Heading to India? Wow I just got thrilled since I started compiling my ideas to make this absolute guide for you. No words can describe the magic behind this diverse country.
It’s a multicultural destination with more than 20 official languages, multiple religions and a variety of cuisines. Imagine what you are about to go through!
I think everyone visited this place back home with a new thing in his mentality, soul, and his perspective to life. Many travelers said that you should go to India at least once in your life.
But I say once is not even enough to discover the special charming oozing from places, beliefs, and people.
In this guide we will share with you the top things you can do in India, our tips of do and don’ts, places to visit, and places to stay. After reading this piece you will need nothing as we choose the most concerns, thoughts, and questions people often ask before hitting up this beautiful country.
Excited! Yes, me too. Let’s get started.
Why Should Everyone Visit India?
If you can choose your first reaction once you arrive in India, I think it would be “Incredible.” You will feel something different from Indian traditions, behaviors, and traditions.
People here can spend all day playing with colors, light firecrackers, or hold their wedding parties for more than one week. And when it comes to weddings, it will be a festival with colorful costumes, unique traditions, and an unforgettable ambiance—no need to mention that India is jammed full of tourist attractions with a long and exciting history.
People Will Lead to Find Your Magic
The best aspect of India is that its people are the kindest you’ll ever meet, especially in rural areas. They will always invite you to their home for a welcome meal. Make time to stop and play with lovely youngsters while wandering through the cities, and take a picture with them. You will be drawn to their pure heart and hospitality.
Don’t be concerned about your language. Don’t be concerned about your origins or nationality. Don’t be concerned about getting lost. (Actually, you can worry about it a little bit because India is so massive) Indian people will help you out through your itinerary.
Indian Food is Good Mood
And Cuisines! Forget about any other things you heard before about the Indian kitchen. The food here will blow your mind, just savoring mouth-watering meals, and it will make your mood and your day.
Be prepared to sample something from every city you will visit. Each region is proud of its own culinary specialties, and I am proud too!
Cheap does not Means Low-Quality
When it comes to money, India is one of the most affordable tourist destinations on the planet. That is because the local currency has a lesser value than any other. (1 dollar = 75 rupees)
That’s why the accommodations are relatively affordable to most travelers. However, that doesn’t mean that you choose the cheapest hostels or eat from kiosks; you should choose something clean and neat to stay or eat.
Free Your Spirit
In addition, many individuals are flocking to India in quest of solace for their wandering spirits. This country embraces all religions worldwide, and it’s the birthplace of Yoga and meditation practice. People here are really bound to the spiritual side, and everyone is eager to follow their religious rituals.
No matter what their beliefs or religions are, many visitors successfully find their serenity and wellbeing.
Adventure Never Stop Here
From chaotic streets, impressive structures, hiking up the Himalayas and just meandering around cities and small villages of India, every step here is likely to indulge yourself in different worlds of adventure linked to each corner’s extraordinary character and identity.
Top Things to do in India
India is a very diverse sprawling country spanning more than 3 million kilometers. You have to manage your time wisely to make your vacation optimal, visit many more places, and take advantage of your itinerary here. And our insider advice is always to hire a local tour guide to be your expert and trusted counselor in this country.
Discover the Wildlife of India: Bandipur National Park
Location: Chamarajnagar district in the Indian state of Karnataka, covering 868.63 km2
How to get there: you can book a flight from Delhi to Kempegowda International Airport, then take a bus to the park, or you can take a train station from New Delhi to Pune, then take a bus to Mysore then take an Uber ride to the park. It’s a long journey; it’ll take you more than 43 hours, so be prepared and find a rest stop.
Price: About 4 dollars for admission fee and another 4 dollars for the safari vehicle
Come here as early as possible to discover all the parks without being in a hurry. You can unwind for a while in the park resort or get right into your adventure.
Why should you visit Bandipur National Park?
Bandipur National Park is one of India’s most incredible wild parks, home to elephants, Indian bison, sloth bears, monkeys, peacocks, and peahens, among other wildlife. And definitely is one of the top things you can do in India.
This biodiversity habitat will leave an impression on you, and you will learn more about the habits of these wild animals.
Your excursion will last up to 3 hours, during which you will get up and personal with tigers, eat elephants, and participate in other adventurous things.
