Old and new coexist side by side in an incredible mix of slums and skyscrapers. The streets swarm with animals and people, markets and much more in India. There are so many highlights - beautiful scenery and amazing cultural experiences can be found in cities of all sizes. Buy your travel to India at KILROY!
India has a number of large and fascinating sights, but it's the "little" things that also make this make this country so wonderful and memorable: waiting on a teeming railway station, staying in a shabby hotel in a village, scents of spices in the markets, etc. But of course, there are quite a few highlights than cannot be missed while visiting India.
First and foremost is the Taj Mahal, in the city of Agra, near the capital Delhi. It was crowned one of the world's new seven wonders in 2007. The Taj Mahal is justifiably world famous; this phenomenal structure is simply breathtaking and enchanting. Some of the country's other top attractions include the beautiful and lush riverbanks and lagoons of Kerala Backwaters on the country's southwestern coast, the inspiring Maharaja Palace in Rajasthan, the Sikh's holy Golden Temple in Amritsar, Goa's beaches and hippie markets in Ajuna.
Let's not forget the other different options: the camel market in the holy city of Pushkar, which is beautifully situated in the middle of the Rajasthan desert, or the Tibetan culture in Dharmsala, where the Dalai Lama lives in exile, the traditional cremation ceremonies in Varanasi at the holy river Ganges, or try a tiger safari in one of the country's magnificent national parks, such as Ranthambore. For a change of scenery and some relaxtion we also recommend a trip to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
If you want to experience India's folklore and culture, it can be highly recommended that you visit Hubli, which has a festive nightlife, or you can try the Hindu spring festival Holi, also known as Festival of Colors or Colors of India. A unique experience. With all this being said, one must remember that the memories of this stunning country could just as well be memories of "everything else": that is, memories of things that you didn't plan and cannot be checked off from your "must see" list.
India is a land rich with people and large, incredible cities. One of the world's largest cities, Mumbai (Bombay) is located on the west coast, but there is also the capital of Delhi in the north, Kolkata (Calcutta) in the east and Chennai (Madras) in the southeast - just to name some of the biggest.
There are so many cities in India, including some you've never heard of, and they are all deeply fascinating - full of chaos and colorful street life.
Getting around India is definitely an experience. It requires a cool head and plenty of time; the distances are great and there are, of course, the throngs of people to deal with.
The country's train system extends over most of the country and works fine, but most trains are overcrowded and run slowly (partly because they stop quite often). However, you may choose to buy a ticket for one of the more expensive trains (which have never been particularly costly by our standards), but the cultural experience will not be quite the same. Ticket prices vary depending on train speed, whether it is a day or night train, which class you want, etc.
Just having to buy a ticket is an experience in itself - an experience that requires patience! It can take hours, even if you use the tourist office in Delhi, which specializes in selling tickets to tourists.
It's these simple and everyday experiences that ultimately become a part of the unforgettable impressions from a trip to India.
It is very cheap to travel by bus in India, but on the other hand, buses are old and worn out, so safety is perhaps not always in focus.
Instead you should consider hiring a taxi driver for a day or two. It is cheap and provides optimal freedom - you can decide where you want to go, when you want to go! Conversely, this option does not always offer the same interaction with locals, although most taxi drivers can be quite entertaining - and will gladly serve as your guide.
Another amusing element in an Indian road trip are the many animals that seem to flock on the roads. Brace yourself for slalom driving between cows, camels, elephants, etc. Remember to agree a price with the driver before the start of the trip. The same advice applies if you decide to try a tuk-tuk, which is also highly recommended. A tuk-tuk is a motorized rickshaw, which for good reason can get you around faster and longer.
KILROY offers volunteering in India through carefully selected partners. It is a unique option to get a sneak peak at the local communities in India. Teach English to poor children in remote villages, assist at childcare centers and get to know the local lifestyle.
Indian cuisine is first class, and a journey here is not the same if you have not tried dishes from the Indian kitchen. If you like Asian food, then you have gone to heaven. It is strong, spicy, colorful, exciting and everything else - the only thing it is not, is boring.
One should, though, take precautions: not all places prioritize good hygiene. Indeed, it is almost impossible not to become a little ill from the food at some point during a trip to India, especially if you eat from street stalls (remember to exercise caution!). This is how life is in India, and with the street life and human swarms, it is nearly impossible to avoid getting a parasite or two while on the trip.
India is extreme in all possible ways, including the climate. Its sheer size means that there are significant climatic differences from season to season, so you should always know something about the weather conditions in the region, you will be travelling in.
Generally, a rule of thumb says that the summer months (May to September / October) are extremely hot and wet. You should expect temperatures around 45 degrees with rain, rain and more rain. It's always warm in southern India while in the north (for example, Delhi) it can be cooler during the winter months. If you plan on visiting different parts of the country on the same trip, for example, then travel in October and November is recommended because you can easily avoiding the worst rain as well the worst heat and cold.
Did you know that KILROY can also help organise your study tour to India? Read on to learn more about how we can plan your study trip with the right academic content and interesting study visits in the city of your choice.
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