India is a land bursting at the seams with a chaotic array of life filled with gorgeous colour, unique smells and flavours not to mention incredible sights!
Here are a few of our favourite things about India which we highly recommend you try out if you are lucky enough to visit:
The Taj Mahal
Probably the world’s most famous building, and upon visiting it’s not hard to see why. Based in Agra, the perfectly landscaped gardens draw your eyes to the flawless shape and blinding spotlessness of the Taj Mahal which took a huge team of over 20,000 people over 16 years to build in memory of Mumtaz Mahal, the favourite wife of Shah Jahan.
The longest river in India is a must see if you have any interest in Indian culture. This river is of huge spiritual significance to the Hindu people as it is considered both sacred and Holy. Many millions of Hindus sacred and holy. Many millions of Hindus take pilgrimages to Varanasi (a city on the banks of the Ganges) to perform rituals in and on the banks of the Ganges.
India elephants are on the endangered species list with approximately only 30,000 of them left in India (they also inhabit other Asian countries too but in much smaller numbers), so if you get the chance to see one do take it. Typically you will find them in grasslands and forested areas such as Kerala in South West India.
Goa, like many big cities in India is a city filled with chaos and business, yet in the midst of all that it still manages to be one of the most chilled out places you will experience in India. With it’s beautiful beaches, and great nightlife it is the perfect place to enjoy crystal seas and powdered sand while still experiencing genuine India. It a place that you have to visit to truly appreciate, believe me you won’t regret it!
If you thought driving down the M6 on a bank holiday weekend was madness, you know nothing! With Rickshaws squeezing through every gap, cows casually chewing the cud in the middle of a busy intersection as vehicles swerve around them, people driving down the wrong side of the road to get past the lights; Indian roads have to be seen to be believed!
We couldn’t write a blog post about India without mentioning the shoes (not least because our site is all about Indian footwear!). You won’t see much in Europe like the shoes they have India, intricately hand stitched Kolhapuris and Juttis at prices you would never dream of back home. A pair of Jutti sandals can make a great gift for a loved one back home.
A Rickshaw ride
Cycle Rickshaws offer a unique albeit bumpy way to experience India. Pretty much every single city or town you set foot in will have plenty of cycle Rickshaws available ready to get you from A to B and you’d be suprised how how much weight these guys can manage on their bikes at a considerable speed, they thoroughly deserve their very hard earned money. If you’re lucky you may even find a Rickshaw driver who is willing to share his unique insights into the local culture with you too!
This is an essential skill to master as a tourist in India because failure to do so will ensure that everyone who is given the chance will probably rip you off as many salesmen will have an “Indian price” and a “foreigner price”. A good rule of thumb to stick to is aim to pay less than half of the initial asking price as that is likely to be more like the real value of the item.