Monday, October 10, 2016

If You Only Had Seven Days In India, Where Would You Go?

If you only had seven days to take in the sights and sounds of India, where would you go? With so much on offer, it’s a tough decision. India is the second most populated country in the world. It has dozens of regions and different cultures. And the political life of the country is about as complicated as you can get.

With so much going on, it’s important to do a bit of triage. If you had only seven days, this is what you would take your family.

Day 1: Kerala Backwaters

Kerala is one of the poorest states in the whole of India. But that shouldn’t put you off. Just off the coast of Bangalore are the Kerala backwaters. They are a chain of islands and lagoons in the Arabian sea. Here tourists can enjoy diving, boating, and the unique wildlife.

Day 2: Virupaksha Temple

Most visitors to India will visit the Taj Mahal and not much else. But India is a land of many more wonders than the average Western tourist knows about. The Virupaksha Temple is one example. The temple was built way back in the 7th century AD. It was constructed as a small shrine, to begin with. But it soon became a local religious capital. Now the complex is both sprawling and stunning.

Day 3: Lake Palace

The Lake Palace hotel is one of the most unique hotels in all of India. It’s situated in the middle of Lake Pichola near to the city of Udaipur. It’s reminiscent of Laketown from The Hobbit, except a lot warmer!

Day 4: Kanha National Park

India’s wildlife is some of the most stunning in the world. That’s why the country dedicates vast swathes of its land to wildlife. Kanha is among the most beautiful. Here, if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see the incredibly rare Bengal tiger. This is the type of place that influenced Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book.

Day 5: Andaman and Nicobar
Andaman and Nicobar are a chain of islands in the sea of Bengal. They’re actually a long way to the east of the Indian mainland and are part of the Indian union. Over the last three decades, the islands have become far wealthier, yet they remain just as beautiful.

Day 6: Harmandir Sahib
The Harmandir Sahib is a site of great religious importance to Sikhs, a small religion with its origins in India. Also known as the Golden Temple, the Harmandir Sahib was built by Guru Ramdas in the sixteenth century. In the 19th century, the building was adorned with gold, giving it a recognizable look it has today. The site has served as a pilgrimage location ever since it was founded. Each year it attracts millions of Indians.

Day 7: Varanasi
Varanasi is one of the most sacred sites in all of India. It’s considered a sacred area by Jains, Hindus, and Sikhs. What’s more, it’s also one of the oldest cities anywhere in the world. In the city’s winding streets, there are more than 2,000 shrines and temples.