When I visited India for the first time a few years ago, I had a really long list of things I wanted to do and see (literally 100+ things!).
Needless to say, I didn’t manage to tick everything off. I mean India’s a big country.
I’ve consolidated my list down to just 25 top things to do in India. These are the absolute must-do activities and should definitely make it onto your India bucket list.
Things To See In India
This India travel bucket list includes items from all over India from Agra to the Himalayas to Delhi and Mumbai.
I’ve also included a handy little map for each item to help you plan your trip!
Let’s jump in!
1. Visit The Taj Mahal
Ok did you really think I was gonna write an India bucket list and not put the Taj Mahal right at the top??
I mean, it’s one of the most famous landmarks in the whole world so it should be right at the top of your list too.
This white marble beauty was built between 1632 and 1643 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.
He built it in memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to their 14th child (that’s a lot of babies).
He was really heartbroken by her death so ordered the Taj Mahal to be built to honor her.
Pretty cute right? I wonder if my boyfriend will do the same…
Fun fact: Did you know that the Taj Mahal changes color depending on the time of day and the season? At sunrise, it has a pinkish hue, whilst at sunset, it looks more golden.
How To Get To Taj Mahal
To visit the Taj Mahal, you’ll need to head to Agra which is a 3-hour drive from Delhi without traffic.
I did it on a day trip from Delhi and literally had to leave at 4am to beat the traffic (an overnight stay in Agra would be waaaaay better).
To get to Agra, you can take a train, coach or hire a car. I joined an organized tour from Delhi as it was just too complicated trying to figure it out on my own.
This also included a guided tour of the Taj Mahal which I’d highly recommend. The site is actually huge and I would have had no idea where to go or what to look at.
My guide taught me so much about the building that I wouldn’t have known!
This Taj Mahal tour from Delhi is super highly rated and includes all your transport, a guide, an air-conditioned vehicle and you get the chance to see the Taj Mahal at sunrise!
2. Visit The Hawa Mahal
The Hawa Mahal, which is also known as the ‘Palace of Winds’, is a stunning pink and red sandstone 5-storey palace in Jaipur.
It was built in 1799 by a guy called Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh.
It’s a pretty unique looking building as it has 953 tiny windows, known as jharokhas, which are intricately decorated.
These windows were carefully designed to allow the royal ladies to watch street festivals below without being seen by the public.
When I visited the Hawa Mahal recently, I found that the best place to see it was not from the street but from the rooftop of the Tattoo Cafe that sits just opposite the palace.
One interesting fact about the Hawa Mahal is that it doesn’t have a foundation, instead it rests on a sloping platform. It’s actually the tallest building in the world without a foundation!
The easiest way to see the Hawa Mahal is by booking a Jaipur city tour like I did. It includes all your transport, food, admission tickets and a knowledgeable guide.
I felt much more at ease being shown around by a tour guide and they showed me so many things that I wouldn’t have found on my own (including where to get the best view of the Hawa Mahal!).
How To Get To Hawa Mahal
To see the Hawa Mahal for yourself, head over to the old city of Jaipur. It takes around 5 hours by car to get from Delhi to Jaipur.
The palace itself is located on the edge of the City Palace complex and you can easily walk there from other nearby attractions.
3. Explore The Red Fort
Another thing that should definitely be on your list of places to see in India is the Red Fort in Delhi.
It’s a massive fort complex that was built from 1638-48 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan when he moved the Indian capital from Agra to Delhi.
You might recognize the name because he’s the same guy who built the Taj Mahal.
The Red Fort is famous for its stunning architecture, with its red sandstone walls and intricate carvings.
It once served as the main residence of the Mughal emperors for nearly 200 years and witnessed some of the most significant moments in Indian history.
Did you know that the Koh-i-Noor diamond was once housed here? It’s one of the largest diamonds in the world and is currently part of the British Crown Jewels.
Yup, it was actually one of many treasures that was once stored within the fort.
To see the Red Fort for yourself, I’d recommend booking onto a Delhi sightseeing tour like I did.
On the tour, you’ll see all of the top sights in both Old and New Delhi with a professional guide. It’s super reasonably priced too so there’s really no reason not to.
