Have you ever spun a globe and imagined visiting the country that your finger lands on? Well my month long journey through India may have well begun this way as it had not been remotely on my bucket list,-yet I am forever grateful for the destiny that propelled this journey to unfold.Culture, history, and religious diversity meld into an intoxicating masala of education and adventure.
What greets you when you arrive to this powerful country is the sharp awareness that things are very different here. Sights-colors so vibrant and fluid; sounds-so varied that both meld and resonate their own demanding importance; smells that permeate the areas you traverse.
A culture reflective of the many countries that dominated it’s past.
From the far reaching conquests of the Golden Age of Palava Dynasty and beyond to the Chola Empire; Muslim rule; Mughal Empire and British East India to the present 21st century.
Amidst the two major languages spoken of Hindi and English you will experience a cacophony of Bengali, Telugu; Marthi; and Tamil as more than 1,500 languages make up the spoken communication in India.
India saw the birth of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism. Understanding some of the aspects of these offers the new traveler an insight into the shaping of the varied cultures and practices that remain inherent in the India people.
Architecture that demands your attention. How did they manage to create these structures? How are they still standing? What do they mean to the Indian people?
Go to India to be swept away with the color unlike anywhere else. Magnificently woven turbans and sari’s that scream vibrant tones. Taste the varied fresh-oh so fresh, spices, herbs and nuts from local vines, trees and earth trucked in daily from neighboring farms . Participate in the markets that entice and support the local and far reaching communities.
Visit a gem industry to see the local gem stones turned into exquisite jewelry. Have some clothing made for you from the material you select yourself. Take home treasures if you choose, that will always sweep you back to the site where you traveled to purchase it.
Be woken up early in the morning to the beautiful call to worship of a local temple and the cheeky sounds of the green feathered parakeets. Ride an elephant to one on the many intricately carved castles or as I did take a camel ride into the Thar desert to watch the sunset after enjoying Camel ice-cream made with camel milk and fresh saffron.
Head across the famous Royal India on a 14 day 13 night adventure that will leave you breathless.
Chase history and influence as you begin your journey in Delhi. Have a local guide immerse you into the polished routine that occurs daily in Old Delhi markets. Visit Mahatma Gandhi's cremation site at Raj Ghat, India Gate (the war memorial), the Baha'i Lotus Temple and minaret at Qutub Minar.
Spend the night in Agra and practice yoga on the lawn waking up to watch sunrise at the Taj Mahal. Later in the day explore Agra Fort, a UNESCO world heritage site. See a marble craftsman demonstration and be at liberty to purchase and have your items sent home for you.
Visit Fatehpur Sikri an former capital from the 16th century, en route from Jaipur Rajasthan’s capital.
Take an elephant ride to the Amber Fort in Jaipur like the Maharajas of the past.
Experience a special Pooja ceremony at Ghat with a Hindu priest. In Udaipur, a majestic city of lakes and palaces take a cruise on Lake Pichola
Explore with a local guide the still occupied Mehrangarh Fort and see a camel breeding farm in Bikaner.
Travel India and fall in love with the countries passion for balance as it forges ahead into the world with technology, engineering and science while still ardantly grounded in the many diversities that have embroiled a strong and vibrant country.