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One of Delhi's more upscale markets, Khan Market doesn't look like much from the outside, but the shops here stock a great selection of items, ranging from luxury imports to fine Indian decor items. It's popular among hoity-toity Delhiites and expats living in the nearby diplomatic enclave. The market is also home to plenty of great cafes and restaurants, including two branches of the much-loved Big Chill Cafe. Khan Chahcha, an old-school kebab joint, is a long-time favorite among meat-eating locals. Other popular dining spots include Italian restaurant Amici (who serve the best pizzas in town, in my opinion) and my personal favorite, Mrs Kaur's Crepes and More, which serves up delicious eggless crepes, waffles, pancakes, and even baked beans on toast.
If you want to sample cuisine from nearly every state in India, you can either spend months traveling around the country or simply head to Dilli Haat, an open-air crafts market that's sponsored by the government. While you can buy everything from saris to furniture at this subdued, slightly artificial recreation of a traditional market, most local people come for the food. There are booths representing cuisine from around India. Meat lovers won't want to miss the Chinese-like Nagaland cuisine; those with a penchant for spicy food should check out the Rajasthani booth.
If you've seen the Bond film Octopussy, you may recognize the Taj Lake Palace. This stunning white marble luxury palace hotel stands in the middle of Udaipur's Lake Pichola, and is only accessible by boat. dates back to the 18th century when it was used as a summer home by the then maharaja. It was converted into a hotel in the early 70s (a move that likely saved it from ultimately deteriorating) and in the past four decades has come to be known as one of India's most romantic--and expensive--properties.
The Ajanta Caves are collectively one of India's oldest and most awe-inspiring historic sites, with some historians dating parts of the complex back to the 2nd century BC. The caves are believed to have once formed a monastery and are noted for their remarkably well-preserved murals that depict stories from Buddhist tradition, as well as bas relief sculptures of the Buddha. They're usually visited alongside the Ellora Caves about 50 miles away; the nearest city is Aurangabad and this is where most visitors stay while exploring the region.
People often refer to the temples of Khajuraho as the "sex temples" or "kama sutra temples" and it's no wonder why. The 10th-12th century monuments here are adorned with relief sculptures depicting scenes from everyday life, including a number of sexual positions and partner combinations. While sex certainly helps sell the temples as a tourist attraction, there are plenty of scenes that are considerably more mundane by modern standards (people working, etc), but which shed an interesting light on how everyday people in the region lived some thousand-plus years ago.
If you're staying anywhere near Colaba Causeway, Mumbai's main tourist strip, make it a point to take a boat trip out to the Elephanta Caves, a group of basalt caves on a small island, about 6 miles offshore in the Arabian Sea. The caves are notable for their rock-cut shrines that are believed to have been carved somewhere between the 5th-8th centuries AD. There are seven caves in total; five contain Hindu shrines and two have Buddhist shrines. Boats leave regularly from the dock next to Colaba's India Gate.
Specializing in Keralan and Andheri home-cooked style food, Gunpowder is one of the most popular spots in South Delhi's trendy Hauz Khas Market neighborhood. It's known for its rich meat-based dishes served with flaky parantha (flatbread), although there's also plenty for vegetarians. This small restaurant gets its name from a super-hot spice blend that's mixed with oil an; if you like your dishes spicy, you can order some of this stuff on the side.
Out in the sticks, south of Jaipur, Chokhi Dhani encompasses much of what is weird and wonderful about India. This super-corny mega resort is essentially a fake Rajasthani village, with (authentic) live performances, elephant rides, carnival rides, a maze, craft demonstrations...the list goes on. It's a popular weekend retreat with families, and there are 80 or so spendy cottage rooms onsite. However, the main reason to come here for many people is the sumptuous--and seemingly seemingly endless--buffet of ghee-laden traditional Rajasthani food, included in the admission cost.
If you've had your fill of Indian food and want something different, check out one of the many branches of Moshe's, a pan-Mediterranean restaurant run by an Indian Jew who got his inspiration living on a kibbutz in Israel. Here you'll find everything from hummus to pasta, as well as fondue, grilled chicken, sandwiches, and a great selection of freshly-made desserts.
If you love cooking, you won't want to miss Old Delhi's famous spice market. The stalls here stock all kinds of freshly milled spices, which are generally sold in bulk. It's a great place to take photos, too. Just be warned that this market is well on the beaten trail, and foreigners are often overcharged for spices that aren't necessarily that high in quality. If you want guaranteed prices and purity, simply head to any local supermarket and pick up a pack of MDH spices; the maximum retail price will be stamped on the bottom of every box.