29 states, each with its own language, dialect, script, traditional clothes, festivals, local food, and basically, unique in and of itself. Every time you travel to a different one, it's almost like visiting a new country. The only way to truly experience all of this is to visitIndia of course! As someone who has visited almost all of the states and lived in 9 of them, I'm going to list out a few things that one should definitely try to do when you visit India.
1. Visit the Magnetic Hill in Ladakh
2. Play Holi
If you're in India in the Spring then this is a MUST! It is called the Festival of Colors and rightly so. Celebrations commence the night before with what is called Holika bonfire along with dancing and singing. On the day of, people chase one another with colored dry powder and coloured water in water guns and water balloons. Everyone is fair game, be it friends or family or even your teachers!
This Bollywood song will give you an idea of what Holi is like (it might be ever so slightly exaggerated but you'll get the picture).
3. Ride an autorickshaw
Introducing one of the cheapest and most fun means of public transport in India - Autorickshaws! This three-wheeled automobile is an absolute delight to ride in. With both sides open, a simple ride from point A to B becomes a delightful experience. It's also a great way to practice bargaining in India!
4. Celebrate Diwali
Also known as the Festival of Lights, Diwali is one of the biggest festivals in India and is celebrated across the nation by everyone. To give you a little frame of reference, what Christmas is in the United States is what Diwali is in India. It signifies the victory of light over darkness or good over evil. People dress up in their best clothes and decorate houses, temples and shops with lights and diyas (lamps). Fireworks, gift exchanging and eating sweets are all a part of the celebration of Diwali!
5. Street Food Tour
As I mentioned above, each state has its own culture to explore, and food is a huge part of that culture. Sweet, Savory or Salty, it doesn't matter what you have a craving for because you will find something that will satisfy your palate.The gif below is just a small preview of everything that India has to offer in terms delicious indulgence for foodies from anywhere. The video under that will give you a proper idea of what is there to enjoy.
6. Visit Goa
Do you love sunbathing? Do you love beaches and mingling with people from all over the world on said beaches? Do you also love seafood and shopping? If you enjoy doing any of these things then the state of Goa is for you. There are churches and temples inland and beaches to enjoy all through the state with options for those who can spend a lot as well as those on a tight budget.
7. Snorkelling with an elephant!
Does I really need to say more? Get an opportunity to go swimming and snorkelling with the elephant Rajan in Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
8. Visit the Taj Mahal
What? Did you honestly think this wouldn't be on the list? One of the constants in the list of wonders of the world and rightly so, Taj Mahal takes your breath away with its beauty and grandeur. The finesse and perfection with which it has been constructed is mind blowing. A personal favorite thing to do is to walk barefoot on the marble and connect to the structure truly. Try to go about an hour or so before sunset and then enjoy the view--to say that the view is spectacular does not do it justice.
9. Darjeeling Train Journey
For the child inside that wants to be free, go to North East India for a toy train ride through the valleys! If that isn't good enough, you also have the view of the Himalayas from the train.
10. Attend the Jaipur Literature Festival
Be a part of the World's Largest Free Literary Festival! Travel to Jaipur for an opportunity to see and listen to Nobel laureates, thinkers, writers and novelists from all over the South Asia and the rest of the world.
While I have only mentioned 10 things, this list can be extended endlessly because of how much there is to see and do. With that said, it looks like I'll have to do more lists so I suggest keeping an eye out. Until next time, stay thirsty for more!