Introduction to India

India is a spiritual and cultural treasure trove filled with enchantment and surprises at every turn. The largest country in the Indian Subcontinent and the seventh-largest country in the world by land size, India is home to over 1 billion people and second only to China in population.

Diversity spans across geography, climate, culture, language and ethnicity in this country and India prides itself on being the largest democracy on Earth. The birthplace of 4 of the world's major religions including Hinduism and Buddhism, and with more than 438 living languages and thousand-year-old monuments, India has a depth of history and intensity of culture that awes and fascinates those who visit. Geography-wise, India has it all from mountains and jungles to deserts and beaches. Bound to the north by the snow-capped Himalayas, the tallest mountain range in the world, it feeds the subcontinent’s perennial rivers nourishing the plains which India's civilisation depends on.

From chaotic city streets to peaceful countryside, India abounds with sensory experiences; savour the spices, watch the Taj Mahal change colour at dusk, behold ancient spirituality in Varanasi and blush and marvel at Kama Sutra carvings. Travel like the locals; take a train trip and create your very own ‘Darjeeling Limited’ adventure. Eat street food under the Howrah Bridge in Kolkata (Calcutta); here you’ll also be treated to Mullik Ghat flower market, the city’s largest flower market where locals come to collect flowers for religious offerings, home decorations and festivities. And don't miss the historic sights in the capital, New Delhi.

From Bollywood to cricket and endless festivals, India is alive with energy. Not to mention the shopping; picture India as 1 billion people eager to do business with you—all for a flexible price, of course. Can’t be bothered haggling? Look for labels like Anokhi and chains like Fabindia where the prices are fair and fixed. Either way, India is a shopper’s heaven especially for clothing and textiles - there are mega bargains to be had here compared to prices in the West, just one of the many things you’ll love about India.

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