Things to see and do while backpacking in India.
Check out tips from other travellers and bloggers and their experiences in India.
If you're already planning to visit India - scroll to the next section for a list of the best places to stay.
Bhuj to Kutch - White Desert , Colorful Culture and more!
Kutch Kutch, located in western Gujarat, is the largest district in India. Kutch means something which becomes intermittently wet and dry – and that’s what the Great Rann of Kutch is all about. Major part of Rann of Kutch is submerged in water during monsoon rains. It later dries up resulting in the formation of marshy salt pans known as White Desert or The Great Rann of Kutch. Interestingly, in Sanskrit tortoise is also called ‘kachchh’. The airport nearest to Kutch is Bhuj. Apart from the White Desert, both Bhuj and Kutch have many spectacular places to visit that should not be given a miss. We tried to cover a few during our Gujarat road trip and are glad that we had them in our itinerary of Mumbai-Gujarat road trip! Sunset views are naturally divine. But at Kutch, with its immensely stretched skyline, sunset has much more to offer. Imagine the sight of rising moon, shining bright over the desert, as the sun sets! A half of the desert, where sun sets, looks bright orange and the other half shines like silver as the moon and salt of the desert complement each other. The beauty of full moon alongside the setting sun is something one cannot describe in words. The idea of witnessing this moment made us plan our Itinerary such that we could reach Bhuj a day before the full moon night. A night’s stay at a cute little Kutchi style hut in Bhuj, followed by exploration of Bhuj and Kutch completed our Kutch visit in true sense. Where to Stay: While ‘Rann of Kutch’ is the name we all know, searching for it on maps would indicate a location that’s in the middle of a water body. Hence, for travelers relying on google maps, Dhordo is the place to look for. Dhordo is a small village in Kutch which connects to Rann of Kutch. Tent City in Dhordo is indeed a great attraction during the Rann Utsav of Kutch and lets you stay right in the heart of the desert. You can choose from various options available on Gujarat tourism’s website that offers flexible stay packages along with transportation from Bhuj. However, this is not the only option for staying at White Desert. One can also stay in Bhuj and drive to Dhordo. Bhuj has a huge range of accommodation options and a few of them offer Kutchi style huts. We opted for one such resort ‘City – The village Resort’ and it was indeed a delightful stay. About the resort: ‘City – The village Resort’ is worth mentioning as the place was not only beautiful, but also very well-maintained.It was clear that a lot of thought was put into designing the resort. This “authentically traditional luxury hotel”, as they describe it to be, is indeed one of a kind experience.Air conditioned, yet maintaining its traditional feel, these Kutchi cottages display intricate art work on every single piece of furniture and accessory provided in the rooms.The doors, windows, curtains, roof, floorings – all have a traditional touch and remind you of being in Kutch!Priyanka Prasadi
The Goenka haveli, Dundlod also has showcased the traditional haveli lifestyle by life- size sculptures and display of a huge variety of articles of daily use. The Nadine Le Prince cultural center in Fatehpur is a beautiful 1802 haveli that was purchased and painstakingly restored by a French artist Nadine le Prince. This one is a must visit stop on any Shekhawati itinerary as it is well maintained and also offer guided tours for a small entry fee. The tour is offered by young art enthusiasts who come from all around the world for their art internships. Their passion for art and love for India is both inspiring and mesmerizing. More information about the cultural center is available on their website and you can also read about the artist here.Sonal Parakh
Mandvi beach – The blissful serenity of beaches:
My next day ride was in the highlands of Gujarat, with hills bordering the highway and I was able to feel the serenity during the early morning drive. Roads were amazing and with rare jerks I never realized that I was riding a bike, but floating with an invariable speed. After a ride of 180 km, I reached Kandla. Once I reached the port town of Kandla, I had security issues with entering the port. As it was Saturday the officials were on their weekend offs. But there was a colonel on security in charge that day and my IIM tag showed its importance to me. Though I was not given permission to enter the port I was given permission to climb the top floor of the security building and have a view of the port operations from there. With a part of me contented on behalf of the port visit, I continued my journey to Mandvi, which was 110 kms away. It houses one among the worthy beaches in India.Pradeep Chandru
WHERE TO STAY AND DINE
There are a lot of places to stay and dine in the city ranging from mid budget to 4 star group hotels. The best hotels are in the Bukit Bintang area like the Dorsett Residency,Ritz Carlton etc. The best part about staying here is the hospitality in these hotels and there proximity to the main shopping area with the best malls just a five minute walk away. Also some of the best places to dine in are located in this area. With everyone’s favourite KFC,McDonald’s,Pizza Hut, the area also has many Chinese and Continental restaurants serving mouth watering sea food and other non-vegetarian dishes. Though,if you are a vegetarian like me you don’t have much options at hand, the only ones being a south indian restaurant and few items in The Loaf in The Pavilion. Also if you are looking for some snack items or for some ready to eat instant food and beverages, you can try 7-Eleven that is open 24/7. Also there is Mini India which is 20 minutes away via local train. If you are looking so some good kebabs, there are also many Pakistani and Afghani restaurants is the area offering good,authentic food at affordable prices.manika-bisht
The yoga capital of the world!
