India is a traveler’s dream come true. Our vast country has it all – from lush forests to arid deserts, from majestic mountains to tranquil beaches, from natural wonders to man-made marvels. To be honest, even a lifetime is not enough to cover the entire length and breadth of our glorious nation. And that’s why, we’ve decided to compile a list of 12 must have travel experiences in India every wanderlust must indulge in. Add them to your travel bucket list and we are certain that you’d cherish visiting each one of these destinations.
1. A vacation on the pristine beaches of Andaman & Nicobar
If you are looking for an international beach holiday but on a budget and without the VISA hassle, Andaman and Nicobar islands are for you. No short of a picturesque postcard, these exotic beaches blessed with clear blue aquamarine waters, white sandy beaches, vibrant coral reefs and a plethora of marine life. Head here to escape the hustle and bustle of the city life, and unwind. And if you’re seeking a bit of adventure, adrenaline-inducing water sports await you.
Swimming Elephants at Andaman
Image Source: James Scott (Flickr)
2. A Bachelor’s Only Trip To Goa
India’s beach party capital, Goa is the perfect destination to let loose with your squad and live out all your fantasies. There is so much to do, we don’t know where to begin. Beaches in North and Central Goa are buzzing with activity – from exhilarating water sports in the morning to wild parties that go on till dusk. If you are feeling lucky, head on down to one of the many casinos. And once you are tired of all the revelry, drive to South Goa to escape the bustle and find that much need solitude.
Image Source: Pavel Volkov (Flickr)
Image Source: Ankur P (Flickr)
3. A Road Trip To Ladakh
Whether you are an avid biker or a driving enthusiast, road tripping to Ladakh will be one of the best and most memorable experiences of your life. Topping the list of the most coveted road trips in India (and rightfully so), driving down the Ladakh is a sensory delight. You will be crossing jaw dropping sights at literally every few kilometers and the experiences you will have will be forever etched in your brain. Whether you are doing it solo or with your gang, a road trip to Ladakh will bring you closer to nature and leave you mesmerized.
Image Source – Amit Rawat (Flickr)
Image Source – reurinkjan (Flickr)
Image Source – Tanay Kibe (Flickr)
4. A Trek To Valley Of Flowers
Nestled in the West Himalayas in the mountainous state of Uttarakhand, Valley of Flowers lives up to its name and is home to over 500 species of blossoms (and that’s a conservative estimate). You’d be surprised to know that it was discovered in 1931 by three British mountaineers and is now on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The alpine flowers dot the valley in a riot of spectacular colours between the months of June and October and are a sight to behold. A trek to the valley is of moderate difficulty and a must for every nature lover.
Image Source: Rohit (Flickr)
5. Sail Through Kerala’s Scenic Backwaters
God’s Own Country has so much to offer, but the one thing you shouldn’t miss is an overnight stay on a houseboat as you sail through the languid murky backwaters. Comprising serene and serpentine stretches of lakes, canals and lagoons running parallel to the coast of the Arabian Sea, the backwater regions of Kerala are amongst the most popular tourist destinations worldwide. Alappuzha, popularly known as the ‘Venice of the East’, is a sight to behold and one of the most mesmerizing trips you’d ever experience.
Image Source – preze (Flickr)
Image Source: Well-Bred Kannan (Flickr)
6. A Desert Safari In Rajasthan
The vast endless stretches of sand may seem intimidating at first, but soon enough you’d recognize the beauty of Rajasthan’s Thar Desert. There is something for everyone – adventure sports for the thrill seekers. Camel rides for those who want to take it slow and easy. You can also spend time with the locals, enjoying their colorful culture, partaking in their exuberant folk music and dances, and relishing their traditional delicacies. Top it all off with a night under the starlit sky and marvel at nature’s wonders.
