The Ultimate India Travel Guide
The land of rich culture, tradition and diversity, India is indeed unique in many ways. It is also the oldest civilization where many religions and cultures have flourished and prospered. The etiquettes, lifestyle, beliefs and values are dynamic elements of the Indian culture that is deeply rooted in the hearts and minds of people. From the snow-capped mountains of Himalayas to the exquisite peninsula down South, from the deltas of the Eastern Coast to the arid regions in the West, the Indian subcontinent is a fascinating destination to explore and experience. Whether you are a backpacker or travelling on a tight budget or looking forward to spending your holidays fit for a king, India is definitely on top of the list.
3 Things You Should Carry for India Travel
- Sunscreen Travelling in India is incredibly exciting, but the climate is hot and humid most of the year, which could cause havoc on your skin. Even if you are not planning your holidays in a beach destination, sunscreen is a must.
- Antibacterial Wipes No one wants to fall sick while travelling. So, carrying antibacterial wipes comes handy which can be used in hotel room, airplane and in other places.
- First Aid Kit This is the most essential item to carry while on your journey. Keep climate, your personal health and destination in mind to prepare the kit with mainstay items.
10 Best Places for Vacation in India
Delhi is a dynamic city with a rich history that reflects in the magnificent heritage buildings that are tucked away in the alleyways of this busy sprawling metropolis. From historical monuments to happening contemporary marvels, Delhi is brimming with interesting spots that satiate the traveller in you. Also, with a myriad of accommodation options, your stay here is sure to be a memorable experience. The destinations nearby are also wonderful to stop by and explore. You can plan a day’s trip to Agra, Mathura, Neemrana, Manesar, Kuchesar, and Nuh from the city. Delhi is a vibrant city that deserves a special place in your bucket list.
- From Historical monuments to exotic bazaars there is plenty to explore in Delhi. If you are a shopaholic then this metropolitan city will not disappoint you. You can shop at Chandni Chowk, Lajpat Nagar, Daryaganj Book Market, Karol Bagh and Gaffar Market.
- If you are a historical buff then a visit to Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort, India Gate, Agrasen Ki Baoli, Jama Masjid, Lodhi Garden, Mehrauli Archaeological Park, Tughlaqabad Fort, Safdarjung Tomb is a must. Temples like Akshardham Temple, ISKCON and Lotus temple, Chhatarpur Mandir, Rashtrapati Bhavan, and Museums must also be included in your itinerary .
Things to Do
- The weather is pleasant from October – November and February - March and hence considered to be an ideal time to visit this capital city. In summer that is from April to June, the temperature can range from 35 to 45 degrees Celsius. December - January is cold with temperature ranging from 5 to 12 degrees Celsius.
Best Time to Visit
From clear water lakes, ancient monasteries, stunning landscapes to high altitude roads, Ladakh is a place that needs a good amount of time to explore. Nestled amidst Great Himalayas and the Karakoram, this marvellous destination should be in the bucket list of every avid traveller. Although Ladakh has a lot to offer to tourists, it is not a region to explore in a hurry. Do not try a lot of things in too little time. The best time to visit is during the festivals when the place is vibrant and energetic.
As the place is situated at a high altitude, it is not easy to get acclimatized to the weather. You may experience AMS (acute mountain sickness), nausea, breathlessness and light-headedness. So, carry regular medicines along with Diamox to reduce AMS. You can reach the place by road from Srinagar (415 km) or Manali (482 km). There are flights from Mumbai and Delhi to Leh.
Situated on the banks of River Ganga - Varanasi, also known as Kashi, needs no introduction. Holy Ganges is the centre of life in this mystical city. There are several ghats built on the banks of the river. A boat ride on the river at sunrise will give a glimpse of the main Ghats. A waterside walking tour is an awesome way to experience the surroundings and should not be missed when you are here. These ghats have special significance as per mythology and are used for various holy rituals. The Dashashwamedh Ghat is the most popular and the main attraction of Varanasi. The spectacular Ganga Aarti is held here every evening. Some of the main Ghats include Assi Ghat, Chet Singh Ghat, Darbhanga Ghat, Man Mandir Ghat, Manikarnika and Harishchandra Ghats (cremations are performed here), Bhonsale Ghat, Panchganga Ghat.
Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim and is situated at an altitude of 5500 feet. This beautiful city was once used as a transit point by traders crisscrossing between India and Tibet. Blessed with varied flora and fauna and breath-taking natural beauty, Gangtok is a perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure aficionados. It is also a popular Buddhist centre that boasts of a number of monasteries.
Situated in the Aravalli Ranges, Udaipur in Rajasthan is a majestic destination that reflects the grandeur of the bygone era. The city is known for its rich and dynamic heritage and culture. From gorgeous gardens, narrow avenues, panoramic mountain ranges to lakes, the beauty of Udaipur is never-ending. The regal and exotic locales of the city are sure to leave the travellers spellbound.
Goa is one of the popular vacation destinations situated in the coastal belt of the Konkan coast in India. If you are a beach lover, then Goa is sure to impress you with its incredible beaches. It is also known for its vibrant Portuguese-influenced culture, mouth-watering cuisines, wildlife and adventure sports. It is a friendly backpacker’s paradise and popular among foreign tourists. You can observe the beautiful blend of Goan and Portuguese style of architecture in the churches, houses, forts and villas. It is also a party destination and a hotspot for Christmas and New Year Celebrations.
Kerala is blessed with a maze of meandering rivers, lakes and canals and if strategically planned, a visit to the state would be the most rewarding experience of travelling in South India. You get to experience the diverse flavours of local life, magnificent countryside and witness the relaxed lifestyle in the villages, all while cruising leisurely in the backwaters. The idyllic cruise along the palm-fringed backwaters is an incredible way to take a plunge in the beautiful atmosphere around.
Alleppey or Alappuzha is one such backwater destination in Kerala. The night-cruise is the most sought-after cruises and popular among tourists. There are to-and-fro trips where you can board the boat and disembark in Alleppey after spending a night in the serene atmosphere of the backwaters. There are several interesting routes that you can choose and each one is as captivating as the other. The bewitching appeal of small hamlets, green fields and an enchanting panorama of coconut palms can be witnessed while cruising along the famed Vembanadu Lake. Gazing at the night sky away from the city is indeed a magical experience.
Havelock Island, Andaman
Floating in the turquoise waters of Bay of Bengal, Havelock Island is the most coveted beach destination of India. The tropical archipelago located in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands is sparsely populated and a pure tourist hub. The beautiful beaches, hypnotizing serenity, and astonishing ambiance make this place a supreme destination where you can enjoy your holidays in the beautiful nature’s lap. With stunning locales, caves, and mountain peaks, the island is indeed a photographer’s delight. There are Government Ferries and Private Luxury boats that ferry tourists every day from Port Blair to the island. For local transport, you can choose buses, taxis, motorbikes or auto rickshaws.
Tanjavur, Tamil Nadu
The temple town of Tanjavur is located in Tamil Nadu and is home to the magnificent UNESCO heritage temple that was built between 984 to 1010 A.D. This city attained prominence under the reign of Chola rulers, who erected a number of magnificent temples, which reflects the architectural grandeur of the era. Steeped in history and a confluence of varied cultures, the temple town is a popular tourist destination of the state. Besides the architectural marvels, due to its interesting topography, the place also boasts of several tranquil spots where you can enjoy in the lap of nature. Tanjavur is well-connected to major cities across the country. The nearest airport is about 65 km in Trichy.
Hampi is a historic town that was the capital of the Vijayanagara Dynasty in 1500 AD. This quaint town located on the banks of Tungabhadra River in Karnataka impresses visitors with its striking ruins of magnificent structures built during the reign of Vijayanagara Kings. The 3-day festival held during October/November draws people from far and wide. ‘Hampi by Night’ tour takes you through the magnificent monuments with music and lighting effects that give an opportunity for tourists to peek into the history of this region. The stone chariot is the iconic landmark of the place.
Bonus Idea: Unique Souverniers to Buy in India
Souvenirs are an integral part of any vacation. Some of the popular knickknacks include Tibetan prayer flags, intricately painted paper-mache items, lac bangles, Thangkas from Sikkim, Tanjore paintings, handcrafted meenakari items from Delhi and traditional lamps and coconut shell handicrafts from Kerala.
Start Saving Money
Write down all your current expenses so you can determine where you are spending money and how you can cut back. People bleed a lot of money every day through small purchases: that bottle of water, the dollar for that snack, that extra coffee. All of that adds up and creating this breakdown can let you know where you need to cut and save.