About India Holidays Packages
India is a huge country (seventh largest in the world) with more than a billion people making this multicultural and multilingual nation, which is the second most populous after China. This South Asian country is bordered by Pakistan to the west, China, Nepal and Bhutan to the north; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east.The sheer cultural and spiritual wealth of India gives this country a colourfull and distinctive outlook thriving within its democratic system of governance.
Along the Indus River valleys India saw one of the world's earliest and greatest civilizations flourish on its land some five thousand years ago. In the later periods many rulers ruled over this vast land; Aryans came in around 1500 BC during which Vedic beliefs spread through large parts of India, and then in 4th century BC Emperor Ashoka brought entire India under his rule and later embraced Buddhism spread by Buddha some 200 years earlier. The emperor built famous Sanchi monuments. Ashoka pillar at Sarnath has become the India's national emblem and Dharma Chakra on the pillar adorns India's national flag. Later Gupta's ruled the North India and Cholas, the Pandyas and the Cheras in South around 1100 during which Hinduism spread in India. They were followed by Christianity, Zoroastrians or Parsis, and Sikhism in 15th century founded by Guru Nanak. The spread of Islam began in Kerala through Arab travelers earlier than the advent of Mohammed of Ghori in 1192 from Afghanistan, 1398 attack from Turkey under Timur, or the Mughal's who ruled large parts of India for much longer period. In 1600 among European colonial rulers British eventually controlled India until 1947.
The Republic of India has 28 states and seven union territories and it is among the fastest growing economy, though majority of its population still live under impoverished conditions. Religion is deeply rooted in Indian cultures and minds of the people. Principal religions are Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Jainism, Buddhism and Christianity. Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, through his path of Non-violence gave India freedom from British colonial rule in 1947 after a long and sustained countrywide struggle, however, partition of India in the same year caused the creation of a Muslim majority nation called Pakistan. Since then four wars have been fought between Hindu majority India and Pakistan over their most contentious issue of Kashmir, which has now become an international security concern.
The multicultural, multiethenic and multireligious identity of Indian nation are best showcased in its innumerable colourful festivals. Hindus celebrate Diwali (festival of lights), Dushera (a festival to celebrate victory of good over evil), Holi (festival of colors) as their main festivals and the Islamic festivals are Eid ul-Fitr, Eid al-Azha and Muharram, which is mourning for the Prophet Mohammed's grandson by Shias. Guru Nanak Jayanti is the main festival among Sikhs to celebrate the birth of their supreme religious head Guru Nanak Dev, who founded Sikhism. Similarly, Good Friday among Christians, Mahavir Jayanti of Jain population and Budh Purnima of Buddhists are some of the principal festivals in India. The festival dates have been declared national holidays keeping in line with the idea of peaceful co-existence of all religions, although many believe that too many holidays are hampering the economic growth.
Tourism tops in service sector of India's industry contributing nearly 10 percent of employment from the total influx of more than five million foreign tourists and 562 domestic tourism visits. The "Incredible India" campaign by Government of India in recent years have given tremendous boost to overall growth of tourism here generating some US$100 billion in 2008, which is expected to grow at fast pace in future as World Travel and Tourism Council look at India as a tourism hotspot from 2009 to 2018. In addition growing medical tourism and forthcoming 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi will accelerate the pace of growth to new heights.
Spellbinding beauty of Himalayas spread across Northern most parts of India from Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh in northwest to the far northeast with intermingling borders with Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan and Burma. The inhospitable terrains with varied climatic conditions from extreme and semi-arid conditions of Ladakh to forests of Srinagar and Jammu further down to the plains of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. The National Capital New Delhi lies in North India between Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. North India provides you an experience of sheer contrast of destinies from snow skiing and greenery of Kashmir and Himachal and rugged terrains of Ladakh to one of 'Seven Wonders of World' the impeccable beauty of Taj Mahal in Agra close to Delhi. While Ladakh has a rich tradition of thriving monastic culture often called 'Land of Lamas' and for its mesmerizing landscape travelers called it 'moon land'; Kashmir and Himachal has lush green mountains and beautiful lakes, and further down in the plains tourist do not miss the historic monuments in Delhi and Agra.
Home to the holy River Ganges and Himalayan foothills, East India begins with the states of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, which comprise the westernmost part of the region, and an entirely distinct eastern triangle rich with tribal cultures thriving among a distinctive race of people (mainly Mongoloid). This is the last gulp of land that extends beyond Bangladesh, culminating in the Naga Hills along the Burmese border. Also the heavily forested and the tribal states northeastern, popularly known as the seven sisters state, are the untouched, unexplored and isolated states of Assam , Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. These states are full of natural beauty, exotic places and wide variety of animals and birds.
Some of India's best beaches are lined up along its west coast shared by states of Gujurat, Maharashtra, Goa and part of Madhya Pradesh. Particularly, Goa the land where proverbial ' east meets west ' is befitting as its cultural mix with Portuguese influence in local culture prominent in old churches, temples and monuments in the backdrop of swaying palm trees, lush greenery and the shores of Arabian sea provide for an ultimate destination. A few hours journey from Delhi to Rajasthan through dull desserts suddenly unleash history as you enter Pink City of Jaipur adorned with magnificent architectures from the bygone era,the overall ambiance is magical. There is no parallel to the heritage in the world that still resound in its folklore's, music, swirling skirt dances of women and men holding swords in colorful attires all in the backdrop of strong forts perched on Aravali hills with lakes below. Taking camel, elephant or horse safari in this land filled with stories about kings and princes is truly a royal experience.
Comprises of beautiful states of Kerela, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andaman Islands, Lakshadweep Islands, Pondicherry, Maharashtra and Goa.It has numerous valleys, tropical rain-forests, sandy beaches, deserts and plateaus. These states are also known for their historical monuments and centers of institutional learning in both modern and traditional systems.The backwaters of Kerala, pristine beaches of Lakshwadeep , ancient temples of Tamil Nadu and the world heritage sites at Karnataka are the highlights of South India.Land of coconuts provides an ultimate tourist destiny for its exotic beaches, cousins amalgamated with Ayurveda health resorts, historic monuments, magical festivals and the cool shade under palm trees ashore the emerald backwater. Kovalam is adjudged as country's best beach and for its rich and varied touristic experiences Kerala has been declared as one of the ten 'Paradise Found' by National Geographic Traveler.