Have you heard a lot of fascinating stories from people who are just back from a holiday tour in India and wondering what it is really like? If yes, then this post is for you. For everyone planning a trip to India. Explore India that is much more than just snake charmers or tales of poverty that might just have shocked you. Explore an India that nobody really talks about.

Here’s your guide on what to expect out of a holiday tour in India

1) People. A lot of people. – Your first day in India will be overwhelming. Not because it is your first time in a new country but because of the sheer number of people on the roads. While this might look as a dampener, that is not the case. So many people bring in a sense of safety if you’re solo travelling across India. A regular morning in the trains in India see people warming up to others, often sharing food, anecdotes and at times, toothpaste. You might love it (like the majority) or hate it, but there is no escaping it.

Come with an open mind and understand that not everyone here is after you or your money. The more you explore the rural side of India, the more you would know of the warmth that people exude there. While I’m wary of big cities, I’ve been given hot food and a bed to sleep in the villages of North East India. Days when I would turn up at places as early as 5 in the morning.

2) Life in extremes – You are in for a disappointment if you landed in India to capture those award-winning photos of poverty, hunger, snake charmers and a lot of bleak stuff that the media talks about. Come prepared to see a life that exists in extremes here. So you might have a mix of some of the most royal palaces of the world and biggest slums existing side by side.

Nirona Handicraft Village Guajarat

Womenfolk selling the very colourful handicrafts, an everyday scene in the lanes of Village Nirona, Kutch, Gujarat. A must visit.

Here, we have a world where the city people have all the material comforts and are seeking for more while the rural areas or the high altitude mountain villages have people who sleep peacefully by growing their own crops and grazing their cattle over the meadows. You might have a more interesting photo assignment waiting for you in India.

3) Peace, if you look in the right place – Okay, so I’ve met a lot of foreigners in India, who landed in the country searching for a guru, a religion, yoga and meditation schools – all to gain peace of mind. With this growing demand of wellness, India is seeing a lot of people coming forward – some good, some not so good. In the photo below is the very gorgeous Dhankar Monastery of Spiti, a place where peace comes out of solitude.

Mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion. – Anatoli Boukreev Can a quote be more apt than this one? Not for the #mountain lovers. It’s like being in love with the mountains I’ve never seen, like the #Yosemite or the peaks of #Alps. Don’t mountains feel like gentle sleeping giants looking over you, saving you from everything that’s wrong with the world? To me, they are my guardians. Here, in the picture, is one such fascination – the #Dhankar #Monastery of #Spiti #Valley in the #Indian #Himalayas. Check my latest #blog post on the monastery and the Dhankar #Lake #trek to know its details. #travel #hills #Himachal #nomad #Buddhism #trek #trekking #lake #hiking #backpacking #traveller #travelling #nomad #nomadscribblings #lonelyplanet #nationalgeographic #blog #landscape #Canon @goodearth

A photo posted by Shikha Gautam (@nomadscribblings) on

My advice to you, before you choose any of these is to get in touch with travel bloggers, writers and online forums. India has the best of everything when it comes to wellness tourism, you just need to look for it in the right place.

4) History, centuries of it – Yes, we have tonnes of history if you want to take a dive in the history book. Stories of kings who were skilled swordsmen, queens who fought battles – battles that looked straight out of the LOTR movies, of forts that served as refuge to people under wars, of singers who could touch notes that invited rain(!) – stories of such fascination that you would never know when the line between reality and fantasy gets blurred. Get ready for a heavy dose of history during your holiday tour in India.

5) Nature’s wonders though nobody talks of theseRann of Kutch -world’s largest salt desert, Nanda Devi – one of world’s steepest peaks, Dras – the second coldest inhabited place in the world, Sundarbans – largest single block of tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world, Lonar Crater Lake – the largest and only hyper velocity impact crater in ballistic rock!

Salt desert Gujarat India

Rann of Kutch, Gujarat, India

There is this and a lot more. So much more that I will write a different post on this one. So yeah, a big yay to the nature lovers out there.

6) Food, Indian cuisine has more than 50 variants – With 37 regional cuisines and more variants to it, India is one country that is a must-visit for all the foodies. A lot to savour – right from the delightful vegetarian snacks of Gujarat, the simple rajma-chawal of Himachal Pradesh, astonishingly mush appams and puttus of Kerala, dal bafla of Madhya Pradesh, batata vada and modaks of Maharashtra, pickled bamboo shoots of Meghalaya, butter parathas of Punjab, daal baati and ghewar of Rajasthan, litti chokha of Bihar, a dash of French cuisine in Pondicherry and, of course, Bengal’s sondesh for the perfect dessert.

food of Sikkim

Chi, the traditional beer of Sikkim, brewed in home kitchens

Keeping a calorie count just doesn’t work here. 

Does this meet your expectation list from India? Want to know more about this fascinating and equally baffling country? Lave a comment or write to me at shikhagautam1@gmail.com for more dope on India.

You would also love reading this post if you are looking for some offbeat trip ideas for India

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