India will sideswipe you with size, clamour and diversity – but if you enjoy delving into convoluted cosmologies and thrive on sensual overload, then it is one of the most intricate and rewarding dramas unfolding on earth, and you’ll quickly develop an abiding passion for it. Nothing in the country is ever quite predictable; the only thing to expect is the unexpected, which comes in many forms and will always want to sit next to you. India is a litmus test for many travellers – some are only too happy to leave, while others stay for a lifetime. The country’s glorious diversity means there’s an astonishing array of sacred sites, from immaculately kept Jain temples to weathered Buddhist stupas, there’s history around every corner. Countless monuments, battle-scarred forts, abandoned cities and ancient ruins all have tales to tell, and there are beaches to satiate the most avid sun worshipper. On a personal level, India is going to be exactly what you make of it.