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