What is so fascinating about India

7 good reasons for a trip to India

For many backpackers, India is the Holy Grail among the travel countries and has always been a highlight of the “Banana Pancake Trail” among the countries of Southeast Asia. But it is also a challenge that pushes many travelers to their limits - for better and for worse. The “Delhi Belly” is feared, the contrast between rich and poor is great and the cities of India are insanely full.

Traveling through India has to be learned, but if you dare to do it once, you will always like to come back. India is also incredibly attractive and rewards everyone who gets involved in leaving prejudices and stereotyped thinking at home.

Anyone who takes a trip to India will quickly fall in love with the country and many call it their absolute favorite destination, praise the hospitality of the Indians and like to come back again and again. India is addicting!

What makes India so special? We'll tell you here - 7 good reasons for a trip to India.

1. Cultural diversity

Hardly any country offers such a cultural diversity as India and even on an extensive trip to India it will hardly be possible for you to get a comprehensive overview of the country. India is more diverse than almost any other country and this diversity characterizes it.

Spread over 39 states, over a billion people live here, with a wide variety of religions, customs and political orientations. Seeing India as a homogeneous country and wanting to understand it is therefore quite difficult, but it is also part of its appeal. Anyone who travels across India always undertakes a journey through time and here you will find the most modern cities as well as sleepy villages, some of the most beautiful beaches and a fascinating mountain world as well as umpteen languages ​​and religions that meet here.

The history of the country is strongly shaped by these contrasts and not only the rule of the English has left its mark. The cultural diversity is an enrichment and a challenge at the same time and for you one of the most exciting reasons for a trip to India.

2. The best food in the world

For many, Indian food is the best cuisine in the world and with good reason. Vegetarians in particular get their money's worth here, as Indian cuisine is known for its lentil and vegetable dishes and the paneer cheese, which is often used as a meat substitute in curies.

The cuisine, like the country's culture, is incredibly diverse. On the coast you will find seafood and coconut dishes on the menu, while in some states only vegetarian dishes are served. While devout Hindus do not eat beef, in places like Kerala it is celebrated while pork is harder to come by. In some states you also have to do without alcohol, but you can find delicious masala chai and lassi, a refreshing yoghurt drink, everywhere.

You don't have to worry if you don't tolerate well-seasoned or spicy food: depending on the region, milder dishes can also be found on the menu. You only have to be careful with the desserts - they are often very sweet and sticky in India. Instead, grab the delicious fruit that you can get fresh on every street corner. Among them the most different kinds of mango, pineapple, lychees, the exotic jackfruit, coconuts, melons and much more.

The “Delhi Belly”, a diarrheal disease, unfortunately troubles many on a trip to India. To avoid this, you should make sure to always peel fruit, not to drink tap water and when eating on the street it is best to always choose the stand with the longest line of locals - they know where it tastes good and nothing stands long at such stands rum.

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3. Very nice people

Even if it is often presented differently in the media and women in particular are warned against a trip to India, many visitors agree: the Indians are among the friendliest and most hospitable people in the world. Many approach visitors openly and are happy to show you the best of their country. There is often an invitation to come home, so that you can get an authentic insight into Indian culture. In addition, you will usually be helped here in any emergency, including strangers.

Depending on the travel area, it may happen that the residents never or hardly ever saw a “white” foreigner. Understandably, curiosity is great and you quickly become involved in a conversation: What's your name? What is your father's name? Are you married? How much do you earn? Indians are friendly and very direct, which sometimes seems almost indiscreet to us Austrians. But if you stay friendly and open in return, you will quickly find new friends on your India trip.

The same goes for taking photos - nowhere else are you asked to take a selfie with strangers as often as in India. All you have to do is say ‘cheese’ and make new friends via Facebook afterwards - practical for your next trip to India, because that way you will be connected straight away!

