While listing all the things that can be done in India may be an impossible task, we have listed the top 101 things to do in India which are a must for getting a feel of real India. Move away from the usual hill stations and wildlife sanctuaries. Though they are great to visit, there is so much more to be explored in this fascinating land. Read on to get some clues about the offbeat India experiences that we are referring to.
1. Visit the Taj Mahal – The Epitome of Love
When listing the things one must do in India, you can’t leave Taj Mahal out. Built in the 17th century, this white marble monument attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. It is the epitome of love as the world knows it. While a visit to Taj Mahal at any time of the day is exciting, consider visiting it during night, preferably on a full moon night. The charges are a little higher for night visits, but it is worth the experience.
2. Eat at the highway Punjabi Dhaba – A gastronomical delight
There is nothing like have a gastronomical delight while on the road. While you are on the highway, especially the Delhi-Chandigarh one, don’t forget to have a meal in one of the many Punjabi dhabas, which usually operate 24/7. Murthal, near Sonepat, on NH1 is the hotspot for Punjabi dhabas, Gulshan Dhaba being the most famous of the lot. Just indulge in great lip-smacking food.
3. Old Delhi tour and Chandni Chowk – Fall in Love with the Chaos
This is where you get to feel the pulse of Delhi. As you make your way through narrow streets filled with people, you start wonder how people can live in such a chaotic place. But soon enough, you fall in love with the chaos and the liveliness of the place.
While in Old Delhi and Chandni Chowk area, do not miss a visit to Paranthe Wali Gali, lip smacking Mutton Burra at Karim’s, traditional Indian sweets and a visit to Jama Masjid. A rickshaw ride completes the experience. You will be left thrilled by the way rickshaw puller makes his way through the crowd.
4. Bike trip to Ladakh – An Ethereal Experience
This one is for the adventure enthusiasts. If you love biking[Have you gone on these amazing road trips on your Royal Enfield?], a bike trip to Ladakh is ultimate fun. You start from Manali and make your way through the stunning Rohtang Pass, beautiful Lahaul and Spiti Valley, and cross several high mountain passes before entering Ladakh. While in Ladakh, one should go on a bike trip to Khardung La Pass, the highest motorable pass in the world. You can take this biking trip to Ladakh only between June to December, as Rohtang Pass remains closed for six months, starting from December.
5. Rural Olympics Punjab – Back to the Basics
Forget the Olympics. Punjab plays host to something much more exciting, and rustic, every year. Kila Raipur, a small village in Ludhiana, comes alive between February and March each year, as it plays host to a sports festival- Punjabi style. Hundreds of people throng to this fair, some to watch while others to participate.
It is pure fun to watch men fight it out in a game of mud wrestling; to watch a bullock cart race; tractor pulling and so much more. The festival sees as many as 40-50 events spread over 3 days. And it is not just the locals who participate in these games. You could even spot some Punjabi teams from Canada fighting it out.
6. Valley of Flowers – Beautiful is an understatement
Do you believe in fairies and Wonderland? If you don’t, the Valley of Flowers will make you believe in them. The National Park and a World Heritage Site is located in the state of Uttarakhand, nestled amidst the majestic treks in Himalayas. The myriad colored flowers are an ethereal experience, complemented by mist covered peaks. Nanda Devi National Park lies to the east of Valley of Flowers. The region is home to endangered species as well, such as snow leopard and Asiatic Black Bear.
7. Corbett National Park – A rendezvous with the wild side
A rendezvous with the wild side of nature is always an exciting experience. Corbett National Park can definitely give a thrilling rendezvous with the wilderness of India. It is one of the oldest national parks of the country, and certainly one of the most popular. Embark on a wildlife safari here, either in a jeep or on an elephant. Wildlife safari packages range from short 3 day tours to extensive 11 day tours. You can spot several wild animals here including tigers, leopards, and so much more.
8. Wagah Border Visit – A strange Bonhomie
Forget the changing of guard routine in London. The Wagah border ceremony is much more interesting. As the sun goes down, the retreat ceremony at this India-Pakistan border begins. Bugles are sounded from both the sides, which could easily blow the air out of your lungs if you try it; guards from both the sides stomp their feet as hard as possible, trying to get one-up over each other. It is as exciting as watching the last ball of a India-Pakistan cricket match.
9. A religious landmark, and an architectural one too – Golden Temple Amritsar
While you visit the Wagah Border, don’t forget to visit the Golden Temple- an architectural marvel and a religious epicenter of the country. The monument witnessed some troubled times during the Blue Star operation, but nothing has taken away the spirituality of the place. The architecture of this monument has influences of Hindu, Muslim and European cultures. A dip in the lake here is rejuvenating, while the langar served here is lip smacking.
10. Take a walk from Dashashwamedh Ghat to Assi Ghat, Varanasi – Embrace Spirituality
Talking of spirituality, you just cannot leave the beautiful Varanasi out. While here, consider taking a walk from Dashashwamedh Ghat to Assi Ghat. The Dashashwamedh Ghat remains crowded most times of the day. But that shouldn’t deter your spirit. In fact, watching the religious ceremony which happens every evening at 7 is a must have experience. As you walk from Dashashwamedh to Assi, you come across several small ghats, where people are seen revering the Ganges, and some saying their final goodbyes to their departed loved ones.
