Chaos, Curries and Curiosities: Some Experiential Dimensions of Indian Culture for Foreign Tourists
The culture of India has held a special attraction for international tourists. The vast landmass of the subcontinent offers a kaleidoscope of diversity. Though the country has a vast and varied resource base of tourism product, the top of mind awareness of India remains concentrated in the images of the ‘Taj Mahal’ huge population, colours, food, culture, customs and particularly the all-pervasive ‘chaos’ that forms the heartbeat of the country. This paper aims at gaining insight into the distinct aspects of India and Indian culture that tourists find curious, captivating, fascinating, shocking, and incomprehensible. The study concludes that India provides both an ‘intimidating’ and ‘exhilarating’ travel experience. The challenging country full of unpredictable surprises (both pleasant and unpleasant) is discovered as a ‘universe’ in itself, which delivers everything conceivable for tourists and much more. For the experiential tourists, with all its positives and negatives, a visit to India culminates into a profound ‘life changing’ experience that no other country can offer.
Keywords: India, Culture, Chaos, Experiential Tourism
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