India is a unique country
India is a unique country in which the Middle Ages organically intertwines with the most modern present. The riot of cultural diversity, the peaceful coexistence of the most varied traditions and the richness of nature give the traveler across India such an extensive palette for creativity that it seems as though it’s impossible to see and study it all over a lifetime. Nevertheless, we tried to grasp the immense and squeeze Indian flavor into ten points. Let’s make a reservation in advance: this list is endless.
1. RIDE BY INDIAN TRAIN
Trains in India are time machines. In the measured life of this country, it seems, only they are really in a hurry somewhere. The railway connects all parts of the country, it is a convenient way to travel, allowing you to find out the local flavor. The cars are divided into several classes according to their comfort. The first class is the usual SV: two beds, a table, food several times a day, a closing door in a separate compartment, a clean (by Indian standards) car, air conditioning. The second class is of two types: similar to our reserved seat and the same, but with three regiments for passengers instead of the usual two. Air conditioning also works in the car, curtains instead of doors.
The carriage class called “sleeper” is already a test of local color. Three shelves for sleeping passengers, instead of glass on the windows of the lattice and, of course, no air conditioning – only fans. A crowd of people, someone is constantly trying to attach themselves, their children, parents or suitcases to your place, noise, din, dozens of beggars beggingly looking into the eyes and ready to sweep the floor for rupee, dirt. In separate trains there are armies of cockroaches and even mice. In the case of movement in such a class, it is better to buy a ticket to the uppermost shelf and look at the whole theater of Indian exotics down. Although, there are cases that the Indians manage to hook one of their people straight into your legs on the top shelf. This happens because many local people ride with a ticket of the cheapest and last class of comfort, it is called “General”. This means that the person bought the right to go in the car, but a separate place decided not to pay. Foreign tourists also use this, however, are wiser:
In general, the Indian train is a must-have attraction number one. Just a day – and here is a whole cultural section of the whole country.
For details of this journey, look for the article India. Chapter Four Train
2. SEE TAJ MAHAL
There are many works of architectural art in the world, the images of which we know from childhood. It often happens that when you contemplate live, they lose their magic, they seem smaller, dimmer and more modest. But this is in no way related to the Taj Mahal. The magnificent marble mausoleum, erected in honor of great love, stands on the banks of the river Yamuna, or Jamna, in the city of Agra, Uttar Pradesh. Entry is paid, but every year on April 18 in the International Day of Monuments and Historic Places, the doors to the Taj Mahal are open to everyone completely free of charge.
3. GET IN TO GANGA
In the Hindu tradition, the waters of the sacred Ganges River are able to wash away all the sins accumulated by man during this and past earthly incarnations. The Ganges flows through the entire universe, because the material river is the embodiment of the goddess, who, according to legend, emerged from the big toe of the left foot of the god Vishnu. Swimming in its waters is a great event in the life of every Hindu. Thousands of pilgrims from all over the country come to its shores in the holy city of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. It is believed that the deceased here is forever freed from a series of rebirths and sent straight to the spiritual world.
In the ghats near the water, the priests burn the corpses. Only pregnant women, children, and holy men do not give up fire; they are already pure. Their bodies are thrown into the water. Half-decayed remains swim across the Ganges. Scientists say that the high content of silver in the water does not allow cadaveric poison to spread; Spared to swim in Varanasi, go to the foothills of the Himalayas. The city of Rishikesh, which today is not without pathos called the world capital of yoga, is another place of pilgrimage for Hindus. Here the Ganges flows down from the mountains, its waters are fresh and clean. Bathing in it becomes a real salvation in the hottest months, and not only spiritually.