My Trip to India!

19th March 2018

By Moninder Matharu

No one needs a holiday more than someone who’s just come back from one. It sounds ridiculous, I know. You have to agree that I have a point. All the rushing around that goes on pre-holiday – haircuts, shopping, and beach body workouts, followed by the holiday exploring. Unless you go to a desert island where you can literally do nothing but sit in the sun, you’re going to want to explore. As soon as you get back it’s straight into work, catching up with all those e-mails and all of that paperwork.

For me, India is one of those locations that you want to explore. Although abroad, and with far better weather than the UK, my most recent trip was far from a ‘relaxing getaway’. I had 10 days, long time you say? Not for wedding shopping.  In 10 days I had to shop for my wedding and meet family members. 10 days sounds like a reasonable amount of time but I can assure you, it wasn’t.

Unfortunately for me, we had snowfall in March this year. My 9am Friday flight gradually turned into a 1pm Saturday flight, a 28-hour delay that I spent at the airport. Every single flight was cancelled and all the nearby hotels were fully booked so the only option was the floor!

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Delhi Indra Gandhi International Airport – Hand sculpture

Finally we departed from Birmingham International Airport, UK and landed at Delhi Indra Gandhi International Airport, India. Following this was an 8-hour car journey to Ludhiana, Punjab – where I needed to be! So, after a total of 44 hours travelling, you can imagine how exhausted I was.

We often travel to India as a family, but this was the first time going with just my Dad. To do wedding shopping with my Dad didn’t fill me with much confidence, any girl wants her mum there when you’re trying on your wedding outfit, but at least I knew I’d always walk away with a steal! Road regulations and paying full price are just two things that don’t exist in India.

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There wasn’t much left for me to get for the wedding. Just my main outfit with all the matching accessories. The variety is incredible! Between November and April, it is peak wedding season in India so I wanted to buy everything! Shopping is definitely an experience there. Shop assistants stand in the doorway advertising their goods, asking for you to have a look. Walking into a store is quite overwhelming, shelves filled with hundreds of different potential outfits!

It’s not your typical shop where you would walk around and pick things off the shelves yourself. You take a seat and tell them what colour/style/price range you’re looking for and they will cater to you. Getting thirsty? Not an issue, they’ll order you a beverage of your choice for free. Hungry? Again, they’ll provide you with some free street food snacking. There is one particular shop we visit during every trip to India. Not for the clothes they have to offer but for some of the best pakoras I’ve ever had! Honestly, we go there for lunch!

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Besides experiencing the food and the culture, The Golden Temple in Amritsar is a must do! You just can’t not! The Golden Temple is one of my favourite places to go. It is one of the most peaceful places I have ever been. It’s odd because the world outside of the temple grounds isn’t the most sophisticated. It’s hard to believe that such a beautiful place is situated amongst chaos. The temple sits in the middle of water. It is made out of gold and marble on the inside as well as the outside. You’re more than welcome to go into the temple to explore but be prepared to be very close to strangers. I prefer to sit outside, around the temple. I see all these different people in one place together and it warms my heart.

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If you’re thinking about making a trip to India, stop thinking about it and make it happen. My view isn’t the only view. India has so much more to offer and you need to experience it for yourself. The food, the culture and the country itself is filled with unique experiences. India should be on everyone’s bucket list.

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