How To Get To The Red Fort
To see the Red Fort for yourself, head over to Old Delhi. It’s open every day except for Monday and there’s a small entrance fee.
Make sure to wear comfortable shoes because there’s a lot of ground to cover!
4. Sail In A Houseboat In Kerala
Kerala is a beautiful state located in the southwestern region of India. It’s known for its lush green forests, serene lagoons and stunning beaches.
One must-do experience in Kerala is sailing around one of Kerala’s lagoons in a houseboat which are basically floating homes.
These houseboats are actually known locally as ‘kettuvallams’ and were originally used to transport goods like rice and spices along the rivers.
Nowadays these houseboats have been converted into floating accommodation for tourists. They come complete with a bedroom, bathroom and a kitchen.
These houseboats are actually made entirely from natural materials like bamboo and wooden planks. They don’t even use a single nail or screw!
Take a look inside one of these houseboats in the video below:
You can actually head out on one of these houseboats on a tour.
You’ll be taken through the backwaters, giving you the chance to see the lush green landscape of Kerala and observe local life.
How To Get To Kerala
Kerala is really easy to get to as it has 3 airports and several major train stations.
5. See The Ajanta & Ellora Caves
The Ajanta and Ellora Caves are two intricate caves in Maharashtra that have been carved into the side of a cliff. They showcase Buddhist, Hindu and Jain artwork.
The Ajanta Caves is made up of 30 separate caves, carved out from rock, that date back to the 2nd century BC.
Inside you’ll find various sculptures and paintings that depict the life of Buddha. They’re considered to be some of the best examples of ancient Indian artwork.
The Ellora Caves are a collection of over 100 caves that date back to the 6th century AD however only 34 of the caves are open to the public.
These caves showcase intricate carvings of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain gods and goddesses.
Take a quick look around the Ellora Caves in the video below:
Fun Fact: the Ajanta Caves had been unknown for over 1,000 years to the outside world up until 1819 when a British officer just happened to stumble across them.
Can you actually imagine that happening to you?! Crazy.
Since then, they have become a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attract tourists from all over the world.
How To Get To The Caves
The closest city to the caves is Aurangabad which lies around 6 hours east of Mumbai. Aurangabad does have its own airport.
You can easily reach the caves by taking a taxi or bus from Aurangabad.
The easiest way to visit both caves is by joining a tour which includes them both. This cave tour is super reasonably priced and comes with your own personal tour guide.
Taking a tour is so much easier than making your own way there as the caves are kinda in the middle of nowhere (that’s why they were lost for over 1,000 years).
6. Visit The Andaman Islands
This one doesn’t seem to make an appearance on many of these ‘places to visit in India’ posts and I’ve no idea why.
The Andaman Islands are basically India’s answer to the Maldives.
They’re famous for their stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters making them a popular destination for snorkelers and divers.
Fun Fact: the Andaman Islands are actually a group of over 300 islands that lie in the Bay of Bengal.
You can learn a little bit more about the Andaman Islands in the video below:
The islands have a rich history dating back to prehistoric times, with ancient tribes still living on some of the islands today.
Some tribes, like those found on North Sentinel Island, are extremely hostile to outside visitors.
There are many islands that are completely safe to visit and you can get direct flights from mainland India. These include Havelock Island, Neil Island and Long Island.
How To Get To The Andaman Islands
To see the Andamans for yourself, you can fly into Port Blair which is the capital city and from there, you can explore the islands by boat or ferry.
Make sure you visit Radhanagar Beach which is literally one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. The sand is as white as snow and the ocean is crystal clear.
The limestone caves on Baratang Island are also pretty cool too!
7. Go Trekking In The Himalayas
If you fancy being a bit adventurous then why not go trekking through the Himalayas. I mean, how many people can say they’ve done that…
It’s not exactly a walk in the park but you will be rewarded with breathtaking scenery unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
As you might know, the Himalayas are home to the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, which stands at 8,848 meters tall.
Most people get so excited about Everest that they forget that the Himalayas is also home to over 100 other peaks that are over 7,200 meters high!
