A couple of years ago, I used to think India, as of developing country. Country known for Bollywood, Tea and Spices. I am very obliged to that chance that turned over my knowledge of this country and changed my attitude towards it. I was just doing my job and planning India tours for my clients and I realized that every single place of interest, a village, a city, a fort or even a market, is full of charm. I was always intrigued by the diversity of India and I started searching more and more about its geography, culture and history. The more I read about it the more it fascinates me. And very soon I realsied, I had no other option, but to go and see this country by myself and touch its culture. Because of my job I could only manage 8 days for my India trip, which were not enough. However to escape from exhausting journeys, I decided to visit only one Indian state – Rajasthan, also called as the princely state.
I won’t go in to the details of sightseeing as I would like to emphasize on the essence of India which touched me to my core. This is more about “what I felt” instead of “What I Saw”. During my India trip, I visited cities i.e Jaipur – famous “Pink” city with its magnificent Amber Fort and other heritage monuments, Jodhpur – known as the “blue” city, very calm and quite, which turned out to be unusual and unexpected, but very pleasant. The last attended city was Udaipur, known as the Eastern Venice, due to its location on the lakes. The city is incredibly charming and extremely romantic. Probably, an ideal place for honeymoon or an anniversary trip. All these cities come with a great history, vibrant culture and gorgeous heritage buildings. The incredible forts and palaces made me imagine the luxury life of their former inhabitants. Every visited city has its own unique peculiarity, which you cannot be sensed by mere images.
I entered though Delhi which appeared to me as a large megapolis and the “city of contrasts”. With i more than fourteen million population and 3000 years of existence, it has a striking mixture of ancient and modern culture. The Old Delhi is mighty with its significant heritage buildings, narrow alleys, and crowded streets. Whereas New Delhi, is a modern city with skyscparers, wide roads and thousands of cars on them.
To tell the truth, the first day in Delhi, staggered and stunned me indeed. With unceasing heavy traffic, honking cars from everywhere, flowing to one wailing sound inside my head. Crowded streets, people staring of curiosity, colourful attires and adornments on women, mountains of garbage, occurring from time to time, lazy cows, moving between heavy traffic, pigs in harmony, taking a nap on the footpath. All this appeared to be too much for my brain which was already fatigued by the long-haul flight. Nevertheless, I was looking with amazement from my comfortable car to this colour of life. Later I realized that this was the essential part of India, its unique flavour, and you can love it or hate it, but you can never stay untouched by it. During my India trip, many times I thought of the words from a modern best seller that “if this many people with such diverse backgrounds would have lived in any other nation, they would have not survived”. Indians not only survived but they enjoy, they love and they respect each other. They are able to preserve their ancient cultures, honour their traditions, and support their religion. I got used of this idea as the day passed, and while moving from one city to another, through the state of Rajasthan, which I had chosen for my trip to India.
In a couple of days the traffic stopped seeming to me chaotic and I even got its philosophy. Roaming cows assimilated with scenery and became its integral part. In many interested gazes, I discerned friendliness and affability. Women in Saris (traditional attire) started to arise my delight, as there are not many places in the world where people, in spite of all fashion trends, still wearing clothes, they have been using since ancient times and they do it with grace and dignity. Communicating with locals, I realized and admired the spiritual values that are given to people, who have been taught from the childhood to respect parents and seniors, to treat relationships seriously, to keep faith in their religion. In simple words, Indians comparatively, seem to me mature and profound at a rather young age.
I would certainly pay attention to the service in Indian hotels, which is quite good and sometimes even exceeds the international standards. Rooms were large, with quality wooden furniture, elegantly decorated in Indian style that reminds you that you are staying in a unique and exotic country. Bed linen was snow-white and changed daily. Housekeeping and room cleaning were there without any reminders. The most pleasant thing was the reasonable price I paid for it. However, all this is based on my personal experience and on the hotels, I stayed in. I selected mostly heritage and 4 star category hotels which I found quite reasonable (60- 70 USD per night). All thanks to the experts of Solo travel India, who helped me with my India trip.
Indian cuisine made me happy during my trip and I became a big fan of it. The way to a human heart is through his stomach and I am not an exception. The food here was delicious, rich of diverse flavours & spices and at the same time rather light and healthy. The diversity here also reflects in the food and every region of India is known for its own culinary styles. Calling India a vegetarian paradise won’t be an exaggeration. The varieties of the vegetarian food available here, might surprise you. Despite not being an integral part of their food, I had some of the most delicious meat dishes here. Tikka, Kebabs and Roganjosh are the few names which I still remember. I will definitely miss these in my country.
Unfortunately, I did not have too much time for my India trip and it passed very quickly. By the time I started soaking in its essence, it was finished. I didn’t visit some main attractions as Taj Mahal in Agra, Sacred River Ganga in Varanasi, Temples of Khajuraho and many other places of interest. But I knew it for sure, that this country was worth visiting again and again. Departing from Delhi airport, I was already thinking about another trip to India and the impressions, it will have on me.