11. Ramlila at Ramnagar – Watch it with the sadhus
Watching traditional Ramlilas is always a great experience. Seeing hardly trained actors dorn the role of revered figures in Hindu Mythology for about 20 days is entertainment of the rustic kind. Taking this experience to a whole new level is the Ramlila at Ramnagar, Varanasi. The crowds here could be anywhere between 1,000 and 10,000, which include Sadhus too in their traditional attire. It is like watching a Broadway show live.
12. Zing Zing Bar – The perfect stop before a steep climb
The name of the place may mislead you. It is not much a bar, but an army camp where you can grab a few snacks and drinks while you are on a Ladakh biking trip. The so called bar lies at the base to the steep ascent of BarchalaLa Pass. It is a nice pit-stop where you can chat with the army men or just admire the beauty of surrounding you.
13. Stay in a Shikara in Dal Lake – Recreate famous Bollywood scenes
You might have stayed in the best luxury hotels in the world, but nothing can beat the experience of staying in a Shikara in Dal Lake. There are houseboats in the Dal Lake which date back to the 18th century. They have intricate wood carvings and royal interiors, with all the services you can expect from the best hotels in the world. The beauty of the Dal Lake which surrounds you is a mesmerizing experience.
14. Yoga at Parmath Niketan, Rishikesh – Simply rejuvenating
Located on the banks of River Ganges, nestled amidst the majestic Himalayas is Parmath Niketan in Rishikesh. There is something about this place which beckons you to contemplate nature and be at peace with yourself. Even if spirituality is the last thing on your mind, try an early morning yoga session here. You will love the experience.
15. Visit to Bodh Gaya – It enlightens you too
This is where Gautama Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. Pay a visit to Mahabodhi Temple, which is regarded as one of the most important Buddhist temples. Revel at the spirituality of the place or just chat with the local Buddhist monks which reside at the place. Either way, it is a different kind of experience you get here.
16. Holi at Vrindavan – Revel in the colors of joy
Holi is a festival which is a special experience in India. While most places in India celebrate the festival for only a day, if you love the color of festivals, Vrindavan is the place to be. Holi is celebrated for a week here, amidst crowds thronging the various temples dedicated to Lord Krishna here. While you can experience the usual Holi festival with colors here, consider playing the Lath Maar holi when in Vrindavan; or one with flowers.
17. Khajuraho Trip – Where passion is not a sin
Khajuraho is the place which gave India the name “The Land of Kamasutra.” The erotic rock carvings of the temples here are an architectural delight as well as a symbol of love and passion. Come with your special someone to Khajuraho or just explore the place alone- it is filled with mysticism and a side to India which has got lost in the modern transitions of today’s times.
18. Gastronomical Tour of Lucknow – Sample the delicious royal cuisine
Delhi is not the only place in India famous for its gastronomical delights. For a tryst with the royal cuisine of India, head to Lucknow and savor the various delicacies of the region. Sample the biryani of the region and the various kebabs. Talking of the kebabs, don’t miss out on Tunde ke Kebab. A part of the Awadhi Cuisine, the kebabs are made of succulent minced meat, seasoned with over 160 spices. Tunde ke Kebab has a legacy of over a century.
19. Orchha – A tryst with history
If you love exploring history, a visit to the town of Orchha is a must. The town is located in the Bundelkhand district in Madhya Pradesh, on the banks of the Betwa River. There is a old fort here, and a temple to explore as well. It may not be a quintessential touristy experience, but nevertheless, a memorable one.
20. Chadar Trek – An amazing trek over a frozen River
Trekking in Ladakh is a must have experience. There are easy treks and some of the more difficult ones to be had. However, if you have the desired level of fitness, consider taking the Chadar Trek when in Ladakh. The trek can be taken in the months of January and February, and you get to trek over the frozen Zanskar River. There are beautiful valleys and some remote villages to be crossed on the way too. An ethereal experience is what describes it best.
21. Take a dip at Sangam – Cleanse your mind, body and soul
Sangam is a site of religious as well as national importance. This is the place where three important rivers of India meet viz. the Yamuna, the Ganges and the Saraswati. It is at Sangam that the Kumbh Mela is held every 12 years; and it is here that ashes of several important figures have been immersed, including that of Mahatma Gandhi. A dip in Sangam is said to wah away all your sins. But even if you don’t believe in all that spiritual talk, a dip in Sangam would definitely refresh your mind, body and soul.
22. A dig into Beniram Imarti from Jaunpur – It’s sinfully delicious
Usually, places have monuments and famous addresses as their landmarks. But Jaunpur is different. Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh has a sweet house in its list of most famous places, called the Beniram Sweet House. Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, you must dig into the Imartis you get at this place. They are a heavenly experience.
