Ralph Ellison, who wrote the award-winning novel, Invisible Man, writes in the book, ‘when I discover who I am, I will be free.’ When you are traveling (on a trip), it is the closest you get to experiencing self-discovery and what place better on earth to embark on making this trip than India.
The world knows India as the birthplace of Lord Rama, Lord Krishna (Hinduism), Lord Buddha (Buddhism), Lord Mahavira (Jainism), Guru Nanakji (Sikhism), Emperor Ashoka (who gave up war) and the Mahatma. While they are great men, their shadow pales the country’s other attractions. For example, India has 3650 National Monuments in contrast to the United States’s 113 National Monuments.
India is a melting pot of different cultures. Here, the old and the new live in peaceful co-existence. So don’t be surprised if you see a 21st centuary highrise standing side by side with a slum (these sights are common in the bigger Indian cities). The lingua franca of the country are Hindi and English yet there are 1652 languages and dialects in India.
The cave paintings at Bhimbetka in the state of Madhya Pradesh or M.P are approximately 30,000 years old. Much later, came the dynasties, who ruled over India for a greater part of its recorded history. New Delhi, the capital city lists over 174 monuments, including three World Heritage Sites (the Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb and the Red Fort). Currently, there are 32 World Heritage Sites in India.
Kerala, in the South of India was once called the Land of Spices. Roman senators used to complain that Roman women used too much spice and silk imported from India which was draining Rome of its gold. The urge to acquire Indian spices was also one of the major reasons why European powers were so keen to find India.
There are a number of activities you can take part in while you are in India. For example, the country is fast emerging as a hot bed for adventure activities. Whether it is trekking, mountaineering, kayaking, white water rafting, paragliding, hot air ballooning or mountain biking, you can find them in India.