If you are considering doing it for yourself then make sure you go with a reputable tour company as it’s not something you should attempt on your own.
There are so many treks to choose from that suit different skill levels as not everyone wants to head up to Everest base camp. You can choose one that suits you.
Whilst you’re in the area, I’d also recommend heading up to Tiger Hill in Darjeeling, which sits in the foothills of the Himalayas.
From the top of this hill, you’ll get an unforgettable panoramic view of both Mount Everest and Mount Kanchenjunga side-by-side. It’s swoon-worthy for sure.
You can book onto a guided sunrise tour to Tiger Hill for an experience you won’t forget. I mean, how many people can say they’ve seen Mt Everest at sunrise from 2,590m high?
How To Get To The Himalayas
The nearest airports to the Himalayas are in Delhi, Dehradun and Leh.
From these airports, you can either hire a taxi or take a bus to reach different parts of the Himalayas.
8. Visit The Blue City
Another bucket list worthy place to visit in India is the city of Jodhpur which is famous for its impressive forts and stunning blue buildings.
Take a look at this impressive city:
Jodhpur, also known as the ‘Blue City’, got its nickname from the many houses painted in various shades of blue that can be seen throughout the city.
It’s also known for the incredible Mehrangarh Fort, which was built in the 15th century and overlooks the city from the top of a hill. Fun fact: The fort has never been conquered!
If you’re interested in visiting Jodhpur, there are plenty of things to see and do. You can take a tour of the fort, stroll through the bustling markets or even go on a safari into the nearby desert.
The easiest way to see all that Jodhpur has to offer is on a Jodhpur city tour with a local guide.
You’ll learn so much about the city and its history so I’d really recommend joining one of these tours if you can.
How To Get To Jodhpur
To get there, you can fly into Jodhpur’s airport or take a train from one of the other major cities like Delhi or Mumbai.
9. Sleep Under The Stars In The Thar Desert
The Thar Desert is a famous desert known for its vast sand dunes that go on for miles and miles.
The Thar Desert is actually the 18th largest desert in the world and covers an area of over 200,000 square kilometers.
It’s home to a variety of wildlife including antelopes, desert foxes, red foxes and donkeys.
This vast desert has a rich history and it was once an important part of the Silk Road trade route.
It’s also home to several ancient cities, including Jaisalmer and Bikaner, which are known for their stunning forts and palaces.
If you want to visit the Thar Desert for yourself, there are plenty of tour operators that offer safaris and desert camping experiences.
I’d personally recommend you do one of the desert camping tours as it really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
This one is super highly rated and includes a visit to several centuries-old villages, live performances and the chance to sleep under the stars.
How To Get To The Thar Desert
The nearest airport to the Thar Desert is Jodhpur Airport which is well connected to most major Indian cities.
After arriving at Jodhpur, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the Thar Desert.
10. Haggle At Chandni Chowk
Have you heard of Chandni Chowk in Delhi? It’s a super famous market that’s been around for over 3 centuries and is always bustling with activity.
The market is famous for its amazing street food, like the mouth-watering parathas, Indian sweets and chaat, as well as its beautiful jewelry, saris, spices, fruits and more.
Plus, the architecture in the area is just stunning – you’ll find lots of beautiful temples and mosques to explore.
It’s one of the oldest and busiest markets in India so make sure you practice your haggling skills beforehand (you’ll need them).
Take a look inside the market in the video below:
Chandni Chowk actually has a really interesting history too. It was built during the Mughal era and was originally lined with fountains that reflected the moonlight.
The name ‘Chandni Chowk’ actually means the ‘moonlight square’.
Chandni Chowk is included in this Delhi sightseeing tour (it also includes visits to several other famous Delhi landmarks including the Red Fort).
Visiting with a local guide is a great way to see the market as you know you won’t be ripped off if you want to buy anything.
How To Get To Chandni Chowk
The market can be found right in the center of Delhi. You can get there easily by metro, and once you’re there, you can explore on foot or take a rickshaw.
11. Watch Cremations In Varanasi
Varanasi is an incredible city in northern India that’s famous for its ancient temples and the ghats which line the Ganges river.
