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Experience colourful, chaotic India

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MyDiscoveries 06 November 2017

No matter your age, it is in our human nature to crave new and exciting experiences. Our thirst for knowledge and adventure certainly doesn't dwindle as the years go by. Treating your tastebuds to new cuisines, speaking a few words in a foreign language and learning about history and culture where it all began are just a few ways that travel satisfies our desire to learn about the world around us. And no place teaches these lessons better than colourful, chaotic India.

The Taj Mahal in Agra is one of the most beautiful and famous buildings in the world. © Shutterstock - Phensri Rutledge

India is a rising economic powerhouse, playing a significant trade role in Southeast Asia. With a population of 1.3 billion, speaking more than 20 major languages country-wide, India is the largest democracy in the world. This enormous country has several distinct regions that are as unique as they are beautiful. 

The country’s North is the most visited area of India. Tourists flock to the capital to travel the ‘Golden Triangle’, a round trip between Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. This region contains some of India's most renowned landmarks including the Taj Mahal, the Red Fort and Humayun's Tomb.

 Humayun’s Tomb in New Delhi © Phensri Rutledge

It is also home to stunning national parks with exotic wildlife and dramatic mountainous scenery where the Himalayas form the border that separates India from the Tibetan Plateau. 

Beautiful landscape of Himalayas © Shutterstock

During summer, temperatures often rise above 35 degrees celsius but can drop to around 5 degrees in winter. Visiting during autumn (September-December) and spring (March-April) is ideal.

In the EastIndia shares a border with Nepal and Bangladesh and is a mostly rural region. From the Bay of Benegal to the Indo-Gangetic plains, this region of India is rich in religious history as it is the birthplace of Buddhism. 

Kolkata, in the country's East, is one of India's busiest and most vibrant cities and is also the final resting place of Mother Teresa. © Shutterstock - Radiokafka

Its largest city, Kolkata, is sometimes referred to as India's own version of London. It has churned out generations of poets, film producers and Nobel Prize winners. 

Bengali cuisine is as colourful as it is delicious! © Shutterstock

Bengali cuisine is dominant in this area, famous for its subtle use of spices and flavours in fresh fish and rice dishes.

Southern India offers a much more relaxing experience than some of the bigger tourist draws in the north. When exploring this region, you’ll come across rock-cut shrines, palaces, tombs and forts from cultures and dynasties past and present. Enjoying a lush, coastal landscape, the region of Kerala is a great place to spend a relaxing few days exploring the stunning backwaters.

Houseboats traveling down Kerala's winding waterways. © Michael Godeck

The food is is a huge draw card for adventurous tastebuds. Dishes are often served in banana leaves and come in a range of variations and spice-levels. Although the coastal areas boast delicious seafood, South Indian cuisine is predominantly meat-free. Vegetarians rejoice!

Aren't your tastebuds tingling just looking at this? © Shutterstock - Norikko

The Western part of India is popular for its beaches and temples, but is also highly industrialised. Flying is by far the easiest way to get to India’s west, however, less-convenient rail options are available. 

Goa is known for its beautiful beaches and relaxed fishing villages. © Shutterstock - Lysogor Roman

Because of its sub-tropical climate and Arabian Sea coastline, surfers and beach-goers love visiting Goa. Its palm-fringed beaches, fresh seafood and unique architecture make it a must-visit destination in India.

The Gateway of India as seen from the Mumbai Harbour © Shutterstock - Smarta

For those who love Bollywood, Mumbai is a top spot! Formerly known as Bombay, this bustling city is a melting pot for art, culture and fashion.

You could spend years exploring the ins and outs of India and still not uncover all its beauty, but even the shortest stint in India will dazzle and delight. Its fabulously diverse scenery, cuisine and culture make visiting India a truly sensory experience. 

Still not convinced? Click here for more.