India is a unique country, so large and diverse that it would take a lifetime to discover it. But India is a country that marks all the travellers who will discover it. No one emerges unscathed from such a journey because the country is so shocking.
From the high peaks of the Himalayas to the mangrove forest of the Sunderbans, from the splendour of the Rajasthan palaces to the dumps in the streets, from the surrounding poverty to the richness of the Indian soul, contrasts are omnipresent in the country. But the most striking contrast is between the harshness of life and the beauty on every street corner. Wonders are everywhere and appear where you least expect them.
We must be able to ignore what seems unacceptable in order to be able to marvel at all the Indian riches.
It is India’s flagship destination due to the high concentration of the country’s most beautiful palaces. The thousand and one nights here take all their meaning. Especially since the surrounding nature sublimates these palaces. Sometimes fortress rising from the desert in Jaisalmer, sometimes floating palace in Udaipur or impregnable fort in Amber. If the tourist traffic will discouraged the frequent travellers, there are still many less visited forts and getting lost in the rajpout streets is a delight for the senses. Rajasthan is the ideal region to visit the Taj-Mahal in Agra.
We come to Northern India to discover Delhi, the modern (New Delhi) and traditional (Old Delhi) capital, Varanasi, the religious capital, where the fervour will not fail to seize you but also the Himalayas where there are a lot of high altitude treks. You will certainly meet many Indians who are always ready to open their daily lives to you.
South India will surprise you with its lush vegetation, scene of Mowgli’s adventures in The Jungle Book. If the distances can sometimes be long, you will find activities and places for all tastes. From Mumbai, a multicultural megalopolis to Mahabalipuram, a small coastal village, you must not forget Hampi, the ancient imperial city, Ajanta and its troglodyte temples or Kerala and Tamil Nadu and their colourful temples. South India, less visited than the North, is full of treasures, but the most beautiful is undoubtedly the hospitality of the Indians.
The east of the country, whose heart is Kolkata (Calcutta), is boiling. Kolkata is a city that never sleeps, whatever the time of the day there is always an overflowing activity, which makes it a summary of Indian culture. Especially since the city is the capital of the arts and literature. East India is also a concentration of important landscapes, including the largest mangrove forest in the Sunderbans and the magnificent Darjeeling tea plantations in the Himalayas.