Adventures in India
- January 14, 2023
Adventures in India
Delectable cuisine, warm hospitality, stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage are just a few of the reasons why India is a popular destination for travellers. It really has something for everyone! You might love the challenge of climbing the Himalayas or the colourful joy and energy of a festival. Magical wildlife, spiritual enlightenment or the excitement of a cricket tour could tempt you to fly 9 hours to this fascinating country.
I was a little quiet at the end of 2022 and this was partly because I took 3 weeks off to travel to India. I’d love to share some of my adventures with you; a cultural trip from the comfort of your home!
Joyous Wedding Celebrations
The main purpose was to accompany my mother to my cousin’s wedding. This was a wonderful occasion, filling four days with celebration, colour, music traditional ceremonies and more food than you can imagine!
Applying Turmeric and Henna
A family wedding is a time when you get to wear all of your favourite outfits. One of the traditions of a Hindu ceremony is Haldi. This involves applying turmeric to the face and hands of the couple on the day before the wedding. We were all asked to wear yellow to Haldi and it felt as though the room was illuminated!
You may be used to using turmeric in cooking, but it is also known to brighten the skin. Therefore, Haldi adds to the radiance of the couple on their wedding day. In addition, Turmeric is known to contain Curcumin, a compound with calming effects on the mind.
Henna hand painting is also part of the preparations. For this, we were asked to wear green. Stunning henna or Mehndi designs are painted onto the bride’s hands to bring her health and prosperity in marriage.
Pearls, Biryani & Irani Chai in Hyderabad
The majority of our time was spent with family in Hyderabad, the City of Pearls. Although the city is not close to the sea, the traditional crafts of processing, drilling and creating beautiful jewellery with pearls and gold is a long-standing industry. The city has a pearl market dating back over four centuries. They are formed into earrings, bangles, necklaces and hair adornments, to name but a few.
Hyderabad is also renowned for its Dum ka Biryani, a deliciously spiced rice dish made with vegetables or meat. Then, of course, there is tea to be drunk! The local speciality is Irani Chai. Believed to have been brought to the city by Persian travellers, Irani Chai is a creamy, sweet drink. It is typically served in a white, ceramic cup and saucer and often accompanied by Osmania biscuits. There are over 30 tea houses in Hyderabad that specialise in Irani Chai, so that was an experience I couldn’t miss!
Impressive architecture was spotted as we drove around, including Golconda Fort, Birla Mandir, Charminar Mosque and the Srisailam Temple.
Childhood Memories in Lucknow
This trip was all about family, particularly spending time with my mum. Whilst in India, we took a trip to Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, to revisit the place where my mum grew up. On the Gomati River, this is now the largest city in the region. It’s far more expansive than when she was a girl. Fortunately, many of the most memorable places can still be found. The city is full of bazaars, with everything you can imagine being sold. It could have been a very expensive shopping trip, stocking up the Holy Cow Home! shop, but this was not a working holiday. The bazaars are alive with a multitude of mingling sights, sounds and aromas, with buildings, such as the Hazratganj market, being architectural delights. There is a real mix of architecture in Lucknow. You see modern offices neighbouring relics from the British Raj, Islamic mosques, Hindu temples and modest homes. It was lovely to take my mum back to her childhood home and spark plenty of memories.
A Taste of India
I hope you enjoyed sharing my adventure; maybe it is now on your list of places to visit. To sample a
taste of India a little closer to home, pop into Holy Cow Home! I’ll be holding an in-store sale through