A piece of my heart belongs to India.

So I thought i’d share a few pics and tidbits about my trip and quite a few photos for your visual pleasure. I hope you enjoy!

In a nutshell, words cannot describe the experiences I had the past few weeks traveling throughout India. But I’m going to try my best to share a little piece of the gift I was given, and of course there will be a new group of recipes that are inspired by the foods I enjoyed during my time there.

The journey began landing in Bombay where we (as in the group of 25 yogis) went straight to the hotel Taj, Lands End, dropped our bags off, then headed out for dinner at our teacher’s (mona anand) in-laws home for some traditional cuisine and a wine tasting (how fancy!).

1st thoughts on INDIA? It’s HOT in India,

2) Wow, I thought NYC had traffic.

3) There are a lot of motorcycles, no helmets and ladies riding side saddle holding babies on the back.

4) It’s pretty here.

My head hit the pillow that night and that’s all I can recall Day 1 in India. I’d say my biggest conundrum(s) was focusing on how to keep my mouth from getting water in it while showering, using bottled water to brush the teeth and whether or not to drink the water from a glass or stay a bit dehydrated. I’m a bit of a hypochondriac. No pics, things were blurry. 

Day 2 (Don’t worry, I will not be numbering each and every day, I can only remember 2 at a time anyway) included a lovely 5:30 am wake-up, breakfast and a bus ride to the airport to board ‘spice jet’ and head to Jaipur.

First breakfast in Mumbai. Spicy Eggs

From plane to bus, oh, and our first “squatty potty” experience. Yes, you read that right. (Hence why one brings anti-bacterial wipes and tissues).

Tour Bus! How cute it is?

The bus ride was perhaps the bumpiest ride I’ve ever taken, well, maybe the camel ride was a bit unsteady. Dirt roads, no road, cows blocking roads etc. were all part of the excursion. 4-5 hour ride later (p.s. India time is a common saying, so 2 hours means 4) and a bit of dramamine… I was good to go. (Pretty sure my body got ejected out of my seat a few times).

I thought,"what a beautiful photo."

Once in Jaipur we went to a museum, then the Hava Mahal or Palace of the Winds. The colors and people are astonishingly beautiful and mezmorizing. Your eyes can’t focus on one thing at a time (In yoga we call this condition-VATA-yoga joke people). I experienced the first of many people likely curious about us since we were in a tourist bus that looked a bit like a fish tank.

Lunch was in a courtyard at the museum where I dodged anything fresh, cold, raw and ice cubed. Let’s just say hot foods including rice and chicpeas, saag paneer (spinach and paneer cheese) were a staple for a few weeks). Oh and naan, of course. Love me a High carb diet.

Say hello to the snake charmer outside of the museum! Not somethin you see everday!

Not sure what kind of bread this was, but it just looked lovely.

We hopped back onto the bus and off we went to Rajasthan. Specifically Ranthambore where we stayed at the Taj Swadhi Madhopur Lodge. It is a beautiful safari like adult camp. Upon arrival we unpacked then gathered for late night yoga, 10:45 pm to be exact. No vinyasa here, restorative in which we all fell asleep, well at least I did, woke myself up snoring. Sorry to those next to me.

Meet Maharaja. He hung out in front of my room...often. ;-)

Doesn't get much better then this for morning yoga!

5:45 am wake-up call most mornings jolted us out of bed and straight to yoga class or a tiger safari. We were adorned by the live music via classical indian musicians every morning and evening where we danced the night away and dined on the indian cuisine full of spices that warmed the belly.

Dosa with coconut and other chutney anyone?

Oh goodness, I couldn't stop taking pics of these monkeys!

A few tiger sitings later, camel rides, trips to women’s handicrafts, the ganesha temple and monkey craziness and we were off to Jaipur again to hop on the spice jet and fly to Goa.

Women's Handicrafts. How sweet they let me sit with them.

Our stay was at the luxurious Taj Exotica. Let’s just say this was 5-star India. 7:30 am yoga every morning at the Ayurvedic center left us all feeling refreshed, there was a breakfast buffet that widened your eyes from the baked yogurt to the omelette bar, which included optional quail eggs.

Baked Yogurt, breakfast of champions.

Trips in Goa included more temples, including hanuman, elephant rides, the beach, loads of yoga, a few museums and shopping trips. Let’s not forget the henna from Lakshmi.

Restorative Yoga outside with Gina Menza.

Hanuman Temple, Goa, India

Meet Tejas.

Simply Beautiful people in India.

Henna from Lakshmi.

Just hanging out at the Ayurvedic Center.

