India is not just one of the world's oldest civilizations, it is also the world's largest democracy, and has made stupendous progress amongdeveloping nations. India's impressive variety of history and culture, from the ancient Gangetic Kingdoms to the present state, harmoniously blend to form a unique atmosphere in over a million square kilometers of scenic sights. A continent-sized country, India possesses an amazing wealth of sights and sounds, tastes and textures. From a bustling cosmopolitan city to the quiet countryside, hill station or a beach resort, India has destinations, which offer a backdrop of unmatched beauty. You will find a fascinating amalgam of tradition & culture, beauty & nature, style & splendour, warmth, feelings & courtesies, comfort & convenience virtually everything an International tourist could expect.
India is set apart from the rest of Asia by the Himalayas, the highest, youngest and still evolving mountain chain on the planet. The subcontinent as it is rightly called, touches three large water bodies and is immediately recognizable on any world map. This thick, roughly triangular peninsula defines the Bay of Bengal to the east, the Arabian sea to the west, and the India Ocean to the south.
India holds virtually every kind of landscape imaginable. An abundance of mountain ranges and national parks provide ample opportunity for eco-tourism and trekking, and its sheer size promises something for everyone.
In a country as diverse and complex as India, it is not surprising to find that people here reflect the rich glories of the past, the culture, traditions and values relative to geographic locations and the numerous distinctive manners, habits and food that will always remain truly Indian.
From the eternal snows of the Himalayas to the cultivated peninsula of far South, from the deserts of the West to the humid deltas of the East, from the dry heat and cold of the Central Plateau to the cool forest foothills, Indian lifestyles clearly glorify the geography. The food, clothing and habits of an Indian differ in accordance to the place of origin.
Ethnically Indians speak different languages, follow different religions, eat the most diverse varieties of food all of which add to the rich Indian culture. The beauty of the Indian people lies in the spirit of tolerance, give-and-take and a composition of cultures that can be compared to a garden of flowers of various colours and shades of which, while maintaining their own entity, lend harmony and beauty to the garden - India!
India is a land of a variety of linguistic communities, each of which share a common language and culture. Though there could be fifteen principal languages there are hundreds of thousands dialects that add to the vividness of the country. 18 languages are officially recognized in India with English as the main official language.In terms of percentage, 75% of Indian population speaks languages of Indo-European family,
In Indian cuisine, food is categorized into six tastes - sweet, sour, salty, spicy, bitter and astringent. A well-balanced Indian meal contains all six tastes, not always can this be accomplished. This principle explains the use of numerous spice combinations and depth of flavour in Indian recipes. Side dishes and condiments like chutneys, curries, daals and Indian pickles contribute to and add to the overall flavour and texture of a meal and provide balance needed.
Deserts: India offers immense climatic diversity and topographical varieties. Deserts form the backdrop of many a legend in India, and in the present times, are touted as destinations of tourist interest. Nothing can prepare the visitor for the sheer magic and brilliance of the desert cities of Rajasthan. The camel rides on the sand dunes are an unforgettable experience as are the sunsets. These places boast of some very fine reminders of the glorious past - palaces, forts, temples and other elegant monuments of architectural and historical value and unforgettable treat for any visitor.
Hill Resorts: If you have some time to spare, take a slow toy train up to the hill resort of Shimla, Ooty (Udhagamandalam), Darjeeling or Matheran. There is nothing to match the experience of chugging up the hills, past little hamlets and terraced fields, making your way through tunnels and over breathtaking bridges. Its leisurely pace offers you a panoramic view of changing vistas. The invigorating air and the delights of scenic hill resort provide a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Beaches: Thousands of sun-deprived tourists visit India because it incredibly has the most diverse varieties of beaches anywhere in the world. Placid backwaters and lagoons, bays and rough lava-rocked seas, marine estuaries with fish, crashing surf, powdery golden sand or palm fringed shores - Incredible India has them all.
The West Coast with the Arabian Sea and the East Coast with the Bay of Bengal offer many a verdant vistas to the traveller. The coasts of India have their own seafood cuisine, relaxing spas, diving and water sports and great places to stay for a balmy holiday.
Wild Life: India is home to a rich diversity of wildlife supplemented by an equally rich variety of flora and fauna. The sight and sounds of a majestic elephant, a peacock’s dance, the stride of a camel, the roar of a tiger are unparalleled experiences in themselves. Watching birds and animals in their natural habitats is an experience in itself.
The country offers immense opportunities for wildlife tourism. The immense heritage of wildlife in India comprises of more than 70 national parks and about 400 wildlife sanctuaries including the bird sanctuaries.
Taj Mahal: A flawless architectural creation
For centuries, the Taj Mahal has inspired poets, painters and musicians to try and capture its elusive magic in word, colour and song. Since the 17th century, travellers have crossed continents to come and see this ultimate memorial to love, and few have been unmoved by its incomparable beauty.
India has been ranked among the top 2 most favored countries in the world, consecutively for the second year by Conde Nast Traveler, UK in its Readers Travel Awards 2008
India received the prestigious “World Travel Award 2008