Things to do in India: Exploring the Land of Hills, Beaches and Deserts

Sightseeing

India is a country popular for its diverse terrain. It boasts of all- hills, deserts and beaches and is an amalgamation of rich culture, ancient tradition and vibrant festivals. There are also a plethora of exciting things to do in India that attract tourists from far and beyond. From trekking the hills, to lazing on the beaches, going on a desert safari, cruising in the sea or savouring delicious food; there are umpteen amazing activities to do here. Besides, the country is home to the world-renowned Taj Mahal and you should definitely this wonder of the world. Have a look at the comprehensive list of top things to do in India given below.

Here is the list of 23 Things to do in India: Exploring the Land of Hills, Beaches and Deserts

1. Marvel at the Spectacular Wonder- Taj Mahal

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Describe it in the most beautiful words and show it through the best lenses, but only a visit to this historic place can do justice to the spellbinding beauty of Taj Mahal. The epitome of love and the perfect instance of the architectural beauty, there isn't any doubt that this white marble edifice is recognised as one of the seven wonders that this mankind has ever seen. Located in the city of Mughals- Agra in Uttar Pradesh, Taj Mahal is an undoubted must have experience and one of the top things to do in India.

2. Soak in the Bliss of Varanasi Ghats

The abode of Lord Shiva, Varanasi or Kashi is the oldest surviving city in the world as per Hindu mythology. It is believed that the first ray of light after the creation of this Universe fell upon Varanasi, sanctifying it for eternity. River Ganges, the holiest river in Hinduism flows through the eternal city and beside the river stand the Ghats in Varanasi, as the testament of the glorious amalgamation of humanity and divinity. Older than traditions and spectacular beyond imagination, these Ghats have witnessed the evolvement of humanity across ages.

3. Admire the Architecture of Ajanta and Ellora Caves

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Known For : Ajanta Caves Grishneshwar Temple, Ellora The Buddhist Caves, Ellora

The historic caves of Ajanta and Ellora located in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra is truly an architectural marvel that India flaunts with pride. The caves which can be dated back to 2nd century BC is a great representation of the pre-historic Buddhist, Jainism, and Hinduism. The interiors of the caves are adorned with the cave paintings and the rock sculptors depicting the life of monks and Buddhist culture. The art is also considered as the finest surviving examples of the ancient Indian art, and hence it is no less than a treasure for India.

Best Time: June to March

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4. Enjoy a Railway Ride with a Picturesque View Outside

Don't ask why the fourth largest railway network in the world isn't, a thing to experience in India. The most comfortable and cheapest means of transport with the network that connects the remotest parts of the country. Not for its vast network but the reason as to why you must take the journey in the Indian railways is because it offers some of the most scenic journeys that you can ever witness. Not only this Indian railway also boasts of the largest railway platform in the world, and the highest railway bridge is soon to be built on the Chenab river in Kashmir. If this doesn't give you enough reason to be a part of this network then what will?

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5. Be Part of an Exotic Desert Safari in Thar Desert

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Every Indian feel immense pride over the geographical diversity that the country is blessed with. From the majestic Himalayas to the vast expanse of Arabian and Indian ocean, the hills of western ghats and the rustic Thar desert. Rajasthan is one hit list destination for the foreign travellers. Reason being - Where do you get to see such the warm hospitality, the scrumptious food, the rich forts and the endless desert - Pushkar and Jaisalmer are best known for their desert safari. Choose your SUV or a camel to enjoy bumpy ride amid the Thar desert; none will fail to impress you!

6. Experience the Goan Lifestyle- Beaches & Nightlife

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Known For : Calangute Beach Basilica of Bom Jesus Water Sports in Goa

The party capital of the country, Goa is a synonym for beaches and party. The plethora of the most diverse and beautiful beaches with its long stretch of coastline awaits you in Goa. The beaches with the shacks serving seafood, the secret rave parties or the world famous music festivals, the unexplored beaches perfect for basking in the sun or the adventurous sports, there is nothing that you can't find in Goa! And all this comes at a price that will keep you and your bank account happy. Such is the vibe of this place that it a major tourist attraction for the party lovers and hippies from all around the world.

Best Time: October to March

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7. Visit the Magnificent Buddhist Monasteries

If you're looking for some peace and solidarity, Monasteries In India are the way to go! India has some of the most beautiful monasteries that will truly take your breath away. Boasting of impeccable architecture and breathtaking setting, most of these monasteries are situated at the foothills of the Himalayas making the monasteries look even better. Full of vibrant culture and history, these beautiful monasteries are a must visit!