When I arrived in Rishikesh, India, I felt like I already knew the place. I instantly felt a connection to the gravity of its peacefulness, and from the moment I arrived, I took in the serenity of the Ganges. Known for its location at the foothills of the Himalayas, it is also widely popular globally for its endless amount of Yoga Teacher Training Schools. It was the reason I had also come to this ancient land of Hindu worship. I was not disappointed by my selection of yoga school, as I had chosen it for the style of yoga I preferred. In Rishikesh, there really is a matter of choice on what you want to expand your knowledge of yoga with. All yoga schools do however, have a similar routine of waking up for 6am meditation and mantras, followed by yoga classes, with Anatomy & Philosophy being taught in the middle of the day. Generally, a couple of hours plus for lunch break, which will predominantly be your study time, followed by late afternoon yoga, and evening meditation. The average 200-hour course runs 6 days a week for 1 month like this. Its intense, but if yoga was what brought you to Rishikesh, you will power through, and return home with a new bunch of life-long yoga buddies.Sun Ithilwen
Places to Visit
And if you plan to visit India anytime, plan a couple of nights to relax at Mandarmani while in Kolkata.Sulagna Ganguly
Shilpgram Fair (Craftmen’s Village)
Shilpgram Crafts Fair is famous for its handicrafts, artwork and culture of different states of India and is held once in a year. It is also famous for the beautiful terracotta work and wood carved show pieces and furnitures. I added some very beautiful paintings, show pieces and jewellery to my collection.shivani-sinh
Rishikesh: Rafting on the Himalayan Foothills
Rishikesh, the beautiful city in India’s northern state of Uttarakhand is a destination for all- the adventure seekers or the nature lovers, for the religious devotees or backpackers, for families or couples. It offers beauty, thrill, and peace. The holy Ganga or Ganges with its pristine water carrying a turquoise tint runs along the city giving it life and soul.Meera Krishnadas
Top 5 Things to Do and Places to See, When in Delhi
Delhi or fondly called as ‘Dilli‘, is a great merger of antiquity, culture, tradition and novelty. Without doubt, it can easily be named as a traveler’s paradise. Delhi is one of the many metropolitan cities of India, apart from being the National Capital Territory. Going back in time, it has been the Mughal capital for several years of history. There are beautiful historical monuments, proudly-standing modern buildings, the Delhi metro, crowded markets and then there’s Delhi’s scrumptious food, that can escape no travel bucket list. So, when in Delhi, you should be ready to see the Mughal and modern influences on the city to please your eyes and to treat your taste buds with the best of street food.Priysha
Hampi: The beautiful town of ruins and stories
The south Indian town of Hampi situated near the town of Hospet, in the Bellary district of northern Karnataka boasts of being one of the most visited places in Karnataka, especially for those who are looking for an adventure in the midst of beauty and timeless ruins. Steeped in history, Hampi’s existence can be traced way back in time to ancient India. Hampi is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is situated amidst the ruins of the world famous Vijayanagar dynasty.Mihika Chaudhuri
Delhi - The Heart of India
Delhi is not just the capital of India, it is the heart of India. It is an ancient and amazing city that has a charm of its own. Delhi along with its growth has also preserved its heritage. In Delhi, you can see wide roads, large buildings, modern equipment and at the same time you can see monuments from very ancient times. It has a large number of tourist attractions which makes it really popular among tourists. And getting there is really easy, as it is connected to all parts of the world.Sakshi
The 10 Must Sees of Bhopal, India
Today I’m gonna provide some info about the city where I grew up, Bhopal, also called the city of lakes in Central India. The city is a really cool destination for backpackers and travelers as the city, being the capital of Madhya Pradesh is greatly looked after by the government in terms of tourism. Its a green city, lushly green, with around 7-8 lakes, which are officially counted, otherwise the number goes to around 15. The city is accessible through road and air, having an international airport. Now lets talk about the places of Bhopal that only a local would know about.Inika Singh
What to Do
Jhandidara is one of the quietest places in India I have ever been to. It is perfect for those who want to do absolutely nothing and just chill for a few days. Wake up to see the sunrise over the majestic Kanchenjunga Peaks, try the delectable dishes in the resort, take an afternoon stroll through the village or walk down to the waterfall that falls on the road or just listen to the absolute silence of the night here. The nature lovers will get ample opportunities to explore the forest and its rich flora and fauna.Tias Basu
Would I visit India again?
