India: A Travel Guide

First published in Israel: 2009

Publisher: Am Oved Publishers Ltd.

Copy right © Yigal Zur

India: A Travel Guide

(collaboration with Dan Daor)

“Amazing,” “Incredible” – the words repeatedly blurted out by wide-eyed visitors to India, a huge country with an ancient culture, soon to be the one of the largest economys in the world yet still part of the Third World. It is a land of contrasts: horrific crowding and wide open spaces; extreme fanaticism and religious tolerance; human warmth and cold-heartedness; freedom for living creatures of all kinds and individuals stifled by their families; western democracy and the remnants of a feudal regime. Unbearable noise surrounds peaceful gardens and unimaginable opulence exists amidst filth, poverty, and disease. It is easy to be put off by India, to cringe from it and take the first plane home. But there are many who are captivated by the country, who fall in love with it and return time and again.

Here we have tried to present an India that will appeal not only to people seeking spirituality or a cheap vacation, but also to tourists interested in art, natural wonders, a fascinating human landscape, and different ways of life, even if they are only armchair travelers. You won’t find the sort of information here that soon becomes outdated or can easily be found on the Internet. Instead, we offer a deeper look at the cultural aspects of the country – its society, religion, customs, and art – along with excerpts from Indian literature that you are unlikely to encounter elsewhere.