Who are Bhapa Sikhs

India travel guide

In our India travel guide you will learn everything about the history, culture and cuisine of the country.

India Travel Guide: North India

History of North India

Numerous kingdoms in northern India have grown and disappeared over the centuries.

In the fourth century theBuddhism in India and Asia.

The conquests of Arab rulers brought thatIslam in the 8th century to northern India. Under the rule of the Mughals, Northern India experienced a golden age in which Persian influences had a decisive influence on the culture and architecture of the country.

TheRajputs ruled in the Middle Ages in the state of Rajasthan, which you have significantly shaped through your architecture and craftsmanship to this day. Even today the inhabitants of Rajasthan differ culturally clearly from all other ethnic groups in India.

In the 19th century, the British took control of all of India. By building the railroad and numerous roads, you significantly improved the infrastructure. But under theBritish ruleThe Indian population also experienced terrible famine and genocide, which led to numerous popular uprisings.

TheResistance under Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru brought independence to India in 1947. The country was split into the secular (Hindu) state of India and the Islamic state of Pakistan.

Nehru's daughter, Indira Gandhi, became Prime Minister in 1966. Numerous riots broke out under their brutal government, which was marked by police violence and the restriction of democratic rights.

Today the north reflects the turbulent history of India like no other part of the country.Magnificent palaces and religious monuments testify to the diverse religious and secular influences that the country and its people have experienced.

North Indian culture

The culture of North India is a real oneMelting pot, in which the influences of different beliefs and cultures mix with one another.

Especially in rural areas of northern India, the people are greatconservative. Women wear the traditional robessalwar-kameez orsari, or oneghagra-choli(long skirt and blouse). Men, on the other hand, wear the traditional kurtas (long shirt) or dhotis (fabric looped as trousers). In the state of Punjab in particular, you will find many men with brightly coloredTurbans to encounter. These are one of the five marks worn by members of the Sikh religious group.

Traditionally, red dots on the forehead marked a married woman. Today, however, are the so-calledBindis a kind of costume jewelery that adorns the foreheads of young women in many forms.

There are numerous regionallanguagesspoken in North India. In the metropolitan areas, however, people usually communicate in Hindi. English is mostly spoken and understood in tourist areas.

Hinduism is the most widespreadReligion in North India. But Islam, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism also play an important role.

Varanasi is considered the spiritual capital of North India. Every year thousands of pilgrims come to the city to wash in the holy waters of the Ganges.

No matter where your individual trip to North India takes you, the traces of history can be found everywhere!

Northern Indian cuisine

The cuisine of India differs significantly from region to region.
Wheat is an important part of North Indian cuisine. Most of the time it turns out to be deliciousChapatis(Flatbread), which are served with every meal. In many Indian households and simpler restaurants, people eat with the right hand. With a piece of chapati it is much easier to eat the tasty curries by hand.

You should try the following dishes during your individual North India trip:

Daal-baati: Lentils and Wheat Balls, Rajasthan
Butter Chicken: Chicken in a thick curry sauce
Biryani: Rice with various spices and meat, Delhi
Naan: Fluffy flatbread, Punjab
Chole Bhature: Hot chickpeas with curry sauce and bread
Alu Paratha: Flatbread filled with potatoes and spices
Raita: Yogurt with spices and vegetables, softens even the hottest curry

India Travel Guide: South India

History of south india

Numerous dynastieslike those of the chola, cheras and pandyas, grew over the years and then dissolved again. Many of the dynasties were in conflict with each other as well as against external Muslim powers who repeatedly tried to conquer South India.

That grew in the 16th centurymighty Vijayanagara empire approached and controlled the entire south of India. It successfully defended itself against the Mughal rulers, who by that time had already subjugated northern India. With the fall of the empire, the wonderful capital Hampi also fell apart. During a trip to South India you can visit the impressive ruins, which are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

First theBritish gradually managed to control more and more areas of southern India. To consolidate their rule, the British founded the city of Madras, today's Chennai. From there, the crown colony ruled large parts of the country, while the remaining areas fell into smaller feudal states.

