India?

Rarely do I experience as strong a reaction as when I share I tell someone I want to go to India. Everything from enthusiastic praise on the incredible shopping to dire warnings about terrible diseases I will contract to squinched up faces mixed with confusion. Everyone seems to have a strong view about the place.

On the outset, it seems like an amazing place to experience, photograph, and shop. Sign me up. I won't lie - the horror stories do give me pause but I'm still itching to go! I know lots of people who have been on business but that doesn't really compare to a proper vacation now does it?


This amazing photograph via travelshooters

So what do you think? Have you been? Have you blogged about it? Lay it on me.

And if you have any suggestions great shops, restaurants, sites in the Golden Triangle area, please share.

80 comments:

  1. hzschock9:31 AM

    A friend of mine who is an experienced traveller and apartment swapper said his favorite trip was around the southern tip of India. Go for it!

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  2. I am from India, and having lived there for 23 years, its a wonderful place. Its a large country so you will not be able to see every state unless you are out there for a few months. 
    I have been back only once in the last 10 years and I am yearning to go back.
    You should go, you won't regret it.

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  3. Elizabeth Mahaney9:50 AM

    One of my good friends spent 6 weeks there this summer travelling India for a school grant (she teaches MS Art and won this scholarship to do a study abroad thing) and LOVED it! Said the food was a lot cleaner and better than she imagined. Apparently they take pride in their food/cooking. She said it was hot and sometimes the driving was a bit scary. But overall loved it and cannot wait to go back again. 

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  4. malavika chatterjee9:55 AM

    hi!
    I am from India and It's a wonderful country to visit! I assure you.
    As the comment above suggests you have to spend at least few months here to get the real taste of the country. Most people go to Mumbai, and you should too but you must also visit Kolkata in West Bengal, Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, New Delhi, Leh in Ladakh (kashmir), and Kerela.
    Loads to eat and photograph! :)

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  5. I would love to go to India, they have an amazing culture and history. Americans often have a strong reaction to anything that isn't "western", so don't let it influence you. It is a beautiful place!

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  6. This summer, I went to Chennai (in the South) for a few days to visit my future in-laws. I loved it! Other than the challenging traffic, Chennai reminded me of Laos and certain parts of Vietnam. It was a vibrant city which felt foreign to me (which is something I value as a traveler). I didn't see or experience anything that caused me discomfort. I'm sure that I could have found areas where extreme poverty was on view or taken public transport to see if anything "interesting" happened while pressed like sardines into a bus. But, these are things that middle class Indians don't do (I was told). I guess what I"m trying to say is that, in Chennai at least, you would have to make purposive choices to experience the worst stereotypes. It made me wonder whether some of our perceptions of India, as a travel destination, or stuck in the past.

    I hope you go just so I can experience your amazing photos!

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  7. Rjgilmour10:01 AM

    I agree the one place I still want to visit. The diversity of beauty and experience. Go!

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  8. Bklynnewbie10:10 AM

    Hi! I am from India but was born and grew up elsewhere. I have taken several trips to India to visit family, travel, etc. A trip to India should be done in parts. The northern part of India is different from the south etc. There is so much culture and sights to take in. Each state has its own culture, language, food etc. Its like visiting a different country!
      
    Places I would definitely recommend going to: Goa (beautiful beaches), Mysore (visit the royal palace), Mumbai and Bangalore (see Modern India), Kerala (get an Ayurvedic massage, go on a houseboat for a day or two, go to Kovalam),  Agra (see the Taj Mahal), Delhi (soak in the cutlure from the different eras), Rajasthan (more palaces) etc. 

      
    Since you have traveled to so many other places, you will enjoy it. Would love to see your pictures!

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  9. Martha10:14 AM

    My sister lived in Bangalore, India for three years.  She did enjoy her time and the shopping in India.  She learned alot about India and the wonderful people.  She even gave birth in India last year when everyone (here in the US) was telling her to come home.  She helped to educate our family.  We are not nearly as ignorant as we once were.  She now lives in Singapore.  Onto another adventure...  

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  10. Andrea10:24 AM

    One of my best friends went on an extensive trip to India a year ago.  She came back a change woman.  She says she doesn't regret it, but would describe her trip as emotional.  The poverty and filth is abundant and she became quite ill there.  She saw things she never would wish on anyone, but also saw amazing sights.  She said that while she doesn't regret her decision to go, she'd caution anyone travelling there to really do their research first and be prepared.

