Thursday, July 4, 2013

Why do Westerners insist on ONLY traveling to North India?

(North India - is this really the whole India?)

This weekend, as I was reading magazines at my parents' house, I came across yet another article on traveling to India - a.k.a. North India. 

(A Western article on the "Stars of India" - being only North Indian cities.)

Why do Westerners only travel to North India? Or claim that they have been to India, when they've only been to one part of it? That's like going to the U.S. but only visiting New York City. It's a very limited view of an entire country.

I honestly can't stand these articles. If they are going to write about India, they should write about all the different parts - or at least choose 3 cities from different regions. It's not the Westerners' fault - all these travel guides say to go Delhi - Agra - Jaipur, between November and February. It's all crap!
Jaipur, yes, is fantastic. But how about going to Kerala, Bangalore, Madras, Hyderabad, Mysore, Madurai??? What about beautiful South India?

(Kathkali performance in Cochin, Kerala)

South India is like a pearl inside a clam. It is the best part of India and everyone is really missing out by not traveling there. The people are so kind and much gentler...and don't get me started on the food! The food - oh my god - is the best you'll ever taste. There's nothing like having a dosa in Madras; or a roadside mirchi bhaji in Hyderabad. Another thing I love about South Indians - is the dress. Gorgeous silk sarees - absolutely exquisite. Women dressed up in these gorgeous silk sarees with huge chunky gold necklaces and a gigantic diamond in their nose - absolute goddesses! The temples are divine, and maintained beautifully. 

(Mirchi Bhaji in Hyderabad)

Last month during my inlaws' visit, I took them to see Maya's music class. Afterward, the teacher came up and introduced herself and asked them, "Oh, are you from Goo-jay-rat?" Jesus. I literally had to stop myself from laughing at this poor woman's ignorance! My mother-in-law looks so typically South Indian...and this woman thinks she's Gujarati? Of course, how could I blame her...she had probably read all these guides that say all the same thing!

(Hyderabad sunset)

Westerners, please travel to South India...or else you are really missing out!



  1. I think another part of this is the Taj Mahal. Everyone who has ever found out I've been to India immediately asks "Did you visit the Taj Mahal?" As if that is the only reason to visit India. No. I didnt visit any tourist destinations. I visited my boyfriends family and went to a lot of temples. No Taj Mahal. It gets on your nerves after a while...

    Would love to see South India! Unfortunately don't know anyone there and I think I enjoy India more than my boyfriend, even though he was born and raised there. Not sure if he'd want to go sight-seeing, or just go back to see his cousins.

    1. Ugh, yes the stupid Taj Mahal! LOL! I mean, it is a beautiful work of art, but I have been to countless other sites which are just as great. Even local temples are just as good as the Taj Mahal, in my opinion!
      I get what you mean, when we travel that far, you just wanna visit the Indian family...there are too many people to visit and hang out with! :)

    2. ..."No. I didnt visit any tourist destinations. I visited my boyfriends family and went to a lot of temples."
      haha, your story = my experience ('cept I was in the south) :P

  2. well now since you have decided to join in the eternal North vs South debate, I aver, you are definitely becoming more Indian by the day.

  3. I haven't been to North India yet, only South! lol.

  4. Just came across your blog and have been reading your topics.. they are indeed great..:)
    Aaah you are true about this .. but I met some non-indians visiting south india equally well.. I was surprised to learn from a south indian travel agent that many foreigners visit one state at a the sense they spend 3 weeks just to cover different places with in one state at leisure. Which I thought was very interesting.
    And your child's music teacher thinking you MIL as gujarathi.. there's no fault of hers.. most of gujarathi's look more or less like south indians. One of my best friend is gujarathi and when ever I attend any of her family events ..I was mistaken as gujarthi and they start speaking to me in their language.. no fault of hers.. :) I live in nyc and some thought I am from Guyana.. oh well.. you can never judge a person by looks :)

    1. Over the past few years I have met a couple of Westerners who are traveling to Goa or Kerala, sometimes TN too, which is so great.
      The biggest difference would be the saree draping with Gujarathi women...but of course the music teacher would not know!

  5. Since I live in Punjab I am going to be a little bias and say there is nothing wrong with heading to Delhi first. For the average tourist it has so many beautiful sights to visit in the one place without travelling far and is right near the airport. Such as: The Taj Mahal, The Red Forte, Qutb Minar, Humahuns Tomb, India Gate, The Lotus Temple, Godi & Mughal Gardens, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Chartarpur Hindi Temple, Delhi & Agra Markets, The Spice Markets and so much more.

    Though I do agree that there are just as equally nice places, not just in the South but also in the North. Not to mention South India is great for the first time traveller as it is more westernised than say Punjab and it is much much cleaner. It's strange you say how South India isn't advertised as much as in Australia, where I am from, it is the opposite with many heading to Goa first.

    Punjabi People are seriously the most passionate and loving people you are ever going to meet so I think it is worth paying a visit to North India. Though with that said I agree with you that the whole of India is just as beautiful and should be equally advertised.



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