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If you have not visited India yet, chances are that your life is going to change for the better after the trip. You will see people with nothing with a big smile on their face, religious leaders encouraging people to improve themselves, and very well-mannered school kids with perfect English. India is full of the unexpected, but there are some places every traveler should experience. Below you will find five of them.

Boat Trip on the Ganges


1. Boat Trip on the Ganges


Ganges is considered a river Goddess, and people rever it. If you first visit the shores, you will need to take a boat trip and release a lotus flower making a wish. If you are lucky, the Goddess will listen and it will come true. There is nothing quite like a night boat ride on the Ganges, but you should be aware of the fact that it is one of the most polluted rivers in the world, too. Just because the yogis on the shores of Varanasi wash in it, it might not be safe for you.


2. Riding on an Elephant


If you visit any of the large forts of North India, you will be offered the chance to take an elephant ride. It is not only a great photo opportunity, but you will also see more of the town below. You can travel in comfort, but be sure to arrange your tour ahead, or you might end up paying extra for a few bananas for the beautifully decorated elephants.

Visiting the Lotus Temple


3. Visiting the Temples


On the Trikuta hills, about 13 kms near the Katra village which is about 50 kms from Jammu, is the famous cave temple of Mata Vaishno Devi. It is one of the oldest of all temples in India.

Ayodhya, the temple city, with a sacred site around each corner is best discovered at a leisurely pace. Visit Ram Janmabhoomi, Kanak Bhavan, Nageshwarnath Temple, Treta Ke Thakur, Lakshmana Ghat, Mani Parbat, Hanumangarh. In Delhi, you will find a special temple. The Lotus Temple is not dedicated to one god or religion, but all of them.

You will see respect and positive vibes in the interior, and it is a great place to try to meditate and see clearer about your life. In Chhattisgarh you will find the Teevardev Mahavihara. Visiting the temple is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and you should not miss it.

Madhya Pradesh has a number of important pilgrimage centers. Indore is the most important city in the region, where you can visit visit Lal Bagh Palace, Rajwada and Kanch mandir or crystal temple. Padavali and Bateshwar Padavali is famous for the magnificent temple built in the Padavali fortress. The temple shows classical architecture, which can be equated to any of the famous temples.

This wonderful temple represents the ten incarnations of Vishnu, Mahabharata, the marriage of Ganesha, and Samudra Manthan. Saas Bahu Temple, located in the east of the Gwalior Fort, attracts not only the devotees, but also the tourists for their artistic value. A temple recently built and dedicated to the Sun God, the Sun Temple is located in Morar. It is a facsimile of the famous Konark sun temple, Orissa.

Teli Ka Mandir at the Gwalior Fort is distinguished from the other compositions of its time, due to its unique architecture. Although the roof of the temple has a Dravidian look, the sculptures are typical of northern India. While Ujjain and Omkareshwar have a special meaning because of the sanctuaries that two of the twelve jyotirlingas, Maheshwar, Mandleshwar, Amarkantak, Hoshangabad are also important in their own right.

Omkareshwar is an OM shaped island at the confluence of Narmada and Kaveri. In Ujjain, one of the sacred cities of India visit some of the oldest temples, Bhartruhari Caves, Khamba Chaubis Temple and Gopal Mandir, before proceeding to Bhopal.

One of the main tourist destinations related to archeology and a bit of history, are the famous ones Bhimbetka cave paintings. The Bhimbetka Rock Shelters are located in the hills of Vindhyan, on the southern edge of the central plateau of India. Within the outcroppings of massive sandstone, above the relatively dense forests, there are five groups of natural rock shelters, showing paintings that seem to date from the Stone Age cultures from the end of the Acheulian at the end of the Mesolithic period.

Considered as one of the sacred cities of India, Dwarka is one of the four char dham in India, being a pilgrimage destination for devotees and home to the colorful Krishna Janmashtami festival, as it is believed that here was located the first kingdom of Krishna. A monumental complex in the epic mouth of the Gomti River is famous for the presence of temples such as the Dwarkadhish, built 2200 years ago. Around it white houses hugged by the mysticism of gods still seem to whistle among its streets.


4. Seeing a Palmist


If you believe in Vedic astrology, you might want to find out what traditional palmists have to say about your future. Palmists do not charge an arm and a leg in India, and you will be surprised how much they will know about you in just a few minutes. You can ask them any questions and their predictions are said to be pretty accurate.

5. Visiting a Market


If you would like to try the local Indian cuisine, you might want to avoid the tourist areas and go to any of the local markets to taste the real street dishes offered for Indians like chhena poda. You can also shop for fabric, get a kilt or a local garment made in just a few hours to measure for much less than it would cost you to visit any tailor shop at home.

Be sure to make the most out of your money, though, and always use the local currency. Check out the Currency exchange prices and compare them as the rates vary at different locations. If you are visiting India, you need to engage with the locals and experience life through their eyes.

Stunning Ways to Experience India


6. Make Your Way in a Luxury Train


Gift yourself a royal experience in the land of royals. A little expensive but luxury train travel is definitely a great way to explore India. Though there are options on the luxury train travel, Maharajas Express offers you a cherishable eight-day heritage tour of India. Traverse your way through North India in this train and get to visit the Taj Mahal and grand palaces in Rajasthan.