Varanasi is actually one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, with a history that dates back over 3,000 years.
It’s a holy city for Hindus and many pilgrims come here to bathe in the Ganges which is said to cleanse the soul.
The famous ghats are definitely the highlight of Varanasi. A ghat is essentially a set of steps that leads to a holy body of water like the Ganges.
There are over 80 of them in Varanasi each with its own unique purpose. Some are used for religious ceremonies, whilst others are used for laundry, bathing or just hanging out.
Take a look at them in the video below:
You can actually take a boat ride along the river to see them all and it’s truly an unforgettable experience.
At Manikarnika Ghat, you can actually watch bodies being cremated. It’s actually a really beautiful experience as Hindus believe that if you’re cremated here, the reincarnation cycle ends and the person will finally reach nirvana.
You’ll see the bodies being burned and the ashes being released into the water. These ceremonies take place every single day of the year.
I’d really recommend booking onto a guided Varanasi sightseeing tour to ensure you don’t miss anything. It even includes a boat ride along the Ganges river.
Varanasi is steeped in history and culture so it’s so worth getting a guide to explain all of the significance of the place to you.
How To Get To Varanasi
Varanasi has its own airport, Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, which is well-connected to other cities like Delhi and Mumbai. They also have a train station.
12. Watch Sunset In Kanyakumari
Kanyakumari is a coastal town located right on the southernmost tip of India in Tamil Nadu.
It’s famous for being the point where the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean all meet, giving it a very unique geographical location.
But the real showstopper here is the sunset which is said to be one of the most breathtaking views you’ll ever see!
Interestingly, Kanyakumari is also home to the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, a monument that’s dedicated to the famous Hindu monk, Swami Vivekananda.
The memorial is built on a rock in the middle of the ocean and you can only get there by taking a ferry.
How To Get To Kanyakumari
To visit Kanyakumari for yourself, you can fly into Trivandrum Airport and then take a taxi or bus to the town. Alternatively, you could also take a train.
13. Explore Ancient Ruins In Hampi
A really unique bucket list idea in India is to go and explore the ancient ruins in Hampi.
If you’ve not heard of Hampi, it’s this amazing historic site located in the southern state of Karnataka.
Hampi is famous for its ancient ruins, which were once part of the Vijayanagara Empire. This empire was once one of the largest and most powerful empires in South India.
The ruins themselves are spread over an area of 25 square kilometers and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Explore Hampi a little by watching the video below:
One interesting fact that I learned about Hampi is that it was actually one of the richest cities in the world during the 16th century.
It had a thriving trade network with spices, gems and textiles being its main exports.
The easiest and best way to explore Hampi is by booking onto a guided tour.
There is so much history to explore so having a local guide that can explain it all to you makes the whole thing much more enjoyable.
How To Get To Hampi
If you’re interested in visiting Hampi, you can fly into the nearest airport in Hubli which is about 160 km away.
You could also take a train or bus from nearby Bangalore or Hyderabad. Once you’re there, you can explore the ruins on foot or hire a bicycle or motorbike.
14. Visit The Golden Temple
Another one of the best things to do in India is visit the breathtaking Golden Temple in Amritsar.
It’s one of the most famous and breathtaking religious sites in the whole of India and is actually the most important pilgrimage site for Sikhism.
The Golden Temple, also known as Sri Harmandir Sahib, is a Sikh gurdwara that was built in the 16th century.
The temple is famous for its beautiful architecture, intricate gold detailing and stunning reflection in the surrounding water.
Although it’s a Sikh temple, it actually welcomes visitors of all faiths and is open 24-hours a day.
It also has a langar, which is basically a community kitchen, that serves free vegetarian meals to thousands of visitors every single day.
You can learn a little bit more about the temple in the video below:
If you’re interested in visiting the Golden Temple, make sure to cover your hair and remove your shoes before entering as you won’t be allowed to enter if not. This goes for both men and women.
I’d recommend bringing along your own scarf so you don’t have to wear one that’s been worn by 10,000 other people.
You can explore the Golden Temple on a guided tour like this one.
