For travelling in India we are counting: the lesser is the more. The smaller the area is in which you are travelling, the more you will discover and the better you can encounter the place. Here we are introducing different areas, mostly states. Apart from that you can also relate your tour to a special topic, which is spreading over a larger area, for example “tea” (in South India, Assam and Darjeeling) or “Buddhas Footsteps” (Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Nepal) – more of these travel ideas you can find in the “Destination Topic”.
Despite travelling in Ladakh getting more and more popular, it is still not too easy to manage. „If a valley is only accessible via high passes, there will be just good freinds or worse enemies visiting”. What was valid during centuries for Ladakh is nowadays out-dated – not only because the plane is flying over the high pass in 1 ¼ hrs. from Delhi since quite a while. Due to the remote location in the high altitude, the arrival is still not easy – who gets out of the plane on the 3.500 m high airport has to gasp for oxygen and the journey overland from Delhi via Manali still takes at least 3 days. The heartiness and warmth of the Ladakhis, the breathtaking rock-formations, the spiritual atmospheere of the monasteries – all that compensates easily the effort combined with a journey to the Indian Himalaya.
Rajasthan is one of the most interesting states of India. Maharajapomp exist next to simple ways of life in unison with nature. Persistent pushy souvenir-sellers are annoying you whereas boundless hospitality is touching your heart. Seemingly endless desert in the west, soft and cragged hills in the south and east – in between the colourful dresses of the ladies. Smooth camel-speed, quick driving on the modern highway and traffic-chaos with auto-rickshaws. Vibrating cities and villages where time seems to stand still. Spicy Veg-Curries and irresistible sweets. And (nearly) every day a surprise!
In the youngest and one of the smallest states of India with altitudes between 300 m and 8.586 m there are people living from quite different heritage (Lepchas, Bhutia, Limboo, Tamang, Sherpa, Gurung….), rare animals like from the red panda to the snowleopard, more then 600 species of orchids are growing on the forested slopes and numerous birds are singing their songs. Unfortunatly due to the near border to Tibet/China the travelling is a little limited, but there are still numerous travelling-possibilities. Explore your own favourite places, get to know the warm-hearted people – and let your journey be accompagnied by the view to the third highest mountain of the world, the Kanchendzonga.
Himachal Pradesh has 55.673 qkm and offers quite a variety of landscape-formations (apple-plantations, alpine meadows, dry high altitude desert, forest-covered hills, cragged rock peaks…). It is a pleasant state with a good living-standard and comparativly less corruption. The mountainous area (the highest peak is the 6.819 m Reo Purgyil) offers comfortable temperature during the hot period so that the British established some hillstations. There are few urban places, most people live in the villages and add to the 45% income out of agriculture. Especially the apples from Himachal Pradesh are popular and famous. Another good source of income is hydro power. Tourism and handicraft add to the prosperity.
Zanskar is the little sister of Ladakh. Down at the lowest bottom of the district Kargil is the 7.000 qkm small enclave located. With an average altitude of 4.000 m Zanskar is one of the highest inhabited regions of the world. Just approx. 10.000 people live on an area a little smaller than Cypros. Most of them follow the religion of tibetan buddhism. And they live really isolated: seven months a year is the only 1980 constructed very rough link road to Kargil covered by snow and ice. In this time Zanskar is totally cut off from the surroundings. Due to this extraordinary position, the local culture in this small region south of the Himalayan Mountain Range is very well preserved. Over the centuries the Zanskaris could keep their traditional values of sharing and living together in harmony. One could think that time stands still in this remote part of the world. But if one takes a closer look, one sees that it is flowing as everywhere else.
As a very small state (3.700 km²) Goa just joined in 1961 the indian union after it could be freed from 451 years lasting colonial authority. This past makes Goa to a part of India which is different – for us travellers this is quite nice as Goa doesn’t feel that much “different”. Most of the 1,45 Mio goanese people live live in the villages. Each village is moreorless self-managed. To satisfy the daily needs, each of them has a daily market, where one can get everything for the daily needs. Fishery, paddy fields, coconut-groves, spice-plantations – these traditional ways of income are still existing next to modern factories. Goa is full of history, lively traditions, friendly people, inviting beaches, grown architecture – shortly said a clearly laid out area to spend an interesting and relaxing time.
Basically we divide the travel destinations into regions/states. That makes sense as these are usually a good entity regarding culture, landscape and people. One can get a better glimpse inside a smaller area as compared to travel to far away places and just stay shortly. But there are exceptions. One can travel with a topic and therefore go for different areas. With concentrating on this topic one can get a better understanding of connections. And India has to offer quite something regarding topics, for example tey, buddhist pilgrimage, textile-tours, Yoga, food…
Next to the bigger travel-destinations there are also the touristic enclaves, which are a bit offside, but are a very rewarding destination – just by itself or in combination with journeys to other places. Here we are introducing some of these classics. They are all cities with special meaning – not only for the residents. Even if we want to promote the village-tourism, one cannot avoid these cities, if one wants to get closer to the “phenomena India”.