Everyone wants a piece of India. From Aryan, Afghani and Persian invasions to the British era, people from distant lands have sought to possess India’s treasures for themselves. But a funny thing always happens: India takes these foreigners and makes them Indians. Defying the doctrine of ‘us’ and ‘them’, India weaves races, cultures and philosophies into a tapestry that grows richer and more intricate every day. To experience India is to share in the sorrows, dreams, tribulations and almost unbearable joy of a billion fellow human beings. Fear not: India will make you her own, too.
Best time to visit
November to March, when it’s cooler
Tandoori chicken, dhal, dosas, samosas, curries
Lassi (a sweet or savoury yoghurt drink), or toddy (fermented palm sap).
Cows in streets; snake charmers; world’s largest slums; Bollywood; maharajas in palaces; rickshaws, gods and goddesses; computer geeks. Cities have killer nightlife scenes; most food isn’t spicy hot. English is the de facto national language, for the most part Hindus and Muslims live together peacefully.