The vast size of the Indian sub-continent has led to the development of widely divergent cultures throughout modern India. In the north and north-west, the influence, both peaceable and as a result of invasion, of central Asian cultures is most obvious. It is fascinating to trace the rise and fall of different empires and dynasties through the mark they have left on the landscape. While some modern cities such as Delhi and Varanasi sit today exactly where they have for thousands of years, there are many other examples of trading posts, royal capitals and pilgrimage centres which have, for a variety of reasons, faded from prominence and now offer mere glimpses of their former glory. In areas such as Khajuraho and Fatehpur Sikri, once thriving with great wealth and influence are today akin to open-air museums.
In the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, the influence of ‘foreign’ powers is far less obvious. The vast and largely impenetrable Deccan Plateau which divides ‘north’ and ‘south’ India proved to be an effective barrier against almost all the invading forces which entered northern India. As a result the cultures of the southern states are little changed over many centuries and these are widely considered to be among the most ancient continuously extant civilisations in the world. Here it is possible to visit temples which have stood virtually unchanged for a thousand years or more, to observe and interact with local people whose simple lifestyle perfectly matches the languid nature of these tropical regions and to feast on cuisine which is quite unlike that which we know as ‘Indian food’ in the West. South India is far from homogenous however, with differences of language, religion, cuisine and culture all evident, albeit on a less pronounced scale than in the north. There are significant pockets of Muslim and Christian populations, particularly in Kerala, which is noteworthy for having perhaps the oldest Christian community outside of the Middle East.
India is as diverse scenically as she is culturally with the high peaks of the Himalayas in the north, the vast deserts of Rajasthan, steamy tropical rainforests in the south and palm-fringed golden sand beaches along the coasts being among the most picturesque regions.
Everywhere you travel in India will open new vistas of experience and leave you amazed and amused- often at the same time. There are a billion questions posed by India, and while most of them can be answered, there are a billion more waiting to be asked. Let us guide you through the splendour of India via this website