India is an incredibly exotic tourist destination – a land of mesmerizing sounds, vibrant sights, and intoxicating smells. One cannot ignore the beauty of the sub-continent, whether it is the white frozen peaks of the Himalayas or the lush greenery of Kerala.
Few countries in the world carve such a deep, lasting impression on a traveler as India does. It is a land of marked contrasts and sensory delights, with its cacophony of sounds, sights and extreme contradictions.
It boasts of traditions carried on for over five thousand years, a vibrant cultural life, ancient ruins in every city, crumbling palaces and mystical temples that inspire awe. India is a land of unmatched bio-diversity, from snow-capped peaks in the north, to invigorating jungles, and picturesque beaches. It is a place where travelers can explore their innermost thoughts and fears, and discover themselves. It is also a budget-friendly place to travel, and if you follow some guidelines, you can make your trip safe, relatively hassle-free and extremely enjoyable.
A trip to India is full of the unexpected… but one thing’s certain: you won’t return home quite the same!
India is a dream destination that is on the bucket list of many travelers for a variety of reasons. India caters to everyone, from five-star travelers to budget backpackers, from spiritual seekers to adventurers of the great outdoors.
A trip to India can be life changing, it will expose you to socio-economic issues like poverty, over-population and patriarchal traditions on one hand; but on the other, you will also experience vibrancy of colors, diversity of culture, exotic food, rich history, beautiful landscapes, warm people and much more.
The diversity in Indian culture, language, food, climate, and religion is truly fascinating and at times can be overwhelming for first time visitors. Not surprising for a country with deep-rooted traditions, lifestyle and culture, very different from what you might expect to see in, say, North America, Europe or Australia. Many travelers experience varying levels of culture shock, though this can somewhat be remedied by understanding what to expect and how to navigate the culture before traveling there.
Traveling to India need not be an overwhelming experience – particularly if it’s your first time or if you’re travelling solo.
Reasons to visit India
India has something to offer to every kind of traveler… be it safaris, desert camel treks, adventure thrills, mountain trekking, spiritual enrichment, family vacations, holistic health treatments, shopping extravaganzas, or sight-seeing.
1. History and Architecture
An architecturally diverse country filled with forts, palaces, temples, shrines, monuments and ancient ruins, it is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, and has witnessed many empires, wars, invasions and religions dating back to 5000 BC. Architectural styles have evolved under the influence of many dynasties as well as the colonial period under the British empire.
India is home to 37 UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites, each one more exquisite and fascinating, a definite paradise to architectural history lovers and travelers alike.
There are many yoga teachers, schools and ashrams in India to choose from. Being in an ashram or monastery is an incredible experience, that changes one’s life forever.
Rishikesh, the north Indian town on the Ganges often called “the yoga capital of the world” became world-famous thanks to the Beatles, who traveled there some 50 years ago. There are many yoga styles and lineages to choose from. So, whether you are looking to deepen your yoga postures, or want to take the Yoga teacher training course, Rishikesh is the go-to place for a truly enlightening experience.
3. The Himalayas
Many of the world’s highest mountains – including the top three, Everest, K2 and Kanchenjunga – are part of this vast range that runs along India’s eastern border for more than 2,400 kilometers. (Mount Everest is within Nepal). Since ancient times, the Himalayas have attracted countless pilgrims and mountaineers to scale their heavenly glaciated heights.
The word Himalaya comes from Sanskrit – hima (“snow”) and alaya (“abode”), i.e. a place of perpetual snow. These are also some of the world’s most sacred mountains. Mount Kailash in Tibet (China) is considered as the home of the Great God Shiva or Mahadev.
4. The food
Apart from tourist places, India is famous for its delicious food. Every state has its unique specialty in food items. Where ever you go in India, the food will not disappoint you.
In the North, you’ll taste lots of thick, creamy curries that are moderately spicy. North Indian cuisine is heavily influenced by Persian and Mughlai styles of cooking.
South Indian cuisine is commonly characterized by the use of ingredients such as coconut, seafood and rice, and is much spicier than north indian food.
Vegetarians are also well catered for in India, as a large proportion of the population is vegetarian.
In India, a trip to the market (or bazaar) is much more than a shopping expedition: it’s a full-on cultural immersion. The markets are incredibly lively, and full of colorful merchandise. And some of them, like the medieval lanes of Old Delhi, are a journey into India’s storied past. Go with the unhurried zeal of an explorer, enjoy the process of finding a treasure and get into the spirit of the place by haggling over the price.
In India, the fine art of bargaining is part habit, part prudence and part adventure. Don’t let awkwardness or misplaced ethics keep you from enjoying one of India’s favorite pastime. The major attractions in India for shopping are artifacts, handicrafts, souvenirs, hand looms and clothes.
India has some wonderful stretches of beaches, the most well-known ones being in Goa, which tend to be touristy, as compared to those in Kerala, which are more peaceful and serene.
Most tourists flock to the well-known beaches, but there are many lesser known delights like Gokarna in Karnataka, the beaches of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, Tarkarli in Maharastha or Puri in Orissa. Wherever you go, you can find options for accommodations, from tiny beach shacks for $5 per night to ultra-luxury resorts that provide you with your own butler.
7. Spiritual enrichment
In India, religion and spirituality are intricately intertwined with everyday life. India is home to many of the major religions of the world and is the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.
A trip to India can be very inspiring and refreshing for the soul. Many people also come to India to find spirituality, practice yoga, or live in a Buddhist monastery.
India is a paradise for nature and wildlife lovers. Many types of excursions like wildlife jeep rides, desert camel safaris, and nature treks through the Himalayan forests are available to choose from.
Home to some of the most unique flora and fauna species, India boasts a rich biodiversity, as the geography of the country is dotted with thick forests, serving as the habitat of a huge number of wildlife species. From The Great Himalayan National Park in the north to Bandipur National Park in the south, rare and exotic species such as asiatic lions, bengal tigers, snow leopards and rhinoceros sightings will make your trip utterly exhilarating.
Rajasthan is the place to experience desert safaris. Tourists can choose to ride on jeeps or camels in daytime, and then enjoy campfires at night relaxing to cultural music and dance performances in traditional settings.
If you’ve made up your mind to visit India or are still considering, you’re at the right place! This website exclusively provides information on getting you ready for your exciting journey.
No matter where you travel to in India, a keen sense of adventure follows you everywhere you go. Whether you’re riding around the southern beaches of Goa, trekking snow-capped mountains in the north, attempting to spot bengal tigers and indian elephants in the wild, haggling in the streets of Mumbai, or even just navigating the chaotic streets of Delhi, traveling to India is going to be one big adventure!
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