With Travel Diaries we have decided to tell you about a country through the sensations and emotions of those who have visited and chosen it as a “soul’s journey”. We interviewed Riccardo a friend and client of ours who answered our questions about one of the most controversial destinations in the world!
India is spirituality, contradiction, poverty, wealth, mysticism and more. More than a trip, travel to India means questioning our soul. Let’s hear what our friend thinks!
Why did you choose India as a destination for your trip?
Surely for the strong spirituality that this country emanates, the sacredness of the numerous rituals celebrated throughout the year, accompained by music, songs, dances…
Which part of India have you visited and why did you choose that one?
Rajasthan. India is a country that has a great variety of territories, but this area in particular is rich in history and wonderful archaeological remains.
If you have visited Varanasi, could you describe it to us through your eyes? What makes it magical?
Varanasi was a stop that I could not miss. Here you can find India’s essence, it is also a surreal place.
I took two boat trips, in the morning and in the evening, to attend the funeral rites. Faithful make the ablutions on the Ghats, the stairways that lead to the river, twice a day. I learned that every Hindu faithful must visit Varanasi at least once in his life. Hindus also believe that diving along the western bank of the Ganges can make you free from samsara, the cycle of death and rebirth.
Which adjectives could you choose to describe Indian people?
Indian people are poor but also very kind. I remember that one day I was welcomed by a family to take part in a religious celebration. At the beginning I was hesitant but then I got involved and it was very exciting. Indian people are curious, they really like to take a selfie!
Karma and sacredness are India’s key points: how did you live them?
Approaching on tiptoe and with respect, looking without judging, treasuring what I observed. This country gives the opportunity to look inside ourselves from a different point of view. Religion here is completely different from ours and for this reason it makes you think.
The strongest experience and the greatest emotion you lived in India?
Definitely Varanasi, where people pray while bodies are cremated few meters away, colours, the coexistence of life and death, the two apices of existence.
To whom do you advise and to whom don’t you advise a trip to India?
India is not for everyone. It is a country where poverty has no half measures, where people and animals live in the street. Then, India is so dirty; in the streets you can see rubbish and animal and human’s excrements. There is also a lot of smog in the air. If you are ready for this, you can leave to dive into a spiritual world.
Travel essentials: what can not miss in your backpack?
Definitely a kit of medicines for the stomach, intestines and fever, disinfectants, clothes suitable to enter religious places. A torch. A spoon to avoid eating with your hands as is the tradition here!
Food and accommodation in India: your advice!
Try the chicken tikka masala, the samosas, vegetarian dumplings, the daal (lentil soup). Food is quite spicy and hot! For hygienic reasons I recommend to eat in restaurants and to always drink bottled water, also to brush your teeth. I definitely recommend accommodations that can guarantee an adequate level of cleanliness. After a day spent among dust and noise, you need to rest!
And would you feel ready to live this experience?!
Photo credits: Pexels.