It is often said that India is not a country, but a continent. Stretching from the frozen summits of the Himalayas to the tropical greenery of Kerala, India encompass an incomparable range of landscapes, cultures and people. Travelling in India allows you to meet people of several from the world’s great faiths, encounter temple rituals performed since the time of the Egyptian Pharaohs, and see ancient buildings erected centuries before the Taj Mahal.
WHERE TO GO
India has 29 states, with major Mughal Empire landmarks and mountain ranges in the north, and palm lined beaches and jungles in the south.
It’s unlikely that you will travel to India and cover the whole country in your first visit. It’s better to focus on a couple of regions and do them justice, in order to make the most of your time. You can decide what sort of pace you want and go to particular areas accordingly.
Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Hyderabad and Chennai are undoubtedly adrenaline-fuelled, upbeat places. But it is possible to travel around India for a long time without setting foot in one, instead meandering through the more relaxing, rural areas.
The Golden Triangle is the most travelled circuit in the country, taking you from impressive monuments to serene landscapes. Here you’ll cover Delhi, the Pink City of Jaipur and Agra, home of the Taj Mahal.
The state of Rajasthan is often the most popular with travellers, thanks to its mix of mesmerising desert landscape and unique cities, but there are plenty of other areas of India to discover for the second- or third-timer or travellers with more time on their hands.
On the other side of the country, the palm-fringed coast lines of Goa
draw crowds of international and domestic tourists to their lively beach resorts. Just down the coast, the quieter Kerala offers some of India’s best tropical beaches, tea and spice plantations and national parks housing elephants, tigers and monkeys.