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  11. LisaInCT10:27 AM

    I turned 50 this year. If I had one regret it would be that I didn't travel enough (planning on changing that going forward!) So all I can say is if India is what is tugging at your heart.... GO!

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  12. I have never been but it is HIGH on my list of countries I want to visit. Just so much to do and see.

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  13. I've been to India three times in my life.  The last time was a month long trip, three years ago.  It was amazing.  We did keep a rather sparse blog of the trip, mostly to keep family apprised of our whereabouts. :)

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  14. I have never been but I think it would make an awesome trip. My Canadian-Indian friend (with her parents & brother) recently went for a visit. I think she thought the sights were beautiful but she was disappointed / set back as she felt like a "second class citizen" compared to her how her brother was treated; much different then her regular life. Also, have you seen the movie Water. About a spirited 13 yr old widow.

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  15. The hubs and I got the same reaction when we said we were moving to MN from SF.  Everyone would scrinch their face and say "Why???"  as if it were some god awful place.  And when I responded have you ever been there?  They would all say..."No".  India has been on my list too.  I love the food.  Little India is one of our favorite places to go in Singapore and Samy's Curry on Dempsey Road.  The colors, the scents...  Friends of ours own their own food truck business here in the TC and every year when the winter sets in they take off and spend a month in Thailand, a month or more in India and sometimes other countries along the way.  Their fav is India.  Thankfully they bring back lots of spices and recipes for new culinary treats for us to enjoy here.  It makes the winters a wee bit shorter when we can live vicariously through them and their travels (and yours too!)  So if I didn't say it, I will now....GO!!!!  ;)

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  16. Anu Kumble11:29 AM

    Hi, 
    I am proud to say I am an Indian by birth though having lived in the US for 15 years. I still missed the soul & vibrancy of the atmosphere there. People are warm, friendly & the food is the best in the world! The golden triangle will show you the drier northern part of India. 
    Jaipur is surrounded by desert region is full of color, culture, palaces on top of a mountain to the middle of a lake. It's beautiful! always makes sense to stay in 3-4 star resort(they can be pricey but clean & safe,generally good food). eat hot food not cold at all times. bottled water for sure. Nov- Feb/March is the best time to visit these places since the weather is colder almost like here. There are certain festivals/state fair kind during these times which one can visit to get a full blast of the atmosphere. Block printing & Baandhni or tie-dye on fabric is big here. They have tours to take tourists to show around these factories.
    Delhi has a lot of things to see incld the Presidential palace rose gardens. 8-10 might be just enough to see a glimpse of these 3 places if you edit carefully. 
    Agra is a must to see the Taj mahal. Though it is a few hrs (2-4 hrs journey out of New delhi, totally a day trip).
    India is a beautiful with beautiful people. I can assure you if you follow normal tourist guidelines incld the thought that people are more traditional in their ways of thinking esp. dressing, it will be a pleasant trip. Have fun planning & look forward to your input once you've been there. 

    things to think about.. Palace on wheels is a luxury train which takes one from Delhi(sightseeing incld) to Rajasthan(Jaipur & other parts of that state), Agra & back on a 8-9 day journey. This includes Bharatpur , a wildlife sanctuary for birds esp. during breeding season! This is definetly not a backpack holiday but in style, if you choose to.
    http://www.palacetours.com/Tours-get%20to%20know%20india-Itinerary

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  17. Jennifer Mangan11:39 AM

    One suggestion: Glenburn Tea Estate.

    The most beautiful place I have ever been.

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  18. Nicola11:58 AM

    I went to India on my honeymoon in 1999. It was amazing & horrible all at the same time! We travelled around Rajasthan for 3 weeks, doing everything from riding elephants & camels, visiting the most beautiful palaces & forts & watching the sunrise over the Taj Mahal. The shopping in Jaipur was great, the food was delicious, & we never had so much as an upset tummy. It was definitely a place that has had a lasting impression on both my husband & myself. We actually plan to take our kids there when they get a bit older. India is an absolutely magical place, so please go, you won't regret it.

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  19. I have never been, but look forward to going in 2013.

