As people say, India is popular for the mélange of culture and topography; but this isn’t what this country is all about. Yoga, a 5000-year-old practice tendered a zillion lives across the globe, the sort of peace that ensures a melodious unification of mind, body and soul. Ayurveda, another miracle that has in several cases surpassed modern medical science too. India gives the liberty to its citizens to practice any religion or faith. Here you may often witness people from different regions coming together to celebrate life. Stretching from titanic Himalayas to the grasslands and backwaters of Kerala; India swings between lazy and hasty, colorful and grey, loud and hushed, simplicity and vogue, sky-soaring infrastructure and pristine nature. There are many reasons to visit India once in a lifetime and few of them have been listed in this article. We aim to inspire you and proceed to what’s good, and in this case, we’re talking about the country with different faces, India. Read on…
Home to nine of the ten highest peaks of Earth, Himalayas with its sky-soaring peaks sprawls over a humongous area and actually covers five countries. Major rivers like Ganges, Brahmaputra and Indus are originated from the lap of Himalayas. Himalayas has also served as meditation spot for the gods and later the yogis and a lot many nooks here are considered to be adobes of different gods.In fact, one of the two biodiversity hot-spots of India is located in the Eastern Himalayas.
This Himalayan region of India has some of the best hill-stations of India, alluring with the beauty of its glistening waterfalls, rivers and lakes, affluent grasslands rolling down to the foot-hills, brightly colored flowers and lazy townships. Many hill-stations in Himalayas have emerged as major adventure-destination. Right from trekking to skiing, Himalayas have perfect spots for different adventure-activities to try. Popular adventure destinations in Himalayas are Gulmarg, Auli, Rishikesh, Manali, Ladakh among others.
Medical tourism in India is a new chapter in Indian tourism that is growing rapidly; the credit goes to availability of latest medical technologies and low cost facilities in India. Millions of foreign tourists consider India for the treatment of all their serious or mild diseases. These people get cured and healed through hi-tech medical facilities or Ayurveda. The fact that foreign tourists do not face many problems with language also comes as a strong reason why medical tourism is a booming sector in India. With every growing day, hospitals and Ayurveda centers of India are embracing the latest international-standards to serve the patients with the best.
Uncountable path-breaking surgeries have been performed over the years in India. A 94-year-old patient underwent a successful hip-surgery, Tanzanian conjoined twins were separated after 12-hour-long surgery, and even an 11-month-old patient suffering from a rare congenital disorder was treated from a heart-surgery. These are just a few of the many success stories of patients coming from far-flung regions to get rid of their diseases.
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History and Architecture
India’s has its history datable to more than 75000 years ago, in fact even way earlier than it. From mythology to maharajahs, traces of in habitation are found across the country. Be it palaces, forts, gardens or even a meditation spot, many of these places has interesting stories to tell. Right from its inception up to the British Raj, there are several historical sites which paint the picture of a past that is sometimes painful and sometimes blissful. Let us take the example of one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Taj Mahal in Agra (Uttar Pradesh); this marvelous creation is an epitome of brilliant architecture and true love.
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built this mausoleum for his beloved wife. Taj Mahal was created by blending Indian, Ottoman Turkish, Persian and Islamic style of architecture. It took 22 years to complete its construction. This beauty has many stories that inspire its visitors. India proudly is home to a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites also including Khajuraho temples, Fatehpur Sikri, Hampi, Agra Fort and more.
Yoga focuses on well-being and equilibrium of mind, body and soul. And this brilliant practice of medication and rejuvenation is more than 5000 years-old. It is practiced in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. And who doesn’t know where Yoga was born? India! There are a million centers around the world boasting of providing the best Yoga classes, but the authenticity you can experience here is nowhere else to be found. Every month India hosts more than thousand guests, coming from regions around the world. These people long for soul-consciousness, equilibrium or even treatments to some of most life-threatening diseases.
Regular practice of Yoga ensures a fit body, controllable mind and a pious soul. Ashtanga Institute (Mysore), Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (Pune), Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (Chennai), Parmarth Niketan (Rishikesh), Sivananda Vedanta Centre (Trivandrum), Bihar School of Yoga (Munger) and Yoga Institute (Mumbai) are counted amongst the best yoga centers in India. Yoga has gained such popularity the today we celebrate International Yoga Day on 21 June every year.
Who doesn’t know about the diversification of India’s culture?! It is that one out of million aspects that pull a myriad of foreign travelers. India is a sovereign country, home to different beliefs, religions and traditions. India sets a whole different example of unity in diversity through its art, language, dance and music forms, architecture, religion and food. When Muslims celebrate Eid, their Hindu friends visit them to offer greetings. In Sikh’s gurudwaras like the Golden Temple itself, people of different religions and regions are found worshiping the almighty. You may also not be able spot who a Christian is, amid the celebration of a Hindu’s festival like Diwali. Festivals and regions are given a mere name, which though hold a massive significance but never acts as armor. Diversification of culture gives birth to diversification of art, and you will not ever be able to judge which is better anyway.
