10 Enlightening Destinations in India That Will Expand Your World View

 

Mark Twain once famously said that, “India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great-grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.” How’s that for a travel recommendation?

 

India is indeed one of the most awe-inspiring places in the world to visit and a top travel destination, but it’s also a land that inspires spiritual awakenings and enlightenment. Ready to plan a trip? Here are a few destinations to keep in mind when creating your itinerary:

 

1-Varanasi

Often referred to as the City of Temples, Varanasi is considered the spiritual capital of India. It’s also ripe with history, as its settlement dates all the way back to the 11th century B.C. Interestingly, many people of the Hindu faith believe that if you happen to die in Varanasi, you can escape the cycle of reincarnation and achieve nirvana.

 

2-The-Golden-Temple-in-Amritsar

At first glance, the Golden Temple (formally known as Sri Harmandir Sahib) looks like a royal palace, but its roots are far more humble. The temple is the most sacred shrine to those who practice Sikhism and welcomes steady numbers of Sikh pilgrims each year.

 

3-Darjeeling

When you hear the word Darjeeling, you likely first think of tea… and you’re not off base! Darjeeling is home to sprawling tea plantations on its lush green slopes. This area is also well known as a prime spot to take in a majestic sunrise (with a cup of hot tea, of course).

 

4-ruins-of-hampi

Take a step back in time by entering the weathered ruins of Hampi. Here, you’ll find the remnants of ancient Dravidian temples that once belonged to the Kingdom of Vijayanagar, which was demolished by pillagers in 1565.

 

5valley-of-flowers

Calling all you nature lovers. If the idea of strolling through scenic meadows blooming with wildflowers sounds like your idea of heaven, then India’s Valley of Flowers National Park is a must-see travel destination. In fact, its breathtaking views have drawn visitors since ancient times.

 

6-haridwar

Another spiritually rich locale, Haridwar is considered one of the seven holiest places on Earth to the Hindus, and it’s a site of constant pilgrimages for those who wish to bathe in the flowing holy waters of the Ganges River. This water has even been called “the water of immortality.”

 

7-bodh-gaya

It makes sense that Bodh Gaya is a sacred site for Buddhists considering that this is the exact location in which Gautama Buddha is said to have gained Enlightenment beneath a Bodhi tree. The city is also home to the picturesque Mahabodhi Temple.

 

8-kerala

Kerala is perhaps best known for its serene streams of backwaters, floating houseboats and tropical terrain. This gorgeous locale is home to robust tea and spice production, as well.

 

9-Rishikesh

Welcome to the “Yoga Capital of the World.” Rishikesh is certainly a major hub of yoga and meditation, but it’s also commonly referred to as the Gateway to the Himalayas. Its Lakshman Jhula suspension bridge (pictured here) is reason enough for a visit if you’re not exactly yoga inclined.

 

10-Cherrapunji

The town of Cherrapunji may be known as one of the wettest places on earth, but don’t let that dissuade you from visiting its lush terrain. While its flowing waterfalls are a sight to behold, its living root bridges are the main draw.

 

Which of these locales have you personally traveled to, and which are on your list of places to see? Share your favorite Indian destinations with us in the comments section below!

 

Happy (and enlightening) travels!

 

XOXO,

The Chan Luu Team

 

Images courtesy of Pinterest.

Ten L.A. Gems You Need to See

The City of Angels is filled with iconic places to see, but it’s also home to plenty of secret gems that are worthy of your itinerary attention. Whether you are planning a trip to the West Coast or already reside in Hollywood, we’ve rounded up ten of the best hotspots located throughout the Los Angeles area. Join us as we take a tour of L.A.’s must-see hideouts.

1. ALFRED COFFEE

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Source: Alfred Hotel

“But first, coffee!” You’ve seen the trademark phrase printed on everything, but did you know it originated with Alfred Coffee? Owner Joshua Zad created this line of Instagram-chic coffee shops as an antidote to his craving for a better coffee experience. Zad even commissioned clothier Rag & Bone to design the workers’ uniforms. How’s that for a stylish cup of joe?

2. THE NOW MASSAGE BOUTIQUE

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Source: The Now

Heralded as a sanctuary for surprisingly affordable spa luxuries, The Now is the perfect place to get your massage fix. Its desert-inspired décor and spa treatment menu make this retreat an enticing way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.

3. BOTANICAL GARDENS AT THE HUNTINGTON LIBRARY

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Source: The Huntington Library

The every changing Botanical Gardens cover 120 acres and is full of curated gardens arranged within a variety of amazing landscapes. Our favorites must see gardens are the Desert and the Japanese Gardens, which create a serene and relaxing environment.

4. EATON CANYON

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Source: Wikipedia

Located in scenic Pasadena, the Eaton Canyon area features majestic waterfalls and hiking trails to explore. Cool off in waist-deep wading pools and take in the scenic beauty of blooming flowers all around. Sigh.

5. ISABEL MARANT GARDEN

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Source: Pinterest

Isabel Marant’s flagship store boasts an exterior that almost rivals its interior collection of designer goods. The boutique features an outdoor cactus garden filled with gorgeous succulents. It’s like a shopping oasis dream come true.

6. THE CHARLIE HOTEL

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Source: The Charlie Hotel

Forget taking a crowded stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Charlie Hotel allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of L.A. and connect with old Hollywood in a more tranquil setting. This collection of quaint cottages was a popular retreat for many Hollywood stars, including Charlie Chapman, Marilyn Monroe and Marlene Dietrich. (Each cabin is fittingly named for one of its former celebrity guests.)

7. THE LAST BOOKSTORE

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Source: The Last Bookstore

Some days, even the most die-hard surfer girl just wants to get lost in a book. Indulge your literary needs at The Last Bookstore, California’s largest collection of new and used books and vinyl records. The space rivals your favorite reading nook with a cozy blend of vintage Victorian details throughout a modern bohemian loft.

8. BAR MARMONT

CHAN LUU BLOG 08 - BAT MARMONT

Source: Bar Marmont

If you’re hoping to rub elbows with Hollywood’s brightest, Bar Marmont is certainly worth a weeknight visit. Nestled between the Chateau Marmont Hotel and the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood, this ambient bar features hanging plants, mood lighting and delicate paper butterflies suspended from the ceiling. Fun fact: Leonardo DiCaprio celebrated his 21st birthday here on its opening night in 1995.

9. THE THEATRE AT ACE HOTEL

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Source: The Theatre at Ace Hotel

This restored 1920s movie theatre is a site to behold. Its Spanish Gothic architecture, vaulted ceilings, ornate mezzanine and colorful murals all add to its exquisite charm and breathtaking beauty.

10. THE EDISON

CHAN LUU BLOG 10 - THE EDISON

Source: The Edison

Originally an old power plant, The Edison was redesigned as a steampunk venue for food, drinks and playful burlesque shows. This unique site is the perfect mix of L.A. nightlife, creative artistry and sleek industrial design.

How many of these gorgeous L.A. hotspots have you visited – and which one is your personal favorite? Tell us your thoughts (and let us know which places we missed) in the comments section below!

XOXO,

The Chan Luu Team

Bay Dreams

 

Big winter swells on the North Shore leave us escaping to the calm of east side bays. There’s a still dreaminess that you really can’t find anywhere else on the island, one that just keeps you coming back for more…

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Photos by @mermaidlove808

Sparkling water, skies, and these silver Chan Luu pieces ♥︎
Silver Horn Necklace
Silver Thru Earrings

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