Recently, we have looked at photos of our travels over the last twenty years. With over 50 countries visited, it has been a lot of fun reminiscing. It has prompted us to think about our favourites. Therefore, we have started a series of our top 10 countries in the world. In no particular order, we will list which ten countries are our favourites and why you should visit them one day. We are starting the series with India, which is one of our top picks. This post is about why we love India and why we think you need to travel to India one day.
Firstly, we have had fun and adventure in every country we have travelled in. We would go back to most of the 50 countries we have visited. But some countries draw us in, and so we go back time and time again. Others we have been to just once, but we love them so much we consider them a favourite. We intend returning to these countries for a second longer visit.
To be our favourite, we need several factors to line up. A few of these includes impressive landscapes and plentiful beaches or lakes, as these are things we love. We are also foodie travellers, so it makes a big difference in our experience if we like the country’s cuisine. And further, the cost of travel plays an integral part for us. We can travel for longer if the price of travelling in a country is lower. India ticks all these boxes and more. Therefore, India is one of our favourite top 10 countries out of the 50 we have visited.
Please read on to find out why India is one of our top 10 countries and why you need to travel to India.
Why Travel to India
Where do we start? In India, there is so much diversity, colour and life thrust in your face. It is a journey of all six senses. And it’s the ultimate in trying something new and embracing culture. With so much variety from striking beach resorts, to divine temples, lush mountains, spacious desert landscapes and bustling cities, there is something for everyone. There are tasty foods, historic sites, epic natural wonders; you can live out your bucket list dreams. Wherever you go in India, you will find many attractions and reasons to go there. Here are a few of the reasons we love India, and why you will too –
Uniqueness and Authenticity
Our number one reason to go to India is everything feels unique and authentic. When we travel, we like seeing something distinctive. Other cultures are a huge drawcard for us, and it is one of the reasons we prefer travelling in non-western countries. In India, we saw so many unique things such as the architecture, the culture and the way of life, that visiting the country was an experience like no other. Many people experience culture shock. We think if we come out of a country with a bit of culture shock, we have had an exciting adventure!
But more importantly, India enables you to see a different way of living, and this allows you to broaden your perspective. Above all, the authentic people and the culture are what draws us to this beautiful country. And once you learn how to go with the flow in India, it is a great adventure.
India is a vast country. The adventure begins in the cities as soon as you arrive and witness the chaos of the city streets. It is a sensory overload of sounds, smells and sights. Take a rickshaw ride through the city, and you will have an adventure-filled day full of colourful scenes, temples, history, people, food and culture.
Our favourite adventures in India were the train rides. Whether it was a shorter 3rd class train trip or a more extended 1st or 2nd class journey, we delighted in the train rides. We loved the sights we saw out of the window, the train food they served and walking through the carriages to meet people. We especially enjoyed waking up to the sound of the train in the morning as we got ready to arrive at our next destination and adventure.
The people in India are open, generous and very friendly. They welcome visitors to their country. We can’t count how many people walked up to us to say hello or ask to take photos with us. Even though many Indians do not speak English, with the aid of universal sign language, they love meeting visitors to their country. Indian hospitality is unforgettable, and many travellers report receiving invitations to weddings, functions, dinners or just a cup of tea in an Indian home. You don’t often get that in the West.
In fact, we find it harder to meet local people in Western countries. But, meeting people is one of the most memorable parts of travel. Long after the memory of an attraction is gone, we remember these chance encounters.
Some of our best experiences we have had were when we met the local people in Goa and Kerala. Additionally, we have written a post about Kerala, one of our favourite parts of India. Read about our adventures cruising in the backwaters and why we loved Kerala –
Human By Nature in Kerala Backwaters.
The culture in India is a mix of some of the oldest traditions in the world. With its many religions and languages, there is enormous diversity. Further, there is also cultural diversity between geographic locations.
It is the culture that makes the country as impressive as it is. Travel in India allows you to witness culture and heritage that is thousands of years old. We find we learn so much with every town we visit. The people, the dress, the food, the traditional customs, the beliefs, the religions and the languages all contribute to a colourful and unique culture. And don’t forget the lively festivals. There are so many in India due to the large number of diverse religions and groups.
