IndiaGBnews special correspondent Aline Dobbie reports from an Incredible India event in Glasgow.
I recently attended a tourism presentation by Incredible !ndia in Glasgow on the latest developments and news about India as a strong tourist destination. Mrs Anju Ranjan, the Consul General of India to Scotland, gave an address and a video presentation from the ministry showed all the great diversity of India and what the country has to offer as a tourist destination. This was engaging and educational as the presentation showed India from its mountains to its beaches and suggested itineraries and various ways to focus on the country. The travel agencies of Glasgow and its environs were enthusiastic as was I. Much has been achieved in the last few years that will encourage western travellers to India. I know from my personal experience that the domestic tourism within India has increased substantially. The presentation was followed by a delicious Indian dinner in the Karma Sutra restaurant on Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street and a display of lively Indian Dance. The India season usually starts from October 1. Now is the time to contemplate, discuss and book a visit to India.
I am fortunate to call India the Land of my birth, a second home to where I return annually for weeks if not months.
India covers an area of 32,87.263 sq. km extending from the great Himalayan range of mountains to the tropical rain forests and beaches of the south and tapers off into Kanyakumari where three oceans meet – The Arabian Sea, The Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. The total length of coastline of the mainland, Lakshadweep Islands and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is 7,516.6 kms.
Visitors to India can savour this great ancient yet modern land throughout its seasons; probably the western visitor would find the Indian winter time the most comfortable. Visitors from other Asian countries would not be daunted by the hot summers, and then there is the monsoon when the land can be enveloped by rain, heavy rain which has its own charms; though care must be taken.
I recommend India as a superb destination from October onwards until the middle of April for the western visitor.
Just under a million visitors from the UK visited India in 2016 making it the third most important source market for India. Now with the ease of the e-visa that figure should rise. Delhi and Mumbai are the two most important point of entries for travellers from the UK to India and just over 20% of the travellers from UK fall into the age group of 45 onwards. The Middle Eastern airlines all fly into several destinations and of course other national famous airlines, but the method I employ invariably is to fly into one destination and travel around and then fly out of another thereby not doubling back on one’s journey. Moreover, India can provide wonderful peaceful places for a long stay vacation. In the bleak winter months of the northern hemisphere flying out to sunshine in January or over Christmas and staying for a month or more banishes the winter blues and one arrives back to springtime in northern countries.
Whether one is looking for mountains, jungles, wildlife parks, great UNESCO World Heritage sites, Holy Rivers, beaches, bustling cities – both ancient and new, village life, adventure sports, birding, wildlife conservation destinations, beaches, Ayurveda, Medical Tourism or —- leisure in luxury, or with simple pleasure; spiritual retreats, Yoga, or shopping —- or just utter relaxation India can provide the choice.
Aline Dobbie is the author of India: The Peacock’s Call, India: The Tiger’s Roar, India: The Elephant’s Blessing; Quicklook at India (all available through Amazon). Her fifth book encompassing modern India will be published shortly. www.thepeacockscall.co.uk
Visit Aline’s special photo gallery: https://photos.app.goo.gl/TmWDCdQCiE1a59JL2