Undoubtedly one of the most fascinating and diverse countries in the world India is a destination that should be on everyone’s bucket list. The seventh largest country in the world in terms of size and second only to China in population, India possesses a mind-blowing array of dialects, cultures, ethnicities and ways of life.
Stretching from the Great Himalayas mountain range of the north to the exotic and tropical peninsular of the south, the country for the first time visitor can be an overbearing assault on all your senses. Raucous, dynamic, frenetic and just a little bit chaotic (in a good way!), India is a place of incredible contrasts and contradictions. This is a country where unbelievable opulence and wealth rubs shoulders with utter desolation and poverty. This is a place where the traditions of 2000 year old classical music and dance are equally as loved as the modern day superstars of Bollywood. It is a place where cricket is a religion and religion is a passion. It is a place like no other on earth.
Whilst it may overwhelm you at first this nation of a billion people will progressively reveal to you scintillating delights. You may find it in the magnificent architecture of its centuries old temples, tombs and fortifications. Or in the exquisite traditions of a remote village. You might find it in the bustle and bustle of one of its many chaotic bazaars, or mouth-watering tastes and aromas of some local cuisine. It may come to you in the throbbing metropolis of a major city. Or you might find it in the picture perfect vista of a serene landscape. However it comes it will come to you.
In years gone by perhaps the biggest concern visitors to India had, apart from contracting the dreaded ‘Delhi Belly’, was where to stay. Whilst the standard of accommodation may not have been too crash hot some twenty or thirty years ago it has significantly improved now. To the point that the horror stories you used to hear with alarming regularity are now as rare as Haley’s comet. Whilst it is definitely still true that you get what you pay for, there is a huge choice of accommodation options in India. From ultra modern, western style luxury hotels in grandiose old palaces to clean, comfortable and safe budget hotels, hostels and bungalows there are now very good options to suit any budget, style or taste.