Travel Guide:  India

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Located in South Asia, India is a distinct country with a varied climate and rich culture.  Some consider the Indian civilization to be the oldest on earth, and its culture, traditions and religions reflect that history. India is an unique and exotic country, thanks to its traditional culture, languages, foods, music and clothing.  

Indian artwork is colorful, and drawings like Rangoli are thought to bring good luck.  Dance is another important element of the culture, and this can be seen in many depictions of the countries gods.  One event that brings together many aspects of Indian culture is the wedding, a joyous event that joins two families together with a days-long celebration.

Native to India are a number of herbs and spices that have not only enriched India's distinct cuisine, but have also permeated cuisines around the world.  Famous for its teas and coffees, India has an active industry in both.

With weather ranging from desert, to rain forest and finally to snow cover in the Himalayas, the country is a great destination for a number of different activities.

India is home to one of the most famous buildings in the world.  The Taj Mahal is the country’s most popular tourist spot, and this palace was built as a memorial by an emperor for his late wife.  The Agra Fort is another distinctive spot with remarkable architecture, and it features a number of mosques and palaces.  The country’s religious buildings are spectacular, which include both the Golden Temple and the beautifully-shaped Lotus Temple.  The statue of Gomateshwara at Shravana-belagola is massive, and an important site in the Jain faith.

In between trips to India’s famous landmarks like the Taj Mahal, there are a number of popular activities worth exploring as well.

Because of the country’s extensive coastline, water sports can be found.  Whether it’s a boat ride, a kayak race, white water rafting or a scuba diving trip, India’s waters are fun for all.  Or just spend a relaxing day at the beach.  You can also enjoy a day of golf, or spend your time skiing in the Himalayas if that’s your thing.

India is an exotic and mysterious country, full of a number of unique activities to experience.  Whether it’s an interaction with native wildlife, or a trip to a local market to buy some spices, you’ll definitely be intrigued.  If it’s physical activity you seek, try a trek through the Himalayas, or even across the desert.  Or hop on a camel's back to ride through the windswept sands.  While the tried-and-true tourist attractions remain popular, it’s always fun to stray off the beaten path for a one-of-a-kind experience.

Boasting one of the world’s largest populations, this country is also considered the birthplace of a number of important religions.  India, being a culturally and religiously diverse society, celebrates the holidays and festivals of its various religions.  For example, the Holi festival is both a religious and a harvest festival, and is striking due to its tradition of throwing colored powder or water at other revelers.  Aarti is another religious festival, and the city of Varanasi holds a particularly significant incarnation of it along the banks of the River Ganges.

India is known as the birthplace of yoga, and as such the country is considered a hub of relaxation tourism.  Visitors can travel to the country to unwind, spend time in a soothing spa or learn to calm themselves through meditation.  Visitors may also visit the tranquil Mahabodhi Temple, which was an important spot in the life of Buddha.  The Ganges River is another spot in the country that is important due to its purported healing properties.  Bathing in its waters is said to heal illness and cleanse the soul.


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