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    A Comprehensive Travel Guide to India: Start Planning Your Trip For 2022

    A Comprehensive Travel Guide to India: Start Planning Your Trip For 2022

    By Kelsey KrahnTrip Guides

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    Our goal for this ultimate travel guide to India is to highlight where to stay, go, and what to do. Basically, wherever you go, adventure awaits. It doesn't matter if you're on a safari, trekking, meandering streets, paddling rivers, or looking at architecture.

    Travelling to India requires a flexible outlook due to frequent unexpected outcomes throughout the day. You never know what will happen, which only adds to the wonder of your trip. Just think of the stories you'll leave with! India is beautiful, rich in culture, and makes for a memorable destination. If you're up for an intrepid, lively trip, read on for tips for travelling to India!

    Disclosure: This post contains references to products or services from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you buy one of these products or services. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

    India is the birthplace of yoga practice

    India is the birthplace of yoga practice

    About India

    Where do we even begin when it comes to describing India? The diverse landscape, glamorous architecture, and various traditions create an epic combination. These marvels may be at the forefront of India, but spirituality dazzles the backbone. Islam and Hinduism are the most popular religions, with followers of Sikhism, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism sprinkled across the nation. You'll find several sacred sites, rituals and more all over India. There are also festivals celebrating religion.

    Let's travel back 5,000 years ago. Can you guess why we're harking back to several centuries ago? Because there's one form of exercise that has taken off worldwide, it's vital to proclaim the birthplace of this particular practice: India. The exercise we're talking about? Yoga. The practise began in the Indus-Sarasvati civilization, a northern area of India. It was developed by the Brahmans, the highest Hindu caste.

    By the 3rd century BCE, the concept of yoga started to seep into writings for Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain. In the 5th century BCE, yoga was primarily a meditation or religious practice. Then fast forward the wheel of time to the 1980s when yoga became more popular in the west. Nowadays, it is viewed as a form of exercise.

    Several aspiring yogis head to India to receive yoga instructor training. However, there's so much more to India's history, but we thought we'd provide a little snapshot of one of the more popular exercises now practised worldwide today! Okay, let's get back to talking about what to see and do in this stunning country.

    Taj Mahal - the architectural masterpiece and its sleek white marble walls

    Taj Mahal - the architectural masterpiece and its sleek white marble walls

    Best Destinations in India

    It's tough to explore all of India in one trip, especially with charming hill stations tucked into the all-imposing Himalayas, or the pink-tainted Jaipur, or the must-see Taj Mahal in Agra, or the "City of Lakes" aka Udaipur, dare we go on? We shall! Find more details on these places and other epic destinations in India below!


    Two words: Taj Mahal. Need we say more? The architectural masterpiece and its sleek white marble walls attract several tourists a year. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is reason enough to visit Agra, but the riverfront location only elevates its splendour.


    The pink-hued buildings soaring across Jaipur create an intoxicating image. And with the magical architecture comes a storied history! Among the many structures, you’ll find the Jantar Mantar here, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


    Located in the same state as Jaipur, Udaipur trades the pink-hued trademark of its state-mate with glistening bodies of water, earning its nickname as the “City of Lakes.” Udaipur is considered a romantic location! And how can it not be with seven lakes flanking the city?


    Manali sits up high in northern India, offering a range of adventures for backpackers, honeymooners, and anyone and everyone seeking some thrills. It’s an access town for several adventures, including trekking and skiing.

    Bandhavgarh National Park

    Seeking a safari? Look no further than Bandhavgarh National Park, where tigers roam amid a small area. You may even spot white tigers here! If you're interested in booking a tour, you might want to check out this tiger safari escapade.

    Udaipur is considered a romantic location

    Udaipur is considered a romantic location

    Ranthambore National Park

    Ranthambore National Park is another fantastic tiger-spotting location. Plus, the wild backdrop attracts crowds of photographers each year. What could be better than a photo of a tiger chilling amid intoxicating surroundings? Sounds like a photographer's dream to us. This is also one of the largest parks in northern India!


