Made In India: 25 Travel Experiences You Won’t Find Anywhere Else

It can take an entire lifetime to see the incredible country that is India. How do you cover something as big? Here’s a bucket list of 25 places in India which you simply must visit before you die. How many of these have you visited? Keep ticking ‘em off.

There’s no guarantee that you’ll go to heaven after you die, why not enjoy a little heaven here on earth itself?

1. Trek in Leh-Ladakh

Source: blogspot.com

Ladakh is one of the most surreal places in India. The trek is also one of the most treacherous. Acres of plain land at that altitude, a lake so clear the surface could be mistaken for glass – a visit to Ladakh can be life-changing. A bike ride from Manali to Ladakh is regarded as almost a rite-of-passage for adventurers.

Best time to go: May-October

2. Go for a Shikara Ride in Kashmir

Source: wikimedia.org

Not for nothing is it known as paradise on Earth, and not for nothing are two countries fighting for it. Sailing on a decorated shikara, in the Dal Lake, surrounded by the icy Hiamlayas in the background is the closest you can get to experiencing heaven.

Best time to go: May-August coz in winter the Dal Lake would be frozen. If you wanna see the flowers in full bloom, go in spring – April is the time when the famous Tulip Festival is held.

3. Paraglide in Manali

Source: sightseeinginmanali.com

Manali could be India’s official hill station. The place offers a range of activities ranging from white water rafting to paragliding and zorbing, not to mention the warm springs, and the cafes.

Best time to visit: September-October

4. Take the Toy train to Shimla

Source: Flickr.com @annyatoma

The best way to breathe in the hills surrounding Shimla is to take a ride in the toy train from Kalka. It takes around 4-5 hours to reach Shimla, passing through canopies of trees on the hills.

Best time to visit: March to June and October-February

5. Experience Chandni Chowk in Delhi

Source: tushky.com

Shah Jahan’s city overflows with history. See the Red Fort, Qutub Minar, roam the streets of Chandni Chowk feasting on chaat, visit Jama Masjid, the newly restored Humayun’ s Tomb, the markets – the list of places to visit in Delhi is endless.

6. See the Taj Mahal in Agra

Source: wanderingearl.com

Nothing needs to be said about this one. See the Taj Mahal. That’s all.

Best time to visit: October-March (winters)

7. Try Spotting Tigers in Corbett

Source: indiawildlifetravel.wordpress.com

Jim Corbett is located in the district of Nainital, and is a great place to spot Indian wildlife.

Best Time to Visit: Mid-November to Mid-June

8. River Rafting in Rishikesh

Source: http://holidayhotelsharidwar.wordpress.com/

No questions asked. Rishikesh is the best place for river rafting in India. Strong rapids and shallow waters, the place is a hub for river rafters.

Best Time to Visit: October-June

9. Witness an Aarti in Varanasi-Haridwar

Source: theholidayindia.com

Chillum-smoking sadhus, evening aartis at ghats teeming with pilgrims, floating diyas on the Ganges – the religious towns of Varanasi and Haridwar are the face of spiritual India. If possible, time your visit with the Maha Kumbh Mela that is held in February.

Best Time to Visit: October-March

10. Check out Choki Dhani in Jaipur

Source: blogspot.com

The culture is as colourful as the desert is white. Forts, palaces, Rajput artillery, folk arts – not for nothing is Rajasthan the cultural state of the country. Amer fort, Hawa Mahal, Queen Sisodia’s Palace Garden, and Johari Bazaar are the main attractions to cover.

Best time to visit: October-March

11. Ride a Camel in Jaisalmer

Source: Flickr.com @23021805@N05

Jaisalmer holds a desert festival every year in February. There are folk performers, camel rides, longest moustache competition, and much more. The ‘Golden City of Indiais known for its havelis, desert, camel rides, and colourful handicrafts.

Best time to visit: February (October-March)

12. Visit the City Palace in Udaipur

Source: Flickr.com @68695366@N07

The city of lakes is Rajasthan’s only respite from the heat. City Palace beside Lake Pichola is the central attraction and a most romantic place to enjoy royal splendor. A meal at a rooftop restaurant overlooking the lake is a must.

Best time to visit: September-March

13. Get engulfed by Durgo Pujo in Kolkata

Source: Flickr.com @23985194@N06

Durga Puja in Kolkata is as grand as can be. The pandals are there at every street corner, and each is better than the previous one. Women dressed in bright sarees, the sweet Prasad, holy smoke in the air – Durga Puja is a mesmerizing affair.

Best time to visit: November-February

14. Behold the Konark Temple in Orissa

Source: google.com

The Konark Temple of Puri, located by Chandrabhaga beach, is an architectural marvel. Every year in the month of December, the famous Konark festival, which sees folk dance n music performances, is organized here.

