India is a country youíll never forget. Once you step out of
the airport and hear the distant echo of beeping rickshaws and bustling cities,
the country begins to take its hold on you. Despite its reputation of being a
dangerous, dirty country, perhaps too chaotic for some - those who take the
time to get to know the magical lands often fall in love with it.
India makes you feel alive. Itís intense, surreal, and vibrant. Sometimes itís
even unfair, itís challenging, and youíll see things which will change your
perspective forever. Around every corner is something new; a rainbow of
colours, fragrant smells of herbs and spices, the buzz of bazaars, diverse
cuisines and patterns of beautiful fabrics.
Youíll see rickshaws twisting and
turning through the windy roads, just
missing someone at every swerve.Your
eyes will glimmer in the colorful bright fabrics, beads and textiles. The
beauty of the Taj Mahal will look different than the photos youíve seen so many
times before; its white marble walls will shine brightly in the sunshine,
commanding your attention. Youíll stare in awe at the mountain views and lush,
green landscapes across Kerala and the tropical blue beach paradise of Goa.
But not everything you see will dazzle you with joy. Youíll see the crowds of
homeless people sleeping at busy Indian train stations. People will squeeze
onto a chair class carriage as they embark on a 48 hour train journey with no
room to sit down. Maybe, as you walk down the side streets of Kolkata and see
hoards of homeless, hungry children, youíll realise how lucky you really are.
Youíll hear the
endless beeping and revs of tuk tuks and scooters. Chatter in Hindi, Tamil,
Kannada and English will flow past your ears as you walk through crammed
streets. Youíll get used to sound of aggressive shoppers haggling at busy
bazaars, the beating thumps of women doing laundry and the passion in religious
Then youíll bask in the calmness of the birds singing in the empty mountains.
Youíll listen to the faint sounds of water rippling while boating through
serene backwaters. And as you fall asleep in the desert of the Golden City,
youíll hear nothing but the breeze.
Youíll smell the sweetness of
Jasmine flowers which delicately decorate womenís hair, representing hope and
spirituality. Cinnamon, ginger, coriander, bay leaves, masala and every pungent
spice will fill the air as you pass by a bazaar. The savoury scent of samosas
and bhajis, or freshly brewed chai sold by busy street stalls are bound to
For every good smell in India thereís a bad. Fish rotting in
the burning sun, mounds of rubbish piled high, and walls which reek of urine
will be common occurrences. But thereís no need to worry - these smells are
quickly masked by the pleasant smell of musky sandal and lavender incense
burning from every temple, street corner and house.
Youíll taste diverse,
rich and spicy food with interesting contrasts at every corner of the country.
Vegetarians will feel like theyíre in food paradise and relish in the endless
meat-free choices. The varied taste of thalis, homely taste of street food, and
curries packed with spices will feed your soul. Youíll find yourself addicted
to Indian food, which is always infused with passion.
Thereís nothing more heart-wrenching than the touch of an Indian child beggar grasping at your hand or banging on
your window for food or money. As you stroke an Indian street dog or cat,
youíll feel their bones poke through their fur; not an inch of fat on their
A trip to India will change your perspective, it will make
you feel lucky, and it will make you want to help. Youíll be inspired by
Indianís hope and joy in the smallest of things, and their humble lifestyles
will make you think twice. India - a country of sensory overload.