Discovering India - India is a gigantic country of great cultural variety that starts from the ever-living religious traditions , passes through the fairytale charm of the eastern areas and reaches the top of modern and avant-garde metropolises
Discovering India. What to see for a wonderful trip
India is a gigantic country of great cultural variety that starts from the ever-living religious traditions , passes through the fairytale charm of the eastern areas and reaches the top of modern and avant-garde metropolises . So what is there to see on a trip to India? There are so many attractions offered by this splendid country that certainly a few days will not be enough to visit at least a good part of it.
In addition to packing a good travel insurance , therefore, leaving adequately informed about the main wonders of this splendid land we will be able to limit our trip to a specific period to have enough time and tranquility not to miss the best of this real pearl of the East.
Admire all the millennial charm of Buddhist and Hindu temples , get close to the locals to absorb all the splendor of ancient traditions still alive today, go into the heart of archaeological sites and mausoleums to breathe the air of a majesty with few equal to world and wandering through the meanders of modern and futuristic cities : all experiences to be lived in full to return home with an immeasurable load of wonders.
What to see in India in 10 days
First, we need to establish how much time can be enough to enjoy most of India's must-see splendors. In general, 10 days may be enough to take note of what to see and set out on a journey to discover more and more fascinating places. This, of course, excluding the two days required for the outward and return journeys. It is necessary to consider, in fact, that to reach India it takes almost 8 hours (specifically from Rome to Delhi), a period of time that can increase depending on the presence of any airports.
Having said that, it may be useful to consider an itinerary that takes us on a journey through the main destinations of India from north to south to concretely realize how varied and stratified the irrefutable charm of this wonderful land is, depending on the areas we touch. .
In the north side of India there are basically the most fascinating and unmissable cities in the country. Places such as Calcutta , for example, despite being the main industrial center of India, as well as a place of port importance due to its position in the center of the Bay of Bengal as well as a modern and lively urban center, is also a real treasure trove of heritages. historical and cultural events of the entire nation.
Calcutta, in fact, is a historic stop located on the routes that linked Europe to the Far East, a centuries-old condition that has allowed these areas to accumulate a cultural capital of immeasurable value.
Historically marked by the colonialism of the Victorian era, Calcutta was one of the main places of activity of the company of the Indies , which is why the fascinating mix of cultures and traditions is still perfectly approachable through a passage at monuments such as the Victoria Memorial or Park Street Cemetery , but also in front of the Cathedral of St. Paul as a rare and splendid testimony of the passage of Christianity in India.
However, the temples are also and above all wonderful . Among these, the Kali Temple , the Pareshnath complex ( a mammoth set of Janist temples) and the Dakshineshwar temple (the latter outermost - about 20 kilometers from Calcutta - but equally unmissable) cannot go unnoticed .
After Calcutta, moving further west, another mandatory passage in northern India is undoubtedly Agra . The reason is very simple: this is where the Taj Mahal is located , one of the most incredible and extraordinary works in the whole world.
Equivalent to much more than a symbol for the whole of India, the Taj Mahal is a place that really allows you to stop time to let yourself be enveloped and bewitched by the boundless beauty of its views and gardens, all corners of real paradise on earth. to be kept inside like a precious jewel.
It is no coincidence, therefore, that the Taj Mahal is one of the main Indian attractions considered a World Heritage Site by Unesco. Sumptuous and immeasurable mausoleum of Muslim art, the Taj Mahal is also among the seven wonders of the modern world .
In the north of India, however, there is also another city not to be missed: Varanasi .
The reasons why a trip that also includes Varanasi as one of the fundamental stages is essential are easy to understand: we are talking about the very important sacred city located on the banks of the River Ganges , where the typical funeral rites that have become a symbol of the cultural and religious tradition of the country take place. (the cremation of the bodies of the dead that exhaust the cycle of reincarnations). Not only that: on the Ganges, every day, the ritual called Aarti takes place , through which the river is blessed in adoration of the goddess Gangaji.
Also and above all for this reason, Varanasi is a destination of enormous charm and suggestion. But in addition to a passage on the wonderful banks of the Ganges (on which it is also possible to take boat trips to Varanasi Beach, where you can enjoy a good chai , the typical Indian spiced tea), in Varanasi it is also necessary to visit the ancient Hindu temple of Kashi Vishwanath (which dates back to 1776) as well as the place where Hindu cremations are carried out (the Manikarnika Ghat ) and the Dashashwamedh Ghat , the great staircase-theater where all the most important and particularly popular religious ceremonies take place.
