Thursday 22 April 2010

Which is the best place to visit in India?

I have been away for a couple of days and it feels like a long time. I missed all of you and let me give you lots of love from Belfast, Ireland. We (me and two other students) are exchange students from Chennai to the Queen's University, Northern Belfast for a period of six weeks. We are indeed fortunate to have landed here before the eruption of the Icelandic volcano which brought all the European flights to a standstill. Miracles do happen!

Well, being in a foreign coutry for the first time, the question: "Which is the best place to visit in India?" is quite a common one. Everytime this question is asked, I find myself at a loss for words as I start thinking about the best place. I can't think of any one place. Every place is different and India is not ONE place. India is many things. There is north, south, east and west of India and every place is entirely different from the other.

I always give the answer: "Depends on what you are looking for." But this answer does not always help the one who has asked the question. Now it's their turn to do the thinking but then I intervene and talk about my part of India - South India. In a way I act like a propagandist and convince the person that South India is lovely for a first time. And then gradually the person starts popping the names of different places in India and I have to rack my brains to figure out where the places are situated - North, East, West or South.You get what I mean? (a very Belfast expression!).

So much so for being a foreigner. But wait. This is not the only writeable experience. There are many. It's just for me to start writing.

Getting used to the lovely northern Irish accent and the cold weather.


  1. I missed you!! Was wondering where you were...glad that you landed before the eruption. I've been asked that question a number of times, too, and my answer usually begins with, if you want to see [this and that] then you should go [here and here] but if you'd like to do [such and such], you might want to consider [here and here]. It's hard to say which one place people should go to (Taj Mahal is very popular), and it also depends on what time of the year they're planning to visit. But no matter which parts of India they visit, they will, for sure, have a cultural experience that will stay etched in their minds forever.
    Hope you enjoy some Irish coffee and potato scones :-)
    Will look forward to your reflections as you meander through the central plains and the coastal mountains.

  2. Usually.. the best places to visit have no name or specific identity.. no history.. no building.

    Yeah.. difficult question.

  3. Susan, it's so good to see you back here. And I know exactly what you mean about being asked that question "What's the best place to visit in India?" I'm asked that question often about Egypt. And what's funny is that I have your response to offer. It's so true. Every country has so many different things to offer, it's no wonder we can't specify one certain place or one thing to do.

    It's good to know you're having a good time and enjoying some nice weather. I wish you luck with the rest of your time there, and I'll be looking forward to reading your posts. Enjoy!


  4. Well, for one thing. If i am visiting India, i might just drop you a note for maybe a cuppa coffee with you, Susan!

    Glad to see you back.


  5. How exciting, I am sure you will have a great time.;)
    Looking forward to updates about your stay and all the impressions.;)

  6. Congrats! Ireland is lovely! but cold now! when are u returning? missing you on our blogs...

    Suggestion- Munsiyari is the best place in India!

  7. :):) that is me smiling! so glad to have you back here Susan.
    Eagerly awaiting to read more on your experiences there in Ireland.
    Enjoy the weather ;) have loads of fun!!
    Take care my friend. Lots of love and warmest regards

  8. Mansi:

    So nice to be back in the circuit. I missed reading all the posts. Feels sort of vague without reading the blogs. Well, any place in India is an experience. Coffee here is so different than the one in India.
    The change in weather is doing a lot of good to me and I am enjoying it thoroughly.


    You and I know this but I guess we need to give a definite name to the people who have not been here before.


    Missed you so! The new place is absolutely lovely. I especially enjoy the northern Irish accent with a sing-song tone. I shall and am enjoying the time here. First time outside of India so it's all the more stunning!


    Wow! That's the best. Come soon to India.

  9. Zuzana:

    I thought a lot about your Irishman and you while I just landed here. And I will try the Battenbergs!!!


    I will be back by the 4th of June. Shall soon start the usual circuits, you see but the new place keeps me occupied rather than the internet so my visits will be sporadic, I guess.


    How nice to see your comment. Oh! How I missed this interaction with all of you. How easily we get attached! The weather is cold, very cold. The northern Arctic wind blows with full gusto making my eyes and nose water and hands numb.
    You take good care and be happy.

