Understanding India

“There are some parts of the world that, once visited, get into your heart and won’t go. For me, India is such a place. When I first visited, I was stunned by the richness of the land, by its lush beauty and exotic architecture, by its ability to overload the senses with the pure, concentrated intensity of its colours, smells, tastes, and sounds… I had been seeing the world in black and white and, when brought face-to-face with India, experienced everything re-rendered in brilliant technicolour.”

Keith Bellows, award winning journalist, author, and former editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler.  These well chosen words by a man intoxicated by India sum it up.

Getting to know India, understanding its history, its culture and its people is a never ending and enjoyable experience.  There’s simply too much to see, do and learn in this mammoth land, with its many people and multi-facted culture.

This section of the blog aims to shine a light on India a help readers understand this amazing country. In this section you’ll find;

10 facts about India: There’s a lot to learn about this incredible country and its incredible people.  To get started here’s ten fascinating fact from flags and national symbols, languages, world heritage sites, .

Faiths of India: A melting pot of people, cultures and religions, India is characterised by a huge diveristy in relgious beliefs and practices.  Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Buddhism, Christianity and Sikhism are the big six.  Find out about these religions and places of worship in the capital, New Delhi on this page.

Incredible Indians: If you want to understand a country the best place to start is by getting to know its people.  Find out from Sunil Khilnani, professor and director of the Indian Institute at Kings College London, who’s who and why they matter in modern India.

Supersitions: Old shoes and flips flops hanging from cycle rickshaws and autos, green chillis and limes threaded together and adorning shop signs, aubergines placed around wedding gifts and black spots painted on the cheeks of babies.  Wondering what on earth is going on?  This page has the answers.

Festivals and Celebrations: With so many religions and cultural practices, there’s no shortage of reasons to celebrate.  Indian’s are eager to share their experience with visitors and you’ll be watching rituals in wonder, and sharing festive foods and sweets in no time.  Learn more about what’s what on this page.

MusicMeet some magical musicians who’ll transport you to the heart of India (and the Sindh). Sit back, relax and listen to the unique sound of incredible India

Meet the MughalsThe Mughals are responsible for building many of the architectural marvels that make India a massive draw for millions of tourists.  The Taj Mahal, Humayuns Tomb, Agra Fort and Delhi’s Red Fort, all built by Mughal emperors, are so special that make it onto the UNESCO World Heritage list.    I don’t know for sure, but I bet no other family features so prominently on UNESCOs list.  Learn more about the Mughal Empire on this page.

Independance and partition  The creation India and Pakistan led to what has been described as the world’s largest mass migration. Anywhere between 14 and 20 million people were on the move. This defining moment has shaped international politics ever since and change the lives countless people.  Find out more about the story of partition on this page.

Books – There’s too many books been written on India for this list to be anywhere more definitive – so we haven’t event attempt to do.  But these five books helped me to find me feet and figure out more about my surrounding.

To help you find the books that will help you, here’s a list of brilliant books shops in Delhi that will happily help you create your own library.

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