India is a unique country which has a vibrant culture; interesting history; beautiful scenery and amazing food! India is home to over 1 billion people and has a mix between modern society and traditional villages in rural India.
These were my top 13 reasons to visit India:
- Shopping in India is amazing!! There are a number of traditional clothing stores in each city / town. Tradtional clothes – such as saree’s; salwaar kameez are worn by most individuals in the country. The shopping experience can be overwhelming when presented with such a large variety but it’s something to experience. India has very unique pieces of jewelry which is jaw dropping.
- India has a very diverse culture, therefore one can easily find a temple; mosque or church. Visiting all three are a must in India. If in Delhi, be sure to visit the famous Jamah Masjid (Mosque) in Old Delhi and Akshardham (Akshardham is a Hindu temple, this temple is absolutely stunning. The architecture is amazing. Unfortunately no photographs are allowed while visiting this temple.)
- Iconic monuments – such as Qutub Minar; India Gate and Charminar.
- Breath taking Cultural World Heritage sites such as Taj Mahal; Amber Fort; Humayan’s Tomb; Hawa Mahal; Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus; Red Fort; the Golden temple; just to name a few. The architecture of these sites are stunning! Definitely requires a visit when in India.
- Cruising on a house boat in Kerala’s backwaters (Allepey) – one of my fondest memories. I loved the calm waters; the tranquility and the food on board was delicious.
- Spectacular scenery & sunsets – Certain parts of India has spectacular scenery which will leave you speechless. Ooty and Munnar (South India) are hill stations, providing magnificent views of the tea plantations from the top of the hill. Other places with fantastic natural scenery are Shola Forest (Nilgiri), Deodar Forest (Himachal Pradesh), Kashmir, just to name a few. The scenery while cruising through the back waters are stunning.
- India is home to a number of ancient palaces. Most of these are open to tourists, but do not have any royalty living in these palaces. However, be sure to visit the palace in Mysore (Karnataka). The palace is home to royalty and a part of the palace is opened to tourists. This is the only palace that is still maintained with the jewels and decorations of the royalty. It is definitely a must see! (unfortunately no photographs are allaowed in the palace.)
- Scrumptious food – one can never go hungry in India! The food variety is unbelievable, and you must try all the different types of cuisine from the North and South.
- Indian music & dance – Music and dance is an important part of Indian culture. Bollywood music and dance has spread throughout the globe and you will hear lots of this music in the streets of India, but it’s the classical music and dance that is something to experience in India.
- Indian architecture and art – I’m sure the Indian architecture and art will leave you speechless. Pay attention to the intricate work on the temples, mosques and cultural sites. They are stunning, so be sure to take some art back with you home.
- Relaxation – touring can be exhausting, so take the time out for an Ayurvedic massage or a traditional Indian massage in Kerala or relating at the beach in Goa.
- Affordable destination – with India’s favorable exchange rate; tours, accommodation, food is very affordable, making it a perfect holiday destination.
- Great hospitality – Indian hospitality is fantastic! You will never feel not welcomed at any place. Indian hospitality is based on the principle “Atithi Devo Bhava”, meaning “the guest is God”, hence at many hotel guests are welcomed with a flower garland or a tilak being put on the forehead.
Further reading Travel tips for India