But if you want to savor all the charm of local daily life, you have to move to Godowlia Crossing . It is one of the main urban points of Varanasi where you can easily find yourself in the middle of an amazing but particular traffic also thanks to the possibility of boarding a cyclorisciò to travel among bicycles and bells.
And it doesn't stop there. Also not to be missed is a walk along the Ghats , the splendid platforms that line the river and guard the heart of the popular life of Varanasi. Among those who bathe in the sacred river and monkeys in the wild, it is here that you can also stop to admire splendid saris (traditional Indian women's garment) hanging out to dry or elderly sacred-looking characters who dispense pearls of wisdom to passers-by.
And for those who love art, Varanasi is also home to Banaras Gharana , a full-bodied music and dance school that dispenses traditional dancers and tabla players on every street corner.
But our trip to India, of course, cannot be separated from a visit to Delhi , the capital.
Among the first destinations to visit in the country (as well as a place of entry due to the airport which often also provides direct flights from Italy), Delhi is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating destinations due to its conformation.
The city is in fact divided into two large areas: Old Delhi (the old city) and New Delhi (the modern part of the capital). Millions of tourists from all parts of the world cross them both to enjoy all the charm given off, for example, by Chandni Chowk , the area of Old Delhi where the famous market of the city is located, once through which it is necessary to enter between streets and alleys full of artisan shops , characteristic street vendors and local street food stalls .
Delhi, then, is also home to the Red Fort , a wonderful imperial residence dating back to the seventeenth century and declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. But other splendors are also found in the presence of the Victorian tower of Qutb Minar (a sort of symbol in memory of the defeat of the Hindu domination), of the Tomb of Humayun (characteristic due to its conformation in red sandstone), of the Gurudwara Temple (place fundamental for the preaching of the Sikh cult) and the Jama Masjid mosque (today considered the largest in the entire Asian continent).
Nature lovers will absolutely find food for their eyes at the striking Lotus Temple (Nahai Lotus Temple), home to beautiful gardens housing the Baha'i worship.
The modern area, New Delhi, is instead full of large buildings that house embassies, ministries but also shopping centers for shopping lovers.
Furthermore, the northern area of India is where another real pearl is found: the state of Rajasthan . It is, in all probability, the Indian state most frequented by tourists from all over the world, also considered as an ideal destination for those who are making a trip to India for the first time.
In fact, in Rajasthan there are so many attractions and they range from places of art to suggestive architecture, from traditional buildings to decidedly unspoiled natural landscapes.
To visit the state of Rajasthan you can start, for example, from its capital: Jaipur . A place of great charm as it is capable of combining ancient and modern, Jaipur is one of the most picturesque cities in all of India as well as home to several buildings made known by their pink color. But the gardens of Kanak Vrindvan , the wonderful monkey temple of Galta and the Amber Fort located in Amer (just outside Jaipur) are also splendid , which can also be visited by walking on the back of an elephant and a real jewel of Hindu culture rich in mosaics. frescoes, inlaid glass and sculptures.
Udaipur , on the other hand, is known as the Venice of India. In fact, here are many buildings built on the water . Splendid is the City Palace , whose facade (almost 250 meters long and 30 high) is a sort of open-air museum and whose interiors are full of murals and colored glass. But also wonderful are the Haveli Bagore Ki (example of perfect architecture dense with over one hundred rooms decorated with glass and mirrors and courtyards of overwhelming beauty) and the Janist temple of Ranakpur (a village 90 kilometers from Udaipur but not to be missed because of real masterpieces of Maru-Gujara architectural style immersed in the heart of nature).
And finally, before leaving Rajasthan it may also be interesting to visit Jaisalmer , known as the yellow city due to the color of its sandstone buildings bordering the desert that leads to Pakistan. But Bikaner (full of imposing historic buildings frescoed with precious stones and gold leaf) and Abhaneri (a characteristic village that is home to a well dating back to a thousand years ago and built on the basis of a system of steps can also do for us. that allow you to reach the water by creating dizzyingly fascinating perspectives and geometries).
