Thank you Praveen, you have been very helpful. I have taken note of these places and am sure to try to visit them all. I would like to see everything you have mentioned especially the temples, festivals in Rajashtan and also see tigers on a safari. I am looking forward to visiting India even more now. Thanks for your advice.
Its nice to hear that u r eager to visit india. Also now as both sides pakistan and india are agreed to ceasefire hence thers is a peace and love all around in Kashmir . If you are adventurous and like mountains and snow then u can visit Kashmir - patni top, Shrinagar,Ladakh etc . and if u still dont want to go to kashmir then u can feel the himalayan beauty at Simla-kufri, kullu-manali , Darjeeling etc . Also Dont forget to visit The Palaces and forts at Jaipur, Udaipur and Jaisalmer. Recently Prince Charles and Bill Clinton also visited these palaces. Delhi needs no mention. There are so many historical places here. Also Goa and mumbai beach are famous. Kanyakumari is the tip of india's south end and famous also.
Banglore and Mysore have many reasons to visit, historical as well as the silicon capital of india. Bodh gaya is the birth of the famous religion "Bodh" by Mahatma Budh. very spiritual also. Kurukshetra is famous for Geeta Message given here more then 5000 yrs ago. Chandigarh is famous for its open and rich culture of punjab. If you want to go to the place of world 's heaviest rainfall in a year then go to megahlaya- cherapunji and nearby .Most of the time it is ranining here non stop. About Khajorao and Allora cave parveen has told you.
And for the sacred river ganges- go to Gangotri(the start of ganga river ), Hardwar and varanasi. the water of ganges dont get contaminated even after many years ...wherever u store it. it remains pure and herbal as it is forever. people take ganga water to their home.
Also visit the Golden Temple at amritsar. ....and many more..........
God luck ................................Aman
I'd like to think that this site is good for knowing the negative as well as the positive points of countries. I've quite enjoyed this thread. It's refreshing to read more spirited communications.
I'd just like to say that being from a country and growing up there is a different experience to visiting it. I have been to India and the States, both several times, as a kid and as an adult.
The States is really clean but my overwhelming impression was of the poverty. I have never been in a developed country with so many down and outs, homeless people, falling down trailer homes, broken down jalopy cars. I lived in Santa Monica once for four months and can remember every time we went down to Venice, walking along by the pier, every couple of minutes people would come up to us begging. You stop at traffic lights and people knock on your window wanting money. When I was a kid, I remember cops chasing a thief down the Santa Monica mall, with their guns out and me and my brother going 'Wow! This is awesome!', and my parents going "Oh my God! Oh my God! This is a police state with gun happy cops!" (we came from a country where police didn't carry guns). I am not surprised now though that Americans carry guns - it's probably the only way sometimes to ensure they have a minimum of personal space.
And talk about no go zones. We were in East LA once waiting for a bus and two white families stopped and offered us lifts (which we didn't take, because we were so appalled) because "don't you folks realise that this is a black area and good white folks don't hang around these parts". It was like going back in time 30 or 40 years, like being in Australia when the white Australia policy was in full swing. And from what I recall the caste system in the States was alive and well. It's just based on something different - material wealth then race - to India. That haunting dead look of despair in some of the poor people's eyes - it's such a hard country to survive in.
My impression of India was of how dirty and un-looked after it was - rubbish and litter all over the place, and of an over whelming feeling of safety. It would have to be one of the safest places I have been to on this planet, barring none, including Japan (where I was assaulted twice). We went to a slum in Bombay, but the people didn't look emaciated like they did in some of the villages in the North. I found the people really welcoming, no matter what their personal circumstances. I just remember the warm, smiling people, especially the men. It was like being in a place with a zillion brothers. If I felt like going for a walk, alone at 1 am in the morning, it was fine. There were always heaps of people on the streets, 24 hours a day. As for the caste system, maybe this really divides Indians within India, but when you come from outside it's not there. Most western people coming to India wouldn't even be able to tell whether someone was a brahmin or untouchable, much less care.
I can understand why western people get obsessed with India and visit it again and again. It satisfies there sense of longing, their ache to be taken up in the flow of humanity.
I'd never take my family to the States to live. I don't want my little children to even see the sort of poverty and despair that exists there, let alone live with it. But I'd move to India any day, any time.
Hi thanks both Aman and Debbie for your advice. Yes it is good to know both positive and negative sides of countries and it would be different to grow up in a country than visit it. I would say there is good and bad in most if not all countries though. As you say Debbie it is good to just be aware of this and so forth. I am really interested in India because I have heard before as well as now that the people there are open and friendly. Also it has a lot of heritage, a different culture and interesting places in which I would like to visit. I guess that is a few reasons as to why I want to include this country on my RTW trip. Anyway many thanks to all.
Rachael, Deb, Upadhyay, Lost world ....Thanks a lot you for you all for commenting about india . Furthere comments are welcome whether positive or negative but false statements are not welcome.