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4. Landscape diversity

In addition to a great cultural diversity, you will also find an India with an incredibly wide range of landscapes. The subcontinent offers something for every taste: From the great Himalayas with its snow-capped six-thousand-meter peaks you come to the large, dry and hot Tharr Desert in Rajasthan, then you continue to the palm trees and spices of Kerala, to the infinitely long sea coast that leads to Bathing invites, and further into the great primeval forests of India with their wild elephants and tigers.

This diversity actually makes India the ideal travel destination for every taste. In terms of landscape, India contains an entire world in itself and all of this on an area of ​​only 3.3 million km². So you shouldn't be put off by the hustle and bustle of the Indian cities, but rather set off to discover the country's villages and nature parks.

Anyone who has ever been fascinated by the often still untouched nature of India quickly realizes that we also have to protect our earth when traveling. Make sure that you travel as sustainably as possible and inform yourself about animal activities in advance. While things like elephant riding is deeply rooted in Indian culture, you should refrain from supporting it with your money. Fortunately, there are enough animals to be seen ethically and in the wild in India and that's much more exciting anyway.

5. A varied active vacation

The diverse landscape of India also makes the country a great destination for an active holiday. Whether you like hiking or climbing, diving and splashing in the warm sea or want to feel like Indiana Jones in old temple cities - India is the country for you!

On a trip to India in particular, one often spends many hours sitting in the bus or train. So it is all the better to find a physical balance. In the Indian Himalayas you can either work out a lot or be very gently active: Day-long trekking tours, climbing, mountaineering, mountain biking and rafting are just some of the many activities that are offered here. So you are not only active, but also really get to know the country.

Rajasthan and Kerala are also perfect for exploring by bike. The 7000 km long coastline offers opportunities for swimming, diving and surfing. And of course a yoga class should not be missing on your trip to India - after all, you have landed here in the cradle of yoga.

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6. Experience spirituality

Spirituality is a pretty important part of a trip to India. India is the birthplace of yoga, many religions, especially Buddhism, are at home here and this gives India a particularly peaceful and calm atmosphere.

This atmosphere often inspires even the most unspiritual and that is the reason why many plan a trip to India. No matter whether you are looking for the meaning of life or want to find yourself - many travel to India to look for answers.

The first destination is often an ashram where you can do yoga, meditation, and religious studies. But there is something for every taste and every person looking for meaning - from intense asceticism to chic wellness holidays.

Places like Varanasi do not only attract devout Hindus. Somehow everyone here wants to leave the past failures behind and are looking for a spiritual connection to the mother of all rivers, the Ganges.

Cynics would probably describe India's spirituality as marketing for tourists, but if you spend a little longer looking at the country and its people, you will quickly discover that the reality is different. Spirituality is practiced by Indians of all religions and shows itself in many little everyday things from which you can be inspired.

7. Travel & discover cheaply

India is a very cheap travel destination and is therefore particularly popular with long-term backpackers. If you travel with local transport, sleep in cheap or family-run accommodation and eat in local restaurants, the daily expenses are usually not far above € 15.

On a trip to India you often have to cover great distances and there is probably no better means of transport than the train. A train journey through India is definitely part of it and, in addition to a means of transport, is always a cultural experience.

Thanks to low prices, you can also upgrade your travel experience quickly. Domestic flights are quite cheap and where in other countries you are forced to join fixed group tours due to financial constraints, it is possible in India to afford your own car with driver for an individual and tailor-made tour.

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The food in India is not only delicious, but also something for the small budget. Avoid restaurants that are mostly frequented by tourists. Not only are these more expensive, they also don't taste that good here. Make sure to eat local products and, if possible, avoid alcohol - this is how you save real money.

But it is not only cheap to travel in India, but also to get there. You can often get a return flight from Austria for € 400. There are now some direct flights, so you can be in the country in a good 7 hours. You can order the visa online in advance so that you are well prepared for your India trip.

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Have you already been on a trip to India and was it a unique experience for you?