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6 Instagram-Worthy Spots In India According To Shanaya Kapoor

Up-and-coming Bollywood actress Shanaya Kapoor lets us in on some of the most picturesque places in the Land of Diversity.

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As one of the oldest civilisations in the world and the seventh-largest country by land size, India is a vast kaleidoscope of history and culture. Home to over 1.2 billion people, there are more than 100 languages and over 200 mother tongues spoken in India. Its landscape extends from the snow-covered Himalayas in the north to the tropical rainforests in the south, making it one of the most geographically diverse places on earth.

Whether you’re visiting her loud and colourful cities or going off the beaten path in the rural countryside, India turns up surprises at every turn.

This is precisely what actress and Instagram personality Shanaya Kapoor loves about her home country. One of her guilty pleasures is to take off on a spontaneous weekend trip with loved ones to explore a new destination or revisit a familiar favourite.

“It’s impossible to take in the beauty of India in a single trip,” Kapoor gushes. “There’s just so much to see and do, and every city has its own magic.”

Here, the avid traveller shares with us some of the best spots in India to get a gorgeous shot for the ‘gram.

It’s impossible to take in the beauty of India in a single trip.

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Taj Mahal, Agra

In a country dotted with spectacular architecture, this is its crown jewel. Built between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a monument to his favourite wife, this dazzling ivory-white mausoleum is also a Unesco World Heritage Site. “When I was a child, my dad [an actor] was filming in the area and my mum took my brother and I to visit the place,” Kapoor shares. “It’s truly a spectacular place everyone needs to see at least once in their lives.”

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Gateway of India, Mumbai

Built in the early 20th century to commemorate the landing of King-Emperor George V, the first monarch to visit India, this impressive arch-monument is built in the Indo-Islamic style with elements of 16th-century Gujarati architecture. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, this is one of the most awe-inspiring sites in Mumbai. To avoid the tourist hordes, Kapoor advises visiting in the early morning. “The weather is cooler, and you can better appreciate the views,” she says.

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Marine Drive, Mumbai

For those looking to get a breather from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai, Marine Drive is a worthy contender. Stretched out across 3km, this seaside promenade is also nicknamed the “Queen’s Necklace” because when viewed from an aerial view at night, the street lights resemble a string of pearls. This serene coastal spot is where Kapoor says she goes to catch a breather and soak in the views. “It’s especially quiet and peaceful after midnight,” she adds.

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City Palace, Jaipur

Located in the heart of Jaipur city, this sprawling palace dates back to 1727 but continues to be an iconic site of architectural grandeur. Bringing together the best of Rajput, Mughal and European architectural styles, the palace features vast courtyards, towering structures and several smaller palaces that have now been converted to museums. “There is so much history to this place, and its unique red and pink sandstone architecture make this place a must-visit,” says Kapoor.

The beaches of Goa

With a coastline that stretches across more than 100km, Goa is world-renowned for its spectacular beaches. Whether you’re an adrenaline seeker looking for high-octane sea sports or are simply after a quiet stretch of sand to unwind, the pristine beaches and gin-clear waters of Goa are a perennial crowd-pleaser. Here, you can soak up sun, sand and sea in abundance and enjoy a more laid-back pace of life. Kapoor shares that she’s always preferred the beaches in south Goa for its relative remoteness. “Colva Beach is one of my favourite places to sit, chill and admire the ocean – I find it extremely therapeutic,” she shares.

Golden Temple, Amritsar

Also known as the Harimandir Sahib or the “Abode of God”, this is one of the most significant spiritual sites for followers of Sikhism. The temple is famous for its full golden dome, with the upper half of the building built with approximately 400 kilograms of gold leaf. “Growing up, I used to visit the Golden Temple very often with my mum and grandparents,” Kapoor says. “I haven’t been in awhile but I definitely want to visit again soon.”

