The Republic of India is often described as a large and poor area. Consequently, it seems difficult to understand why India doesn’t only attract tourists, but also charms and moves them. Indeed, according to the World Health Organization, the second most populous country is not a place you can visit easily. You will need to plan vaccines against the Typhoid, Polio and Hepatitis A and B, as well as Malaria tablets. Additionally, the WHO recommends caution with tap water and food that has been in contact with it. In other words, visiting India doesn’t sound at first like a fun holiday. However, it’s the best thing you could do! Here’s why every year 14 million tourists fall in love with India and why you should too.
1. To conquer your fears
The first reason that stops people exploring the world is hodophobia, or in other words fear of traveling. Can you imagine missing out on your own life because you’re too afraid to experience it to the fullest? For many, the idea of leaving your known territory to explore the unknown is terrifying. If you’ve experienced a cold sweat at the discovery of the WHO’s recommendations for India or at the idea of visiting a country that is so different from home, then traveling is the best thing you can do. You need to see for yourself that fear is nothing but the distraction of the inexperienced mind. Conquer your fears and try something new: Visit India. Admittedly, it doesn’t mean that you should ignore health recommendations. On the contrary, you should treat them as preventive advice. The WHO’s guideline is Ariadne’s string through your fears’ labyrinth: It keeps you safe.
2. Embrace another melting pot country
When you live in the U.S., you know exactly what a mix of cultures, races, languages, and history feel like. Nevertheless, India is the quintessence of cultural diversity – and, interestingly enough, they’ve managed it a lot better than Western countries. In the southwest, Kochi, a little town by the Arabian Sea, has welcomed the influence of global cultures since the 14th Century. In fact, if you stop at the Courtyard Kochi Airport hotel, you’re only a short walk’s away from a Jewish synagogue, a Christian basilica and an Indian temple with Portuguese architecture. And that’s without mentioning the Chinese Fishing Nets at the harbor that have been used for hundreds of years.
3. Spirituality like you’ve never seen it before
If you feel lost and don’t understand God’s plan for your life anymore, you will love the spiritual mindfulness of India. Holy places, rituals and traditions offer a different approach to those who seek a new awareness. Varanasi, the city of Shiva the god of creation and destruction, is one of the seven sacred Hindu cities in India. If you stay at a riverside hotel, you’ll be able to witness the river rituals for pilgrims of all origins. On the banks of the Ganges River, Rishikesh, the birthplace of yoga, offers a place to meditate. If you want to learn about the Sikhs, head to Punjab to visit the Golden Temple.
4. Seriously amazing food
Indian food can be one of the healthiest diets with many fulfilling options for vegans and vegetarians alike. In fact, as long as you avoid deep-fried or cream-based dishes, you’re in a healthy and yummy treat. Tandoori cooking is a good choice that avoids frying. Or you could try the southern Dal-based dishes, with split lentils or peas cooked in an array of fresh spices for a protein, fiber, and mineral-rich meal.
5. Sleep in a palace
When was the last time you felt like a princess? If it dates back from your childhood memories, it’s time to book a room in one of the magnificent Indian palaces. Indeed, a lot of ancient palaces have now be refurbished as hotels. Try the Rawla Narlai in Rajasthan, a 17th-century royal retreat that oozes romance and grandeur, for a night you will remember.
6. The Taj Mahal
There’s another place you can’t miss in India, and it’s one of the Seven Wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal. Incidentally, you can also book a room at the palace to experience this marvel of Gothic, Greco-Roman, Islamic and Rajasthan architecture. Built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his late wife, the uniqueness of the palace combines architectural and horticultural innovations. This beautiful monument is more than just a visual spectacle; it’s the epitome of love.
From breaking out of the routine to experiencing a new spirituality and a new sense of love, India has a lot to offer to those who travel with their eyes and mind open.