India is not just a land of cultural diversity, it is an abode for avid travellers. Not only will it make you bask in its natural glory but you are sure to fall in love with its vast distinctness. In this article we are going to share with you some of the best things to do in India. Why take the pain of going through a thousand blogs when you can find them all in one. This is a one of a kind list and we will not confuse you with too many options to choose from but bring it down to the best diversity you can ever find at one place. Let’s cut to the chase and get you down to the top 10 of it.
1. Trek To Kheerganga
Located in the abode of Parvati Valley (Kullu), Kheerganga is located at an altitude of approximately 3000m. To reach this place, firstly you need to catch a bus from Majnu Ka Tilla or Ram Krishna Ashram Metro Station both of which are in the capital of India, Delhi. You need to get down at Bhuntar and catch another bus to Barshaini which is half an hour away from Kasol (Himachal Pradesh). This is where your trekking starts.
The approximate trekking distance from Barshaini to Kheerganga is about 10 kms. There are two routes to reach your destination. One, cover the route through Nakthan village which will be about 3 hours. Two, trek up to Kalga village and then route up to Kheerganga. It is a fairly easy trek even if you are a first time trekker. And the route is gorgeous to say the least. It is advisable that you start the trek in the morning so that you reach there before afternoon and have enough time to also enjoy the sunset. You could also return back the same day but make sure you travel earlier in the morning for it.
There are many cosy homestays in Kheerganga which will cost you anything between 100-300 INR per night.
2. Exploring Old Delhi In Chandni Chowk
Chandni Chowk is the tell-tale of Old Delhi. Anybody who wants to see what it is like to enjoy the lanes and vibe of Purani Dilli should visit this place – it’s a must! Whether it be through the iconic shopping area of Chandni Chowk or the street food or simply sitting in Jama Masjid, the hustle bustle of this place will not even make you realise how your day just passed by. The famous Red Fort is located within the central market as well.
Chandni Chowk is also known as Moonlight Square and it was built by Delhi Sultanate’s Jahanara Begum in 1650 AD. It is not just the busiest market of Delhi but also a religious hub as you can witness various places of worship be it Sis Ganj Sahib Gurudwara, Christian Central Baptist Church, Jain Temple or Jama Masjid. Needless to say spending a day here shopping from the more than 1000 shops ranging from jewelry to sarees and then exploring the decades old eateries will leave you wanting for more.
3. Walking On Natural Footbridge In Meghalaya
The North East part of India is incredible. The dense tropical forest of Meghalaya is a major tourist attraction for people coming from all across the globe. Of all the major sites, the double decker root bridge in Cherrapunji is a work of natural art. It is located in a tiny village called Nongriat and is more than 150 years old. What makes it a sight to behold is the fact that they are made of rubber tree roots and are more than 100 feet long. This perfectly denotes the culture of meghalaya.
You need to travel to Guwahati (Assam) by flight or by train and from there you can easily catch a Volvo bus to Cherrapunji which will be nothing more than 99 kms. The climate is pleasant throughout the year. However, avoid travelling around monsoon season which is between June to August was the roads get way too slippery.
4. Capturing The Marvel Of Hampi
Hampi is a UNESCO heritage site, and it was once upon a time the capital of Vijayanagara kingdom, which continued serving as a capital for 200 years between 1336 AD to 1565 AD. The place is open to all, charming you with the ruins of many temples and the main market area. Some of the most famous temples here are Vijaya Vitalla temple, Virupaksha temple, Krishna temple, Sasivekalu Ganesha, and Krishna temple.
Just near to it in close proximity is the famous Hemakuta hills which gives you a panoramic view of the Virupaksha temple and the ruins of Vijayanagar empire. This is a perfect place to enjoy sunsets from and is indeed globally known for the same. If you also wish to do some quick shopping of antiques and silver jewelry, there is also Hampi Bazar giving you a glimpse of yesteryear markets of India.
5. Road Trip From Manali To Leh
A road trip from Manali to Leh is legendary and is often called as the “Mecca of Roadtrips”. Whether you are travelling with friends or riding solo, this road trip needs to be in your bucket list. Whether it be the ranges of mountains you see on the way, or the nowhere lands of Leh, or simply watching locals pass by, the visuals are to die for. You are not only going to give in to adventure but also realise how surreal and simple the journey could be. It would take you anything between 2-3 days.
And the best part to this road trip is that you will pass by Rohtang Pass. Keylong is another tourist spot for taking a night break in between your trip. Since they are located at higher altitudes, it is advisable to carry medicines in case you happen to have dizziness or travel sickness. Rest assured, this is going to be one of the best road trip of your life.
6. Lazing In The Vastness Of Thar Desert
A trip to Rajasthan could be way too commercialised today but even with it, Thar Desert in Jaisalmer is never going to disappoint you. If you are in for a camping experience in the middle of a desert and you want your own space, you should look no further than this. From camel safaris to jeep safaris, the experience in itself is so enriching that a single day would never be enough for you. It is also known as the Dry Paradise of Rajasthan and boasts of a kind of experience that will leave you spell bound and asking for more.
The best time to travel to Thar Desert is between October to March when the temperature drops down pleasantly. Since it is a sandy terrain make sure you always carry your sunscreen along. At night you could sit under the open sky and amidst a vast area of nothingness and enjoy folk music while also relishing on some lip smacking Rajasthani food. A proper safari stay here for a night would cost you between 3500 to 5000 INR.