While strolling around this vast park, take advantage of the rich green landscapes and lovely weather. Please note that you might be unable to find English-speaking guides, so having a local guide with you to provide a thorough explanation for what you are seeing is a fantastic idea.
Things to Do:
- Before embarking on your journey through Bandipur National Park, you can have some rest in some lodges and resort property next to the park to start your day full of energy.
- Try a warm Indian cup of tea before going inside the park; it will help you to relax and rejuvenate.
- If you don’t have anything appropriate to wear for this exciting adventure, don’t worry; there is a shop nearby where you can get t-shirts, vests, and coats.
- After observing various creatures across the park, taking a break at one of the cottages, eating some snakes.
- If you’re traveling with a group, consider taking a van safari experience, which we highly recommend because it’s quiet and pollution-free, allowing animals to live peacefully without feeling watched.
Things not to Do:
- Don’t go there without first making a Safari reservation online. You could get there and don’t find a place for you and your friends in a Jeep.
- In the summer, avoid going to the park. You couldn’t stand the heat any longer. Or, you can also go for the afternoon Safri, which runs from 3.30 to 6:00 p.m.
- If you are intimidated by being attacked by monkeys, keep your window closed. They just want food, so don’t bring any packages or snacks into the park with you.
Pro Tip: There are many wild parks in India like Ranthambore National Park, Kanha National Park, and it’s based on how far you wish to travel. Although Ranthambore National Park is closer to Delhi than Bandipur National Park, the latter will provide you with a very different experience.
Let’s Have a History Lesson: Ajanta Caves
Location: he Aurangabad district of Maharashtra state, India
How to get there: you can book a flight from New Delhi to Aurangabad Airport, take a bus or Uber to Ajanta Caves, or take a train station from New Delhi to Bhusaval, then take a bus to Ajanta then take an Uber ride to the site. It’s a long journey; it’ll take you more than 22 hours, so be prepared and find a rest stop and keep your eyes on the bus schedule to plan your trail.
Price: About 4 dollars for admission fee and another $8
Defined as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ajanta Caves is cut from the volcanic lava of the Deccan Plateau, providing its visitors with spectacular scenery coming with 30 amazingly rock-cut caves.
Why should you visit Ajanta Caves?
When seeing it, you clearly understand why it’s one of the hottest tourist attractions in India—dating back to the 2nd century BCE. This site was a Buddhist monastery where monks spent all their life performing their rituals.
The site spans on a hilltop over the forest in an isolated area, perfectly chosen to help monks and other people -who came to pray- in achieving their spiritual pursuits.
Inside the site, you will explore more interesting facts about the Buddhist faith through displaying sculptures and other paintings covering the whole cathedral.
Things to Do:
- Hiking up to the monastery and discovering the beautifully crafted sculptures inside.
- Admiring a fantastic view from Ajanta Cave, conveniently located in the natural reservoir.
- If you travel in November, you may attend the Ajanta and Ellora Festival, which will give you insight into the great Indian culture and provide you with engaging dance performances.
- Shop at one of the open-air markets to bring some beautiful Buddha sculptures.
- Take part in one of the tour guides, learn more about the site’s history and stock up the spiritual ambiance.
Things not to Do:
- Do not visit this place during the warm months (March to May). The weather will ruin your excursion. It’s sweltering outside.
- Wearing heavy footwear, such as boots, is not recommended because you must remove them while inside the Ajanta Caves. It’s best to wear something that can be taken off quickly.
- Avoid hawkers and touts. They will offer bad-quality stuff, and some tourists have complained of harassment.
Pro Tip: Ajanta Cave is open from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., except on Mondays when it is closed. There is also a small fee for the camera, roughly 30 cents.
Marvel at Islamic Archeological Wonder: Qutb Minar
Location: Mehrauli, New Delhi
How to get there: The best option is to get to New Delhi Railway Station, and it’s just 17 minutes away from it. Or use the bus and get down in Qutub Minar Bus Stand, just a few minutes away from the archeological site.
Price: About 7.5 dollars
Are you in India?
Well, you should anticipate seeing everything from each culture and belief. The land has witnessed the life cycle of development of all civilizations, and this time we are about to discover Qutb Minar, the famous Islamic monument here.