It’s a really authentic experience and your guide will even show you around the whole of Amritsar so you can really get a feel for the place.
How To Get To The Golden Temple
You can fly into Amritsar’s airport, Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport, which is well-connected to major cities across India.
From the airport, you can then hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the Golden Temple.
15. Visit Jaipur’s Monkey Temple
Whilst you’re in the Pink City, make sure you stop off at their famous Monkey Temple to visit the pesky little monkeys that call this place home.
Officially known as Galatji, it’s said that the temple was built in the 18th century by a local who wanted to create a peaceful retreat for Hindu ascetics and yogis.
An ascetic is a person who follows a practice of not giving in to their desires especially for religious reasons i.e. a nun or monk.
Aside from the monkeys, the temple is also home to several holy water reservoirs and beautiful architecture, including an impressive gate and stunning views of the surrounding valley.
If you’re interested in visiting the Monkey Temple, make sure to bring some food for the monkeys and be prepared for a bit of a hike up the hill to the temple.
It’s a great way to experience some of Jaipur’s unique culture and wildlife!
I did actually visit the Monkey Temple on my recent trip to Jaipur and one thing I will say is that the monkeys are very unpredictable!!
As soon as I arrived, I’d barely got out of the car when a monkey jumped onto my back scaring the living daylights out of me! He quickly jumped off but it did give me a shock.
I also saw another monkey literally steal the earring out of my friend’s ear! He was pretty skillful as he managed to get the earring out without her even noticing.
Entry to the temple is free for all visitors. Ignore anyone that tries to make you pay for a ticket (unfortunately this is a very common scam).
How To Get To The Monkey Temple
It’s pretty easy to get to Jaipur by plane, bus, train or car.
You can fly into Jaipur International Airport and then take a bus or car to the monkey temple.
I actually took a sleeper bus from Delhi down to Jaipur which is another cheaper option.
16. See The Great Wall Of India
Ever heard of the Great Wall of India? Probably not.
Whilst it’s not quite as well-known as the Great Wall of China, it’s definitely still worth checking out if you’re interested in history and architecture.
Located at Kumbhalgarh Fort, the Great Wall of India stretches on for over 36 kilometers and was built in the 15th century by Maharana Kumbha who was the king at the time.
It’s famous for being the second-longest continuous wall in the world after the Great Wall of China.
Interestingly, the wall is so sturdy that it has never been breached by invaders and is even said to be visible from space!
If you’re interested in visiting the Great Wall of India, you can take a guided tour of the Kumbhalgarh Fort to learn more about its history and significance.
How To Get To The Great Wall Of India
Udaipur is the closest large city and it’s pretty easy to do a day trip to the Great Wall of India from Udaipur.
You can fly into Maharana Pratap Airport in Udaipur and take a bus or taxi from there to the fort.
17. Buy A Sari
One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the culture of India is to purchase a traditional sari or lehenga!
I actually bought a lehenga on my recent trip to India and wore it to the Taj Mahal.
For men, you could buy a traditional sherwani or kurta instead!
First things first, make sure to do your research on where to buy saris in the city you’re visiting as some shops are much better than others. You don’t want to get overcharged.
You can find sari shops in any major city or town in India but some of the best places to buy saris include Chandni Chowk in Delhi or Crawford Market in Mumbai.
When you’re shopping for a sari, don’t be afraid to bargain and negotiate the price. It’s a pretty common practice in India and shopkeepers actually expect it.
Also, keep in mind that there are endless varieties of saris to choose from, ranging from silk to cotton to chiffon so take your time and pick the one that suits your style and budget.
Fun fact: Did you know that saris have been worn in India for almost 5,000 years?
That’s why it makes a perfect souvenir from your trip to India as there’s nothing more iconic than an Indian sari.
18. Visit Humayun’s Tomb
Humayun’s Tomb is one of Delhi’s most famous spots and it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area.
So, what’s so special about this tomb?
Well, it’s actually the final resting place of the Mughal Emperor Humayun who ruled over India in the 16th century.
The tomb is known for its impressive architecture and beautiful gardens and it’s actually considered to be a true masterpiece of Mughal architecture.
