India is a world of mesmerizing temples, heady scents, tranquil backwaters and captivating wildlife. It is a medley of fast and furious and sedate and meditative. If you only have a couple of weeks, it would be impossible to see it all. So here are some tips for first-time visitors of what you can expect. And while we’re at it, here are some more travel ideas to add to your list for 2017.
If you don’t have much time on your first trip, it is often advisable to pick either the south or north and concentrate on all that one area has to offer. However, that said, if you are up for moving around a lot it is also possible to take internal flights across both. But let’s first concentrate on the south.
A holiday in southern India will be less frenetic that a holiday in the north. The South offers India’s best beaches in Goa and Kerala. And Kerala also offers captivating backwaters, where a few days cruising on a magnificent bamboo houseboat is a must.
If you are on your way to the heady beaches of Goa, Bangalore is a worthy stopover. Places to see in Bangalore include the shops and temples of Malleswaram, Cubbon Park, and Bangalore Palace. Looking for high adrenalin adventure? A bit further on at the hill station of Coorg you can try waterfall repelling and ultralight flying.
And the magical UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hampi will take you back in time with its grandiose beauty of haunting ruins and temples. Of course, no trip to southern India would be complete without visiting the verdant tea plantations of Munnar. And also the Jog Waterfalls in Karnataka. While in Karnataka also visit Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary. Here you’ll get the chance to see tiger, elephant, and leopard in their natural habitat.
One of the most popular tours in India is the northwest Golden Triangle, and this is an ideal itinerary if you are visiting for the first time. This timeless tour takes in the beauty of Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra. The north of India features some of the most magnificent temples and architecture you will ever see.
If you are looking for grandeur and glory, then the Golden Triangle is for you. Delhi is a vibrant destination rich in history and culture. You’ll visit the stately old homes of Mughal emperors and see patriotic landmarks and breathtaking temples.
Delhi is abundant in art, architecture, and spiritualism. Some of the most breathtaking sites to see are the Red Fort, India Gate, Qutub Minar and the Akshardham Temple. And of course, in Agra, top of your list will be the spellbinding Taj Mahal, one of the most famous and beautiful buildings in the world.
This breathtaking monument was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jenan as a testament to the incredible love he felt for his wife, Queen Mumtaz Mahal. She died in 1631 giving birth to their 14th child, and for the next 14 years, the emperor built the white marble Taj Mahal in memory of his love. Over seven million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. Your last stop in the Golden Triangle is the Pink City of Jaipur.
Every building within the historical walled center is built in pink sandstone that looks simply bewitching. It’s abundant in vibrant color, majestic forts and palaces and bustling bazaars. Touristy it may be, but a ride on an elephant to the Amber Fort is a must for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
And talking about once-in-a-lifetime experiences? There will be plenty more of those to come as you travel through intoxicating India.