Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti is the sacred occasion when Buddha, the enlightened master was born as Prince Siddhartha Gautama. It was here on the full moon night of Vesakh month that the future Buddha was born to Queen Mayadevi in Lumbini Forest. She held the Sal grove and delivered the baby who later delivered millions of the people with his enlightening sermons.
The day of purnima is not just associated with the Buddha’s birth, but there are other important incidents in the life of Sakyamuni that occurred on the very same date. After spending 28 years as a prince of Kapilavastu Kingdom, he saw ‘the four greatest truths’ where he saw an old man, the diseased man, a corpse pulled by the mourners and the meditating sage. The four sights transformed the vision of Prince Siddhartha and he stepped out in night with his charioteer, leaving his new born baby and wife in sleep. After coming out of Kapilavastu, he cut his flowing locks and renounced his princely hood. This is called the Great Renunciation or the Great Going Forth. It thus began the new phase of Sakyamuni’s life where he wandered through the forests, within the ashrams established by the sadhus in search of answers to all questions. He was disturbed by the suffering of mankind and wanted to uplift them from pain and suffering. He wanted the release from the cycles of life and death (samsara) and this on the whole became his mission. He wanted the answer to all his questions. Though he found a little refuge in the company of meditating saints, but that didn’t give him immense satisfaction. Thus, the prince began meditating by himself.
For the six years in continuity, Prince Siddhartha undertook several austerities during meditation. He went through the extremes in order to achieve his goal, but all in vain. He was still in the dark. He reduced himself to a skeleton. In 531 BC, he reached the banks of Nairanjana River near Uruvela Village and sat on a meditation under a Banyan Tree. For 49 days, he sat under the same tree in continuity with single minded determination. And on the same full moon night of Vesakh, he pierced the shell of ignorance and liberated himself by conquering his desires. Therefore, he became ‘enlightened’ on the same day of Buddha Purnima.
That day he became Buddha the awakened under the shade of the blissful Bodhi Tree. He also learned of the Four Noble Truths of life, Eightfold path and the Middle Path of life after enlightenment. After enlightenment, the Buddha met his first five followers at Sarnath near Varanasi where he gave his first sermon, paving his way as the spiritual master. Since then, he gave numerous sermons, performed many miracles and guided many ignorant people.
When the final day of his life neared, he announced in Vaishali about his Mahaparinirvana and asked his entourage to take him towards Kushinagar. Here, he suggested every follower to visit the Buddhist Pilgrimage to walk on the ideal path of life. And again on the full moon night of Vesakh, he freed himself of the cycles of life and death and attained Mahaparinibbana.
Thus, the Buddha Jayanti day is not just the day when Sakyamuni was born. On the very same day, Buddha became enlightened and attained final Mahaparinirvana. This day is seen with a lot of reverence in the Buddhist world. Every Buddhist recalls of the Buddha’s life, his practical teachings and seeks inspiration and blessings from the lord.
Many even begin India Land of Buddha Tour order to understand the lord in a better way and practice his practical teachings under the aegis of monks. The journey is rewarding for spirit and soul as it takes pilgrims to the four places, i.e. Bodhgaya, Sarnath, Kushinagar and Lumbini where Buddha charted his course of life and made it meaningful.
India is characterized by unity in diversity. There are a variety of religions, beliefs, traditions, ideas, ideals and way of life in India that define India as a culturally rich destination. Culture here is seen as a great wealth of the country. Even tourists are fond of rich and colourful Indian culture. Its receptive nature, rich dance forms, folk dance performances, elaborate traditions, melodious music, colourful art forms speak itself about the culture of India. Through this blog post, we are attempting to create awareness about the rich culture of this incredible country.
Dance – Folk and Tribal dances of India are truly a joyous expression. They are performed on every possible occasion to celebrate the birth, arrival of the seasons, wedding, festivals, etc. With vibrant beats and energetic steps, these folk dance forms resonate with the flamboyance of this colourful country. Usually, the dance is performed separately by the men and women in groups. But there are some folk forms like Bihu from Assam that require participation of both men and women. Classical dance forms on the other hands require grace and elegance in performance. Usually performed to present a narrative, this kind of dance form is richly based on mythological narratives that make them more engaging.