8. Seek Blessings at the Divine Golden Temple in Amritsar

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Located in Amritsar in Punjab, Golden temple is the edifice of utmost importance for the Sikhs in India. The compound of the religious building is sprawled over an area of 7 acres and houses a holy Sarovar (pond) and the main temple which is adorned with 750 kgs of gold. The temple is most famous for its kitchen that has got its name in the Guinness book of record for the world's largest kitchen serving Langar to 1,00,000-3,00,000 visitors on a daily basis. Visiting here is one of the best things to do in India.

9. Visit the Gorgeous Himalayan Hill Stations for an Escape into the Hills

The many hill stations of Himachal Pradesh are enchanting tourist places. Kullu-Manali, Shimla, Dalhousie are the major tourist attractions in Himachal Pradesh. Dharamsala is among the main religious places in Himachal Pradesh. Spiti and Kinnaur are must-visit places in Himachal Pradesh. Kasol, Bir and Shojha are offbeat places in Himachal Pradesh. The Great Himalayan National Park is a definite place to visit when in Himachal Pradesh. Lofty mountains, snow-covered peaks and mesmerizing valleys make Himachal Pradesh a top destination among tourists across India.

10. Soak in the Serenity of Beautiful Kerala Backwaters and Stay in a Houseboat

Kerala is a unique south Indian state with a labyrinthine web of canals, lagoons, lake and estuaries. Whenever we hear Kerala, our imagination places us in a houseboat in the famous backwaters, drinking coconut water and eating in a plantain leaf. In the backdrop are the tall coconut trees and lush green nature. Going on a houseboat cruise in the backwaters of Kerala is a dream which requires little effort to make it a reality. Backwaters being the largest freshwater source for Kerala are a rich bed of marine flora and fauna that also embodies a variety of boating options.

11. Go for Trekking to Experience Nature in its Raw Form

Going on treks in India is one of the best ways to explore its mountains, beaches and biodiversity. From the mighty snow peaks of the Himalayas in the north to the dense jungles of the Western Ghats in the south, there is a spectacular range of treks in India for adventure lovers. The Himalayan treks vary in difficulty from the difficult and almost impassable Upper Himalayas in Uttarakhand to the long winding trekking trails of Himachal Pradesh. The South Indian treks are tedious in a different way and include several river crossing, navigating dense jungles and spotting wild animals such as leopards and wild elephants.

12. Spot the Wildlife at the Sanctuaries and National Parks

India is a land of diverse terrain and varied topography. For the same reason, our country is home to a myriad species of flora, fauna and avifauna which eventually make for some of the best National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in India. India boasts of housing some of the endangered and exotic species of the world. These sanctuaries and national parks are a haven for the nature lovers owing to the verdant wildlife.

13. Celebrate the Vibrant Fairs and Festivals

India is famous for a lot of things around the world from yoga to its diversity from its travel destinations to its rich past but one thing that this country is better at doing than most is celebrating festivals, lots of festivals. A country with diverse religious and cultural backgrounds India as a nation gets to celebrate festivals of different types, tastes and colors and that is what makes festivities in this country so special to experience.

14. Explore the Vast Salt Marshes at Great Rann of Kutch

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The Great Rann of Kutch, a large area of salt marshland, is located in the District of Kutch, in the western state of India, Gujarat. The vast expanse is situated in the Thar Desert and is formed of salt marshes which create a mesmerising view that attracts travellers from all over the world. Sunsets at the Great Rann of Kutch are a treat to the eyes after exploring the region. Watching the moon on a full moon night in the captivating surroundings of the Great Rann of Kutch will make you feel like you are on a different planet altogether.

15. Admire the Architectural Masterpiece of India- Khajuraho

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Known For : Light and Sound Show, Khajuraho Dulhadev Temple Kandariya Mahadev Temple

Khajuraho is known around the world for its stunning temples adorned by erotic and sensuous carvings. Khajuraho is a brilliant example of Indian architecture and its culture back in the medieval period. The architecture of these Hindu and Jain temples depict the innocent form of love, the carvings on the walls display passion in the most erotic yet aesthetic ways. Built between 950 to 1050 AD the sheer confrontational nature of these carvings show a stark paradox with the conventional Indian ideals about eroticism, leaving everybody spellbound.

