Attempting to define what’s so special about India is like trying to pull teeth from a cow with a gun while wearing greased gloves – it’s difficult, distressing and downright dangerous.
But with an irascible editor demanding entertaining and educational copy by the bucketload, try we must…
With a population of 1.339 billion souls, India is the world’s largest democracy. To put this in perspective, if the dreams of each member of this heaving mass of humanity merely measured an inch, they’d total a mind-boggling 21,133 miles if gathered together and laid end to end – that’s five and a half times the distance from Mumbai to Stockholm!
Add the aspirations of the many travellers that regularly traipse across the subcontinent and the figures quickly become bewildering – so let’s not overegg the pudding.
Enough mental mathematics anyway – because what every backpacker in a hurry needs is a hattrick of top tips on the subcontinent’s most inspirational spots to rest, relax, revive and refresh.
So here are three inspirational Indian hotspots for backpackers.
A familiar name to tea fans worldwide, Darjeeling is home to some of India’s most delightful trekking terrain.
And if we say spectacular, we’re not exaggerating – at 3636 metres, reaching the top of Sandakphu is a bit of a schlep, but when you get there you’re rewarded by views of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse and Makalu.
Plus, as the sublime Singalila National Park, you might even bump into a rare red panda or a barking deer – brilliant!
Delhi is a hotbed of history, culture and food – but there’s so much to see that you need to ensure that your lodgings are comfortable and conveniently located.
The Karol Bagh neighbourhood is close to Old Delhi, there are plenty of reasonably-priced accommodation options and it’s perfect for picking up cheap electronics on Gaffar Street.
Alternatively, the Leela Palace New Delhi is the ideal choice for a little luxury – there’s an outdoor pool, a sumptuous steam bath and even a rooftop terrace where you can sip a Martini while enjoying the view.
What’s so great about Goa?
How about the fact that it boasts everything from beautiful beaches to bombastic bazaars?
But although it’s one of the world’s best places to shop and party, it also provides rich pickings for culture vultures – for starters, there’s the Archaeological Museum of Goa, the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral and Fort Aguada.
So if hitting the tourist trail during the day and letting your hair down at night floats your boat, you must drop anchor at Goa.
So there you have it – whether you’re in India learning about esoteric religious sects or you’re studying with Anglia Ruskin Distance Learning, your should feel at home in any of our three terrific locations.
Just make us one promise please – when you get there, send us a pretty postcard!
So ends our list, but share your India backpacker tips in the comments section.