Art – Artistic legacies are intertwined with Indian cultural history, religion and philosophy. Owing to the cultural and social contexts, the art is very much a part of Indian society and culture. The earliest specimens of art can be still seen in the form of artistic monuments and caves dedicated to Buddhism. Soon after the Buddhist art flourished in the rock-cut caves, Hindus and Jains began imitating them at Badami, Aihole, Ellora, Elephanta, Aurangabad and Mamallapuram. Later, the art took on its many forms like temple art in the form of colour washed gopurams. Next in the artistic history was influenced by the arrival of Mughals. With them they brought a typical Indo-Islamic-Persian style synthesis. This new style combined elements of Islamic art and architecture and contributed to the art and architecture of India. With the arrivals of westerners, the art that flourished in the country was inspired by the Avant Garde Western styles. With all this and much more, Indian art is an array of diverse art forms, brought together under the shadow of the single country.
Music – Music is one of the oldest continuing traditions, not only here, but in the world as well. Recorded origins of Indian classical music can be sourced from the Vedas, the ancient Hindu scripture. And the journey of music in India is also a result of cultural assimilation and synthesis upon the arrival of different races and cultures. Based on the concept of three art-forms, vocal, instrumental and dance, the sangeet of India is defined more than just an entertainment option. It evolved from the ragas and taal. The former added the melody whereas the latter is rhythmic. Further, the different interpretations of the raag and the taalhas resulted in the creation of two major traditions of classical music: Hindustani music of the north and Carnatic music of the south.
All this and much more is an active part of a cultural tour to India. More of this can be experienced during an Indian Cultural Tour.
Now that we know about the facts that make India an incredible nation, we need to understand the country’s fascinating culture to know it more. India’s culture is a complex and diverse wealth of India. Its natives belong to different castes, follow different religions, speak different languages, live as per their regional lifestyle, still they are Indians. This country binds together its natives as Indians, which is definitely worth a mention. This ethnic diversity is the priceless wealth of India that makes it a beholder of a rich culture and society.
With this diversity comes unique beliefs, customs, food, dance forms, architecture, temples that enrich India’s cultural impact. Present since ancient times, this country has surely evolved with the times. While resurrecting its priceless heritage, the nation has quickly made great economical progress.
Still, the country has not lost its connection with its cultural roots. Which is why the festivals are still celebrated with great happiness, cultural dance and musical performances are always cherished in its complete form, food is fed to all as per rich hospitable traditions, etc. The cultural roots are deeply etched in the country.
Every tourist during his India tour wishes it to be a great cultural treat. During which he aims to delve as much as possible in its deep cultural roots. Be it the receptiveness of a hotel, friendly nature of locals, legendary folk music and dance performances or even during sightseeing of heritage structures, a tourist easily secures a rich cultural experience for him.
Heritage monuments are scattered throughout the country, offering tourists a rich opportunity to go back to the times when the royal dynasties ruled the states. During their rule, they used to construct forts for displaying their mightiness, palaces for leisure, step wells, lakes and ponds to provide livelihoods, temples expressing their devotion etc. The remnants of their royal legacies are still present in the form of these historical monuments and forts. And for Indians, these monuments are a great cultural platform that beholds the country’s priceless heritage.
This is the main reason why India is a heritage destination allowing tourists to revisit the landmark historical episodes through sightseeing. The tourists during such a cultural interaction experience the richness, magnificence and splendour and enjoy such an enriching experience. These cultural and heritage tours make sure the tourists experience the best of India tour each and every time.
India is incredible. We are not saying this. Neither the makers of the campaign “Incredible India” exaggerate the claims made by the country while promoting tourism. Expressed with an adjective, this catchphrase sums up the country’s rich and interesting facets that fascinate the world. The country earned ‘Incredible India’ due to its connection with many wonderful facts and aspects since time immemorial.
To begin with, India never initiated any attacks on any country in the last 1,00,000 years. This fact testifies the country’s nature as propagator of peace and non violence.
Even during ancient past, the ancestors were ahead of its contemporary civilizations. Over 5000 years ago, many cultures were only nomadic forest dwellers whereas Indians established a well planned Harappan culture in Indus Valley Civilization.
