Visiting India is an amazing opportunity. It’s a vibrant country with a lot to offer those who visit. Beyond what is arguably the world’s most famous building, the Taj Mahal, India is somewhat of a hidden gem.
But it’s also huge and diverse, so it can be difficult to know where to go and what to see first. We’ve gathered some suggestions which should help you tailor your Indian getaway to your likes and dislikes. Check them out:
BOOK YOUR TRIP IN TIME OF A LOCAL FESTIVAL
If you’re yet to decide when you’re visiting India, it’s worth considering your timings. Throughout the year, there are some great Indian celebrations which tourists are more than welcome to get involved with.
Some of the highlights, according to travel experts, include the Republic Day Parade, held on January 26th, honoring the declaration of independence of 1930 and the Festival of Holi, also known as the Festival of Colour.
It’s celebrated at the end of the winter season by people throwing scented powder and perfume at each other, a tradition which has now become popular around the world. However, with its roots in the country, India is still the best place to immerse yourself in the authentic experience.
GET LOST IN CULTURE CAPITAL OF INDIA: DELHI
India’s capital is busy, crowded and intense. As The Telegraph says, it’s a “pulsating megalopolis that stifles and stimulates in equal measure.” It might be daunting and tiring, but throw yourself in at the deep end and there’s a lot you’ll learn about India quickly – some of it perhaps unexpected.
There are leafy parks to explore, and if you’re there early enough, you might catch a yoga class. Amongst the easy-to-get-lost-in streets, there are lavish Hindu temples alongside comedy clubs. Get lost and see what delights you find.
TRY AS MUCH FOOD AS YOU CAN FIT IN
India is, of course, renowned for its culinary delights. Regional specialties are in abundance wherever you go, and there’s a much wider range of tastes and flavors than you’d expect. In fact, you’ll probably be hard pushed to find your take away favorites in India.
Put aside all your assumptions about India food and dive in. Scooping the dishes up with your right hand might take some time to master, but it’s good to eat like the locals do. Be sure to try some amazing vegetarian food as well, something which Indian cuisine does well, but doesn’t always get recognized for.
SEE SOME AMAZING WILDLIFE & LANDSCAPE
When you think of a safari, you probably think of Africa. But India’s wildlife-watching opportunities rival the very best, with the chance to see tigers, elephants, rhinos, eagles and more in the wild. Sound good to you? After all, the Lovel landscapes of Central India provided Rudyard Kipling inspiration for famous characters such as the fearsome Sher Khan.
You can go and see them for yourself. Notable parks include Ranthambore, Pench, Kanha and Bandhavgarh. Tadoba is also one of India’s most famous tiger reserves. In most of these places, there are overnight camping experiences making the whole trip even more memorable.
EXPLORE DIVERSE INDIA BY TRAIN
India’s rail network might be one of the busiest in the world, but head further away from the buzzing city and it’s a great way to see more of the country. The Saurashtra Mail, for example, travels from Okha to Mumbai and for the most part, it crosses a flat landscape where you could see cactus and camels, as well as water buffalo basking in rivers.
To contrast, the Goa Express, from Goa to Karnataka, approaches the Western Ghats by hugging the mountainside and its thick jungle. You’ll only be able to see waterfalls in the distance as the trees thin out.
Another popular journey is the Nilgiri Heritage Railway, running between Mettupalaiyam to Ooty. The mountain railway is also a UNESCO world heritage site, recognized for the innovative engineering of its time which allowed the trains to zig zag uphill.
With just a few examples, you can see how diverse India really is. Whatever you’re looking for from your getaway, you’ll be able to find a train journey to suit.
DISCOVER VAST BACKWATER ON BOAT
Train journeys aren’t the only way you can explore India. In Kerala, the majority of the landscape is made up of rice fields, with enormous natural lakes and 38 rivers feeding interconnected man-made channels.
With more than 900 km of waterways, it’s the perfect boat journey. Houseboats are aplenty, and you can choose how long you’d like to spend exploring – whether that’s overnight or longer.
You can watch the sunset over the water, swim in freshwater pools, and take in the backwaters at a leisurely pace.
OVER TO YOU NOW FOR TRULY INDIAN HOLIDAY
Have you been to India before? Share your experiences and recommendations with us.