The following is a guest post of a country that is on my mind a lot these days: India. Fellow travel blogger Rohit Agarwal is here to show us what places to visit to experience the very best of this incredibly diverse country.
As the birthplace of some of the world’s major cultures and religions, India is a major tourist destination, drawing millions of visitors each year. Its ancient literature, art, crafts, architecture, food and customs are too many to count. Here’s a list of must-visit places if you wish to get the best out of this culturally rich and flamboyant country.
There are many “barber shops” like these in the streets of Kolkata. (Image Credits @ Tapas Ghosh)
The region that is now Kolkata was formerly 3 villages that were under Mughal Rule, who handled this region under the control of the Nawabs of Bengal. Its real breakthrough came in 1690. The British controlled East India Company arrived and set up shop as per the trading license granted by the Nawab of Bengal and built Kolkata into a fortified port town. The city had various run-ins with the Nawabs which led it to become the capital of the East India company before it was shifted to the more strategic location of Delhi. The city, being the first British capital in India, underwent rapid industrial growth and is the oldest operating port of India. Bengali is the primary language spoken here and the town is known to be the birthplace of urban Indian culture and literary thought, with a majority of India’s notable literary figures stemming from here. This place deserves a definitive visit by those who want to experience the roots of modern Indian sub-culture.
Today, I present a very rare treat. This is a guest post from Sandra Mills, a talented freelance writer whose work appears in some of my favorite travel blogs. While I normally like to write 99% of the content here, I was intrigued by the title and further impressed by what I learned in this article. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did.
A spiritual pilgrimage to India is in the hearts of many travelers who want to experience the vast number of holy places, rituals and traditions offered. Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh temples are scattered throughout India. Natives and tourists visit these places in droves each year for the spiritual experience. Countless holy days are observed throughout the year. Pilgrims will discover festivals and celebrations that take place during certain seasons. Anyone seeking additional understanding and knowledge about the religions practiced in India will want to discover these five places.
1) The Gateway to God – Haridwar is considered one of the seven holy places in India. As one of the oldest living cities, Haridwar is located in the Himalayan foothills in Uttarakhand. Hindu pilgrims come in search of holy waters in the fast flowing Ganges River. Their quest is to wash away their sins. The fresh, clean waters of Haridwar are famous in comparison to other locations, such as Varanasi. Read more →
This week’s edition of ‘UNESCO Monday’ is a guest post from Brad Nguyen, a long time friend of mine, fellow UNESCO World Heritage enthusiast, and excellent photographer.
The Elephanta Caves are located on Elephanta Island, locally known as Ghapuri. The Portuguese named the site Elephanta after a large statue of an elephant found at the entrance of the island. The caves were carved by Hindus between the 5th and 8th centuries. In order to reach the island, one must take a ferry from Mumbai. The ferry entrance is located beside the Gateway of India, where British colonists left India after independence, and the Taj Mahal Palace, a site of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks.
[Want to participate and be featured on this blog? Have you visited a UNESCO World Heritage Site? Find out how to submit your pictures here.]