7. Dwelling In The Tropics Of Sundarbans
Sunderbans means “beautiful forest”. It is again a UNESCO heritage site and boasts of the largest gathering of mangrove forests – the largest in the world. Spread across a vastness of 10,000 square feet, it is located at the mouth of Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers and separates India from Bangladesh. Around 36% of this area belongs to India and the rest of it belongs to Bangladesh. The area belonging to India has about 100 islands in total and you will be surprised to know that only a half of them are inhabited.
The Sundarbans are the only mangrove forest in the world which has about 400 tigers and when you are in this place you will notice that there are long stretches of boundaries made which prevents the tigers from entering into the villages.You cannot enter the core area of the jungle which is a buffer zone and no tourist activities are allowed here. But don’t be disappointed.
There is also a wildlife sanctuary called Sajnekhali adjacent to it from where you can enjoy majestic views of migratory birds flying from far off lands. The only way of reaching Sundarbans is by boat and it is about 100 kms from Kolkata (West Bengal). There are limited options of lodging and stay in here but most of them provide you with transport facility from Kolkata itself.
8. A One Of A Kind Shopping Experience In South Mumbai
A day in South Mumbai could sound striking to you since you might think there would not be anything culturally vibrant about it. Think again. Spending a day here is a shopper’s market experience like no other. You are literally going to find anything and everything. Let’s begin with the iconic Chor Bazar which is more than 150 years old. Here you can find almost any kind of antique, bronze, and vintage item ranging from a furniture to a gramophone to a vintage styled wall clock. ANYTHING antique.
Second on the list is Zaveri Bazar, which is the largest gold market in India. There are more than a thousand shops here some of which being a century old. The buildings might look old-style to you but believe is it is way too rich for you to even imagine their worth when it comes to purchasing gold. Next on the list is Mangaldas Market and Muljhi Jetha Market which is a textile hub. If you want to buy unstitched cloth or on the basis of meter, look no further.
The diversity in terms of fabric will make you want to shop impulsively. The last but the most beautiful of them is Kalaghoda Market which is actually a small neighborhood filled with some of the cosiest and busiest cafes in Mumbai. In here you will also find boutiques of some of the most renowned designers of India. And while you walk around the lanes, you can also enjoy graffiti on the walls and stop by to click pictures at one of the most alluring part of Mumbai as a whole.
9. Basking In The Serenity Of Gulmarg
Gulmarg is situated in Kashmir valley and is about 51 kms from the capital of Kashmir (Srinagar). There is never a season of the year when this place will not leave you baffled in its beauty. From snow capped mountains, to valley of flowers, to being called an adventure destination, everything about Gulmarg is beautiful. Gulmarg boasts of the highest green golf course in the world at an altitude of 2650 m. You can also enjoy the majestic view of Nanga Parbat (8126 m). It is ideal for travellers who enjoy skiing as it is also known as the best skiing destination in Asia.
The meaning of Gulmarg is “meadows of flowers” which can almost give you a hint of how picturesque the place can truly be. Even if you just want to sit and enjoy it’s breath taking view without indulging in any adventurous activities, Gulmarg will still not disappoint you. It is covered with tall pine and fir trees and there are meadows of lush daisies almost everywhere.
It also has the highest cable car projects at an altitude of 3979 m which connects Kongdoori and Aparwahat Peaks. Whether you plan your honeymoon, or you are a solo backpacker or wish to make a holiday escape with your family this place is a welcoming sight for everyone. Do not forget to take one of those Shikara rides on the lake while rekindling the holistic experience of enjoying a paradise-like vibe.
10. Enjoying The Scenic Backwaters Of Alleppey
Kerala is known as God’s own country and Alleppey is the gem of this state in India. It is located 70 kms South of Kochin and is often called the Venice of East because of the canals which connects to the Backwaters of Kerala. Since it is close to the ocean the weather here is mostly pleasant throughout the year.
There are innumerable canals, backwaters, and beaches in this city. So if tropics are your kind of travel escapes, this place is a must visit for you. The best way to reach here is by taking a taxi from Cochin airport which will cost you nothing more than 500 INR. Apart from the backwaters the city has a number of place for sightseeing.
The best way to explore the city is, of course, by boat which is an exciting adventure in itself. There are also a number of old churches and temples in and around the city. Apart from this, the Allepey beach is another major tourist attraction and unlike most other beaches it is clean. There is also a Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race which happens annually in the second week of August – a competition in which close to 50 boats race carrying hundreds of people.
The most tourist friendly attraction in Alleppey is the houseboat cruise which takes you along the backwaters and you could rent them from 12 hours to about 2-3 days depending on your stay. Do not forget to enjoy toddy here along with grilled prawns while you enjoy a boat ride.
Coming down to a list of top 10 things to do in India can be a tedious task considering that this list could go on and on but these ten should be a must on your bucket list. Not only will they give you a taste of the cultural diversity, you will be up for an enthralling experience that will give you an insight to the terrestrial diversity of this sub-continent as well. Take a break from your monotony and make a change with the list of places we just suggested – you are in for the experience of a lifetime!
About the Author
To date, she has traveled to more than 25 countries and her favorite place was Paris.
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