Best Time: July to March

16. Explore the Land of Bygone Ruins and Rusty Colours- Hampi

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Known For : Virupaksha Temple, Hampi Vithala Temple Lotus Palace

Hampi, the city of ruins, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated in the shadowed depth of hills and valleys in the state of Karnataka, this place is a historical delight for travellers. Surrounded by 500 ancient monuments, beautiful temples, bustling street markets, bastions, treasury building and captivating remains of Vijayanagar Empire, Hampi is a backpacker's delight. Hampi is an open museum with 100+ locations to explore and a favourite way to see the city from the perspective of its history.

Best Time: October to March

17. Take a Walk at the Gorgeous Tea Estates of Munnar

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Known For : Echo Point, Munnar Photo Point Atukkad Waterfalls

The idyllic hill station Munnar - famous for its tea estates, exotic lush greenery and craggy peaks, is located in the Western Ghats, in the state of Kerala. It serves as the commercial centre for some of the world’s largest tea estates. In addition, Munnar has many protected areas which are home to endemic and highly endangered species like the Nilgiri Thar and the Neelakurinji. One of the biggest tea-plantation area of South India, Munnar is one of the most beautiful and popular hill-stations of Kerala.

Best Time: September to May

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18. Try Your Hand at Scuba Diving in Andaman & Nicobar

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Known For : Scuba Diving In Andaman Havelock Island Radhanagar Beach

Lagoons of crystal clear water and scenic beaches topped with a little bit of history make Andaman and Nicobar one of the most perfect choices for an enjoyable, laid-back holiday where you can go on long treks, laze around in the backwaters of the island, or if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, even go for a bit of deep sea diving. From the pristine, untouched beaches of Neil and Havelock Islands to the bustling town of Port Blair, the Andamans have something to offer to every tourist.

Best Time: October to Jun

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19. Explore the Virgin Trails of Leh Ladakh on a Bike

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Known For : Pangong Lake Magnetic Hill Zanskar Valley

A land like no other with superabundance of attractions to visit and phantasmagoric and fabulous landscapes, amazing people and culture, Ladakh is truly a heaven on Earth. Often termed the paradise of mountain bikers, Leh Ladakh has thousands of tourists coming in every year to experience the thrill of driving on its steep slopes and adrenaline gushing paths. For adventurous daring mountain bikers, Leh-Manali highway is spectacular road while enjoying the picturesque landscapes. Mountain Biking in Ladakh is best possible or opens in late May and closed by September end when the snowfall reclaims the high passes.

Best Time: Jun to Sep

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20. Visit the French Riviera of the East- Pondicherry

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Known For : Paradise Beach, Pondicherry Aurobindo Ashram Auroville

Pondicherry, also known as Puducherry and commonly referred as just Pondy, is one of the seven Union Territories of India. is often famously referred to as the French Riviera of the East, and it is indeed one of the most charming and mesmerising places to visit in South India. Located in the state of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry is a little town tucked away on the south-east coastline of India, and it is a destination that promises travellers sanctity and serenity, in the real sense of the terms.

Best Time: October to March

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21. Explore the 'Pink City of India' - Jaipur

A land like no other with superabundance of attractions to visit and phantasmagoric and fabulous landscapes, amazing people and culture, Ladakh is truly a heaven on Earth. Often termed the paradise of mountain bikers, Leh Ladakh has thousands of tourists coming in every year to experience the thrill of driving on its steep slopes and adrenaline gushing paths. For adventurous daring mountain bikers, Leh-Manali highway is spectacular road while enjoying the picturesque landscapes. Mountain Biking in Ladakh is best possible or opens in late May and closed by September end when the snowfall reclaims the high passes.

22. Spiritual Retreat at Rishikesh- Yoga and Meditation

Pondicherry, also known as Puducherry and commonly referred as just Pondy, is one of the seven Union Territories of India. is often famously referred to as the French Riviera of the East, and it is indeed one of the most charming and mesmerising places to visit in South India. Located in the state of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry is a little town tucked away on the south-east coastline of India, and it is a destination that promises travellers sanctity and serenity, in the real sense of the terms.

23. Taste the Delectable Street Food

A city of kebabs and nawabs, of architecture and history, of literature and culture – that is Lucknow in a nutshell for you. Lucknow's cuisine borrows much of its royalty, grandeur and elaborate delicacies from its glittering past, while is vibrant, colourful and sparkling with a rich street food culture. Mughal delicacies like the countless varieties of Kebabs as well as Tikkas, Roomali Roti are the dishes that one must try in Lucknow. They are available in various styles and versions and in almost every food outlet, while the older areas of the city can offer you authentic flavors of the Mughlai food.

This post was published by Aqsa Aleem

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