Why should you visit Qutb Minar?
On the outskirts of Delhi stands the tallest tower in the country, drawing tourists for centuries to discover its beauty and magnificent architecture. There are many places to stay in when it comes to Delhi, but Qutb Minar is unquestionably at the top of the list.
It’s not just we see; Qutb Minar is ranked as the first attraction you should not miss in India. Finely decorated Arabic Quran verses on the minaret and other traces strewn over the site, this mosque is the first one- built in India 1192.
After your tour of the exquisite and elaborate Islamic patterns, you can take a stroll through the gardens surrounding the ancient monument and relax in the shade. Also, don’t forget to look at the intricacies throughout the site, such as the pillars and incomplete structures that represent two separate cultures: Islam and Hinduism.
Things to Do:
- Roaming around the archeological site and enjoying witnessing these wondrous structures.
- Getting closer to the first mosque in India, Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, with its beautiful pillars.
- Explore the Jamali Kamali Tomb, and Mosque, located immediately adjacent to the Qutb Minar and is a must-see attraction.
- Make time to see Iltutmish’s Tomb, made of gorgeous red sandstone and features many Islamic designs in a well-shaped structure.
- Shooting shots with Alai Minar, an incomplete minor that you may take a short glance at to make sure you check out everything there
Things not to Do:
- You are not permitted to enter the minaret; you may just look around and take photographs anywhere you choose.
- Food and snacks are not allowed inside the archaeological site; only water is permitted.
- However there is a dress code to visit the place, it’s preferable not to wear short skirts or dresses. India is a somewhat conservative community.
Pro Tip: The late culture is so common here; people in India like nightlife more than waking up so early. But most importantly, no one here is punctual; of course, everything, including transportation, planes, and events, is not coming at the scheduled time. So, be open to accepting this culture, or you could lose your mind.
No Wander Further… It’s a Wonder: Taj Mahal
Location: Dharmapuri, Forest Colony, Tajganj, Agra
How to get there: Take the high-speed metro from Indira Gandhi International Airport to New Delhi, take the next train from Nizamuddin Railway Station and depart in Agra Cantt station. Then you can just take an Uber ride to the Taj Mahal, around 20 minutes.
Price: About 14 dollars
Located in Agra, an awe-inspiring, epic, and picturesque white palace, more than eight million people every single year come to see it; the Taj Mahal is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Being here is like a movie scene taking in the beauty of this beautiful building.
Why should you visit the Taj Mahal?
No matter where you stay in India, simply, it’s a must-see attraction. From the moment you walk in, you will see two magnificent red-stone buildings representing what you are about to find in this intriguing tourist spot.
It’s one of the world’s most magnificent man-made spectacles. If it’s your first time seeing the Taj Mahal, trust me when I say you’ll want to come back, again and again, to feast your eyes on this magnificent work of art. Not to mention that this superb palace is exactly symmetrical on all four sides, no matter which angle you are looking at it. It certainly looks the same.
But what we love most about this place because it is a symbol of love, dedication, and loyalty. Actually, the Taj Mahal is just a mausoleum for Emperor Shah Jahan’s wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died on the 14th, and his husband, who loved her so much, decided to build a fancy grave for her so that she would be remembered forever.
Things to Do:
- Just stay awhile and gaze at the Taj Mahal, an incredible architectural marvel.
- Go inside the palace and discover the place inside if you want; there are bare rooms, except the two graves- but you need to book the ticket online.
- Admiring the view from the palace, built on the bank of the Yamuna River
- Shop in the nearby stores for souvenirs or Indian antiques. Many incredible pieces exist there for very affordable prices.
- Check out the mosque at the entrance gate, which has a terrific, one-of-a-kind construction.
Things not to Do:
- Don’t expect to take photos alone in this space. The Taj Mahal is an iconic building in India. So, it’s overcrowded most of the time, but you can enjoy your time here anyway by strolling around this wonder.
- Don’t come to Tajganj to just visit the Taj Mahal; make use of being there and explore the epic culture of people around there, eat the food street, mingle with people, play with children in narrow alleyways.
- It’s not allowed to film or take photos inside the Taj Mahal.
