The Colors of India

Lately, India has been on my mind. 

Well, actually, it’s been on my mind for the six months its been since I brought back a virus and a heart bursting with an affection for a country I didn’t realize I ever wanted to visit. And maybe it’s knowing I’ll be grounded for a while that has me drifting back to my last big adventure as a single lady.

Once Hayley and I got past the initial shock of India – its smells, its traffic and noise, its humidity – our senses made everything a heightened experience. I salivate at the first aloo gobi at Touch of Spice and the layers in the thali in Mumbai. The smell of incense when passing the door of a temple. The cacophony of darn horns because, well, that’s what they’re for right?

India assaulted my senses, and none more so than the sense of sight. I was shocked to find an India that was more colorful than I’d imagined. Reds and whites and yellows flood my consciousness when I close my eyes and remember India.

That, and aloo gobi. Ñom.

Red // laala

Red is an obvious color for India, given its numerous Mughal forts in and around the Golden Triangle. But besides the beet-colored palaces, we found red in temple markings, ubiquitous souvenirs and bindis. 

Pink // gaØlaabai

While I hadn’t initially included Jaipur on our list of places to visit in India, it was my favorite city. Nicknamed “The Pink City,” Jaipur was painted pink in the late 19th century to welcome the Prince of Wales. I found the Hawa Mahal to be absolutely enchanting, though the langurs at Monkey Temple, not so much.

Yellow // pailaa

The color of marigolds being strung outside of temples, of glittering turrets and dreamy sunsets – yellow looks good on India. Even amidst reds and greens, yellow seemed to pop.

Green // hra

Green will always remind me of those wild tuk tuk rides we took, particularly with Mukul and Ali. I learned to embrace the motorized tricycle and its ability to weave in and out of traffic. We didn’t find many green spaces in the city, but will pops of color elsewhere, I hardly noticed.

Blue // nailaa

You have to look a little bit harder to find the blue. Wisps of contamination, particularly in the big cities, blot out the blue sky I’m used to seeing in Spain every afternoon, so the few blue hues stood out. And then there are those blue Indian Railways trains. In the more memorable of the two (or perhaps more Indian) trip, we were escorted to a sleeping car and, lulled to sleep by the sound of Utter Pradesh melting into the deserts of Rajasthan. 

White // safðd

Few whites are to be seen – everything in India seems to have a layer of dirt or dust but the beyond pristine Taj Mahal. 

But the whites somehow gleamed and made the other colors stand out next to them. India is the sort of place where you can walk across the street and see a sea of contrasts – in sari styles, in mustaches, in skin color – but the colors are just as vivid no matter where you are.

Have you ever been to a place where color has blown you away?

To visit India is o experience sensory overload. I explore the subcontinent through my camera lens (because you can not share the deliciousness any other way).

Read more on India and Colors: Why I Didn’t Ride an Elephant at the Amber Fort // Córdoba, the Technicolor City

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living amongst pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she works in higher education at an American university in Madrid and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.


  1. Beautiful Cat!
    On your next trip, visit Jodhpur, the city of blue, to get more blue in…Jaisalmer for gold…and then Kerala with its tea and spice plantations and backwater canals lined with palm trees will give you tons of of green.

  2. Lovely photos! India had never been on my radar either, but recently I’ve started to seriously consider it. Just gotta find the time and the money to make it happen…
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  3. Nice article! Love the emphasize on color and the inclusion of the Hindi words. :)

    • Thanks for visiting and commenting, Justin!

    • yes truly inspiring and awesome to read such a wonderful collection of words. even for a native speaker of Hindi such as myself, there is always something new to learn about my own language, like the names of colours. truly a revelation. please also teach us how to say the words in Spanish.

  4. The colours and culture of India have been calling me for more years that I care to recall. It’s just so diverse that I expect to have nothing but amazing experiences each and every day; though I could easily leave out the elephant rides.
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    • It’s eye-opening travel, most definitely. I sometimes think I’m getting complacent when in Europe, as it’s so close to my home culture in so many ways. It’s hard to blink in India! We ended up skipping the elephant rides, though I did have to snap pictures of them – they’re so cool!

  5. The colours of India fascinate me – so deep and rich! Great photos :)
    Lizzie @ Wanderful World recently posted..Language Barriers: Living in a Place Where You Don’t Speak the LanguageMy Profile

  6. oooh, so very beautiful! How does the Taj Mahal stay so clean?
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  7. Too. Much. Wanderlust. To handle.

    Seriously, these are gorgeous photos. I understand what you mean when you say that India assaulted your senses! It’s colors and sights seem so captivating. Also, I have so many ganas to visit Jaipur!
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  8. I think the colors of India are intoxicating! (And I love the Taj picture!) I can’t really think of a more vibrant places, but the colors of Lisbon also stick in my mind as incredibly vibrant.
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    • Lisbon is lovely, and I’d stick Seville – where I live – in there too. I am fortunate to not only feel captivated by where I live, but also love returning back after a trip and remembering how amazing it is. If I had to do it over, I’d love to live in India for six or twelve months!

  9. You really captured it I think. I hope I will find a friend to go with me one day.
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  10. What a gorgeous place,and you did a great job capturing the colors….
    Valen-Your Own Life recently posted..Do You Actually Live How You Say You Want To Live?My Profile

  11. I absolutely love this post. I’m part Indian and I loved every detail of your photos though I have only been to visit my family in Goa, India. It’s on my list to visit Jaipur, Delhi among some.
    It’s definitely a great experience and eye-opener for sure!!! I’m glad you had a great trip and are yearning for more. :)

    • If India was like a eligious experience for me, I can’t even imagine what it would be like for someone with roots there. We nearly went to Goa before opting for the Golden Triangle because, India. And the Taj.

  12. Beautiful photos! Morocco and Istanbul are two places where the colors (and sights and smells and sounds) really jumped out at me. I imagine I would love India in a similar way.
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  13. We love the colours at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s Hindustani Social Club. India’s very much in our travel plans. If only to sample breakfast curry.
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  14. reminds me of our amazing and colorful trip to India. you are actually right, it is a worth seeing place :)
    Gabi@TheNomadicFamily recently posted..10 Year Old Children Today- Modern Parenting Failure #231My Profile

  15. Ahhh, these photos bring back so many good memories of India travel! Very artistically composed, too.
    Lillie – @WorldLillie recently posted..Create Your Own Lantern Festival: A Beautiful Art ProjectMy Profile

  16. Love this post, Cat. I also love the colors of India. Pinned one of your Jaipur shots, what a beautiful city it is, grime and all!
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  17. I thought it was very clever to do a photo gallery with the colors of India. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos.
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  18. Beautiful photos! Every time I see more travel bloggers’ photos from India I want to go there even more. It looks like such a vibrantly colourful country. I can’t wait to visit!

  19. Dear Cat, photos arebrilliantly captured and compiled, but I would like to say,these are the colours of one part of India, if you come down to south , it is green, blue , white and black!

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