India is one of the most diverse countries in the world. This vast country is home to numerous religions, ethnic groups and cultures. India´s contrasts between untouched nature, wildlife and spirituality in southern Kerala to large busy and chaotic urban cities as Mumbai and New Delhi makes the country definitely worth a visit. You either hate India or love it, there is nothing in between. After spending 1 month there, we listed spots and things you can´s miss.
Kerala, a state on India’s tropical Malabar Coast, it has nearly 600km of Arabian Sea shoreline. It’s known for its palm-lined beaches and channels where many cruises are offered, but what Kerala is mostly well known is Ayurvedic treatments. The inland of Kerala has numerous tea, coffee and spice plantations as well as extraordinary native wildlife. A long shoreline with serene beaches, beautiful green hills, waterfalls and exotic wildlife. Kerala is India’s most advanced state with a hundred percent literacy rate, world-class health care systems, India’s lowest infant mortality and highest life expectancy rates. Peaceful and pristine, Kerala is India’s cleanest state.
Goa is a state in western India with a coastline stretching along the Arabian Sea. Goa has a long history as a Portuguese colony and has preserved 16th-century churches and the area’s tropical spice plantations. Goa is also known for its beaches, ranging from popular stretches at Baga and Palolem to laid-back fishing villages such as Agonda. With it’s spice plantations, river cruises, beautiful beaches, terrific wildlife, picturesque hills and churches. Goa offers a great variety of activities and attractions.
The Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum located on the bank of Yamuna River in the city of Agra. It was built in 1632 by the emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favorite wife of three, Mumtaz Mahal. In 1983 the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and today it is known as the finest example of Mughal architecture. Just a couple of hours drive from New Delhi, Taj Mahal is today representative of India and it is a must for marrying couples to take a wedding picture in front of that beautiful building.
Mumbai, previously called Bombay, is a large and densely populated city on India’s west coast. On the Mumbai Harbour waterfront stands the iconic Gateway of India stone arch, built by the British Raj in 1924. The city is will known as the heart of the Hindi-language and Bollywood film industry. Mumbai offers a cosmopolitan and diverse lifestyle with a variety of food, entertainment and night life equal to many of the world´s developed urban capitals.
Due to ethnical and religious diversity the food varies a lot among regions across the country. Local vegetables, rice, spieces and herbs are the main ingredients in Indian dishes. Some regions are completely vegetarian due to religious beliefs. One of the most popular spice mix is garam masala, a powder which usually includes five or more dried spices. Eeach region has it´s own garam masal blend with spices which depends on herbs available in each particular area, another frequently used spice in Indian cuisine is curry leaves, typically used in the south of India.
India is well known for it´s meditation retreats and yoga camps. Can you manage living a couple of days or weeks without speaking or any other kind of communication, surviving on healthy herbal vegetarian food only? If yes, Indian yoga retreats are worth a try. Spread out through the entire country, Indian yoga retreats offer relaxation, meditation and tranquility for your senses. Many people from western escape their hectic everyday life and spend time in India to find their spirituality.
India is a country of contasts: loud cities blend with tranquil and spiritual country side, hindus and buddhists live next to muslim communities, extreme poverty co-exist with rich upper class. The majestic India is one of a kind and you either fall in love with it or you never come back. Explore majestic India!