and rickshas
- You will see entire families traveling in one motorcycle so don’t be alarmed
- Tips are extremely important and many locals depend on tips
- You have to remove your shoes to enter temples and people’s home
- Incredible hospitality
- Don’t overpack. You can have your clothes washed at an incredibly low price
- You can get custom clothes made and tailored at really inexpensive prices.
Relax and renew your mind body and spirit as you immerse in the healing energy of India.
Are you ready for an experience of a lifetime?
Join me on my next retreat to India in October 2020. During the retreat, you will explore amazing sites, experience the culture and cuisine, and have downtime to relax, renew and connect with Spirit.