I is for India (A-Z Blogging Challenge)

India! A feast for the senses…(or is that too cliché?)

It's "I" Day for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge

 

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It's "I" Day for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Turqoise blue water in front of a gleaming white Taj Mahal with colorful camels marching across the screen.  This is the ad that the tourism ministry has touted as “Incredible India!”  And, it is incredible!  And overwhelming, and teeming with people, and an affront to your senses, and so much more.

I had heard over and over how hard India can be on someone who is not used to the crowds, the noise, the smells.  Even as a seasoned traveler, I felt it was best to try and find someone to take over the business of getting us around, so I booked us a private tour, and I’m ever thankful I did.

Instead of worrying whether or not I picked the best hotel, or got the best price, or figuring out how to interpret the train schedules, I just had to worry about having a good time.  The very first day, outside of the Red Fort in New Delhi, India was in my face!  I love it, every bit of it.  The saris, the motorized rickshaws, the mobs of people, the masala chai, the dogs, the everything.

I do have to say, though, that when we visited the Taj Mahal, the water was not turquoise and I didn’t see any camels.  Hmmm.

Have you been to India?  Were you overwhelmed? But did you love it?

And speaking of incredible…check out these incredible bloggers:

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29 Comments

  1. This is another country on my personal wish-list and I think I would want to go with a tour guide as well. John (my husband) has been twice on business (New Delhi and Calcutta I think), both times in winter and it was quite cold! That surprised me.

    1. Anabel, We went in the winter both times. In the north, it was chilly, but the south was quite comfortable. If you go, I have the perfect tour company that organizes private tours for small groups. (I’m not being comped or paid by them, I just love them!)

  2. You are obviously the ideal travelers (both for your own joy and experience, and your host countries). You don’t worry, you don’t “compare,” you just breathe it all in. No wonder you have such a good time everywhere. I am sure there are some snags along the way – so are they at home driving to the grocery store…

    Love your blog (and will spend time on it long after the Challenge).

  3. Calli, If you only went to Delhi and/or Varanasi I can understand your reserve. Both of those cities are very overwhelming, but the people are so warm and friendly and the smaller cities are just so quaint and welcoming. I absolutely love it there!

  4. My boyfriend and I went to India in 2008. We were with a group tour for the first part, which had its benefits, but also some frustrations. The highlights of the second half were a houseboat tour in Kerala and visiting Dharamsala.

    We saved the Taj Mahal for last, and thought we’d make it easy on ourselves by hiring a guide and driver. Unfortunately, we didn’t understand what was included and what we’d still have to pay for, and wound up feeling like we were getting ripped off at every turn.

    I think there are two myths about India: 1) Everything is really cheap and 2) Everyone will try to rip you off. How are you supposed to feel good about any transaction under those circumstances?

    Still, it was an unforgettable trip, and I’m glad we went.

  5. I tend not to like crowds and noise and have a feeling India would not be some place I would enjoy. But, I so agree with you on the tour thing. Did you find lots of poverty in your travels? Was that difficult? Now that I’ve got you listed on my blog log, I’m hitting each of your a-z posts and leaving my a-z of the same letter.

    1. Sandy, Big thanks to you. I’ll get over and check out all yours as well. I just got home this morning from traveling for a week…I can’t tell you how much I loved India. It’s an amazing place, and yes there is poverty, but it doesn’t define the country at all!

  6. I definitely recommend seeing India with a private tour. Life and travel is so much more pleasurable when you can arrange for it to be less stressful. 🙂

  7. In my second year of living in India now.. Love it with my hearth and soul… It comes under your skin:-) But still – have never been so sad and angry as here, but have never been so crazy happy as here either.. It’s a continent really – so many different languages, religions, cultures etc.. Come to Bombay next time Corinne, I’ll show you around:-)

  8. Oh Corinne! I’m so glad you picked India for I. It is true that India can be overwhelming for a first time visitor – The sheer size of the country, the population, diverse cultures, cuisine, languages… I could go on and on. It probably calls from some extra research and home work in terms of choosing good tour operators. But, I’m sure you will agree with me that all the extra effort is worth it 🙂

  9. I have never really considered visiting India aside from wanting to experience a cricket match there and also explore the awesome architecture around the Taj Mahal. This is a really great post to inspire folks to travel there but I also agree with you that whenever you visit a region like this, if you have no experience at all of the cultural differences, then a private tour is likely to be the preferred option.

  10. I know that ad…you never see it in real life do you! India is definitely a feast for the senses. It gets under your skin and draws you back time and time again. I’ve been caught…six trips and I’m still not finished! Yes…all of them with drivers and guides…the only way to go!

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