ABOUT INDIA / HIMALAYAS
Probably on everybody’s list of places to visit, India clearly has so much to offer it’s visitors. At 34,000 years old this country has a rich history and is filled with ancient buildings, temples and other historic places of worship. Not only are the towns and cities exciting places to visit but the beautiful scenery is both varied and astounding. Home to the stunning Himalayas, an Indian tour will leave all who visit spellbound.
The Himalayan Mountains must be on every adventure motorcyclists bucket list! Riding the true classic that is the Royal Enfield, you’ll ride high up into the mountains on roads that sweep through the hills. The views up here are second to none: giant lakes, fast flowing rivers and snow-capped mountains are but a few of the spectacular sights you’ll witness from the seat of your motorbike. The ever-changing conditions of the roads always make for an exciting ride and the local culture and people you’ll meet along the way create unforgettable experiences.
One of the oldest civilizations on Earth, dating back to 2,500 BC, it would not do justice to attempt to sum up India’s tumultuous history in one paragraph. For a timeline of key events since 1858, please visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12641776.
As you would imagine for such a large country with three different seasons ; summer, monsoon and winter, the terrain and scenery varies greatly from one region to another. From low lying farmlands to the Thar desert in Rajasthan; the bustling city of Delhi to the snow capped peaks of the Himalayas; this country is simply breath taking.
The Himalayas are situated in Northern India and touch Nepal, Pakistan and China. This rugged mountain range, spanning 2,400km across India, has 15,000 glaciers and is the birthplace to the River Ganges. The lower regions, below the snow covered peaks, are home to lakes, forests and cultivated lands.
Curry! The food here is, as you may expect, heavily spiced based with a lot of herbs and rice also thrown into the mix. Influenced by Arab, Turkish and European cuisine, the food here is quite diverse. A dish with the same name, from one restaurant, may taste completely different from another restaurant just across the street.
You will find there is a lot of whole wheat, flour, rice and lentils. Instead of bread there are rotis, chippatis and naans. The desserts are mainly milk based, served with sticky sweet syrup. When the curries are all getting a bit too hot, cool down with a beer or a yoghurt lassi, either plain or fruit flavoured. The other traditional drink of course is tea or ‘chai’.
One of the oldest cultures on Earth and with over 400 spoken languages (22 of which are official) India is an astounding place. 84% of the population is Hindu, although all other religions are welcomed here. The customs and cultures will differ from state to state and the country itself is extremely diverse. India is also well known for it’s film industry in Mumbai (Bombay) also known as ‘Bollywood‘.
Like many South East Asian countries, India focuses heavily on family and they are very closely knit. It is quite similar to Cambodia, in that the people do not like to disappoint or say ‘no’. Instead locals will give you the response that they think you want… quite sweet but also a nuisance when you are asking your rikshaw driver if they know the way to your hotel!
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