INDIA - LAND OF ALL SEASONS

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION

India lies on the northern side of the equator and is situated in southern Asia, between Himalayan Ranges in the north and the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal in the south.

More than just being a geographical region bounded by imaginary lines drawn on the map, India is a land full of diversity offering immense opportunities for the discerning traveller. From the innumerable variety of landscapes to the historical and royal sites, from stunning beaches to the mighty yet beautiful mountains - it showcases a dazzling repertoire of destinations and other tourism attractions. The land that has sizzling summers also has splendid mountain retreats on the Himalayas or western ghats to give you that much needed relief. If you want to experience the monsoons, do it with the dancing peacocks in their natural environment. When the winter sets in, the people get out to indulge themselves in festivities. Join them to feel the real India or simply set off to see the monuments of yore to connect to the past. Whatever you do, India is always in the welcoming mode inviting you to experience every facet of it..

CUISINE

The cooking has been treated as an art in India which has resulted in tremendous evolution in the cuisines of India. The development of this art has continued over the centuries with the support of royal patrons and now we have a large repertoire of delectable cuisines all across the country. It has been a tradition in our country not to have a written record of our knowledge and the general practice has been to pass on the knowledge through the generations orally. Cultural influences have also had an effect on the recipes and cooking traditions as we have a large number of vegetarian population along with the non-vegetarian one. Indian cuisine is widely gaining popularity since it is easy to cook, tasty and treats the grains as the staple food and that exactly is the trend all across the world. The cuisine of the country also saves time as majority of the dishes can be cooked in the pressure cooker, crockpots and in electric pans.

CULTURE

Although it's a term that is better experienced than explained, yet if we try to go through various facets of it, it is quite possible to end up with better understanding of the Indian Culture. The culture and cultural symbols are present in everything. It is present there in the architecture, the arts and crafts, popular entertainment (cinema is one of them), fairs and festivals, dance, music, drama, languages, literature and what not. In the earlier days, when the science was not so developed; India's brass metal work was known all over the world. If this is not an example of cultural influence, then what is? Later the art forms took various shapes such as images, sculptures, idols of God and myriad other things. We do not have to go far to experience Indian culture, even the jewelery that is seen in day to day life has shown marked continuity with the jewelry of earlier years.

BEST SEASON TO VISIT INDIA

Enjoy the pleasant and sunny climate during the months of October through March. The summer months are hot in India, but thanks to air-conditioned hotels and buses, it has become an year round destination for travel. Also, travelling is made easy as most travel checks and Credit Cards are accepted in India.

INDIAN FESTIVALS

The major festivals celebrated in India are the following:

Pushkar Festival :This festival is held in the holy city of Pushkar in the state of Rajasthan. Pushkar is known around the world for having the sacred lake and the only Brahma temple of the world. Every November, the Pushkar Fair is held for seven days and it starts on Naomi and ends on Karthik Purnima. Thousands of camel, cattle and horses are gathered for trade with added attractions of games and contests.

Goa Carnival :Goa carnival is a festival that goes on continuously for three days and is full of vibrant festivities. You can enjoy the celebrations yourself or see it others enjoying, you can observe the festivities any which way. The Goa carnival has its origin in the Portuguese heritage of Goa as it was introduced in the place by them. The celebrations include the election of a King of chaos called Momo who presides over the three day long festivities.

Holi :The festival of colours Holi is celebrated in the spring time when the harvest has just arrived and there is a riot of the colours on the streets with people smearing each other with bright colours. From the start the festival Holi has been a festival of good harvest and fertility of the land.

Dussehra :It is a significant Hindu festival which is celebrated with fervour in the entire India. It is celebrated to commemorate the Victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana, in other words the victory of good over evil. It is believed that before going out in battle with Ravana, Lord Rama worshiped Goddess Durga to seek her blessings. The festival is celebrated with fervour especially in the state of West Bengal where the festivities begin on the first night of month of Ashwin.

Diwali :It is a pan Indian festival of lights which is celebrated by the entire family together. It is celebrated 20 days after Dussehra. It also marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year and the festival is usually associated with cleaning and whitewashing of the houses. Later families gather to offer prayers and to light up the house.

Kumbha :According to the Guiness Book of World Records, the Kumbha Mela is the largest fair of the world where the largest number of people gather for a common purpose. A temporary township is built on the banks of the river Ganga where millions of pilgrims gather to take a holy dip in the river.

Ardhakumbha :It takes place after every six years and the venue of it changes every time, just like the Kumbha Mela. These venues are the following: Prayag, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik. The devotees throng the place of the fair both during the Kumbha as well as Ardhkumbha fair.

Desert Festival :The city of Jaisalmer comes alive during the three days of Desert Festival which is organized by the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation. It takes place in the month of January or February when the tourists are enthralled by the folk music, camel races, dances and competition of various kinds.