     Here are a couple of blog-posts from a perfume blog I read that made me decide to ignore my fears and just GO already.

    http://perfumeposse.com/2010/12/06/winners-of-giveaways-patty/

    http://perfumeposse.com/2010/12/01/parfums-de-nicolai-kiss-me-tender/

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  20. I'm casting my vote in the bucket - Go. A lot of your readers seem to have some amazing things to suggest. I've never heard anyone have a negative reaction to the idea of going as long as you're a prepared traveller. The one negative reaction I heard was only in regards to knowing someone suggesting the trip for a person who wouldn't be well prepared. I can't wait to see your photo's and hear about your experiences! 

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  21. I went to India as part of a travel study course in 2007. I
    had dreamed of going ever since I was little and jumped on the chance to go.
    Being in a group was a big plus. It was definitely an experience of a lifetime!
    When I returned home I said I'd never want to go back, but now that time has
    passed I would go back. The sights are amazing, both the good and the bad.

    Mumbai was my favorite city, even though it was insanely busy and dirty. The
    south is a bit more traditional and cleaner as my professor explained to us and
    I could certainly see that. If there was anything that annoyed me the most, it
    would have to be all the different people that would follow our group around
    and try to sell us things. I had to ignore them, which I felt bad about doing,
    but it was the only thing that seemed to work. Good luck to you on your decision
    and here's a link to my India flickr album:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/punkerstin/sets/72157626490469878/

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  22. Bklynnewbie12:53 PM

    Couple of tips: Bring lots of hand sanitizer with you, brings some meds if you have an upset stomach (if you are not used to the spicy food) and stay in 4 or 5 star hotels (they cater to tourists and people who live in other countries). There are a lot of beggars in the metro cities. Its like the homeless people on the NYC subways. Ignore them or else they will keep pestering you for money.  

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  23. I cant speak about India- but the husband and I just got back from an amazing trip to Sri Lanka- go there first and then head to India :)

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  24. Ashley1:01 PM

    I would definitely go!  I've been to several wonderful places, and while it's not the same type of vacation as going to Australia, it was life changing, and I was only able to go for a week so we didn't get to travel around a lot.  We knew people there and some natives.  That helped our safety a lot.  You need to have someone at some of those places.  When we wen to the Taj there was a girl from England there by herself because she was visiting locals who didn't want to go sightseeing.  We quickly adopted her into her group cause she was getting mauled by the masses.  It's a fairly inexpensive trip, you can stay in 5 star hotels for nothing.  Obviously they're not the same as American 5 star hotels, though.  Just do your research and have someone who is familiar with the area.  

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  25. Adira1:20 PM

    read the book maximum city: bombay lost and found by Mehta. WOW! tell me what you think
    Adira

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  26. i've never been and don't have a real desire to go but i'd love to visit india vicariously through you! :)

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  27. I have never been, but I think it would be a great experience. I get the same side-eye when I tell people that I am going to Ireland at the end of December. Do what feels right in your heart.

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  28. In the 70s, my parents traveled to India several times.  They actually lived in an ashram for 6 months with a guru during one of their stays.  {They are so much cooler than I'll ever be!}  They LOVE India - and their photographs from that time are gorgeous.  They'd go back in a heartbeat {and they better take me with them this time!}. 

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  29. VictoriaC2:52 PM

    My father was Indian and I have visited many times though unfortunately not for about 10 years now.  Most of my time was spent visiting family in Delhi, but I have travelled further south and north.  Its an amazing country with so much diversity. 

    The food...the architecture...the people....it will definitely be a life changing trip.

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  30. Jamie Shaw3:36 PM

    I spent two years working in Delhi (I'm American) and while I know living/working in a country is very different from going there on holiday, I have to say the thing that sticks with me about India is the contrasts.  The poor are poorer, the rich are richer, one day you love it, the next day you hate it.

    I am incredibly grateful for my experiences there and would encourage everyone to experience it once in their life.  It isn't an easy place to visit, but it is so very worth it.  And I've found with a little knowledge and prep the things people complain the most about can be avoided or turned into a positive.

    My advice to anyone going is to ask lots of questions and go with the right mindset

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  31. I was in India earlier this year, and it is, without a doubt, one of the most amazing places I've ever been.  What struck me most about India was the assault on the senses: the colours, the smells, the sounds, the tastes. I was constantly in awe, constantly taken aback whether by a beautiful golden temple or by a scene of poverty. It was at times incredibly frustrating and overwhelming, but overall I have never felt so connected to or fascinated by a place in my life. Quite simply, I loved it, and I think if you are this passionate about going, you'll love it, too. My favourite cities were Jaisalmer, Varanasi, Udaipur, and Amritsar, and I'd be happy to offer advice on any of these places if you need it.

