April 13, 2020

India Destination Guide

The second most populous country in the world, India has a long and colorful history. With varied landscapes, food and cultural traditions, there is something for everyone. The best times to go are during December to March and June to November.

What to Do

Tourists riding elephants at Amer Fort, Jaipur | Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Tourists riding elephants at Amer Fort, Jaipur | Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

There are many exciting things to do in India. For a mix of history, religion and nature visit the Ajanta caves. Bordering the Waghore River, five of the caves are prayer halls while others are monasteries. These are holy sites, so caves must be entered without shoes.

For a unique visual experience, visit Kanyakumari. Situated at India’s southernmost tip, its best visited during a full moon when one can see the sun set and the moon rise at the same time. For a holy experience, consider Bodh Gaya, one of the most sacred sites for Buddhists, — the site where the Buddha is said to have reached enlightenment.

Those who love tea should definitely visit Darjeeling, home of one of the most well-known teas in the world. The town is also home to colorful temples and numerous colonial-era hotels. Many of the tea plantations are open to tours for those who want a hands on experience.

Festival in India, Photo by Nandu Menon on Unsplash

What to Eat

Roti is a common dish served in India, Photo by Lai YuChing on Unsplash

Roti is a common dish served in India, Photo by Lai YuChing on Unsplash

Be careful, in India curry is used to refer to any spiced dish. For those who don’t like spicy food, yogurt, rice, and breads are plentiful. Definitely try the various forms of bread such as paratha, a layered, pan-fried flatbread which may or may not be stuffed or Pani puri, a puffed sphere of bread filled with spices and water and best eaten in a single bite
Try the bittergroud which is prepared dry with spices and definitely take advantage of the fruit which can be made into chutney or flavor kulfi, a form of ice cream. Sweets are common here, so try barfi, a fudge-like milk based sweet and rasgullas which are made from un-pressed paneer.

India is famous for its street food, so don’t miss out on savory chaat, or aloo tikki, a spicy fried potato patty.

Tea lovers must try the numerous types of chai (in India this just means tea), and everyone should indulge in garam chai or masala, a unique twist with cardamom, ginger and other spices.

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