Best time to visit: November-April

15. Be privy to the changing of Guards at Attari Border, Amritsar

Source: wikimedia.org

The changing of guards ceremony at Wagah border is an overwhelming sight for spectators. Every day hundreds of people gather to witness this event. Whether you are patriotic or not, the ceremony is sure to induce a lump or two in your throat.

Best time to visit: October-March

16. Stay on a Houseboat in Kerala

Source: keralaholidays.info

God’s own country has lots to offer – beaches, backwaters, massages, hills, tea estates, Ayurvedic massages. An afternoon spent on a houseboat, sipping filter coffee or whatever you prefer, might just undo all the stress accumulated over the years.

Best time to visit: September-March

17. Watch the Sunset at Hampi – Karnataka

Source: 500px.org

Hampi is a land of temples. They are the most beautiful ruins and rocks you will ever see. And when the sunrays fall on them at sunset, it’s a sight to behold. Don’t be surprised if you feel a tear or two falling down your cheek.

Best time to visit: November-April

18. Chill at a Cafe in Pondicherry

Source: livingonacanal.com

The former French colony has the beauty of a coastal Indian town and grace of French architecture. Its neat promenade, French cafes, temple elephant, and Auroville city are what one must have tried in Pondicherry.

Best time to visit: November-February

19. Laze on a hammock in Goa

Source: blogspot.com

Goa is one destination you should have definitely visited before you get married. You need to have attended a beach party, done parasailing over the Arabian Sea, or drank crazy. But even if you have roamed at Anjuna Beach, ridden a Scooty, or just lazed away in a hammock, you have been there. Check out the list of Goa’s best 10 things to do before you head to Goa.

Best time to visit: November-February

20. Breathe in the North East

Source: getawaymemoires.com

The North East, with its lush greenery, hilly terrain and simple people, is a backpacker’s paradise. There’s Tawang Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh, the Ziro festival there is a new kid on the block, and is a great hit. Assam’s Kaziranga Park, Nagaland’s Hornbill Festival are some of the many highlights of the region. Meghalaya is an all-rounder. It’s got peaks, caves, lakes, waterfalls, and the wettest places on earth.

Best time to visit: November-April (barring December which is chilly)

 

21. Eat Pav Bhaji on Juhu Beach, Mumbai

Source: Flickr.com

Nothing is more relaxing than indulging in a plate of steaming Pav Bhaji with dollops of butter on it, strolling on Juhu Beach, with the sea resounding the perfect tune in the background. Who says Mumbai is a fast-paced city?

Best time to visit: February

22. Observe the Sculptures of the Temples in Khajuraho

Source: Flickr.com @79009234@N07

It’s no secret that the Khajurao temples exhibit erotic sculptures, the eroticism of which could put to shame even the most liberal of Western minds.

Best time to visit: September-March (the annual Dance Festival is held in March)

23. Cruise in the Andamans

Source: tripadvisor.com

Andaman and Nicobar Islands are India’s exotic holiday location. It has not only scenic beauty, but also a dark history. The place has amazing climate, clear blue waters, and a non-touristy feel. We Indians come here when we want an overseas holiday without spending the corresponding amount.

Best time to visit: October-May

24. Run around the Rann of Kutch and Gir

Source: zigwheels.com

Gir is home to the now endangered Asiatic lion, while Rann of Kutch is the white desert of Gujarat. Every year in December and January, it holds the Great Rann Utsav which sees folk dances, music, artisans, and camels with colourful embellishments in the white background of the desert.

Best time to visit: October-March

25. Taste some Tea at an Estate in Darjeeling

Source: vedicodyssey.com

Darjeeling is the official tea-maker of the country. This town that was a popular summer retreat during the British Raj, offers scenic views of the Himalayan mountain range – trekking through the tea estates is a must. Kasto maza hai lelaimaa (How much fun it is when a train goes up and down on a hilly track).

Best time to visit: April-June and September-December

 

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  1. Prad Jeddy

    Wow! This is so beautiful post, Special your points. Really north east is like second heaven of India. I would like to share something that Travelomiles is one of the best India travel guide.

  2. Priya Murali

    I am surprised to see that there is not even a single mention about Tamil Nadu. Be it the beautiful toy train journey from mettupalayam to ooty or the magnificent temples in Chennai and Tanjore. Also the sunrise at the southernmost tip of kanyakumari

  3. Thanks to “Braggers Rights” i am proud to say that to date have seen almost all the locations mentioned barring the famous “Ladakh-Leh” paradise and the extreme North -East of India.I am surprised at the omission of Coorg in Karnataka as also the “Konkan Region” of Maharashtra.India is really blessed having all the World’s “Climatic conditions” within a single geographical boundary.

  4. Aumlan Guha

    Nice list. I thought Lakshadweep should have featured here. Me, I have done 5, let’s see how many more I can cover.