    I've blogged a bit about my time in India here: http://thisbatteredsuitcase.blogspot.com/search/label/India

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  32. When I was younger the last place I'd want to visit was India.  As I've gotten older I think it would be an interesting trip.  I say GO.

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  33. Never been, but it's on the list. I know a few Indians who are studying in the UK and they are so friendly. I'd love to visit their country. I'd ignore everyone elses reaction and do what you want. Just always follow the usual rules of travel for any country - be safe, drink bottled water, have back-up cash etc! I went to Madiera last year (beautiful island) and everyone's immediate comment was 'really? But they had bad flooding last year, what if it rains?!' Erm, well it rains and floods here too! I'm not going to ignore a part of the world due to rain, earthquakes, spiders etc! Some people just seem to have a negative reaction to any place that isn't where they want to be. I just want to be able to see and experience as much of this planet as I can in my life time :)

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  34. Lisa Rozario6:06 PM

    Perhaps some of the reactions you get are because the country is so far away, it is so diverse and the culture, language are foreign to a lot. With your amazing talents with photography you have to capture the essence of India first-hand. I spent the first 12 years of my life in India. Vastly different, north to south, east to west. My parents have gone back (from London) to build a house and retire in Goa (formally a Portuguese colony) with a lot of the influence still apparent - architecture, language, cuisine. You have got to see the Taj Mahal (Agra); I have never been. Too much to take in on one trip. You are a world traveller, you will be fine. 

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  35. My company has a huge office in India and some of the employees there are lobbying to get me to visit. Truthfully, I have no desire to go. For one, I've heard that when you go for work you see the inside of your hotel, the inside of the office, and the same four restaurants that everyone in the company eats at.  And secondly, it's just not a country that I've ever had any desire to visit. With the limited amount of vacation time I get, I have a list a mile long of places I want to visit (or re-visit) and if forced to choose between India and one of these other places, India would always lose. I'm sure it's a lovely country with beautiful people and customs. But it just doesn't speak to me on an emotional level the way some other places do.

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  36. I would advise you that if you do go, have your medical information all in order. A co-worker was there recently and she fell in the hotel and basically broke her face (her nose, her cheekbone, etc). The doctor they called for her - an hour later - said that she was fine, just bruised. After being in excruciating pain and having a lot of blood loss, she finally went to the hospital. The bureaucracy and red tape she encountered makes our ERs sound like the Four Seasons. She ended up having to fly home for emergency surgery on her face to repair the damage. I'm sure this could have happened in any country. It just happened to happen in India. Having to visit the ER myself on a work trip, I'm thankful I was in Portland and not Bangalore.

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  37. Why would anyone side-eye a trip to Ireland?! Is it because you're going in December? We went for two weeks over Thanksgiving in 2009 and it was amazing. We encountered some terrible weather, to be sure, but we also had the Rock of Cashel, The Burren, Bunratty Castle, Ashford Castle, Jerpoint Abbey, Glendalough, and several other places virtually to ourselves. 

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  38. I think this post might have jinxed me. I just got notice that I'll likely be going to Bangalore for two weeks in early December. 

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  39. brunocerous7:17 PM

    Great question! I went for the first time last year and had an amazing time. It is impossible to encapsulate in a few words, but you can be assured that it is a good idea to be prepared for anything. I wrote a bit about it: http://brunocerous.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/a-first-taste-of-kolkata/

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  40. Sasha7:50 PM

    I have never been but like yourself I would love to go. It seems like such an interesting and amazing place!!

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  41. My husband is from India, and I have been there once to visit his family.  I was six months pregnant during our visit, and I contracted a parasite (typically found in the drinking water) and spent three days in a hospital.  I never actually drank any water that wasn't bottled, but we think I may have contracted it from eating fruit that was washed in tap water.  Despite my experience, I think it's a beautiful country with wonderful people and a rich culture, and it's not something that you want to miss seeing!  

