India and her nuances are as infinite as her concepts. It is a village,a meadow,a sleepy town left behind by the advances of time.She is also bustling metropolises,booming factories,lush fields.Hers is the blue summer sky,the gold drenched fields and snowy winter morns..hers too the factory whistle,the commuters rush hour and brisk trading in super markets.
Keeping up with advanced technology,India is one of the few countries in the world that is almost entirely self-sufficient.She builds her own cars and ttrains,her own ships and aeroplanes.Poised on the brink of a breakthrough into the space-age,she has already launched satellites into far oblivion.
A country so vast,India represents diversity in all its forms:people,religion,customs and traditions, clothes,dialects,habits,forms.She begins with the highest peaks and descends across mighty vastnesses and rolling plains to submerge in not one but three seas.Beaches surround her coastal belts,and in Rajasthan,there is the stillness of the Thar desert;the great seas,a still desert,the might of the Himalays..India has all this and mmore.Backwater canals and tropical forests,rugged hill town,river estuaries,wooded swamps and glacial meadows.Regions unattainable by road.Places unexplored.The suavity of city dwellers contrasts sharply with aboriginal tribes who still lead their shelterted existence, Unhindered by the spread of civilisation.
To the Indian,the ccountry is a harmonious whole which he does not question.To the foreigner,the diversity is a puzzling complexity which he seeks to understand.
Visions of the past
The past lives on India’s continuity.There is no nostalgia for what was no impatient anticipation for what will be.For the philosophy of the land dictates that to live for the moment is to share the spiritual joy of belonging.
The first records of history trace back to the great 5000-year old Indus Valley civilisation on the banks of the river Indus.Many planned cities have been excavated at Harappa,Mohenjodaro (now in Pakistan),Lothal(in Gujarat) and many other sites.
The retless Aryans,who came to the subcontinent around 2000 BC,became the inhabitant of the country,pushing the Dravidians towards tthe southern tip of India.They came and settled in this beautiful land,and they took as their own the forests and rivers and seas.Sun worshipers,they settled downto a pastoral life, governed by the politics of king and emperors.Their spirit of adventure and their language.
Legends of India spread across the continents and temped no less a man than Alexander the greate who rode in at the head of his army.He fought the small kingdoms of this great land and conquered northern IIndia.His victories did not,however,cloud his regard for the magnificent civilisation of the country..And eventually,he retreated from India,leaving behind a fair portion of his army,which was gradually assimilated.
The Mauryan dynasty was founded in 323 BC by Chandragupta Maurya and the golden age of this period has been recorded by Megasthenes,a Greek ambassador.
One of the great monarchs of the world,Ashoka was a product of this dynasty.This great emperor, who expanded the boundaries of his empire rekognised the futility of conquest by war and embraced Buddhism.He sent monks with the message of the Buddha to Sri Lanka,Syria,Egipt and Macedonia.
Kanishka ushered in the Kushan empire in southern India,the Chola,Pandya and Chera dynasties flourished.The Gupta dynasty strengthened India and trade with Europe began on a major scale.One of the future compositions in poetry;the spirit of learning spread across the length and breadth. The Chalukaydas and Pallavas established dominion in south India.Islam found its way into India in the
8th century AD..Muslim conquerors came to the countru and settled down.Subsequently,the Mughals established a mighty empire.So recent was their domain in India,that events of that period and monuments still live.
Sun,surf and sand
To each his town.While the wealth of culture that India has to ooffer is ernomous,its amorphous can confuse,bewilder,constrain the tourist.
Take a little time off to relax then,at any of the country’s magnificent beaches.
India has a spectacular coastal belt and all long,in hundreds of kilometres,are beaches,some developed,some not.
If you are a city person,Bombay is built along a bay with the Juhu beach garlanding the city in opaque blue.Further down the city,however,are beaches not visited by people except for the fisherfolk. Equally enticing is the Marina beach at Madras.
But if you wish to escape from the cities,come to Goa.A former Portuguese colony,Goa has over a hundred kilometres of the beach strips,each more compelling than the other.Now fully developed as an international beach resort,Goa offers the finest holidaqy villages,hotels and cottages.Come at Christmas or New Year,come during the carnival folowing Lent:the boisterous merry making,feni-the local wine,the strains of a lonely,haunting melody-these will become tangible memories of an earhly Xanadu.
Come to Kovalam,Kerala’s magnificent beach resort,set amidst the blue of the Arabian Sea and the lush green vegetation of Kerala,one of India’s finest beach resorts.Wake up to yoga exercises in the morning and close your eyes to tender fingers massaging your tanned body in the finest experiment in herbal and ayurvedic messages.
Or visit Mahabalipuram and watch the sea thunderously apploud the beach temple,gloriously silhouetted against a spectrum sky .Or go to Vishkapatnam and swim idle in the sea and watch the great factories here built India’s big ships.Come to unexplored Gopalpuron-sea in Orissa.Or visit Puri,surely the world’s most picturesque sea coast.And then there is Digha-beautiful,exotic , splenderous in its isolation.and while a resort comes up in Mangalore,or close by Manipal,you can always discover a beach of your own in Gujarat,where the beach line still awaits exploitation.
But the beach holiday to beat them all will be on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep.A torquoise sea with myriads of coloured fish,white tree-fringed sands,coral reefs,and shells,shells,shells for the collection of a life time.
Exotic cuisine.Gourmet’s delight
With every daily event a celebration of life,Indian food is heady multi-course meal for the gourmet with a taste for the exotic.
India offers a diverse range of foods for the traveller-to be eaten crisp and freshy cooked from the heart,for therein lies the flavour.
The mainstay of India’s food is wheat and rice.The former is kneated into a dough and prepared in a wide range of rotis,parathas,naans and puris.The served as pulao ...
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