Let me tell you year 2020 was not all bad. Other than bringing you closer to your families, it also helped us to appreciate all that is close to us. I for example never appreciated the fact that I have so many places to travel to near Pune. But the year 2020 helped me appreciate that. As 2020 comes to a close, I am sure all of you have started praying for a better year. Mainly a year which will allow you to travel more! I sure have started!! And as you plan, let me tell you 15 reasons why you should plan India travel in 2021!
I have not been to many countries probably less than 15. But I have been to the Royal London, trendy New York, artsy Paris and Rome, dreamy Greece, and sophisticated Switzerland. But when I think about it, I get all of these options right here in India and that too at much cheaper rates, with cute people, and great heritage!!
I am not writing this blog to help you decide to travel to India in 2021. That I am sure you will be convinced after reading this blog. what I will try to do in the blog is to give you just a glimpse into the awesome place that we call India. Believe me, it’s just the tip of the iceberg!
15 reasons why you should plan India travel in 2021
1] India Travel for great Indian cuisines
Farming started almost 500 years back in India. So Indian cuisines have a history of almost many years. But this cuisine was affected due to the foreign invaders who came to India and settled here for generations. They brought interesting recipes with them like Mughlai and Persian cooking. However, as the local chefs used to prepare the food, they adopted the Indian flavors and spices over a period of time. As Britishers, Portuguese, and French came in, they introduced us to a variety of new food items. The culinary experience in India is a wonderful mix of all these cuisines.
From sweet Gujarati cuisine to spicy Hyderabadi cuisine, you get an awesome variety here. Not just in fine foods by finger foods, street foods and cafes are to die for. As I am a foodie this goes to the top of my list of 15 reasons why you should plan India travel in 2021!!
Photo: Karnataka Thali: Hampi Travel guide!
2] Explore the unexplored mountains
India is a hiker’s paradise! From the Pir Panjal and Purvanchal ranges to the Western ghats or Sahyadri ranges, hikers get immense exposure to trekking in a variety of terrains. There is an awesome diversity in the rocks on these different mountain ranges.
Apart from the magical experience of being extremely close to nature, you get to see a diversified species of flora and fauna. Keep your camera lenses ready as you might catch a tiger napping or an elephant bathing in the rivers.
Also, read our guest post on the Roopkund trek in Uttarakhand!
Photo: Triund Trek: Family travel to Dharamshala
3] Get fresh air in vast open spaces of India
When you travel in India, there are mountains in the North, beaches in the South, grasslands in the northeast, plains in the west, and lots of other open spaces where you can get fresh air. You can walk, cycle, ride a motorcycle or drive with the top down on these terrains of India. Let all that fresh air make you happy – inside out.
Check out our fun blog on Summer travel destinations in India
4] Endless road trips on Indian roads
From the highest motorable road in Khardungla to the road trip in Pondy, you have many options to take a road trip in India. Here are the top 5 road trips in India you can put on your bucket list –
- Manali to Leh
- Mumbai to Goa
- Jaipur to Jaisalmer
- Guwahati to Tawang
- Pondicherry to Kovalam
Plan appropriate stops, fuel your car, tune in to your favorite songs and get going on the road! I am sure you will love it!
5] Engage with locals
When you lose your way in India, the locals guide you in the direction of the right one. When you are hungry, the locals feed you a sumptuous meal with tasteful local delicacies. And when you need a place to crash, there’s always an option of local homestays around you.
If you love engaging with the locals, then here are a few experiences that should top your bucket list –
- Visit Mizos, Nagas, and Apatani tribe in the Northeast
- Attend Hornbill festival in Nagaland
- Stay in Bhilar homestay – Pustankanche Gaav (village of books)
- Visit Warshi – Takashi village near Nubra Valley in Leh
- Experience the Rann festival in Kutchh
- Plan a trip to Bishnoi village in Rajasthan
- Stay in a homestay in Konkan to taste the yummy Modak (sweet dumplings)
India has many more opportunities for you to interact with the locals, understand their lifestyles, and take something valuable back with you as a traveler.
6] Cover more destinations with your money
And guess what the best part is that most of these places are truly cheap – in fact, a lot cheaper than Europe or Australia. So you get to cover more places and experiences in India on the same travel budget. If you do your travel planning properly, you can even save some money too!
Read more about travel planning in our ‘Ultimate Guide to Travel Planning‘.
