India: More Than the Land of Snake Charmers

As someone whose parents were born and raised in India, I have had the privilege to travel to India many times to visit family. From my travels, I have gained a greater understanding of my country and the similarities and differences between the United States and India. This past winter break, I traveled back to India once more to visit my family. Something I noticed this time that I had not in my previous travels was the number of uneducated tourists who had a particular view of India.

The main misconception people believe is that India is a poor country. Many people think of poor families living on the streets and in slums who have very little to eat. While this is true in some cases, the following photos show the reality of India that you don’t see in the media:

View of the city of Mumbai, which shows the slums, but also the many office buildings, apartments, and more. Photo By Nidhi Jariwala.

Gateway of Mumbai, built in the 20th century to commemorate the landing of King George V and Queen Mary on their travel to India. Photo by Nidhi Jariwala.

The Taj Mahal Palace, a five-star, luxury hotel in Mumbai next to the Gateway of India. Photo by Nidhi Jariwala.

Mumbai coastline. Photo by Nidhi Jariwala.

Rajabai Clock Tower,  in 2018 this structure was added to the list of the World Heritage Sites and is a part of the Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai. Photo by Nidhi Jariwala.

Khurai, India - Khurai is a municipality in the Indian state Madhya Pradesh. Photo by NIdhi Jariwala.

There are many misconceptions about India, but what many people may not realize is that there is a lot more to the country that what is portrayed in the media. As shown by the pictures from my trip, India has a growing economy - not to mention the vast number of different languages, religions, and cultures. It is a country with too much diversity to portray with one biased stereotype. And despite what some people think, it is much more than just the land of snake charmers.