    We mentioned above that India's backbone bursts with spirituality, so head to Rishikesh if you want to revel in a snapshot of India's sacred practices. It's also known as the 'Yoga Capital of the World.'


    Goa fuses Portuguese and Indian cultures while granting a beachfront getaway. This slice of paradise grants a golden-fringed coastline, creating an ideal blend of relaxation, culture, and flavourful cuisine. Talk about a great vacation destination!


    Fall in love with—and fall into—the lovely, sparkling waters spanning the state of Kerala. This destination is not just one town; it's a state. Meaning there's lots to explore! The backwaters in Alleppey are definitely worth checking out!


    Nestled in the Himalayan foothills, Darjeeling is a great spot for tea lovers. The tea estates flanking the area are stunning places to visit. Learn everything you need to know about the tea produced in and around Darjeeling!

    Of course, other notable destinations are some of the bigger cities we didn’t mention in the list above: Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore. You’ll likely find yourself in one of these destinations on your adventure trip to India.

    Bandhavgarh National Park

    Bandhavgarh National Park

    Best Things to do in India

    Find adventure tucked into every corner of India! While practising yoga, exploring the architecture, and meandering tea plantations are great options for things to do in India, but there are some pretty epic intrepid adventures worth trying if you can.

    Trekking in India

    Immerse in India’s wild, mysterious backyard on unforgettable long-distance treks! Some epic multi-day adventures include the Roopkund Trek in Uttarakhand, the Valley of Flowers route in Uttarakhand, the Dzongri Trek in West Sikkim, and the Markha Valley Trek in Ladakh! Ladakh, West Sikkim, and Uttarakhand are great places to look into if you want to do a long-distance trek—there are a few options.

    Hiking in India

    Don’t have the time to spend several days in the unspoiled mountains, but want to catch a glimpse of India’s natural wonders? Consider a one-day hiking adventure! Some great ones include:

    • Chembra Peak Trek, Kerala
    • Rajmachi Fort from Lonavala
    • Triund, located 9.0 km from McLeod Ganj
    • David Scott Trail, close to Mawphlang, Meghalaya

    Water sports in India

    Enjoy a soothing paddle atop lakes and calm rivers, or feel the rush and thrill of whitewater rafting in India! The backwaters in Kerala offer a relaxing, magical kayaking experience. Check out the quaint villages dotting the shore as you paddle.

    The Ganges also offers some pretty incredible views—expect some rapids along this scenic 12.0 km journey!

    And get your adrenaline going with river rafting trips along the River Ganga in Rishikesh or Indus River in Ladakh. These are just two of the many rafting options roaring across India.

    Skiing in India

    Yup—the adventure options are endless in India! When fresh snow blankets the slopes, head to Gulmarg in Jammu and Kashmir or Auli in Uttarakhand, to name two. The skiing season runs from January to March!

    Goa - a great vacation destination

    Goa - a great vacation destination

    Great Adventure Trips in India

    Planning a trip can be time-consuming, can't it? And planning during spare moments amid a hectic schedule can be daunting. So why not book a pre-planned tour instead? In most cases, all you'll need to do is schedule your flight! Take a look at some great adventure trips in India below:

    Golden Triangle and Himalayas Tour

    If you want a compact glimpse of some of India's greatest attractions, the Golden Triangle and Himalayas Tour is tailor-made for you. India's Golden Triangle comprises Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, meaning you'll get to visit these places (which includes the Taj Mahal) and revel in some unreal hill stations backed by the Himalayas on this must-do 14-day guided tour.

    Pin Parvati to Mantalai Trekking Adventure Tour

    Are you a hiking addict? This 19-day guided Pin Parvati to Mantalai Trekking Adventure tour will not disappoint! Spend 12 days trekking deep into the Himalayas, gathering irreplaceable images of glaciers, mountains, rivers, and more. Then, catch a peek of Indian culture on sightseeing tours in Manali and Delhi, two places exploding with culture and rich history.