It indeed gives a strong reason to visit India, to learn that every color has its own identity but when rightly paired with others, the charm only ascends. From North India’s Cham Dance to South India’s Bharatanatyam and from West India’s Garba to East India’s Cheraw; you can find a massive canvas painted with different ethnicity.
India and its people are always keen to embrace or promote a new belief or an age-long religion. As the country is home to several religions and tribes, there are a lot many spots considered sacred in one or the other religion. Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Islam and many such religions find their comforting adobe in India. Followers of these religions are always in search of peace and god. And for this different people follow different paths. You may too find your path to spirituality if you are in the right environment and under right guidance. Haridwar, Bodh Gaya, Amritsar, Rishikesh and Varanasi are those destinations in India are visited by maximum number of pilgrims.
Temples in India mainly represent two religions, namely Hinduism and Jainism. Many of these temples are ancient and have legends and relics that bind the faith of thousands of pilgrims. That is not all it has, temples like Meenakshi Amman Temple and Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple will amaze you with its architecture and embellishments. Let us not forget to mention the precision of engravings and sculptures of Indian temples; Dilwara Jain Temple and Khajuraho group of temples have achieved mastery in the said field. There are temples where devotees worship their gods in unique form, like Jwala Mukhi Temple (Kangra).
Most significant Hindu pilgrimage circuit, Char Dham, consists of four shrines at different regions of India. Devotees cross many hurdles and even trek to reach these shrines. Thus, we can say that along with legends, India’s temples boast of remarkable architecture, abounding faith, spectacular location and pious rituals.
Here comes the topic we all live for, food. And when it is about food in India, you better prepare yourself for an unending variety of drool-worthy dishes. Most of Indian cuisines are prepared from rich spices, vegetables, grain, herbs, wheat and rice. Many non-vegetarian Indian dishes are made from chicken and mutton. It is not just about Indian cuisine; availability of International Cuisine in India comes easy and at its best. From chhole rajma to idli and dosa of South India, there is a myriad of options to taste Indian food. you can choose from, if your taste-buds long for something palatable. Also, not to forget, in India tasty food is not served in exchange of heavy prices. Places like Chandni Chowk not only offer sumptuous food at pocket-friendly prices, but most of the food-joints are decently hygienic.
India is a land which has successfully preserved its heritage and culture. Amongst the different ethnicity, that form a major part of the culture of India, the tribal population stands out as the savior of prehistoric rituals and customs, even in the modern times. From the Himalayas in the north, to the hills in the northeast and the plateau region of central India, one can witness a significant amount of tribal population, living aloof from the mainstream India. Popular tribes in India, which offers an enchanting glimpse into the rich culture and tradition of India, are the Santhals of Jharkhand, Munda tribes in Chhattisgarh, Khasi tribes from the hills of Meghalaya, Bhils of Rajasthan and Angamis of Nagaland.
Despite differences in their customs and rituals, the tribes in India are intertwined somehow. Their day to day lifestyle, customs, traditions, festivals, eating habits and the way of earning livelihood all reflect their connectivity with the ancient India which has gone undisturbed since immemorial times. Tribal tours in India offer excellent opportunities to get the first hand experience of living within these fascinating communities.
Luxury trains in India are not merely about gracious service and state-of-the-art amenities, but there is one such element that brings the essence of the country, its heritage. This is like killing two birds with one stone; you are getting the comfort of luxury and a tour to some of the best attractions of the whole country. The trains, along with justifying every penny’s worth, happen to be brilliantly thematic. Golden Chariot, one of the best luxury trains in India, is inspired by the Golden Chariot at Hampi. Every inch of the train reminds oneself of the era of Maharajas. Even the itineraries are designed to match every individual’s interest.
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India is affluent when we are talking in terms of biodiversity too. Variation in demographics has lead to a sprawling biodiversity in India. Many initiatives like Project Tiger aims at conservation and protection of wildlife, marine life and other aspects of nature. There are two biodiversity hotspots located in India; Himalaya (Eastern Himalayas) and Western Ghats. In the Western Ghats region, states like Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala fall. This region consists of more than 1600-km-thick strip of forest area. Biodiversity hot-spot regions are those areas that have been carefully preserved and have been put far away from threats caused by humans.
Great Value Destinations
A trip to India offers great value to all your investments; be it time or money. No matter if you are in a budget or a luxury-traveler, you can find your type of vacation best matching your budget. Commuting within the country too can be done as budgeted or lavishly you want. A luxury traveler can splurge and can get hospitality and amenities of international standards. Heritage and luxury hotels in India have exquisite interiors and remarkable architecture. Even in a metropolitan city like Mumbai and Delhi, you can find cheap accommodation and restaurants that indeed offer great value for money.
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And the final word: Not All Places in India are “unsafe”
With growing popularity of India came negative reputations. Not just India, even in well-developed countries too crime is a major concern that seems to be going out of hand. But what needs to be taken in mind is that not all places in India are unsafe. The people are welcoming and put their guests at a respectful position. In fact, a lot many destinations in India are dedicated to tourists, like Ladakh, Kerala, Goa, Darjeeling and others. People in these places are eager to serve their guests with comfort and friendship. However hoax and crime can be found in every part of the world and hence it is advised to be careful and research before visiting any place around the world.