After first visit to India every traveler will arrange punctuation of this phrase in his own manner.
Maybe someone will answer without hesitation, having decided how he feels towards this ambiguous land. As for us, we couldn’t reply to that question immediately and confidently after having returned from a three weeks long trip through India. All the more so with relatives and friends constantly pouring in: “So, how’d you like India?”, “Why’d you actually go there?” …
New Delhi streets
Well, really, why India?
The idea of an independent journey disturbed the mind for quite some time. During the last few years, reading the travelers’ blogs, who visit different parts of the globe, a desire of witnessing something like that appeared a lot. To switch from your typical beach vacation and experience an adventure. We succeeded at the latter!
We chose India, because of the number of examples of travelers who ploughed their way to this exotic peninsula. Thus loads of advice and useful recommendations were found in the Internet.
Rainy forests in Manali
A journey through India doesn’t require any special preparations or guide presence. The most important thing is to determine the destination, because India is an enormous country, where you couldn’t possibly encompass everything at once.
The only possible time for us to visit India was August, which is the monsoon season almost everywhere in India. Weather conditions sort of helped us determine the destination. Northern India is a land of high altitudes (higher than 2000m; 6500 ft), mountainous regions and Tibetan traditions. And since after our arrival we nevertheless were in Delhi, we decided to spend some time there and see the sights. And we couldn’t miss visiting the city of Amritsar and seeing The Golden Temple, the main sanctuary of the Sikhs. We’ll write detailed and colorful reports about all those places.
Golden Temple in Amritsar
Did we actually like India?
Having spent some time at home, without constant need of moving from A to B, finding solutions to immediate problems of having a place to sleep and something decent to eat, we can confidently say that yes, we liked India much!
But of course we can’t say that the time spent in India was altogether carefree, accompanied only by positive emotions.
Literally from our first minutes in Delhi we had to change our plans, adapt to the circumstances of living in Indian cities and seek the solutions to appearing problems. Indian cities crash on to the naive heads of Europeans as a cold shower – unexpected and contrasty. All receptors come alive and start working rapidly, barely managing to process all the signals. Lots of things seen in India invoked perplexity, disgust or utter incomprehension.
On the other hand Indian culture is diversified and unique. The Golden Temple left lasting impression. Mountains and the nature of the northern states left us wordless and breathless with its unearthly beauty and landscapes. Tibetan traditions, local people with their simple and at times severe living conditions, who saved kindness and amiability, brought us joy and excitement.
Tibetian monk in Buddhist Monastery, Leh
Probably all the range of emotions felt and things seen is the most precious experience of all carried home from India. The first trip to Hindustan set our priorities for the future – omit or minimize the time spent in big cities. But the mountain regions are worth coming to again and again – to see more of the nature and people’s mode of life.
Namgyal Tsemo Gompa, Leh, Nothern India
And surely a lot is left unseen and unsaid, because to see the entire India in one trip is totally impossible.
Our verdict stands “To fall in love with India, impossible to hate…”