… at least once in your lifetime. This is a special post dedicated to Republic Day, an important day for India. Last year, I wrote India And Australia Celebrate Together to mark the significance of 26th January. India is a beautiful country and I believe everyone should experience it. Since I am an Indian, I am born with this natural gift of being able to travel here. I wonder if I were not an Indian, would I have made it to India?! Well, I don’t want to imagine not travelling to India ever! Even if you have travelled to innumerable countries in the world and have not come to India, there is something missing in your life as a traveller.
|The charming desert of Rajasthan|
I have read quite a few lovely stories on India from different foreign travellers, which have brought me great joy. It’s interesting to know the way India is perceived by the guests. Today, I am throwing at you 26 reasons to travel to India from an Indian’s perspective -
1.Uniquely diverse – I guess it’s hard to find the kind of diversity we see in India anywhere else. Be it in terms of culture, traditions, lifestyles, languages or geographical differences, the country is insanely varied! I am a North Indian and have recently moved to South India, which is a big transition for me and my family. It’s amazing that despite being an Indian, I can’t help marvelling at its diversity!
|Usual buzz in the alleys - children's cricket series|
2.Colorful and vibrant – By colorful, I don’t mean the obvious colours, of course, the reds and yellows are there too, but I mean the core essence of India and its people. There is a constant murmur through the day - Squeals of children, peals of laughter amongst the ladies, oldies chats with rounds of Chai, celebrations in the neighbourhood, and the quirky cricket series in the alleys.
|Colorful and vibrant markets|
3.People are hospitable and affectionate – Don’t be surprised if you feel at home in India, because that’s the way it is here! People in India welcome guests warmly and that makes the whole experience of travelling here even happier.
4.Food to lure your taste-buds – Well, I am not saying all the stuff that lures is actually good for your health, but the taste is unbeatable. There is an immense variety in food too, and it’s good to taste a little bit of everything.
5.Rustic charms – Although India has progressed by leaps and bounds over the decades, there is still an element of rawness and simplicity that doesn’t seem to leave.
6.Beautiful traditions – If I talk about traditions, I’d say they are the foundation of Indian living. We are what we are because of our traditions. From the time a child is born into a family till the time he or she grows old and withered, every stage is celebrated and acknowledged.
|The spicy, mouth-watering food. Can you resist it?|
7.Songs and dances – Besides dancing at the weddings, the culture of songs and dances is deeply rooted in the Indian way of life. There are all kinds of dance forms that are not just entertaining, but remain to be the heritage of India.
8.Feisty festivals – India celebrates so many festivals in a year that it’s not possible not to be part of at least one of them while you are here! Some of the festivals like Ganpati in Mumbai and Durga Puja in Kolkata are celebrated with lots of furore and fanfare.
|Cultural dances - Rajasthani folk dance|
9.Interesting street life – India is one country where the street life has its own character and soul. You may get exasperated with the chaos at first, but if you pause and look at it with a sense of wonder, it is very interesting – hawkers with immaculately arranged baskets, cows reclining indifferently in the middle of the road, annoying beggars, and the contrast of affluence and modesty.
10.Architectural wonders – While the entire world has marvellous architectural legacies, India stands apart for the amazing assortment of Mughal, Indo-Islamic, British and the influences of French, Iranian, Dutch and Portuguese architecture.
|Varied architectural treasures - (left) Imambada in Lucknow and (right) Lotus Temple in Delhi|
11.Historical tales – India has many intriguing tales to share. From the Indus Valley Civilization, Medieval India and Early Modern India to Modern India, the country has seen many upheavals and milestones.
12.The villages – Indian villages are the crux of India. Although the villages of today have developed to a certain extent, they are still poles apart from the city life. Paying a short visit to one of the villages and learning a few things about it would be a memorable experience.
13.The Himalayas – The Himalayan range is one of the most beautiful features of India’s natural beauty. It’s a dreamlike experience to witness the imposing Himalayas that start from Jammu and Kashmir and extend till Arunachal Pradesh.
14.The deserts – Thar Desert aka the Great Indian Desert is a magnificent desert with many small villages around it, thus, has many hidden tales to unravel.
15.The beaches and the islands – South India is a paradise of beautiful beaches and islands – Lakshadweep Islands, beaches of Goa and Mumbai and Backwaters of Kerala remain unruffled, while we are enchanted for life.
16.The monsoons – The rains in India create a lot of mess on the roads, but they are also good excuses for fun and frolic – lots of Chai, coffee and Pakodas with chutney.
|The Backwaters of Kerala|
17.Undiscovered places – India is so diverse geographically that it’s hard to discover it completely! Yes, there are still many places, which are undiscovered or relatively less frequented, but have immense beauty.
18.Bollywood mania – Indian movies also have an influence on people in India. It’s fun to see people’s devotion for their favourite movie stars, the way people throng the theaters on Fridays and the rage that follows.
19.The art of shopping – Indians know the knack of shopping. It’s an experience to shop in India and if you have patience, you can really pick some great stuff too.
|Shopping is an Indian woman's favorite pastime|
20.Blend of cultures – Since India has four prominent religions – Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Christianity, all the cultures are blended beautifully.
21.Smiling faces and mischievous eyes – People in India generally have smiling faces and twinkling eyes. Even though an average Indian’s personality lacks sophistication, it is expressive.
22.Inherent feeling of harmony – There is an embedded sense of peace and unity in India. People like to show love and warmth.
|Raw, spontaneous atmosphere on the streets - a regular Paan shop|
23.Old-world, mystical aura – Places like Rajasthan, Lucknow, Delhi, and Kolkata have lots of history and old-world mystic to them. It’s easy to get goose bumps while digging deep into the bygone era.
24.Powerhouse of skills and talent – Indians are highly talented people. You don’t have to try too hard to spot talent here. Skills like pottery, painting, embroidery and handicraft are easily seen everywhere.
25.Literary hub – India is home to many celebrated writers, and cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Jaipur and Mumbai are some of the literature loving hubs. Jaipur Literature Festival and World Book Fair in Delhi are notable literary events of India.
26.Easy visa – Obtaining an Indian visa is relatively easier, which is also a good excuse to travel here. So, when are you coming to India?
Well, there are things that I am not proud about, but I still believe India is a great country and when you are spinning the globe, it should catch your attention.
Have you travelled to India? Would you like to?