India is a huge country from all points of view, starting with its 3,3 million square kilometers of land surface and ending in its 1,4 billion population. Everything is great about India, a bamboozling yet incredibly beautiful place, endlessly fascinating and for most part, a timeless place.
India is stretched between the majestic snowy caps of Himalaya mountains and the golden and beautiful beaches of the Indian ocean, larger than life so to speak, boasting its incredible melange of both natural and man made wonders, ranging from astounding ancient temples, frenetic and lively cities, mystical monasteries, lost kingdoms hidden in the jungle, pristine national parks, mesmerizing and colorful markets, lavish palaces and a place where you can admire some of the world’s breathtaking monuments.
Traveling to India can be best described as a veritable assault on one’s senses. As soon as you get off the plane, you’ll be “hit” by India’s sounds, smells, sounds and sensations, which are to be experienced at maximum intensity, especially if you’re visiting the country for the first time.
I bet that your first day in Rajah country will be pretty intimidating, but you’ll get used to it in no time. By the end of your first week here you’ll feel like home and you’ll stop noticing the chaos and the noise, which will slowly and seamlessly become part of the ordinary life.
What’s most important, you’ll soon discover that the incredible sensory stimulation will slowly become strangely addictive and you’ll have a hard time accommodating with normality when you’ll get back “in the world”.
In our day and age, multiculturalism is the mantra, at least in liberal circles, but America was at its inception and until the 1960’s a veritable melting pot of cultures, where all the immigrants became Americans, vowing to protect and uphold the Constitution and to live the American dream. Well folks, India is also a true melting pot of cultures, but in a sort of antithesis to traditional America.
Basically, India is one of the most diverse nations on Earth, being home for an incredible number of ethnicities, cultures and religions, which unlike “politically correct” Western world, are somehow managing to live in perfect harmony, except from the Muslim minority which fought tooth and nail for Pakistan, but that’s another story.
India has one sixth of World’s population and it’s also harboring an extraordinary array of deities and gods, with its over one billion people living in anything basically, ranging from inner city shantytowns to high rise apartments (the nouveaux rich) or in remote villages in primitive huts, where life hasn’t changed much in the last thousand years.
India is a magic place which mesmerized westerners since it was discovered, and you could easily spend your entire life trying to explore all its relics which were left behind by forgotten ancient empires, not to mention India’s dramatic landscapes and its incredible biodiversity, ranging from frozen Himalayan deserts to tiger filled jungles.
It’s very probable that during your first trip, you’ll be taken along the Golden Triangle, a cool itinerary which zips from the world famous Taj Mahal at agra to the country’s colonial capital Delhi and then to Jaipur, the cosmopolitan capital of Rajahstan.
If you have enough time, you can try to pay a visit at least some of the thirty two UNESCO listed sights, from ancient fortresses to creaking mountain railways and mangrove forests, not to mention temples overflowing with forgotten deities.
It’s impossible for one to absorb all India has to offer in just one visit, as the country must be enjoyed and savored like a buffet table, i.e. repeating your visits year after year, trying to “sample” your next dish. And speaking of India’s strong points, rest assured that each visit will make for a feast of friends, as the country has one of the best cuisines in the world.