India has become a top vacation destination in the last few years, and surprisingly enough, it is not all because of the Taj Mahal. Little by little, people have discovered other cities than Agra that can satisfy the need of getting to know another culture. And if there is something that India provides best, it is cultural experiences. Indians are a spiritual people, which is why you will see several temples in virtually all locations you may visit. Even so, you need to pick just a few. Otherwise, you will never finish visiting India. Below you will find a selection of five amazing India vacations cities that you do not want to miss.
The city of Goa is one of those places that combines both religious and cultural aspects of the country. You will find pretty much everything you would expect from such a location. You have the religious houses on one side, and on the other, you can enjoy a lovely day at the beach. The Agonda beach or the Cavelossim is among the favorites. You can just lose yourself in a chair and drink a Kingfisher beer while the sun disappears in the horizon. It is a magnificent view, and if you ever find yourself in Goa, you cannot miss it.
As for the cultural side of things, Goa is the home of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is a major tourist attraction in Goa. The baroque architecture is stunning. If you can, try to arrive in Goa at Christmastime. That is when the East and West come together in a fabulous cultural mix.
The famous Pink City is yet another location you cannot afford to overlook if you go to India. The reason why Jaipur is nicknamed as such is that the broad streets are lined with stucco buildings which are very beautiful to look at. You will not be disappointed. One of the best things about Jaipur is the city exploration, and do not forget the backstreets. Most people do, and they miss a few jewels because of it.
If you are looking for landmarks, you can explore the City Palace, Hawa Mahal. Another aspect that Jaipur is famous for is its forts. The Amber and Jaighar forts are stunning. After you do that, do not forget to visit the bazaars. They are full of lovely souvenirs, and the cliché with that is that everyone buys camel-leather slippers. Maybe you can get a pair as well.
Mumbai is not the first city you may have in mind because it is famous for its chaos and overcrowded places. Nobody can argue with that, but it would be a pity to miss on something that beautiful because of a small inconvenience. It is like not climbing the Everest because it is too cold. Maybe not on that scale, but you get the point.
The Chowpatty Beach is beautiful in the evening, and although street food is frowned upon by travelers, maybe you should try a paper cone of bhelpuri. However, one of the best experiences in Mumbai is the tour of Dharavi. It has become famous due to the movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire,’ and it gives you the opportunity to see what life is like for a million people. Not the most comfortable experience, but it is worth it.
When you think of India, does luxury come to mind? Not to many people. However, you can find luxurious locations in India, and they are more than you think. Havelock Island is one of them, and you will have the time of your life there. You can enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling in the clear blue waters. You can take a ride on boats that have glass bottoms so that you can observe marine life. On land, you can go jungle trekking and camping in fantastic locations.
The Havelock Island is all about nature, but that does not mean you cannot spend your vacation in one of the many luxury resorts. After all, sleeping in the sun on a beach, drinking fresh coconut milk and eating delicious seafood does not sound so bad.
If you go to India on a spiritual quest, the Ladakh capital city of Leh is what you are looking for. It is located at the crossroads of the famous Silk Route, but the destination is the high number of monasteries in the area. Shey, Alchi, Hernis, Lamayuru, and Thikse are just a few of them, and they are truly humbling. When you are done with the spiritual quest, you can go on an adventure. You can choose from climbing mountains, trekking (Markha Valley,) and white-water rafting.
There are so many more vacation destinations you can choose from, but it would take too long to put them on paper. Even so, your choice is not an easy one. However, do not forget about the documentation you need to get into India. First, you need a passport, so make sure to get that fixed. You can find passport photos online. Also, most nationalities require a visa upon entry, but if you are lucky, you can apply for an India evisa. Other than that, do not forget to do your research. You know how it goes: when in Rome, do as Romans do.