First i was opposed to Lost world because he stated totally false statement about india ....he was so nagative that he went on to write wrong fact that more than 60% people in india are illitrate . And i told that in last census less than 30-35% poeple are illitrate and most of them are illitrate but not uneducated . You know there is a great difference between being litterate and being educated . A literate person may not be educated and an illetrate person can be educated as mostly in india . A literate person knows how to read , write etc and an educated person knows how to behave with people , guests, how to work hard , how to respect others , what is the meaning of love , how to help others in need and many moral values . Hence i just want to say that the literacy rate in india is at 65-70% may not be so higher as in other eurpeon countries but much above than the wrong fact of mr. lost world as literacy rate in india as less than 40% .......but again important thing for travellors is that even most of these iliterate and poor people are educated and knows how to welcome a guest .......Good Luck ...Aman
Aman, You just dont seem to understand my view and I really donot want to get into a slander match. Obviously this is not a fight among equals. For the others I would like to clarify that I was asking Indians not to be in denial on the various negative aspects in our society, I was also trying to say that it is this denial that stops us from over coming the problems and becomming a better India.
As for literacy, again this whole census is a sham. In India anyone who can sign his or her name is considered a literate. He or she might not be able to read or write but as long as you know how to sign your name you are literate. Every day I fight stereo types of India and Indians and the last thing we need is to be so engulfed in out own concept of greatness that we forget the millions who are suffering.
I have done years of research on the social order and its evils in India. I lived and grew up in India, I love my country but I am not blinded by it. None of this however should stop you from visiting and enjoying the history, culture and heritage of a wonderful and diverse nation.
Hi Lost World,
All Governments distort and whitewash their figures, and the 'reality' of their government - the great master of this is the United States, for example its censorship of CNN over the reporting of their invasion of Iraq.
Coming back to India, what does it matter whether 10% or 100% of it's people are literate, when looking at a person's quality of life? A person just tries to survive the best they can with what's available to them at the time. It's still a great and fun place. I have a number of in laws in the Middle East who can't read and write. They have a great quality of life. In the West being literate is a very big deal because you can't function without it. But in India that isn't the case.
Social welfare, even the bare minimum type welfare you get in the States, doesn't help people as much as you might think. It makes them into cripples, dependant on the state, unable to do anything or think for themselves. It guarantees their poverty for the rest of their lives in a lot of cases.
Who is to say an Indian living in a slum, without social welfare, only, say, one income coming into to feed 13 people, has any poorer quality of life than a family on welfare living in a trailer park in the backwoods of the States somewhere? From the expressions on the Indian slum dwellers faces that I met, they may well have better lives than their US poverty encased counterparts.
Deb, I am not saying that the US is any better when it comes to distortion of information, I am making no comparisons, just commenting on the situation in India.
I am not sure if I should laugh or cry at your comments, I dont think you can even comprehend the sorrow and misery of living in a slum. The poverty, filth and absolute sorrow is so overwhelming that it would be foolish to even try to compare it with the quality of life in the US. Again please donot make absurd comments without understanding the reality, I have 10 years of volunteer human service, 5 years of which I spent in the slums of mumbai and Kolkata. Those who deny this reality and wish to potray it as a trivial by stating numbers from a census are the very ones who live in wealth and splendour gained by oppressing these people.
Literacy, Yes I agree it might not be as important as basic food, shelter and health but for people to get out of poverty and fight the social order they need to be able to read, they need to be able to organise. Not just that even for the government to spread awareness of programs like birth control or AIDS awareness is very difficult when people cannot read.
I realise the futility of this and I refuse to participate further in this discussion. For to fight irrational minds is to become irrational.
Hello all!! I think 'Lost World' that you slightly misunderstood Debbie's comments. She is not making absurd comments, neither do I think that any comments or minds are irrational here. I also do not think that everyone is trying to fight. I think it is a thread where both negative and positive points are being made. I think Debbie was saying that the censors weren't that much of a big deal - the figures don't matter and what she was trying to emphasise is that India and it's people is what she found interesting and they deal with poverty better than those in the US who deal with poverty. I think that she nor Aman or anyone is in denial or being irrational. Aman said he welcomes both positive and negative points made about India so he is not in denial. I believe though that he did not want false statements made about the country i.e. the percentage illiteracy etc.
I must admit Debbie you have opened my eyes to the US as I just assumed it is one big wealthy country and was safe. I have only visited the US once when I was young for a couple of weeks (Florida to be precise) - I want to see more of the country at some point in the future however not just yet. Anyway I still plan to visit India in the meantime. I am sure that this is more about travel to India though and US and the aspect should be more on the areas of that country, sites, temples etc. as opposed to all the political stuff going on there. I feel that it is important to know about India's people and the country rather than all political aspects. Any comments appreciated.
There is no negative to visiting India except in certain areas.I am proud of our heritage and history. I am talking about how you donot understand what a huge problem poverty and illiteracy is, but hey you can visit the palaces and wildlife parks and the Taj Mahal, you wont even be affected by it. If thats what you want.
My reply is directed at the comparison of poverty and standard of life in India to the US. I think its absurd and irrational to make such a comparison and I should know I have lived in both countries. Maybe if you keep those eyes open (now that they have been opened) you will see what I mean. What false numbers? Have you seen the census, do you think a bunch of teachers going door to door can give you an accurate picture of a population that is 1 billion + . Have you seen the slums in mumbai and kolkata?
If I have offended anyone with my comments, accept my sincere apologies. I am very passionate about India so please get off your couch and go see it for yourself. Forget the slums in mumbai and Kolkata just go to old Delhi.