An entire year is not enough time to explore all that India has to offer – whether it’s the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Palace of Winds in Jaisalmer, the backwaters of Kerala, or even the dream beaches of the Andaman Islands.
But to help you plan your trip, we’ve spent more than two months in India and can tell you where you should definitely visit.
Allow yourself to be mesmerized by the allure of India, from the bustling northern metropolises like Delhi to the sleepy southern hamlets and lovely beaches like Goa with its colorful hippy flare!
The Breath-taking Landscapes to Explore in Northern India
The north of India is home to several of the country’s most breathtaking landscapes. Udaipur, Jaisalmer, and Nawalgarh are just a few of the colorful cities in Rajasthan that would leave you speechless at first.
Each city has its own unique characteristics. This does not always indicate “beautiful in the conventional sense.”
Nevertheless, the curtain has been raised on some of our most treasured Northern Indian vacation spots.
Dreamy Delhi architecture with a kaleidoscope of colors
Delhi is a sensory-stimulating whirlwind. It’s a noisy and hectic place, but it’s also fascinating and beloved.
This is a concentrated dosage of the real deal from the Indian subcontinent. You should check out New Delhi, Old Delhi, and Hauz Khas.
The Hauz Khas neighborhood, in particular, has smitten me. You may mistake this fashionable neighborhood for one in a major city like Paris, Munich, or New York because of its famed cafes, restaurants, and boutiques.
I’d like to suggest three exhilarating tours of Old Delhi to help you get a better sense of Indian culture and life.
In the Salaam Baalak CityWalk, former street children will take you to hidden spots and reveal the harsh reality about many of their former acquaintances.
It’s a win-win scenario to experience an entirely new side of Old Delhi while supporting the work of a charity that helps street children.
A street food tour of India, where you may sample the country’s many cuisines, is a must-do.
We have Aloo Chaat, Jalebi, Mango Lassi, and many other delightful options. Sikh pilgrims are often given an outstanding experience by attending a sacred rite at the Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib while visiting the holy site.
It is impossible to visit Delhi without seeing at least one of these popular attractions: Delhi’s Red Fort, a magnificent palace complex from the Mughal era; India Gate, a war memorial; the Lotus Temple; Jama Masjid Mosque; Victory Tower Qutub Minar; beautiful park; fascinating Sri Bangla Sahib Gurudwara Sikh Temple; and countless others (here you can find our detailed article on Delhi with lots of tips & addresses).
The Tuk Tuk will take you on an exciting adventure to uncover them. They’re both amusing and real at the same time.
Where to stay in Delhi?
An inviting temporary residence awaits you in Hauz Khas, our favorite neighborhood in Delhi. Located amid the busy lanes.
The Lazy Patio Homestay is a hidden gem with a lovely rooftop terrace that overlooks the nearby lake and lush greenery.
We tried to avoid staying in a room with no windows, so we did choose one of the two rooms with access to the roof terrace for your visit.
That way, our lodge is a secluded and peaceful sanctuary.
Vacations in India Attractions in Agra Khaz’s Lazy Patio House in the Taj Mahal
Agra, the Taj Mahal site, is a little over three hours away by car from Delhi.
The magnificence of India’s national emblem, perched on a little hill, will astound you. Ivory-colored marble lends itself beautifully to crimson flowers and green foliage ornamentation.
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan ordered the Taj Mahal to be built to memorialize his beloved Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth.
Over 24 million marble stones were used to build the mausoleum, making it a true New Seven Wonders of the World.
To avoid the crowds, we recommend that visitors arrive as soon as possible at the Taj Mahal’s gates open in the morning.
In addition to the Taj Mahal, Agra’s Red Fort is a must-see. On the way back to Delhi, make a pit stop at the SOS Elephant sanctuary.
You can help preserve elephants from a life of captivity and even have a chance to feed one of these gentle giants on your trip.
In Agra’s Coral House Homestay, a night out before or after the Taj Mahal is a great option.
You may walk there in time for the sunrise because it’s only 600 meters from the east gate. Saniya Palace is an excellent, if pricey, alternative.
There is a stunning view of the neighboring white-list tomb from the enormous roof patio.
Have no time to stay in Agra but yet want to see the Taj Mahal? Additional Delhi day tours for small groups are offered, including the following: Visit the Taj Mahal in Agra by private vehicle.
Come and See the White Sand Beaches of Udaipur
Udaipur, often known as the White City, is a genuine gem because of its location on Lake Pichhola.
