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#curioussophiagoestoindia

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The blue city ๐Ÿ’™ #curioussophiagoestoindia

Udaipur, Venice of the east. ๐Ÿ’›#curioussophiagoestoindia

Swimming above the clouds @theleela. A world away from the busy streets of Delhi below. #curioussophiagoestoindia

A palace on a lake, fit for a queen. ๐ŸŒผ@tajlakepalace #curioussophiagoestoindia

Vroom-vroom! ๐Ÿ’จ #curioussophiagoestoindia

Holy cow comin straight at me! #curioussophiagoestoindia

The sun baked cenotaphs of Pushkar. ๐Ÿ’› #curioussophiagoestoindia

This photo was meant to be! Some days I'll have a shot in mind and plan for it, often having to bide my time waiting for the perfect moment or light. Other days, the magic just happens! This one actually made me laugh out loud! I was literally just snapping a shot of the pretty doorway, when all of a sudden a cow ran up from the other side of the doors jumped straight through the little hole (like some kind of mythical acrobat wonder cow) and then stood and posed for me! These candid memories are the ones I love most about travelling! ๐Ÿฎ#curioussophiagoestoindia

Another reason Pushkar is one of my favourite places in the world. ๐Ÿ’™ #curioussophiagoestoindia

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Last few snaps from India. As you can see from my smile, India really does warm my heart. ๐Ÿ’™#curioussophiagoestoindia

Lake โœ”๏ธPalace โœ”๏ธBougainvillea โœ”๏ธ happy โœ”๏ธ #curioussophiagoestoindia

Another reason Pushkar is one of my favourite places in the world. ๐Ÿ’™ #curioussophiagoestoindia

This photo was meant to be! Some days I'll have a shot in mind and plan for it, often having to bide my time waiting for the perfect moment or light. Other days, the magic just happens! This one actually made me laugh out loud! I was literally just snapping a shot of the pretty doorway, when all of a sudden a cow ran up from the other side of the doors jumped straight through the little hole (like some kind of mythical acrobat wonder cow) and then stood and posed for me! These candid memories are the ones I love most about travelling! ๐Ÿฎ#curioussophiagoestoindia

The delightful little town of Samode, 90 minutes drive from Japiur, is a colourful and happy place. A snapshot of authentic India, unadulterated by tourism and big name establishments. #curioussophiagoestoindia

Udaipur, Venice of the east. ๐Ÿ’›#curioussophiagoestoindia

Left my heart in India. ๐ŸŒธ#curioussophiagoestoindia

Not all swimming pools are created equal. ๐Ÿต @theleela #curioussophiagoestoindia

The blue city ๐Ÿ’™ #curioussophiagoestoindia

Samode Palace all to myself. One of the perks of travelling during the peak of the Indian summer. #curioussophiagoestoindia

New fluffy friends (with sharp teeth). ๐Ÿ’ #curioussophiagoestoindia

White hot Indian summer. #curioussophiagoestoindia

Those ears. ๐Ÿ’› #curioussophiagoestoindia

The back door to the Taj. Slightly less grand, still wonderfully charming. #curioussophiagoestoindia

Rooftop swims in Udaipur. ๐Ÿ’ฆ#curioussophiagoestoindia

No need for rose tinted glasses in Jaipur. ๐Ÿ’› #curioussophiagoestoindia

Under the Rajasthani sun. โ˜€๏ธ #curioussophiagoestoindia

The enormity of the Taj Mahal in all its marble greatness, is a sight that will never cease to amaze me. #curioussophiagoestoindia

I do enjoy a sunny Rajasthani rooftop. @shahpurahouse #curioussophiagoestoindia

Indian summer ๐ŸŒฟ @shahpurahouse #curioussophiagoestoindia

Today I celebrate my birthday feeling like a true Indian Princess. โœจ #curioussophiagoestoindia

Taj Wanderess. #curioussophiagoestoindia

The greatest ode to love there ever was - the Taj Mahal. A teardrop on the cheek of time'. #curioussophiagoestoindia

Singapore

Just found this shot from one of my favourite days in memory. Riding around Khajuraho on a bike with no breaks!

"If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning." -Mahatma Gandhi.

