For some people simply hearing the word ‘India’ evokes images of a faraway land filled with breath-taking medieval architecture, bustling festivals, alluring music and enticing aromas. Others however avoid visiting this exotic continent over fears of it being ‘dirty’ or ‘unsafe’, but when given the chance to be uncovered it is the most colourful canvas of all. This ancient and spiritual land has more than ever imaginable to offer its visitors. From secluded beaches fringed with palm trees to the soaring snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas and the buzzing streets of New-Delhi, there is a part of this vibrant country that will steal everybody’s heart. Food fanatics will find it hard to leave this culinary paradise, unlimited buffets full of the most delicious food imaginable are extremely popular here and guests never leave unsatisfied!
India boasts an impressive 5000 years of tumultuous history which the multitude of sacred sites pay testament to, it is one of the world’s oldest inhabited countries. It is referred to as the ‘Sa Prathama Sanskrati Vishvavara’ which translates to mean ‘the first and most supreme country in the world’. Spirituality reigns over the country and Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism were all born here. Indian culture was originally developed with the phrase ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ meaning to treat the entire world as our own family. This is a good insight into the outstanding hospitality of local people and the love and respect that visitors to the country are treated with. Life in India can be chaotic with the country hosting some of the world’s most dazzling devotional celebrations. Diwali see’s the whole country illuminated for the Festival of Light where they celebrate the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. Another visually spectacular celebration is Holi, the festival of colour where the whole region adorns each other with powdered colour and water in a spectacular celebration in the street.
The term ‘Indian summer’ didn’t originate here without good reason, in the peak of the heat temperatures can climb above a stifling 45*. India’s climate is incredibly varied, there can be torrential rain, unbroken sunshine and heavy snowfall all happening at the same time (in different places of course!). The Indian Meteorological Service has classified the country into an incredible seven different climatic regions. Generally, the north has a more Alpine climate, the centre is hot and dry and the south is more tropical. The main monsoon season hits the south of the country in the peak of the summer heat in June and continues to drench the regions until late September.
India is the seventh biggest country in the world and stretches extravagantly over the majority of the region of South Asia. It shares land borders with Pakistan, China, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Across this vast land the terrain varies dramatically from one extreme to the other. Almost 200 exquisite national parks can be found here and serve to protect wildlife such as the Royal Bengal Tiger. Kanha National Park lies in Madhya Pradesh and is not only home to many of these enchanting creatures but also provided inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book’. The northern frontiers of the country are defined by the spectacular Himalayan mountain range, which are perfect for embarking on adrenaline-pumping treks! Further down in Rajasthan lies the scorching Thaar Desert, perhaps surprisingly this arid region is home to a host of different wildlife, including Indian gazelles and camels. The south of the country is the paradise sector of the country with tranquil villages nestling amongst the riverbanks and along the beautiful untouched coast.
The charming town of Hampi and its forlorn ruins is the place where many people discover their true love for the India. It once stood proudly as the magnificent capital of the Vijayangar Empire and is home to the Virupaksha temple, one of India’s holiest temples. This arid area is surrounded by magnificent boulders and nestled amidst the ruins lies an oasis surrounded with banana, mango and palm trees. It is paradise and culture combined and people spend many days exploring and relaxing in this unique haven.
Tranquil Kerala is located on the Malabar coast of south-western India and is a stunning maze of rivers and waterways referred to as the backwaters. It is the perfect place to spend time relaxing and exploring the vibrant eco-system filled with unique species of birds and plants. Floating on these waters are the infamous Kettu Vallam houseboats, traditionally used to transport grain, these incredible constructions are the only way to explore this special area.
There are many enticing reasons to visit India, but the food is inarguably one of the top. Here for next to nothing you can feast like a king every day. Food varies across the country, with each area’s speciality even more delectable than the last. This incomparable cuisine intertwines countless spices and flavours to create intense taste sensations. From home-made bhaji’s to colourful thali’s, exploring the different tastes of India is an adventure in itself!