Yoga at the Ayurvedic Center. Serene.
My last few hours in Goa, India and I teared up after the final meditation from Mona (my sat guru, teacher, mentor and leader during this trip). Tears of joy and gratefulness.

Final hours were spent in Mumbai at the house of Gandhi.

Then a little shopping.

Neemrama. Ransacked. Should've gone there the first day! ;-)

Let’s just say that store has never seen such crazed shoppers! Pretty sure it was a small tornado. I highly recommend Neemrana! 

SO, YES, I’ll BE GOING BACK TO INDIA. DUNNO WHEN, BUT CAN’T WAIT.

Recipes inspired by the Indian Cuisine soon!

Now share! What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled thus far? Where would you like to travel if you had to choose one spot?  

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20 Responses to A piece of my heart belongs to India.

  1. Robin Poses Markell April 4, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    OH MY !!!!! Such joy….Such an experience… Such Memories…excellent.
    Hugs and enjoy, Robin

  2. Moni April 4, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

    Hi, lovely post! which company organized this trip? thanks:)

  3. Terra Baltosiewich (@CafeTerraBlog) April 5, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    My dream trip is to go to India, I really want to take a spiritual journey there:-) Thank you for sharing your pictures, makes me love India from afar even more! Your trip sounds like it was amazing:-) Hugs, Terra

    • agirlandhercarrot April 6, 2012 at 11:44 am #

      Hi Terra! You must go. I will definitely go again. I’m happy you enjoyed the post and the pics. It’s hard not to love India, especially after you’ve been there. ;-). Hugs back!
      Jen

  4. Danish April 7, 2012 at 3:25 am #

    I don’t think even Indians know so much about India. Thanks for sharing!

    • agirlandhercarrot April 10, 2012 at 1:20 am #

      Ha, hi Danish! I’m happy you enjoyed the post and I definitely pay attention when people teach me about culture, cuisine and the geography of India. ;-)

  5. Amber B. (@amberstarr82) April 7, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    This blog post has just solidified my thoughts that a trip to India is a must in my lifetime. So gorgeous and interesting culture. Your photos are beautiful and it looks like such an amazing trip. Who/How did you plan your travels?

    • agirlandhercarrot April 10, 2012 at 1:17 am #

      Hey Amber! All of my travel plans/itinerary were done by my teacher/mentor Mona Anand. Next time we go, I’ll be sure to let you know!!! Thanks for the lovely comment, it is a truly stunning place to visit. ;-)

  6. Preena @ A Teaspoon of Turmeric April 9, 2012 at 12:34 am #

    What lovely photos of India, reminds me I need another trip there very soon! The dosa looks heavenly and Ganesha murti looks jolly! Nothing beats yoga in India on the rice paddy field in the 5am fresh heat. Thank you for sharing, you made me smile!

    • agirlandhercarrot April 10, 2012 at 1:19 am #

      The morning yoga was definitely my favorite part of the day. We were fortunate to have such a serene setting at the ayurvedic center. I crave Indian food if you can imagine! I’m happy I made you smile Preena, you should go back as soon as you can! -Namaste!

  7. thespicyrd April 22, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    Such a fabulous post Jen, and I love all your vibrantly colored photos, especially the one with you and the ladies :-) It would be hard for me to pick one favorite place I’ve travelled to, but New Zealand is definitely at the top of my list with all the gorgeous scenery, outdoor adventures, friendly people, and amazing gluten-free food options everywhere. Our good friends and neighbors are originally from India, and we were just talking to them last night about trying to take a family trip to India with them in a couple of years. So glad, you had such a wonderful adventure, and I’m looking forward to your Indian inspired recipes!

  8. Lauren Slayton April 22, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    running late but had to click over and read this (EA tweeted). Looks amazing, who organized the trip? I loved India, love Turkey too oh and a piece of my heart belongs to Venice and Argentina, love to travel. Can’t wait for recipes. WOW.

    • admin May 4, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

      Hey Lauren! Thank you! Oh, I’d have to say a piece of my heart also belongs to Italy, specifically the Amalfi Coast, Positano and then Rome. I definitely want to go to Argentina! Thanks for commenting and sharing!

  9. Trish May 10, 2012 at 2:06 am #

    What a remarkable experience Jen!! Lovely pictures. It looks like you had an amazing time. The dosa dish looks yummmyy! Thanks for sharing. PS My fav pic – your headstand!

  10. Ruth May 28, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    What beautiful photos! It looks like you had a fabulous trip =) I’ve never been to India, but I’ve heard lots of stories from a friend who still has family there, and my bangles from India are my favorite jewelry accessory. As for my favorite place that I’ve visited, so far it’s a toss up between Barcelona and London. I’m traveling to Austria this summer, so perhaps that will take the top spot soon.

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