20. December 2015 – 12:49
India is as diverse as a continent itself. India’s states are more like different countries, each with it’s own language, food and culture. India offers everything in terms of landscape: deep jungle with wild animals, hot deserts, plenty of sea and with the Himalayas, the highest mountain range in the world.
And it is precisely because of this variety, that I like India so much. In India you can’t get bored, because time and again you can discover new things, be it a new religion, new people or a new region.
I’ve come around a lot in India, but I haven’t seen all the corners of the subcontinent yet.
Nevertheless, there are places in India that I like so much that I keep coming back to them. I prefer the rural regions to the mega-cities of India. Here is a list of my favorite places and the reasons for it!
Ok, I’m starting right here with a city. But the millennia-old Varansi really has it. Admittedly, Varanasi is not suitable for everyone: the polluted Ganges, a lot of poverty and some scammers. But those who get involved in Varanasi manage to immerse themselves deeply into Hindu culture and experience a lot of spirituality!
Of course, Manali in the Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh is on my list. Manali is not only one of my favorite places, but even my newly chosen home. Here, in the middle of the Himalayas, surrounded by high mountains, small villages and a lot of nature, I feel at home! The people are gracious, the culture unique and the mountain world offers me countless opportunities to live out my passions: Be it climbing, trekking, mountaineering or mountain biking, here I can do exactly what I love!
Kerala is not a place in the truest sense of the word, but an Indian state. I love this state because of the combination of such wonderful places that can’t be more different. Munnar with its tea and spice plantations, the canal system of the backwaters, Cochin with its Portuguese flair, Varkala with a great beach and palm trees and the nature reserves such as Perjjar, are just some of the fascinating places of Kerala. In addition, there are friendly people, great food and not so much poverty!
The small town of Leh is located in the middle of the Himalayas at 3500 m. Leh is located in the high mountain desert, there is hardly anything but stone, dust and yaks, but that makes Leh and it’s surroundings so exciting and fascinating. The city serves primarily as a starting point for longer treks in the Ladakh region, but is also the Buddhist center of India and thus has a very special charm! It is exciting to visit the ancient Buddhist monasteries and learn about the region!
Hampi is probably the place I return to the most often. Little Hampi offers not only a lot of culture, but above all climbing fun! Hampi is considered the largest bouldering area in the world and in fact the best boulderers from all parts of the world come here every year to climb here for 1-2 months.
But it’s not just climbing enthusiasts who love Hampi. Hampis Athmosphere with great sunsets, palm trees, temples and the millions of rocks scattered all over Hampi is unique!
Shri Jasnath Ashram
There is a place in the middle of Rajasthan’s desert that hardly any tourist comes to: Panchla Siddha. Panchla Siddha is a small typical Rajasthan village. What makes it so special is the ashram of the Shri Jasnath sect! Here yoga is still lived in a small community! They work together, cook and pray, yoga and meditation classes are offered every day and you can integrate yourself wonderfully into the community. Above all, you will find a lot of peace and quiet here!
Jaisalmer is probably the most beautiful city of Rajasthan. Its fortress wall is made of white sandstone and rises proudly in the middle of the desert. From here the most beautiful camel safaris are offered!
Amritsar itself is not particularly beautiful. What makes it so unique is the golden temple of the Sikh. The temple, surrounded by water, is unique, but even more magnificent is the community of Sikhs: every day thousands of people are offered shelter and meals, all financed by donations from believing Sikhs!
If I were to name one Indian metropolis to visit, it’s probably Calcutta. The capital of West Bengal, despite its size, is manageable and is an interesting combination of British flair and Indian hustle and bustle. There is certainly a lot of poverty here, but also a lot of tradition and culture. There is also the oldest subway in India, many parks, the Mother Theresa House and even a tram!
Buddhists are probably among the most gracious people and that is what makes little Mcleod Ganj so attractive. Many Tibetan refugees live here, including the Dalai Lama himself. He often offers lectures here, to which people from all over the world come. Mcleod Ganj is located at 1800 m in the foothills of the Himalayas and also serves as a good starting point for trekking tours!