23. Kumbh Mela – Where Pilgrims Converge
When Bollywood movies of the yore had brothers lost at Kumbh Mela, they weren’t cracking a joke. Millions of people throng to the Ganges and River Godavari to pay their homage during the Kumbh Mela. It happens every twelve years in four cities namely- Allahabad, Nashik, Ujjain and Haridwar. An Ardh Kumbh Mela happens every six years in Haridwar and Allahabad. While you visit this spiritual conglomeration of people, make sure you have your belongings and your family tightly wound to you.
24. Kedarnath Temple – An awesome trek and a spiritual experience
Call it a pilgrimage or an exciting trek in the Himalayan region, either way, it is an exciting experience. The Kedarnath Temple is located near the Mandakini River, and attracts thousands of pilgrims every year. You have take an arduous 14 km trek starting from Gaurikund to reach the temple. The Kedarnath temple is opened to the public in the month of April till the time around Dusshehra.
25. Drive on Zuluk Loops – Feel the adrenaline rush
If you are looking for exciting road trips in India, don’t miss a drive on the Zuluk loops. Located in the Eastern Sikkim region, Zuluk Loops are exactly that- meandering roads amidst the winding hills. Take in the scenery which surrounds you and experience the wind in your face as you make your way through the hills.
26. Get down and dirty at Satpal Singh Akhada Kushti
Indian wrestling is a rustic experience. Men wrestling in the mud, executing their signature moods and the crowds cheering them, with the sun beating down- that is the best definition of rustic. The Satpal Akhada Kushti in Rampur in Uttar Pradesh is one of the best places to be at for experiencing Indian wrestling. Satpal Singh has won many battles in his time, including a bronze at Asiad Games, and trains wrestlers at this Akhada. Don’t forget to take some tips for those rippling muscles when here.
27. Experience the colorful culture of Ladakh at Hemis festival
If you thought Ladakh is just a desolate land inhabited by monks who spend their time meditating, you were wrong. Come summers, and the place comes alive with the Hemis Festival. Hemis Monastery is one of the oldest and the most beautiful monasteries of Ladakh. In summers, it plays host to a 2 day festival, which sees traditional dances, and beautiful paintings being drawn by the villagers. The sound of drums, cymbals and trumpets which echo off the Himalayas is a treat for the ears.
28. Be a part of awesome celebrations at Krishna Janamashtmi in Mathura
Mathura is the hometown of Lord Krishna according to Hindu Mythology. And it is here you get to experience the festival of Krishna Janamashtmi in all its fervor and splendor. Scores of people throng the temple of Lord Krishna, which are decorated beautifully. People can be seen singing hymns and revelling in the festive atmosphere. Even if you are not the religious kind, you will love this experience.
29. Pangong Lake – Where dreams and reality converge
Remember the lake at the end of the movie 3 Idiots? That’s the Pangong Lake, which is one of the most beautiful lakes of Ladakh. It is a desolate region of the lost kingdom, nestled amidst the majestic peaks. Take a trek to Pangong Lake or simple drive down to the place. You will be awed by the beauty of the lake, which is said to change colors every season. Spend the day camping by the lakeside.
30. Tsomoriri Lake – The definition of exotic
Talking of beauty in Ladakh, you cannot leave out Tsomoriri Lake. This beautiful lake is situated in the Changthang Plateau region, which is the largest plateau in the world. Like most other regions of Ladakh, Tsomoriri lake too is is nestled in tranquility, which calls you to spend some time with yourself, contemplating the scenic views of the region.
31. Sonepur Cattle Fair – A rustic and an animalistic experience
Even though you may be least interested in buying and selling of cattle, a visit to the Sonepur Cattle Fair is a must. The fair starts from Kartik Poornima, which falls in the months of October and November, and can go on for as long as a month. It is the biggest cattle fair of Asia, with scores of cattle being traded between those interested. The beautifully decorated elephants at the fair are the highlight of this yearly event.
32. Trip to Nalanda – Explore the enchanting ruins
India is often called a magical land, and snake charmers are not the reason for that. It is the places like Nalanda which give India that tag. The ruins of Nalanda date back to 5th century and housed one of the most important universities in ancient times. Located in Bihar, close to the capital state of Patna, a trip to the ruins of Nalanda lets you feel the magic of the land. In addition, one can enjoy the great rail journeys india along with family and friends.
33. Feel the Vibe at Durga Puja
When writers referred to India as a country with many colors, they actually meant it literally. Durga Puja is one of the most colorful festivals of India and is an experience one must have in Eastern India. Scores of people can be seen jiving to roaring drum beats, and reveling in the moment. Like every other festival of India, there are lip smacking delicacies to be had on Durga Puja too. Don’t miss out on traditional Bengali sweets.
34. Darjeeling train journey – Straight out of a Bollywood potboiler
A ride in the toy train of the hills is a scene right out of a children’s story book. The train chugs along the meandering paths of the hills, letting you take in the views of the majestic Himalayas in the background. No doubt, this journey is one of the best train journeys in India.
35. Attend the Hornbill Festival – Feel the Pulse of Nagaland
The north-eastern part of the India hasn’t been explored to its full potential. Every year, in the month of December, Nagaland plays host to the Hornbill festival. You come across colorful tribal dances of the region and the rich cultural heritage of the land of the Nagas.
