The idea that is India offers a riveting engagement with people of all age groups. The infinite variety of its fabulous natural landscape and wildlife, its incredible over-9,500year-old history and heritage, documented in its monuments and cultural splendour, and its many communities, make it one of the world's most unique holiday destinations.
A Tryst With History And Heritage
Travel across the length and breadth of India, and you will be inundated with the stories of its incredible past, which dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization around 2,500 BCE. Its timelines—crowded by native kingdoms, whose fortunes rose and fell— are also richly punctuated by the exploits of the early Islamic invaders, the Mughals, the Arabs and in East India Company and British rule till India gained independence in 1947. National capital Delhi has risen phoenix-like again and again from the ashes of its lost empires. Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Kochi, Goa— began their journeys as humble fishing villages to become dazzling hubs of imperial power for the Portuguese and the British. Even the French and Dutch stuck a spoke in the wheel of their trade and commerce pursuits.
Food Glorious Food
Melt-in-the mouth kebabs of Nawabi Lucknow, fragrant biryanis of Nizami Hyderabad, unique street eats from Delhi, Kolkata's dazzling multi-cultural food traditions, the culinary adventurer is sure to return home with a plethora of mind-boggling gastronomical experiences. India's cultural theatre is richly evident in its culinary pursuits as well. It's not just the eat streets and restaurants that will tempt your taste buds. You can enjoy great local-style cookouts in fishing villages and metropolises in family kitchens under the guidance of the homemaker or a hobby cook.
India's rich and varied hues and textures are beautifully mirrored in the stories of its centuries-old crafting traditions. From Jaipur to Chennai, you will be left slack-jawed by pursuits of the humble village homes producing handlooms in cotton and silks, textiles dyed in mineral-rich waters, and printed with bits of wood blocks! From Agra's excellent marble-inlay work to Jodhpur's beautiful leatherwork. From the rich brocades of Varanasi to Rajasthan's vibrant mirror-work skirts and bags to Lucknow's delicate chikan embroidery— it's the patronage of tourists too which will keep these crafts alive.
The great impress of peoples and religions, both native and foreign, also provides visitors with a fabulous window to one of the world's most distinctive cultural landscapes. The incredible synergy of the synthesis of India's languages, religions, dance, music, architecture, food, and customs, which vary from place to place, region to region, is the stuff of legends. Soak it all up and more in Goa with its astonishing fusion of Portuguese and Hindu culture or Delhi with its Mughal-British and Punjabi vibes. Don't miss Kolkata, driven by its multi-cultural antecedents or Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Shimla, still hard-pressed to shrug off their British nuances.
Get ready to delve into the thrill-a-minute, all-embracing confluence of religions, traditions and customs as you travel from place to place in India.