India

A traditional wedding for two great friends brought us to India for a once-in-a-lifetime trip in November.

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Jai Mahal Palace – the hotel we stayed at in Jaipur!

Rich with culture, history and food, the wedding week was one incredible event after another. Our first night, we enjoyed cocktails and music from local musicians at the top of a nearby hotel. So many good friends were able to make the trip together and we were thrilled to have some quality time with those usually so far away. During the day we visited nearby Bapu Bazaar to pick up traditional wedding clothes and bangles. On the way back we had one crazy ride in a rickshaw!

At the bride’s Mehndi, all the girls got intricate henna designs on their hands and then were coaxed into some traditional dancing by the colorful bangled dancers. The bride arrived on a gilded throne while music played and guests danced along the procession. At Sangeet night, the couple was honored with choreographed dances by family and friends. Our group cheered on RL and enjoyed the delicious food. The party really got going when they started passing around a bottle for shots with a GoPro on top!

The wedding ceremony was truly magical and full of color. Highlights included the groom’s entrance on an elephant and groomsmen on camels, wearing our fun traditional outfits and seeing the bride & bridesmaids beautiful outfits. After the wedding ceremony, there was an even more spectacular wedding reception at night on the lawn. Full of flowers, lights and a special bride & groom dance, we loved every minute!

After the wedding, we boarded a bus with other friends of the bride & groom and started touring India. Perched high on a hill overlooking a lake, Amer Fort was our first stop. We had to take little jeeps from the main road since the hill was too steep for our bus. After our driver skillfully dodged a handful of street-crossing monkeys, we made it to the fort.  The palace built of red sandstone and marble was stunning inside and out and full of crafty monkeys looking for some handouts. Although Corey’s quickly on-setting travel sickness almost caused her to faint into the gardens, we we were still able to admire the incredible sterling silver wall.

The next day we woke up before dawn to see the sun rise over the stunning Taj Mahal in Agra. Breathtaking to first behold and impossibly huge and beautiful, it exceeded our expectations as one of the wonders of the world. However, it got crowded very quickly and Corey fruitlessly tried to get ‘the’ Diana picture sitting on a bench with no luck.

 

With Corey finally feeling a bit better, our bus turned towards Delhi. At the center of the Mughal Dynasty for 200 years, the Red Fort in Delhi boasted massive red sandstone walls and a view of the Taj Mahal. It was hot and buggy, but we enjoyed the interesting history behind the building.

 

Although we didn’t do any sightseeing in New Delhi, the drive across the city itself was an experience. It takes an average of 2 hours to cross the city border and with no lanes, its basically a free-for-all…now that’s traffic. With our Indian adventure complete, we headed to the airport for the next part of our trip!

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