Capital: New Delhi Largest city: Mumbai
While visiting India a tourist map may be good but it is identifying the select hot spots along with those under visited areas that may be even more enchanting than the others while preparing your travel itinerary. As there are umpteen number of spots that could give you few days to while away your time you would need to plan before you touch down in one of the oldest living civilization on earth. This is particularly so if you are coming from abroad and there is too much of diversity in cultural, historical and environmental and social aspects that may overwhelm a visitor to the soil. If you are staying short or thinking for a long haul then you may plan your departure and arrival as well as make the most out of your stay in the vast country.
General Introduction to India
In area and size India is the seventh largest country in the world. It is also the second most populous country after China and is the world’s largest democracy with freedom to travel, free press, and freedom to communicate, free investment opportunities and have sociable folks to make the best out of your stay here. Although India has hundreds of dialects the constitution recognizes only 22 languages. Hindi is the language that is mostly spoken by majority of the population mainly in Northern parts of the country yet English has become a link language among the educated due to the country being an erstwhile colony under the British.
The country enjoys an independent judicial system and is essentially formed with significant inputs from the British and the American judicial system and for any outsiders there wouldn’t be any difficulty to understand the same in case if ever any legal advice is sought. A strong judicial system coupled with enough freedom to watch and move around provides the backdrop of a vibrant society always on the move.
A little history of the country
India is one of the oldest living civilization and unlike any others on the planet its people have been coming down through generation without being extinct and form the vast populace of the country. Undoubtedly, there is much to look out for and become wonderstruck for a visitor as history is generously depicted in the historical monuments, temple carvings, caves and mountains as much as within the vibrant folks that live and breathe in innumerous shades of cultural hues and extravaganzas.
For first time visitors India is 7000 BCE old with the first identified and studied archeological findings of Neolithic settlements in Mehrgarh and other several sites that are found in today’s Pakistan. These settlements over a period of time developed to what is known famously as the Indus Valley civilization. The archeological findings have been identified in sites at Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, Dholavira and Kalibangan.
Research studies have revealed with conclusive evidence that the Indus Valley civilization provided wide range subsistence for people and trade and commerce flourished here. It is in this background that one can easily appreciate and understand the art, culture and other artifacts that are found in the museums and sites of architecture in the whole country.
A Geographical wonderland
Geographically too the Indian subcontinent stands out as something quite out of the ordinary having detached itself from the super continent Gondwana land and started drifting alone towards the north east. This drift of the then Indo Australian plate started 75 million years ago and over a long period of time met the Tethys oceanic crust, but not before the Indian plate and the Australian plate had split up. The Indian plate along with Australian plate at about 50 million years had earlier completely encircled the Tethys Ocean.
Then the slow steady yet awesome horizontal pressure was exerted by the Indian plate on the Tibetan plateau and the seabed of the Tethys Ocean began to rise and slowly formed into what is the world’s tallest mountain range. The Himalayas contain some of the highest peaks in the world of which the tallest is the Mount Everest and has awesome perennial snow fed rivers.
The formation of the presently seen mountain range the Himalayas altered the climate over a vast area of the subcontinent. In fact tourists from across the world are dazzled by the existence of abundance and unique flora and fauna found no where else in the world. Apart from that India contains vast rivers, deserts, forest land with scrubs to tropical rain forest all nestling close by connected with road, rail and airport. Being a peninsula the country is flanked on all three sides by Bay of Bengal in the East, Indian Ocean in the South and the Arabian Sea in the West.
This makes the country an ideal place for sea shore holidaying and also for visiting other ideal scenic and historical sites.
Tourism’s own natural country
If variety is the thing that makes tourism great then India is as richly diverse and enchanting as one may imagine and even baffling and mysterious at times. This is easily seen when you touch down at any part of the country and resume your slow exploratory visit to the country’s hot spots and also not so well known and even more spectacular hidden scenic beauties.
Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy and is being given a strong boost by the government and therefore you may find numerous offices catering to tourists throughout the country. Even medical tourism is expected to grow exponentially with naturopathy and ayurvedic medication as well as state of art modern medical hospitals and clinics with affordable facilities and treatment costs.
In other words, for foreign tourists the expenses they incur in their own country may cost only a third when they come to India and that too with world standard facilities. Medical tourism also comes in specialized packages so that tourists may choose the most suitable package for themselves.
While visiting India tourists have a list of ‘must see’ places designed to make them get closer to the awesome destinations that may begin to unfold steadily during their journey within the country. The main world famous attractions are Taj Mahal, Khajuraho Temples, Ajanta Caves, Houseboats of Kerala, Golden Temple, Beaches of Goa, Varanasi Ghats, Hampi, district of Ladakh, Brihadeeswara Temple and so on.
The list detailing the most visited places in India can be easily received from the offices of the Tourism Department as well as with flight ticket agents. Better still would be to browse through the Internet and you not only get the names of the places, but also the mode of transport to these places.
Different Plans for each visit
It is a sheer impossibility to explore the whole country within a short span of time tourists may have at their disposal. It is never possible to dismiss even some areas or overlook a particular spot as there are no spots in the country that are stereotyped or have a resemblance to another. The diversity, as stated earlier, is too magnificent to be conveyed within a few words and is worth seeing and pondering about.
It is suggested that unless you are in India for a whole year or more the chances are that you are likely to miss out much of the tourist attractions not to say anything about the ‘not much known yet stunningly beautiful places’ of the country. Hence, tourists may plan their journey well in advance and then after visiting the top ‘must see places’ they may chart out the remaining time for tourism of the states.
It must be noted that India has 29 states and 7 union territories and each of them have a number of tourist attraction including national parks, historical sites, medical facilities, education tourism, sports tourism and business tourism. As such you may have a different plan for each visit and would do well to include railway journeys in your overall tourist plan.
The Indian Railway is phenomenal way to journey through India and is one of the world’s largest networks and is owned and operated by Government of India through the ministry of Railways. One of the biggest advantages for foreign tourists arriving in India is that they could significantly reduce their overall cost of journey if they opt to go by train to some of the destinations. The Railways have their own maps and have packaged tours for both domestic and foreign tourists and is quite affordable.
Not much known places
Tourists who wish to visit lesser known places may need to look no further than browse through the Internet. India has hundreds of such puzzling places and is perhaps best for those who are on their nomadic visit to this country. Among a few with stunning surrealistic scenery would be Chandartal Lake and Tsomoriri lakes in Ladakh. If you to see house boats and greenery then Kerala backwater are the right place or if you desire something mysterious or haunted then you may visit places like Ghost Town of Bhangrarh or Kuldhara in Rajasthan.
So what is the most enchanting, interesting and “not much heard of” spot or place that you visited in India?