Your India Bucket List! 30 Incredible Experiences You Can Only Have in India!

india bucket list experiences

30 Amazing experiences that you can only have in India!

For most countries travelers are content with a top 10 list of places to go and things to see, but Incredible India is not most countries. India is not so much a country that you come to ‘see‘ but a country that is an assault of all your senses, a country that you come to feel, to be part of the chaos and to learn and become enriched by it – India is a unique country that you just have to experience! 

Traveling around Incredible India is so much more than just a trip. Yes, it can be challenging a first, but come with the right attitude, an open mind and an open heart and your trip to India could just change your life.

Whilst India is best travelled slowly and without too many plans, you need to start somewhere. As India is such a huge country of such rich diversity, trying to pin down the top 10 Indian experiences is almost an impossible task and it would take a lifetime to experience all that Incredible India has to offer.

To give you some ideas here are the best experiences you have in India to add to your India bucket list.

30 Most Incredible India Experiences to add to your Ultimate India Bucket List

taj mahal Incredible India
The Taj Mahal

#1 OK, let’s get the most obvious one out of the way first! Yes, the Taj Mahal is a cliche but no Indian adventure would be complete without a visit. Go as early in the morning as you can to miss the worst of the crowds and enjoy your first glance of the Taj Mahal rising ethereally out of the misty morning light

#2 Taking a boat ride down the holy Ganges river in Varanasi at dawn and witnessing the cremations and ceremonies that take place in one of the holiest and oldest continually inhabited cities in the world

#3 Everyday activities in India often become experiences to remember. Even taking the train, witnessing the countryside pass by and sharing a picnic with a local family is an essential Indian experience.


Read More: The Perfect Itinerary for 3 Months Backpacking in India


#4 And relax… laze on the beaches with the cows, explore the countryside and colourful old Portuguese churches and house by motorbike or party the night away in laid back Goa

#5 Savouring your first taste of a creamy mango lassi or sweet hot chai tea and discovering that Indian cuisine is so different and so much more than you ever experienced in your local takeaway back home!

#6 India’s cities can feel a little chaotic or overwhelming at first but it’s all part of the experience. Delhi is a city overflowing with history. See Mughal monuments like the Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Humayun’ s Tomb and Jama Masjid and just roam the streets of Old Delhi. Getting lost and finding yourself amongst the and the chaos of Old Delhi is an essential part of a trip to India.

#7 Be captivated by India’s most colourful and flamboyant state and feel like a Maharajah while exploring the majestic palaces and forts of Rajasthan

Amer Fort in Rajasthan
Amer Fort in Rajasthan

#8 And feel like a real explorer riding across the Thar desert on a camel safari

#9 Mumbai or Bombay is a vibrant city of dreams and India’s answer to Hollywood. Hang out in Colaba, enjoy the buzz, and the colonial architecture and maybe you could even get yourself a part acting in a Bollywood film!

#10 Be swept away by the colour and sparkle while shopping for sarees and learning how to wear it!

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30 of the Most Incredible India experiences to add to Your Bucket List.


Read More: The Complete Step by Step Guide to Planning your First Trip to India


#11 There is a surprise around every corner in India. Be blown away by witnessing a impromptu festival parading down the streets or time your visit to take in one of India’s colourful and flamboyant festivals and celebrations

#12 Feel like you have stepped back in time to explore the blissfully untouched and undiscovered remote tribal lands of North East India and meeting the unique tribes of North East India

Apatani Women in Ziro Valley, North East India
Apatani Women in Ziro Valley, North East India

#13 India is all about spirituality and many travellers come to ‘find themselves‘ in India. Follow in the footsteps of The Beatles by practicing yoga, balancing your chakras and getting in touch with your inner peace at an ashram in Rishikesh. You can even complete a 200 hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh – the world’s yoga capital!

#14 Carry on your spiritual quest and be awe struck by the glittering Golden Temple in Amritsar, the holiest place for Sikhs.

