India is by far one of the most spectacular countries I’ve ever been to. It is home to breathtaking mountains, striving wildlife, delicious cuisine, and is one of the most spiritually diverse countries in the world. India has a population of more than 1 billion, which numbers continue to grow and continues to modernize itself. When I decided to visit India last year, I accidentally left my debit card at home and my nearest bank branch was more than 8,000 miles away. I initially was a bit concerned, but there were plenty of financial institutions, so I simply phoned my mother and asked if she could send me money. Initially, she wasn’t quite sure how to send money to India, but the agent over the phone walked her through the process. Besides losing my debit card, my trip to India was perfect. Here are some reasons you should consider visiting India.
India, apart from being beautiful, is also relatively affordable, which is why it’s ranked 10th best for price competitiveness. For a relatively low cost, you can travel around the country by train, visiting all your favorite landmarks. Since the recent drop in the value of the rupee, this means vacationing in India is now more affordable than ever. Even if you decide to go last minute, it’s more than enough time to find the best last minute travel deals to take a trip without breaking the bank.
The Taj Mahal
A trip to India wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Taj Mahal. This breathtaking structural work of art was originally built as a mausoleum for the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan’s favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It’s composed of ivory white marble and the grounds include a mosque and a guest house, which is surrounded by luscious gardens. This architectural masterpiece cost nearly 827 million to build and receives more than 8 million visitors a year, which is one of the reasons why it’s considered to be one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Watch a Game of Cricket
If you’ve never been to a game of cricket, you are really missing out. India is obsessed with the sport. Everywhere, from parks, fields, and stadiums, you can witness the game being played. It’s recognized as their national sport, which is why India has won so many world championships over the years, including the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup and the 1983 Cricket World Cup.
Friendliest People I’ve Ever Met
While I was visiting India, I’ve encountered some of the nicest people I’ve ever met, although only 10% may speak English. They were incredibly kind and hospitable. I’ve traveled all over the world and I’ve never encountered such warmth.
Art and Culture
India’s art reflects their cultural heritage. When you visit India, you’ll notice that art isn’t only in their museums, its literally everywhere you turn. From the Ajanta Caves, which is a beautifully rock-cut Buddhist monument, it’s an experience you have to witness first hand in order to fully appreciate. There are a variety of forms of Indian art including, pottery, sculpture, tapestries of woven silk, and paintings. There rich cultural influence can be seen throughout most of Asia and stretches into the Middle East. Much of their art is derived from spirituality and religious influences such as Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism, and Islam. There are more than 100 art museums stretched across the country, such as the Indian Museum in Kolkata, established in 1812, which makes it the oldest museum in the country. There’s also the Salar Jung Museum located in Dar-ul-Shifa. It contains a diverse collection of sculptures, paintings, and textiles, which features the work of Abdur Rahman Chughtai, Abanindranath Tagore, and Raja Ravi Varma, who is considered to be some of the greatest artists in the history of Indian Art.
Many people do not realize that India is one of the best places in the world to shop. The country is a shopper’s paradise and has one of the most diverse retail industries in the world. From bangles, shawls, flip flops, and jewelry, the country has it all. It’s also home to multiple designer stores and retailers, including Gucci, Versace, Ralph Lauren, and Burberry. You could visit Lulu International Shopping Mall which is the largest shopping mall in the country. It receives more than 80,000 visitors daily. The shopping center has an astonishing 1.7 million square feet of retail space, over 215 outlets stores, and even has its own skating rink.