One thing I learned when I visited is that Humayun’s Tomb was actually the inspiration for the Taj Mahal!
Yup, whilst the Taj Mahal is a little bit more famous these days, Humayun’s Tomb is just as stunning in its own right.
The grounds of Humayun’s Tomb are absolutely stunning and I actually ended up spending hours and hours walking around when I visited.
You can visit Humayun’s Tomb as part of a full day Delhi sightseeing tour (this is what I did).
Your local guide will take you around the city showing you all of Delhi’s most famous sights.
It’s so much easier than getting around by yourself (I don’t know how I’d have managed without the air conditioned car!).
How To Get To Humayun’s Tomb
Humayun’s Tomb is located in the heart of Delhi so it’s pretty easy to get to by either taxi or metro.
19. Trek Up Dudhsagar Falls
If you’re feeling adventurous then add a visit to the Dudhsagar Falls in Goa to your India itinerary.
The name ‘Dudhsagar’ actually means ‘sea of milk’ and once you see this waterfall for yourself, you’ll see why.
The waterfall looks like someone split a giant glass of milk and you get to watch it pouring down the rocks!
Dudhsagar Falls is actually four-tiered, with each tier offering a unique view of the falls.
The best time to visit is during or just after the monsoon season (June to September) when the waterfall is at its fullest and most impressive.
To visit this epic waterfall for yourself, I’d recommend booking onto a guided tour. You’ll see so much more than just the waterfall on this tour and it even includes a jeep safari!
How To Get To Dudhsagar Falls
To get to Dudhsagar Falls, you can take a train from Goa or a bus from Bangalore.
Once you arrive, you’ll need to hike for about an hour to reach the waterfall but the trek is totally worth it in my opinion.
20. Visit Mysore Palace
Another one of the top things to do in India is visit Mysore Palace.
It’s basically a stunning palace located in the city of Mysore in the southern state of Karnataka that once served as a royal residence.
This palace is famous for its beautiful architecture and intricate carvings.
It was originally built back in the 14th century however it has been reconstructed multiple times with the current building dating back to 1912.
The best time to visit the palace is at sunset when it becomes illuminated with thousands of lights (97,000 to be exact). It’s a pretty spectacular sight, trust me!
Here’s what it looks like after dark:
You can explore the palace for yourself on a guided tour like this one.
This tour is ridiculously highly rated and includes a tour of several other nearby attractions including ancient temples and sugarcane plantations.
How To Get To Mysore Palace
If you want to visit Mysore Palace, you can easily get there by taxi or bus.
There’s a small fee to enter, but it’s totally worth it to see the elaborate interior decorations and the sprawling gardens surrounding the palace.
21. Visit The Shatrunjaya Hill
Another unique thing to add to your bucket list for India is a visit to the incredible Shatrunjaya Hill which is located in Gujarat.
The hill is famous for having 865 Jain temples on top of it. These temples have all been intricately carved out of marble and are really beautiful.
As it’s a hill with hundreds of temples on it, this impressive spot is actually a pilgrimage site for Jains, it’s actually one of their most holiest sites.
The Jains actually believe that many important figures within their faith achieved enlightenment here.
The temples themselves date back to the 11th century and are actually some of the oldest and most important Jain temples in the whole of India.
How To Get To Shatrunjaya Hill
To visit Shatrunjaya Hill, you’ll need to take a ferry across the Shetrunji River and then climb over 3,700 steps to reach the top.
I’ll admit that it’s a bit of a trek but the stunning views and serene atmosphere at the top make it totally worth it.
Don’t forget to dress modestly and remove your shoes before entering the temples!
22. Sail On The Arabian Sea
A must-do experience whilst in Mumbai is to sail out into the Arabian Sea to get mesmerizing views of Mumbai and its most famous landmarks. Sunset is the best time.
Mumbai is a bustling city located on the west coast of India. It’s famous for its iconic landmarks including the Gateway of India, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
Did you know that Mumbai was originally a group of seven islands that were later joined together by land reclamation projects in the 18th century?
It’s also the birthplace of Bollywood which is the largest film industry in the world (in terms of films produced).