30 Incredible Experiences that you can only have in India!


 Read More: My Top 10 Tips to Make Your First Time Traveling in India Easier


#15 India is so diverse, you don’t even need to leave India to experience the serene, colourful beauty of the Tibtan culutre and if your timing is right you could even meet the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala

#16 Cruising through the luscious palm tree lined  Kerala backwaters on a traditional barge turned into a house boat has to be one of the most relaxing and beautiful experiences in the whole of India

Cruising the Kerala backwaters on a houseboat is an expereince you can't miss when in Kerala
Cruising the Kerala backwaters on a houseboat is an expereince you can’t miss when in Kerala

#17 Learning how to haggle in the markets, with the rickshaw drivers, guest houses, with everyone, is an essential skill that you will learn while traveling in India!

#18 Blush at the incredibly intricate erotic sculptures that adorn the ancient temples of Khajuraho 

#19 Big lavish Indian weddings are legendary. Attending a wedding gives you an unforgettable cultural experience, the chance to participate in important rituals and traditions, taste traditional Indian food and talk with local people about life in India. Perhaps you can get lucky and be randomly invited to a wedding or celebration in a family home like I did in Khajuraho.  But if you don’t know anyone getting married in India then no worries, an exciting new start-up called JoinMyWedding allows you to participate in a genuine traditional Indian wedding by matching travelers and Indian couples wanting to share their wedding with the world.


Read More: Tips for Women Traveling in India


#20 Getting used to negotiating the busy Indian streets either by foot, on a wild rickshaw (tuk tuk) ride or perhaps even learning to drive a motorbike may seem crazy at first but after a while you will see the method is the madness and fall in love with the chaos.

#21 Fall in love with the enigmatic, other worldy landscape and the temple ruins in chilled out, magical Hampi

Ruins of Hampi
Ruins of Hampi

#22 The mountains of Himachal Pradesh have countless opportunities for spectacular trekking and many cute villages and towns that have become popular traveler hangouts. Manali offers a huge range of adventurous activities including paragliding that offers the most amazing views of the valleys.

#23 Witness the extraordinary nightly Wagah Border Ceremony between India and Pakistan.

#24 Escape the heat and bustle of the cities and feel the refreshing breeze and soak up the views at tea plantation or colonial hill station


Read More: 21 (little, quirky) Reasons I Love India


#25 India is also home to some of the world’s most incredible wildlife, from majestic elephants, camels and tigers to bears, rhinos, lions, leopards, birds and so many more to the roaming dogs, goats and holy cows that are everywhere.

#26 Take a shikara across spectacular Dal Lake in Srinagar, Kashmir and sleep on a historic Raj era houseboat amongst one of India’s most stunning landscapes known as ‘paradise on Earth.’

Dal Lake in Kashmir. Photo Credit: http://geospatialsurvey.net/
Dal Lake in Kashmir. Photo Credit: http://geospatialsurvey.net/

Experience the ‘Utopian‘ community at Auroville and check out the French influence, pretty yellow architecture and cafes in nearby Pondicherry in Tamil Nadu.

Taking a boat ride across the beautiful lake against a backdrop of palaces to the iconic Lake Palace Hotel in romantic Udaipur

Experience the Great Rann Utsav in the other worldly Rann of Kutch  – the white desert of Gujarat and witness the stunning colour of the folk dancers, artisans and camels with colourful embellishments against the white background of the desert.

Take a trip to the top of the world up to surreally beautiful Leh and Ladakh. Motorbiking from Manali to Leh is one of the world’s most adventurous, challenging and spectacular road trips.

Ladakh
Ladakh

Have you been to India? What was your most Incredible India Experience?

 

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Sunset over romantic Udaipur in Rajasthan

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49 comments

Léonie Matteau February 18, 2016 at 4:11 pm

HUm! Laurence Cv Marie-Michelle Beauchemin Vanessa MD !!!

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Marie-Michelle Beauchemin February 18, 2016 at 4:16 pm

seriously… can’t wait.

