The Taj Mahal with it’s glorious intricately carved white marble was an inspiration for the embroidery and textural detailing throughout the HappyxNature collection. And with that said, we thought it would be fun to take you on a Happy Travel to the birthplace of this ode to love.

Happy Travels India / The Golden Triangle

Incredible India is somewhat of an understatement - India is spectacular! It is also a place of contradictions. The lush rich hills of Munnar, the congested worlds of Mumbai with its incredible wealth, incredible poverty and everything in between – it also happens to have a lush tropical rainforest on its city’s doorstep. The Colonial markers of New Deli that instantly fade when you find yourself standing in front of the of Akshardham temple or Jama Masjid mosque, two absolutely breathtaking structures built ages apart, 2005 and the 17th century respectively.

India is alive with beauty and devastating hardships, both of these realities will remain with you long after you return from its shores…

There’s so much to see and do in India’s vast regions, so we decided to focus on our roundup of a few of our favorite must-see must do if you ever find yourself in that neck of the wood!

Angra:

The Taj Mahal, an absolute must see. Here’s the skinny:

Ode To Love:

The Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan began building this little wonder in 1632 to house the tomb of his favorite wife (he had six in total) Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to her 14th child at the age 38.

All In The Stars:

It is said that astrologers dictated the match to ensure a perfect union and legend has it that at age 15 Shah Jahan fell instantly in love with his soon to be 14-year-old bride. History goes on to paint a story of lasting love until her death.

A 20+ endeavor:

Built by craftsman and slaves, the building of the Taj Mahal span 21 years, work began in 1632, the mausoleum was completed in 1643 and other phases of the design were finally completed in 1653.

All That Glitters:

The translucent white marble was brought in from Rajasthan but the building is also home to various colored Sandstone and inlaid with jasper, jade, crystal, Coral, Turquoise, Lapis-Azuli, Agate, Bloodstone, Onyx and Cat's eye.

Shah Jahan was laid to rest beside his favorite wife on his death in 1666 at age 74.

Agra, famous for the Taj Mahal, has many other great things to see and do. Agra Fort, the last hold out before British rule is worth a day.

Stay:

ITC Mughal - ITC hotels are the most eco hotels in India

Rajasthan/ Jaipur

Rajasthan, (our favorite of the Golden Triangle) is a region in Northern India, steeped in a rich culture of royalty, tradition, and arts. It is also famous for its textiles and use of natural dyes such as indigo, vegetables as well as making use of Onions and rice pulp in weaving processes.

Jaipur, known as the Pink City, offers visitors lots to do from throbbing bazaars, they have many, Rajasthani textiles, old and new are a colorful delight! You can choose to do a walking tour of the Old City with its street food and flowers and bazaar or you can choose to get lost for the day, (which is always fun) and take a day wandering yourself, you’ll return to your hotel room and add - buy an extra suitcase to your list of things to do.

Stay:

If your looking for a modern luxury experience you can check into the Rambagh Palace. Our preference, however, would be to stay at Narain Niwas Palace, for its old world magical charm of yesteryear. Hallways, walls, and rooms the colors of Fabergé Egg. Every door and window has detailed carvings, colorful paintings, and floral motifs. The tranquil courtyards are a true escape from the bustle of the city and are a mix of cobblestones and lush shady trees and potted greenery, there truly is color everywhere! And no palace would be worth its weight in gold if it didn’t have magnificent peacocks roaming its courtyards, this one has several! Bar Palladio, by Dutch designer Marie-Anne Oudejans, Is the place to wet your whistle. This is an amazing bar (it's also an Italian restaurant) is the place to be. Like the hotel it’s housed in, it does not disappoint in the color and whimsy – This place is a must!

Festivals: Gangaur, Kite festival, Dhulandi and Teej Festival

Food:

Jaipur is a food lovers heaven (especially if you like curry) Rajasthani food is a delight from Mawa Kachori, Mirchi Bada, Dal-batti-churma, and Ghewar (google them) you won’t be disappointed, they are rich and mouthwateringly delicious. Don’t forget to try the street food you will find within the bazaars and markets – some of the very best.