36. Visit Tribes of Orissa – Learn skills of survival
The exotic things to do in eastern part of India are all about mystic delights. A part of this mystic experience is the tribes of Orissa. Several tribes inhabit the state of Orissa. Their strange beliefs, rituals and their communion with Mother Nature make for an eventful trip to the land. You will be left awestruck at the way they live their everyday lives. Back to the roots of humanity is what describes this experience the best.
37. Visit the Colonial Past with a Tram ride in Kolkata
Kolkata, with its colonial past, is a destination with a rich cultural heritage. a part of this heritage is the tram system which runs through the city- the only city in India to have a tram network. Trams in Kolkata date back to 1902. The transport system is still in good order and connects several parts of the city. It is an experience you cannot have in any other part of the country.
38. Tea Tour in Darjeeling – It refreshes you
Tea estates in Darjeeling are a treat for the eyes, as well as for your taste buds. There are numerous tea estates in the north-eastern part of the India, some spread over hundreds of acres of land. Your India experience is not complete without a tea tour in Darjeeling. Make your way through vast expanses of tea leaves, watch tea pluckers in action and sample some exotic varieties of tea as well.
39. Mysore Dusshera Festival – A royal celebration
Dusshera- the festival which celebrates the triumph of good over evil- is celebrated with a lot of fervor all over the country. But none can match the celebrations in Mysore. This famous hill station of Karnataka was once home to royal kingdoms. Come Dusshera and you can see the beautiful palaces of the region decorated even more beautifully. The fervor at the time of the festival is unparalleled.
40. Take a boat ride in the backwaters of Sunderbans – Feel one with nature
The backwaters of Kerala are a famous tourist attraction. But the backwaters of Sunderbans delta are no less. Sunderbans delta is one of the largest deltas in the world and a boat ride in the backwaters here takes you through lush greenery, and gives you a really serene experience. You could also spot exotic species of birds while taking the boat ride.
41. Visit the Majestic Tawang Monastery
Located at a height of about 10,000 feet in the Tawang town of Arunachal Pradesh is Tawang Monastery- the largest in India and one of the largest in the world. The architecture of the monastery leaves you awestruck, and so does the spirituality that surrounds this place. Majestic views in the background complete the experience.
42. Experience the greatness of nature with a walk across the Living Root Bridge
More than 90% of people in India do not know about this natural wonder that exists in the rainforests of Cherapunji. Cherapunji is one of the wettest places on earth and is ideal for the growth of rubber trees. The local tribes of the region grow rubber trees and use the roots of these trees as bridges to cross the many rivers that flow through the region. Walking on these bridges, which are a gift from nature, is an absolutely awesome experience. What’s even more awesome is the way the roots of these trees are manipulated to grow in the right direction.
43. Spot a white tiger in Sunderban – It’s simply majestic
The Sunderbans delta is home a wide variety of flora and fauna. The Sunderbans National Park is spread across parts of India as well as Bangladesh, and is home to the white tiger and other species of wildlife and birds. Take a wildlife safari through Sunderbans National Park and try spotting the white tiger amidst the dense foliage. Adventure cannot get wilder than this.
44. Take a boat ride in Loktak Lake – It’s the only floating lake in the world
Loktak Lake in Manipur is the only floating lake in the world. The mass of vegetation, soil and other biodegradable mass gives the lake a floating appearance. Take a boat ride on the Loktak Lake, which is a major tourist attraction.
The Keibul Lamjao National Park which lies close to the lake makes the area a haven for bird watchers and animal enthusiasts as well.
45. Spot one horned rhinos and more at Kaziranga National Park
The north-eastern part of India is home to plenty of wildlife species. Kaziranga National park in Assam is no different. The national park is home to the endangered one-horned rhinoceros, apart from other wildlife species such as tigers, elephants, swamp deer etc. This World Heritage Site can give you the goose-bumps- the kind that you will love.
46. Attend the Bihu Festival in Assam – Don’t forget to participate in the dances
While in Assam, don’t forget to attend the Bihu festivals, if you are there at the right time of the year. Bihu festival is the national festival of Assam, and takes place three times in an year, viz. in the months of January, April and October. The festival celebrates the cultural heritage of the land and also the farming seasons of the place. The one that happens in April is the most colorful of the lot as it signifies the onset of spring season.
47. Feel the Pulse of the Nation with a ride on the Mumbai Local Train
For a feel of the pulse of the nation, take a ride in the Mumbai local train. And if you are brave-hearted enough, consider taking a ride in the Mumbai local train during the peak rush hours. You get to hear all kinds of discussions while in the Mumbai locals- from politics to economy and sports- people share their opinion about everything. But the biggest wonder of the journey is how the people survive the journey, clinging on to the barest of metal pieces they can get their hands on. Don’t worry about getting in or getting out- the crowd will help you with that.
48. Old Cathedrals of Goa – Exploring the colonial past of the region
Take a tour of the old churches in Goa, which give a peek into the rich cultural past of the land, The churches date back to the time when Portuguese ruled the land. Some of them have an interesting story behind them, while others have beautiful architecture to be marveled at. Some of the must visits one when in Goa are Basilica of Bom Jesus, Mary Immaculate Conception and Se Cathedral.
