There’s no question that India is one of the world’s favorite destinations but to truly understand why I had to visit for myself. Even within days of being in the country I could see that India is one of the most culturally unique and open places I’ve traveled to. Never have I been somewhere where the population was so open with their own culture and religion and so ready to share them with travelers. As one of the largest countries in the world there are enormous differences with religion, culture, and language within India. My entire trip to India was focused in the north where I visited three different regions. I intentionally stayed in this area of the country so that my return trip can be dedicated to the south.
India’s capital boasts a population of nearly 14 million people, and is full with so much history and culture it’s almost impossible to begin listing all the possiblities. Obvious places to visit include the Taj Mahal which is a day trip west of the city, the famous Red Fort, Akshardham Temple, Humayun’s Tomb, Gandhi’s memorial and countless other places. During your exploration of New Delhi, you’re likely to find yourself taking auto rickshaws, navigating crowded back alleys, and stopping at random restaurants and markets.
This city is actually best avoided by sensitive travelers with a weak stomach or those who are very superstitious. Varanasi is truly one of the most unique cities in the world, and no where else on earth will you find yourself in an urban environment with the population so comfortable with the dead. The Ganges River passes through the city, and in this river is where people drink water, use the restroom, bathe, and also release their dead. The city is built directly up to the river with steps called ghats descending into the water where dozens of temples and places of worship are filled by locals.
The site of the infamous British Massacre, Amritsar is an important place for the 20th century change that came along India. The small city also is the home of the famous Golden Temple, one of the most beautiful Sikh temples in the world.