India is a land of contrasts, it sounds like a cliche but it’s certainly true. In one day you can have breakfast in a local village, go searching for tigers in the thick of the jungle and lay your head to rest in the evening in a 15th century palace. Every day is an adventure and every minute an experience. While you can’t do everything in a visit to India, here are some of our favorite experiences not to miss.
Go on Safari
Nothing compares to the first time you catch a glimpse of gold and black moving in the distance. Sleek, elegant and ever so graceful, sighting a tiger is an inspiring experience. These skilled hunters may seem disinterested in you, but you’ll be captivated by their beauty. The best tiger reserves are in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. If you have the chance to visit the North East state of Assam you can set eyes on the rare beauty of a one-horned rhinoceros. This protected animal may be imposing in size, but they come in peace with their gentle nature. There are several national parks in Assam where you can see rhinos, the most famous being Kaziranga.
Visit a Village
Nowhere is the true beauty of India more evident than in its villages. It is here that you can see how local culture paints every aspect of daily life with it’s own unique brushstroke, from the color that adorn the people to how they prepare their daily bread. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, visiting a village offers you the opportunity to mingle with the locals, have a laugh and perhaps even learn something from them.
Experience a Festival
Every day of the year feels like a celebration in India and it almost is, with festivals for every season. Whether you’re in town as firecrackers light the sky during Diwali or are sprayed in shades of red, blue and purple during Holi, each occasion is an experience to behold. There are literally hundreds of local events from the Pushkar Camel Fair to the boat races in Kerala, so it’s possible to plan your trip around the festivities in any part of the country.
Stay at a Luxury Palace
No one does luxury like the royal families of India. Palaces dot the countryside, discrete homes that hide hand-crafted masterpieces and divine decadence. Thankfully, some of these beautiful works of art have been converted into hotels, an experience that is not certainly not to be missed at least once in your life. The most famous would have to be The Taj Lake Palace Hotel that James Bond immortalized in Octopussy. Located in the middle of peaceful Lake Pichola in Udaipur it assures its guests the utmost privacy.
See the Taj Mahal at Sunrise
It doesn’t matter how many times you see the Taj Mahal, it still glows resplendent under the light of the rising sun. This magnificent building is a symphony of white marble with richly decorated inlay, intricate paintings and mesmerizing Quaranic script. A symbol of true love, the Taj Mahal is the most famous building in the world and the jewel of Muslim architecture in India. No visit to India is complete without at least setting eyes on this spectacular site.