India is one of the oldest living civilisations in the world. Modern India is made up of a fascinating blend of ethnicities and religions, as the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, there are significant populations of Muslims and Christians.
One of the most beneficial times to visit is from September to March when temperatures are at their coolest. During winter (December-January), temperatures can get quite cold in Delhi and in the north, especially at night. Monsoon is from late-May to around October and offers hot and humid conditions, although this is considered one of the best times to visit Ladakh and the hills.
Indian food is one of the world’s most favoured cuisines, and travellers will be in for a real treat when visiting India. Relying heavily on spices and vegetables, vegetarians will be delighted with the multitude of meat-free dishes available and visitors will be able to notice marked differences in the cuisines of each region.
As the seventh largest country in the world, India is home to a variety of terrains – the Himalayas of the north, the deserts and plains of the west, the fertile waterways of the south and the hills and forests of the east. Development is occurring at a rapid pace, with large, sprawling cities consisting of everything from five star hotels to shanty towns, and with modern malls and cinemas sitting comfortably alongside bazaars and street food vendors. A trip through India will reveal a diverse range of landscapes, villages, cities and environments.
The country is a shopper’s paradise with fragrant bazaars, modern boutiques and village markets are brimming with top quality items at low prices.
Pilgrims bathe in the Ganges in Varanasi, and Rishikesh is a yoga centre and base for Himalayan trekking and a varied history reaching back 5 millennia.