One of the most popular adventure travel destinations in the world is India. A bustling nation with some incredible sights and locations, India never fails to captivate curious wanderers. Let’s take a look at six must-see places to visit in this vast and fascinating country.
A trip to Hampi will put you front and centre to see the famous ruins of the Vikayanagar Kingdom. Located in a truly spectacular landscape, the ruins are both imposing and majestic, offering a glimpse into a time gone by.
If you’re looking to get lost in a really breathtaking and pristine part of India, Sikkim is a must-see. Located between Tibet and Nepal, Sikkim is home to some of the most glorious mountainous vistas you’ll ever see. Trek on foot through picturesque views and take in the fresh mountain air through valleys and over mountain peaks. While you’re there you might even catch a glimpse of native Tibetans herding their yaks.
If a trip to the beach is more your style, take some time to visit India’s little-known Lakshadweep islands. If you’ve ever heard of the Maldives, Lakshadweep is located on the same archipelago. Here you can experience the tranquility of a sandy beach without the resort-like atmosphere you’d expect elsewhere.
Of course, one of the most famous cities in India is Mumbai, which would easily make its way onto an adventurer’s list of must-see locations. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in a city like this one, which means that you’ll be fully immersing yourself in the culture and the atmosphere of India.
If Mumbai is one of the most famous cities in India, easily the most famous building is the Taj Mahal. It’s difficult to describe the palace’s majesty with words alone. With its totally imposing turrets and bulbous summit, the Taj Mahal truly is a sight worth seeing, and one that no postcard will ever do justice.
For something a little more off the proverbial beaten path, give Ladakh a try. Located in some truly desolate yet absolutely stunning desert landscapes, Ladakh is known for its jagged mountain peaks and deep valleys. Winding roads will take you across this vast, alien expanse as you journey into some truly untouched, untamed parts of the country.
How to Pay your Way
India is a place where you can leave your comfort zone and discover something quite unlike any other part of the world. When you get there, you will find that American Express is one of the most widely-accepted credit cards in India. If you are planning to pay your way with plastic, it is worth applying for an American Express card in good time before you travel.
Staying Safe in India
Although it’s easy to be swept up in the dream of yoga retreats, elephant treks and colourful festivals, western travellers (especially female visitors) should be aware that the cultural diversity of India can pose a number of challenges. Lonely Planet offers some useful tips on their India Travel Safety page. Top advice for women travellers includes:
- Choose an upper berth on overnight trains to allow for more privacy and personal safety. (Many travellers say more expensive train seats are safer as there are fewer passengers per car).
- Avoid eye contact and engaging in conversation with unknown men: both can be misinterpreted.
- Where possible, travel in women’s cars on trains, where they exist, and try to arrange to sit near the front of long-distance buses. Sit next to other women if seats are available.
- Wear a T-shirt and long shorts over a bathing suit when swimming to follow local custom.
- Avoid all public transportation at night, and never travel in empty buses or trains at night.
- Book taxis by phone at night; don’t flag them down in the street, especially if you’re alone.
- Travelling with another person (especially if male) or as part of a group may ward off advances. (Mentioning your husband frequently – whether or not you have one – may also help.)
- Wear sunglasses to avoid eye contact.