    One small point: How would one see the Durga Puja from Nov – Feb? You meant this window for Kolkata in general, didn’t you? Durga Puja falls anytime between the end of Sep to the beginning of Nov…

  5. P

    Good list. May be an improved list will have the Brihadeshwara temple at Tanjore, Munnar, Lucknow and Ajanta-Ellora caves.

  6. Adarsh Mohta

    Thanks to my dad’s perpetually transferable job, I have spent some part of my childhood in multiple Indian states. I have seen Kolkata’s Durga Puja, I have ridden Kerala’s houseboat and I have also seen a bit of Orissa and a lot of Delhi. It is Rajasthan and its grandeur that still elude me. I am hoping WAH that you will help me plan a Rajasthan trip pretty soon.

  7. Suhana

    Jesus, that’s a tempting post. You brought water into my salivary glands. I used to pride myself on my peripatetic skills but now it appears that I am so ignorant. Out of these 25, I have visited only 9. A lot needs to be covered, eh?

  8. Priyanka Khaitan

    It piqued my curiosity when you mentioned about Hampi’s sunset. So far, I had only read articles rhapsodizing of Hampi’s ruins and legacies. But you have added that natural angle to it which gives me an added reason to try planning a Hampi trip. The whole post, by the way, was very informative and engagingly written.

    Thank you

  9. Ruchi

    An awesome list. My god, I have just covered 9 of them. But then I am only 17. I confess I want to visit Khajurao Temple. But you see I am small, a class 11 student. Now how do I tell my dad to take me to Khajurao. It’s got all those temples depicting erotica. He will kick me out of the house :’(

  10. SP Ramalingam

    You mentioned Pav Bhaji of Mumbai, how about a Masala Dosa of south India. I know that Dosa is available throughout the country. But you can actually eat different kinds of dosas if you go down south. Chocolate Dosa is something which my sister cannot stop raving about.

  11. Pranav Dutt

    I had been in Shimla last month for
    vacation. Having recommended Shimla as one of the best hill stations of India by major
    travel information websites like HolidayIQ.com, Travel Guru, Trip Advisor etc.
    I planned a vacation of Shimla and what I can say, the experience of traveling
    to Shimla was great. Enjoying the craze of toy train for the first time in my
    life was awesome. However I could not get
    the place for sketing where I stayed. May be next time…

  12. Sweta Tiwari

    it’s more creative for reader.I appreciate your information that you spend quality time for your blog. i’m always read your blog.

  13. Rashee

    Ah Darjeeling. It is so good to see it in your list. Actually you know I was reading the whole article and praying for Darjeeling to show up. You see it is my favorite place. And bingo, it came right at the end. I have covered 12 of these 25. Not a bad score I guess.

  14. Varun Anand

    I would add another point to your list. I found the whole experience of visiting Jaipur’s Amber Fort really awesome. In fact, I enjoyed it more than I enjoyed Chowki Dhani. Good list by the way.

  15. Manish Kashyap

    Such a cool and informative list. I wish I could visit all these places this year itself. Sadly, I have just been to 8 of them. So, there are umm…17 left I guess. If I could have it my way, I would go to Andaman and do all those underwater things which you guys keep talking about. *rolls my eyes and prays before God to give me more money*

  16. Sheila Bhattacharya

    I have seen 7 of the places you mention above. I felt Manali is the best of the lot that I have seen. I did paragliding there for the first time in my life. A breathtaking experience it was! And being from Kolkata, I have seen every color of Durga Puja.

  17. Vickey Ahuja

    I like travelling and photography is my passion. I have seen most of the places on this list excepting Ladakh, Manali, Corbett, Amritsar, Rann of Kutch and Pondicherry. Of the remaining, I am really keen to visit Ladakh. My dream will come true if I visit Ladakh.

  18. Rohit Negi

    Great list! India is so full of wonderful things; it’s so difficult to pinpoint only 25. I have done 14 from these. 11 more to go. I feel privileged to have seen something that features in the top 25 things to see in my country.

    • Nishi Jain Nishi Jain

      Rohit, 14 is not bad at all! You are halfway there, buddy! Do it soon! And then you can start with the rest of the world ;)

      • Jai Karkare

        I wish I could go to all 25 places. I have seen some of them though. Rajasthan is my native place and all the attractions you mentioned from that state, I have seen. I would like to go to Kerala and Manali. I pray I can make one such trip at least by the end of this year.

  19. Rohit Noel Ekka

    I have covered only 5 of them. Been to Kashmir and enjoyed the Shikara ride. I think Kashmir is really a heaven. Seen Agra’s Taj Mahal when I was small. I went to Chowki Dhani when I visited Rajasthan but missed out on Jaisalmer. And I stay in Delhi only. Have consumed those Chandni Chowk chaats millions of times.

  20. Sangeethanissi

    In north India, your blog list only some of the places.
    Other than your listing many temples and tourist places are available.