Ancient temples. Endless orchards. Sandstone carvings. Colonial hill stations. Over one billion people. And you've only just begun your honeymoon in India! From the mountain to sea and back again, the Indian subcontinent is ripe for adventure and unforgettable romance.
Major Indian Attractions
There are so many possibilities for things to see and do in India that the process of choosing a place for your honeymoon can be a bit overwhelming. The first thing you should do is try to prioritize how you'd like to spend the time you've set aside with your new husband or bride. If your emphasis is on relaxation and romance rather than travel and sightseeing, choosing one or two major attractions to visit will greatly reduce the stress involved with getting around a country with which you're unfamiliar.
Is her heart set on seeing the Taj Mahal? Will you be content to sit for days in the sun on the beautiful beaches along the western coast in the state of Goa? Would you prefer to stay at a colonial-style hill station, in sight of the majestic Himalayas? If you and your loved one are winter sport enthusiasts and are going to be traveling during the winter months, consider a trip to Auli, considered to be the best skiing slope in all of Asia. Regardless of where you choose to go, you'll be able to plan daytrips to marvelous places of natural, cultural, and historical interest.
Getting Around India
India is an enormous country - the seventh largest in the world. If you're of a more adventurous mindset, how are you going to see it all in the week or two you've set aside for your honeymoon? Not to worry; the country has a strong and constantly improving transportation system, with reliable flights between all major cities and regular (if colorful) train service to all parts of the land.
While renting a car is not recommended (for reasons that will become obvious), hiring a driver can be a great way to get around both cities and states. In most major cities, it's not too hard to find one who speaks English and charges a fair price.
If you do choose to rent a vehicle, you'll need an international license and great reflexes. Don't be surprised if you end up sharing the road with other automobiles, pedestrians, families of four perched on small motorcycles, and all sorts of animals, switching from asphalt to dirt to sand and back again - driving in India can be quite a challenge!
Another wonderfully opulent way to get around the country is by way of the world-renowned "Palace On Wheels," a luxury train service which travels to many of India√?¬?s most cherished national landmarks and natural wonders. You'll spend your days sightseeing your way through the amazing attractions, smells, and tastes of the Indian experience, and retire each night to the lavish accommodations of the train, ready to whisk you away to your next fantastic destination as the click-a-clack of the train wheels lull you to sleep. And, at each stop, you'll be greeted by multi-colored elephants and native musicians, the traditional welcome of kings.
For incredible variety in flavor, there are few equals to Indian cuisine. Nearly every town and village has its own distinctive variety of curry, a spice which is used prevalently in Indian cooking. You'll become familiar with dishes like chana masala (curried chick peas), vegetable pakora (fried vegetable fritters), and naan (baked Indian flatbread).
Your palette will continue to sing with coriander, cumin, tumeric, vindaloo, ginger, cinnamon, and the many other spices found throughout Indian cuisine. And, be sure to try two beverages which are not to be missed - mango lassi (a mango yogurt frappe) and chai tea done in the Indian style, which many tea aficionados consider the tastiest in the world.
India Travel Advisories
All travelers in India must have both a passport and a visa, and the latter must be obtained prior to arrival in the country from an Indian Embassy or Consulate. Travelers not holding visas will not be allowed to enter the country. You should always carry at least one photocopy of your passport photo page and your visa, as this will greatly expedite the process of acquiring new documentation should your papers be lost or stolen.
Additionally, though the majority of India is considered fairly safe, with low incidences of violent crime and theft, there are certain parts of the country which are not advised for western travelers. The province of Kashmir has seen threats to Americans and Europeans in recent years, and should be avoided by all but the most savvy explorers. More information on travel warnings and advisories may be found at the Travel.State.Gov Consular Information Page for India.
Regardless of which portion of the Indian tapestry you choose to focus on for your romantic adventure, your trip will be an unforgettable experience. You'll see beaches and mountains of breathtakingly intense beauty, taste amazing cuisine, and interact with one of the richest and most diverse cultures on earth while exploring the first steps of your lives together.