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  42. One think is for sure you will not regret a bit visiting India...I have lived there for 25yrs of my life and moved her after I got married and I will go back there in an  heart beat only if I could:(
    I would highly recommend going in Nov DEC because no matter which part of India you go around that time of the year it will not be crazy hot or even jan and feb is fine.
    Jaipur, Jaisalmer in Rajasthan are beautiful filled with color and beautiful arts and crafts esp the the murals and semi precious stone work on boxes and wall art is outstanding and how can you forget the places. Delhi for the places and the bangal bazaar for the outstanding bangles to shop...if you go to Delhi this is a place you must visit.
    Gujarat has beautiful hand embroidery work called kachi work which is breath taking it is usually done on sarees and tops and stoles.
    Hyderabad in south is a must too there again for places and the old city area where the nizams lived has the beautiful bangals made of melted metal called laak with studded colored stones and if you are in the laad bazaar area do stop by at the stores that carry laces and stones for really cheap and the biryani there is to die for.
    Mumbai New York of India.
    also in the south is Kerala which has beautiful Back water and the huge coconut trees.
    Have a fun trip and I would highly recoomend drinking BISLERI brand name water. 

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  43. Courtney Craig12:51 AM

    I too, want to experience India.  It always pops up as a possible destination when my husband and I are planning trips.  (I also think if we met in real life, we could be friends ;0) due to our similarities in travel desires & excursions, if nothing else)  Book that trip, girl!

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  44. Having lived here for 6 months now I think it's a place that you truly have to experience for yourself. It's a stimulating country in every sense of the word. It's a place that stimulates every sense (often at the same time!). I try and explain it to friends and people traveling to India that is a country of extreme contradictions - often in very close proximity....if that makes sense. For every positive thing that can be said/experience the exact and extreme opposite can be seen/experienced - often a few feet away. It's chaotic and (seemingly) unorganized but somehow it all works......

    If you need ANYTHING at all you have my email...

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  45. MrsLimestone8:20 AM

    Thanks Kay. I feel like the contrasts is true in many south east asia countries so I wonder how much different it will be. Or will it just be more extreme.

    Did you get my last email to you?

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  46. MrsLimestone8:21 AM

    Too bad you don't live in Brooklyn! Nearly all of my friends don't travel at all so they give me the weirdest looks. It would be nice to have some like travel minded people to chat with in IRL.

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  47. MrsLimestone8:22 AM

    Thanks Sonal. The bangle market sounds pretty awesome! Will that be easy to find?

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  48. MrsLimestone8:22 AM

    Off to check it out now. Thanks for sharing.

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  49. MrsLimestone8:23 AM

    I was going to ask the same thing. What could possibly raise eyebrows about going to Ireland? Im sure its absolutely gorgeous with the Christmas decorations up.

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  50. MrsLimestone8:24 AM

    Ouch!

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  51. MrsLimestone8:25 AM

    I used to feel that way too but as Ive traveled more and really enjoyed some of the non first world countries, India has peaked my interest. It seems like the last truly exotic place to go (that still has 5 star hotels of course!)

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  52. MrsLimestone8:26 AM

    I don't think its that. I don't nearly the extreme reactions when I say Im going to Thailand or Singapore. I guess that is why Im so intrigued.

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  53. MrsLimestone8:28 AM

    Ha - so true. I think some people see everything - even small things like weather - as an insurmountable obstacle to travel. It just means they really don't want to go.

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  54. MrsLimestone8:29 AM

    Off to check it out. Thanks for sharing. PS: Love your blog name!

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  55. MrsLimestone8:30 AM

    Wow - your parents are hard core. If I stay at a 4 star hotel, I feel like Im roughing it. haha

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  56. MrsLimestone8:30 AM

    Thanks. Ill check it out.

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  57. MrsLimestone8:33 AM

    Oh I want to go there too. You would think my must go list would get smaller as I travel more but nope - it just gets longer.

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  58. MrsLimestone8:35 AM

    Thanks. Ive heard that I have to ignore the children beggers which im sure will be difficult.

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  59. For the most part, the time of year and that I am flying out on Christmas Day. I've been doing my research for a while, and that time of year was what I thought would be a good idea, too. Less crowds. The weather doesn't seem all that different from where I live. I wanted to start the New Year out doing something for once, instead of sitting home.

