The many dynasties that had ruled Delhi in the past is responsible for the beauty and dynastic you find in the city. Delhi is also the capital of India, the land of mysteries, snake charmers and magicians. Delhi is a book that narrates the history of India with the seven times it was destroyed and built to the present city it is.
Delhi is bordered by the state of Uttar Pradesh on its eastern side while its other three sides are bordered by the state of Haryana. Delhi is situated on the western end of the Gangetic Plain.
Tourists on a tight schedule should stay in a hotel in Connaught Place as there are many places of interest in the area. Connought Place is also the prime shopping center of Delhi where there are shops found both on footpaths and in fashionable stores and malls.
Those on a shoestring budget should head for Pahargani area where you find inexpensive hotels and lodges with room rent as low as Rs. 500. However don't expect any special amenities in these hotels. If you are looking for the best of nightlife and the best stores, visit South Delhi.
This is where you find the highest concentration of wealthy people, and the area is near airport and diplomatic missions. As the tourist season is from June to March, it is better to book hotel rooms well in advance to avoid complications on arriving in Delhi.
It is extremely difficult to provide the 'right' perspective about India, as there is no single perspective. Every 50 kilometres you travel in any direction will lead you to an ethnically and culturally different zone. What will remain common is that, which ever direction you look in, you will notice an unending sea of humanity!
Four major religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, originated in India, while Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam arrived in the first millennium CE (AD) and shaped the region's diverse culture. Colonised by the United Kingdom from the mid-nineteenth century, India became an independent nation in 1947.
India is a republic consisting of 28 states and seven union territories with a parliamentary system of democracy. India has more than 2,000 ethnic groups and every major religion is represented. India measures 3,214 kilometres from north to south and 2,993 kilometres from east to west, inhabited by a population of about 1.2 billion. This population is four times as much as the United States, living in an area about a third of its size.
The population of Mumbai alone is more than that of Sweden and Denmark combined. The number of people who travel by train daily is more than the population of Norway. The number of people who eat just one meal a day is more than the population of Germany and the United Kingdom put together. More people die every year in road accidents than three times the population of Monaco. The Indian Railways employs more people than the population of Estonia. India is a big country!
It is not just the sheer quantity of people, but the quality of experience to be found find in India, with a multitude of languages, religions, festivals, gods, sub-cultures and food habits, that makes a visit well worth while. States in the east, west, north and south vary in lifestyles, languages and cultures as much as many countries differ!
The world famous Taj Mahal, in the city of Agra and known for its beautiful architecture and romantic atmosphere, can be reached via Delhi, the capital of India.
Jaipur, also called the 'Pink City', is the capital of the state of Rajasthan. This city entertains tourists with its ornate palaces, exquisite jewellery, elephant rides and gemstone shops, where shopaholics can get rubies, emeralds and sapphires at bargain prices.
Going south is the coastal paradise of Kerala, where lush coconut palms sway over houseboats lazing on breathtaking backwaters and the lure of Ayurveda and other ancient health remedies beckon the visitor to relax and rejuvenate away from all worries.
The cuisine in each area is also very different and must be sampled. India was the country that taught the rest of the world the benefits of using spices in cooking. Most of the dishes have a combination of turmeric, cloves, cardamom, chillies, tamarind, black pepper and many more. However, it may be wise to stay away from roadside food stalls unless you have a strong constitution!
Mumbai, the ancient port of India, with its Gateway of India monument, Elephant Caves, Crawford Market and Chor Bazaar, is another favourite. Mumbai is also home to the Indian film industry more famously known as Bollywood. Many who travel to Mumbai also visit Hollywood in the Unites States to make comparisons.
Goa, a coastal city known for its sun, sand, food and drinks, is also a haven for nude beach goers.
For those visitors who wish to see examples of Indo-Aryan architecture, try the Khajuraho temples with their erotic sculptures depicting scenes similar to those in the Kamasutra, the manual of love written about 2,000 years ago.
Almost all of the major airlines in the world have flights to the four major cities in India, Delhi, Mumbai (Bombay), Chennai (Madras) and Bangalore. There are several companies offering month-long or week-long tours that take visitors through the Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra and Jaipur), the bustling cities in the north, the exquisite temples of the south and into the houseboats anchored in the breathtaking backwaters of Kerala.
Goa travel information