Curry, the Taj Mahal, Bengal Tigers. Being so vast that it is often referred as the “Indian Subcontinent”, the Indian Republic is the one place in the world that can boast of being completely multicultural. Within its vastness, more than 445 languages are spoken, it has 20 official languages, and practically all of the world’s religions are practiced.
Facts that surprise no one after seeing the population numbers, 1.3 billion people live within its boundaries.
It goes without saying that among such vastness of land and people there lots to do. Visit the sunny beaches at Goa, immerse in the spirituality of Varanasi, visit the colorful temples at Madurai, or simply get lost on the thousand attractions Delhi is got to offer.
#1 Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure by Sarah Macdonald
Nikola Webster from Brit on the Move says:
India is hard to describe unless you have experienced it for yourself. A friend once said to me it’s like an acid trip. This is as close to a description as you can get. But, what if you can’t relate to an acid trip?
This book does a great job of explaining everything from the smells, so much so that you can imagine the smell to the why behind every custom. It also outlines the cast system, the different religious beliefs, and traditions.
The author takes you on a journey across her stay in India chronicling how the chaos works. Most importantly, she captures the essence that most long-term visitors leave with – an appreciation and love for a highly functional yet bizarre place.
#2 Shantaram: A Novel by Gregory David Roberts
This book is an absolute must read during any trip to India. It is an outrageous story based loosely on the author’s real life that will make you burst out laughing, cry, and feel sad when it’s over. At the same time, you’ll learn a lot of nuances about Indian culture and feel more connected to the country.
#3 Wanderlust and Lipstick: For Women Traveling to India by Beth Whitman
Ideal and definitive guide for women traveling to India. Loaded with practical tips and information to help women travel safely to the sub-continent.
The recommendations of products and books within this article where sourced from industry experts. Their names and websites are listed below.
Nikola Webster from Brit on the Move
Sarah Groen from Bell & Bly Travel
Beth Whitman from Wanderlust and Lipstick