In short, you cannot. India is too diverse to explain, or even describe, in any meaningful way. So understanding it is a journey, at least lifelong if not eternal. But you should try. And we are dedicated to all kinds of attempts, including via journey; this book, published recently by Phaidon, may help with visual clues prior to such a journey, whether it will be your first or 80th:
The brilliant American Magnum photographer Steve McCurry has travelled so widely, he could have produced a great monograph on almost any continent. Yet, in his latest Phaidon publication, he has chosen to focus on the country that he first visited as a 28-year-old photojournalist in 1978, and has since returned to over eighty times.
Steve McCurry: India explores the lives of everyday people in extraordinary settings through McCurry’s camera lens. This new portfolio of emotive and beautiful images features 48 previously unpublished photos, taken across the Indian subcontinent, along with images that have become well known across the globe.
Reproduced in a large format with captions, and an introductory essay by William Dalrymple, India features a range of colour pictures illustrating this most colourful of countries, capturing the lives of everyday people in extraordinary settings: from the Ganesh festival on Chowpatty beach in Mumbai to the Kolkata railway station at dawn to the flower markets of Kashmir and the streets of Old Delhi.