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Die Skyline von Mumbai, Bild: Towering Goals / shutterstock

India – a journey to the splendor and misery of a great country

“Whoever touches the trunk of the elephant receives divine blessing.” No question: On a trip through India you meet many devout Hindus. They all have very individual ideas about the meaning of their lives and the course of events. India is a poor and yet at the same time rich country, where joy and sorrow are not opposites but neighbors. Anyone who comes into contact with the trunk of the mostly tame cargo elephants at the bathing area of the animal market in Sonepur will have a smile on their face. It is an earthly existence full of pleasure and suffering, but those who believe in rebirth carry the burden of their lives in India with great patience.

India, Tea plantations
Fantastic view of tea plantations in India, Image: DR Travel Photo and Video / shutterstock

In order to penetrate to the soul of this great country, visitors need the gift of contemplating the great and small wonders along the way with open eyes. On a trip through India, some people fluctuate between enthusiasm and horror, because this is a country full of stark contrasts. Here glitz and glamour from the time of the maharajas, there the inconceivable poverty of the members of a lower caste. The fact that death is a part of life is evident on the banks of the Ganges, where children seek to cool off in the murky waters and tease each other while splashing around. And a little further on, a pyre blazes for the cremation of corpses.

This world is not whole, but presents itself as an exciting and sometimes also stirring travel destination. With picturesque coastlines, white beaches, idyllic villages and lively metropolises such as Mumbai, Jaipur or New Delhi. But also with mysterious temples, archaeological sites and the testimonies of the sunken Dravidian culture. A journey through India is like an interplay of feelings and sensations.

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India. Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal on the outskirts of Agra, Image: YURY TARANIK / shutterstock

The heaven of Hinduism knows numerous deities, and since the lucky charms are to be revered, the people of India celebrate their festivals full of fervor. They are colorful and an almost incomprehensible experience for the visitors. Not everything can be fathomed right away, but these festivals probably have a deeper meaning. At the Holi festival, vast quantities of powder rain down from the sky. They are supposed to embody the union of the universal soul with the individual. A little later, monks flagellate themselves and inflict unspeakable torments on themselves.

The south of India sees itself as the coast of gods, luck and spices. Holidaymakers should definitely travel to the “backwaters”. This is an exceedingly lush green landscape in Kerala, with confusing water gardens, canals and lagoons. As a passenger on a disused rice barge, this wonderful world can be travelled. Between Hassan and Mysore there are historical places of worship in the middle of exotic vegetation.

The Gateway of India at Thane Creek in Mumbai, Image: saiko3p / shutterstock

India can be proud of the large number of its national parks, where the Bengal tiger was given a place of retreat. In the twenty protected areas of the large country, there are said to be four thousand specimens of the big cats. And since they are not particularly shy and apparently feel safe in the parks, there is a good chance for visitors to get them in front of the lenses of their cameras.

The Bay of Bengal is one of the best starting points to acclimatize upon arrival and prepare for a round trip to the picturesque beaches, the impenetrable rainforests and the mysterious temple cities. But for the Indians, the course of life is fulfilled in the waters of the Ganges. True to the knowledge that everyone should bow down to their God and that this river unites everything.

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Travel information India

Capital New Delhi
Form of government Parliamentary Federal Republic of Germany
Parliamentary democracy
Currency Indian Rupee (INR)
Area approx. 3,287,469 km²
Population approx. 1,339,180,000 (as of 2017)
Languages Hindi & English
Electricity grid 230 Volt / 50 Hz
Area code +91
Time zone UTC+5:30