Varanasi is considered the holiest of the seven holy cities in India. It is also the oldest city which is known to be continuously inhabited anywhere in the world. Earlier known as Kashi and then Benaras or Banaras, the pilgrimage center is situated on the banks of the Ganga (Ganges) the holiest of the 7 holy rivers of Hindu religion. The city is of religious importance to Jains and Buddhists in addition to being the salvation ground of Hindus. Sarnath, the place where Gautama Buddha delivered his first sermon is situated close to Varanasi. The city has seen its days of glory and also destruction at the hands of invaders. Today, it stands out in the world map as the center of Indian philosophy, spirituality, mysticism and Indian religious beliefs. Besides the temples, tourists are attracted to 84 Ghats of Varanasi where people make ablutions on the banks of the rivers.
The bicycle rickshaw is a widely used in many Asian countries for short distance travel, especially in eco sensitive areas and cities. The mode of transport is similar to carts pulled by horses; the sole difference being here is that the muscular animal is replaced by usually impecunious men whose impoverished condition has forced them to look for a physically strenuous job for some extra money. In India the rickshaw pullers are often people who have moved to urban areas to look for some extra money due to failure of income from their agricultural labour jobs. The lure is off course only the money they can make though the task is more physically demanding. The strenuous work of pulling the passengers in the cart, especially when they are going uphill takes its toll on the health of the rickshaw pullers who finally end up spending their earning on hospitals and medications.
If you are traveling to India then you have to take certain precautions. India is not the cleanest countries of the world – in fact far from it. Most international tourists to India might suffer from something called Traveler’s Diarrhea (TD). According to the “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” up to 70% of travelers will suffer from it.
Yoga is huge in India. You think of an ailment and there is a yoga posture for it. But that does mean that you have to do yoga just because you are ill – you just do it. The main aim of yoga is to become one with God by doing exercises related to the Hindu Samkhya philosophy (one of the six systems of doctrine held by the Hindus You can read more about it in my book – Hinduism Made Easy: Hindu Religion, Philosophy and Concepts). It was in the 1980s that yoga became popular as a system of physical exercises across the Western world. In recent years, yoga has become extremely popular in India thanks to one man called Baba Ramdev. He actually single-handedly made some yoga postures (mentioned below) a household name.
Mumbai is one of the most populous cities in India. Travelling in the heavy traffic all the time is a headache to many people living here. Therefore, choosing the right mode of transport at right time in day is very important. So Let’s take a look at how to travel in Mumbai.
Trains are one of the best ways to travel within the city as they are speedy. Only drawback about it is, they are too rushy during peak hours i.e. from morning 7.30am to 11am and then from 6pm to 10pm.
Mumbai is the city of workaholics. The song “Dauda Dauda Bhaga Bhaga Sa” perfectly fits Mumbai. Everyone seems in a kind of rush and the city never stops, no matter what. But whenever I think of Mumbai I have this image of Gateway of India. Mumbai’s most famous monument is the most popular monument in Mumbai. Here are more places to visit in Mumbai. It was built as a triumphal arch to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911. The design was sanctioned in 1913 and it was completed only in 1924. When the British Raj ended in 1947, the last of the British ships left from here. Now this monument has become a symbol of the city and attracts hordes of local as well as International tourists.
If you are travelling in India at this time of the year then one of the many things that I recommend doing in India is drinking the popular Indian drink the “Lassi”. The lassi is something like a milk shake or a smoothie with yogurt, milk, water and exotic spices. Sometimes fruit is also added to it. The typical lassi is very popular in the summer months and often served in clay pots called “Kullhad” or steel glasses. Lassi is made by mixing yogurt, milk, water and the other ingredients and giving it a good churn. Watch the video below to see how lassi is made!
Here are some more Hindi words, phrases and sentences for those travelling to India. The ones I have included this time is greeting words which you can use with someone in North India. You should be able to use some Hindi in many parts of South India as well except states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. For more Hindi travel words and phrases, please read this post.
India is one of the cheapest countries to be going on holiday when compared to holidays to other parts of the world. Provided that you get your tickets quite cheaply and stay in relatively cheap places then your holiday in India will remain cheap. When I say cheap places to stay, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be bad. There are excellent hotels and guest houses in India that provide great service without the 5-star price tag. If you are coming from Great Britain then even better as the pound stretches quite significantly in India. But no matter where you are going from, you should be able to squeeze a relatively cheap holiday to India.
If you are interested in India for whatever reason then here are some interesting facts about India. India and Indians does attract some stereotyping which I hope to dispel. If I have missed out some facts then do include them in the comments. Travellers to India might find these facts on India interesting. So here goes and hope you like these amazing facts about India.
As you most likely know, India is an absolutely huge country. It would take a good couple of months to travel around the whole thing, and you still wouldn’t be able to experience everything. If you are a tourist though, it is likely that you are going to be extremely limited on time. For those people, I suggest sticking around the North-West of the country, particularly within the most-visited cities within the country, Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. The best way in which you can see all of these is by heading out on a Golden Triangle Tour.
Someone asked what gifts they can give to their Indian friends in India. This is something I had not thought about. Although you can buy everything in India but if you are struggling to figure out what to buy for your friend when you visit India then here are a few travel gifts I can think of.
Pens: Pens are valued in India. We Indians love pens which mean that if we have a quality pen, we will cherish it. So you can gift a pen to your Indian friend but do make sure that they are foreign.
Located in the south of Delhi, this magnificent red sandstone building called Qutub Minar (Qutb Minar) is still the tallest tower in India, more than 800 years after its foundations were laid by Qutab-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler to successfully establish an Islamic dynasty in India. It’s widely believed Qutab-ud-din issued orders to build this historic monument after defeating the Rajputs. Though the original tower was built as early as 1202 AD, it would be Qutab-ud-din’s successors who would add more storeys to it, make it taller and still more impressive. This splendid piece of architecture is the most popular tourist spot in India, attracting millions of tourists each year.