Travel Diaries

Surrounded by beautiful culture and delicious food, India is unlike any other travel destination. It is crazy and beautiful, all in one unique nation!

Ground Rules
India requires tourists to have a travel visa, so ensure that you have a valid visa prior to travel. Regardless of where you visit, it is important to invest in travel insurance, both for your health and contents. Once you’ve checked off these very important tasks from your travel to-do list, you’re all set to organize the trip of a lifetime!

Traveling via train in India is a fun. You’re exposed to the natural beauty and terrains. The serpentine manner in which the train moves and the scenery passing by is alluring. However, traveling in AC coach is preferable than sleeper class. Also, you needn’t worry for fresh food in train. E-catering services like RailRestro provides best food options in train to choose and enjoy delicacies at your seat. You just need to enter your PNR number on the food ordering portal and it will list you the stations along with the food options available en route. Now, food delivery service is not only limited to doors but food delivery in train is also a major digital innovation in e-catering business. It is helpful for passengers as they can order food for their journey.

Here are 9 unique destinations to include in your trip around India
Delhi is well known for the Red Fort. This beautiful red sandstone fortress not only looks impressive, but also boasts a deep history. You can’t miss Humayan’s Tomb, known for its elaborate design, the tomb is of Humayun, Delhi’s Mughal Emperor. Food in India, particularly Delhi, is something that can’t be missed. However, always ensure that you are eating food that is cleaned and prepared correctly. To avoid what tourists call Delhi belly, paranthas are a safe bet. Ask for these stuffed with your choice of filling, and you’ll be set to enjoy the delicious authentic taste of India.

Just a 3-hour train ride from Delhi, Agra is next up on the list. Agra is host to the beautiful, Taj Mahal. A definite sight to tick off your bucket list, make Agra a necessity for your India travels.
While you’re at it, you should grab some of Agra’s famous petha. This is a soft candy made from ash gourd which is very popular in the region.

Lucknow is third on our must-see tour of India. Lucknow boasts a wide array of Islamic architecture and markets. Stop by Janeshwar Mishar Park for a nice picnic. Here, you’ll find jogging and biking tracks, children’s play areas and plenty of trees and birdlife. For authentic Lucknow cuisine, visit Sepia restaurant in the Renaissance Lucknow Hotel and relish in this fine dining experience that you’re sure to remember!

Known as the ‘Pink City’, the Rajasthan city of Jaipur is a tourist hotspot well-known for its pink coloured buildings. Take in the unique architecture and visit many forts found around the city including Amer Fort, and Jaigarh Fort. The Jantar Mantar monument is another attraction on the list. This monument is a collection of nineteen architectural astronomical instruments. It also features the world’s largest stone sundial. Save your shopping spree for this city as it is well-known for the beautiful fabrics and artworks sold in local markets. You’ll find hand-detailed fabrics, clothing and jewellery. If you have the means, why not splurge on a beautifully crafted Rajasthan-themed rug.

Visit the largest city in the Gujurat state, and experience the delicious street food. Ahmedabad cuisine consists of a lot of vegetarian meals, including dal-dhokli, chevdoh and dhokla. For spiritual experience, visit the Sabarmati Ashram. The former home of Mahatma Gandhi, the ashram played a crucial role in India’s independence history. Continue your spiritual journey at the Ahmed Shah mosque. Built in 1414, the 600-year-old mosque was made by Hindu architectures in Islamic style.

An ancient village, Hampi is home to some of the most breathtaking archaeological ruins you can find. The Hampi ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and are thought to be the ruins of the last Hindu Kingdom. While in Hampi, try Saaru, a soup made from coriander, cumin, tomatoes, pepper and tamarinds.

Varanasi is well-known as the spiritual capital of India and sits on the banks of the River Ganges. Here you’ll find the Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple. This elaborate golden temple is dedicated to the Hindu God, Lord Shiva, and considered as the holiest of all the temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. If you’re interested in Hindu rituals, the Ghats are a series of steps found along the Ganges River and is symbolic of divinity in the Hindu religion due to its location. There are 84 ghats, each representing a different ritual. Take time to visit the ones of most interest to you.

The largest city of India, Mumbai is home to the Gateway of India, found along the waterfront. Hop on a ferry and head to the cave temples of Elephanta Island. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the caves are also dedicated to Lord Shiva. Make sure you set out a day to visit the caves as the trip takes at least 5-6 hours.

Goa is located along the South coast of India. With white-sand beaches, enjoy a relaxing day out in the sun. Make time to visit local animals at Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, or experience the dance and nightlife of Goa at one of the many beach clubs found along the coastline of the Arabian Sea.

There are a host of beautiful cities to visit in India, so start planning the trip of a lifetime!

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Author: Maia Fletcher

Maia Fletcher is a freelance writer who has a penchant for good food and travel. She's written articles for a wide array of topics and has previously collaborated with business site Tax Management NZ. Follow (maiafletcher) on Tumblr to see more of her pub