Welcome to India, a land of rich traditions, grand architecture, and mouth-watering food. Start your tour in northern Jammu and Kashmir, a paradise of snowy mountains and fertile valleys. A haven for flora and fauna, you’ll find silver firs, birch trees, and rhododendron, as well as peacocks, spotted deer, and snow leopards here; the country’s summer capital, its climate ranges from tropical to temperate.
Be it a religious symbol or a creative work, India’s art ranges from stonework to jewellery. Dokra casting, for example, is a specialisation of the tribes of Andhra Pradesh, wherein a golden-hued alloy of copper and tin is moulded into figures of gods; expertise in brass, bronze, and silver filigree design can be found too. Intricate woodwork can be seen in toys, swings, bangles, doors, and pillars; these are carved from trees such as mango, ebony, and willow. When shopping for souvenirs, pick up a sari or two; these usually have patterns such as the colourful phulkaris, the finely stitched asuti, and the mirror-speckled designs from the Kutch region.
With festivals starting from A to V, you can make merry every day. In Delhi's Purana Qila region, Ananya, an annual 7-day festival, is celebrated in August; here, the top acts of the country perform in a celebration dedicated to India's tradition of music and dance. The sky erupts into a riot of colour on the 14th of January, which is the National Kite Festival, held in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. In North India, spring is welcomed through the Vasant Panchami festival; song and dance is a big part of the revelry, as the locals dress in yellow and worship Saraswati, goddess of learning.
Turn your India holidays into a pilgrimage; there are sites of worship for Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, and Muslims alike.