So planning a trip to India but don’t know where to go? The rich heritage and culture of India makes it a prime destination for travel. It has numerous places to explore and this article will highlight the best or famous things in India. The food habits, lifestyle, culture and languages are pretty unique and varies from one state to another. The hill stations, desert of Rajasthan, beaches of Goa, Durga Puja of Kolkata and backwaters of Kerala are some of the prime destinations. So let’s explore and find out the top things to do in India.
Take a selfie at the Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal has numerous travelers flocking here just to admire its architectural beauty. It is considered to be a symbol of love as it was built by Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz. The design is adapted from the Persian style and it took over 22 years to complete .It is made of white marble and is located near the river Yamuna, Agra. It’s open to all on all days except Friday and allows photography (except inside the mausoleum).
Location: Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Entry: Indians: Rs 20
Foreigners: Rs 520
Visit the Ajanta Caves
It is one of the mesmerizing caves with showcases the architectural beauty of India. It has numerous sculptures, masterpieces and paintings preserved. It is a protected monument of Archeological Survey of India which was built somewhere between 2nd century BC and 6th century AD. There are around 30 caves and you can spot the artwork on the walls, ceilings or verandahs of the caves. Most of this work is of Buddhist origin and are of stories of Gautam Buddha.
Location: Aurangabad, Maharashtra
Timing: 9:00 am -5:30 pm (Except Mondays)
Entry: Indians: Rs 10 (above 15 years)
Foreigners: USD 5
Try out Delhi street food
The street food of India normally called as chaat is definitely bound to be loved by all. The rich aroma and the blend of spices make it a true delight. Delhi is famous for its chaats and best ones are to be found in old Delhi, Chandni Chowk. Samosa, pakora, fruit chaats, chole, tikki, gol gappa are all a must try. But before you have street food make sure you look into hygiene issue. Always opt for eating at reputed restaurants that look into hygiene as well cleanliness. If you’re not used to spicy food then you could try less spicy chaats like dahi bhalla, papdi chaat or fruit chats.
Participate in the Kite festival
This is held in Gujarat and you have participants coming from different parts of the world. It is held in month of January after the long chilly winters. Different types of kites are used and the competition is to cut off the other person’s kite. During this time kite bazaars are opened and you find all people participating with full enthusiasm. This is held in Sardar Patel Stadium and you have even celebrities joining in to be a part of this festival. Uttarayan festival is celebrated all over Gujarat but the International Kite festival is held in Ahmedabad.
Take a tour of the Thar desert – Rajasthan
The Thar Desert lies mostly in Rajasthan and extends to some portions in Kutch, Gujarat as well Punjab. This is must destination for tourists and has numerous destinations to be visited. The Sonar Qila located in Jaisalmer is a major landmark and is called the Golden Fort. The Thar Desert surrounded with sand dunes can better be explored with the exciting camel safaris. Apart from the tour of the desert you cannot miss the architectural beauty, handicrafts, puppet show, as well as Havelis, Forts & Palaces located nearby.
Dip in the beaches of Goa
India has some of the most amazing beaches and of all Goa beats them all. The scenic beauty with its rich green surroundings makes it perfect for sunbathing, surfing, and scuba diving and snorkeling. The seafood is the highlight of this place and people often enjoy by the sea with live music or dance. Some of the major beaches include Aguada, Baga, Candolim, Mandrem and Cavelossim. Of all Baga beach is known for beach parties as well water sports and dolphin cruises.
Bike trip through Ladakh
Biking through the scenic beauty of mountains and valleys is a completely a beautiful experience .For bikers this is a must go and an adventure ride too. You will start your ride from Manali then move to Rohtang pass, cross through the Lahaul valley and finally back to Manali. Now the next day you can move towards Baralacha La which is away from Himachal Pradesh and more closer to Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. You will pass through Tanglang La and soon you will reach Leh. Towards the north east of Leh is Khardung La which is considered to be highest motorable pass in the world. You pass through numerous mountain passes before you finally reach Ladakh. The Pangong Lake is the highlight of Ladakh and promises to mesmerize you with its clear water and scenic beauty.
Spot a Tiger at Jim Corbett National Park
Situated in Nainital and Almora districts of Uttarakhand the Jim Corbett Park is one of the oldest national parks in India. It is known for its initiative in Saving the Tiger and is a home for many endangered species. They have jeep safari rides inside the park and you can see the wildlife as you drive along. Bird watchers can also get a glimpse of the different types of birds. For this the best time would be winter time i.e. October to February. Those who love adventure can also try the river rafting which is mostly done during March to June.
