it can be easy to associate the words chaotic busy and dirty with a country that’s home to 1.3 billion people but that’s not completely fair, spent months traveling through the country of india and we found that there is so much more to it than what meets the eye in hopes of convincing you that there’s more to this country and maybe even planning a trip there yourself i’ve put together a list of my top five favorite moments from my trip to union having spent one month exploring the beautiful country of india from north to south we have a pretty good feel of some of the spots that you need to see first up on the list
varanasi is the oldest city in india and that also makes it one of the oldest cities in the entire world dating back at least 3 000 years varanasi is located along the bank of the ganges river and what makes it special and so unique is that it is a major religious hub in india for both hinduism and buddhism now if you’re unfamiliar with varanasi you may be wondering why is it such an important spot well the big draw to varanasi is that hindus believe dying there and being cremated along the banks of the ganges river allows them to break the cycle of rebirth and attain proper salvation as you can imagine this makes it a major center for religious pilgrimage now one of the staples of varanasi is the ghats that it has and gats are just simply stairs that lead down to the ganges river varanasi has 88 gats running down to the river 86 of them are where people perform ritual washings in the river and two of them are actually active cremation sites that are just out in the open there is so much history in the city as , you can tell from how old it is to the religious significance to the cremation that happens there it’s a lot that being said we don’t actually think that varanasi is a place that everyone would enjoy it’s definitely for a specific type of traveler we found it super insightful and interesting but you can definitely see how it can be a bit overwhelming and maybe a bit much for some people it definitely gives credence to the stereotype of india being a bit chaotic because varanasi is chaotic however not all places in india are chaotic .
right along the coast of india and the arabian sea you find the crella backwaters a vast series of canals rivers lagoons and lakes totaling over 900 kilometers in length while visiting the state of kerala mike and stayed in the city of alleppey to experience the backwaters in alope the waterways act as their roads and boats are basically their vehicles that’s pretty funny in the back waters they don’t have school buses they have school boats this is a very unique part of india much more laid back and less chaotic than say new delhi or mumbai it’s a testament to the vastness of india and how different each state is from one another samson was telling us that these canals are very important to the way of life here like there are a lot of people showers and they do their laundry and agriculture there’s rice terraces on either side right here just seeing everyone go about their daily routine and people are just washing their stuff boating along food very cool very cool trip many tourists come here and stay on houseboats that tour the canals and they eat and sleep on them however we take a tour because this would allow us to get off the main canals and go onto more of the back roads if you will so we’ll kayak through some smaller canals the first we kind of through a slightly bigger canal 30 40 minutes then we’ll go some smaller areas this whole experience was so cool and it was so vastly different from everything else that we experienced in india and for that matter everything else i’ve experienced anywhere else and i highly recommend you check it out if you’re thinking about going to india .
the camel safari
now i’m fully aware about how touristy this experience is putting on a vibrant orange turban and heading into the desert on a camel is definitely not something that people of Jaisalmer do on a day-to-day basis however even though this was touristy this experience was so much fun we hopped in a car and drove outside of jaisalmer to go meet our camels that were waiting on the outskirts of the desert with our tour guide oh my gosh check this out camels honestly i don’t know what it is but there’s just something about this experience that is just so funny our camels were packed to the brim with food and blankets alcohol firewood basically everything that you would need to have a good time in the desert our camels were carrying it mike’s camel’s running away sitting quite a few feet above the ground because camels are tall we trekked for an hour into the desert before making camp once we reached camp and unloaded our camels thank you alfonso you’ve been great our tour guides got right on to making a fire and then cooking us an authentic indian meal
the taj mahal
now this is one of those places that even if you haven’t been to india you’ve definitely heard of before and for good reason the taj mahal is the most amazing building that i have ever seen it is symmetrical from all sides and then the garden is all symmetrical and placed perfectly in the center with a huge gate over there and another one behind it the taj mahal is an ivory white marble mausoleum located in the city of agra construction began for the taj mahal in 1632 and a majority of it was completed within 11 years when i read that i was pretty surprised because as i’m sure you’re seeing in these video clips the taj mahal is massive if we were to take what the taj mahal cost to build in 1632 and convert it to 2020 us dollars it would cost about a billion dollars it was built under the emperor and i know i’m gonna butcher this name shah jahan maybe shah jahan began building it to house the tomb of his favorite wife after she died in childbirth with their 14th child and having been built in the 1600s the emperor’s tomb is now here as well if you make your way out to india you cannot miss this spectacle
similar to varanasi is of religious significance as it’s a pilgrimage center for the hindu religion so hempy has kind of a cool layout this is like the main mainland and they have this very thin river and that is actually all a separate island over there so we’re going to try and find a guest house on that island when we were there aside from a couple other tourists it really felt isolated and kind of locked off the city of hampi has a very unique history by all regards at one point it was thought to be india’s wealthiest city home to temples farms and trading markets which when i read that i was surprised by because being there you definitely do not feel that way it feels quite poor eventually it was conquered pillaged and for the most part destroyed leaving ruins of what once was a major indian hub the city now has a very laid-back hippie vibe if you will mike and i rented bikes and rode around for a few days exploring all that hampi had to offer there’s a few interesting hikes and a big rock climbing scene amongst the tourists as there’s just so many boulders around there’s yeah a lot of boulders around hampi but beyond that and what i think is a big draw is all of the history surrounding it there’s many temples and tons of artifacts to go explore and check out and another draw is the unique identity it’s carved out for itself as being that laid-back hippie town.