It’s no secret that India is full to the brim with cultural goodness. From the people to the food, the splendour of nature to the architecture, it’s here you’ll want to go if you want a travel adventure full of culture and experience. Here’s your guide to experiencing it to its fullest.
Try the street food
There’s simply no way to experience the culture of India without trying the street food. It’s plentiful and diverse, aromas filling the streets of cities like Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Delhi with the opportunity to taste hundreds of different dishes and cuisines. Whether it be a curry or a quick bite of Chaat, through to sweet treats, there’s something for everyone.
The best thing about street food? The price. It’s often surprisingly affordable, acting as the perfect substitute to dining out if you’re on a tight budget. Be sure to challenge your taste buds and try something new – food is undeniably an integral part of Indian culture.
Immerse yourself in the bustle of India’s cities
Head to Delhi and you’ll be overcome by the abundance of culture in the bustling city. There’s simply so much to do and see here – consider visiting during Holi festival, where you’ll be embraced and welcomed in a shower of powdered colours, gift exchanging, drinking Bhaang which is made of cannabis leaves and traditional Indian celebrations.
And then there’s Kolkata, equally as big yet perhaps not on high-energy. Head here if you want to experience an Indian city without the hectic atmosphere, as it’s much more laid back and slow. The art festivals, particularly those of Book and Film, are renowned for their quality – people visit from all over the world solely for them.
…but be sure to escape to the outskirts
Consider boarding the Toy Train through the Himalayas up to Darjeeling, a hill station renowned for serving up some of the best tea not only in India but the entire world. Not only that, but the views here are undeniably stunning – with panoramas of the huge mountain range on offer, this is somewhere you can’t visit without your camera.
The Himalaya range is broad and full of hidden treasures to discover, so consider following a tour guide to take you through the peaks. India has a lot to offer, but this is perhaps one of the best locations of them all.
Stay with a family
Head to Kerala for your best chance at staying with a family. Homestays are common here – as they are in several other parts of India – and open up a door to an authentic cultural experience, as you’ll be witnessing the way of life first hand.
It’s a good opportunity to talk to locals about their history as well as that of the country as a whole, helping you understand the culture a bit better. As an added bonus, you’ll likely have an opportunity to try your hand at preparing some authentic Indian food. If you’re the kind of traveller who really wants to get stuck in, this is your chance.
Visit a national park or two
India is actually renowned for its national parks and the wildlife that lives within them; lions, tigers and elephants roam freely and coexist within the same parks, something that cannot be said for any other country on the planet.
Ranthambore and Bandhavgarh are two such parks frequented by locals and international tourists alike. Consider visiting if you’re an animal lover – the safari opportunities here are unparalleled. Afterwards, kick back and relax in a lodge, hotel or even a treehouse on site – it’s a true experience not many people even know about.