As India theindependence won in 1947, the area of ​​South India was divided into the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu based on the different language groups. The French area of ​​Pondicherry became a union territory under the central government in New Delhi.

India Travel Guide: Central and West Indies

history

West and Central India includes the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Goa.

Numerous settled over the centuriesmighty kingdoms in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

In the Middle Ages, the region, like large parts of northern India, was ruled by theMughals and Persiansthat brought Islamic influences to India.

It spread from Maharashtra in the 17th centuryRealm of the Marathas out. At the same time, the Mughal empire fell apart and with it many Islamic influences. The great power of Maratha ruled over large parts of India in the 18th century and significantly consolidated Hinduism.

In 1818 the British broughtEast India Company the Marathic kings in several wars for their independence. The region played an important role in India's struggles for independence in the following decades.

In 1947 the central Indian states reached theirsindependenceHowever, the boundaries between these were not drawn until 1956.

InGoa on the other hand, wars for supremacy ruled for a long time. In 1498 the famous Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama landed in Goa. Shortly afterwards the area fell under theRule of the Portuguesethat should last for the next 450 years.

It was not until the political power of Portugal was greatly weakened in the 18th century that they placed the area under British protection. In independent India, attempts were made to annex the area to the state of Maharashtra, but in 1987 Goa was elevated to an independent state.

On our individual trips to the West Indies and Central India you will be amazed at the eventful history of the subcontinent!

Culture

The culture in the individual states of Central and West India could not be more different. You will be in each of the states during your India tripdifferent customs and traditions, Clothing styles and languages.

Most people belong to thatHinduism but there are also many Muslims and, especially in Goa, numerous Christians.

Thedress the people varies from state to state. The traditional sari is wrapped a little differently everywhere and patterns and fabrics also differ. Men, on the other hand, still often wear theDhoti (cloth wrapped as trousers). Except in Mumbai and Goa there is also a rather for touriststraditional clothing style to recommend.

Mumbai (Bombay) is also known as the Hollywood of India - Bollywood! Many of the famous Hindi films come from the numerous studios in the lively metropolis. You will find a vibrant nightlife, numerous excellent restaurants and wonderful cultural offers - from dance to theater to art.

Goa has been strongly influenced by the Portuguese colonial power. Here you will find numerous magnificent churches next to the Hindu temples. Christmas in Goa is a very special experience as everything is spruced up.

eat

TheGujarati cuisine is mainly vegetarian. On the one hand, this is due to the high number of Jains, a religious community that follows a particularly strict diet. On the other hand, many people are followers of Mahatma Gandhi, who recommended the renunciation of alcohol and vegetarianism. Ahmedabad is where you will find some of the best snacks and sweets.

Try the following food in Gujrat:

  • Khichudi: Rice and lentil dish
  • Dhokla: Dish made from fermented rice and chickpeas
  • Sev: Fried noodles with spices, tomatoes and onions, popular snack

InMaharashtra everyone can find the right degree of spiciness. Some dishes are not seasoned at all, while other dishes are extremely spicy. Here, too, many people are vegetarians. In urban centers such as Mumbai and Pune, on the other hand, you will also find numerous western restaurants.

Try the following food on your tour inMaharashtra :

  • Bombay Duck: Fish in a crispy batter, Mumbai
  • Puran poly: Sweetly filled flatbread

InMadhya Pradesh Muslim influences are still mainly present in the kitchen to this day.

On your trip to the West Indies, try the following food in Madhya Pradesh:

  • Poha: seasoned rice for breakfast
  • Jalebis: Candy
  • Biryani: Rice dish with chicken or lamb, served with flavored yogurt

Goa was also heavily influenced by the Portuguese in culinary terms. Elements of Indian cuisine are skillfully mixed with Western cuisine. As a coastal state, Goa is also a paradise for fish lovers.

On your trip, try the following food in Goa:

  • Xacuti: Curry with lamb or chicken and desiccated coconut
  • Vindaloo: Spicy fish or meat curry with lots of garlic

India Travel Guide: East India

History of East India

The region was the historical center more numerouspowerful dynasties, including the Maurya Dynasty, the Gupta Kingdom and the Mahameghavahana Dynasty, which became one of the most important in theancient india counts.

