Incredible India

Posted by on Mar 28, 2013 in Featured, India | 2 comments

“Incredible India” is the marketing phrase utilized throughout the country and it pretty much sums it up. Everything in India, whether good, bad, loud, quiet, colorful, or subdued is truly incredible.  

I recently heard someone describe India as an “assault on the senses” and I have to say that the phrase very accurately depicts the experience that I have had so far. India can be extremely overwhelming if you don’t force yourself to savor the sensations.  Yet the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of India are worth the trip in themselves.

The vibrant colors seem to dance, intensified by the hot Indian sun. From the intricate, beaded, jewel toned saris worn by the women to the spices filling the kiosks in the market, you will see every shade of color you can imagine while strolling the streets. 

I have never heard so many dissonant sounds converge in a single setting: music, loud talking, and honking.  Indian music blasts from every shop and people put giant speakers on top of their cars to share their musical tastes with the world.  I sometimes feel like I am walking through a musical number in a Bollywood movie.  However, the overarching sound that you will encounter in India is car honking.  It is to the point that I imagine the instructor in driver’s ed class (if they had one) saying something like this: “There are absolutely no rules to the road.  Just make sure you are honking your horn 90% of the time.”  It is unbelievable.  Indian drivers honk when they need it, honk when they don’t need it, honk to let other drivers know they are there, honk to show the little song that their honk plays.  As far as I can tell, they honk just to honk…it is constant. 

Taking a deep breath in India is like playing Russian roulette.  I have never encountered such a drastic contrast in scents in one location before.  While walking 100 meters down a typical Indian street,  I will delight in the smell of roasted chicken, incense, and spicy cumin yet also inhale the smell of various animal droppings, body odor, and urine.  

Maybe my favorite sense that has been invigorated in India is taste.  The cuisine is unbelievably varied, flavorful, and exotic (although, in my opinion, each dish should be served with a side of Immodium).  I could live in India for years and try something different every day and still never have tasted it all.  I love the Northern Indian food that is heavier on both oil and spice, the Southern cooking that features coconut in almost everything, and the decadent sauces that hit each taste bud and enhance each bite.  It feels like an adventure every time I sit down for a meal.

And finally touch.  It is not so much a heightened sense of touch in this country, but more that I am coming into contact with things that I have never felt before.  Food for instance.  It is common to eat with your hands so now I know what warm Jeera rice feels like.  I have run my fingers over the softest Pashmina scarf and fine silk clothing .  And felt the creamy henna ink on my arm as I received the traditional (and temporary) tattoo.  I have also, unfortunately, experienced the sensation of hot oil splattered on my toes from an outdoor cooking stand.  

These heightened senses contribute to everything that makes India incredible.  You truly have to experience it to believe it.


  1. Oh Kat, your stories are leaving me wanting for more. They are so interesting. I just love seeing how you & Mike have submerged yourselves into India’s culture.

  2. I love how descriptive you write. You have a gift with words!

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