Planning a trip to India conjures up images of the Taj Mahal, women in stunning saris and steaming bowls of curry. India is a country that spikes conversation no matter who you talk to and travellers head to India to explore the myriad of tourist offerings; the country is full of intrigue, spirituality, history, and adventure. While there are many reasons to visit India, the following is a list of 10 that should inspire your next vacation.
Jewelry, fabric, spices, and crafts! India is a shopper’s heaven and the prices can certainly entice even the most budget conscious traveller. Imagine the intricate patterned cashmere pashminas draped around your shoulders, silk scarves around your neck, wrists dripping in gold bangles, and feet bedazzled in crystal beaded heels. Apart from fashion, India boasts some of the best tea in the world, finely crafted leather products, spices, and beautiful scents.
Forget Butter chicken and naan, Indian food is as diverse as the country is vast. Known for an intense variety of herbs and spices, most Indian food is spicy and fragrant, just remember to carry a bottle of tums with you in case you overindulge. Depending on climate, religion, and spices available, the food in each region differs greatly. For example Muslims don’t eat pork, Jains are vegetarians, and Hindus don’t eat beef, in Punjab they emphasise food cooked in a clay oven (tandoor), in Central India they go heavy on the spices, and in the South they attribute different foods and herbs to holistic healing and thus food is considered quite healthy. Food in India is definitely an adventure in and of itself so don’t be shy and dig in.
The birthplace of yoga, if you’re looking to unwind and center yourself, India is the perfect place to learn to clear your mind. With yoga retreats and meditation centers you can refresh your soul in exquisite locations around the country. From the budget friendly Ashrams to luxurious retreats equipped with spas and pools, you can choose your comfort level and focus your attention on the healing powers of yoga, meditation , ayurvedic principles of healing and pure relaxation.
Goa is not the only place in India with picture perfect beaches but it is usually the busiest of all of India’s beach destinations. Radhanagar Island is an isolated slice of heaven and is often considered one of Asia’s best beaches with white powdery sand surrounded by lush green hillsides. With 7500 kilometers of coastline, you’re bound to find a beach that suits your style.
6. Architecture And History
Mention India, and the first things that pops into everyone’s mind is the Taj Mahal, and while it is truly a remarkable piece of architecture, India is full of architectural treasures. The country’s architecture is a history lesson about India itself, being one of the oldest civilizations in the world, you can imagine the diversity and influence spanning millenniums of development. Even India’s modern architecture, such as The Lotus Temple is worthy of reverie. Among the most interesting historical sites are The Ajanta Caves,Chand Baori built in the 9th Century, and The Amber Fort in Jaipur, and the Victoria Memorial.
Every single reason on this list is a piece of the culture of India as a whole, but there is so much more that meets a traveller when they step off the plane. India can overwhelm even the most seasoned backpacker but can also delight a timid tourist. Many local people are incredibly hospitable, and friendly; although it is important to practice caution in certain areas, especially as a female traveller. India is a diverse country with 23 official languages and so many customs and traditions depending on the region you are in; there is no way you can travel to India an not be enthralled by the vibrant and colorful life happening all around you.
4. Budget Friendly
You can do alot for a little in India, notoriously cheap as a travel destination, that doesn’t mean you’ll have to skimp on the good stuff. You rent rooms with spectacular views for as little as $4 USD per day and rent mopeds for less than $3, you can even stay on the beach for less than $10 and this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to sleep in a dirty, sweaty little dive. You can get around the country by train, bus, and tuk tuk which will help keep costs low and delicious and hearty food has never been so cheap! A per day budget for travelling in India could be as low as $20USD. You are not relegated to backpacker accommodations, if you’re looking to travel cheaply but don’t want to stay in a dorm room, you can find beautiful little hotels for less than the cost of a salad in Paris.
Art in India comes in many forms, from folk and traditional art to ancient art viewing. Modern art in India is quite striking as well with artists like Atul Dodiya and Jitish Kallat who both emphasize their experience living in India within their artworks. There has also been a resurgence of folk arts such as embroidery and textile hanging or Pichwai. India is on of the most visually impressive cultures in the world and their attention to detail and intricate artworks are just one of many reasons to visit this majestic country.
India’s Iconic Bengal Tiger is just one of the majestic animals that resides in the country. When you hear the word safari you automatically think of a vast African savannah but you can actually take safari in India. With over a hundred national parks, you can see animals like the Tiger but also Rhinos, crocodiles, elephants, buffalo, and river dolphins. Some of the most popular National Parks for wildlife viewing are Keoladeo National Park in Rajasthan, Kaziranga National Park in Assam, and Nagarahole National Park in Karnataka. Just be sure to check the best times of year to visit the parks as certain times of the year in India could land you in a monsoon or a heat wave.
1. Landscape and Adventure
From the Himalayas in the North to the backwaters of Kerala in the South, India has a diverse landscape that will excite any adventure seeker. You can hike the legendary Himalayas, go white water rafting in Rishikesh, scuba dive the Andaman Islands. travel by camel through the Thar Desert and go surfing in Goa. Just a sample of the fun that can be found on a trip to India, the landscape is perfect for adventure seekers and photographers alike. If you’re not so much into adventure as you are looking for spectacular photos, head to The Valley of Flowers National Park or take a Hot Air Balloon ride in Jaipur.
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