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Jessica Bailey February 18, 2016 at 9:00 pm

Oh gosh so many wonderful experiences!!! So many on your list i love, and can’t wait to experience the rest soon… Some of my favorites include – sitting on the beach in kannur north kerala eating the most amazing seafood ive ever tasted, driving through the lush jungles of wayanad and spotting a leopard, the smiles on childrens faces, playing holi and dancing for hours, watching the sun rise at tiger hill darjeeling, meeting locals and spending hours in converstation (im still friends with many of them), all of the sun sets, being involved in an indian wedding, exploring old lanes and bazaars in jaisalmer, singing my lungs out with my auto driver and now wonderful friend in jaipur and being invited into countless homes for chai… i could go on and on and on.. India is truely incredible!!

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Global Gallivanting February 18, 2016 at 9:38 pm

Oh wow! So many – maybe the list should be 100 experiences! I can’t believe you saw a leopard in Wayanad thats amazing! You’ve had so many beautiful moments, I love how everyone has different but equally amazing experiences and I also love how you’ve listed some of the little things like the smiles on childrens faces and singing in the rickshaw – sometimes those little moments are the things that create the most beautiful memories. Thanks so much for sharing yours with me 🙂

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Jessica Bailey February 18, 2016 at 10:16 pm

Global Gallivanting i reckon it could be 1000 ha ha ☺
So lucky to see that leopard, was so amazing!! My dream is to see a tiger…
I am leaving for my 7th trip to India in October and cant wait to explore new places! Hoping to get to the north east this time!!

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Global Gallivanting February 19, 2016 at 9:36 am

Yes I’ve been on 3 safaris now and still not seen a tiger let alone a leopard! 7 trips! Haha your as crazy about India as I am! Enjoy it and yes do go to the North East it’s really different from the rest of India and a proper adventure! I can’t wait to met the headhunters in Nagaland in April!

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Jessica Bailey February 19, 2016 at 9:45 am

Thanks! Yep pretty crazy about it hoping i also get to Goa, cant believe ive not got there yet!!
I really enjoy reading your articles, thanks for sharing your adventure!!

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Traveling Junkies February 19, 2016 at 4:43 pm

Would love for you to share your experiences on our platform!! http://www.facebook.com/travelingjunkies

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Brendon Ferns February 20, 2016 at 12:25 pm

hey guys i noticed you’ll spoke about spotting tigers and leopards, i managed to spot a white tiger, a bengali tiger and a couple of leopards at the Rajiv Gandhi park in Pune.
I know theyre in captivity and not in their natural habitat ,but i reckon theyve been taken care of fairly well 🙂

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Anne Castagnaro February 19, 2016 at 3:24 am

Airbnb was so memorable in Jaipur, Agra, & Delhi! My hosts prepared delicious meals and arranged travel for me, as a solo female traveller. Kind & loving souls, with whom I still keep in touch!

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Global Gallivanting February 19, 2016 at 9:37 am

That’s great! I love it how people often look after us solo female travellers especially well. Glad you had such good air bnb experiences

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Jenn Lemm February 19, 2016 at 11:24 am

Anthony Augello when can we gooooo?!?!

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Anthony Augello February 19, 2016 at 3:24 pm

Girl, I’m so in need of a good trip!! As soon as I rack up some vacation time, I’m totally down

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Brendon Ferns February 19, 2016 at 11:31 am

i got butterflies jus reading this one ..bravo anna bravo! 🙂

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Global Gallivanting February 20, 2016 at 10:13 am

Wow! That’s so cool! Thanks so much!

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Brendon Ferns February 20, 2016 at 12:21 pm

thank you Global Gallivanting O:)

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Clair Kelly March 4, 2016 at 12:57 pm

I love this! I managed to tick off 12, which means I will have to go back! 🙂

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Anna March 4, 2016 at 2:51 pm

Thanks! Wow, 12 is great going but yes, still a good excuse to make another trip! 🙂

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Mason March 7, 2016 at 1:08 am

I love the pictures on this blog! are they mainly taken by you or just found online?

