Last weekend I attended the ASTA Travel Retailing & Destination Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center. One of the seminars I attended was “Incredible India – A Destination for all Seasons” presented by Sujata Thakur and Gajendra Singh Panwar. I learned a lot about the Asian subcontinent: where and when to go, and some of the amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites that are located there.
The new slogan for India’s tourism campaign is “Atithi Devo Bhavah,” which translates to “The visitor (or guest) is a god.” They are trying to draw people to the many diverse regions year-round. Peak travel time to India is October through April, but there’s a real push to bring in visitors at all times of the year. One of the major benefits is savings—you can save 30% by visiting during monsoon season or summer. Besides less crowds, summer is good for wildlife viewing or for partaking in Ayurvedic (holistic) tourism. The intense heat might be too much for some tourists, so the speakers suggested a trip to the north or Himalayas where it’s much cooler. Traveling during monsoon season might not sound all that pleasant, but since the rains are warm, it might be refreshing to some. The state of Kerala, located in the southwest corner of India, is one of the places that they mentioned that can be enjoyed during the monsoon season as well.
The second part of the presentation dealt with all of the fantastic tourist sites and monuments in India. Everyone recognizes the spectacular white marble mausoleum, the Taj Mahal, but India is home to twenty-two other cultural and an additional six natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Some that stood out to me are the Mahabodhi Temple and the Konarak Sun Temple. I’d really like to visit these, and others, on a trip to India someday.
Have you been to India? Have you been during non-peak seasons? What are your thoughts? Feel free to comment in the section below!
Taj Mahal Photo Credit: Flickr Commons by rachel in wonderland