‘India’ got its name from River Indus around which the country’s early settlements came into existence. At that time, the Aryan dwellers referred to the River Indus as the Sindhu. The Persian invaders pronounced Sindhu as Hindu and thus came up the country’s more prevalent name called ‘Hindustan’, referring to the land of the Hindus.
India’s contribution to the world of research and knowledge is commendable. Here, many scholars and researchers discovered many important theories that are relevant till date. Some of the remarkable discoveries accredited to India are the invention of Zero and its placement in the Decimal-Based Place Value System. The study of Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus also originated here.
The world’s first residential university was established in Nalanda in the 4th century. It was also one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education.
In terms of games, the country is accredited to invent the Chess and Snakes & Ladders. The ladders in the game represented merits and the snakes indicated vices. Over the years, the game underwent several changes, but its meaning remained the same, i.e. good deeds take people to heaven and evil to a cycle of re-births.
Martial arts like Kerala’s Kalaripayattu was first conceived in India, and later spread to Asia by Buddhist missionaries. Also, the wellness sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda owe their origins to the country. The Father of Medicine, Charaka, consolidated Ayurveda 2,500 years ago. These wellness disciplines are still experienced with great zeal under Health tours.
Sushruta, the Father of Surgery defined the use of surgical treatments over 2,600 years ago. He along with his team conducted complicated surgeries like cataract, artificial limbs, cesareans, fractures, urinary stones, plastic surgery and brain surgeries. Owing to the same age old healing prowess combined with modern mindset and technologies, India is also renowned as a preferable medical destination. Many travellers here come to experience the same care, quality and service during medical tourism.
Also, India was renowned worldwide for its richness. Abundant in resources of all kinds, the land of luxuries attracted many legendary travellers and welcomed them in their pursuits for spices, silks, carpets and other sourcing. These include Ibn Battuta, Vasco Da Gama, French, Dutch, British, Portuguese, etc. In fact, Christopher Columbus, attracted by India’s wealth, experienced a big letdown when he discovered America by mistake on a sea route.
It was also referred to as the only source of diamonds in the world until 1896. The legendary diamond of Kohinoor also was mined in India. Many travellers come to India to trace the luxurious association of the country through luxury tours.
These are just few of the incredible aspects from the history of India. As an attempt to introduce Incredible India, we will update you with some of the more unique facts associated with the country in the next blog post.
Incredible India is not just the name of the promotional campaign by the country, but this phrase encapsulates its sheer wealth of customs, culture and way of life. The country, defined by its diversity presents a new and exotic world filled with great wonders. In all, it is laden with experiences that fill your holidays with excitement and make it a surprising retreat.
There are numerous glimpses here that range from towering snow capped mountains, dry deserts, gorgeous green forests, blissful beaches and farmlands. All these add on to the beauty and enigmatic appeal of the country. Such sights also bring awe and wonder in the eyes of the travellers. It even makes India look like a world in its own. Besides this, every festive celebration also offers a grand spectacle in a lavish way. Take Desert Festival, Elephant Festival, Thrissur Pooram, Konark Festival, Khajuraho Dance festival – all of them present rich and colourful glimpses of the country.
But there is more to India than just the sights. The country presents a unique sensory experience that wraps the travellers in the most experiential way. Every sense here gets an exclusive retreat to cherish. The tastebuds here receive a variety of flavours and colours in the most delectable way. Utilizing the herbs and spices cultivated within the country, these special dishes comprising the curries, appetizers, flatbreads, pancakes etc make the culinary experiences more vivid and exciting. But if the spicy food is not a taste of your palate, you can even ask the chefs or cooks to tone down the flavours for a distinctive experience.
The sense of smell also gets a perfect dose. With cities like Mysore renowned worldwide for its sweet sandalwood fragrances to the aromatic spice forests of Kerala and Goa – many more locations here offer a rich treat to the sense of smell. Even when the dishes are served, the aroma of spices wafts and offers an incredibly sumptuous experience.
Same is with the ears. A traveller gets to hear the contrasting chatter of crowded cities as well as serene chants within a temple. The melodies of folk and classical music also offer a soothing experience for ears.
