It is impossible not to be astonished by India. Nowhere on earth does humanity exist in such a dazing, creative burst of cultures and religions, races and tongues. India represents not just a country but a subcontinent. It is rich in culture, tradition and history. India also has varied landscape from the deserts of Rajasthan to the mountains of the Himalayas, the beaches of Goa to the backwaters of Kerala.
It is best to see India as a country of countries. With close to a fifth of the world population, it is quite humungous & bewildering to see it like a regular country. Each of the 29 states is big enough to be a country. For instance, the largest state by population, Uttar Pradesh has more people than Russia, Canada and Australia put together. The state of Maharashtra is comparable to Mexico's population. State of Bihar to France, Netherlands, Greece, Belgium and Portugal put together.
India has been inhabited by one of the oldest civilizations in the world dating back to the Neolithic period. It has been a home to ancient kingdoms and dynasties with each of their stories more interesting than the others. The ancient books written nearly thousands of years ago provide a deep look into one of the most interesting of all world cultures. Being part of the European colonies from the 17th century, India is a home to major world events and is an essential part of world history.
India is known for its vast and dynamic culture. Most tourists consider visiting India as they want to experience the various cultures and traditions which are often unique. To live in India is to participate in a lifestyle that is unlike anything you’ll experience in the West. The most mundane tasks often become adventures. Everything is colourful, nothing is predictable. Life – especially in urban areas – is truly chaotic. This culture will challenge your views on poverty, privilege, education, family habits and so much more.
Indian Architecture has evolved through countless centuries due to the influence of the various dynasties and civilizations that have flourished in the region. The various historical and archaeological sites are simply marvellous and many have been recognized as world heritage sites by UNESCO. The forts, palaces and temples in India are often characterized by some of the most striking architectural designs and display the artistic prowess of Indian kingdoms and dynasties.
India has an abundance of folk arts, which are kept alive in the small rural communities and is being revived in the big cities. Each region has a unique dance style, music, handicrafts, and more. All the artworks are unique, one-of-a-kind, and handmade, and usually has a story or meaning behind it that offers some cultural insights.
India is the birthplace of various religions and religious philosophies. India is a museum to learn comparative religions- Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Sikhism and Jainism. Why not get in touch with your spiritual self through India’s very own contribution to the world -Yoga and Meditation?
Words are not enough to explain India; it has to be experienced! Sights, sounds and smells that greet you in each new place will overwhelm your senses. The tantalizing aroma from an array of spices, tempt your taste buds to a variety of flavours, the sights of what seems the brightest coloured clothes, the architecture, the buzzing streets, the traffic, people and the touch from the incredibly smooth silk to monsoon rain!! Definitely you have to experience this sensory adventure!
There is an incomprehensible amount of diversity in India, and yet amidst the diversity there is unity. You can travel though India and experience distinct cultural differences in each region. It’s impossible to make a blanket statement about India, because when you find one thing to be true, somewhere the opposite is also true.
Prevalence of English, rapidly expanding economy, modernisation all the while still preserving its beautiful ancient culture has made India an obvious choice as a study abroad destination. (www.semesterinindia.org) Study abroad in India is not really a vacation–it’s an intense, cultural immersion. It is a place where you can continuously learn.
There are countless opportunities to volunteer in India from charities, NGOs, volunteer corps, schools, and more. It can be challenging but an extremely rewarding experience. There are more than enough people who could benefit from your time, talents, and donations.