49. Royal Enfield Tour of Rann of Kutch – Feel the vastness of nature
Rann of Kutch is a desolate land which holds several mysteries. It was home to the Harappan Civilization, one of the oldest civilizations known to man, and you can visit the ruins of the civilization at Dholavira. Royal Enfield conducts a tour of Rann of Kutch every year, where you get to experience mesmerizing sunsets and get to pay tribute to the martyrs who have gone down fighting for the country.
50. Bring back the old times with the Vintage Car Rally in Jaipur
Seeing a 1939 Mercedez benz purring to life and making it all the way to the finish line is an absolute delight. The vintage car rally in Jaipur is increasingly become popular among tourists and is a matter of pride for vintage car owners. The event happens every year in the month of January. Some old beauties you can come across at this event include a 1923 Fiat 501, a 1923 Austin and a 1923 Erskine.
51. Feel the royalty – Attend a Royal Wedding in Rajasthan
If you get the chance, don’t miss an opportunity to be a part of a royal wedding on a Rajasthan Tour. From the decor to the food and the guests of the honor, and of course the palaces they are hosted in, everything is ornately royal about them.
52. Dhobhi Ghat, Mumbai – A strangely mesmerizing landmark of Mumbai
Watching lines of dirty linen being washed isn’t so much a marvel, but the organization definitely is. Scores of washer-men wash and dry the clothes of their customers in this Mumbai landmark, and surprisingly, hardly anything gets mixed up. Try chatting with the locals and get an insight into their daily lives. You are sure to stumble upon some interesting stories of celebrities and all things Mumbaiya.
53. Kite Flying in Rajasthan – Connect over this traditional Indian sport
Rajasthan, particularly the cities of Jaipur, Jodhpur and Pushkar, play host to a kite festival every year in the month of January. The festival sees people from all walks of life participating and trying to go one up against each other. Pick up some colorful kites in interesting shapes and take to the skies to settle old scores. You can even spot foreigners trying their hand at the quintessentially Indian sport of kite flying.
54. Feel a strange kind of adrenaline rush with a Camel Safari in Jaisalmer
Talking of having fun in the desert, you can’t leave camel safari out of the picture. Jaisalmer is one of the best places to go on a camel safari in Rajasthan. There are camel safari’s available for different durations, and longer the duration, the better the experience. For the ultimate experience though, consider taking a night camel safari. Watching the beautiful sunset, while riding a camel takes you back to the days of Alif Laila.
55. Explore one of the best wine destinations of India with a Nashik Wine Trip
Indians may not be too fond of having wine, but Nashik definitely boasts of some pretty spectacular vineyards. Book a stay in one of the several resorts of the region which are located close to some of the finest vineyards of the region. Take a tour of the vineyards in Nashik, where you can even taste some pretty delicious wine too- if you know how to appreciate this drink that is.
56. Waterfall Rappelling Vihigaon – It gets your adrenaline zinging
Vihigaon in Thane is a small village where you can the adventure of a lifetime. There is waterfall rappelling to be done in the roaring waterfalls of Vihigaon. You get to combine the experience of rappelling, mountaineering and maneuvering the gushing streams of water in this adrenaline pumping adventure. It takes bones of steel and some really technical skills to complete this adventure.
57. Feel the Music with a Garba Dance in Vadodra (Baroda)
Come Navaratris, and Vadodra in Gujarat comes alive with myriad colors and sounds of drums. Garba is a dance form native to the region, where men as well as women in colorful attires dance to drum beats, with dandiyas in their hands. It could also be a fun way of meeting someone special for those who are single. Put your dancing shoes on and give it a shot.
58. Dance, eat and make merry at the Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai
Ganesh Chaturthi is to Mumbai what Durga Puja is to West Bengal. The festival celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesha and is celebrated with pomp and show in the economic capital of the country. It is a 10 day long festival which ends with Ganesh Visarajan. It is marked by immersing the idol of Lord Ganesha in the river. Music, dance and food conquer the hearts and minds of Mumbaikars during this festival.
59. Explore Ajanta and Ellora Caves – A mysterious experience
Most of us have read about them in our books, but few of us have actually explored them. If you haven’t explored the Ajanta Ellora Caves in Maharashtra, make sure you do that at some point in your life. The caves are said to millions of years old. They have rock carvings and some beautiful architecture in the form of shrines, which are said to date back to 8th century AD. While Ajanta Caves are a network of 29 caves, the Ellora caves are a network of 34 caves. Together, they make for a mystical experience indeed.
60. Drink Fenny in Goa – And get high!
A Goan experience is not just about the sun, the sand and the sea. It is also about Fenny- the local alcoholic drink of the Goans. Fenny, or Feni, is made by fermenting either cashews or coconut. It is said to have an intoxicating effect within minutes and can give you quite a high. Make sure you are with a trustworthy group of friends though while you decide to give Fenny a shot; or rather, take a shot of Fenny.