Stunning Ways to Experience India


7. Make Time for a Comfortable Farm Stay


If you like it simple and want to get back to the roots, organic farm stays are your best option. Listen to the sound of birds chirping, know how your food grows and eat it fresh, smell the fragrance of the rich soils and view India in its most rustic form. Break away from the shackles of the urban life for a while and keep yourself grounded in the simplicity of life on a farm.


8. Stay in a Treehouse in Coorg


Coorg is also known as Kodagu. It is said that this place haunts you forever by its timeless beauty. This city offers a fascinating past, captivating beauty, great food and subtle aromas of coffee plantations, oranges and honey. Described as the Scotland of India, it is located at 1,525m above sea level in the Western Ghats region.

Visit Bylakuppe a community of 1500 Tibetans. Visit the Dubare Elephant Breeding Center to attend and participate in various activities like elephant grooming, meal distribution and demonstration of dressage orders. Walk in the coffee and spice plantations. This is the opportunity to learn the difference between an Arabica and a Robusta, and explore the paths scented by the spices of Orange County to immerse yourself in the spirit of the place.


9. Attend the Holi Festival


In India each year, spring is welcomed in a very special way. Holi, is the festival of colors and one of the most important festivities in the country. During this celebration, people paint and throw colored powders called Gulal. The party begins on the first full moon night usually at the beginning of March, with the one known as Holika Dahan, which revolves around the bonfire. During this evening, people take the opportunity to prepare sweets such as a pie filled with dried fruit, or succumb to the romance between fire shavings and sandalwood aroma.

One of the most famous versions is Lathmar Holi in the state of Uttar Pradesh, more specifically in the villages of Vrindavan and Barsana not far from Mathura, during which the women of the village go to the square where they beat the men with a stick. In Delhi, different parties vibrate around the city between DJ's, colors and laughs in a much more cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Jaipur welcomes even more colors and even a festive Elephant that is celebrated on the same day as Holi. The powerful intoxicating effect of the bhang is an important part of the celebration of Holi, a festival that knows no restrictions. Its consumption is especially rampant in the north of the country, where it is celebrated with a special enthusiasm.

The drinks and food is impregnated with bhang. The bhang ki thandai, a cold drink made with almonds, rose petals, ginger and spices such as garam masala, the pakoras and the vadas, all hide that secret and sacred ingredient that helps to intensify the festive spirit of Holi. One of the most popular variants is bhang lassi, a drink made from fresh leaves and cannabis seeds and a yogurt milkshake with spices.

Shantiniketan, in the state of Bengal, gathers Tagore recitals among colored powders, games and women dressed in yellow representing abundance. A version called Basant Utsav that links with the turmeric color that invades Manjal Kuli, the discrete Holi of Kerala. In Punjab, Holi is celebrated as Hola Mohalla, a day reserved in honor of the Sikh warriors through more solemn but equally enjoyable rituals.


10. Yoga Retreat in India


India is also the world cradle of yoga and meditation. Find a yoga teacher and what better place to study this practice than where it was discovered. Rishikesh is the world capital of yoga and where possibly the largest number of ashrams in the world is concentrated (places for the practice of yoga and meditation).

At the foot of the Himalayas and on the banks of the source of the Ganges, you will witness the source where, centuries ago, the wisdom of the great masters and gurus began to sprout. You can visit different yoga schools and yoga centers to deepen the practice of styles such as Hatha, Asthanga, Iyengar, Sivananda or for a yoga teacher training course.


11. Paragliding in India


If you do not like the idea of ​​lazy winters, Palampur is worth a visit. Right next door is the best place for paragliding in Asia. Located in the midst of the Dhauladhar ranges in Himachal Pradesh, Bir is world famous for its paragliding experience and its amazing vegetation. Once you have tried a flight, you will always walk the earth with your eyes turned towards the sky, because there you have been, and there you will always long to return.

A world paragliding world cup is organized every year in Bir. Register at any of the paragliding adventure clubs in Bir, who will assume full responsibility, from taking you to Billing, where the flight begins to the landing site. Continue as your teacher instructs you. In addition, it will be recorded in GoPro, so act happy and excited to make your video memorable.

Located in the upper part of the Bir region, there are many cafes serving local Tibetan food. Thukpa, Momos, Thenthuk are what you should have in local Tibetan shops. They also have Laping , a local dish that you can find on the streets of Tibetan Colony. This local delicacy is worth trying if trying a new kitchen interests you.

You can take a direct bus from Delhi to Baijnath that runs during the night. Bir is half an hour from Baijnath. You can also take the route from Delhi to Mandi. There are buses that go from Mandi to Bir with good frequency. You can register in backpacker hostels in Chaugan (lower Bir). The experience in a hostel with a backpack is one of the types in which you can connect with other backpackers.

Also, if you plan to extend the trip, you can visit Dharamshala and Mcleodganj for a hippy holiday. Located in the Kangra Valley, its fresh and clean air, and its quiet environment, provide a respite from the busy hustle and bustle of big cities. In the neighborhoods of Mcleodganj and Forsytheganj, you can still distinguish a certain colonial touch, a romantic addition to this beautiful environment.

