7 Wonderful Things to Do On Your Visit to India
With more than 4,500 years of cultural history, the South-Asian Republic of India is one of the most diverse lands you will ever visit. Famous for its various contributions to the world culture, science, astronomy, architecture, and its never-ending list of attractions, India is a haven for a wandering tourist. You must have already heard of the most famous attractions like the Taj Mahal and the ancient ruins of some of the world’s oldest civilizations.
But as most expert tourists suggest, India has a lot more to discover than simply visiting the popular attractions. If this is not your first trip to the country and you want to know the most ‘Indian’ activities, here’s a list that you should consider.
#1. Try The Diverse Indian Cuisine
If curries and gravies are your things, you will have a blast regarding food in India. The diversity in Indian food is mainly because of the various cultural and religious beliefs and the diverse range of climatic conditions and soil types found in India.
Before the Indian independence in 1947, India was home to several ancient empires and kingdoms, which turned the land into a melting pot and introduced newer cuisines, food crops, and spices.
North-Indian cuisine is known for its rich and hot vegetarian and non-vegetarian curries, which are often flavored with several spices and are served with the Indian flatbread or Roti. On the other hand, South-Indian cuisine focuses more on rice and coconut and the various indigenous spices native to southern India.
Dal Bati, Chhola Bhatura, Mutton Rogan Josh, Idli-Sambar, Dosa, Butter Chicken, Lal-Maas, and a huge variety of side dishes are a must-try on your great Indian visit. Each state you visit has a highly distinctive cuisine to offer, making India a haven for the foodies.
#2. Visit The Hill Forts of Rajasthan
Kumbhalgarh fort Image credit Romain Pontida, CC BY-SA 2.0
Rajasthan’s western Indian state was formerly known by the British as Rajputana’s princely state, as it was one of the major strongholds of the Hindu royal kings known as Rajputs.
Rajasthan is basically built around the Thar Desert’s scorching sands and is famous for its distinctive culture resulting from more than 100 years of rule under the various Rajput kingdoms. The hill forts of Rajasthan are listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Nowhere in northern India will you be able to find any better specimens of the medieval Hindu architecture than the hill forts of Rajasthan. Most of these forts were built as the residing places for ruling families. They were mostly set atop a hillock that provides a panoramic view of the surroundings and better protection against invaders.
Visit local tour companies in the area for seamless Rajasthan Tour Packages and arrangements. Amber Fort, Mehrangarh Fort, Kumbhalgarh Fort, Chittorgarh Fort, Jaisalmer Fort, Gagron Fort, etc., are some of the best-built hill forts great insight into the culture and grandeur of the former rulers of the state.
#3. Immerse Yourself in Spirituality
Every time you hear about India, we’re sure that it reminds you of a man dressed in saffron-colored clothing. Well, India is indeed known for its rich Hindu culture and has attracted tourists from all over the world.
It is often said that there are more temples in India than all the other major attractions combined. This stands exemplary of the highly spiritual Indian culture and provides many attractions for the tourists to visit. Almost every city in India has a famous temple known for its marvelous architecture or was mentioned in the ancient Hindu scriptures.
Ever since the Beatles arrived in Rishikesh, India has become famous for its various religious and spiritual centers. Most of these centers for spiritual healing and guidance are based in Northern India, while the southern Indian temples are some of the most visited and the richest in the world.
Meenakshi Amman Temple, Jagannath Temple, Vaishno Devi Temple, Kamakhya Temple, Laxminarayan Temple, ISKON temple, etc., are some of the most famous sites that should be a must-visit. Apart from the various Hindu temples, several ancient mosques and churches can be visited in India. Make it a point to visit the Golden Temple in Punjab, one of the most revered places for India’s Sikh community.
#4. Try the Traditional Indian Clothing
Like most things in India, traditional Indian clothing has a diverse range of styles and designs that vary from region to region and is highly influenced by the ethnic lifestyle.
Most traditional clothing in India is supposed to be worn on a special or auspicious occasion, highlighting the pomp and splendor related to that festival. Being a melting pot of various cultures and ethnicities, each state or region has its own set of apparels, different from the other.
Saris, Kurta, Sherwani, Turbans, Salwar Suits, and Churidaars are some of the most commonly found traditional Indian clothing. The clothing in each region is also based on the varied climatic conditions owing to the varied geographical locations.
#5. Rediscover the Roots of Ancient Civilizations
Being one of the cradles of civilizations, Indian culture is even older than ancient Rome and has been mentioned several times in various ancient scholars and historians. India has also been home to the first civilizations like the Harrapan culture and Indo-Aryans, responsible for promoting civilization and Hinduism in India. India is home to many archaeological sites that have baffled excavators and historians for several years.
Kali Bangan, Hampi, Konark, Melhua, Edicts of Ashoka, Buddist Stupas, and ancient ruins like Nalanda and others make India an archaeological gem.
#6. Experience The Best of South Asian Wildlife
While not as diverse as Africa, India is another place where a huge variety of wildlife can be found. Geographical varied India is home to several wildlife reserves, national parks, and biosphere reserves, which house some of the most exquisite wildlife and plant species. India alone contains 3 of the 34 biodiversity hotspots globally and contains a major portion of the total wildlife on earth.
Bengal Tigers, Asiatic Lions, Asian Elephants, deer, Leopards, Rhinoceros, Crocodiles, Monkeys, snakes, and a huge variety of birds can be found in the various wildlife and nature reserves in India. This is evident from the famous wildlife writer Rudyard Kipling, who mentioned the Indian forests and wildlife species in his books.
#7. Celebrate Indian Festivals
India is a home of festivals, and if you live in a multicultural and vibrant city like Mumbai, you will agree with this point. There is hardly any time in the year when the Hindus do not have a festival dedicated to a god.
Most Indian festivals are accompanied by high levels of merrymaking and preparation of sweets and special food items. Being a home of several other religious communities like Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Parsis, etc., all festivals in India are celebrated, not like any other country.
Holi, Eid, Lohri, Baisakhi, Diwali, Onam, and Bihu, etc., are the major festivals that attract those tourists. Several sweets and specialty foods and beverages are distributed as communion during these festivals, and you certainly want to try your hands on the cannabis (bhang) infused lassi/thandai (shake) during Holi celebrations.
A visit to India and discovering the distinctive cultures that the Indian people comprise is always a refreshing experience. India is a country with more than a million attractions, and one certainly needs more than a lifetime to experience and discover India’s magical country.