Travelling in India is like a roller-coaster ride on its own, which is why lacs of foreigners flock to various parts of India, only to stay for months at one time and explore the country.
With the kind of history, culture, biodiversity and all kinds of terrains to offer, India is a diversified country to visit. India shares its borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, China, Nepal and Pakistan. The terrain found on the vast Indian Sub-Continent consists of upland plain in the south, flat to rolling plains along the Ganges, deserts in the west, and the magnificent Himalayas in the north.
While Israelis accommodate most of the Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan; Brits & Portuguese on the other hand enjoy places like Goa. The footfall of tourists from Germany is also increasing every year. Not to mention, Americans and Australians also come as hitchhikers and settle in metropolitan cities of India with great scope in most of their fields of work.
From the deep orange sands of the Rajasthan Desert, the tropical waterways of Cochin or to the serenity of the national parks where rhinos, tigers and birds abound, India's contrasting environment will not fail to inspire.
You'd be wrong if you think that I am only referring to the Taj Mahal in the north or the Victoria Memorial in the east or The Tirupati Temple in the South or Mehrangarh Fort in the West. No; India is also about places like Ladakh, Kheerganga, Valley of Flowers, Tawang, Coorg, Namchi and the other places that foreigners are more passionate to explore than the fellow Indians.
Even though it's sad how our country is left unexplored, I am going to tell you what to expect from Indians in each part of the country while you're travelling solo or with company; in two separate articles.
There are 32 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India as in today's date and each one of them is unique and important to India.
It isn't only about the places that India offers but the food, the culture and the people that you meet on your voyage in India is extremely entertaining.
The kind of advices you'd get from the Babas in Rishikesh and Haridwar or the sort of love you'd get in Ziro Valley or the food that you'd eat in Parvati Valley or the hippies you'd meet in Goa is all a part of the life changing India.
When Julia Roberts was casted in Eat Pray Love, she didn't know that her time spent in India for it would become such an integral part of her life that she would convert to Hinduism.
The country may be noisy, full of rowdy people, but its essence is as strong as it gets. You will get to experience all types of transportation. If given a chance, do not miss to try riding a tractor in the fields of Punjab. It's a bliss!
North India has a very typical culture. North Indians like to blow all the money that they have on their sons' or daughters' marriages and not their education.
Men of the North excel at eve-teasing. If you're a girl travelling alone or with a male companion, you are sure to get a lot of looks from head to toe and virtually get molested in their heads, but that shouldn't stop you from what you are doing. Just ignore unless it gets really disturbing.
Indians in this part of the country are really big on food. From Punjab to Delhi, you will probably get a PhD in the kinds of oils the locals use. You will be spoiled for choice with the variety of food at your service. Avoid using public transport at night. I know that India is beyond scams and divinity, but it is also unpredictable.
Uttarakhand is famous for its' Kumaon region and people from Kumaon are very honest and helpful. They are the sweetest and will get you through any problem that you face in their area.
On the other hand majority of Haryana is very rural with people who are not too open minded or educated. It's a developing state with a lot of corrupt politicians. Apart from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana is a very unsafe zone for females.
I'd recommend not talking to anyone if it's not your business. Keep to yourself.
Moving on, Himachal Pradesh is one of the most beautiful states in India reason being they do not let outsiders buy any kind of property in their area so what belongs to the people from Himachal stays in Himachal. Himachal really runs of tourism so the locals are very friendly with the tourists and love to join them on various treks. I would also recommend you to take a visit to Jammu & Kashmir; often termed as Switzerland of India. Most of its' occupants are Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits. By being there, you'd get to take a peek in the Islamic culture to a very large extent. The people are friendly but do not mess with any religious viewpoints.
In my next post I would be talking about the western part of India such as Gujarat, Rajasthan, Daman and Diu and their cultural richness.