The colours were absolutely beautiful; and with the aid of a water gun, not a single person was spared. Would I visit India again? Definitely. It’s being four months since I left there and I really miss it. I miss my friends. The food. The bazaars where clothes were being sold at extra cheap prices. The house caretaker’s son, Samir, who was an absolute joy. The sites. And most of all, the diversity in culture. I went there basically for work and I came back to Kenya with much more than the addition of ‘experience’ into my CV. I will definitely go back there in the future.Douglas Langat
The Insider’s Guide
Comprising on 572 islands, the Andamans look like little specks on the world map. Don’t be misled by the size, for an abundant sanctuary of pristine beaches, soulful people and the incredible world of underwater coral life awaits your every step. Being secluded from the ‘mainland’ (a term locally used to describe the Indian subcontinent), they provide the perfect getaway for those willing to take a break from the rat race that city life has become and take a moment to introspect and reconnect with nature.Ashwini Narayanan
Retreat at Murud, India
Murud is a small town with large things to offer. My visit was a short and sweet one. A bunch of my friends suddenly decided to pack up and leave for the long weekend. We were all in Mumbai then. Nearest clean beach destination – Murud. Retreat at Murud, India We took our time to take on the long drive feeling. The road was fun. Sometimes slow depending on traffic. Many food joints on the way to keep you motivated though. After a fairly long drive. The weather told us that we were close. The air felt pure, the scenery changed to green and the smell of sand. Yummy. We found a hotel right next to the beach. The view was beautiful, the company interesting and the beer cold. Songs of adventure, self-realisation and nature hit us. Beach time is always special. The water at my feet, the moist sand in my hands. That’s the moment I fell in love with Murud. The evening went by faster than we thought.vaishnavi-inamdar
Land of Mountains - Leh
India : Land of Mountains – Leh, Jammu and Kashmir Location: In the midst of the beautiful Himalayas lies a small town, Leh in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. Surrounded by mountains on all sides Leh is a beautiful town. As soon as you land you are greeted by these mountains. If you visit Leh in the months of March-April you can see snow-capped mountains. Since Leh is at an altitude of 11,500 feet from sea level, it is advisable to let yourself acclimatise for the first 24-48 hours by avoiding any physical exertion and getting some rest, after all you’re on a holiday ;). Also stock up on some Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) to keep yourself hydrated.Kavisa Shah
5 Awesome Things To Do In New Delhi
New Delhi is the capital city of India. Founded in 1911 by George V, Emperor of India, the city was designed by the British architects Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker. Since then, it has continuously evolved and now, the modern city of Delhi is a blend of historical forts, colonial-era buildings, colorful markets, street food, convenient transportation system and well-architectured religious places.Juhi Chibber
How to get to McLeod Ganj
Well before reaching McLeod gang you need to get to Dharamshala. Dharamshala is accessible through air, buses, and cars .The nearest airport available is Gaggal Airport which is 13 Km away from Dharamshala. You will need to hire a taxi to McLeod Ganj from Gaggal. Though the air services for Dharamshala may not be available from all cities in India, but you can get one from New Delhi. Volvo Buses are available till McLeod Ganj. You can book them online through Make My trip / Red Bus. In case there is no direct bus to Mcleod Ganj from your area. You can book a bus to Dharamshala and then you can hire a taxi or local buses are also available. We planned a road trip from Chandigarh to McLeod Ganj and went all the way exploring Kangra Fort, Dharamshala Cricket Stadium and paying homage to Chintpurni Mata , Brijeshwari Mata temple on the way back .Arpit Singh Khoda
A monument of tribute from a Queen for her demised King
“Have you seen those intricate carvings on the temples in Thiruvananthapuram? They are so beautiful. I wish we had something like that in Gujarat.” I am recently married to a man who himself is an undeclared traveler with avid interest in the rich heritage and culture of the Indian sub-continent. It was a weekend and he enthusiastically expressed, “Let’s go. Let me surprise you with awe today.” I had no clue where he was planning to take me, but intuitively knew that I won’t be disappointed.Aarohi Abhishikt Chauhan
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