Don’t be surprised if you’re wandering around Mumbai and you’re asked to be an extra in a Bollywood film (apparently it happens a lot).
I’d highly recommend booking onto a sunset cruise where you’ll get the chance to see the sun setting behind Mumbai’s epic skyline.
How To Get To Mumbai
If you want to experience Mumbai for yourself then you can easily fly into Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (bit of a mouthful) or take a train to the city from anywhere in India.
Once there, you can explore the vibrant street markets, indulge in delicious street food, and soak up the rich culture and history of the city.
And don’t forget to take the boat ride into the Arabian Sea for those stunning views of the Mumbai skyline!
23. Visit Kodaikanal
Have you heard of Kodaikanal? It’s a beautiful mountainous town located in Tamil Nadu in southern India.
It’s famous for its lush greenery, serene lakes and rolling hills. The town is located 2,000 meters above sea level and is known as the ‘Princess of Hill Stations’ due to its beauty.
Take a look around Kodaikanal in the video below:
Kodaikanal has a rich history dating back to the 1840s when it was founded by American missionaries as a refuge from the hot temperatures and diseases found below.
The town then served as a popular retreat for British officers during the colonial era.
An interesting fact that I learned when I was in India was that Kodaikanal is home to the rare Kurinji flower that blooms only once every twelve years.
How To Get To Kodaikanal
To visit Kodaikanal, you can fly into Madurai, which is the nearest airport, and then take a bus or taxi to get to the town.
Once there, you can explore the beautiful Coaker’s Walk, enjoy a boat ride on the Kodaikanal Lake and visit the Pillar Rocks, which are three massive rock pillars standing tall in the valley.
24. Cruise Along Lake Pichola
Lake Pichola is a stunning lake surrounded by mountains in Udaipur. It’s famous for its serene waters and scenic views.
Interestingly, Lake Pichola is actually an artificial lake. It was built in 1362 by the tribesman, Pichhu Banjara.
Over the centuries, it has served as a source of water for the city and as a backdrop for royal ceremonies and celebrations.
The lake is also home to several beautiful islands, including Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas, which you can explore by boat.
One of these islands houses the Taj Lake Palace which was built over 250 years ago. It was once a royal residence but is now a luxurious hotel.
Fun fact: parts of the palace were used as a filming location for the James Bond movie ‘Octopussy’ in 1983.
You can easily explore the lake by booking a boat tour or even renting a paddle boat. The views are truly breathtaking, and it’s a great way to get a glimpse of Udaipur’s rich history and culture.
To see Lake Pichola for yourself, you can book onto a Udaipur guided tour like this.
You’ll see all of Udaipur’s best sights and it includes a boat ride on the lake so you can see it in all its glory.
How To Get To Lake Pichola
Udaipur is the closest large city and it’s pretty easy to do a day trip to Lake Pichola from Udaipur.
You can fly into Maharana Pratap Airport in Udaipur and take a bus, tuk tuk or taxi from there to the lake.
25. Take A Boat Ride Along Umngot River
The final place in India that just has to be on your bucket list is the Umngot River.
It’s a real hidden gem located in Meghalaya. The river is famous for its crystal-clear waters and the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding landscape.
It’s also known for being one of the cleanest rivers in the whole of India thanks to the efforts of the local community.
That’s pretty impressive because, if you’ve ever visited India, you’ll know that it’s generally very dirty and polluted.
Take a look at it in the video below:
The river flows through the town of Dawki and also marks the border between India and neighboring Bangladesh.
What’s really cool is that you can actually see the riverbed from the surface of the water, it’s that clear!
How To Get To The Umngot River
To visit the Umngot River, you can take a taxi from nearby Shillong which is the capital of Meghalaya.
Alternatively, you can take a bus to Dawki and then hire a boat to explore the river.
Trust me, it’s worth the journey – the views are simply stunning.
And that’s it!
Thanks for reading my ultimate India bucket list which includes the absolute best experiences that you need to do if you’re visiting India.
To prepare for your trip, I’d recommend having a look at my India packing list to make sure you have everything you need. On my first visit, I forgot so many things (I’ve learned since then).