India, the largest democracy in the world, is home to a tremendously varied population of over one billion people that coexist in a vibrant multi-religious, multi-lingual, multi-ethic, and multi-cultural country. Over the millenia of history of the country, those people have built an unmatched architectural heritage of rock-carved caves, places of worship for a large number of religions, mausoleums, and palaces. From small things such as fabrics and spices, to entire towns painted with a striking tint, India is possibly the most colorful of all countries.
For my first trip outside of the West, I travelled to India in the summer of 1988. Before heading for the lonely mountains of Ladakh, where I trekked accross the Himalayas on foot, I was quickly bewildered and overwhelmed by the sensory overload, chaos, and heat in the plains. It wasn't until two decades latter, in January 2007, that I travelled more extensively in India, although in a much shorter amount of time, flying to most destinations.