7 Reasons Why You Need to Travel to India

Have you ever had those moments in your life where you needed a change?

Or maybe a drastic event happened and it altered your life in ways you’d never imagined?

Well, that happened to me back in 2012. I joked to my best friend how amazing it would be to travel to Europe, her reply? “Let’s do it then!”

And that was just the beginning…

We briefly discussed where we would travel in Europe and then she suggested to the way home that we stop past India. I wasn’t entirely sold on the idea, however I thought this would really be the one time in my life I would be open to visiting India, so why not? Turns out it was one of the best times of my life, in fact it really was the highlight of our entire trip.

I had preconceived ideas about India.
I thought I would hate it.

How wrong I was.

After traveling for two months in Europe and never really staying anywhere for more than four days, we decided we would fly into Delhi, India and then travel all the way north to the Himachal Pradesh. That in itself was an experience. Once we arrived in India we caught a bus from Delhi to Chandigarh and it took forever. I literally mean it felt like at least a day.

If you’ve ever watched the “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” you’ll see what the traffic is like – you actually fear for your life. This bus shouldn’t have even been on the road, there was no air-conditioning, and all you heard for hours on end was the sound of horns being honked by each and every single driver on the road.

1. The Scenery is Stunning

Once we arrived in Chandigarh we’d had enough and decided to catch a taxi from Chandigarh all the way to McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala.

That’s about a six-hour taxi ride and it only ended up costing us approximately $100 NZD. It was certainly a great way to see India in all it’s glory, from the luscious mountainside to it’s broken townships, to monkeys parading around the cliff edges on the side of the road.

2. It Will Affect You in Ways You Never Thought it Would

Once we arrived to our destination, we stayed at the Misty Woods hotel. It was clean, affordable, and the hotel staff were so friendly and helpful that it felt like home. We stayed there for a whole month and still to this day I remember the moment we left.

Both my best friend and I had tears in our eyes when we said our goodbyes. Just goes to show how much one place can affect you.

3. It’s a New World in Itself

McLeod Ganj is a remarkable spot. For a westerner it’s like a whole new world. The village is small, yet there are a collection of delicious restaurants.

The people are friendly, welcoming even.

We traveled around August and the temperature was perfect, not too hot nor cold, and there were days where all you could see was fog throughout the mountainside. Purely breathtaking. It was monsoon season and there was rain of course, however because of the nature of McLeod Ganj it just added to the relaxed atmosphere.

4. The Himalaya’s

When you see the Himalaya’s for the first time, it almost feels like an illusion, they are so magnificent it’s hard to imagine the actual scale of them – even from a distance. 

5. The Food – Need I Say More?

Moonpeak Cafe:

This place is awesome. Great food, amazing masala, wicked atmosphere, (their choice in music is fantastic), and friendly staff. We walked to Moonpeak almost every day.

Lung Ta:

Just down the road from Misty Woods is a quaint little Japanese restaurant, with amazing food at great prices. This place can get pretty busy but well worth it!

Illiterati:

Illiterati is an experience in itself. The food is delicious, and the scenery is amazing. The view of the mountains is beautiful. What makes Illiterati different is that it’s basically a library. There are tonnes of books for your perusal!

6. It’s a Spiritual Experience

Temple:

A must-do activity is to visit the Buddhist temple on Temple Road. Meeting Monks and watching them perform their prayer rituals really is something else. Visiting a temple gives you a sense of content, personally, I believe it challenges you to think differently and reflect on your life.

Yoga:

There are a couple of places that take yoga classes, for the beginner to advanced. Always good fun and a great way to meet more people.

Prayer Flags:

McLeod Ganj is covered in prayer flags which is a site in itself. These bright coloured paper flags are distributed throughout the village and can also be purchased from the local shops as a souvenir.

Prayer Wheels:
Another stunning element of McLeod Ganj. Monks and visitors can be seen turning the prayer wheels daily. The photograph was one of my favourites from our trip.

India is a spiritual place. It will awaken your senses and give you peace at the same time.

7. The Cost – It’s Crazy Cheap

A couple of months in Europe will almost break the bank balance, however a whole month in India would cost you approximately three weeks worth of rent – if you lived in Auckland, New Zealand that is!

I’m pretty sure it cost around about $1,200 NZD for a whole month in India – that’s food, spending, and even accommodation – all you’d need to think about is flights to and from home. Not bad eh?

So when you’re thinking about planning a trip overseas you need to contemplate going to India. Next time I go (and I hope to go in the near future) I would love to visit Kashmir and Goa. Looking back that’s the one thing I regret – staying in the same village, but in all honesty when somewhere feels like home, why would you want to leave?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kylie is a survivor. She’s endured events that no-one should have to experience. That’s why she wants to share her story; to help other women live beyond their pain so that they too can take control of their life, and live the life they deserve.

CHANGE THE WAY

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