The beauty of India lies in its diversity. India has an incomparable range of landscapes, people and cultures. It would take a lifetime to explore this great nation and study what is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Yet, here are ten amazing things to do in India to get a real sense of its diversity.
Photo credit: Peter Morgan via Flickr CC
1. Manali-Leh Motorcycle Tour
Biking on Manali-Leh highway is a ride of a lifetime for any adventurer. For more than 300 miles, Manali-Leh gives you an opportunity to ride some 13,000 ft. above sea level. Alpine mountain passes, thin air, and the abundant natural beauty make the journey memorable. Yet it is also challenging with its deep-valley dives, snaky routes and remote stops. Add to these risks of altitude sickness and mechanical failures. Best time to visit? Mid-June to October!
2. Explore India’s Rich Biodiversity
With over 80 national parks spread throughout the country, India homes a big part of world’s tiger population. And visiting these natural reserves is one of the things to do in India. Here’s your chance to spot the royal Bengal tiger or some of the rare species that are part of the Indian fauna. You might want to favor the Ranthambore, Corbett, Kanha and Bandhavgarh national parks. The post Monsoon season is the best time for visiting the national parks of India.
3. Be Ready for Frozen River (Chadar) Trek
The big daddy of all treks, the Chadar trek on frozen Zanskar River is the most enchanting there is. On the trek, experience the charm of the Ladakh region with its stunning views of mountain lakes and monasteries. The trek is quiet, challenging and tricky. The temperature at night reaches as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius. Best time for trekking here is mid-January to mid-February.
Photo credit: Peter Morgan via Flickr CC
4. Ride the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
Riding the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is another one of the amazing things to do in India. The train runs from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling and offers to riders the astonishing natural beauty of the region. At some points, the train is so slow that it gives you enough time to enjoy the breathtaking views of the mountains. Established in 1881, the train has been granted the UNESCO world heritage status.
5. Don’t Forget the Paragliding Capital of India
Bir-Billing is a famous paragliding destination in Himachal Pradesh. Paragliding buffs and thrill seekers from all over the world visit, every year, between May and October. In fact, this is the second best paragliding site in the world, according to international paragliding groups.
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6. Scuba Dive in Andaman
A rainbow of pristine reefs, colors and fish. Andaman Islands are a set of remote, unspoiled, picture-perfect islands. The seas around the Andaman Islands offer many great diving sites. South Button, The Wall, Dixon’s Pinnacle and Johnny’s Gorge are some of the important diving spots in Andaman. They are the places in India to awe at a rich marine wildlife, including rare species of fish and corals.
Photo credit: Michael Foley via Flickr CC
7. Ride on White Water Tides in Rishikesh
The hub of adventure activities, Rishikesh is famous for white water rafting on the waves of River Ganga. Experiencing India is not complete without a date with the mighty Ganges. River rafting tests your stamina and physical strength, giving you an unforgettable experience. Here, you can enjoy rafting on grade 3 and 4 rapids, which is one of the unique things to do in India and in Rishikesh.
8. Skiing in Gulmarg
Thanks to its geographical location, Gulmarg, with its heavy snowfalls, is an ideal place for skiing. Experience the excitement of speeding downhill on powder-laden slopes. Trust me, it feels like flying without wings. You can enjoy skiing here in January to March. As India’s prime skiing destination, Gulmarg offers world-class facilities to enjoy this adventure sport.
9. Visit the Kumbh Mela
Kumbh Mela is the greatest pilgrimage and festival in the Hindu religion. Three cities rotate in hosting this Indian festivals every three year: Haridwar, Ujjain, Nashik and Allahabad. Come witness the spiritual side of India. Devotees from around the world come to bath in the holy Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati. People who attend the congregation say it is a life changing experience for them. Every serious globetrotter must add it to your list of things to do in India.
10. Enjoy a Bird Eye’s View from a Hot Air Balloon
Enjoy the beautiful view of mighty forts and palaces in Jaipur while flying on a hot air balloon. The panorama is breathtaking. Balloon safari is available in Jaipur, Kamshet, Ranthambore, Pushkar and NCR.
The list of things to do in India is precise. India is a country with great tourism potential and a land visitors love to explore. Moreover, India is a welcoming land with one core belief: “Atithi Devo Bhava” which means “Guest is God”.
Pawan Kotiyal is an avid traveller, who likes to trudge to far-flung and lesser-explored destinations in India.