    Northern Highlights of India Tour

    Seeking a more relaxed trip to India? Revel in the cultural and historical spectacles peppering some of India’s north on the Northern Highlights of India Tour. Two notable highlights of this 8-day guided tour are the visits to the pink-tinted Jaipur and the Taj Mahal!

    Wonders of Eastern India Tour

    Let’s go east! The Wonders of Eastern India Tour beautifully fuses natural beauty with culture and history. Experience Darjeeling, flanked by tea plantations decorating the green slopes, Gangtok, Kalimpong, and Kolkata. Expect marvellous sightseeing adventures throughout this tour—with a sprinkle of enchanting scenery.

    Goecha La Trek

    The Goecha La Trek paints the ideal postcard for adventure: it’s wild, it’s rugged, and it’s pure magic. You’ll get to enjoy tasty home-cooked meals on this trek as a chef will travel with you. Luxury and mountains? Sounds pretty nice. Before and after hiking, you’ll get to enjoy some sightseeing and visits to tea plantations, monasteries, gompas, and more.

    There are so many adventure tours worth checking out! You can find epic India tour trips here, ranging from yoga-centric to more treks, more sightseeing, cycle journeys, more kayaking, and shorter trips. The list goes on and on!

    Darjeeling is a great spot for tea lovers

    Darjeeling is a great spot for tea lovers

    India’s Geography and Wildlife

    India sits on a peninsula, so you'll find water on three sides of the country! It's flanked by the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean. Head north, and you'll look up at the all-imposing Himalayas. Feeling intimidated by mountainscapes? The lush jungles in the northeast may suit your lifestyle a little bit better. There's even a desert in India. The terrain varies, making this destination a fantastic spot for all types of travellers.

    Fun fact: cows are sacred in India, so don't even think about messing with them!

    You may also spot both a lion and a tiger in the jungles while several bird species flock about. Then, there are the elephants, rhinos, and dolphins. And that's not even all: the Himalayas are home to bears and even the rare, majestic snow leopard. The animals roaming the land and waters are just as diverse as the landscapes painting India.

    The skiing season runs from January to March

    The skiing season runs from January to March

    India Travel Costs

    India’s travel costs aren’t too steep! Take a look at some of the numbers (inspired by numbeo below):

    • A meal at cheaper restaurant costs around 3 CAD per person
    • A meal at an average restaurant with a three-course meal for two costs around 17 CAD
    • A local beer costs 2.50 CAD
    • A one-way local transport ticket costs around 0.35 CAD
    • 1.0 km in a taxi costs a few cents less than a one-way local transport ticket

    Meanwhile, the average price for hotels is around 50 CAD. So naturally, the price will go up if you opt for a more expensive place to stay. But then, judging by prices in New Delhi, hostels can range from 6 CAD to 30 CAD, depending on if you book a private room or a dorm.

    India Travel Safety

    Is India safe to travel to? Yes! Women may experience more intense staring and attention than usual, but the possibility of something actually happening or threatening their safety is just like any other country in the world. Of course, it's still essential to exercise caution and dress appropriately. India is a traditional country, so wearing modest clothes is necessary. Try to avoid travelling at night, too. You can also look into booking a female-only driver or a female compartment on the train. Transportation can be sketchy, so brace yourself for some nerve-wracking situations. In the meantime, keep your wits about you, as you would in any country, by keeping your belongings close and safely storing essentials in zip-up pockets or money pouches when in crowded places.

    Gangtok - Wonder of Eastern India

    Gangtok - Wonder of Eastern India

    Best Time to Visit India

    According to Lonely Planet, the best time to head to India depends on where you're going! You can visit this country year-round. December to March is ideal for getting your beach time in, exploring temples, and visiting a jungle. But if you want the bask in the sweet smell of mountain air, June to November will suit your Himalayan venture best. The weather morphs from bearable to sizzling between April and June, meaning you'll get to explore notable attractions without crowds. Still, you'll have a collection of sweat beads dripping from your forehead into your eyelids.

