India is a fascinating country to travel where if one travels 200 kilometres, food habits change, colour codes and dress codes change, even the language changes… an entire new cultural avenue is thrown open. It is not surprising for a country that measures 3.28 million km², with over 7500kms of coastline with beautiful virgin beaches and fisherman villages, excellent coral reefs, nearly a 100 000 km² of arid rocky and sandy desert, over 3000 kms of young rugged and the highest mountains that redefine new standards in alpinism and extremely rich and active biodiversity hotspots. Yes, you have ALL of the above. The choices of travelling to India are humongous.
And then add to it the richness of Indian culture and its diversity stems from its five millennia old history starting from the Indus Valley Civilisation and the intermingling of the various cultures that came and settled on this subcontinent in multiple waves, right from the time of the arrival of the Aryans followed by Alexander and ending with the Mughals in the 16th century. Even the British had settled down for two centuries and were loath to go away!
A country that has over 300 recognised languages and over 3000 dialects and the presence of the four major world religions promises to provide more diversity in culture than any other country on the face of the planet. That is a given!
When we think about India, the images that spring to mind; the Taj Mahal, the land of the Maharajas and their Queens dressed in Gold embroidered dresses with their entourage of decorated elephants and exquisite horses, opulent palaces, imaginary IT Software villages with hardworking Software professionals in shiny glass buildings built in lush greenery, massive camel fairs at Pushkar, snake charmers, Hindu devotees at a temple prostrating at the sanctum sanctorum, wild tigers at a reserve forest, enthusiastic fans at a cricket match, world chess champion, the Glamour of Bollywood cinema and so on…
A little pause as more images pop to mind, James Bond at the Lake Palace in Udaipur, Richard Gere, Julia Roberts in India at the Kumbh Mela, the country that gave Kama Sutra to the world two thousand years ago, Mahatma Gandhi the apostle of non violence… the images continue to pour in. India is all of that and a lot more. A burgeoning economy with an active youth, the Indian metropolitan scene has changed with six-lane highways, attractive hotels, shiny malls with truly international quality products from all over the world, pioneering ecological movements, very interesting urban nightlife and clubs with thematic lounges, bars and restaurants providing the gamut of feelings, tastes and emotions to suit every age and budget!
Yes ladies and gentlemen, do take notice; for India is hip and happening!
You deserve to know India more. Find out how…
-Text and Photo credits: Krishnendu