61. Watch DDLJ at Maratha Mandir Theatre, Mumbai – Bring back your college days
Even if you have already seen the movie a million times, watch it once more at Maratha Mandir Theatre in Mumbai. The movie has been at the theatre for 15 years now and still gets 60-70% occupancy on weekdays and housefull on weekends. Watching the movie amidst cheers from the crowd with a bucket of popcorn could put you right back in your college days.
62. Explore the Elephanta Caves – They are one big Mystery
Located in Mumbai Harbor, close to the city of Mumbai are Elephanta Caves. They are a network of caves with rock sculptures and engravings which date back to thousands of years ago. There are caves with Hindu engravings as well as those with Buddhist engravings and sculptures. Take an expedition to Elephanta Caves and explore enchanting history of the land. You will be amazed something like this exists so close to the concrete jungle of Mumbai.
63. Interact with Vadi Tribe in Gujarat – India’s Original Snake Charmers
If you have ever wondered from where does India get its tag of “the land of snake charmers”, you will find your answer in the Vadi Tribe. Vadi Tribe in Gujarat is known for its skill as snake charmers. Young children not more than five years old can be seen sitting close to a venomous Cobra and hardly flinching. While they may not let you on the secret to snake charming, they can give you some pretty awesome moments to add to your list of incredible offbeat experiences in India.
64. Pushkar Camel Fair – A riot of colors
Pushkar in Rajasthan plays host to a splendid camel fair every year in the month of October or November, starting from Kartik Poornima. The event attracts lakhs of tourists- some interested in trading camels, while others just enjoying the spectacle, and to cater them, Pushkar has a plethora of royal resorts . Camels are decorated in colorful attire for selling, and there are local Rajasthani delicacies to be had at the fair. If you want a different experience of India- this is it.
65. Stay in a royal hotel in Rajasthan – Feel like a King!
Rajasthan is one of the most royal states of India, and is perhaps the only one where the royal tradition is still intact. Many luxurious palaces of the state have been converted into heritage hotels, and offer a truly luxurious experience. If you are looking for a king like experience, consider a stay in one of the many royal hotels in Rajasthan. Lake Palace in Udaipur is one of the best known ones, but there are others too.
66. Experience spirituality at the Haji Ali Dargah
Located in Mumbai, on the Worli Coast is the Haji Ali Dargah. The monument dates back to 1431 and attracts scores of pilgrims as well as tourists every year. The energy of the music that plays here all day long gets you excited and happy about life. It is said that whatever you wish for at Haji Ali comes true. Have something in your heart which you dearly want to come true? Give it a shot!
67. Visit the Osho Ashram in Pune for Connecting with your Soul
Every year, plenty of foreigners visit the Osho Ashram for peace of mind. Some even decide to stay back for the rest of their lives. If you are searching for that spiritual guidance in your life, consider a trip to Osho Ashram in Pune. There is a reason several people visit this spiritual center every year.
68. Trip on Palace on Wheels – A Royal Experience Indeed
Palace on Wheels is exactly what the name implies. It is considered as one of the top ten most luxurious train journeys in the world. The train has 14 air conditioned, ornate rooms; two restaurants serving the best of delicacies; a fantastic bar; and the most personalized of services. You have to make your booking for this fascinating train journey well in advance.
69. Chor Bazaar, Mumbai – The Name cannot be more misleading
If you love vintage and collectible items, you can most probably find them in Chor Bazaar, located in the southern part of Mumbai suburb. The original name of the market was Shor Bazaar, but you can trust the British accent to make everything sound interesting and exotic. The present name can be misleading, although stolen goods can also be found here.
70. Take a Romantic Drive with your Better Half on the Marine Drive
Few places in Mumbai are as romantic as marine drive. The 3 km long drive located in the southern part of Mumbai is actually land reclaimed from the sea. Consider taking a bike or car drive on this 3 km long stretch or just walk along the sea, with fresh breeze to rejuvenate and re-energize you. If you have a special someone in your life, it could be the perfect setting for a romantic date.
71. Dune Bashing Rajasthan – Feel Like a Kid all over Again
We all loved playing with sand and then taking down our beautiful structures when we were young, didn’t we? Replay that childhood adventure on a much larger scale with dune bashing in Rajasthan. It is exactly what the name implies- you get on board an off-roader and take to exploring the sand dunes of the desert state of Rajasthan. Travelling through vast expanses of barren lands seems like an ethereal Rajasthani experience at first.
72. Karni Mata Temple – Of Beliefs and Rituals
Located in Deshnoke, a little distance away from Bikaner, Rajasthan is the Karni Mata temple. The temple is dedicated to a incarnation of Goddess Durga and sees scores of pilgrims visiting it, especially during the time of Navaratris. Make sure you don’t kill any of the rats here though, because that would mean you need to donate a golden rat to the temple. And in case you spot a white rat among the scores of black ones, you should consider yourself lucky.