At last, the sense of touch achieves another exclusive expression in this country. Famed as the originator of Ayurveda, the country offers authentic way to carry out the traditional therapies to calm the mind and relieve the body of its stress. Overall, this wellness science is presents the best way of touch therapy, touching the existence from within.
All these sensory experiences touch the travellers from within and present a new world to be discovered in every incredible India tour.
India has some of the most amazing flora and fauna on earth. With a surprising number of 89,451 faunal species, this country has some of the richest biodiversity in the world. Understandably, observing fauna during wildlife tours has become one of the country’s prime tourist attractions, bringing in thousands of tourists every year to India.
At present, there are over 80 national parks here, offering wildlife lovers an exceptional opportunity of spotting rare and unusual wildlife. During wildlife tours of India, these travellers get a fair chance of visiting the animals in their natural habitats. Also, they get a sentient lesson of coexisting in harmony with nature including wildlife.
In every direction of the country, travellers can experience the thrills and excitement of spotting the wildlife. Let us take you to some of the famous and renowned wildlife safaris in the country.
Ranthambore National Park – Certainly India’s most popular wildlife park, Ranthambore is one of the easiest escapes in the world where you can definitely spot the tigers. Thanks to its salubrious semi arid forests, that the park here hosts the large and exhibitionist population of striped big cats. Also, Tigers are recognized as India’s National Animal, which makes this visit even more attractive. This is the reason why travellers keen to experience Indian wildlife make way for this exciting national park.
Gir National Park – The second most popular wild destination in the country is famous worldwide as the only home to Asiatic Lions. Around 400 lions dwell in this national park exclusively, which makes this as a prominent wildlife attraction of India. In other locations worldwide, this exotic lion species has been declared extinct. Due to this reason only, the tourists prefer to visit Gir National park in a hope to spot the lions in the wilderness. Recently, 100 lion cubs have been spotted within the premises of this national park, which makes it evident that the efforts to conserve lions are working here.
Bandipur National Park –South India’s premier national park, Bandipur offers a great chance wild elephants sightings. Here, these mighty mammals wander in herds and provide awesome ways to spot wildlife. Created in the 1930s from the local maharaja’s hunting reserve and expanded in 1941, Bandipur offers variety of wildlife sightings, including those of Asian wild dogs, Oriental honey buzzard, crested serpent eagle, jungle bush quail, making it an exciting wild experience in the country.
These are just a few of wildlife attractions in the country. More such sightings and experiences await during India wildlife tour where these exotic wild species can be seen in action.
Destination India is filled with diverse attractions to boggle the mind, lure the heart and soothe the soul. This world’s seventh largest country is filled with great wonders that make it a captivating tourist attraction. It can be said that diversity is deeply etched in India. The nature, culture, traditions, religions, customs, beliefs and rituals; all express and sum up the intrinsic diversity of the country. This common differential element of the country forms a great reason why tourists head towards the country. Hemmed with the frozen Himalayas to the tropical countryside of Kerala, from the bountiful greens of East to the sands of the Thar Desert in Rajasthan, the country’s boundaries encompass incomparable variety.The wondrous aspect of the country is the fact that at the same time, a traveller can experience the mighty diversity in the locales, climate and geography; making it an all-time attraction. Another best thing here is that a wayfarer can mix and match the experiences as per his expectations and derive the most of the India tour. Say, if beaches excite him, then Beach tour of India can be the best bet for him.
The biggest Indian peninsular is the reason why the country has the largest coastline. Another incredible facet about Indian beaches is the fact that twelve of its states are bestowed with some of the most fascinating beaches in the world.The vast ocean interludes beautifully with coastline, creating a picture perfect composition of captivating Indian beaches. During this exotic experience, a traveller can experience the beaches of different personas in the states like Goa, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha and Tamil Nadu. These beaches have an identity of their own. Some are quiet, while others are bustling with action and activity. Where else in the world can one get such a dazzling mix of beaches. Of course in India. There are many other diversely spellbinding tourist attractions in India, but the charm of the country’s best kept beaches remains unparalleled. Besides relaxing on the beaches, the travellers can also enjoy the healing wealth of Spa and contrasting experiences of water adventure sports only on the country’s beaches. For more of the diverse experiences in the country, embark on an Incredible India Tour and gain an experiential view of its diversity.