The entire region of India is a treat for all senses as every traveller to this land will readily agree.
Vibrant visuals, enchanting sounds, charming chaos, fragrant feasts, tantalizing tastes and touch of smooth silk or sticky sandalwood are very much inherent in India. Many a times, the sights and sounds can simply overwhelm an unprepared visitor but the timeless magnetism makes India an unexpected yet welcomed adventure of all time.
The state where backwater cruises are a must, together with the Ayurveda treatments, presents many simple luxuries treats. The backwater cruise tours are big draw for all travelers who can enjoy unique experience of staying a boat house while immersed in a serene scenic setting. Other stunning sights include numerous waterfalls such as Palaruvi, Thusharagiri among others. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and other national parks, Munnar hill station with beautiful views as well as other interesting sights in Cochin.
In a country with numerous heritage hotels- palaces and historic monuments turned to grand hotels- home-stays with locals will present visitors an authentic experience. Staying with accommodating families who will be prove to be genuine guides of the region visited, with some delicious local food included. Not only is this cost-effective way to travel, it also gives those on tour to enjoy a warm and cozy setting while getting to know their destinations more intimately.
Visiting spice markets
The spicy food of India is often a conversation starter and can be a concern for the uninitiated. While consuming such fiery food may not appeal to all on tour, strolling around spice markets will certainly be an enjoyable experience for all. The hubbub of the busy markets, with colourful food in all shapes and sizes, accompanied by the potent spices traded by seasoned sellers is another facet of lively India. There are spice markets in every major Indian city including one in Delhi’s Khari Baoli. This spice market tour is one distant way of relishing the spices, if one chooses to abstain from the hot tasting dishes.
Indian classical music and dance is considered a sacred art, dedicated to the respective Hindu deities. While carnatic music may not be mainstream fare, it is still mesmerizing as music has no boundaries in weaving its magic on all listeners. The classical dance, mastered over years of dedicated practise, will also cast its spell on audience who will be amazed at the expertise of dancers. They remain in full control of facial expressions while keeping to the beat and hand gestures. Their mastery of their talents is as amazing as the entire performances. Such live classical programs are regular events in Chennai and other cities, where culture takes high precedence.
The land of Hinduism, where major pilgrimage sites can be found in all main states of India, it is not uncommon to find temples every region of India. Dedicated to various Hindu deities, temples have varying origins with some existing in early or even before the 10th century BC. Many ancient temples still stand tall and proud beside the younger counterparts. Madurai especially is renowned for the tall temples with vibrant believers and architecture. Temple visits allow travelers to admire the distinct architectures as well as the rituals and prayers that are conducted daily in the sacred walls.
Said to be the longest railway tracks in the world, with a world renowned segment nicknamed the ‘Toy Train’which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a journey on the Indian trains is a default inclusion in any travel itinerary. Providing lowcost and speedy journey between the various tour attractions, cities and villages, the railway also covers some of the most scenic spots along the way. Many will declare that journey the Nilgiri train to Ooty is the actual destination rather than the hillstation itself. The hilly terrain with superb views of the valleys is a fine example of the views one can enjoy while travelling on the Indian trains. Equally stunning landscape but one of the coastal region is the train trip from Goa to New Delhi. Travelling around India is always a visual adventure- whether one walks, drives, commutes by train or any other available transport.
India is the land with the Asian grasslands and its wide landscape allows it to be home to multitude species of flora and fauna, with a number of them on the endangered list. The wildlife enjoy great protection in the various wildlife sanctuaries found all across India. The well-being of the creatures are usually the top priority. To ensure safety of visitors, trekking or walking tours may be prohibited in some of the nature reserves and sanctuaries. Going on an elephant ride has proven to be the best way to view many of the wild creatures up close, without agitating any of the animals. Elephant rides can also be arranged when visiting the royal palaces in Jaipur and Jodhpur. These regal rides are part of the royal experiences that visitors can expect when exploring the land of the Rajput.
In a diverse landscape that is India, it is not surprising to tour bustling cities, idyllic beaches, lush plantations or the arid desert. Rajasthan, the biggest state of India is home to the Thar desert which borders the magnificent cities of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, to name a few. While treks to the fabulous forts and palaces are fascinating part of any travel plan, the camel safari to the desert, either for a sunset or overnight trip, remains an unsurpassed experience. The gentle ships of the desert allow the rider to enjoy wonderful views, not possible from the ground, while presenting a challenge to remain seated on the humps, especially for the inexperienced visitors.
Traditionally used on the hands of the Indian bride and bridegroom, the mehendi paste is made from the henna powder known for its rich blood-red dye. It is said that the depth of the redness indicates how much the bride loves her husband to be. Elaborate designs beautify the brides’ palms and fingers, The groom usually spots maroon topped fingers as the henna paste is left to cover the finger tips and mounds of the paste left to make dyed spots in circular arrangement on his palms. Now mehendi can be sported on any festive occasions by the ladies and visitors, on tour to any region of India, should have a go at their hands decorated in rich red patterns that are created in free-flow. The temporary dye has a strong smell but not pungent. The deep colour will wear off in days unlike the memory of mehendi covered hands.
The industry that produces majority of movies released worldwide and with glamorous and incredibly good-looking celebrities and talented artistes, is the Mumbai magnet, drawing visitors and starlets looking for their big break. Catching a Bollywood movie on the big screen will certainly bring the larger than life characters, literally larger and more poignant. The most glitzy costumes, with song and dance of revelry and credible acting is something to savor up close. With so much to enjoy and explore, many have gladly agreed that a single tour to India is never enough to experience all that the incredible land has to offer. And repeated travel visits will not in any way, diminish the amazing allure of incredible India.