Most often, a person, once in India, either does not understand it at all, or falls in love at first sight and until the end of his days. It's a country of contrasts. Countless cultural monuments, the brilliant Taj Mahal – surrounded by mountains of garbage. Beach parties in Goa and Madras and the sparkling sand of Bollywood – and then eye-slashing poverty. There is black and white – and to understand the variety of shades between the first and second, it will take years, and maybe decades.
Nevertheless, this land is beautiful. The greatness of the Himalayan mountains makes you believe in the existence of parallel universes, the natural resources of Kerala beat directly into the heart and are forever imprinted in memory, and the mysticism of ritual sacraments in the waters of the Ganges can lead you into a trance (the main thing is to observe them not in the city limits).
When to go
In Goa and Keral, it is customary to leave in the period from October to early May - in other months it is impossible to stay there due to the rainy season and excessive humidity. The same rule applies to Delhi and other major cities, with the exception of Kolkata - excessive heat and dampness will not allow you to enjoy walks.
In the Himalayas, on the contrary, in July and August it is most comfortable.
The northern and central part of the country is optimal for graying in the autumn and winter, and it is customary to go to Kerala just during the downpours - they say, it's time to pay attention to the balance of body and soul.
However, a native of Sochi or other southern cities will not be surprised by stuffiness. If you tolerate this climate well, the rainy season can be used as a kind of discount program: hungry for tourists, hoteliers and guides give excellent discounts for such brave souls.
Where to sunbathe
In terms of the quality of beaches, no area of India can compare with Goa, where everything is focused on tourist service: hotels at any income level, thousands of different entertainments, and most importantly - versatility. For young and young people, North Goa will be optimal, where housing prices are lower, parties are endless and the sea is suitable for surfing and outdoor activities. Family and fans of a quiet and relaxing holiday in comfortable conditions on clean sand and with shallows going far into the sea are more suitable for the southern part - here it is both cleaner and calmer.
In the first case, the sand will be gray or yellow, the gentle shore will be semi-hidden by groves of different palm trees and mangrove trees. In the second, the sand is very beautiful, saffron or golden, and the coast is more equipped: do not push from sun beds, numerous cafes and children's areas.
Kerala beaches are not so popular among travelers that it is more a plus than a minus - they managed to preserve the charm and charm. The beaches are wild, equipped to a minimum, but clean and very beautiful. The shores, surrounded by tropical forests on rocky slopes, gradually descend, turning into strips of fine sand, so thin that it is not felt under your feet.
And if hunting the sea and snow-white sand as from an advertising brochure, you should go straight to Andaman, Nicobar or the Lakshadweep archipelago - here you can settle in a spacious bungalow and spend days in a hammock suspended among the trees. You listen to the sound of the surf, drink cocktails and do not blow a mustache, and when you get bored, you put on a scuba gear and go "drown" among the corals to communicate with the local motley marine life without intermediaries.
Where to go
A journey through the Indian beauties can stretch for months, and in any case you will be able to observe only a small part of this world. For the first time, you should limit yourself to the so-called "Golden Triangle" – the space enclosed between Delhi, Agroi and Jaipur.
In the old Delhi and the new capital, you can get acquainted with the myriad monuments of the past - from colonial villas to ancient Hindu temples and mosques. Huge markets and modern shopping malls are a great place for merciless shopping, and thousands of restaurants will allow you to appreciate not only the skill of chefs, but also the diversity of local culinary tradition.
Agra is an ancient city, where, in addition to the mausoleum, you should see the Red Fort, in the features of which Hindu and Muslim architectural traditions are mixed, and Fatehpur Sikri, the ancient capital of the possessions of Akbar the Great. In Jaipur, pay attention to the buildings of the Mughal times, made of sandstone of pinkish and white color.
A powerful center of attraction for travelers is Mumbai, where the slum quarters of Dharavi coexist with Bollywood and the Kanheri monastery hidden in caves, and Bombay, which represents India in miniature.
In the Himalayan Mountains, you will see fantastic mountains, temples whose age is thousands of years, and people whose lives are no different from when these temples and mountains were still young. The most popular is the border state of Sikkim.
Where to be enlightened and healed
Hinduism is extremely popular outside india. Foreigners believe that if they can comprehend the wisdom of this religion, they will reveal the secrets of existence or at least find peace of mind. To put their health in order, people go to Ayurvedic resorts in Kerala and Karnataka. There is an ayuverda "light", when liberties in food and even entertainment are allowed, and there is a "hard" option - strict adherence to the doctor's prescriptions, a strict schedule, almost a mushroom. But, they say, it's worth it.
On a serious yoga tour, it is better to go to the ashrams of Rishikesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. You can just meditate at sunset in good company in Goa.
For the quintessence of Hinduism, head to the banks of the Ganges in Varanasi. The less impressionable can take a walk to the embankment and watch how the funeral pyres burn and the dead are escorted on their last journey. It is better for the rest to limit themselves to a tour of the temples, which there are not to be counted here.
Holidays with children
With children, it is best to relax on the above-mentioned beaches of South Goa, the best among which are Varca, Majorda, Utorda. In the northern part, despite the orientation towards young people, there are other excellent solutions - Mandrom, where at night it is quiet and calm. In addition, Kerala Kovalam or Barkalu are noteworthy.
Swimming is safe on most of the Goan beaches, the entrance to the water is canopy and devoid of unpleasant surprises, the bottom is sandy, threats to life and health, in addition to jellyfish, are not found (the latter should be feared after a storm, they avoid shallow water).
True, on the peripheral beaches you can enter into cow dung or meet wandering dogs or cattle. You should also pay attention to water parks, the largest of which - Froggiland, Splashdown and Starsshine - are able to compete with the best European and American. Well, since the opportunity has come, allow yourself and your children to appreciate the protected area "Bhagwan Mahavr", where exotic animals and birds live.