73. Camping at Sham e Sarhad – For an Earthy Experience
Sham e Sarhad is a village resort in Gujarat in Hodka Village which seeks to promote eco-tourism. You get to stay in mud-houses here, watch mesmerizing sunsets and explore the local craftsmanship of the region. This beautiful resort is open to tourists from the month of October to March. Camping here is one of the most earthy experiences you can have in India.
74. For a Rendezvous with Spirits and Ghosts, visit Bhangarh
If stories of ghosts and spirits excite you, head to Bhangarh, which is said to be a haunted town in Alwar Rajasthan. You get to hear spooky stories from the locals here, and travelers have even experienced supernatural experiences while here. Take a trip to Bhangarh, and who knows, you might just start believing in ghosts.
75. Play Elephant Polo in Rajasthan – It’s an Exciting Experience
Rajasthan is about all things royal. So how could a game of polo be far behind? But there is something more different in store here than the usual horse polo; it is elephant polo. Get atop an elephant and try to take the ball to the goal. You have guides to help you out. It does not matter who wins or loses. It is a great experience to be a part of.
76. Watch a Snake Boat Race in Kerala – Don’t forget to Cheer
Kerala experiences a festival of a different kind, every year in the months of August and September. Scores of people throng to the backwaters of Kerala to watch men battle it out in exciting snake boat races. Watching them paddling in unison is a great example of how teamwork is necessary to succeed.
77. Visit Hampi- The land of a Celebrated Kingdom
Located in Karnataka is the historical Hampi village, home to the erstwhile Vijayanagar empire. You get to walk amidst the ruins of the empire in this village, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are fascinating temples, some waterfalls and enchanting history to be explored here. It is a haven for those interested in stories of kings and queens.
78. Relax in a House Boat in Kerala – You will Love It
Houseboats in Dal Lake, Srinagar are a mesmerizing experience. The ones in Kerala are not too far behind either. While a house boat in Kerala may lack in luxurious decor, it more than makes up for it with the serenity that surrounds it. Staying amidst dense foliage, with the most personalized service is exactly the kind of break you need from the stressed routines of today.
79. Visit the Sun Temple in Konark – An Architectural Masterpiece
Located in Konark, Orissa, is the Sun Temple, which dates back to the 13th century. The temple is dedicated to Lord Surya, or the Sun, and is an architectural marvel. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the many wonders of the world. Take a trip to this marvellous piece of architecture which will leave you awestruck.
80. Visit the Meenakshi Temple – Of 33,000 sculptures and more
One of the most important landmarks in Madurai, which is also known as the temple city, is the Meenakshi Temple. The temple is thronged by thousands of tourists everyday. The temple dates back to 1623 CE and is an architectural masterpiece, with an estimated number of 33,000 sculptures. If you can brave the crowds, consider visiting it during the months of April and May, at the time of the Tirukalyanam Festival.
81. See the Kathakali Fest- A beautiful art-form
Trained dancers dancing in colorful costumes, telling stories of love, passion and betrayal is definitely something that shouldn’t be missed. The kathakali festival happens every year at Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Trivandrum. It is a 10 day long festival, with beautiful dances scheduled on all days.
82. Stay in a Tree House – And live your childhood dream
The southern part of India, particularly Kerala, has plenty of resorts with tree houses. A stay in one of these tree houses is truly an experience not to be missed. Staying high above the ground, with dense foliage surrounding you can be termed rustic as well as unusual. Even if you haven’t dreamt of staying in tree houses eve as a kid, you have got to try it. You will fall in love with it.
83. Stand on the southernmost tip of India – Experience the Bliss
Indira Point in Nicobar Island is the southernmost tip of India, while Cape Comorin in the southernmost mainland. Take a trip to these extremities of the country and contemplate nature. Watching a beautiful sunset while here is surely not to be missed. It will leave an indelible mark on your memory.
84. For a relaxed yet adventurous experience, try Bamboo Rafting in Periyar
You may have rafted in the thrilling rapids of Rishikesh, but this one is a different experience. Bamboo rafting in Periyar is a part of wildlife experience in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. You get on rafts made of bamboo and make your way through dense foliage which is home to exotic species of birds and animals. It is a tranquil experience as well as an adventurous one.
85. Auto Rampaging in Chennai – A road trip of a different kind
If you are searching for a different thing to do in India, it cannot get more different than driving an auto through the country. This challenging and fun activity starts from Chennai and lets you drive an auto through the states of Maharashtra, Goa and Tamil Nadu, covering an exciting 1900 km. Sounds exciting? It definitely is.
86. Wash elephants at Dubare Elephant Camp – It is not just for the kids
Dubare Elephant Camp, close to Bangalore, lets you be up, close and personal with elephants. You can give the elephants a nice bath at this camp, feed them and even take a free ride if the mahouts are willing. It is not just a great activity for kids. Even the adults would enjoy it, with elephants spraying water from their trunks occasionally.
When around Bangalore you can also opt for these trekking expeditions near Bangalore.
87. Go Scuba Diving in Havelock Islands – There are amazing corals to be explored.
Havelock Islands in the Andaman Islands are one of the best places to go scuba diving in India. There are plenty of dive sites in Havelock Islands, which bring you face to face with the most beautiful corals and aquatic life of the region. Some of the most popular diving sites in Havelock Sites include Dixon Pinnacle, South Pilot Reef, Dungong Dungeon and Elephant Beach.
