My friend Jorge asked me what INDIA stood for. I awaited his response. If Necessary, Divinity Is Available.
India’s definition as a ‘modern’ country is paradoxical because of the way her development is compartmentalized. The upper class strata of her population enjoys the indulgemence of the most modern countries while those on the other end of this spectrum, and those geographically located in the "interior" of the country, depend on age-old techniques of harvesting, transportation and communication. This diversity is what makes India all the more fascinating.
Spiritually, India is a secular country where many religions were born and flourished. Rulers, visitors & invaders have all contributed towards her spiritualism and religion with a consequential list of holy places of a multitude of sects and religions spread through out the country.
General: Size of Europe; located around the Tropic of Cancer; altitudes from below sea-level to the 27,000 ft Himalayas and two other mountain ranges; topography from the Thar and Kaatch deserts to the rain forests of Assam; unparalleled cultural, religious and philosophical history with 300 million Goddesses and Gods; thousands of species of mammals, birds, reptiles and insects.
Arts, Dance, Drama & Architecture: Variety of ancient, traditional and modern schools of paintings, sculpture, dance, drama and architecture through 2,500 years encompassing indigenous, Mughal, European/English and European schools.
Cuisine: India is well known for her cuisine, and ineed many cuisine-centric tours are packaged annually.
Customs: As with any ancient civilization, India has many customs which do not appear to offer any immediate benefits.
Religion & Spirituality: Unequalled in the world with the number of practicing religions, either born in India (Buddhism 500 BCE, Hinduism 3,000 BCE, Jainism 500 BCE & Sikhism 18c AD); come to India because of persecution in home country (Bahá'í Faith arriving late 19c AD, Judaism arriving 700-600 BCE & Zoroastrianism arriving 7c AD); or, being practiced here (Christianity arriving 54 AD & Islam arriving 7c AD). Additionally a variety of current indigenous “Lesser Known Religions”.
Textiles: An exporter of cottons and silks to the ancient Roman, European and Chinese Empires. Variety of cotton, silk and cotton/silk traditional weaves from different parts of the country continue to be unique.
Shopping: India is a shoppers paradise.
Wildlife: Unique fauna and wildlife excels in range and diversity. Over 500 species of mammals, 2,060 species of birds, 748 species of reptiles and 30,000 species of insects. 11 National Parks and 135 Sanctuaries cover an area of 26,000 sq. km.
Languages: Apart from Hindi which is the the Central Government, and English which is the de-facto language all over India, there are 17 additional languages - not dialects - used in India. See the different languages in a currency note, keeping in mind that the languages shown are in addition to Hindi and English:
One of the beauties of traveling in India is that English is spoken all over. One of the beauties of traveling in India is that English, well, is spoken all over -
This signpost put up by the Indian Army at one of the highest passes in the world really sums up what India is all about:
Have a look at a map of India to see where you would be going.
There are many videos about India on You Tube. Have a look at one of them.
While we do not vouch for the veracity of the following, answers below are apparently actual responses by tourism website officials who obviously have an excellent knowledge of India and whose astute responses will make your visit to India that much more pleasurable!
Q: Does it ever get windy
in India? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow?
Q: Will I be able to see
elephants in the street? (USA)
Q: I want to walk from
Delhi to Goa - can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
Q: Is it safe to run around
in the bushes in India? (Sweden)
Q: Are there any ATMs (cash
machines) in India? Can you send me a list of them in Delhi, Chennai,
Calcutta and Bangalore? (UK)
Q: Can you give me some
information about hippo racing in India? (USA)
Q: Which direction is North
in India? (USA)
Q: Can I bring cutlery
into India? ( UK)
Q: Can you send me the
Indiana Pacers matches schedule? (France)
Q: Can I wear high heels
in India? (UK)
Q: Are there supermarkets
in Bangalore, and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
Q: Please send a list of
all doctors in India who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
Q: Do you have perfume
in India? (France)
Q: I have developed a
new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I
can sell it in India? (USA)
Q: Do you celebrate Christmas
in India? (France)
Q: Will I be able to speak
English most places I go? (USA)
Q: Can I see Taj Mahal
Q: Do you have Toilet paper?
I'd love to meet the person who answered these questions - pure genius !!!
10 Sensory Experiences you must experience when in India