Attractions:

Jaipur has many historical must-sees. If you have the lungs for it take a bike ride along the Nahargarh Fort. Visit the Man Sagar Lake, which is undergoing an ecological restoration for the multitude of wildlife that calls the lake home. In the middle of the lake sits the Jal Mahal, a water palace for Rajput kings. Visit the Hall of Mirrors Amer Fort Palace and the City Palace is an easy must see. But if you want a truly magical experience, take a trip south to Chittorgarh and experience the Chittor Fort which holds temples and palaces within its 1000+ years walls

Ganesh Chaturthi Festival (September 13-23)

Although Mumbai is not part of the Golden Triangle, (the focus of this Happy Travels) we have to mention the upcoming festival Ganesh Chaturthi and Mumbai is the place to experience this lovely event. This spectacular 10-day festival honors Lord Ganesh, the Indian deity who is the remover of obstacles and brings good fortune.


 Rajasthan/ Jaipur

Rajasthan, (our favorite of the Golden Triangle) is a region in Northern India, steeped in a rich culture of royalty, tradition, and arts. It is also famous for its textiles and use of natural dyes such as indigo, vegetables as well as making use of Onions and rice pulp in weaving processes.

Jaipur, known as the Pink City, offers visitors lots to do from throbbing bazaars, they have many, Rajasthani textiles, old and new are a colorful delight! You can choose to do a walking tour of the Old City with its street food and flowers and bazaar or you can choose to get lost for the day, (which is always fun) and take a day wandering yourself, you’ll return to your hotel room and add - buy an extra suitcase to your list of things to do.

Stay:

If your looking for a modern luxury experience you can check into the Rambagh Palace. Our preference, however, would be to stay at Narain Niwas Palace, for its old world magical charm of yesteryear. Hallways, walls, and rooms the colors of Fabergé Egg. Every door and window has detailed carvings, colorful paintings, and floral motifs. The tranquil courtyards are a true escape from the bustle of the city and are a mix of cobblestones and lush shady trees and potted greenery, there truly is color everywhere! And no palace would be worth its weight in gold if it didn’t have magnificent peacocks roaming its courtyards, this one has several! Bar Palladio, by Dutch designer Marie-Anne Oudejans, Is the place to wet your whistle. This is an amazing bar (it's also an Italian restaurant) is the place to be. Like the hotel it’s housed in, it does not disappoint in the color and whimsy – This place is a must!

Festivals: Gangaur, Kite festival, Dhulandi and Teej Festival

Food:

Jaipur is a food lovers heaven (especially if you like curry) Rajasthani food is a delight from Mawa Kachori, Mirchi Bada, Dal-batti-churma, and Ghewar (google them) you won’t be disappointed, they are rich and mouthwateringly delicious. Don’t forget to try the street food you will find within the bazaars and markets – some of the very best.

Attractions:

Jaipur has many historical must-sees. If you have the lungs for it take a bike ride along the Nahargarh Fort. Visit the Man Sagar Lake, which is undergoing an ecological restoration for the multitude of wildlife that calls the lake home. In the middle of the lake sits the Jal Mahal, a water palace for Rajput kings. Visit the Hall of Mirrors Amer Fort Palace and the City Palace is an easy must see. But if you want a truly magical experience, take a trip south to Chittorgarh and experience the Chittor Fort which holds temples and palaces within its 1000+ years walls

Ganesh Chaturthi Festival (September 13-23)

Although Mumbai is not part of the Golden Triangle, (the focus of this Happy Travels) we have to mention the upcoming festival Ganesh Chaturthi and Mumbai is the place to experience this lovely event. This spectacular 10-day festival honors Lord Ganesh, the Indian deity who is the remover of obstacles and brings good fortune.