88. Try the Ayurvedic Massage in Kerala – The Perfect remedy for Stressed Muscles
It has medicinal properties; it is relaxing; and it is divine. Ayurvedic massage on a Kerala Tour could be just what the doctor ordered for your stressed muscles. Feel the bliss as masseurs work their magic with traditional Kerala massages that put you at ease while exfoliating your mind, body and soul.
89. Be a part of the Thaipusam festival – Don’t miss the Kavadi Attam Dance
India is a land of colorful festivals, out of which, one of them is the Thaipusam Festival. The festival is celebrated among the Tamil Community during the months of January or February. You can feast your eyes on the Kavadi Attam dance, which is the highlight of this festival. Devouts bring themselves pain in this beautifully choreographed dance in order to seek the blessings of Lord Murugan.
90. Experience the Onam Festival and the amazing dance – A Form of Puli Kali
Onam is a harvest festival celebrated in the state of Kerala. While the festival in itself is colorful, with people reveling in the spirit of the harvest season, the highlight of the festival is Puli Kali. It is a traditional folk dance where people dressed as tigers and hunters in bright yellow costumes dance to drum beats. Watching them perform is a marvelous experience.
91. Take a trip to Cellular Jail in Port Blair – Explore the Tales of Freedom Fighters
The Cellular Jail, colloquially known as the Kala Paani jail, is a national monument located in Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is a colonial jail which was used by the Britishers to send political prisoners of India into exile. Take a walk through the jail and get a closer look at India’s struggle for independence. When you get this close to history, you can feel what the people must have gone through during those times.
92. Take an Elephant Safari in Munnar – It’s fun
The enchanting hills of Munnar have an elephant camp as well, known as Munnar Carmelgiri Elephant Park. Take an elephant safari in this elephant park, which is a great experience for kids as well as adults. Elephant safaris of upto 1 hour can be had here, and you can even feed or bathe the elephants if you life. Don’t be scared though, as the elephants are tamed.
93. Travel in a train – Discover the Real India
Looking to go on a discovery of real India? Consider a train journey, but not of the first class kind. Travel with the people of “other India” and get to know about varied cultures, traditions and stories from the far-off land. While a lot is said about hygiene and service of Indian railways, a train journey can prove to be really exciting, as you get to make new friends along the way.
94. Take a Bullock Cart Ride – More than an eco-friendly way of travelling
Now, you may fantasize about driving the Ferrari or the Lamborghini, or you may actually drive one, but for this you will have to slow down the pace of your life while you consider taking a bullock cart ride. You can choose to make your way through lush fields or even take a bullock cart ride on the highway. Such are the colors of India. There is so much to do here.
95. Participate in Pottery Making in Villages – You never knew you could do this
Consider taking a tour of the villages of India and try your hand at pottery making. Taking clay and seeing it take interesting shapes right before your eyes has a rustic appeal which is sure to give you happiness.
96. Play Kabaddi – Get Soiled, just like old times
Get down and dirty and play a match of Kabaddi. Punjab is the best place to indulge in this traditional Indian sport. Don’t forget to apply loads of oil on your body and practice saying “Kabaddi Kabaddi” without a pause in between. Even if you lose, you will love getting soiled and feeling the adrenaline pumping through your veins.
97. Watch wall of death – Be amazed at the talent of brave heart People
If you ever come across a fair in India, don’t forget to catch a session of wall of death. Expert professionals ride a bike, or even cars on steeply inclined walls, doing all sorts of crazy stunts. Amazement is what you will experience watching these hardcore professionals in action. However, by no means should you try these activities at home.
98. Play Cricket on the Street – You get to make your own rules
Cricket is to India like what football is to Brazil. People do not need parks or stadiums to play a game of cricket. All they need is an empty street corner and it is game on. Play a game of street cricket in India, with its peculiar rules and dollops of excitement. Watch out- one-tip(bounce)-one-hand is out!
99. Pop a Golgappa in your mouth – A burst of flavor
Called a phuchka in Kolkata, Golgappa is one of the best Indian snacks for the evening. Filled with tangy tamarind water, it gives you a burst of flavor as it pops in your mouth. Make sure you pop in the whole golgappa at once. That’s the real fun part of having this Indian delight.
100. Try Snorkelling with elephants – An Unmatched Experience
This one will amaze you. It’s an experience you are going to have to have a tough time finding somewhere else. Andaman and Nicobar Islands have their own snorkeling elephant– Rajan, lovingly called the snorkeling Rajan. See Rajan take a dive into water, use his trunk as a snorkel and finds his way to the top. It’s an experience you will find hard to believe, even as you watch it with your own eyes.
101. Just be in any part of India on Diwali
Diwali is the Christmas of India. You could be in any part of India, but you cannot miss out on the celebratory vibe on this festival. If you haven’t experienced this festival ever, you must jot it down in your to-do list. You will love the loud decorations, the awesome food, and the sky lighting up with fire crackers, all of which is typical of this festival.