This quote resonates deeply in India right now. With a booming population and a hugely popular, newly elected Prime Minister at the helm, India is undergoing the most rapid growth and economic development it has ever seen. It faces some enormous challenges ahead, but it is determined and evolving extremely fast. I hope that in the process it doesn't lose its colourful spirit, because for me the character of this unique country is what makes it so special. Thanks for having me India.

The perks of being a washing man in Varanasi.. You will be absolutely ripped from all the scrubbing and wringing out. #hardwork

Some of the saddest little puppy faces I have ever come across. These beautiful little things were hungry and scared when I came across them pining next to one of their dead siblings (not pictured). I gave them some food, but looking back now, I wish I had done more for them. ๐Ÿ’ง

One of the many small Varanasi street markets. So many lovely bright colours and new things to try!

Although desperate enough to beg in the streets, many of the child beggars in India will smile and joke with tourists in the hope that their cuteness and charm will earn them some money. It can be easy to assume that they are happy, fun kids, but in areas of poverty, the reality is often not so translucent. In some cases, they may have been taught or even forced to display this kind of behaviour so that they can provide for their families or boss.

Another Varanasi barber. It makes me wonder why people in places with developed economies, have come to expect so much from service providers like barbers/hairdressers. Do we really need the big fancy chair, the complimentary coffee and the fresh flowers in the salon? I think I could survive without.

The lovely holy cows of Varanasi, treated like royalty ๐Ÿ‘‘.

If there's anywhere in the world that will force you to forget about your own selfish desires and reflect whole-heartedly on what you have, what you want and how short your time on earth is, it's probably India.

Just a bit of kidding around ๐Ÿ... I'm not sure what was going on here, but these goats hanging out on the river bank were pretty darn cute!

What a beautiful place to lay down and soak in the day. I love these pastel steps! If I ever own a house, it will probably have quite an identity crisis, it will be a complete mish-mash of furniture, colours, styles and textures inspired by of my favourite places.

This big boy really wanted to be photographed!! He was literally blocking the footpath until I took his photo. Lucky he was cute!

Have you ever seen so many beautiful colours in one set of stairs!? It's like a rainbow crashed into a silk factory and exploded! โœจ

A young Varanasi barber prepares his customer for a straight razor shave. There are dozens of these shops dotted along the Ganges river bank. Some have just a bowl of soapy water and a razor. This was one of the more elaborate setups with a chair and a variety of aftershaves.

Rowing down the Ganges River, so many sights, sounds and smells, a truly unique travel experience which can not be replicated anywhere in the world.

Peak hour on the River Ganges is hard to describe. As the sun rises over the city, it's a bustling and vibrant time of day, but at the same time, it's very peaceful and beautiful.

Early morning bathing in the holy river Ganga, Varanasi. The river is said to possess the religious powers of all the sacred waters of the world combined. Even so, I erred on the side of caution and chose stay out of the water this time.

A woman rows as the sun rises over the sacred Ganges river in Varanasi.

Meeting so many beautiful faces and characters is one of my favourite things about travelling.

Afternoon nap time at the street market in Khajuraho.

I am a ridiculous sucker for puppies and spent a lot of my time in India crouched down in gutters, cuddling, playing with, or feeding my new K9 friends. My mum knows exactly what I'm like and a few years ago when she found a picture of a street dog licking my face, she decided I wasn't getting any birthday presents.. Instead three lots of Rabies vaccinations๐Ÿ’‰ #thanksmum! I often wish that I could take some of the street dogs home with me, but that's just not realistic. Instead, I support the Mad Dogs Trust in India, The Bali Animal Welfare Association in Indonesia and Embark in Sri Lanka. They take all kinds of donations (not just money) and always welcome new volunteers.

One of those glances back, that makes you think about the person who just walked past you. I wonder who the girl behind those young, innocent eyes is. I wonder if she goes to school, what her favourite things are.. and what the future holds for her.

Collecting dried cow dung, wearing a beautiful sari adorned with sequins. What a sight! (This is the close up, scroll through my feed for the wide shot of this stunning outfit).

Good morning Khujaraho! This mischievous little face was quite pleased after I gave him some sweets before breakfast! Sorry mum!

I think the phrase "happy little chappy" is appropriate here. Such a cheeky smile!

Did you know that dry cow dung can be used as fuel and to insulate houses? Each cake gives an average of 2100 kJ of energy. It's not uncommon to see people collecting, shaping and drying the dung for trade in rural India and Pakistan.

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