Travelling to a country as vast and as remarkably diverse as India may seem daunting, especially to solo travellers. However, with its rich heritage, colourful history, and distinct culture, India can easily be one of the most outstandingly delightful places to visit.
Whether you are a seasoned adventurer or a first-time solo traveller, here are five amazing things for you to do in India.
Khajuraho is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts of a group of temples dedicated to Hinduism and Jainism. These religious sites were built by the Chandela dynasty between 950 and 1050 AD. The temples are famous for their exquisite carvings depicting erotic and sensual scenes.
Majority of the carvings in Khajuraho are non-sexual and portray numerous aspects of human life – from prayer to warfare to childbirth. In addition to guided tours, the Khajuraho temple complex presents a sound and light show every evening. If you visit in February, you could witness the Khajuraho Dance Festival, which features various classical Indian dances.
Enjoy a Keralan Curry
India is a land of sumptuous and unique dishes. However, nothing is probably more distinctively Indian than curry – the Keralan curry, for that matter. Kerala cuisine uses copious amounts of chillies, mustard seeds, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, and tamarind, among others.
The Keralan curry reflects the tropical region it originated from, making it distinct from the other curry dishes in India. This world-famous dish is typically made with chicken or seafood drenched in rich coconut milk and topped with extra curry leaves. It is arguably safe to say that you will never wholly experience India without a taste of this hearty dish.
See the Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is more than just an ivory-white marble mausoleum and it’s definitely more than just an architectural wonder. It is lasting proof of the artistic achievement of a prosperous empire. If this isn’t enough to convince you to head out on a memorable Indian holiday to see this magnificent building, try this: it is a tribute to one’s undying love!
The Taj Mahal consists of a stunning mausoleum with two red sandstone buildings flanking on each side and standing on verdant gardens. For a more spiritual experience, catch a view of the mausoleum from the distance and witness as it dramatically changes its colours depending on the time of the day.
Tuk Tuk around Mumbai
Mumbai offers a variety of fascinating places to explore, from bustling street markets to majestic temples to downright bizarre slum tours inspired by the movie Slumdog Millionaire. Even if you’re on a luxury India discovery holiday and are staying in plush hotels, the most adventurous, and perhaps the cheapest way to get around these the cities would be to ride the tuk-tuk, also known as the auto-rickshaw.
Before you get too excited, here’s a forthright description of a tuk-tuk: it is mostly old and rusty, has no doors, and teetered on three wobbly wheels. The driver often swerves unpredictably, winds around bigger vehicles and potholes with complete disregard for traffic rules or driving etiquette, which adds up to the experience. If you want to experience the city like a local, riding a tuk-tuk in Mumbai should be on your to-do list.
Lie on a beach in Goa
Goa’s long stretch of stunning shoreline features pristine waters, gleaming fine sand, and lush coconut palms. The beaches dotting the coastline offer a wide range of activities – from meditative yoga to water sports to nightlife hotspots.
If you’re looking for a more relaxed and laid-back holiday lazing under the sun, Goa never lacks for picturesque beaches that promise serenity and idyllic solitude. For an unmatched view of the Arabian Sea, visit Miramar, the beach area of Panjim, Goa’s capital.
**Post contributed by peer writer and solo traveller, Aimee Smith.**