Discovering India Through Cultural Tours
Guest Story and Photos by Geeta Patel
India has always fascinated tourists from all corners of the world with its beauty and culture. Be it historical remains of the 5000 year old Indus Valley civilization, the greenery of the Western Ghat mountains in the south, the Northern Himalayas or the colorful forts and handicrafts of Rajasthan – every corner of India has its own uniqueness to lure international travelers toward the country. Discovering India through cultural tours is one of the best ways to learn about this amazing country.
India is known for its unity in diversity. Multi-ethnic origins, different kinds of climate, habitats, living styles, and languages all make this country an amalgam of varieties. So much so that if a person wants to know how people in different climates and lands live, he or she needs to travel across all parts of this enchanting country.
India is considered among the world’s best holiday destinations, since an exposure to diverse cultures and languages gives tourists an eye opening experience, but also opens up many myths and mysteries about this ancient land of gold, elephants, and snake charmers.
Nevertheless, arts and crafts, architecture, music, dance, religions, and languages all reflect the culture and its rainbow in this country. A tour to Rajasthan gives a deep insight with it’s magnificent forts and the Rajasthani women clad in brightly colored clothes and wearing tons of jewelry. Not to mention, men wearing huge turbans who drive tourists to the divine lodges of ancient secrets.
The Taj Mahal, symbol of eternal love and the Red Fort wearing the glory of Mughal empire are just two of thousands of historical sites. Coming down to the Southern parts of India, every city is associated with its own cultural peculiarity. Mahabalipuram is a port city, the Kamakshi Amman temple and the Varadaraja Perumal temples in Kanchipuram are considered as must visit destinations for cultural travelers. For travelers who like the idea of a pilgrimage, South India offers an unforgettable pious experience.
Not only that, but the places, art and handicrafts of India are also a great attraction for the travelers who love to explore beauty of art on clothes and jewelry. India has ruled the silk industry since ancient times.
Indian Travel Resources
India Eyewitness Travel Guide
Rough Guide to India 2011
Eat Pray Love
All of this comes from long perceived ideas about India among foreigners especially those from Europe and developed countries, but the real India does not appear as quite the same jungle of magic now, when they land here.
What they see and are often shocked by are high rise sky scrapers, beautiful roads, multinational companies fighting for a space in Indian market and a good number of westernized, well educated people discussing global scenarios and politics. So, today, apart from the ancient heritage India boasts, of cultural concern is India’s interaction with modern world.
So, today, when a traveler reaches India, he or she not only enjoys elephant rides but also travels across the Thar desert of Rajasthan by the royal train—Palace on Wheels and can look into the dense Nilgiri forests of South India by plane.
The potpourri of culture in India offers a complete world apart from mysteries and adventures together with food for the soul and mind.
Geeta Patel brings us this guest post about taking cultural tours in India.