Endowed with diverse topography, climatic conditions, and cultural beliefs, North India covers an area of about 1,420,540 sq km. Its dominant geographical features include the Himalayas to its north, the Thar Desert to its west and the Indo-Gangetic plains that span the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The region shares its borders with China, Nepal, Bhutan and Pakistan. It boasts some of the largest glaciers, sub-tropical forests, wildlife reserves and archaeological treasures.
In North India, history blends beautifully with culture and religion. The holiest pilgrimage centres of Hindus, the most sacred Buddhist monasteries, revered Sikh Gurudwaras and Islamic mosques co-exist with complete harmony in the region. The northern part of India is also privileged to be home to the largest mosque in India - Jama Masjid, situated in Delhi and the largest Sikh shrine - The Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab. One of the oldest inhabited cities of the world - Varanasi, also lies in the region on the banks of Ganga river.
In terms of architectural wonders, North India takes pride in being home to one of the wonders of the world - The Taj Mahal in Agra. Also, the Hawa Mahal in Jaipur and City Palace in Udaipur encapsulates the grandeur and royalty that the region enjoyed. For natural wonders and trekking trails, the states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand and Jammu & Kashmir are famous. The hill towns of Shimla, Nainital, Dharamshala and Dalhousie see major influx of tourists. Not to miss, the snow-clad mountains of Kashmir, the world’s highest motorable pass and highest salt water lake in Ladakh.
With a population of 543 million, over two dozen linguistic groups thrive in the northern region. Thus, the variations in Hindi dialects are prominently noticed on crossing regional boundaries. Apart from Hindi, different forms of Rajasthani, Pahadi, Awadhi, Punjabi, Bihari, and Kashmiri languages are spoken in the region.
The diversity of North India adds a dash of colour and vitality to the clothing patterns and culinary circuits. In Punjab and Rajasthan, spicy cuisines and embellished clothing is embraced. However, Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand largely have herb-based curries and sport a rather simple attire. The Union Territories of Delhi and Chandigarh blend western cuisines and attire with traditional culture, displaying a perfect cosmopolitan look.
North India is like a colour palatte of an artist, that would beautifully paint the canvas with the green of the farms and valleys, the brown of the mountains and deserts, the white of the snow to the blue of rivers perfectly.
If you want to do something different this year, we suggest you take off to one of these places for an extraordinary Holi celebration.
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If you aren’t one of those who would want their Holi to be all about colors, this piece is for you!