India has seen a considerable influx of tourism in recent years – deservedly, as it truly is one of the most wondrous, interesting and beautiful countries in the world, let alone Asia. If you’re travelling for the first time and looking for the best destination to ease you in, India is the place you should be considering primarily, and here are just a few reasons why.
It’s full of natural beauty
There’s simply no denying India is perhaps the most beautiful country in the entire world. Its natural splendor is evident throughout, from the north and its Himalayan region to the southern Kerala and its luscious tropical settings, the natural climate is both diverse and stunning wherever you go.
The Himalayas are arguably one of India’s biggest draws – understandably, with the mountain range being home to some of the world’s biggest peaks, including Mount Everest itself (despite it laying in Nepal and not India). You’ll find some incredible scenes hidden in the midst of the mountains, too, with Darjeeling being just one of them – ride the Toy Train up to the hill station to discover a town secluded from the rest of the country. It’s here you’ll get one of the world’s best cups of tea.
The potential destinations are diverse
As mentioned, India boasts destinations from the Himalayas to Kerala and hundreds in between. It all comes down to what you’re looking for from your trip – do you crave the bustle of a big city? If so, head to Delhi. The country’s capital is teeming with energy and vibrancy, full to the brim with things to do and see. From the history of the Red Fort to the technological hub of Gurugram, there’s a diversity in the city that cannot be beaten.
However, quieter regions such as Kalimpong and Lucknow are often overlooked by travellers in favour of the better-known and more popular towns and cities. Consider heading off the beaten track to discover a secret escape with its authenticity intact.
Culture and history are prevalent
India’s massive amount of history gives way to a prevalent culture today, and it’s very easy to discover. One of the easiest ways to do so is through the food; street stalls are your best bet at finding authentic, affordable and delectable dishes in India’s major cities, Delhi perhaps being the best place for it. From spicy curries to the traditional snack of a paratha, there’s a considerable variety in terms of the food on offer – you can easily pick up breakfast, lunch, dinner and light snacks from the majority of stalls.
But that isn’t the only way to indulge in India’s wondrous culture. From the sights of the Taj Mahal and the aforementioned Red Fort to the homestays on offer throughout the country, there are plenty of different ways to get your cultural fill whilst you’re here. The latter idea is best executed in the aforementioned Kerala, an underrated town by all means. Homestays are the perfect way to get an authentic insight into the Indian ways of life, with families opening their doors for travellers to come in and integrate.
Homestays allow you to experience something many other places around the world don’t, with the locals being some of the most accommodating and welcoming you’ll ever meet. Learn how to cook traditional Indian food and share stories through the evening, and you’ll soon forget you’re just a temporary visitor.
The food is spectacular
Talking of food, it’s in India you’ll taste some of the best you’ve ever had. The dishes here are often divine and delectable, rich in flavour and fragrance like no other cuisine in the world. Your best chance at grabbing an authentic plate is at the street stalls of the country’s major cities – Delhi in particular is where you’ll find some of the best.
From paneer to curry, parathas to desserts, you’ll find it all upon the streets of Delhi. Parathas in particular are popular for their diversity, whether you want it as an accompaniment to a hearty main meal or as a solitary snack. Street food is quick, affordable and always tasty.
Its sights are some of the best in the world
Whether you’re seeing one of India’s most popular sights, such as the Taj Mahal or the river of Ganges, or even somewhere a bit less developed – the Great Wall of India is one such up and coming destination for the adventurous traveller – there’s no doubt you’ll discover something spectacular, whether you’re seeking it or not.
If you do choose to visit the Taj Mahal, make sure you get there early to avoid the biggest crowds, whilst also getting a view of the majestic mausoleum glowing at sunrise. Pictures do not do it justice – you simply need to see it for yourself.
There’s (perhaps surprisingly) great safari opportunities
If you are seeking an adventure from your Indian getaway, why not join a safari? India’s national parks boast incredible opportunities to spot wildlife – it’s actually the only country in the world where you can witness tigers and lions co-existing in the wild. Add to that elephants, majestic birds, rhinos, leopards and bears to name a few, and you’ll be set for an experience unlike any other in the world. Consider Bandhavgarh or Ranthambore for perhaps the best parks of all.