India has been on my bucketlist for a long time. Like a decade. But I felt like it was a country I had to work myself up to, you know? Travel Southeast Asia first, learn the ropes in this travelling malarkey before I threw myself in the deep end. But I think this beautiful country has so much to offer backpackers! It’s cheap and full of culture, history and beauty. And I bloody love Indian food, buddy.
So I’ve been going a bit India-mental on Pinterest lately and figured I should combine my findings into a blog post. My ultimate India bucket list before I get around to actually planning a trip. Let me know if there’s anything I’ve missed or you’d recommend please!
1) TAJ MAHAL OBVS.
I can’t go ALL the way to India and not see the Taj Mahal. It just looks beautiful and totally majestic in photos and it’s for sure at the top of my list – isn’t it on everyone’s? Although as with most big tourist attractions like this, I get the feeling the crowds may completely do my head in. Worth it for that iconic view across the water though I’d bet.
2) SEE THE PINK PALACE IN JAIPUR.
I’ve got a thing for this place on Instagram. I literally can’t stop liking photos of it, all ornate and sittin’ pretty. You know when you see a location in photos that is so undeniably photogenic and pleasing to the eyes that you know you’re just going to love it in the flesh? I think this is the kind of thing that would be in the same bracket as Cinque Terre in Italy and Sydney Harbour in Australia – places you’ve seen hundreds of photos of but still massively impress you IRL. I need to go!
3) THE OPEN AIR GALLERY OF RAJASTHAN.
I like arty stuff in a new country I’m exploring, such as the street art of Berlin or the museums of Florence. So I think the open air gallery of Rajasthan sounds really interesting. Shekhawati is actually a ghost town full of abandoned mansions, with gorgeous frescoes and havellis still intact. Abandoned places in general are so intriguing so with the addition of art and design, I think I’ll like this place.
4) DO A GOLDEN TRIANGLE TOUR.
Although I like going off the beaten track on occasion, I’m a big fan of seeing the classics in a new destination. They’re popular for a reason after all, folks. So I always find countries that have set tours of the highlights quite appealing – e.g, Iceland’s Golden Circle – as you know you’re not missing anything important out. There’s a tour I’m eyeing up at the moment by Encounters Travel which includes sights 1-3 in this list as well as visiting Delhi, the Red Fort and the lost city of Fatehpur Siri. Keeping that one bookmarked.
5) EXPERIENCE GOA AS A BACKPACKER.
Word has it that Goa not only has idyllic beaches and a tropical vibe, it also has fantastic nightlife. And it’s super cheap so is perfect for the backpacker crowd. Throw in live Reggae music, watersports and cute markets and I’m in heaven. Where do I sign up?! PLEASE.
6) BE BASIC AND GO TO A YOGA RETREAT.
Yes this is basic bitch territory and I sound like one of those Eat Pray Love backpackers trying to find themselves, but I genuinely would love to go on a yoga retreat. I love yoga and meditation and it seems there’s no better place to put your best downward dog forward and get your namastes out there than India. And you know, hopefully I’ll walk away with a Bollywood body, yah?
7) SEE THE ENDANGERED ROYAL BENGAL TIGERS.
I’ve never been on Safari and the idea of being up close and personal with something that can eat me isn’t generally high on my priorities list. But I can make an exception for these beauts in Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in Kerala. As well as the endangered Royal Bengal tigers, there’s also leopards and peacocks and elephants and mongoose hanging about! Would be cool, right?
8) EXPERIENCE HOLI FESTIVAL!
Okay, this has got to be one of the ultimate bucketlist items. The festival of colours not only looks like it would be a lot of fun and I would get fantastic photos, but also the people look so friendly at these festivals and I would love to immerse myself in the festivities. There are so many cool places to celebrate Holi, from the traditional party atmosphere in Vrindavan to watching human pyramids in Maharashtra! Gotta do it at some point for sure.
9) LEARN TO COOK TRADITIONAL INDIAN FOOD.
You guys know what a massive foodie I am, and I bloody adore Indian food. I realise the western version of Indian food is quite different so it is one of goals to not only taste traditional meals in this part of the world, but also to learn how to cook it. I think this could be great as part of a homestay, so it’s more authentic and casual than a regimented cooking school. Someone please teach me how to make delicious Saag Paneer and Bombay Aloo asap.
10) CHECK OUT THE BLUE CITY OF JODHPUR.
Colour, colour, colour. There’s nothing better. So I’m pretty intrigued by the blue city of Jodhpur in Rajasthan. Sure it’s a bustling city with cool medieval, winding streets and that, but the appeal is how beautiful this city is, all painted in blue! My copyright-free photo doesn’t really do it justice so if you want to see the place in all its glory then checkout this article on CityLab.
What do you think of my India bucket list? Anything I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @HeelsInBackpack!
Total Blogger Transparency: This is a collaborative post with Encounters Travel but all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I wouldn’t play you like that shorty.