Pro Tip: Come to Taj Mahal at sunset because it’s so busy most of the time, and plan to visit India in the early summer from March to early June. If you come to this spot in winter, you can’t see it because of the fog.
Just A few Days in Delhi: Discover Swaminarayan Akshardham
Location: Akshardham Setu, New Delhi
How to get there: Just a 5 minutes’ walk from Akshardham Temple bus stop.
Price: About 3 dollars
Swaminarayan Akshardham is one of the most incredible buildings you have ever seen in your entire life. It’s a Hinduism temple that will blow you away once you arrive here because of its architectural wonder. That’s why you will see a large number of people here regularly.
Why should you visit the Swaminarayan Akshardham?
This temple is an iconic building linked to Indian culture. Many VIPs and political figures are keen to visit the Swaminarayan Akshardham to see and explore more about Hinduism and how the spiritual connection plays a significant role in Indians’ daily life.
Inside the temple, there are various halls, each dedicated to performing specific rituals, and you can see why Swaminarayan remains very relevant to Hinduism till now.
You can just sit in peace and meditate in this spiritual space, no matter your religion or belief. Or you can come here with a local guide who will help you understand what every statue and practice symbolizes in Hinduism.
The structure is an artwork on its own; every corner represents the uniqueness of the Hinduism style. Not just a temple, the whole place is a complex embracing a large lavish garden along the wide tree-lined avenues.
Things to Do:
- Go inside the temple and listen to many stories about the history of the sacred building. You can catch a glimpse of the Swaminarayan’s life from childhood to adulthood.
- Attend the evening fountain show, which features a projector and beautiful lights, and this unique culture will enthrall you.
- Take a pause and sit outside the temple, which will provide you with the inescapable sight of the river, particularly at sunset.
- Go for a walk in the neighborhood for shopping or even street food. We recommend you take the chance and stroll down in Old Delhi, where you can find hidden gems.
- From the geometric pattern of domes to gigantic ornamented doors and Hinduism-style desires, admire this stunning edifice.
Things not to Do:
- Photos and videos are not allowed inside; you will have to leave them in a free deposit box.
- The temple has a dress code that requires you to cover your shoulders and wear a dress that is at least knee-length.
- Smoking & alcohol drinks are not permitted in the whole complex.
Pro Tip: you can participate in Abhishek, which means pouring yourself in the sacred water of the river with the help of monks if you want to immerse yourself to the fullest in this experience.
Unique Temple You Don’t Want to Miss: Meenakshi Amman
Location: Venmani Rd, Sellur, Madurai
How to get there: The best and fastest way to get Meenakshi from Delhi is to book a flight for about $45, taking around 3h. Or you can take the train for two days, and it will cost you approximately $20. Then you can take Uber to the temple, and it’s just 10 minutes.
Price: About 1 dollar
Dating back thousands of years, Meenakshi Amman is a historic temple on the banks of the Vaigai river. One of the most gorgeous Hindus buildings in the world.
Why should you visit Meenakshi Amman?
The facade of the temple is sparkling with its colorful design. The temple has 14 towers, the tallest of which is 52 meters high. Each building reflects thousands of mythological stories and a mind-blowing number of statues, over 33000.
You will stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and finally, little words come out of your mouth, “UNBELIEVABLE!”
Yes, I agree. The setting is stunning, and the atmosphere is likely to be one of spirituality and celebration. With a diverse combination of legendary myths and spectacular architectural components, the temple recognizes the importance of women in society.
The internal design of the temple is equally as magnificent as the outside. Many pillars, arranged in a maze-like pattern, demonstrate the holy location by producing a beautiful musical note when struck.
Things to Do:
- Visit the art museum of the temple, which gives you insight into the deities.
- Marvel at its colorful facades. It will be a great idea if you come here with a local guide to assist you in discovering the wonders of this place.
- Check out the Golden Lotus Pond inside the temple, a holy site believed to bring success to everyone who goes into the pond.
- Try to plan your visit here at night. Tourists will flock to see this one-of-a-kind event, which will include a ceremonial procession.
- If you visited India between October 7 and 15, This could be your lucky day. Musical parties, dancing, beautiful costumes, and more. That’s what happens when you go to the Navrathri Festival.
