Published on July 27th, 2015 | by Hayley Griffiths
8 reasons India will blow your mind
Read time: a bit over 3 minutes
Ask any traveller for their take on India and the conversation is likely to start with ‘yeah, I loved it, but it was totally crazy!’. But crazy is an understatement. India is nuts. It’s loud, it’s brash, it’s colourful, it’s chaotic, it’s just…woah.
But for those who embrace the subcontinent with open arms and an adventurous spirit, India will bless you with some of the greatest travel memories you’re likely to find in a lifetime. Here are eight reasons why India will leave you breathless, spellbound and a little bit in shock:
Starting this list with anything but India’s epic street food scene would be an immense, fireable oversight. The street food here is some of the best in the world, regardless of those pesky #delhibelly stories. As long as it’s cooked fresh in front of you and served hot, you should eat it all.
From samosas and bhajis to chaat and vada pao, it’s all a festival for the taste buds. But the absolute king of the street food (and my personal favourite) is by far pani puri, those crispy balls of lentil and tamarind water that literally pop in the mouth. Pass me a drool bucket.
Don’t be surprised to find India’s holiest animal frequenting every street corner, every market stall and every back-door Varanasi nook and cranny. These docile animals are literally everywhere, just taking up the footpath and playing chicken with oncoming rickshaws (and winning every time).
Cars, bikes, lorries, motos, it doesn’t matter who you are, the rules are the same. Try to get there before the man in front of you, and honk your horn roughly every two seconds to make sure the whole street knows you exist.
There’s no such thing as politeness on India’s roads. To survive here, you’ll need to push your way to the front, and never, ever, look before you pull out of a side road. Plus squeezing in an extra child, chicken and goat onto your rickshaw is seen as a public transport win.
If you want an insight into the real India, then just switch on the telly and check out the commercials like this one that embraces what I like to call ‘hinglish’ – a mix of Hindi and English. And yes, this is real. Honestly, if you can tell me what’s going on, I’ll buy you a beer.
Marking the start of spring, the traditional Holi Festival of Colour is celebrated all over India. And it’s one big party. People take to the streets to bang drums and dance the day away, while cheeky little kids plead to ride on your shoulders. Go on, let them, don’t be a scrooge.
Also, feel free to grab some powder paints and join the party. Just remember, if you’re a blondie then cover and oil your hair, or prepare to sport a classy new pink dye-job. This is a woman talking from experience here, people!
You can’t get much more ‘woah’ than the feeling you get when a hundred locals form a queue to meet and greet you. In some Indian towns, foreign travellers are a rarity so expect all locals to be interested in your freckles. Also prepare baby-holding technique, fix a permanent smile to your face and be ready to join the pages of everyone’s family photo albums. It’s odd, it’s paparazzi-esque, and let’s be honest, it’s a little addictive.
People flock to Goa’s sandy shores year after year for good reason. They’re some of the best in Asia. With chilled out vibes, crescent beaches, seafood on tap and a party to be found if you so desire, prepare to lose yourself to the Goa ‘bubble’ and never want to leave.
There’s not much in this world that tops the feeling of climbing on top of a camel to ride through the dunes of the Thar Desert in Northern India.
All you hear is the wind whistling past you, and the gentle tinkling of the bell around your camel’s neck, and all you see for miles is sand, scrub and cacti bigger than the average human. But the real ‘woah’ moment has to be spreading your bed directly on the dunes and letting the stars send you to sleep. That’s the sweet spot, right there.