A country of 1.3 billion people and 1.3 million square miles can never be seen in one trip – or even in several. Best to select a target and enjoy the carnival of colour and controlled chaos which defines it – Delhi with its Victorian architecture; Goa and its lovely beaches; rising Kolkata (Calcutta) with a food scene that surprises; calmer Kerala, all waterways and houseboats in the dreamy south; glorious Rajasthan with its temples and palaces in Jaipur and Jodhpur. Even these only scratch the surface of a truly sensational destination.
Must see: India's biggest and most populous metropolis, Mumbai lives up to its image as a maze of culture, clutter and charm. This is the glamorous home of Bollywood, but my lasting memories of the city are more humble – shopping for shirts and saris in Colaba, drinking tea in Iranian cafe Britannia & Co, savouring the sunset upon Chowpatty Beach.