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  60. India will be all you described and more, but it can be crazy-town.  Perhaps consider Sri Lanka as an introduction to South Asia?  Also amazing, but on a smaller scale.  Plus. you'll be able to see more of the country in a shorter period of time.  And then there's also Maldives....absolutely gorgeous and such a fascinating country. 

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  61. MrsLimestone12:08 PM

    Being away on NYE is always so much fun.

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  62. Jennifer B.3:51 PM

    My friends Chelsea & Bethany just spent 6 months in India. I'm not sure exactly how close they were to the "Golden Triangle", but you could check out their blog experience! http://withhiminindia-chelseabethany.blogspot.com/
    Jennifer B.

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  63. Go, go, go! I've traveled there three times -- we're from the U.S. but my husband is Indian and his family is there. Mostly we visit Chennai as family, so I haven't had much chance to travel there as a tourist. But we have been to Kerala/Cochin, Thekkady, Bangalore, Taj Mahal, Sikkim, Darjeeling. "The Pleasures and Treasures of India" book has a lot of information on shopping in the Golden Triangle, although its preferred locations skew on the high end. I haven't blogged yet about our India travels, although I am blogging about an apartment we're finishing in Chennai at www.indiapiedaterre.com. I'm traveling to India for 3.5 weeks in December and eventually when the apartment is finished will shift to writing more about traveling there. After all the time I've spent there, I've been sick only once when we were in such a nice place in Sikkim, I "forgot where I was" and brushed my teeth with tap water. Never got sick from food. I expected to get more attention as we tend to spend most time in areas without many westerners, but no one rarely gives more than a second look. I rarely have problems with beggars. Although certainly there are areas with a lot more beggars than where we're spending our time. Before my first trip there, I was apprehensive but now it's no big deal. It can get frustrating if you value productivity and efficiency and privacy. Those are about the biggest struggles I have there.

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  64. Visha Consultants6:51 AM

    Well, traveling to India is memorable when well planned. It has placed meant for all seasons and at this moment Kerala is a destination to put your foot on. The clean beaches, warmth shown by people and food. Food is something you won't like to give a miss after an Oil Massage which Kerala is famous for.
    home alarm system Boston

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  65. jen topp6:59 AM

    I haven't been but it's on my top 10 list.  I've been on the same end of the conversation as you. India?  WHY?  And yet, whenever I see something about the place I think to myself "Why NOT?" True, the overt poverty is startling.  Being in a place with a caste system still in place could be world-rocking.  But I don't go places (or dream of going places) because they're just like where I live.  Isn't that the point?

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  66. jen topp7:02 AM

    I am making not of all the places you mentioned!  Fantastic ideas!

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  67. jen topp7:05 AM

     So what was horrible?

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  68. I'm from www.travelshooters.com, the photography holiday company from whose site came that image of the bearded Rajasthan camel-driver (part of our Pushkar Camel Fair and Rajasthan photography tour). Thanks for the link.

    It's great to see all the comments here sparked off by it. I completely understand the uncertainty about health and food — no one enjoys a tummy upset especially on holiday — but a few simple measures, like hand sanitizer, avoiding certain types of eating places at certain times, etc — make a world of difference.

    We brief our clients comprehensively before they leave home to minimize any risk of difficulty. We use reputable hotels and try as far as possible to ensure they eat where they can enjoy India's delicious cuisine without ill effects.

    When travelling with us you're living in a protective bubble as far as food is concerned — although if you're happy to you can step outside the bubble any time (I do! Indian street food is just delicious!). Loads of Westerners go to India and never even have a tummy-rumble.

    There's a reason India has so many destinations (Kerala, Rajasthan, Himalayas) that appear on so many "Must See Before You Die" lists year after year (National Geographic Traveler magazine, Smart Travel Asia…) The reality is that India is a simply amazing collection of cultures and contrasts. It's an ancient society, a democracy where although there's tremendous poverty, the people walk free and speak their minds. It swings between dynamic-wealthy-modern-innovative and traditional-poor-ancient-conservative in the space of about ten yards. It has the power to get you thinking long and hard about a whole range of issues.

    If you're a photographer and you haven't yet been to India, come and be dazzled… we'd love to show you how lyrically beautiful this land can be. We're at www.travelshooters.com and although we design and coordinate our tours from the UK, all our India photography tours are run and (micro!)-managed by the people who unquestionably know India best… Indians.

