India is the place where anything can happen. It is no accident that it gave birth to the magical realism genre of English writing. Everything in the country is extreme. It requires a very particular mindset to enjoy a visit and a willingness to let go of the idea of controlling everything. It is the world's largest democracy and boasts spectacular and ancient architecture throughout.

Rajasthan is full of romance, with the Blue City – Jodhpur – and the Golden City – Jaisalmer – on the edge of the Thar Desert. Kashmir remains riven by division without which tourists would flock to it. As things stand, the UK Foreign Office advises against all travel outside Ladakh there.


India flag

Why you should go:

You have read Salman Rushdie, Arundathi Roy, Vikram Seth or Vikram Chandra.

Why you shouldn't:

You have a sensitive stomach.

Map of India