Much has been written about this fascinating travel destination, but nothing will prepare you for the sheer scope of landscapes, cuisines and experiences the first time that you arrive in India.
It’s a vast country, and one that’s very much in transition. Its cities are fiercely modern and developing at a breakneck speed. There’s Bengaluru, formerly Bangalore, which was at the heart of the IT and digital revolution in India. It, along with Gurgaon and Noida, have seen floods of young people moving in to claim a stake in the industry, and with these new workers comes new developments in architecture, shopping, dining and more.
A lot of destinations in India have been transformed by tourism, such as Chennai in the south. Once upon a time this city (formerly known as Madras) was just a gateway to other parts of the country, but today it’s a great place to visit in its own right – packed with luxury hotels, high-end restaurants and malls, with a population as warm and inviting as its weather.
One of the most popular destinations to see is Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay). Life moves at a frenetic pace in this bustling city, the centre of India’s legendary Bollywood film scene. And then there’s the iconic Golden Triangle, which comprises Rajasthan, Jaipur and Agra. Each of these cities has its own unique appeal, but Agra is the most famous, thanks to the presence of the Taj Mahal. It’s an instantly recognisable landmark, a 350-year-old monument built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as an expression of devotion to his late wife.
Along with its natural and made-made attractions, one of the biggest draws of India is the food. You’ll notice distinctive differences between each region; from the seafood of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and the intense vindaloos of Goa to Rajasthan’s delightfully rich, ghee-heavy food. There’s something to suit all tastes – and budgets.