Superlatives are in short supply when talking about India. It has the seventh largest country in the world with a population of over one billion people, steadily rising, it is also the largest democracy on the planet. Border by Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar on land and with the Maledives, Sri Lanka and Indonesia on sea it is very large and diverse country with major differences in geography, culture, language and religion.
The last decade it has seen tremendous economic growth and although extreme poverty is still a common sight, the people are hopeful. You will notice that education is seen as very important for the Indians and that most can speak excellent English.
The Taj Mahal is of course the icon of India. Built by the emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife it is one of the most famous buildings in the world and by many as one of the most beautiful. Also, this is one of the few buildings that are a lot bigger and way more impressive than what it looks on a photograph.
Throughout the country are several famous temples and you can see tigers in the tiger reserves in Bandhavgarh. The old Portugese colony of Goa is a magnet for party people while India also offers spiritual centres for meditation.
The Indian cuisine is a popular export product and you can find Indian dishes and Indian restaurants all over the world. But there is still a lot to discover while you are here. The food is mostly vegetarian and it can be very spicy, with strong chilies that bring tears to your eyes. Be sure to start slowly as your stomach needs to adjust.
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