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  69. Hey!  Longtime reader but not sure I've ever commented.  I'm a fellow NY-er and took my first trip to India last year with my husband who is Indian (parents emigrated in the 60's).  We did a two-week tour throughout the north.  Honestly, I wouldn't recommend a tour, but his parents planned it (and covered some of the cost) so we didn't argue!  We were mostly in Rajastan, though we started in Gujarat and ended in Agra and then Delhi.  Rajastan has simply gorgeous palaces and forts. The shopping and food is wonderful there - as I'm sure it is all over the country.  I have lots of specific sites, forts, restaurants and shop recs in Udaipur (lake palace), Jaipur (my favorite city hands-down), and a bit in Delhi if you're interested.   Also: I took over 1,200 photos but never uploaded them (i'm a terrible blogger), so you will be in heaven with the colors and people and landscape and overall aesthetic.

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  70. MrsLimestone10:22 PM

    I'd love to hear your recommendations in Jaipur!

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  71. Linda1:18 PM

    I have not been to India, but spent a month in Bangladesh a few years ago -- saw India across the Ganges River.  GO (and not for the shopping -- you can do that anywhere) -- the travel to a different culture will change your life.

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  72. Danie B.9:55 AM

    I came to your blog, looking for a printable and saw this post. I lived in Chennai, India for two years. I blogged all about our experiences at Earth to Danie.com. I recently deleted our posts but the first year of our adventures were published in a book--The Expat Arc. Visiting India is much easier than living in India. I'm grateful for the experience, however, I would not care to live there again.

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  73. Grace8:45 PM

    Funny I just got back from 4 1/2 weeks teaching in Bangladesh and then a week in India.  I never really had any desire to go to India as I thought the food would be too big of an issue (and it was difficult to constantly be scanning what you eat and drink to make sure you don't get sick - which I did on the last day), but I have to say I loved it and would go back in an instant.  I went to Darjeeling and stayed at the Glenburn Tea Estate (which you can read about here http://gracie-senseandsimplicity.blogspot.com/2011/08/heavenly-hotel.html) and then went to Delhi for one day (which you can read about here http://gracie-senseandsimplicity.blogspot.com/2011/08/im-back.html).  I highly recommend going - it is so colourful and full of life and wonderful that you won't regret it.  Let me know if you have any other questions.

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  74. Travel Ready12:20 AM

    "We're going on our honeymoon next week," I said.  "Oh fantastic, where are you going," said everyone I spoke to.  "India," I happily replied.  Crickets.  Hello, is anybody there?  If you want to go to India, go to India.  Mind you, it's not everyone's cup os tea, but I would go back in a heartbeat and definitely plan on it.  We barely scratched the surface.  We hope to go back sometime soon, but until then, we're heading to Morocco in a couple weeks. 

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  75. MrsLimestone9:39 AM

    We must have similiar travel tastes then because we are planning a Marrakech trip soon too :)

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  76. Rdpill12:44 AM

    I spent a month in Hamachal Pradesh (the northernmost province of India) in July/August and absolutely loved it. I didn't get sick at all and I had an incredible experience. I would definitely recommend  it!

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  77. I have followed your blog for so long and this is my first comment.  My husband and I went to India a year ago this Septemeber, and it is in some ways worthy of all the responses you get - confusion, encouragement, trepidation.  We went to the Golden Triangle.  It took me a very long time to digest our India experience, zero pun intended, and I have blogged about it quite a bit.  Would be happy to connect off the comment.  Here is a link to two of my India related posts, http://thedailybatch.com/2010/09/21/thoughts-from-india/, http://thedailybatch.com/2011/09/14/wedding-advice-planning-marriage/  Good luck!

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  78. MrsLimestone9:35 AM

    Thanks so much for sharing. I really enjoyed reading about your trip. I was so sorry to hear about your husbands eye issues. Did you think you picked something up in India or was it unrelated?

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  79. MrsLimestone9:38 AM

    Thanks. Hearing that not EVERYONE gets sick makes me feel a bit better about it.

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  80. Thanks for responding.  It's a funny thing, there is really no way of knowing.  We could have stayed home and maybe the same thing would have happened and we would have missed the trip...  It really is something, and as a far less experienced traveler than you are, the sights, smells, and sounds really stay with you for a long time.  I hope you'll let us know if you decide to go!  Look forward to more posts!

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