India is a vast South Asian country with diverse terrain – from Himalayan peaks to Indian Ocean coastline – and history reaching back 5 millennia. In the north, Mughal Empire landmarks include Delhi’s Red Fort complex and massive Jama Masjid mosque, plus Agra’s iconic Taj Mahal mausoleum. Pilgrims bathe in the Ganges in Varanasi, and Rishikesh is a yoga canter and base for Himalayan trekking.
The eastern port Kolkata, former capital of British India, is known for its colonial architecture. In the west, the megacity Mumbai is the seat of the Bollywood film industry, and the Malabar Coast, of spice-trade fame, features beach resorts. A land of diverse spirituality, India is the birthplace of 4 major world religions, namely Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism. Around the country are innumerable sacred sites, including ancient carved-stone temples. Its spicy cuisine is as varied as the country itself, and its many wildlife sanctuaries shelter tigers, elephants and monkeys.