--- UPDATE December 2016: I'm off on my first trip to India over the Xmas and New Year's period, with a very full itinerary and high expectations. I will report back in full detail before long. You can expect several new chapters being added here over the first half of 2017 ---
A huge country, a subcontinent of Asia, with the second largest population of any on Earth (closely behind China
and soon to overtake it). It has had a rich history too – including its dark bits.
A particular period in that sense has to be the British
colonial era. During that time, these European colonialist rulers subjugated the indigenous population and also committed various atrocities.
Out of these, the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar stands out in particular and is commemorated in an official memorial site.
There are are few further commodified dark site related to the Colonial history of this enormous country (and teh struggle for its independence) and it also has to offer distinct funeral rites (esp. at Varanasi) that have attracted some dark tourists. But overall dark tourism is definitely still rather underdeveloped here!
Some would also class India's top tourist attraction, the world famous Taj Mahal
, as a dark site – namely because it is a mausoleum. Yet, strictly speaking it's a bit too old to qualify for the ultimately modernity-based concept of dark tourism
, andanyway, by far the majority of tourists go to see it just as the magnificently glorious building that it is, irrespective of the fact that it is also a tomb. But that's not to question the undeniable fact that it is an absolute must-see for any tourist in India! That much is granted.
One site that is most definitely dark, in the very grimmest and contemporary fashion, is Bhopal
, where the worst chemical industrial accident in history happened. There is now a museum commemorating this disaster, and the old chemical plant also still stands. But this has never been cleaned up properly, so there are some health and safety risks
involved if you wanted to see this site ... although that may change at some point in the future.
A trip to India could also be quite conveniently combined with a visit to Bangladesh
or the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
I haven't been to this part of the world yet (except for Sri Lanka
) but would like to go at some point. The promise of the local food
alone is tempting enough: the curries of India are heaven on Earth especially for vegetarians
. Here the carnivores are considered the weird ones! However, there are many countries higher on my list of priorities in terms of dark tourism, so I reckon it will be quite a while before I make it out to India (if ever I do at all). But don't let that hold you back. India is rightly one of the most popular destinations for the intrepid traveller …