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    The Journal

    The Colours of Rajasthan: The India Guide

    Known as the “Golden Triangle”, Rajasthan is home to some of India’s most famous sites. Come along with Sarah-Louise and Christopher of “The Adventures of Us” and the Journal to savor the sights, sounds and scents of this beautiful locale.

    Our search for new adventures continues. A dream of ours for many years, it was time for us to navigate our way through Rajasthan, known as the golden triangle of Northern India, visiting some of the most iconic, and beautiful parts of this vast and vibrant sub-continent.

     

    Upon arrival, Delhi swiftly awakens your senses. The heat, the colour, a cacophony of vehicle horns, scooters whizzing past in every direction. Our first destination was Agra and the majestic Taj Mahal — greeted by our driver Parmud from Ampersand Travel, we set off on what was sure to be a journey of a lifetime. The smooth drive to Agra lasts just over three hours, taking us across one of India’s most coveted concrete highways. In India, traditional Highway Code is not adhered to; cows roam freely in the road, bicycles, tractors, motorbikes, locals and camels all navigate in harmony. 

    Amber Fort, Jaipur
    — Amber Fort, Jaipur

    From the Taj Mahal to Jaipur

    After a tranquil night at the beautiful Oberoi Agra, we awake at sunrise to beat the crowds, and marvel at the sight of one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal. A magnificent ivory marble mausoleum, it truly is a sight to behold. A symbol of love between a Maharaja and his Maharani, being in its presence is a memory that we will treasure for the rest of our lives.

     

    Our second stop was the enchanting Pink City, Jaipur. We spent our mornings visiting the flower markets, and seeing the sellers going about their business. We explored the terracotta pink backstreets with our guide and were shown historic havelis, offering a glimpse at local life. A trip to Jaipur wouldn’t be complete without a visit to City Palace, the exquisite residence of the king of Jaipur and one of our favourite places in the city. After a long day exploring in the 40-degree heat, we set off back to our sanctuary, one of the oldest and most treasured properties in the “Pink City”, the historic Sujan Rajmahal Palace. An enclosed oasis, secluded in pristine gardens, the Rajmahal Palace exudes a sense of history and old-world glamour. Over the decades this remarkable Palace has hosted Queen Elizabeth, the Duke of Edinburgh and Jackie Kennedy.

    Other notable recommendations would include visiting the Amber Fort, a stop at the iconic Hawa Mahal and dinner at Steam, a pizza restaurant set in a vintage Victorian steam train at the Rambagh Palace. 

    Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all
    Helen Keller
    Christopher wears the IWC Portugieser Chronograph (IW371445)
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    Shop now the IWC Portugieser Chronograph (IW371445)
    — Christopher wears the IWC Portugieser Chronograph (IW371445)

    Into the wild

    Back on the road, we headed North to Ranthambore National Park, a vast wildlife reserve home to tigers, leopards and marsh crocodiles. Stepping into the wild, our home for a few days was Aman-I-Khas, an exclusive wilderness camp made up of ten luxurious tents and located in a rugged brushwood forest on the fringes of the park — it provides total seclusion, peace and tranquillity. Mornings at Aman-I-Khas start with a sunrise game drive to see tigers, followed by a delicious lunch by the hotel’s serene tree-lined swimming pool, it truly is an experience of a lifetime.

    For our next stop, we ventured west through rural villages to a hidden oasis, the exquisite Amanbagh. The beautiful pink buildings evoke the palatial elegance of the Moghul era and sit majestically amongst lush greenery and giant silver birch trees. The pool is something of a dream, sitting effortlessly at the centre of the eight-acre compound. Aman properties are like no other, the attention to detail is flawless and the service unrivalled — time to put down the camera, sit back and unwind for a few days, before our chaotic Indian adventure continues. 

    The “Venice of the East”

    A 4:30am wakeup call and we’re bound for the airport, time for a new perspective. The “Venice of the East” is our next stop, the enchanting city of Udaipur. Renowned for its appearance in Ian Fleming’s Octopussy, our hotel was the awe-inspiring Taj Lake Palace. Steeped in history, it truly is one of the world’s most unique hotels. Situated in the middle of Lake Pichola and built in 1746, the Taj Lake Palace is built from marble and features majestic architecture and luxurious design. Nothing beats early mornings on the hotel’s terrace, basking in the warm golden light with a cup of fragrant Masala Chai in hand.

     

    Our final stop was Soho Home Mumbai, after a long few weeks on the road in India, nothing beats feeling at home again when you arrive at a Soho House. Beautiful interiors, an incredible butter chicken and unrivalled views from the rooftop pool, it really is the place to be in the city that never sleeps.

     

    Want to know where we’ll head to next? Follow the @iwcjournal Instagram to find out. #AdventureswithIWC

    Sarah-Louise Marks and Christopher Phelps run the popular travel blog “The Adventures of Us”. The London-based couple are sharing their breathtaking escapes on The Journal in a special travel series. 



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