Several sequences from the James Bond film “Octopussy” were filmed right outside the doors of the Lake Palace Hotel.
Udaipur’s most spectacular experiences are a lake cruise to the Jag Mandir Island and a Royal Palace tour. Like Agra’s Taj Mahal, the palace offers one of India’s most breathtaking vistas early in the morning. Therefore I urge doing so.
If you’re looking for a spectacular sunset view, take a cable car ride outside the city!
Taking an Indian cooking class is a terrific opportunity to get a better understanding of the cuisine’s history and culture. The city of Udaipur has several options for this. Check out the Animal Aid shelter in town if you’d like to do something kind for the animals.
This is one of the most emotional websites I’ve ever seen, yet it just asks for a few hours of your time. For the helpless paraplegic canines, even if it’s just a few soft strokes.
India’s Royal Palace of Udaipur
We advise staying at the Little Garden Guesthouse in Udaipur’s old town, which has colorful rooms and an excellent roof terrace. The White City has an abundance of beautiful cafés, restaurants, and scenic sites, all of which I’ve included in my in-depth essay about the city:
Jaisalmer: one of the best-kept secrets in Rajasthan.
Both of us are on the same page. For several reasons, Jaisalmer is the most beautiful city in Rajasthan. However, on the other side, this city is calmer and more authentic because it is off the beaten path.
On the other side, the unique architectural style of many buildings provides the sensation that you’ve stepped into a 1,000-nights-old storybook.
A city like Delhi is genuinely magical at sunset when the last rays of sunlight fall on the sandstone-colored Havelis (ancient, palace-like houses).
A tour of the ancient fortress is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As you wander the winding pathways, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a herd of cows and pigs.
Sunsets are best seen from the Suli Dungar vantage point, although Gadisar Lake is as lovely at this time of day. Henna tattoos are also a great souvenir from Jaisalmer, which is a fantastic destination to visit.
When planning your trip to Jaisalmer, don’t forget to explore the Thar Desert. You ride a camel to a simple night tent, where you may gaze up at the night sky and fall asleep. Bada Bagh (Bara Bagh Temple), located around six kilometers outside the desert city, is also awe-inspiring.
A place we recommend while staying in Jaisalmer
The golden citadel can be seen from the palace’s upper terrace, making it an ideal place to stay. We had a wonderful meal, and the pricing were fair.
Another reason for my fond memories of Jaisalmer is that the manager, who also runs the Star Haveli lodging, was exceedingly pleasant and helpful.
There were two Indian weddings in the span of two days, one of which I was allowed to attend with his family on the first evening.
You never know what you’ll run into when you travel!
India Varanasi, India’s holiest city, is a popular destination for tourists.
Varanasi, India’s spiritual capital, is revered around the world. Daily ritual ablutions, religious events, and, of course, the cremation of the deceased all take place at the Ganga Ghats (these are the wide stairs that lead from the houses directly into the waters of the Ganges).
During the Gangaa Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat, the fervent chants and prayers of the priests reverberate across the river every evening as night falls. Hundreds of devotees gather around the blazing fire bowls and hear the ethereal sounds.
There is no better way to see Varanasi than attending a Gangaa Aarti!
A stroll through the city’s maze of little alleyways that wind along the river’s edge is a delightful way to spend a day.
If you’re in the area, stop by Baba Lassi Shop, where you can get over 40 kinds of lassis for less than 50 cents each.
Near the Burning Ghats, there’s a great Blue Lassi shop.
As a result, you may likely see a deceased person’s stretcher carried right in front of you as you drink your lassi. This article provides further guidance:
Take in the beauties of Varanasi from the water.
Beautiful multicolored rows of Varanasi residences along the Ganges River banks are crammed with boats and ferries. You can view the ghats from the ship, which appear quite different from the water.
Boat guide stories and anecdotes are also worth listening to throughout the trip. Moreover, they are fascinating.
Did you know Indians who die from a snake bite aren’t cremated but instead put in a river with a stone?
Jaipur, the Pink Capital of Rajasthan
The “Pink City” moniker comes from the fact that many of Jaipur’s most notable monuments are painted a deep shade of pink.
India’s most famous landmarks are the Hawa Mahal, the Palace of Winds, and the Amber Fort. Innumerable balconies with filigree decorations and a whopping 953 windows can be seen if you stand in front of the Hawa Mahal’s outside facade.
These provide a constant supply of fresh air to the palace’s interior. The moniker “Palace of the Wind” is rooted in this legend.
