India is a vast and vibrant mix of cultures packed together shoulder to shoulder, all intensely humming to the beat of a different drummer.
Upon arrival, it is a place that assaults the senses and bombards the brain. It is quite simply impossible not to be swept up in the beauty, the chaos, and the adventure of India. At once limitlessly kind and devastatingly cruel, scenes of the most majestic beauty vie for your gaze amongst pictures of squalid heartache. The impossibly tranquil and calm sit aside the horn-tooting buzz of the hectic. India is travel. India is exploration and India is one of a kind.
North to South, East to West, India is packed with endless treasures. Beach bums can head South to the Psy-stomping infused beats and beaches of Goa or the serene backwaters of Kerala, whilst hardened hikers and Yoga gurus can head for the hills and discover the Dalai Lama’s snow-capped backyard in the North.
The aptly named Rajasthan (land of the kings) offers desert expanses and unforgettable camel safaris that let explorers get up close and personal with the night sky, back-dropped by the infinite Milky Way. Bond fans can recreate scenes from ‘Octopussy’ in the lake city of Udaipur, whist temple buffs will be spoiled in Delhi. For the non-squeamish, let rodents skitter across your bare feet at Bikaner’s famous Rat Temple, in scenes straight out of an Indiana Jones movie.
No trip to India is complete without venturing to the Taj Mahal for a hazy morning sunrise and a breakfast chapati. Even the most seasoned travellers will find themselves gaping in awe for hours. Likewise, a trip to the nightly ‘puja’ ceremony at Varanasi’s Burning Ghats will render visitors speechless. Watch as delicate lotus flowers crowned with candles float peacefully across the mighty Ganges, listen to the transcendental chant of the pious Hindu crowds as incense wafts past, and lose yourself in the enchanting energy of India’s holiest site.
Straying just a little from the beaten track rewards explorers with inexhaustible discoveries. Lose yourself in pristine tea plantations and forests, tiger-viewing from sweltering jungles, erotically themed temples, tribal communities, and secluded beaches. Immerse yourself in a plethora of vibrant festivals and events, a feast of culinary delights and an abundance of friendly, smiling locals.
For some, one visit can be enough, but for most, India will always beckon you back for more. One thing, however, is certain: until you experience India’s beauty for yourself, words simply cannot do it the justice it deserves.
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