India is a magical place to travel. It is a vibrant land where the traditional and modern worlds meet. The country is vast and varied, with so many wonderful people, incredible food, immense spiritual power and amazing culture. It is also a place with wonderful festivals, architecture and landscapes. India, with all of its beauty, is unlike anywhere else on Earth.
There are so many flavors, textures and colors to Indian food.
It is so easy to have an amazing meal at every turn. A traditional dish that the first-time traveler may want to try is Rogan Josh, which is an aromatic lamb curry, with an array of spices, tomatoes, ginger and garlic. Or try Chaats (savoury snacks) which is a kind of street food made with puffed rice and peas, vegetables and spices.
By and large, the people of India are warm and friendly. Do not be surprised if you are invited into someone’s home. They have a proverb that says “Atithidevo Bhava” which means “the guest is equivalent to God.” They are more than happy to welcome visitors into their homes and will be wonderful company for an evening.
Places You Must Visit
Ladakh – located in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, this area is surrounded by alpine climate. Its snow-capped peaks and clean azure sky will cast its spell on you, leaving you enthralled.
Taj Mahal – One of the most recognizable symbols of great architecture in the world. Come at sunrise for a truly magical experience.
Ajanta Ellora Caves – Built between the 5th and 10th centuries by monks, this is a UNESCO World Heritage site, with a collection of 34 carved monasteries, chapels and temples. A nice excellent excursion from Mumbai.
Golden Temple – located in Amritsar, this is a place of great beauty and sublime peacefulness. It is a site of meditation and serves about 50,000 free meals daily. An important spiritual center and a sacred place for Sikhs.
The Holy City of Varanasi –
a major pilgrimage for Hindus, this city has long been associated with the Ganges River. Explore the Old Quarter to get a piece of history.
The best thing you can do when in the cities is to walk. But if your destination is too far to walk, take a taxi. For journeys less than 20 minutes, take a rickshaw. Buses are also available, if your schedule will allow it. For longer distances outside the cities, take a train, as this is the best form of transportation to see the magnificent landscapes of India.
A fascinating mix of exotic animals await you in India. You will find them everywhere, from the lush mangrove swamps to the desolate sand deserts to the ice alpine meadows. In fact, India harbors some of the richest biodiversity on the planet. Explore any one of the many wildlife reserves, where you will get to witness elephants, tigers, monkeys, leopards, antelopes and rhinos in their natural habitat. The Kanha Tiger Reserve is well known.
India is truly unlike any country on Earth. Be sure to explore both the cities, the small communities and the countryside, for a well-rounded experience of this great land.