India is a land of rich culture, history, and adventure. With its vibrant cities, bustling markets, and ancient monuments, India offers an unparalleled experience that will leave you with memories that last a lifetime.
Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush from trekking in the Himalayas, a relaxing boat ride on the Ganges River, or just some simple sightseeing, here are some exciting activities you can experience while visiting India.
1. Visit the Taj Mahal
No trip to India is complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal, one of the world’s most iconic and beautiful buildings. Located in Agra, this 17th-century mausoleum is a masterpiece of Mughal architecture and stands as an enduring symbol of love between Emperor Shah Jahan and his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
This building took 22 years and over 20,000 workers to complete, and you’ll be awestruck by its sheer size and intricate details. Take in the surrounding beauty of this magnificent structure at sunset or sunrise. The lush gardens, reflective pools, and nearby bazaars are fascinating.
Enter the mausoleum, and you’ll marvel at the marble walls and intricate carvings. The tomb contains Mumtaz Mahal’s cenotaph, and the entire complex is a beautiful testament to love, architecture, and history.
2. Experience the Holy Ganges River
The Ganges is a sacred river in India, and it has been a symbol of faith for millions of devotees over centuries. Taking a boat ride on this holy river is an eye-opening experience that will give you a deeper understanding of spirituality in India. You’ll pass by a colorful series of temples, ghats, and spiritual sites along the way.
You will find people of all ages taking a dip in the river to cleanse themselves of their sins while priests perform various rituals and ceremonies. Some will be deep in meditation, while others will sing devotional songs and chant mantras. This is a unique experience that will give you an insight into the religious culture of India.
There are cremation funerals too, where the deceased is carried to the banks of the Ganges and cremated. It is a fascinating sight that will leave you with an indelible impression of India’s life and death cycle.
3. Visit the Elephanta Caves
The Elephanta Caves are an ancient network of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain rock-cut temples on Elephanta Island near Mumbai. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a testament to India’s rich history, with some sculptures dating back to the 7th century AD.
You’ll find sculptures devoted to Lord Shiva and depictions of various Hindu gods. The highlight of the caves is the intricate, 18-foot-tall Mahesh Murti sculpture – a three-headed figure depicting Lord Shiva in all his forms.
The Elephanta festival is held here annually, during which musical performances and traditional dances are performed. If you’re visiting during this time, you’re in for a real treat. You can participate in or watch treasure hunt competitions, sculpture art pieces exhibitions, and painting challenges. It is an experience that promises to stay with you for a long time.
4. Visit Kashi Vishwanath Temple
The Kashi Vishwanath Temple, also known as the Golden Temple, is one of India’s most important Hindu temples. Located in Varanasi, it is a sacred pilgrimage site for devotees from all over the world. About seven million people visit the temple yearly to seek blessings from Lord Shiva.
This temple complex has been around since 1780 and consists of a grand Shiva temple surrounded by several smaller temples and shrines. The main temple is built with gold plating and intricate carvings, and its walls are embellished with hundreds of small oil lamps. The temple complex is illuminated in the evening with bright lights and colorful lanterns, creating a spectacular sight.
The best time to visit the temple is during the annual Kashi Vishwanath Temple fair, where thousands of devotees come together for music performances and rituals dedicated to Lord Shiva. Leave your camera and mobile phones at home, as these are not allowed inside the temple.
Visiting the temple is an unforgettable experience – you can pray to Lord Shiva, purchase religious items from nearby markets, witness the evening aarti (a Hindu prayer ritual), and even take a holy dip in the Ganges. This is an experience you will remember.
5. See the Great Wall of India
The Great Wall of India, or the Kumbhalgarh Fort, is a magnificent fortification that stretches 22 kilometers (22 miles) in Rajasthan. Built by Maharana Kumbha to protect the Mewar kingdom from invaders, the wall was constructed using sandstone blocks and boasts several bastions and watchtowers.
As you walk along the wall, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful views of the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary and Aravali mountain range. The best time to visit is during the 3-day annual Kumbhalgarh Festival, where you can enjoy folk music, local cuisine, stage performances, and traditional sports.
The Great Wall of India is a reminder of the grandeur and beauty of India’s past. A visit to this historic site will leave you feeling awed and inspired.
6. Visit a Local Bazaar
From the world-famous Chandni Chowk in Delhi to the bustling Crawford Market in Mumbai, India’s markets are an exciting shopping experience.
Here you’ll find a wide variety of goods, from colorful textiles and jewelry to delicious snacks and fresh fruits. These bazaars are a great place to pick up some unique souvenirs, haggle with local shopkeepers, and get a taste of the culture and atmosphere of India.
Be careful, though – the crowds and noise can be overwhelming, and pickpockets take advantage of unsuspecting tourists, so watch your belongings.
7. Take a Sunrise Boat Ride Along the Ghats
To truly experience India’s beauty and culture, take a sunrise boat ride along the Ghats in Varanasi. As you sail past the city’s ghats or steps that line the riverside, you can see locals going about their daily lives. You’ll also see ancient temples and shrines dotting the waterfront.
The best part of this experience is the breathtaking sight of sunrise over the river. The golden rays of the sun slowly rising above the waters and the chants of morning prayers echoing in the background make for a truly memorable experience.
Funeral services or cremations often take place along the Ghats, but these are a part of everyday life in India and should not be feared – instead, you get to witness a unique part of Indian culture.
8. Go on a Wildlife Safari
India is home to some of the most diverse wildlife in the world. From majestic tigers and elephants to rare and exotic birds, India’s national parks are a must-visit for any nature enthusiast.
Head to the famous Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh or Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan and prepare for an unforgettable safari experience. You’ll spot the Big Five, including Bengal tigers, leopards, sloth bears, and more.
We recommend visiting Jim Corbett National Park in the Himalayan foothills. This is the most visited nature reserve in India and is home to Bengal tigers, elephants, wild boar, Chital, Deer, Asiatic Elephants, Gharial, etc. The park was named after the British hunter-turned-conservationist Jim Corbett.
9. Sightsee Ancient Monuments
India is home to some of the world’s oldest and most impressive monuments. There are countless historical sites, from the Red Fort in Delhi and the Taj Mahal in Agra to ancient Hindu temples.
If you’re a history buff, head to the majestic Ajanta Caves or marvel at the Gateway of India in Mumbai. If you’re looking for something more modern, check out Mysore Palace or the iconic Qutb Minar in Delhi.
No matter which monuments you choose to explore, you’ll be rewarded with a unique insight into India’s fascinating past and culture.
Experience These Exciting Activities in India
India is a bustling and vibrant country with plenty of exciting activities to experience. Whether you’re exploring its temples, participating in vibrant festivals, or admiring its architectural marvels, something here will captivate you. So go ahead and add these unique experiences to your bucket list – you will have amazing stories to tell when you come back home.