Incredible India (Northern India)
With so much to see in INDIA it can takes weeks/months to explore all the wonders that incredible INDIA has to offer. Some people prefer to race through INDIA stopping a day here and a day there to see this and that while others prefer to take a more meditative approach and really soak in one region at a time exploring at a slow pace.
After exploring southern INDIA head North towards Mumbai. Mumbai is the borderline city between North and South India and sits on the southern tip of INDIA. Mumbai is a mix of rich moguls, colonial relics, poverty, fashion, ancient bazaars, and glistening skyscrapers. While in Mumbai shop the ancient bazaars and view some of the best temple carvings in all of India on Elephant Island. Just 9 km northeast of the Gateway of India in the Mumbai Harbor, Elephant Island attracts visitors to the main Shiva temple a latticework of courtyards, halls, pillars, shrines and a triple-headed sculpture of Shiva. The temples on Elephant Island were created between AD 450 and 750.
Mumbai is the epicenter of India's film industry known as Bollywood. This winning formula of masala entertainment captures audiences with all-singing, all-dancing, bad guys against the good guys and romantic love story lines. Bollywood stars are adored by Indian moviegoers and are known as famous celebrities. Those seeking a chance at fame can work as extras in a Bollywood film with one of India's movie studios. Bollywood Tourism offers Bollywood tours which include viewing of a live filming of a Bollywood movie.
Bollywood isn't the only star attraction in Mumbai, other places worth a visit are 1) Colaba, 2) Gateway of India, 3) Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, 4) Kala Ghoda, 5) Malabar Hill and 6) Marine Drive & Chowpatty Beach just to name a few. Mumbai (formerly Bombay) is the most populated city in India and one of the most exciting cities to visit in India.
Population: 16.4 million
Area: 440 square km
Best times to visit: October to November
Don't miss out on the array of bars, restaurants, and shopping in Mumbai!
When in India one simply can't miss the Himalayan Mountains. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas is the intriguing town of Dharmasala.. Known for its large Tibetan community which centers around the activities of the Dalai Lama, Dharmasala is a great place for trekking and walking. Some trails to consider walking are 1) Bhagsu, 2) Dal Lake, and 3) Triund,
Once you land in this unique community you might be tempted to stay a month. Not only is Dharmasala beautiful but there's a lot going on here besides hiking. You can engage in cooking and yoga classes or offer time to volunteer. There's always a demand for volunteers who can offer their time to take care of children in a day care, teach English in a classroom, or spend time helping the monks.
It doesn't take long to learn your way around Dharmasala. If your living space doesn't offer kitchen facilities there's plenty of places to have a bite to eat ; Carpe Diem, Chocolate Log, Dolma & Dorjee, Flourishing Flora, Himalaya Restaurant, and Zomsa Cafe are a handful of choice spots.
If you'd like to experience a spiritual journey while in India, Dharmasala is the place to be. After kissing Dharmasala goodbye do a once around North India tour through Calcutta, Rajasthan and The Golden Triangle. Spend time in Agra, Delhi, Jaipur and immerse in the Indian lifestyle.
Whether you spend a month or a year, visit the north or the south or both the north and south of India a trip thorough incredible INDIA will leave you with unforgettable memories.
A recipe for India's national drink (Masala Chai)
4 whole cloves, 2 cardamom pods, 1 cinnamon stick (broken into pieces)
3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons back tea
Crush cloves, cardamom pods, and cinnamon sticks. Add ginger. Pour 3 cups of water into a saucepan and boil. Remove pan from heat and cover and steep five minutes. Add milk and sugar. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add the tea. Cover and let steep 3 minutes.
Stir the chai then strain into a warmed teapot or directly into tea cups.