1. India is a complete world in itself

Indians refer to India as Mother India - "our motherland". In order to understand and experience India in its entirety one needs to go with a free heart, soul and mind. A body that is free of all prejudice and ideas. It's a country of diversity, culture, colour, beliefs and an extraordinary way of living.

2. Indian food is not for the faint hearted

Neither is it for the taste buds who like to play in safer zones. The combination of flavours, spices and aromas is something that will nourish you and excite your taste buds, leaving an ever lasting memory. India has 29 states and seven union territories, with something completely different wherever you go. It certainly has more than vindaloo and butter chicken to offer.

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Ghats on the River Ganges in Varanasi, India. Photo / Getty Images
Ghats on the River Ganges in Varanasi, India. Photo / Getty Images

3. Experience contemporary fashion with a royal touch

From raw silk to the softest silks and pashminas, cotton, linen to georgettes, crepe to chiffon... You name a fabric and you will find it in India. It doesn't just offer boring fashion; it offers fashion which is bold, colourful, has a story behind it and above all surely promises to stand out. You will also find diamonds, gold jewellery and precious stones - this is the land of maharajas and royals after all.

Aarti Bajaj as Meera in the stage production of the same name, which she also created. Photo / Helen Selmeczy
Aarti Bajaj as Meera in the stage production of the same name, which she also created. Photo / Helen Selmeczy

4. Every art form in India tells a story

India has eight different classical dance forms, multiple classical music and singing forms and various folk dancing and singing styles, with a history so extensive that they become an entire subject in itself. Each gets carefully crafted with meaningful costumes, jewellery, makeup and many more embellishments.

5. Indians take a lot of pride in their culture

And why shouldn't they? It's the culture that gives us our unique identity. And Indian culture and civilisation has a history centuries long. If you want to immerse in the colour, festivities and all the fun stories that go with it, then India is a must place to visit.

Home to India's most colourful cities, Rajasthan holds the pink gates of Jaipur, blue washed Jodhpur, marble-white Udaipur and the golden sands of Jaisalmer

6. Travel by rail

One needs to experience Indian railways and travel in Indian trains to get the real taste of the country.

Mehrangarh fort in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Photo / Getty Images
Mehrangarh fort in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Photo / Getty Images

7. Visit heritage buildings

Be it Taj Mahal or Ajanta Elora caves, Qutub Minar or Mehrangarh Fort, every state in India has its heritage buildings and monuments that narrate the stories of centuries in the most elaborative, artistic fashion.

8. Eat street food

How to choose the best street-food places to eat, to avoid "Delhi belly"? Always eat at the place that is really busy, eat freshly cooked food, and don't drink tap water.

Happy Holi! A time for renewal and forgiveness. Both will be needed when clouds of coloured 'gulal' paint settle on Friday night

9. Visit Mumbai to experience Bollywood

The biggest movie producing hub in the world is Bollywood and, to experience it, visit Mumbai (Bombay). Mumbai can be best described as an organised chaos. Everyone is constantly moving. It's a city that never sleeps. If India is a complete world in itself then Mumbai is a complete different world in India.

Dharavi is a slum and administrative ward of Mumbai, with a population between 600,000 and more than 1 million people. Photo / Getty Images
Dharavi is a slum and administrative ward of Mumbai, with a population between 600,000 and more than 1 million people. Photo / Getty Images

10. See both sides of the story

Visit India's largest slum "Dharavi", as well as some of the most expensive, state of the art architecture and buildings. India is a living example that shows how people from different walks of life, cultures, social statures, values, religions, and beliefs come together each day and make things happen. Whether they have little or more, they make life happen.

Aarti Bajaj created and stars in Meera , a stage spectacular based on a 16th-century North Indian story. ASB Waterfront Theatre from May 31 to June 2.