India is a colourful country, abundant in heritage and diversity. From the beach to sands and tropical rainforests, India has a rich climate. Having only scratched the surface of the country and visited Delhi, Mumbai, Agra and Rishikesh, there is so much more for me to see. For this post, I've created a wish list of places to see in India for future trips!
If you are planning a trip to India, here is a list of some amazing places you must visit in India to inspire you to visit this fascinating country.
1. Shimla – Active GatG
Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh and is known for its green hills capped with snow. Surrounding the nature are structures from the colonial era which provide some breathtaking views. The best time to visit Shimla is between April to August and December to January. If you love to trek then this area is perfect for hiking. You can even camp here to really enjoy the serene beauty for longer than a day.
2. Coorg – Active & Nature GatG
Known as “The Scotland of India” this dream destination known as Coorg (or Kodagu) has hills and forests of sandalwood and teak. It's perfect for nature lovers with acres of tea plantations and if you love adventure then Coorg has plenty of outdoor activities such as trekking and white-water rafting. You could even try your hand at fishing too.
3. Jaipur – Cultural GatG
Rajasthan's World Heritage city is one of the most colourful cities and is known around the world. It was an important place in Indian history for the royal families and its royal structures signify the importance of this city in ancient times. People in Jaipur often wear traditional ethnic dresses or colourful sarees.
Magnificent old palaces have been turned into hotels so you can feel like a royal amongst the Mughal-Rajasthani architecture. With royal spas and palaces, the pink city of Jaipur is meant to be a stunning city to visit.
4. Goa – Beach GatG
Goa is the place for beach solos. When you want to enjoy the sunshine Goa is the place to go. But it's not all just beaches here as historical churches and convents have been declared World Heritage sites and add an extra element to the known sunbathing destination. The food here is apparently some of the best in the country so make sure you sample the seafood and Goan cuisine.
5. Kerala – Wildlife GatG
With the Arabian Sea in the west, and the Western Ghats towering 500-2700 metres high in the east, Kerala is a diverse destination that is networked by 44 rivers. You'll find plenty of wildlife within its tropical rainforests as well as lush paddy fields, waterfalls and historic and cultural monuments. To add to its diversity Kerala also has a unique cuisine. Stay in a houseboat and time your stay with one of Kerala's festivals for a true cultural experience.
6. Chopta – Active GatG
Known as a “mini Switzerland” Chopta is a small village situated in an evergreen part of Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary in Uttarakhand state. It's in the Himalayas and is the trekking base of the Tungnath temple near Chandrashila. You can see more than 40 peaks within this picturesque village. The Chopta – Tungnath – Chandrashila trek is quite famous amongst the trekkers and is also known for its wildlife, jungles, and grasslands.
Varanasi – Spiritual GatG
Hindus consider Varanasi as one of the holiest cities in India, and it is said that if you die here, you will immediately be liberated from the endless cycle of death and rebirth. Millions of Indians make a pilgrimage here either to bathe in the sacred Ganges, upon which the city is perched, or to cremate a family member. See the chaotic old city along the river banks in Varanasi and wander through its ghats (steps leading down to the Ganges). You can organize boat tours onto the Ganges, and Varanasi’s daily evening ceremonies – complete with music, dance, and all manner of holy men – are amazing.
So there you have it. I hope that this post has inspired you to go to India. There is of course, the Taj Mahal and Rishikesh to add to this list. You can find out more about solo travel in India in my solo guide.
India is so vast but you need more than one visit to really explore this country. If you do want to go to India, depending on your nationality you may need a visa to enter. Brits definitely need a visa. * Find out about Indian visas here
If you are feeling apprehensive about travelling solo, sometimes taking a tour for part or all of your trip can give you the confidence you need before travelling India alone. I have personally used G Adventures and recommend them as a solo female friendly company. Most tours have an average of 10 people and there is no upper age limit. Once you book your trip you pay extra for any excursions you want to do when you’re there.
G Adventures India tours range from a 3 day Varanasi Independent Adventure to a 33 day Kolkata to Kochi by Rail tour, seeing the best of India. One of their most popular tours for solos is the 15 day Rajasthan Adventure which includes the Taj Mahal, a visit to the City Palace in Udaipur, and a sunset camel ride in Pushkar. If you have 21 days, they also offer a 3 week tour of India from the north to the south.