Things not to Do:
- Don’t bring your camera here. It is prohibited, and you will be asked to turn off your phone before entering the temple.
- To enter the temple, you must follow a strict dress code, covering your legs and shoulders.
- If the weather is hot, you should visit the temple on a different day. You will not be able to explore the monastery comfortably.
Pro Tip: If you want to stay in Madurai for another day to see the other attractions here, you can check lodges right next to Meenakshi Amman. As the site is considered a pilgrimage spot, the temple is attached to decent accommodations, and you can book it during your visit.
Have an Elephant Ride to History: Amer Fort
Location: Devisinghpura, Amer, Jaipur
How to get there: The best and cheapest way to get Jaipur from Delhi is to take the train and get down in Badi Chopad station for roughly $10. Then you can take a taxi to Amer Fort.
Price: About 8 dollars
Overlooking the lake offering a romantic vista as well as historical treasures, Amer Fort is another excellent gateway to discover the secret history of India. This forest used to be a hidden shelter against enemy attacks because of its strategic location and served as accommodation for some Indian emperors like Navratnas of Emperor Akbar.
Why should you visit Amer Fort?
The Amer Fort is a truly impressive sight. The mighty castle rises like a staircase upon a mountainside, offering a marvelous glimpse into 16th-century architecture, not just for the history behind the place.
Here, you will find colorfully decorated elephants carrying people in an atmospheric ride to travel up the steep roadways of the fort adorned with Mughal and Hindu styles.
Don’t forget to organize a walking tour to the astonishing red sandstone main door, Lion’s Gate, and Diwan-E-Aam, another symbol of mixing civilizations in one area. Yes, it’s India; the country welcomes everyone, regardless of their beliefs, culture, or skin color.
With its sturdy walls, walking through paths between giant buildings will take you back in time, but be aware that it’s a massive complex, and you need to involve a tour guide to be assured that you see everything offered here.
Things to Do:
- Strolling through its pathways will help you relieve your worries and stress. (Peaceful, quiet with a breathtaking view of the mountains and lakes)
- Take a short bumpy elephant ride inside the fort and snap away whenever and wherever you want.
- Have a seat in the night shows taking in the nighttime lights; you can spend many enjoyable hours with your companions here.
- Go shopping in Amer town, where you’ll find a wide variety of exceptional handcrafted items and souvenirs.
- Enjoy a breath of fresh air in the fort’s surroundings, or sample any local food at one adjacent eaterie.
Things not to Do:
- Do not go inside the Amer Fort without holding your bottle of water. There are no nearby markets, and the humidity will be higher over time. You will need water badly.
- Don’t bring your camera to the temple, or you will pay an additional price of roughly $2.
- If you come with your boyfriend or girlfriend and get touched by this romantic outlook, please keep your feelings to yourself and don’t show affection in public. You could be arrested for breaking the PDA rules.
Pro Tip: There is a group of tourist guides waiting for everyone who wants to discover the history behind the place and not just get an instant overview of the fort, available in Hindi and English. They will cost you more money, but it will be well worth it.
Check the Modern Part of India: Marine Drive
Location: South Mumbai, Mumbai
How to get there: If your plane lands in Mumbai Airport, you can just take the train for $1, or if your first stop is in Delhi, you can take a flight or Marine Lines train station. Be aware that the two cities are very far from each other and it will take you more than one day.
Price: Free access to side sea walking paths, but you have to pay for other attractions.
We tried to round up all out-of-the-box adventures when visiting this multicultural country in this long list article to get a sense of all the possibilities of this unique trip. And now it’s Mumbai!
Mumbai is one of the world’s fastest expanding cities in terms of technological, economic, and social development, ushering in a new Asian empire. Locals and tourists alike congregate here to enjoy the Arabian Sea’s coastline.
Why should you visit Marine Drive?
If you think India is only about historical sites and Hindu temples, I invite you to visit Mumbai and participate in a different type of adventure, particularly along Marine Drive.
This popular tourist destination, which stretches for three kilometers, is brimming with world-class hotels, restaurants, and activities.
Many Indian celebrities have chosen this location to settle down, and many famous events are held here. So, there is no surprise that this city is the most costly in the country.
Things to Do:
- You can walk around the coastal road, run, jog, or simply sit and people-watch.