But as you approach the courtyard from the rear entrance, the Hawa Mahal’s entire architectural splendor is revealed!
Located 11 kilometers west of Jaipur, Amber Fort is one of northern India’s most impressive tourist attractions.
A majestic and imposing structure sits atop a hill overlooking a beautiful lake in a secluded location.
An interior courtyard with several columns glistens in sandstone’s bright yellow warmth and is adorned with artistic flourishes. In contrast, the hills around Amber Fort are covered in lush greenery.
The elephants that act as porters for guests are the sole drawback. I implore you to not condone this cruelty to animals and make the short ascent to Amber Fort on your own.
The Rat Temple, Bollywood, and the Colors of Rajasthan
Indulge in a night out at the movies by heading to an Indian cinema! When it comes to seeing the latest Bollywood blockbusters, the Raj Mandir Cinema in Jaipur is hard to beat.
While the rest of the audience is silent, the Indians are raucous. Because there are so few English subtitles, your main preparation should be to familiarize yourself with the storyline.
Although there was a tiny hitch, this was still a fantastic and accurate experience.
In the introductory essay, I introduce you to Rajasthan’s other cities.
Examples include the Blue City of Jodhpur, home to the defiant Mehrangarh Fort, Bikaner, the rat temple Karni Mata and the white-robed priests who are virtually a miniature version of Varanasi, and Pushkar, home to the Pushkar Lake and its white-robed priests.
Most tourists have never heard of the Ranakpur temples.
Walking through the halls of the vast constructions between the ornamental columns, I felt as if I were alone in a darkened room. All the temples seem empty for some reason, and there is a peacefulness about them.
What makes the temples of Ranakpur unique? A jungle-like setting surrounds your place!
Around the temple complexes, the vegetation is spread out in all directions, and cheeky monkeys may be found from time to time inside the temples.
This is a great place to see wildlife. More than a thousand reliefs adorn the main temple of Chaumukha.
The Ranakpur temples are best seen as part of a private day excursion from Udaipur, which is around 95 kilometers away. The program also includes stopping at the Kumbhalgarh Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The South Indian subcontinent’s most breathtaking sights
From the hectic metropolis of the north, the southern part of India is the perfect place to escape. Relaxing Ayurvedic treatments and the fascinating backwaters of Kerala, the idyllic Andaman Islands, and the pristine Goa beaches await you.
These are Few of Our Most Favorite things to do & Best Places in South India!
Goa in the Southern India is known for its laid-back, hippie attitude, as well as for its beach cows.
When I finally got to walk on the sand and see the ocean for the first time following my vacation to Rajasthan, my heart sprang with joy. I spent a few days in the southern and northern sections of Goa in order to present you with the most comprehensive and diversified suggestions for the state.
The area around Agonda in the south is great if you’re looking for seclusion and relaxation. Cafe Zest is an excellent place to start your day, so grab some vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free food before hopping on your scooter and heading to one of the most beautiful beaches in southern Goa, Cola, or Galgibaga.
Beautiful Kerala’s coast
People in topless bikinis, garishly colored clothing and rasta braids may still be seen sporting the 1960s mentality of hippies and dropouts.
There’s more going on here, with music blaring from every corner. Arambol and Mandrem are popular destinations for travelers. Because of the various beach vendors, the beach has become a popular destination for tourists. Palolem Beach and Paradise Beach, on the other hand, are more secluded areas towards the north. Detailed descriptions of various beaches and highly rated cafes and restaurants may be found on our Goa India page.
On Palolem Beach, the Anahata Retreat is a beautiful place to stay, complete with a little villa and an outstanding yoga program. If you’re looking for an excellent spot with bell-shaped parasols to shade your dining area, head to Jardim a Mar in the south. One of these properties is perfect for a relaxing and restorative vacation.
Our recommendation: Are you a fan of yoga and retreats like we are? SwaSwara on Om Beach in Karnataka, a three- to four-hour drive from Goa, is a haven of relaxation that is truly exceptional. Aside from yoga, meditation, and exquisite Indian food, you’ll find plenty of other things to do and locations to visit in our Yoga Vacation in India post.
India’s Andaman Islands Tours
Despite being located off Myanmar, the Andaman Islands are a great insider’s tip for the country. You’ll have the postcard idyll all to yourself because so few international tourists have made it here. The Andaman and Nicobar Archipelago consists of 572 islands, with the most notable being Havelock Island and Neill Island, both popular tourist destinations.