Yes, India is crowded, there's traffic jam, the streets are brimming with hawkers and vendors. The honking never stops, everything mostly gets delayed, it's chaotic, and that's the very essence of India.
1. The people-
Many might have different views on this but what I've experienced is that the people in the rural regions of India are so very welcoming and kind. You get to experience a lot of it when you're opting for homestays during your travels. Small things like, been invited by a local for a hot cup of tea, stories about why certain things are done the way they're done, celebrating festivities together, is what makes the difference.
I'm in love with the mountains and while most of it is the Himalayas. This mountain range is what you should never miss out on. It surely helps you with the soul searching and the calm that you need. For me, it can never get better than Chai, pahaad aur kitaab. There are nature enthusiasts who have quit their jobs and now run a business or our full-time travelers and their inspiration to do this are the Himalayas.
India is a country where languages, colors, cultures, religion, clothing, music changes at a distance of every 50-100 kms. All of this has been influenced and shaped by history of hundreds years. The kind of diversity that you get to experience is breathtaking. You can be experiencing the boat race in Kerala during Onam, celebrating Holi in Mathura, worshiping the massive Ganesha Idols in Mumbai, and be a part of the maddening crowd during Navratri.
4. The Heritage-
There are many world heritage sites that have been around for hundreds of years. The history that the architecture beholds often leaves you speechless. Monuments built for love, out of love, with love, you've it all here. The Ramayana and Mahabharat are not just folktales but deeply rooted in our cultural heritage and also very resonating. I've read a few books about these epics and let me tell you that all it preaches about is humanity.
Oh my God! From street food (thelas), to fine dining restaurants, to the dhabas, to the wedding parties, food in India brings families together. Regional cuisines, Mithais, local flavors, recipes that have been passed down by great grandparents. It's nostalgic to have India on a plate.