In the 13th century, the rulers of the mighty East IndiaMughal Empire taken that theIslam introduced as a religion.

Only the state of Odisha remained as a powerful Hindu dynasty until the 16th century.

In the 17th century, European traders reached East India and initially set up trading posts. 1756 defeated theBritish East India Company the Muslim rulers.

OfCalcutta from the British ruled over large parts of India. The port city became one of the most important trading hubs worldwide.

Obtained in 1947India independence. Political unrest and civil war-like clashes went with thePartition of India hand in hand. Due to religious and ethnic problems, today's Pakistan was split off from the East Indies.

Today the region is developing steadily, some areas have been experiencing one since 2005economic boomthat creates new infrastructure and jobs.

Take an individual trip with us through the magical East Indies and learn everything you need to know about the fascinating history of this region from your personal guide. You will also receive a free India travel guide with in-depth tips from our experts.

East India's culture

TheCulture of east india was strongly influenced by the different mansions and their religious and secular traditions.

It has been for a long timeReligion in East India led to riots. Today numerous religious communities exist side by side. Most of the people of East India belong to Hinduism. However, you will also find numerous Muslims. Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains, on the other hand, are in the minority.

On your individual East India trip you will find numerous religious pilgrimage sites:

  • Bhubaneswar: Several hundred Hindu temples
  • Puri: The famous Jagannath Temple
  • Konark: The ancient sun temple
  • Bengal: Dakshineswar and Kalighat temples
  • Bihar Sharif: An important Muslim pilgrimage site
  • Bodh Gaya: Pilgrimage site for Buddhists and Hinduists

A particularly important oneFeast in the East Indies is the Durga puja. It is the most important festival of the year, especially in West Bengal and the capital, Calcutta. The goddess Durga is worshiped for ten days in September each year.

The 360 ​​° Geo ReportThe Darjeeling tea alley gives exciting insights:

Calcutta offers an exciting mix of colonial charm and urban elements. In addition to gentlemen's clubs, horse racing tracks and vintage car shows, you will find numerous modern shopping centers and a lively nightlife.

East India is famous for its contribution toArts and Culture. Even at the traffic lights in Bengal, the popular Rabindrasangeet music is played when the traffic light is green.

The classic oneDance Odissi comes from the state of Odisha. During your trip to India you shouldn't miss the chance to see the impressive dance.

Are you particularly interested in the culture of East India? Contact our travel advisors and plan your individual cultural trip in East India with us.

Eating in the East Indies

The states of East India are located in the fertile Ganges Delta and are one of the main growing areas for rice in India. No wonder that this is also consumed with almost every meal. Otherwise, the cuisine of East India differs between the individual states, although the Bengali cuisine has significantly influenced the food in the other states.

InBengal and Odisha As in most coastal areas, a lot of fish is consumed. Both states have India numerousdelicious sweets bestows. Lentils and vegetables are rounded off with an addition of meat or fish. The dishes vary from mild to spicy.

TheBihari cuisine is famous for preparing delicious meat dishes during the Eating in Sikkim and Assam is mainly influenced by Chinese and Tibetan cuisine.

Try the following food in East India:

  • Balushahi: A candy made from flourGhee (melted butter) and sugar
  • Chhena Gaja: Seared cottage cheese in sugar syrup, Odisha
  • Poita Bhat: Rice with mustard oil, onions, chilli and canned vegetables, Assam
  • Luchi: Fried flatbread, with vegetables and curry, West Bengal
  • Ilish Bhapa: Mildly seasoned herring fillet, West Bengal
  • Gya Thuk: Noodle soup with vegetables and meat, sikkim

If you are particularly interested in the culinary highlights of India, then we have something for you: Plan your private gourmet trip with us and get to know the country from its most delicious side!

Free India travel guide

The charming difference: when you book a trip with us, you will receive a free India travel guide with lots of exclusive information. You will find many exciting videos on the subject of travel on our YouTube page.