Mum and I were lucky enough to visit India earlier in May on a last minute trip to attend a Yoga retreat while also getting to explore the country for the first time.
We flew direct from Melbourne to India to land in Delhi and was immediately overwhelmed by the sensory overload and the 10 lanes of cars with no actual real lanes, lots of tooting and merging traffic everywhere. We soon understood to let go of this fear and to embrace this hectic part of India the Indians do so well.
Our first night we travelled by car down to Jaipur and checked into the most beautiful hotel called Villa Palladio Jaipur late that night and were both blown away by the most beautiful architecture of rich cherry red and pink tones. This nine bedroom boutique hotel is the most perfect spot to come and decompress after a long flight or to escape the hustle and bustle of the 'Pink City' being Jaipur (Villa Palladio is just a 20 min drive from the centre of Jaipur). With the most beautiful and friendly staff, the tastiest food (the menu is Italian inspired) and a huge swimming pool to cool off with an arched pool house.
Villa Palladio is surrounded by the most beautiful scents of Jasmine, Rose, Hibiscus and Pomegranate, it really is your little home away from home while visiting India. We couldn't recommend this oasis more!
After our time here at Villa Palladio, we met the rest of our group who were attending our Yoga retreat. We had 3 nights in the heart of Jaipur and during this time we visited the local food markets, artisan factories (where they have fresh chai on arrival - heaven!) and we ate the most delicious local foods. We even had a cooking class followed by a home cooked meal at a local families home that were kind enough to invite us in - this was an insane experience! We also even visited our first cricket game here, which was an experience!
We visited a few temples during our time in Jaipur which were incredible to see before packing up and travelling to our next destination for 1 night, Agra - the home of one of the 7 wonders of the world the Taj Mahal. We spent our only night in Agra visiting the Taj Mahal from the opposite side of the river to get a spectacular view before indulging in a traditional Indian feast that night (I am still craving the butter chicken curry) before setting our alarms for 4:15am the next morning to visit the spectacular Taj Mahal! We arrived at sunrise without any crowds and were all blown away by the beauty of this monument, and the love story attached to this was even better.
Later that day, it was time to get back on the road to make our way back to Delhi, our final stop of the tour. We stayed at the Imperial Hotel which was another incredible hotel and it felt just like you were staying in a big beautiful palace. For the next 3 days we visited both the old and new parts of Delhi. A highlight for most of us was visiting the local flower and food markets while collecting our flower lanyard. We practised both yoga and meditation throughout all the days on the tour however had a little more time to get into routine while in Delhi which felt lovely. The practices were lead by the beautiful and talented Rachel Hunter.
On our last day we indulged in some beautiful spa treatments and made the most of the Indian cuisine before packing our bags and hopping on a flight back to Melbourne.
We will never forget our experience we had in India and will always be grateful to hold this deep in our hearts. We already cannot wait to return.
This retreat was run by Amy and Rachel at The Cotour and they offer this beautiful 'Golden Triangle' retreat every year.