- While sipping your coffee, take in the panoramic views of the sunset.
- For less than $1, go to Taraporewala Aquarium in the marine area to see a variety of martian species.
- Go shopping in the nearby neighborhoods and lose yourself in this magnificent city.
- Visit nearby historical sites such as the Gateway Of India Mumbai, one of Mumbai’s most renowned tourist attractions.
Things not to Do:
- Don’t throw your garbage in the ground, or you could get fined. Please keep it clean.
- It’s not a good idea to walk on the boulders. It’s risky, and you could get wounded if you fall.
- You are not permitted to bring any alcoholic beverages with you. It’s a welcoming, family-friendly environment.
Pro Tip: Don’t miss the chance to visit Chhatrapati Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya. This excellent museum, conveniently located near the sea, displays India’s whole history up to the present day.
Taste the glory of India: Varanasi
Location: North of India
How to get there: You may fly from Delhi to Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport in Varanasi for about 1 hour for around $40 and then take a bus to the Ganges River or take a train from New Delhi in about 12 hours for almost $8. Keep in mind that you must exit the train at Varanasi Junction. Take a tuk-tuk or a taxi to get to the river right away.
Price: Free access to the banks of the river
Writing something about Varanasi is not easy, and this experience should be tried. No words can describe what Varanasi is about. And you don’t gain this experience until reaching the banks of the Ganges river to appreciate the true glory of Varanasi.
Why should you visit Varanasi?
Everyone who went there before said, “a city like no other.” It’s chaotic, overcrowded, may be contaminated, and you could see it’s not clean, but that’s what formed its charm.
Each day, thousands of people come here to bathe in its sacred water to purify their souls to blast their hopes of living again.
On the other hand, flames of fire never seem to cease burning dead bodies.
You can tell It’s the city of death and the city of life at the same time. Or in other words, all aspects of life are contained within a single frame and a single place.
Who doesn’t want to indulge in this!
Things to Do:
- Witness one of the scariest moments in Hinduism where they prepare dead people to travel to another world and free them from their bodies, as it’s thought.
- Make use of your visit and head to the Old Quarter for more cultural shock and engage with locals.
- Visit the Kashi Vishwanath Temple adjacent to the river for a more extensive atmosphere to let your soul fill with this spiritual journey in Varanasi.
- Come here with a local tour guide who will provide you with all answers to your questions about what you will see. (Believe me or not, there will be a lot to see!)
- Hire a boat and go for a sunset cruise on the holy river. This journey is designed to help you become more tranquil and peaceful.
Things not to Do:
- Don’t come to Varanasi as your first stop in India; no matter what you think of this great country, your journey here will be intense for someone who tries to cope with Indian culture.
- Don’t come here from April to June; the humidity turns unbearable.
- Don’t plan a one-day visit; many things can be done here, and you will want to discover all its lanes, shops, food, traditions, and chat with people. (Varanasi for a day… No way!)
Pro Tip: When it comes to lodging, it’s a good idea to keep your expectations low. You come here to see really different things at all levels. If you are searching for luxury, go for the Maldives, dear.
Complicated but Inspiring: Chand Baori
Location: Jaipur-Agra Road, Abhaneri
How to get there: Take the train from New Delhi and get off at Bandikui station, taking around 3h for almost $5.
Price: Around $3
It’s an architectural wonder that reflects the Hindu era’s ingenuity. With 3500 Escher-terraces steps and a depth of 100 feet, Chand Baori is the world’s largest and most exciting stepwell.
Why should you visit Chand Baori?
It’s a masterpiece of water tank structures, having lasted hundreds of years despite the extreme conditions of weathering and erosion.
What sets it apart is that it comes with a religious temple dedicated to the deity of joy and happiness that adorns the building’s face.
Because of the arid and sandy environment, the tank was designed to conserve as much water as possible. At the bottom of the well, the temperature is cooler than the surface, which helps locals stay in a good place during intensive heat waves.
When rainwater fills the well in the monsoon season, locals can collect water regardless of the water level. They can reach it thanks to the stairways. Dotted in the large landscapes, this well plays a significant role in making this village grow and a vibrant place to live in. It’s a highly recommended spot to visit in India, especially if you are eager to discover the countryside.
Things to Do:
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