India invites – Charisma upfront

Travellers, who look for destinations elsewhere scouting for exotic places, can take a serious look at India — a captivating destination hotspot in world tourism map now.

India was voted the 4th most popular destination choice by Conde Nast Reader’s Travel Awards 2006, UK. In the citation Kate Slesinger states, As leisure destination India delivers what it promises: a diverse and fascinating culture, superb quality in its resorts and an unforgettable experience, which is never the same twice. In my view it has the potential to take the crown in the next few years.

Since ancient times India has been a friendly, welcoming destination for explorers from Europe, Americas and the Far East. The culture of the land that evolved over five thousand years, espouses a honourable reception for guests. One of the precepts embedded in the Hindu culture states in Sanskrit “Atithi Deva Bhavao” meaning ‘the guest is synonymous to god’.

Such philosophy stimulates the elixir of warmth and hospitality in this part of the world.

Many visitors earlier had perceived slow industrialisation and urbanisation in India as signs of a retrograde state, prompting some travellers to attach the epithet of ‘a land of snake charmers and tigers’. Yes, until fifty years back, there were abundance of these specimen in India…yet, weren’t they some of the most fascinating part of rich natural history that is on the decline?

Nonetheless, India always remained an exotic destination backyard showcasing amazing assortment in geography, heritage, culture, nature and ethnicity. And the India of today certainly is a unique canvas of an ancient culture preserved in the traditional cocoon of oriental charms, concurrently making a statement of enriched lifestyle of a progressive economy.

For the present day explorer of this emerging tourism hotspot, the best thing about travelling to this country is that the size of individual’s pocket does not determine the ‘how much’ and ‘how well’ of enjoying the destination. All that is needed is the zeal to explore the variety of obtainable deep Indian experiences with options of economy travel and stay as well as the luxury of Maharaja type sojourns.

So what are the great tourism attractions of this country?

Well, there is bountiful of tourism opportunities for the explorer.

The traveller seeking an expose on the heritage and culture, the whole country holds an incredible array of attractions replete with unique accounts of the past and vibrant traditions and values that have flowed into the present, making an exhilarating blend for time-travel through the yore.

The Taj Mahal one of the Seven New Wonders of the World, for example, has been a great draw for millions of travellers over three centuries. The magnificent forts and palaces spread across the country offer entrancing insights on erstwhile kingdoms. Some of these have now been converted as luxury palace hotels to get the real feel of the life and times of the Indian royalties.

One would remember India was the land of numerous Maharajas and royalties each with a domain that tried to outdo its neighbour with show of might in wealth and customs. On the flip side this was also the land of ascetic saints and sufis whose teachings and discourses enriched cultures of diverse ethnicities that spread across the land from the Himalayas to the tip of the peninsula where it meets the Indian Ocean. One of the upshots of this intellection has been the emergence of eminent music, dance and arts that have so impressed the world that many now reinvent their own fusing the Indian aspects.

And with such wide ethnicity and diverse customs, imposing festivities, fairs and celebrations are pivotal of Indian culture. They signify the advent of seasons, oblation to deities, euphoria of harvest time and so on. Simply put, in India, the festivities and fairs are an excuse for celebrating life. In most celebrations the jubilation is so intense that partaking in the festivities of Durga Puja, [celebrated in October] Carl Gabriel, a carnival specialist from Trinidad couldn’t help but brand it ‘the greatest carnival on earth’.

The intrepid traveller would find the numerous adventure options in trekking, biking, skiing, paragliding, white water rafting and wildlife explorations a dynamic experience from India.

The leisure traveller on the go would find no other place that has the longest and highest mountain range sated with wonderful nature coves to make the most memorable sojourns. Mountains would appear the same everywhere in the world – the Rockies, the Andes, the Alps and the Himalayas. But what make the distinction are the people who live in these heights. The Himalayas of the Indian subcontinent would be found unique by its different hill tribes each with its spectacular customs and traditions.

And as one travels down from the Himalayas, there are splendid revelations in every geographic region to immerse in the never before leisure holiday experience in the countryside, beaches, jungles and deserts.

The person on the lookout for the unique may find them just anywhere. The street juggler could leave you stunned with his acts; the fortuneteller could spring a surprise for you; the ethnic artefacts would amaze you for the intricacies; coming face to face with the tribe that still exists in the stone ages could be a edifying journey in the past; and the appetising Indian delicacies can leave you craving for more. It’s charisma unlimited!

There are just countless ways to experience the flavours of India…if you have the inclination, that is.