Namasté or Namaskar is an Indian greeting as well as a gesture. Namaskar is considered a slightly more formal version than Namaste, but both express deep respect. The word is spoken at the beginning of written or verbal communication. However, the same hands folded gesture is made wordlessly upon departure. Taken literally, it means "I bow to you". The word is derived from Sanskrit (namas): to bow, obeisance, reverential salutation, and (te): "to you". When spoken to another person, it is commonly accompanied by a slight bow made with hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointed upwards, in front of the chest. The gesture can also be performed wordlessly and carry the same meaning.
A country so vast, India represents diversity in all its forms: people, religions, customs and traditions, clothes, dialects, habits. She begins with the highest peaks and descends across mighty fastnesses and rolling pains to submerge in not one but three seas. Beaches surround her coastal belts, and in Rajasthan there is the stillness of the Thar Desert. The great seas, a still desert, the might of the Himalayas…
India has all this and more. Backwater canals and tropical forests, rugged hill towns, river estuaries, wooded swamps and glacial meadows. Regions unattainable by road, places unexplored. The suavity of city dwellers contrasts sharply with aboriginal tribes who still lead their sheltered existence unhindered by the spread of civilization.
India’s history goes back to 3200 BC when Hinduism was first founded. Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam all exist within the country today of more than one billion people.
Today’s visitors revel in the fantastic breadth of history left by a stream of dynasties and conquerors. British Raj relics, Portuguese churches, Rajput forts, Mughal palaces, Buddhist stupas, Jain and Hindu temples all create an unforgettable, incredible diverse horizon. Apart from these cultural landmarks, India’s calendar is studded with extraordinary festivals that offer rare, highly-charged experiences that could be the highlight of our trip. This is the moment when you become more than just a tourist and actually penetrate the living traditions of India and its people.
Indians are considered very hospitable. An Indian welcome is thousands of years old, and the simple aarti ritual that honours all guests as manifestations of God, has been refined over centuries. To the Indian, the country is a harmonious whole which he does not question. To the foreigner, the diversity is a puzzling complexity which he seeks to understand. Come see the dances of India, witness the pageant of its festivals, taste the spirit of its culinary celebrations, or admire objects shaped by hand by master artisans and you will experience some of the cultural mores of a country that boasts a civilisation five thousand years old....