India is what you choose it to be.
Are you afraid of coming to India even though it’s been your long-time desire?
Are you are fascinated with the stunning and exotic images of India in the travel brochures and on the internet but also uncomfortable and queasy with the prospect of facing an India defined by images of poverty, crowds, dirt, crime and ofcourse, diarrhoea?
India is a huge place with contradictions and contrasts. There is no denying that it can be a tough destination for a foreign traveller.
But this is not how India is defined by the countless travellers who come back again and again to get more of this land.
So now you might be wondering what it is about India that has this effect on travellers. Here are some of the reasons that keep people coming back to India:
People are genuinely friendly and warm. It is not difficult to smile in India. Indians are known for their culture of hospitality and helpfulness and this is palpable to the visitor. Infact, foreign tourists are surprised to find that even those who are have very little still smile with abandon.
There is colour here like nowhere else. It’s a photographer’s paradise. Life without colour is no life. Indians love to dress bright and blingy and you will be overwhelmed by the beauty of the sarees, salwar kurtas, turbans and scarves.
The food is amazing. With a huge variety of regional cuisines to choose from, no meal is boring in India. The palate discovers what flavours truly are. Vegetarians and vegans will be particularly overjoyed. The downside is the possibility of gaining a few kilos. But hey, you only live once!
And by the way, it is a myth that everyone gets Delhi belly here. Really.
Spirituality that you cannot escape. India and spirituality are almost synonymous and the country has attracted seekers for centuries. No matter how severe the problems of a developing country and its people, it is that omnipresent spirituality which keeps the soul alive. Holy places like Varanasi and Haridwar attract people from around the world who long to understand and embrace a life of contentment, positivity and compassion. Even those who are not so inclined cannot deny being touched by that energy.
The historic monuments are like no other. Home to 35 of the world’s World Heritage Sites, and countless others historic places, India is indeed on of the most historically rich places on the planet. With a known history dating back atleast 7000 years, it is a country that has seen and experienced much. From cave temples to lofty forts and palaces, from to the most magnificent tombs like the Taj Mahal to ancient excavations sites, the mind boggles to see what one country can offer.
The wildlife and nature parks are amazing. With over 700 wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in the country there is no dearth of opportunities to go game spotting. Every region of India has its own unique flora and fauna. Tigers, lions, rhinos, wild elephants, snow leopards and many more endangered species as well as bird species can be found in India’s jungles.
The way of life in India embraces everyone. It is not unusual to find yourself blending into the local way of life and its culture. From bargaining hard like locals at souvenir shops, to doing the head wobble, to just being easy-going and relaxed, it is difficult to not just BE and have fun.
Tranquil retreats of untouched beauty. Yes, there are places in this over populated country where you can find peace and quiet. For those looking to get away there are places, from the pristine beaches of southern India to the snow-clad Himalayas in the north. You will find untouched natural beauty that you never imagined India had.
Something for the adventurers too. Those who like the outdoors and activity can enjoy trekking, jungle walks, white water rafting, skiing, scuba diving, water sports and much more. Camping or even Glamping, for the more discerning, is very popular too.
So, you see, while India is known for its stereotypes, it is also a country that is so much more. A journey to India is a journey of a lifetime.
Still thinking? Take the plunge. Just do it already!
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