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Anna March 7, 2016 at 6:11 pm

Thank you! Yes, of course pretty much all of the photos are mine taken on my travels

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Kevin Brown December 29, 2016 at 4:13 pm

#31 sunbathe with a cow

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Global Gallivanting January 3, 2017 at 8:16 am

Lol 🙂 I should add that one!

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Angshuman Bora December 29, 2016 at 4:48 pm

I have to admit that you have seen more incredible places in India that most Indians themselves. I love your posts and i eagerly wait for the next one.

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Global Gallivanting January 3, 2017 at 8:17 am

Thanks o much 🙂 Yes I have seen a lot of India now but there’s stillso many amazing places to see

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Kisan Kisan January 14, 2017 at 2:11 pm

lol add me …

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kaur February 2, 2017 at 6:23 pm

very nice article thankyou for sharing

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Anna February 3, 2017 at 3:09 pm

Thanks 🙂

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saim malik July 19, 2017 at 8:06 am

wow, nice post and very helpful for others thanks for sharing

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Anna July 21, 2017 at 7:47 pm

Thanks, glad you liked it! There are so many amazing things to do in India!

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Sarmistha August 31, 2017 at 3:34 am

I am from India…. nd been to every state of india except 7 sister state.. I am planning soon. It is a country where u will enjoy every climate. Nd every geographical features from Great Himalayas to Beaches nd ocean. U can reach a point where u can see 2 different water bodies and can enjoy tip of a sub continent.

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Anna September 5, 2017 at 2:39 pm

Yes, there is so much to see in India and so my diversity! Have fun exploring! 🙂 If you go to North East check out my posts 🙂 http://www.global-gallivanting.com/category/india-2/north-east-india/

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Sarmistha August 31, 2017 at 3:35 am

I am from India…. nd been to every state of india except 7 sister state.. I am planning soon. It is a country where u will enjoy every climate. Nd every geographical features from Great Himalayas to Beaches nd ocean. U can reach a point where u can see 2 different water bodies and can enjoy tip of a sub continent. Eat… the most spices food of the world.

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resorts near delhi September 28, 2017 at 12:43 pm

it is very nice blog really after read this blog i am satisfied

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Kumari Sujata November 30, 2017 at 2:46 pm

Wow this blog is awesome, after reading this blog…. my mood changes… I am planning a foreign trip this December, now finally I booked Golden Triangle Tour packages India with Goa and start dreaming for my amazing upcoming trip.

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Anna January 9, 2018 at 6:28 pm

Great! Hope you have a great trip 🙂

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Jantar Mantar Jaipur December 3, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Nice post. India is really beautiful country. You didn’t mention about Himalayan Toy Trains. I have taken that amazing experience.

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Anna January 9, 2018 at 6:21 pm

Yes, thats another awesome experience I forgot to add! Thanks for reminding me

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Andaman Holidays December 22, 2017 at 8:08 pm

Hey
You left out visiting the Andaman Islands from this list. Completly understand your love for Goa but you might just about find a new way to define paradise once you visit these islands 🙂

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Anna January 9, 2018 at 5:42 pm

Yes, I’d love love love to visit the Andaman islands! Wish flights there weren’t so expensive.

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suhail January 27, 2018 at 8:24 am

nice post i wish to visit taj mahal in india

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Nargis October 31, 2018 at 3:53 pm

Nice I really like this post

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will September 16, 2019 at 9:17 am

Thanks for sharing this amazing post with us.Campervan Hire Scotland
I enjoyed the entire article and keep rocking! Lot of visitors will easily get attracted to such great blog post

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snaana March 18, 2020 at 9:32 am

I did not visit many countries but I am very sure traveling is the only way to explore places

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Meenakshi April 29, 2020 at 7:05 am

Nice article. I really like this post

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Andres Viviani August 7, 2020 at 8:04 pm

Beautiful article, India has always been among the destinies of my dreams and reading this post made me even more desire to visit it, thanks for sharing this great post!

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Sunita Chauhan August 29, 2022 at 7:20 am

That’s right, unbelievable experiences you can have only in India!

Reply
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