India attracts a large number of travelers every year. What is it about India that is attractive ? Is it the diversity, festivals, spirituality ? And why do some people find India repulsive? I have read posts titled ‘Why I love India’ to ‘Why you should never travel to India’. Maybe it is because of this mixed response, I got the idea to come up with my first collaboration with travelers who have visited India. Maybe we will get a clearer picture once we know what experiences these travelers had in India.
Margherita (The Crowded Planet)
The Agony : Even though I did love India and had a great time during my four months in the country, there were also some difficult moments. I am used to touts and people wanting to make a buck off tourists, but I found Indians to be particularly persisting – sometimes rickshaw drivers, guides and guesthouse owners will literally crowd around us as soon as we got off the train, and it was hard to make them understand we preferred to go our own way. This was especially the case around Rajasthan, Delhi and UP, while Kerala, J&K and Himachal were a lot better.
The Ecstasy : I remember laying on my bed the night before leaving India, sad because I felt as if I was leaving a loved one. Our India itinerary included some places I had dreamt to visit for my whole life – and my favourite one was Leh in Ladakh, where we spent three weeks. I loved the stunning and mighty Himalayas, the relaxing feel of the place and the chance to discover a millenary culture. In Ladakh I also met the Dalai Lama, one of the most memorable encounters of my life.
Margherita and Nick, a writer and photographer from Italy and Australia, are long-term travelers and lovers of nature, wildlife and the outdoors. The Crowded Planet focuses on what they love most; nature and adventure travel, with an eye on sustainability.
You can find their work here : http://www.thecrowdedplanet.com/
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Katja Gaskell (Globetotting)
The Agony : We lived in Delhi for three years and traveled regularly, both to see as much of India as possible and to escape the furnace-like temperatures of the capital during spring and summer months. Possibly our worst experience saw us at Old Delhi train station at 10.30pm waiting for an overnight train to the hills. The temperature was still around 35C, you couldn’t see the platform floor for people, and we were travelling with a 2.5-year-old and a 4-month old. We waited for several hours and eventually gave up; we later discovered that the train didn’t arrive into the station until 6am the following morning. So desperate were we to escape the city, however, that we decided to drive the next day. Only we took a wrong turn and spent nine hours travelling just 300km.
#Delhi, what a colourfully crazy, chaotic city! I’ll be honest, it’s not the easiest of capital cities to navigate with kids but there are some amazing sites, such as this #Mughal tomb in #LodiGardens. We spent *a lot* of time in this park when we lived in Delhi. The green space provided much needed relief from the hectic streets. And, really, it’s pretty cool that our kids got to experience this!
The Ecstasy : Just as we had trips that left us wishing we’d never left home, we also had some incredible experiences during our time living and travelling in India. It’s hard to choose a favourite experience but our time in Darjeeling was definitely a highlight. Located in West Bengal, this hill station is known for its tea estates and famed for its views of Kangchenjunga, the world’s third-highest mountain. We experienced both; we stayed in a beautiful working tea estate and enjoyed breakfast outdoors with views of the snowy-capped peak. The people were incredibly friendly, the service exemplary (someone would whisk my baby daughter away and look after her every morning while I had breakfast) and the surroundings spectacular.
One of my favourite places in #India is #Darjeeling, in the north east. This corner is characterised by mountain vistas, hilltop towns and tea plantations. We loved it. We stayed at an old tea plantation, Glenburn Tea Estate, and had the most wonderful time. Honestly, the service here was second-to-none. A member of staff would take my baby daughter from me so that I could enjoy my outdoor breakfast. And, by the time I had finished, she was fast asleep in our room!
Katja, with her two children and husband, has lived in Australia, India and Mexico and traveled to Sri Lanka, Nepal, New Zealand, Fiji, the U.S. and much of Europe. Katja has written across a range of titles for Lonely Planet and has tried and tested luxury hotels for the British boutique hotel guide Mr & Mrs Smith.
You can find her work here : http://globetotting.com/
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Twitter : www.twitter.com/globetotting
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Mohit (Mohit Arts)
The Agony : Everything comes with both pros and cons and India is not left untouched with the fact. The most disappointing thing while in India is to see people loitering around all over. Though some have got the senses to keep their surroundings clean but still a far way to go.I have even seen that even though there are bins provided on the street at an appropriate distance, people still tend to throw it the very moment they feel like and don’t want to make efforts to hold the garbage and walk a bit until they find the bin which is just a little ahead.
The Ecstasy : The best thing I like about India is it’s diversity in food. I am a food lover and that’s the reason why I love this country. No matter where you are the place would have its own specialty that one cannot afford to miss. For instance, Dhokla in Gujarat, Petha in Agra, Vada Pao in Mumbai, Kerala’s Idli Dosa and not to miss Punjab di Sarson Ka Saag and countless. No matter what kind of taste you have, you will find all you want.
Mohit is an avid traveler and photographer by passion and a civil engineer by profession, looking forward to learn from the what the world has to give to each one of us. His most favorite locations are those filled with natural beauty.
You can find his work here : https://mohitarts.wordpress.com/
And follow him on :
Instagram : www.instagram.com/mohitarts
Twitter : www.twitter.com/mohitgrwl70
Facebook : www.facebook.com/mohitarts16
Read the second part of the series here.
(If anyone has similar Indian stories to share for this collab series, please send them right-away to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave your email IDs in the comments and I will get back to you.)
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