We visit India for many reasons: to see its stunning landscapes, to get acquainted with its delectable cuisine, to witness its iconic forts, palaces, and temples. But the people of India are perhaps the best reason of all to journey here. Home to more than 1.3 billion, the Subcontinent brims with different cultures, languages, and modes of living. But wherever in India you do choose to explore, you’re sure to be greeted with warm and wonderful hospitality.

1. Does it get more vibrant (or more spicy) than this? Here, a young woman sorts chilli peppers in Rajasthan.

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© Bartosz Hadyniak/iStock

2. It may be dry, but India’s Thar Desert is still incredibly vibrant. These beaming, colourfully dressed girls are the proof.

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© Bartosz Hadyniak/iStock

3. The Ganges River is famously sacred among the people of India. But for this playful group of boys in Varanasi, it’s also the perfect chance to cool off.

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© Bartosz Hadyniak/iStock

4. Visiting during Holi is a great opportunity to discover India’s festive spirit.

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© ferrantraite/iStock

5. In Jodhpur, this vendor sells traditional – and beautiful – puppets.

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© Bartosz Hadyniak/iStock

6. In this street scene, two young sisters in New Delhi smile at the camera.

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© Ylliab Photo/Flickr

7. We love this striking portrait of a Rajasthani man wearing a brilliantly hued turban.

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© M M/Flickr

8. Sampling India’s street food is one of the best ways to get acquainted with the local culture (and these snacks certainly look tempting)!

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© Nhi Dang/Flickr

9. Taken at a monastery in the Leh District of Jammu and Kashmir, this beautiful portrait captures a young Buddhist monk.

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© Deepak Bhatia/Flickr

10. A smiling group seen through the window of a bus.

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© Nhi Dang/Flickr

11. A man paddles across Srinagar’s beautiful Dal Lake.

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© Colin Tsoi/Flickr

12. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more joyful photo than this wedding shot, taken in Hyderabad.

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© Shashank/Flickr

13. In Varanasi, a man performs a traditional devotional ceremony along the Ganges.

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© Jan Bockaert/Flickr

14. The Golden Temple at Amritsar may be stunning, but this colourfully dressed group is no less vibrant.

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© Christopher J Lucas Photography/Flickr

15. Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu is famous for its rich culture, including its traditions of classical dance.

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© Arian Zwegers/Flickr

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