The Glorious Food
Food is a significant part of travel. We relish trying different flavours, and Indian food offers the opportunity to try many cuisines of the various regions. We especially love spicy food. From our favourite breakfasts of masala dosa (South Indian pancakes) to rich curries and grilled spicy chicken dishes, eating out in India was an adventurous delight. But not only that, it’s often cheaper than eating a packet of 2-minute noodles and toast at home!
Further, with a huge tourist industry, India caters to traveller’s desires with many international cuisines available, particularly in the main tourist centres.
The Coastline and Beaches
With its 7,500 km of coastline, India offers sights and pleasures for beach lovers. And with the tropical weather and warm water, swimming in the ocean is a delight. There are so many amazing beaches to visit and explore, and each one offers a unique landscape. Mostly, we admire the palm tree-lined coast views and panoramas. They are among some of the best coastlines we have seen in the world.
Further, beach resorts cater to both international and domestic tourists from the backpacker market to the luxury traveller. Among our favourite things to do in India is staying in a simple beach hut overlooking the Arabian Sea.
The Incredible Landscape
Along with the coastline, India has some of the most amazing landscapes in the world. The country’s diversity is what makes it interesting. From epic mountains to sandy dunes to tea plantations at hill stations, there is a unique landscape to soothe your senses and soul.
There is such a wide variety of intriguing and unique landscapes. It is almost as if you are visiting a new country each time you travel to another region with a different landscape.
Temples and Spirituality
Visiting places of worship when we travel is one of our passions. Whether it is churches, mosques or temples, we love seeing the love poured into the often beautiful adorned buildings. And in India, the temples are stunning.
We particularly love the architecture of the Hindu temples and all the intricate carvings. Visiting temples allows us the opportunity to experience the culture, learn about religion and see a different way of life.
Plus for those visitors interested in exploring spirituality and healing therapies, there are ashrams, yoga courses and Ayurveda institutes in most parts of India.
Antiquity and Architecture
In India, world heritage sites are plentiful, and each gives you a glimpse of the past. From temples, ruins and archaeological sites from the 1st century to heritage buildings from the English colonial period, we were never bored exploring the variety of architectural styles in India.
Further, along with surveying the impressive architecture, we have opportunities to learn about the history of India. For us, visiting places where we witness the past adds another fascinating element to our adventures.
Incidentally, there are also many opportunities to stay in heritage buildings and palaces in India.
Crafts and Shopping
For those travellers who love shopping, India is overflowing in gorgeous textiles, arts and crafts. They are rich in colour, patterns and designs. And even if we didn’t buy much, we loved looking at all the colour and beauty.
We prefer spending our savings on experiences and making memories instead of souvenirs, so we are not big shoppers when we travel. Though, we would love filling a shipping container full of all the beautiful textiles, arts and crafts and then furnishing a house back home. Unexpectedly, we did have a rare mini-shopping spree in India. We adore the sari, sarongs, sheets, Tibetan gongs, arts and crafts we bought! Plus by shopping, we had another chance to support the local community.
Great Value for Your Money
We would be terrible budget travellers if we didn’t list this as one of the reasons why we love India. It is so cheap if you are coming from a Western country. Yup, India is actually one of the cheapest countries we have visited. We are talking dining out for two dollars a meal, accommodation from five dollars a night, train trips for a few dollars and clothes starting from a dollar.
The highest cost in India will be getting there. Once you are there, you will probably spend in a week what you pay for a day in a Western country.
Of course, for those who save their travel dollars for splashing out, there are many luxury options in India. And while these costs are high, they are incomparable to the West. For example, a 5-star hotel will cost you a lot less in India than it costs in the West.
Travel to India one day!
These are the main reasons we love India. We can’t wait to go back to explore more of this beautiful country. Our next trip will include visiting more temples and archaeological sites around the countryside, revisiting our favourite regions Goa and Kerala, as well as a lengthy train trip. We hope we have given you enough reasons to travel to India too.
Additional Resources for Travel in India-
The best place to start is at the official government website – Incredible India. Here you can get an idea about what to see and do in the different regions.
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