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With 22 languages, more than 9,000 years of history, 7,517 km of coastline, 1.3 billion people, and some of the most stunning landscapes in the world, there are few places on earth with as much to explore as India.
With so much on offer, we share 10 irreplaceable experiences you don’t want to miss during a trip to India.
1. Visit the iconic Taj Mahal
Nestled on the banks of Agra’s Jamuna River sits one of the most beautiful feats of architecture ever created — the Taj Mahal. Lush green gardens, the magnificent reflecting pools, intricately beautiful details on every surface, this is one place you’ll find beauty everywhere you look.
Visit the Taj Mahal on our Highlights of Northern India tour.
2. Take a step into the past at the Rani-Ka-Vav (Queen’s step-well)
In 1063, the grieving Queen, Udayamati, commissioned a stepwell in memory of her husband, King Bhimdev I. Discover the enigmatic history of the Adalaj stepwell in the Indian state of Gujarat and examine over 800 pristine, ancient sculptures inside.
Visit the Rani-Ka-Vav on our Highlights of Gujarat trip.
3. Visit Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) in Jaipur
Built in 1799, the Hawa Mahal was created as an extension to the Royal City Palace to preserve the decency of royal women who could look out of the windows without being seen by strangers. Explore the ornate rooms of the 5 story palace built to resemble Krishna’s crown.
4. Explore the old spice town of Cochin
Cochin is a serene little town with a little bit of everything. People flock to its coast to trade, explore, take in the art, or relax at the tables of the many peaceful cafes. You’ll find a strange and enchanting mix of culture and architectural influences crashing together in one incredible place.
5. Visit the traditional Banni tribal villages
In our modern world, it’s rare to find places where people maintain the same lifestyle and traditions as their ancestors hundreds of years ago. In the Banni tribal villages, you’ll find people enjoying a simple lifestyle, rich culture and an unspoiled landscape.
Visit the traditional Banni tribal villages on our Highlights of Gujarat trip.
6. Search for the elusive tiger in Bandhavgarh National Park
The diverse wildlife in India is some of the most spectacular in the world, and there’s no place better to observe it than Bandhavgarh National Park. You can take once in a lifetime photographs, and if you’re lucky, spot a few tigers in their natural habitat.
Visit Bandhavgarh National Park on our India Tiger Safari
7. Meet former headhunting tribes in Nagaland
Until the 1960s, the Konyak warriors were a feared tribe of headhunters in rural Nagaland. Although in their 80s now, some of these warriors are still alive to tell tales of their heroic adventures and explain the rituals that surrounded their hunts.
Nagaland Dzukou Valley
Meet the former headhunting tribes on our Assam Explorer tour
8. Stay or cruise on traditional houseboats of Kerala
In 3,000 BCE houseboats were built to traverse the remote waters of Kerala. Today, it is one of the only places in the world where you can still set sail in the historic boats, alongside majestic mountain ranges and deep valleys.
9. Enjoy the spectacle of Pushkar festival
One of the most popular and colourful festivals in India, Pushkar is the world’s largest cattle fair. Even if you’re not in the market for a camel, you can enjoy a hot air balloon ride or peruse some of the locally made handicrafts.
Visit Pushkar on our Colours of Rajasthan tour.
10. See the intricately carved Sri Meenakshi Temple
Thought to be as old as the ancient city it resides in, the Sri Meenakshi Temple spreads across 14 acres. Inside the massive, ornate structure, you’ll find beautiful shrines to an array of deities.
Sri Meenakshi Temple
Witness the Sri Meenakshi Temple on the Southern India Coast to Coast Ride tours.
If India is a place you can’t wait to discover, take a look at more of our India tours below.