Travel in India

Exploring India
By:Jim Ada

Home to approximately more than one billion people, India's population is one sixth of the world's overall population. India is a vast country having a rich cultural heritage and an ancient spiritual framework. This country is not an easy place to forget for its visitors. Its diversity ranges from snow capped mountains to beautiful beaches, temples, colorful festivals, lantern-lit villages and a lot more. For this, India has been considered as multidimensional.

Indians from different states use different official languages and some of them are not recognized by the central government. More than one language is even existent in one state. Like for example, Bihar which is found in east India and has three official languages Hindi, Urdu and Bengali. These three are all recognized by the central government. But Sikkim, another place in east India, has four official languages. And only one out of its four languages is recognized by the central government. Hindi is recognized worldwide as the official language of India.

India also has a rich history. This explains why there are a number of exquisite palaces, temples and monuments. Tourists in India see to it that they visit the Golden Triangle, comprised of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. The people-packed cities of Mumbai (Bombay) and Kolkata (Calcutta) are also must visits for their colorful charm. For a pilgrimage, the holy city of Varanasi and Tamil Nadu are worthy of visits. For beach bound travelers, there are the palm-fringed beaches of Goa and Kerala. For those in search of natural beauty, there are the mountains and hills of Himalayas.

Financially speaking, India is not hard on the budget. Accommodations are available for all kinds of travelers from simple backpacker lodgings to high-end hotels. If you are going to cities like Mumbai (Bombay) you need to plan well in advance. It may be difficult to find accommodations because of the many travelers to the city. For food and dining, there are a number of eateries offering delicious dishes at all prices. The country's public transport network is also traveler friendly. All costs vary nationwide depending on seasons but be ready to shell-out more in the larger cities such as Mumbai and Delhi. Also take into consideration visiting the different tourist spots during peak season as prices may be higher during this time. Foreigners are often charged more than the locals for entrance fees to tourist site and there may also be additional charges for those who want to take still photos or videos.

In terms of food, the Indian cuisine is characterized by the use of different spices and herbs and vegetables that are locally grown. Most Indians are also vegetarians. But since India is a large country with a big population, its cuisine is also diverse and it varies from region to region. But what's really common to this cuisine is the love for spices and a preference for cooking stews. The specialties of this cuisine are Butter Chicken, Tandoori Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala, Rogan Josh, Malai Kofta, Chole, Palak Paneer, Kaali Daal, Chaat, Naan.

It would be fun to learn a little Hindi before you go. It will make your trip more enjoyable. If you don't do this, English is widely spoken.

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