Winterline students will get to spend some considerable time exploring India. And athough much of India struggles with extreme overcrowding and poverty, it is a country full of incredible landmarks, religious history, and colorful culture. Gap year student visiting this spectacular country won’t have to look far to discover a vast array of new experiences.
Making Your Journey
For many travelers, the activities and landmark sites make the biggest impact. Visitors to India have plenty of sites to explore.
- Taj Mahal — This world-famous marble palace is an architectural wonder with an intriguing back story. You could call it the LeBron James of places to visit in India.
- Buddhist Caves of Ajanta — These caves, which date back as far as 2nd Century BC, have tremendous artistic and religious importance. Plus, they’re really beautiful.
- Himalayas — You can’t ask for much more from a mountain range. World’s tallest peak? Got it (Mount Everest, at 29,029 feet). Glaciers? Check – the world’s third-largest quantity of snow and ice reside there. Several climates in various spots? Uh-huh. Multiple rivers? Yep.
- Tea Gardens — Darjeeling isn’t just a variety of tea. It’s the gorgeous area of India where this type of tea actually comes from. Cool, huh?
- With nearly 1.3 billion residents, India contains about one-sixth of the world’s total population. Only China has more people.
- India’s Hindu calendar has 6 seasons: spring, summer, monsoon, autumn, pre-winter, and winter.
- It’s illegal to take Indian currency (Rupees) out of India.
- India has the world’s lowest meat consumption per person.
- India has more mobile phones than toilets.
- Hinduism and Buddhism both originated in India. Hinduism is the country’s most commonly practiced religion.
Flavors of a Nation
Like its majestic mountain peaks, Indian food isn’t subtle. It’s quite straightforward with its one-of-a-kind mixture of opposing, yet somehow complementary, flavors and consistencies – sweet vs. salty, creamy vs. spicy.
Spices like turmeric and cumin — along with consistent use of flat breads, rice and lentils, depending on the region — are major components of India's food profile. The meats of choice are fish, chicken and mutton (that’s sheep, in case you didn’t know).
Whether you want to try new foods or dedicate your time to a social cause, you won’t run out of fascinating places to go, people to see, and cultural nuances to experience in India.