Rich with ancient history, deep in cultural roots, filled with vibrant colours, diverse climates, varying landscapes and home to a whopping 1.3 billion people, India is a country with so much to offer. An 8.5% growth in India’s travel & tourism in 2016 proves this vast country’s enticing qualities are attracting tourists by the bucket load, and now the millennial market want a slice of the spice.
With millennial travel needs shifting from party pursuits towards destinations that offer a more fulfilling, cultural travel experience, it’s no wonder why India is fast moving to the forefront of their travel bucket lists. A 2016 study by Contiki found millennials ranked experiences in India like seeing the Taj Mahal higher on their 2017 bucket list than more traditional experiences like going to Oktoberfest in Germany or climbing Machu Picchu in Peru.
The main incentive for millennial travellers worldwide - food. No country offers a cuisine quite so inherent to its cultural roots as India. But don’t expect your mild Chicken Tikka Masala, authentic India food is a little different to what your local Indian restaurant serves up. The real deal is full of flavours, spices and mouth-watering delights. Each region offers its own speciality, so expect to be treated to the likes of Goan fish curry in Goa, Pork stew with bamboo shoots in Nagaland and Roti in Punjab as well as some deliciously sweet homemade treats. And the best thing about the food in India? It’s both cheap and tasty, so follow the locals, say yes to street food and you’ll be sure to get some of the most authentic, well priced culinary delights around.
History and Architecture
India is the home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world and this is best reflected through its diverse architecture. The country is filled with palaces, mosques, forts, monuments, temples and ancient ruins. The architectural styles include Indo-Saracenic, European and Mughal. Housing 32 UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites and one of the Seven Wonders of the World, this is a country that is sure to deliver to history buffs and design enthusiasts. The Surya Mandir (sun temple) of Konark, Nalanda Ruins in Bihar and of course the Taj Mahal in the city of Agar, are just a few of the magnificent historical structures India has to offer.
Chasing adventure is at the top of every millennial travellers desires and boy does India deliver. With its towering mountains, challenging terrain and endless shores, adventure comes in so many different forms. Whether it’s navigating your way through the chaotic streets of Delhi on a moped, spotting tigers and elephants in the wild, caving in Meghalaya or fly boarding on the beaches of Goa, India is a country just waiting to be explored.
Shopping experiences don’t get much better than in India. Their unique clothing, textiles and handicrafts make up a large chunk of the Indian economy and inspire the aesthetic, design and colours of fashion and interiors around the world. Market places such as Arpora Saturday Night Market in Goa, Sarojini Market in Delhi and FV Road in Pune give travellers a slice of the real deal with some extremely attractive prices.
If you’re a yoga enthusiast and like to get your Zen on whilst hitting the road, India is most definitely the destination for you. Known as the centre of spirituality, many people come to India to practice yoga and get in touch with their spiritual self. Stemming from the Hindu religious values, yoga is a traditional way to attain mental peace and is exceptionally good for your health (spiritual, mental and physical). Haridwara, Varanasi, Bodhagaya, Dharmashala, the Ashram, Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Center in Pune and Ashtanga Institute in Mysore are some of the best destinations for this and offer a whole new type of travel journey.
Incorporating costumes, music and dance, India takes festivals to a whole new level with some of the most elaborate, colourful and striking celebrations around. The festivals often mark religious celebrations or pivotal events, such as Holi (or festival of colours), which involves Hindus dancing the night away in powder filled crowds to celebrate the arrival of spring and the victory of good over evil.
Diwali, the festival of lights again brings the streets of India to life with fairy lights, bonfires and clay lamps lit to help Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, find her way into people's homes. These festivals prove a great way to immerse the millennial travellers into new cultures and traditions.
A country with such varied climate conditions and landscapes provides a natural habitat for wildlife sanctuaries, flora and fauna and national parks. Home to some of the most beautiful and endangered species in the world travellers can expect to see the likes of Indian elephants, Bengal tigers, Indian Rhinoceros, Indian Leopard, Sloth Bear and Asiatic Lion. Bandhavgarh National Park, Corbett National Park, Ranthambore National Park are some of the top National parks to go to guarantee a glimpse of these beautiful creatures.
What better incentive to spend your money than to know you’re actually making a difference whilst having the time of your life? India is a country which relies heavily on tourism to fuel its economy with tourism providing 40.3 million jobs in 2016. This ranks India 2nd in the world in terms of total employment supported by Travel & Tourism. Indiahas seen huge developments over the past 20 years thanks to the increasing interest in exploring a country which has so much to offer.
Tempted to explore the hustle and bustle of India? Check out Contiki’s Eternal India trip to immerse yourself into the colours and chaos of this cultural country. Book by 30 November and get 10% off with our early payment discount for travel after 1 April 2018.