I first visited 26 years ago and was instantly captivated by what I saw. Growing up in the north of England I was a huge fan of Indian food, had Indian school friends and was familiar with some aspects of their culture (and to be honest quite ignorant of a lot it) – but nothing could prepare me for my first visit.
It is a land of the sensual overload and massive contrasts – whether it be the constant beeping horns in Delhi traffic, delightful fragrant smells of jasmine or incense wafting through the air; the most vibrant colours imaginable; fields of bright yellow mustard flowers; extraordinary places to stay and visit – there is never ever a dull moment. There is also massive poverty, a shocking amount of plastic rubbish and pollution, as well as so many people everywhere!
For the last 7 years I have loved venturing back there to hunt for pieces for the store and just to get my fill of it all.
Rajasthan in the north is a firm favourite for many and mostly where we find most of our pieces for the store. It’s desert country steeped in history and filled with majestic old palaces and forts you can stay in. Jaipur is a centre for textiles, whilst Jodhpur is the main destination for furniture and old wares.
Each time I visit I try to add on a new destination, and this time visited Dehradun and Rishikesh at the foothills of the Himalayas, close to the source of the holy Ganges. Rishikesh is a big yoga destination with myriad schools, ashrams and a gathering place for many spiritual seekers. The nightly celebration of the river, the Ganga Aarti is an absolute must see.
It was a great buying trip, sourcing some amazing hand-carved marble, antique brass planters and intricate screens, so it won’t be long before we see the rich layer of India instore!
Left: Market in Jodhpur Right: Beautiful sandstone doorway
Top: Your Marigold covered car awaits, Raas Hotel, Jodhpur
Bottom left: Garden view at Nagur Fort
Bottom right: Yogis at dawn, Lodhi Garden
These are just a few, general snaps of the trip to give a flavour of what’s on offer there, if you haven’t been and you love adventure (as well as the Great Marigold Hotel) then book your trip now!
AND if you are planning a trip, an absolute MUST are the Love travel guides written and published by expat Fiona Caulfield.
Her books have all the insider info and are essential reading. www.loveltravelguides.com
Quick tips accommodation – places we always love to stay at and you will too
Jaipur : 47 jobner bagh www.jobnerbagh.com
Jodhpur: Raas hotel www.raasjodhpur.com
Delhi: The Manor hotel www.themanordelhi.com