It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to travel to India with your Indian friends to be a part of a traditional Indian wedding. When Amit and PJ jokingly said over dinner that we should come, at first we laughed and said “that would be unreal” and then we though more after they said the offer was there. How could we not!
In reflection of this trip, this experience was an opportunity of a lifetime, travelling to India with our friends for 2 weeks of celebrations for a traditional Indian Wedding, their cousins wedding.
Our first stop was Mumbai - Staying in a lovely 5 star hotel and venturing out to explore the streets, to do some shopping for traditional clothing and try some of their famous food.
We then flew to their hometown of Goa - We stayed mostly in Magao with our friends family and each day when we didn't have wedding events, they organised a driver for us! We travelled through North and South Goa, exploring their beaches and most renowned attractions and of course ate at some incredible traditional indian shacks and restaurants.
While in Goa, we got to be part of the wedding events of PJ and Amit's family. Including the Sangeet Dance event, ladies Henna day, traditional male and female religious functions, the wedding itself and the reception. All spread over a 2 week period.
With a gap in the wedding events, my partner, Corey, and I flew to Delhi and booked a fully personalised 4 day Golden Triangle tour - Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. This opened us up to the culture and history of India and some of the unreal monuments this country has to offer.
See an insight into our travels below, explaining some of the wedding events and traditions, some of the memories, food and the indian lifestyle captured on the trip. Each section details where it is in India and some explain the meaning behind the images. I hope you enjoy this visual journey as much as I loved taking it!
During our time in India we were based in Goa with our friends families. We spent some time in South Goa in Margao, exploring the beaches and attractions, markets and shops of this area and then to North Goa to Panjim to explore the Latin area, old Goa and the shopping and monuments.
The pre-wedding dance celebratory event. This musical night is a celebration of the union of not only the couple but the bonding of both families. The families choreographed 14 dances to display on stage to the family, it was UNREAL!
Mehndi Day before the Wedding - A form of body art originating from the Indian subcontinent, in which decorative designs are created on a person's body, using a paste, created from the powdered dry leaves of the henna plant.
The Wedding is the official traditional religious function where the bride and groom’s families and friends witness the marriage of Sanju and Sohal. There are many traditional processes including the families gifting the bride/groom gold, jewellery and other gifts. The bride and groom do not see each other through these religious events until they are on stage where they are revealed to each other. Watching these moments was incredible!
To begin our 4 day Golden Triangle tour we flew from Goa to Delhi. We began the day nice and early at 7am starting at Qutub Minar with no one in site. I was blown away by this building and it’s unique structure and details. We also visited the Indian Gate, Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque), took a rickshaw through Old Delhi, visited the site of Gandhi’s ashes, the Lotus temple and some local shops of craftwork. Our driver then began the 4 hour journey to Agra, stopping at the Akshardam Temple on the way out.
Arriving at our 5 star hotel Jaypee Palace was incredible! Marble featured throughout, beautiful views over the 25 acre property, surrounded in grasslands, pools and our room featuring an unreal balcony over the views. We rested up that night ready for our 5.30am rise to catch the Taj Mahal at sunrise! Witnessing the Taj Mahal in person was incredible, especially capturing it’s beauty at sunrise. After this unreal experience we also explored the red fort, local craftsman stores and saw a lot of the major buildings in Agra. After a full morning in Agra, we hit the road with our driver to Jaipur, seeing the famous Step Well on the way there.
Jaipur was my most anticipated place to see with it’s pink city, beautiful buildings and unreal monuments. We started our morning with a great buffet breakfast at our 5 star hotel Holiday Inn Jaipur, then took on the day with a tour of the Amber fort, probably one of the most impressive buildings Corey and I have both witnessed. What used to be a palace is now a large fort that is incredible to see! We then ventured through the Pink City seeing the Palace of Winds, we visited a textiles manufacturer and saw how they created carpets and printed clothing and finished the day with a tour through the incredible Jaipur Palace. Corey and I got an Olla around the city and went for a romantic dinner at the rooftop Peacock Restaurant in the city. It was unreal! What a way to end the trip.