India will amaze you. This has been said only too often – and not without reason. However, before you set out to discover this 4000-plus year old civilization in South Asia, we’d like to equip you with several essential facts. This section was written to provide you the right orientation on India and its people.
THE INDIAN TOPOGRAPHY
India is shaped like a huge giant. The head is held height by the great Himalayan range, holding back Afghanistan and China on the Asian map. The shoulders support Pakistan on the left and Nepal on the right. The hands stretch out to the desert of Kutch on one end and wet, wet rain forests of its north-eastern states on the other. The legs, wrapped close together, are followed down by the Arabian Sea on the left and the Bay of Bengal on the right. They tiptoe down to a point where the seas meet, literally. The Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal meet at India’s Southernmost tip to create an amazing spectacle of colours.
You can enter India through its four major cities: Delhi, the capital city in the north; Mumbai (earlier Bombay), the commercial capital on the coast of Arabian Sea in the west; Chennai (earlier Madras), on the southern coast of Indian Ocean; Calcutta, the intellectual capital in the east. These are the country’s largest metropolises. However, there are a few other international airports – see the following pages for details. And once you are here, you can follow your fancy, depending on the kind of holidays you are looking for. the choices could vary from sipping Bacardi on a sunny beach, heli-skiing at sub-zero temperatures, riding a camel in the desert, tracing the curves of a 2000-year old sculpture, being part of a colourful festival and so on the and on.