Proceeding towards the south of India, however, the things to see gradually become more and more tropical , both as regards the climate and as regards the landscape and urban features.
The west coast is particularly popular in southern India, as it is very rich in seaside resorts , both purely tourist and mainly wild. But even the cities are not far behind.
Mumbai is undoubtedly the most populous city in all of India, with 12 million inhabitants, which becomes 21 if the outermost areas are counted. But in addition to being the nerve center of the country's economy (does Bollywood tell you something?) And a valiant example of modern architecture thanks to its skylines , Mumbai also reveals to the visitor's eye an old part of the city made up of numerous and characteristic local markets . but, above all, of great examples of traditional architecture . The Portal of India , for example, is a sumptuous arch of 26 meters and perfect for anyone who wants to bring home a decidedly suggestive photographic memory. But also the Basilica of Santa Maria del Monte is a splendid Christian church (actually one of the main in the country) as well as a building of immeasurable historical value, as is the National Gallery of Modern Art , a practically essential museum stop. And for lovers of marine magnificence, Mumbai also offers the splendid caves of Elephanta Island , made of marvelous carved walls near the port and depicting fundamental icons of religious and spiritual symbolism belonging to the Hindu sect Shaiva (worshiping the god Shiva).
The east coast of south India, on the other hand, may be less attractive but it is certainly the area where you can still find a high rate of natural wonders (such as, for example, the splendid beach of Rameswaram , towards Sri Lanka) , while the central areas offer Bangalore as an unmissable destination . Here, in fact, you can enter the beautiful old town to enjoy the charm of the gardens of Cubbon Park or enter the heart of the Krishnarajendra Market to get in close contact with the local population.
But one of the main destinations to select during a journey that takes us from the north to the south of India is certainly the Indian state of Kerala .
Once we arrive here, we will literally find ourselves in the presence of an immeasurable tropical paradise made of crystal clear waters and pure beaches lined with beautiful Jacobean and cashew trees .
Kerala is in fact a real oasis of peace and natural wonder, a perfect place to get away from the city crowds and fully enjoy all the charm of a holiday of absolute relaxation .
But also trekking lovers will find something for their teeth thanks to the splendid Blue Mountains of the Western Ghats , which lead up to the suggestive Athirapally waterfalls and also allow you to admire, along the way, amazing lagoon landscapes and remote villages made of wooden houses. of bamboo and teak .
Also in South India, then, we meet Chennai . It is, of course, perhaps the most populous center of almost the entire south-eastern coast of the country, but it can be one of the most evocative places for a trip to India due to the many beaches that allow you to break away from the chaos of the city and enjoy a period of splendid relaxation.
Not only that: in addition to its beautiful sea, Chennai, in its inhabited part, is also a place full of colors and timeless artistic splendors. The Fort of St. George , for example, whose construction dates back to the period of the British East India Company, is a perfect place to enjoy absolute peace while walking along the nearby gopurams , or the ancient and characteristic towers of the temple of Kapaleeshwara .
But in Chennai the Ranthambore National Park is also characteristic (a real natural habitat for tigers , which can be seen especially during the dry season) as well as the towns of Rishikesh (a characteristic yoga meditation center) and Hampi (an ancient village full of sacred temples and caves dedicated to Buddhist worship).
And to end our trip to India in style, we cannot fail to go to Goa , another perfect place to enjoy all the charm given off by the country's wonderful seaside resorts.
Goa is perhaps the smallest state in all of India, famous for being at the center of hippie culture but not to be missed, in essence, especially for its magnificent beaches which, however, do not obscure the charm of various inhabited centers.
Among the main attractions of the state of Goa there are unequivocally the stupendous Dudhsagar waterfalls but also Panaji (a city full of historical sites) and Mormugao (formerly known as Vasco da Gama and a locality closely linked to Portuguese colonialism), the marvelous caves of Lamgau (which can be visited following guided explorations) and the pure beaches of Agonda and Cavelprio but also the splendid basilica of Bom Jesus (among the most important in the whole country) and the Spice Village (a park entirely dedicated to spices).
But it is going down even further, towards the southern part of the coast of Goa, that we can go into the wildest and most unspoiled areas. It is in these areas, in fact, that we find Colva Beach and Palolem , two of the most fascinating and attractive Indian seaside resorts, perfect for anyone wishing to spend a last period of absolute relaxation in the best way before returning home.
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