The second most populous country in the world, home to the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, famous home of the Buddha and birthplace of 4 different religions, these are but a few claims to fame of the Republic of India, and that’s just barely the tip of the iceberg.
Once you travel to India you realize that there is lots to explore and discover in this vast country, from the diverse and long history to the many spiritual traditions, all the way to eating your way through the various regions.
The tourism slogan for India is 'Incredible India' and that is no exaggeration. Make sure you have some comfortable walking shoes, sort out your travel insurance for India, and go explore the country of the Indus.
As you get off the airplane in any major city, there are so many sites, sounds, and smells, there just is so much going on, that it does take a while for your brain to adjust to where you are. Once you’re passed that stage, you can start to gently explore India with its many cities, tourist sites, spiritual meccas, and party destinations.
The north of India is home to the Himalayan plateau and some of the most stunning nature areas in the world. It is also home to many spiritual sites and religious temples that are worth the trip.
Kashmir, the internationally famous production site of Kashmir wool as well as the conflict between India and Pakistan, also happens to be one of the most naturally beautiful places on earth. Travelling to Kashmir used to be very difficult, but recently it has been made a lot easier with many direct flights into the region now. Ensure you have appropriate travel insurance for India before travelling though.
The north of India is also home to a region known as The Plains, where you will find the regions of Punjab, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. New Delhi is India's capital, one of the oldest cities on the planet, and absolutely enormous. The Red Fort, one of India's top tourist sights, is located here as well and with its stunning mix of architecture, is a must see for any traveller. While in Delhi, make sure to visit Connaught Place, the heart of Delhi originally designed by the British, with the infamous Palika Bazaar around the corner, where you can get cheap, smuggled and pirated wares from overseas.
For more adventurous travellers, there is also the option of doing a tour of the slums around Delhi, which can be a really eye opening experience, just be sure to have appropriate travel insurance for India before the tour starts.
In the city of Agra not far from Delhi is where you will find the most iconic of India's tourist destinations: the Taj Mahal. Built as a mausoleum, this building is absolutely spectacular and is definitely worth a visit.
Agra is also where you will find the Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikiri, both UNESCO Sites. A wonderful way to explore both history and cuisine is to take an Agra Food Tour, which takes you to monuments and nearby places to eat some traditional foods.
Goa is where India's best beaches can be found, and if you need a break from the bustling cities, Goa is the place to go. From hippies to pilgrims visiting religious sites, there are a wide variety of different people that are attracted to this place, making it wonderfully eclectic and always interesting.
If you don't want to spend all day at the beach, you can also opt to do kite surfing or visiting one of the many wild life sanctuaries in the area.
As you head into south India you will notice a distinct change: firstly the diet is much more rice based than in the north, and the culture is quite different.
While the north is more closely related to East European culture, the south is essentially based on Dravidian culture. You can see a lot of Temples and other remains of Dravidian architecture, which is quite striking. The south is also home to some of the best diving sites in India, namely in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
While India is generally a safe place for travellers, buy India travel insurance before setting off on any adventures in this spectacular country.
For more information on India, visit the India Tourism Website.
If you're looking for a great trekking itinerary in North India, check out the Ladakh Trekking Tour from our friends at Touch of Spirit Tours.