They say that the more you stay in a place, you become that place. For travelers who have had the opportunity to travel to India, the experience has been nothing short of exhilarating. The sights, sounds, and the smell of the subcontinent borders on being incredible. The vast landscape blends with history to deliver us with civilization as old as mankind. India is not just a country but a smorgasbord of kaleidoscopic wonder, wrapped in an enigma, waiting to be opened by the wide-eyed individual, rummaging for stories that make the heartbeat.
So what may be the reasons to travel to India. Let's have a look:
India is not contiguous culturally. The language and the dialect change every 100 km. It may also come as a shock to many. Western civilization has had a different perspective vis a vis culture, and someone who has been born with certain fixed notions, India would turn out to be bewilderment. The immensity of the land and its extreme geographical features have led the country to become a diverse hotspot, amalgamating the myriad into a lucid singularity. India is the land of many, and yet its oneness is warm and inviting.
This is in continuation of the changing culture. With varying customs, language, and way of living, the kind of food that people also eat changes. Indian cuisine is a melange of tastes and characters. The food from our perspective is not just a routine of consumption but an appendage to the whole assortment of ideas, beliefs, and faith. It ranges from being spicy to elegantly sour to immensely bitter. And we wash it down with a variety of juices in various forms. India is a land of plenty, and so are our sources of consumable resources. Lest I forget to mention, never forget to taste the desserts and sweets. Immortality strikes at the unlikeliest places.
The best places to visit in India
This is an ancient land, a 5000-year-old civilization, and a country with immense choices. Just like its food, India is a traveler's delight. A single visit is never advised since the need to keep coming back becomes as justifiable as breathing itself.
Where to visit in India?
The land can be divided into North, South, East, and West. Every zone has its surprises and mesmerizes the wandering heart, each time a foot is stepped on its soil. India is a country that provides some of the most magnificent views. From the towering Himalayas to the teeming souls in its umpteen cities. The rivers that snake through it to the lush green forests and the Ghats, India is never short of splurges. It also boasts of coral reefs at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and hundreds of beaches to choose from. So if you are asking me where all to travel, let's start planning for a lifetime.
The country is a museum of disbelief. It ranges from antiquity to modernism in the subtlest form. The change in the landscape becomes an adjunct to the emerging structures that have stood the test of time. India has been a kingdom to thousands of empires. Each period has left behind an indelible mark and not just in the form of art and literature but architecture too. This is the land that has the Nalanda, the gorgeous forts of the Rajputs and the erstwhile sultans. The land has had a dichotomous relationship with history. India has 32 UNESCO listed heritage sites. A journey to this country is akin to discovering a treasure trove.
A country is never its land and mountains, forests or rivers, alone. A country is its people. And India has almost 1.3 billion of them. Indians are garrulous, inquisitive, and on the whole down to earth. The locals and especially the rural folks are known for their large-heartedness and kindness. As a traveler, you may become the center of attraction. Foreigners have often been invited to homes in villages and treated with sumptuous local cuisine. It is never too bad to feel like a celebrity at times.
This is a land that is synonymous with spirituality. It is a boiling pot of faith and religion, cooked on slow flame. Once cooked, they come in the form of the numerous festivities which jot the Indian calendar. There is always a festival around the corner. One can never be far away from a fair or a cultural show in the country. It is both mesmerizing as well as has its share of difficulties. But the experience of being a part of the second-most populous nation on earth is a joy by itself. All religions have the right to perform their festivals, which makes the Indian story ethereal. Look out for Diwali, where the centerfold is light and sound and Durga Puja, the prime festival of the Bengalis from West Bengal.
Peninsular India is a gift to those who dream about beaches and their waves. Goa is the place to be. All the year-round. It is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in India. However, there are plenty of other choices if the Sea and The Bay is your calling. Warm, filled with sunlight, fun, and frolic, India's beaches are enticing and a treat to the weary body, mind, and soul.
India is one of the most affordable holiday destinations and with the rupee getting further devalued. It has become a whole lot cheaper. On the price competitiveness, India ranks 10th. Also, with affordable accommodation, food that costs almost nothing, and traveling around will cost you peanuts, India is the place to be.
Well and truly. If you have not been a part of the chaos called India, then the journey is incomplete. The pulsating vibe of Delhi, the fast-moving Mumbai, the comparably staid Kolkata or the civil Chennai, India, has umpteen spoils to tease you with. The riot of color, sound, and smell is celestial to the worldly traveler. Yes, there is pollution, and Indian cities are not the cleanest on the planet, but there is enough good already happening, to keep these unwanted distractions aside.
Want to live within the bosom of nature and enjoy the tranquillity of silence. Also, enjoy the sight of the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger or the lions of Gir. This is the country to be. India has many national parks and sanctuaries which are open to the public most of the year-round. Notable places one can visit are the Sunderbans, Bandhavgarh, and Ranthambore.
The Great Indian Railways
If you want to feel the air hitting your face and the green fields and the striking surroundings blinding you with joy, the railways are the mode of transport to travel on. India cannot be complete without the great Indian Railways being a partner of yours. There is a certain heady exhilaration attached to train travel. Indian Railways is the fourth largest railway system on the planet and has plenty of plans and schemes for travelers to choose from. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railways is, of course, a highlight while the luxury trains offer you the splendor of traveling in style. The Indian railways evoke a sense of romanticism, which should never be missed.
India, with its titanic landscape, offers the ubiquitous hiker countless options. One can hike around the lower Himalayas or the Eastern and Western Ghats. There are numerous hiking trails in the North-Eastern corner of the country. From easy climbs to steep walks, there is a choice for everyone.
The game of cricket
You need not be a traveler from one of the cricket playing nations. But you can certainly visit one of the stadiums during an international game featuring India or an IPL game (it is the private league consisting of clubs quite like the English Premier League). The fans still shout Sachin Tendulkar's name even though he has retired a few winters ago. The atmosphere is electric, and a cricket match is a festival by itself. Do not forget to carry your smartphone because DSLRs are not allowed mostly. Indian cricket stadiums are also some of the largest and state of the art in the cricketing world. They are also some of the best places to visit in India.
Any travel to India is incomplete without a peek of the white pearl beside the silent Yamuna. The Taj is immortalized as the symbol of love; an emperor had for his queen. Step on the white marble and transport yourself to the times when the mighty Mughals ruled the country. The splendor and the artistry of the artisans are unmatched, and the Taj Mahal is for every reason considered to be its crowning jewel. While in Agra, do visit Fatehpur Sikri and the Agra Fort too. They, too, derive the same love because the architecture is no less overwhelming.
India is a storybook whose pages are yet being written. It is immersive, as well as a bit difficult to handle at times. But then considering it to be a country only, would be a gross inaccuracy.
India is an emotion.