    Best Ways To Get Around India

    Take the train, bus, plane, rickshaw, tuk-tuk, bicycle taxi, or Uber. Or book a rickshaw through UberAUTO! When you hop in an Uber, be sure to check that the face and licence plate match the picture on the app. If not, don't get in. However, if you're taking an Uber, try not to announce it, as taxi guys might not be happy about it. As of now, there are around 100 cities with Uber. However, you'll find that buses are the main form of transport in the bigger cities. They can be super congested, though!

    For a longer distance, look into booking a train. If you book the cheaper second seating class trains, don't expect a seat on every ride. These can be crowded! It might be worth booking the sleeper class train, but these can be dirty and don't offer air conditioning. So it might be really worth booking AC 3 Tier for a quieter, more comfortable ride. But, if you have the money, book the AC First Class train for a more luxurious ride.

    Cows are sacred in India

    Cows are sacred in India

    Best Places to Stay in India

    For more budget places to stay in India, look into booking through hostelworld! India also has some hotel chains that you might want to check out:

    • Leela Palaces, Hotels, and Resorts
    • ITC Hotels
    • Lemon Tree Hotels
    • The Oberoi Group
    • Neemrana Hotels
    • Residency Group of Hotels

    Some of these are typical hotels, while others brim with history and uniqueness. You could also look into Vrbo or Airbnb for booking accommodations.

    Useful Travel Tools

    To Book Accommodation

    Book accommodation that fits your budget with one of the websites below:

    Find awesome bed and breakfast locations that suit your travel style on

    To Book Flights

    These sources scan other websites for incredible deals:

    For a longer distance, look into booking a train

    For a longer distance, look into booking a train

    To Get Gear

    Buy outdoor equipment, clothes, gear, and more before trekking in the mountains:

    Other Useful Travel Services

    A great travel service for Americans and Canadians travelling to India is This resource unleashes fantastic deals and places to park your car during your vacation.

    Visa Requirements When Travelling to India

    You’ll need to apply for a tourist visa online before travelling to India! The online application requires you to upload a photo, your passport page, pay with your credit or debit, and then, once approved, print it off and present your Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) to immigration. They will then stamp your passport. Visit their government website for more information.

    Interesting Facts About India

    Take a look at the following interesting facts about India and share some with your travel mates!

    • Cows are sacred in India!
    • You’ll find around 300,000 mosques sprawled across the country.
    • India is home to the highest bridge on earth: Chenab Bridge.
    • Find a temple dedicated to rats in Rajasthan.
    • Tucked high in the Himalayas sits a glacial lake hosting scattered human remains from centuries ago.
    • A charming village, Shani Shingnapur, has no locks on the doors, and it never has any criminal activity.
    • The Taj Mahal was camouflaged during World War II to prevent it from getting bombed.
    • India has 22 recognized languages!
    You’ll find around 300,000 mosques sprawled across the country

    You’ll find around 300,000 mosques sprawled across the country

    Frequently Asked Questions About India

    Find answers to some frequently asked questions about India below:

    1. Can you drink water from the tap in India?

    It’s definitely best to avoid tap water in India—bottled water is your alternative.

    2. Is street food safe in India?

    Like street food across the globe, street food may upset your stomach, especially if you aren’t used to the water and the spices, so it’s up to you if you want to try it! It’s always fun trying authentic, local food from wherever you’re travelling to.

    3. What should a woman travelling to India wear?

    Bring lightweight, flowy clothes, like long dresses, shirts that cover your shoulders (or light scarves to cover your shoulders). Try to find pants that cover most of your legs as well. It'll be hot (most likely), so lightweight, flowy clothes will be the best!

    4. What are some essential things I should bring from home?

    We suggest bringing diarrhea treatment and bug repellant. You may also want to carry toilet paper with you as not all public toilets will offer it! You can buy tp in India, though.

    5. Do they speak English in India?

    Roughly 10 percent of the population speaks English in India, amounting to around 125 million people.

    A trip to India will undoubtedly lead to a collection of memorable stories that you can reflect on fondly for the rest of your life!




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