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    28 Photos Of India To Convince You To Visit One Day

    The Taj Mahal, the Pink City, and a few spots you might not have heard of yet.

    The coronavirus pandemic is still impacting travel, and destinations around the world have different COVID-19 restrictions in place. Always check and adhere to local government policies as you're planning any trips.

    While we may not be booking flights to India right this second, why not travel through the country via a series of wanderlust-inspiring photos?

    CBC / Via

    Let's get into it.

    The first thing so many people think about when planning a trip to India is the food. And honestly, good call, because I still think about the food every day.

    Rebecca Khera

    If you're exploring the cities and need an afternoon pick-me-up, you can easily head to any street food vendor for some chaat (aka a set of snacks).

    I got the Basket Chaat at Royal Cafe in Lucknow, and it tasted even better than it looks!

    Address: 1/50, Patrakarpuram Crossing Road, Viram Khand, Viram Khand 1, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh 226010, India

    The second thing you probably think about is the glorious Taj Mahal.

    Rebecca Khera

    The Taj Mahal, listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most famous mausoleums in the world.

    The Taj Mahal opens 30 minutes before sunrise, and I highly recommend getting there that early. In the height of summer, I woke up at 4 a.m. to visit the Taj Mahal, and it was mostly empty for the first 15 minutes of my visit.

    When planning your visit, note that the Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays.

    Trust me, it's even more captivating in person.

    Taj Mahal at sunrise
    Rebecca Khera

    Just a half hour after sunrise and the Taj Mahal is packed with visitors, so def get there early if you want that serene experience.

    Taj Mahal packed with tourists
    Rebecca Khera

    There's a long list of things you can't bring with you when visiting the Taj Mahal, some that seem obvious, like no drones or weapons. But others are less obvious, like pens, playing cards, and tripods. So be sure to pack light, and double-check everything you're bringing with you.

    Women should bring a dupatta (scarf) to cover their head when required. 

    There's more to the Taj Mahal than the mausoleum itself, so definitely plan to spend some extra time exploring the other buildings and grounds surrounding it.

    Mosque at the Taj Mahal
    Rebecca Khera

    While the Taj Mahal may be the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, there's no shortage of beauty across this massive country.

    Patrika Gate
    Rebecca Khera

    The Patrika Gate is this ornate entrance to a large circular park in Jaipur.

    Address: Jawahar Circle, Jagatpura, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302018, India

    Jaipur is known as the Pink City, as most of the old city was painted pink.

    Rebecca Khera

    But the most notable pink structure in Jaipur is probably the Hawa Mahal.

    Hawa Mahal from a rooftop cafe
    Rebecca Khera

    If you want breakfast with a view, I recommend grabbing some chai and paratha from one of the rooftop cafés across from the Hawa Mahal. 

    Address: Hawa Mahal Road, Badi Choupad, J.D.A. Market, Pink City, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002, India

    I literally can't even fathom how they made something so intricate in the 1700s.

    Rebecca Khera

    But even when you're not visiting these incredible monuments, you'll find something beautiful wherever you end Bar Palladio.

    Beautiful restaurant design in Jaipur
    Rebecca Khera

    This bar and restaurant sits in the Narain Niwas Palace Hotel and serves classic Italian dishes in one of the prettiest settings. The design and decor are unmatched! There's even an equally beautiful garden and patio.

    Address: Narain Niwas Palace Hotel, Kanota Bagh, Narain Singh Road, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302004, India

    I also can't help but love the abundance of fresh flowers.

    Flower bracelet
    Rebecca Khera

    It feels like everywhere you go in India, there are fresh flowers, and for good reason: Flowers are very significant in Indian cultures.

    Rebecca Khera

    Aside from beauty and fragrance, flowers symbolize strength and purity. So they serve as a great gift across the country.

    Oh, and in case I forgot to mention breakfast, you're not going to be stuck with rubbery eggs and slimy meats from some continental breakfast at your hotel.

    Breakfast in India
    Rebecca Khera

    Instead you'll be blessed with warm breads, fresh fruit, and all the chai you could ever want.

    And let me mention how incredible mangoes are in India. They don't even compare with the mangoes you get in the US.

    Rebecca Khera

    If you don't like mango, it's probably because you haven't had one in India.

    Hanuman Ji Temple, aka the Monkey Temple, is a truly unique Hindu site built into these rock walls.

    Monkey Temple
    Rebecca Khera

    Address: Galta Ji, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302031, India

    And as the name suggests, there are plenty of monkeys living there.

    Monkey with baby monkey at temple
    Rebecca Khera

    If you hike up past the temple itself, you'll find this impeccable view of Jaipur.

    Rebecca Khera

    And after a long day, there's nothing better than some bread, samosas, and chai!

    Samosas, buns, and chai
    Rebecca Khera

    Thankfully, there's no shortage of street food options.

    There's also tandoori chai.

    Tandoori chai from a street vendor
    Rebecca Khera

    Tandoori chai has a smoky flavor compared with the classic chai. This is because it is made in clay cups traditionally heated in a tandoor (type of oven).

    Then there's the shopping, which is just next level!

    Rebecca Khera

    Shopping in India is really an event in and of itself. Be prepared to spend some coin on your trip, because it's hard to see the gorgeous kurtis and not want to buy one.

    And after a long day of shopping, you'll want to treat yourself to some ice cream.

    Rebecca Khera

    Kulfi is a type of South Asian dessert. My favorite version is topped with pistachios, but there are plenty of different options. Another common topping is falooda, which is made of noodles (pictured above).

    But my favorite dessert will always be gajar ka halwa with poori.

    Halwa poori
    Rebecca Khera

    Gajar ka halwa is a carrot- and nut-based dessert, and my favorite way to eat it is with some warm, fluffy poori (a type of bread).

    India is massive, and there's so much to see, eat, and do — I'm already daydreaming about planning my trip back.

    Rebecca Khera

    What's on your India bucket list? Share your faves in the comments below.