Visit to India offers a discoveries like nowhere else

Raider Times photo / Natalia Teig
Shore Temple Mahabalipuram in India

Natalia Teig, Raider Times staff

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India is a captivating place that everyone should visit.  This is country is filled with diverse food, religions, and people.

India, when you go there you need to embrace it. When you do this, you will understand where you fit into India and where India fits into you.

There are so many things that India has to offer in a unique way. The beauty parlors with their unique threading and Ayurvedic treatments, enterprising street vendors with every product imaginable, Old World train travel with its entertaining roaming tea vendors, and the notorious Bollywood celebrities that all the people gossip about, accessorizing, festivals, and that is just to name a few.

I have been traveling to India since I was 5 years old and attended one of its most well-known schools for 2.5 years. I have become accustomed to the ways foreigners should live in India.

 There are many majestic historical buildings, monuments, and scenes which attract people from different countries every year. The best part of it all was that I learned to understand the mentality, religions, foods, and languages in India.

Kapaleeswarar Temple

Raider Times photo / Natalia Teig
Kapaleeswarar Temple

And every time I go back, I see something new that I had never noticed before.

Every country in the world has its own pride and spirit. But of all the places I’ve traveled to, never have I seen the pride and spirit India has! On New Year’s Eve everyone is up, way after their bedtime, roaming the streets, sitting on top of cars, yelling and screaming, “Happy New Year!” to anyone they see! There are parties in all of the houses with loud blaring modern Hindi music.

On the festival of Holi (the festival of color) you’ll see powder and water being thrown at people and cars making it look like a never-ending riot of colors. (And people actually get excited about this!) We don’t have anything like Holi celebrated in the United States. It’s crazy, yet so amazing. You feel so accepted, in everything!

I enjoy walking around the sanded streets, store to store, buying the loads of stuff for a cheap rate. Some “foreigners” may find the heat, crowds, and chaotic streets challenging, but taking it all in and experiencing something new is what traveling is all about. Indias has 29 states, each with its own culture, helping make it so diverse.

India is slightly more than one-third the size of the United States, which is what makes it so diverse and exotic. This place does not only have beautiful historical landmarks — the Taj Mahal, Humayun’s Tomb, Ganges River, Amer Fort, Hawa Mahal, Agra Fort, City Palace, and Red Fort — but it also has a blend of wild life. It is home to Bengal tigers, Indian lions, deer, pythons, wolves, foxes, bears, crocodiles, wild dogs, monkeys, snakes, antelope, varieties of bison, and the Asian elephant.

Krishna's Butter Ball in Mahabalipuram

Raider Times photo / Natalia Teig
Krishna’s Butter Ball in Mahabalipuram

(A tip for animal lovers: There are going to be dogs wandering the streets of India. I suggest you don’t touch them or feed them. Mind your business and they’ll mind there’s.)

India has a mix of greens and browns, wet and drys, cold and hot. Places in India are meant for everyone, such as in Goa, a state on the west coast, for people who yearn the beaches.

Mumbai is for people who love movies, music, and shopping. Mumbai is actually Bombay. Mumbai was the original Indian name for the city before the British invaded. A few years back, India officially brought back the Indian name for the city.

Ooty is a town located in the state of Tamil Nadu and is a place for honeymoons, gardens, and forests.

India can never be crammed when you travel, pick sights that interest you the most otherwise you’ll be disappointed, coming back to India is always an option so don’t stress if you haven’t seen it all!

The Taj Mahal

Raider Times photo / Natalia Teig
The Taj Mahal

Also staying in one place for 2-3 days can give you a deeper understanding as well as quality time with the people.

Always remember to stay healthy. Wear suntan lotion, drink water, and stay hydrated or you’ll become lazy and not want to go anywhere. Believe me this happens.

India offers too much to be crammed into one trip. Pick sights that interest you the most, otherwise you’ll be disappointed. So don’t stress if you haven’t seen it all!

Choosing the right time to travel is also important, The best time to visit is from October to March. India is extensive with different climates. The Himalayas prevent frosty winds from affecting the majority of the country, so winters stay warm and summers can get extremely hot.

The dominant part of India is tropical and is influenced by three fundamental seasons; summer, winter, and storm.

A temple in India

Raider Times photo / Natalia Teig
A temple in India

Did you know the game of chess originated in India? Or that shampoo was invented in India? Or that India has the most languages spoken in the world?

There is also an intense desire for education. The coolest thing about the education is that the colleges are mainly separated by a student’s interest, like commerce, arts, science, engineering or fashion.

We think so much of how India is too far away from the rest of the world. Open your mind and let India cultivate its authentic, beautiful, pure, exotic, delicious antiquity into your soul and take its peace, neutrality, and fairness into your heart!

A cat carving at Shore Temple in India.

Raider Times photo / Natalia Teig
A cat carving at Shore Temple in India.

–Sept. 22, 2016–

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