When you think of India, the first thing that comes to mind is either the Taj Mahal or Bollywood, both of which have indeed become synonymous to this vibrant country. But there is a lot more to India than that. People have all these notions about India, but only when you really go and visit it that you'll see how beautiful it is. Here are 5 reason why you should include it in your bucket list ASAP.
The Food is Interestingly Different. For food enthusiasts, this alone is enough reason to visit India. Yes, the food may be a little spicy but, hey, what’s life without a bit of a challenge, besides not ALL Indian food are spicy. If you’re the adventurous type, they also have a wide range of street food that you can try such the well-loved Vada Pav, which is basically deep-fried potatoes sandwiched between two slices of Pav (or tiny loaf of bread). They also have Kulfi Faloodaa or the Indian version of ice cream to simply put it.
TIP: If you're scared to drink the water based on the stories you must've heard, it would be best to buy your water from legit convenience stores or in your hotel, and bring it with you.
There are so many beautiful sites to visit. For professional and aspiring photographers alike, there are so many things happening along the busy streets of India that will get you snapping non-stop (don’t forget to bring extra batteries with you, because you will be needing them). Of course there’s the beauty that is Taj Mahal located in Agra (not in Mumbai or New Delhi, FYI). But there are also other historical sites to visit around India, like the Gateway of Mumbai for example. It kind of looks like the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, Francis, and in front of it is the majestic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, from which you can see a glimpse of the Arabian sea. It’s stunning!
TIP: If you’re going to the Gateway of Mumbai, don’t forget to bring sun protection (hats, shades, and most importantnly, sunblock!), as you will be directly exposed under the sun. Also, you will notice a bunch of men in white long sleeves roaming around with camera in hand, they will be taking your photos whether you like it or not, and sell you the already-printed photograph they just took for about 39 Indian Rupees (or 20 pesos), if you don't want it, just politely say so.
It’s a shopper’s paradise. You can’t come to India and not go shopping! India is such a paradise for shoppers as there’s a market pretty much everywhere. If you’re around Mumbai, check out the Colaba Causeway market where you can find a great mix of items from the trendiest clothes, to the cutest souvenirs. For only 1,000 Indian Rupee (roughly around 700 pesos), you can get 10 exquisitely-made pashmina shawls, that would make good pasalubong.
TIP: Well you know the common rule in thrift shopping right? Haggle!
Holi (The Festival of Colors) is so much FUN. One of India’s most celebrated festivals, Holi or the Festival of Colors, commemorates the victory of good versus evil. It is celebrated every March (next one is on March 13, 2017). People will be out on the streets dancing, and throwing colored powders to everyone they'l see.
Tip: If you and friends are planning to celebrate Holi in India, it would be best to book your flights and accommodations ahead of time as they will most likely be fully booked as the date of the event draws near, also to secure the best rates.
They have lots of beaches. You’re done with your shopping, food tripping, sightseeing, and partying, now, it’s time to hit the beach! I know we have so many beautiful beaches here in the Philippines, but it wouldn’t hurt to explore other shores too. And India also has its own share of amazing beaches particularly the ones in Goa. Soaked up in Agonda beach, which has been named as one of the most beautiful beaches not only in India but in Asia!
Tip: December tends to be the time when it's most crowded, so if you have any plans on visiting Goa anytime soon, consider going in February as the weather is just perfect.
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Photographs from Instagram.com/karameleboo, Instagram.com/d_e_l_r_o_y__a_s_h_l_e_, Instagram.com/emellaphant, Instagram.com/theoberoimumbai, and Instagram.com/ dilipsatam2202