    Joy always :)

  10. Hey Susan,

    So good to see you back. Missed your posts and comments in mine :)

    Good to hear that you are in Ireland. I know how exciting and interesting it will be in a foreign land. Have fun Susan.

    Coming back to your post. Places to visit in India. Ummm. Lots actually. Depends on how long the visitor is staying in India and it depends on one's interests too. If he/she is a total nature lover, then we have Kerala and the north-east. If he/she is a wild-life enthusiast the we have quiet a number of wildlife reserves in orissa and West Bengal. If he/she is looking for historic places, again we have the very beautiful Taj Mahal, old Delhi, forts and palaces spread across the nation, the multi-storeyed temples of the south. If he/she is into mountaineering we sure know where to guide them. Or just for relaxing and chilling out we have beaches on three sides. So it all depends on where and what one is interested in. For India is indeed incredible!!! :)

  11. AH?¿ Now a couple of weeks off Is a couple of days? (lol)

    how nice we can go and see and observe north south east west... all so similar all so unique and exquisitively different... that happens even in my little island,and, of course, my country Spain...
    When we travel we fall in love with the places and the people... that's the best part of it...BTW I've just realised I need to travel more... ;(

    So glad you are back!
    hugs Susan!!

  12. Telling them about the land you know is a sensible approach and in your next one educate me and the likes more in your place who know very little apart from the clips that we see in TV or movies.Hola nice to hear from you :)

  13. Hey Susan..Always been a pleasure reading your blogs..there are lots of places to go around in India..hmm..guess the best would be the palaces and temples, especially for their architecture..

    Enjoy your stay in Ireland and do post some pics

  14. Hi Susan-hope your sojourn in the land of Erin is tripping happily along. Spring must be starting to break out of its cocoon and spread its blossomy wings. Years ago, I watched a documentary by the French director, Louis Malle, called Phantom India. It made me feel that India must be the most mysterious, complicated place on earth. There seemed to be a different culture and way of life around every corner. Absolutely staggering!

  15. Sukanya:

    Thanks for the kind words. My God! you have given me a list here. Bt by the time I rattle all this, the poor listener will be wondering whether to actually go to India. Joking. You take care and be well.

    Ah Dulce!

    It's a couple of weeks actually! One needs to travel, yes but then it's just an urge to be connected with the cultres of the world, i reckon.
    Thanks for your lovely words Dulce.


    Great seeing you here Shivani. Hmmm.

  16. SS:

    Lovely to see you after long :) Architecture, yes. I will remember that next time. I sure will post some pictures.


    Oh yes! Erin is treating me well so far and so am I. Spring has indeed started and we are noticing the change in the vegetation every single day. Just after a rain, the buds have started blossoming. Oh India is a very complex culture. There is no one definition and description for India. Staggering but amazing! Come sometime and discover the place :)

    Joy always.

  17. hello dear susan! just a quick hello as i run out the door literally - headed to two soccer games for two little ones this morning - haven't quite decided how to split myself for the two as games are same time different fields - anyway, just wanted you to know i was thinking of you - will be back soon!!!

  18. Jenean:

    Looking forward to your stop overs here. Hope life is treating you well and keeping you content and happy :)

    Joy always.

  19. A couple of days?? More like a couple of weeks, my friend. Missed you!

  20. Angie, Angie: I lose the strings of time sometimes. Maybe most of the times, you see. Feels good to be missed :)

    Joy always.

  21. u have actully penned down three posts since I came here last!! And I was looking out for some Belfast news:) Missed u:):)

    So they ask u the one best place is it, when they don't seem to be knowing that in reality they are asking for three - good, better and the best:) U could brush aside the q and say The Taj without a thought, but they would already know it and the best they are looking for depends entirely on what they want to see... and like Sameera said, there aren't any best places at all.. are they..
    U get what I mean? Su :P

    enjoy ur Irish coffee and the seems like lots of movies in line.... when u back, 6 weeks seems a long long time, ... and beautiful landscape Ireland has:)

    Love and hugs
    From ur ever so obedient friend:)



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