Do a spiritual cleansing at the Golden Temple
The Golden temple in Punjab is truly an architectural beauty and continues to enthrall its visitors. The temple is adorned with marble sculptures, golden gilding and precious stones. The temple has engraved gold panels and is topped by a gilded dome weighing 750kg. The holy scripture of the Sikhs Adi Granth also lies within this structure. You have pilgrims coming here to take a dip in the holy water.
Celebrate Holi in Varanasi
Holi is festival of colors and is believed to bring happiness as well as joy in everyone life. It’s celebrated in the month of March and in Varanasi the celebrations is done in full swing. It’s a must to play with colors, water balloon and crackers. People get their homes redecorated and purchase new things as a mark of a new year. The celebration continues till noon and you have sweet distribution as well tendai’s, pakodas and more. It’s a wonderful experience but again the synthetic colors can be harmful. So use them wisely and avoid them near your eyes.
Take a Train ride in Indian Railways
Travelling by train is an entirely different experience and you get to enjoy the real beauty of India as you pass by. Try to avoid the peak office hours as it tends to very overcrowded and you will barely find any place to stand. But if you are a little adventurous you could hop on and experience the crowd as they manage to cling on with as little support as possible. Entering and exiting the train also wouldn’t be a problem as the crowd would push you along with them.
Check out Dhobi Ghat in Mumbai
Dhobi Ghat is a popular destination for tourists and is one of the biggest outdoor laundry system in the world. It is situated near the Mahalaxmi railway station on the Western Railways Saat Raasta roundabout. The local washer men known as dhobis wash the clothes here for the customers of Mumbai too. This open air laundromat is truly admirable and has turned out to be a great tourist destination.
Visit the Marine Drive, Mumbai
The Marine Drive is located in the heart of city and is officially known as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road.It is around 3 km in distance and connects Nariman Point to Babulnath. The highlight of this place is the scenic beauty of palm trees all lined in a sequence. You have huge crowds coming here for long walks and to get a view of the sunset.
Go sight-seeing at Elephanta Caves, Mumbai
This is another beautiful adventure spot located in Mumbai. Located near Mumbai Harbor this place has numerous sculptures and engravings. They all can be dated back 1000 years and is a good sight to see. Some caves even have Buddhist as well as Hindu engravings and they give an idea about the history of the country
Watch Vallam Kali-Snake boat Race, Kerala
The Nehru Trophy Boat Race happens every year in month of August. This is a major boat race and it is played with great competitiveness. This race takes place in the Punnamada Lake which is situated near Alappuzha. They use the traditional Kerala boats which is about 100 feet long and can hold up to 100 rowers. You can also find other boat races in the backwaters of Kottayam, Payippad, and Champakulam .But this is the major event and is celebrated with great pomp.
Pray at the Madurai Meenakshi Temple, Tamil Nadu
The Madurai Meenakshi temple is situated near the banks of Vaigai river and worships Goddess Parvati, known as Meenakshi. Madurai which is also called the temple city has pilgrims as well devotes coming in everyday to pay homage to the Gods. This temple was built somewhere between 1623 and 1655 CE and has around 33000 sculpture inside. The Meenakshi Thirukalyanam Festival which happens in the month of April and May is celebrated for 10 days with great splendor.
Take a backwater cruise at Alappuzha
Another major attraction you cannot miss is the Alappuzha backwater cruise with the scenic beauty of the evergreen forests. It is located between the Vembanad Lake and the Arabian Sea. It is an ideal vacation spot for honeymooners and people who love nature. The scenic backwaters, lagoons, canals and beaches truly make it the Venice of the East.
Take an elephant ride in Munnar
Munnar is a beautiful hill station located in Idukki, Kerala. This place is known for tea plantations but the elephant rides are quite thrilling too. This happens at the Munnar Carmelagiri elephant Park and the safari is through the forests of Munnar. You can choose a package of your choice like one hour, one day or even half day as per your requirement .Elephant bath, timber dragging and feeding the elephants are all part of their package.
Enjoy an Ayurvedic massage in Kerala
Kerala is known for its Ayurvedic massages and has numerous parlors catering to needs of the customers. These massages are truly rejuvenating and gives you relaxation. People with sleeping disorders, spondylosis, anxiety, fatigue, circulatory disorders, and arthritic problems can find relief with these massages. It is done with special medicated oil by specially trained experts. Once the oil sets inside the body it nourishes it deeply and gives the person a refreshing feel.
Go scuba diving at Havelock Islands
Scuba diving can be really fun and you get to explore the beautiful underwater world that usually lies unexplored. In India, Havelock(Andaman Nicobar Islands) is the best place for scuba diving. The water surrounding this island is rich in marine life and offers numerous diving sites too. The Dixon Pinnacle, South Pilot Reef, Dugong Dungeon and Elephant Beach are the common sites where tourists go for scuba diving.
Hope you like them. Let me know your thoughts and feedback.