You will think you have traveled to the past when you visit St John's, in Wilderness. This small and charming church, with colorful stained glass windows, shelters the remains of the Viceroy of India, Lord Elgin. Despite its colonial past, Dharamshala has strong Tibetan influences with a large number of monasteries and temples.

Start your visit through the busy center, Lower Dharamshala, where you will find the Kangra Art Museum, a window to the history of the region. Then climb up to Gangchen Kyishong, seat of the Tibetan government in exile. Higher up in Upper Dharamshala is McLeod Ganj, the residence of the Dalai Lama, founder of the shrine in 1960. About 2 km away is Dharamkot and Bhagsu, two good alternatives to stay and rest away from the city's horns.

Oh, the Bhagsu cake is the closest thing to milk candy. You can easily get used to the peace and tranquility of this mountain town. Going for a walk in nature, hiking up the Triund hill, or just enjoying the view of the mountains and valleys, while savoring a good cup of tea, are some of the things you can do on your vacation. The perfect season to explore the nature of Dharamshala and its surroundings is in the summer months.


11. Visit historical sites and monuments in India


Belgaum Fort is the main landmark of the historic city of Belgaum and an important place to keep as a world heritage site in Karnataka. At the entrance of the fort, there are two sanctuaries of Ganapati and Durga. There are two Jinalayas made in the later Chalukya style.

Apart from the temples of Jain and Shiva, there are two mosques, namely Jamia Masjid and Safa Masjid, which are located within the fortress. These mosques are built in Mughal and Deccani styles and have adducted, domes and arches.

Hampi is a small town north of Karnataka, on the banks of the Tungabhadra river, and it is one of those places where you feel at ease as soon as you arrive. Hampi is located literally among the ruins of Vijayanagara, the ancient capital of the Vijayanagara empire. Still today it is an important religious center, and the Virupaksha temple is a clear exponent, since important Hindu ceremonies are held continuously.

Hampi is often called the city of ruins, and some of them are listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Located on the edge of the Bidar plateau, Bidar Fort is an important historical monument in Karnataka. In the heart of Bidar is Chaubara, an ancient clock tower. Located in Bidar, Narasimha Jhira Cave Temple is one of the main tourist attractions of Karnataka.

The temple is in a tunnel 300 meters below the range of the Manichoola hill. It is believed that the Sanctuary in the cave temple of Narasimha Jharni is a swayambu or self manifests sculpture. A perennial stream of water is said to flow continuously for hundreds of years in this place making it a significant places to visit in Karnataka.

Gol Gumbaz of Bijapur is another important heritage and monument in Karnataka. The statue of Bahubali is among the must see in Karnataka. Gommateshwara statue is a 57-foot tall statue that stands on a hill in Shravanabelagola, in the Hassan district. Belur and Halebidu are two other interesting temple complexes in Karnataka, very different from Hampi and with hardly any infrastructure for tourism. They are separated from each other by 15 km and is about 150 km from Mysore.

Halebidu was the capital of the Hoysalas in the 12th century and is a small temple but with very elaborate stone sculptures. The Hoysaleswara temple stands out for the thousands of figures carved in the stone, all of them different, representing mythology, dancers, birds and all kinds of animals. The second temple is called Kedareshwara, and the two are located in front of a large lake, from which the city takes its name.

The main attraction of Belur is the Chennakeshava temple built by King Vishnuvardhana to celebrate the victories over the Chola dynasty in the great battle of Talakad. Built by the Hoysala rulers, Chennakeshavasvami Temple is a magnificent sanctuary dedicated to Vijayanarayana. The facade of the temple is full of stone carvings of elephants, horses, lions, sensual dances and epic episodes of Indian mythology like the Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Puranas. This Belur temple is located on the banks of the Yagachi River, also called Velapura.

The temple is a ekakuta vimana design, combining elements of the Nagara style architecture of northern India and Dravida style of southern India. Halasuru Someshwara Temple is located on the outskirts of Halasuru also called Ulsoor in Bangalore. Another notable art in the sculptures are Mount Kailash of Ravana and Durga killing Mahishasura.

Raja's Tomb also known as Gaddige is located in Coorg. Mysore Palace is undoubtedly one of the most famous places to see in Karnataka. There are three main temple exclusive buildings within the old fort and 18 in the Palace that faces the Chamundi hills. Pattadakal group of monuments is ideal for heritage tourism in the state. Durga temple in Aihole is another religious places that adds charm to Karnataka.

The Namdroling Nyingmapa monastery, which is also known as the Namdrol of Thegchog Shedrub Dargye Ling is said to be the largest teaching center of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in the world. This monastery is located in Bylakuppe, Mysuru district.

Talakadu is believed to have been under a curse that the once fertile town with more than 30 temples got submerged in sand. It is quite fascinating to see the entire town under beach sand. Of the 30 temples, 5 Shiva temples and a Keerthi Narayana temple has been excavated. ASI has done a wonderful job of excavation and reassembling this temple.

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Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author