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Shanaya Kapoor’s Picks For The Best Of The Best In Mumbai

Headed to the entertainment capital of India? Let up-and-coming Bollywood actress Shanaya Kapoor let you in on some of Mumbai’s trendiest spots.

"Mumbai is a place where dreams come true,” Shanaya Kapoor declares. The effervescent actress and Instagram personality is a Mumbai native, and proud of it. “There are so many different industries powering Mumbai city – whatever you’re searching for, you can find it. It’s a place filled with opportunities, and where bright young minds come to grow and expand.

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Of course, when it comes to the entertainment business, there’s no better place than Mumbai. “Mumbai is the heart and soul of showbiz in India,” Kapoor says. She would know – Kapoor was born to Bollywood power couple Sanjay and Maheep Kapoor, and the 22-year-old is set to star in an upcoming film Bedhadak, slated for release in 2023.

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When she’s not busy filming, the fun-loving starlet can be spotted hanging out with friends in the artsy district of Kala Ghoda or dancing the night away at Soho House, a social club that looks out to the lively Juhu Beach.

For those planning a visit to Mumbai, here are Kapoor’s recommendations on the best places for…

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Celebrity-spotting

Located in the upmarket coastal district of Bandra, Mehboob Studio is a sprawling film and recording studio that has churned out scores of popular movies and TV shows. One of the best ways to experience Mehboob is to sign up for a guided tour with tour group, Withlocals, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at the origins of Bollywood and a stop at one of its iconic studios. If you’re lucky, you just might catch a glimpse of a Bollywood celebrity. In fact, Kapoor reveals that she was once filming in a studio next door to Ranveer Singh, her all-time favourite actor. “I didn’t manage to see him but knowing he was there was exciting enough,” she gushes.

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Mumbai is a place where dreams come true.

Retail therapy

Officially known as Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, this bustling street links Colaba with the Old Woman’s Island in Mumbai. Here, you’ll find many shopping centres selling everything from clothes and jewellery to home decor and antiques. “This area has many old but well-preserved buildings, which I love,” Kapoor shares. “I also always manage to find cool and unique jewellery pieces whenever I shop here.”

A good night out with friends

“Soho House is my absolute favourite place to hang out, whether it’s enjoying a quiet cocktail with a friend or dancing with a big group on Sunday nights,” Kapoor says. Overlooking the coastline, this social club features beach-chic interiors and top-notch facilities that include a rooftop pool and bar, club spaces and several restaurants. “This place is frequented by many artists and you just get a really fun, energetic vibe,” Kapoor adds.

Spending time with family

If you’re travelling with young children in tow, Kapoor suggests visiting any of Mumbai’s 12 beaches to soak up the views and let the little ones let off some energy. Chowpatty Beach and Gorai Beach are some of the more popular ones but if you’re looking to escape the crowds, head to Kalamb, a clean and quiet stretch of coastline in the far north of Mumbai. For Kapoor, Juhu Beach holds a special place in her heart. “It’s located close to my home and I used to go there in the early hours of the morning before school to enjoy the peace and quiet,” she shares.

Authentic Western Indian cuisine

Gajalee is a familiar favourite for many Mumbaikars because this restaurant is where you’ll go for comfort food like Bombil fry, a type of fried fish that is crispy on the outside but soft and buttery on the inside. However, Kapoor swears what makes this dish especially unique is the homemade chutney they serve alongside the main dish. Another favourite of hers is the tandoori crab, cooked in a rich, spicy and creamy masala. “The food here is consistently delicious and you won’t experience flavours like that outside of Gajalee,” says Kapoor.

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A romantic evening

For those travelling with a special someone, Kapoor recommends making a reservation at Gustoso. According to her, this Italian fine dining restaurant serves “the best Neapolitan-style pizza in Mumbai.” The food here is prepared using only the freshest, most seasonal produce and is reminiscent of what you would get in a trattoria in Rome or Naples. On rainy evenings, when they lower the see-through covers in the outdoor section, Kapoor says the entire venue becomes extra beautiful — almost like the set of a romantic comedy.

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