Image Source: hurricanepower (Instagram)
Image Source: Ramaseshan Ramachandran (Flickr)
Thar Desert near Khuri
Image Source: Nabarun Bhattacharya (Flickr)
7. Witness Nature At Its Best In The Valleys Of Kashmir
“If there is a heaven on earth, it’s here, it’s here, it’s here” – these words aptly describe the other worldly beauty of Kashmir. With snow capped mountains, scenic valleys, serene lakes and lush greenery everywhere your eyes go, you are bound to be awestruck by Kashmir’s natural beauty. There isn’t one destination in this glorious state that is any less than a scene straight out of a fairytale. Roam Kashmir’s breathtaking valleys and get lost in their marvelous beauty.
Image Source: Avijit Nandy (Flickr)
Image Source: Mayoor Patel (Flickr)
Image Source: pallab seth (Flickr)
8. A Monsoon Trip To The Waterfalls Of Western Ghats
The glorious Western Ghats situated in the state of Karnataka stretch from Dandeli in the north to Mangalore in the south, and from the edge of the western coastline they are spread as far as Coorg and Madikeri. During the months of monsoon, innumerable streams and rivers —fed by ceaseless rain—plunge off the rocky mountains leading to spectacular waterfalls along this entire region. With lush flora and fauna, the sights and sounds of Western Ghats will delight your senses.
Image Source: Hemant G (Flickr)
Image Source: Jayasankar Madhavadas (Flickr)
Image Source: Athirapally Falls (Flickr)
9. Spotting Tigers At Ranthambore National Park
If you are a wildlife enthusiast, a trip through the forests and trails of Ranthambore National Park will be a dream come true. With a wide variety of animals and birds to spot, you’ll have loads to do and see. But the main attraction is of course the majestic Bengal Tiger. Recognised as one of the best places in the country to spot tigers, you will be taken aback to see this stately animal roam about in its natural habitat. During your visit, do make time for a visit to the Ranthambore Fort which is located at the heart of the Ranthambore National Park and is among one of the oldest forts in India.
Image Source: Simon and Karen Spavin (Flickr)
10. A Walk Down The Ghats Of Varanasi
Whether you are seeking solitude, religion or simply want to take a closer look at history, Varanasi is the place to be for you. Home to a plethora of temples, the ancient city has almost 100 ghats, majority of which were built after 1700 AD, when the city was part of the glorious Maratha Empire. With holy waters of the Ganges flowing by them, these ghats witness incredible revelry during religious ceremonies and daily pujas. Take a boat ride at the break of dawn along the river from Dasaswamedh Ghat to Harishchandra Ghat or indulge in a walking tour along the Varanasi ghats to deep dive into this ancient city’s history and spiritual significance.
Image Source – LoriQoPB (Flickr)
Image Source: Joao Eduardo Figueiredo (Flickr)
11. A Rendezvous With The Taj Mahal
The city of Agra needs no introduction. Famous world over for the transfixing beauty of Taj Mahal, Agra is paradise on earth for a history buff and architecture enthusiast. From British royalty to the biggest celebrities and politicos, everyone is drawn to the mesmerizingly beautiful Taj Mahal. But don’t be fooled, there is plenty to see and do. The city is strewn with architectural wonders – including forts, mausoleums and tombs. Make time to wander through its numerous bustling marketplaces and take home a piece of Agra with you.
12. Visit The Heart Of India – Delhi
Literally the heart of our glorious nation, Delhi is where history meets the future. You can time travel from the era bygone – visiting forts, palaces, tombs, temples and more built centuries ago and then ride on your silver chariot (also known as the Delhi Metro) to experience the city’s bustling nightlife than can give any international cosmopolitan a run for its money. Visiting Delhi is like visiting a new country altogether – there is so much to do and so much to see.
Image Source – Matt Wicks (Flickr)
Image Source – Nimit Nigam (Flickr)
Image Source – Swaran Singh (Flickr)
And there you have it. 12 unique travel experiences that will satisfy the wanderlust in you. They may not cover the entirety of our beautiful country, but they do capture the spirit of what makes India so great.
Which are some of the other travel experiences that you feel should have been a part of this list? Let us know in the comments below.