India Holiday & Travel Guide - India Vacations
The sub-continent of India is hugely multi-dimensional; each state occupying its own culture, traditions, and idiosyncrasies unique to its borders. Travelling across states can be like crossing a country’s border with the strictly religious state of Tamil Nadu to the state of Kolkata with its buzzing nightlife, the cosmopolitan culture of Mumbai, the tea plantations of Darjeeling right up to the golden stretches of desert in Rajasthan.
Most say that you’ll either love it or hate it; love it for the colourful culture, marvellous temples, stunning beaches and refreshing hill stations, hate it for the over population, persistent touts, confronting poverty, chaotic streets and extreme weather. However, you will soon discover that you both love it and hate it at the same time. So really it is the best and worst of world travel. However as in any travel, it ends up being what you make of it.
Often named the ‘tear drop’ of Asia, India shares its borders with Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh while having an extensive coastline exceeding 7,000km with the Arabian Sea to the west and the Bay of Bengal to the east.
India has experienced a tough past with invasions from central Asia in the 10 th and 12 th centuries, then being dominated by the Maratha confederacy before the British took control. With much struggle, the 20 th century saw a nationwide campaign for independence. The famous Mahatma Gandi led a non-violent campaign of millions before gaining independence on August 15 th 1947.
Since its independence, India’s economy has boomed and is fast becoming one of the worlds fastest growing. The Indian economy if ranked by nominal GDP is in fact eleventh in the world and well known to be at the forefront of IT. Agriculture and textile manufacturing account for the largest employment while banking and finance and the cultivation of national resources are on the rise and set to make a larger impact in the future. However despite the impressive economy, India is still home to the greatest concentration of poverty in the world, being home to over one sixth of the overall world population.
These extremes can also be seen with the near perfection of monuments such as the Taj Mahal, to the ruins left by years of struggle and invasion. Stark contrasts can be made within particular cities from the cosmopolitan developments of Mumbai and New Delhi to the slums.
This aside, India has become an exotic tourist destination with an assortment of attractions capsulated in its borders. It is a place of extremes from the crowded cities of Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi, to the tropical bliss of palm-brimmed beaches in Goa and Kerala right up to the pristine mountains of the mighty Himalayas. With a leap in tourism in the last decade, India is attracting a diverse range of tourists. From the adrenalin junkies looking to trek the incredible mountains and raft the fast-flowing rivers to those seeking out the wonderful Indian temples and sacred Ganges waters, India caters for the adventure traveller just as much as the cultural explorers.
The worst thing you can do when taking on Indian travel is to pre-determine your experiences from your first impressions. Take your time to soak in the good with the bad and remember that India isn’t the easiest place to travel for first-timers so take on board all the India travel tips you can.
Though despite all the challenges you will likely face, India has a knack of capturing people’s hearts to create a journey you will not easily forget.