7] Travel and Stay like the royals in India
There are a number of places in India where the palaces and Havelis of erstwhile monarchs have been converted into heritage hotels. You can stay in these places as you travel in India to experience a royal stay –
- Laxmi Vilas Palace Heritage hotel, Bharatpur
- Taj Rambagh Palace, Jaipur
- Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai
- Hotel Gajner Palace, Bikaner
- Fernhill Royales Palace, Ooty
- The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata
Do not miss our blog on ‘Travel in royal trains of India‘
8] Experience wildlife
The lands of India have been blessed with a variety of flora and fauna due to the perfect monsoon schedule. You can experience the exotic wildlife of India in its natural habitat if you plan a visit to the forest reserves of India. There are 88 conservation reserves in India protecting wildlife like Asiatic lions, Bengal tigers, elephants, one-horned rhinos, and even snow leopards. Book a jungle safari and get in an open jeep to book yourself a thrilling morning. And keep your cameras ready just in case a tiger decides to wink at you!!
Make a note of these top 5 wildlife sanctuaries in India for experiencing wildlife –
- Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand
- Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan
- Bandipur National Park in Karnataka
- Keoladeo Ghana National Park – Bharatpur, Rajasthan
- Sundarbans National Park in West Bengal
9] Thrill of adventure
If you are a thrill-seeker, then India definitely satisfies your cravings for adventures. You can plan many adventure holidays in different states of India depending on what you seek. Mountain climbing, paragliding, bungee jumping, zip-lining, white water rafting, skiing, sea diving and so much more. Pick your own kind of excitement and you will get an option during your India travel.
However, these activities have to be on the top of your bucket list –
- Manali – Leh cycling
- Tandem paragliding in Bir Billing
- Chadar Frozen river trek
- Spiti motorbiking
- Roopkund trek
- Sandakphu trek in Darjeeling, West Bengal
- Skiing in Gulmarg
- Caving in Meghalaya
You will like our blog on dangerous road trips!
10] Calm of the seas
You get to enjoy the beach vibes too when traveling in India. You can get on the waves to surf or sail, or dive down to the bottom of the sea to experience some great aquatic life! Or you can just lounge around in your beachwear or better yet, you can even try some beach yoga!
Goa, Karnataka, Lakshadweep, Andaman, Orissa, Chennai, and Pondicherry has some of the great islands and beaches in India.
11] Fun in the desert
India not only has mountains and beaches but fun in the desert too! May it be a desert in Jaiselmer and Jodhpur or in Rann of Kutchh, you get to stay and play in the desert. There are multiple activities arranged in the desert, for example riding an ATV, sand dunes bashing, and camel riding. You can enjoy the wonderful cultural programs arranged at night. And get a peek into Gujarati and Rajasthani cuisine while voraciously finishing off their delicious thali.
12] Relive history
India has a history of more than 5000 years. Every lane you take, every street you cross, and every corner you visit tells you the tales of ancient India. May it be the Kailasa temple in Aurangabad or forts in Maharashtra or the palaces in Rajasthan or caves in Orissa. All have a unique story to share.
The temples of Halebeedu and Hampi have the story of the rise and fall of the Hoysaleshwar and Vijayanagara empires respectively. Mysore palace boast of its history and art. The forts of Rajasthan and Maharashtra can’t stop talking about the brave warriors who fought there.
Photo: Jageshwar temple in Binsar Uttarakhand
There are many such temples, caves, sculptures, rock cutting, paintings, and inscriptions that are proof of the long and rich heritage of India.
13] Offbeat stays from igloo house to the treehouse to local homestays
Not just homestays and resorts, but India has a list of offbeat stays that you can indulge as per your budget. Here’s the list of must-have resorts on your bucket list –
- Igloo stay in Manali
- Ananda in the Himalayas – yoga resort in Rishikesh
- Turtle Bay Beach Resort in Karnataka
- Treehouse resort in Jaipur
- Vythiri wellness resort in Kerala
- Fisherman’s Cove in Chennai
- Ski resort in Auli
You might also like our blog on: A Visit to the grapefruit city – Nasik!
Photo: Treehouses resorts in India
14] Experience the true Indian heritage through a variety of festivals
Colorful festivals, adorable costumes, yummy delicacies, and vibrant decor is a big part of India’s lifestyle. We have festivals to celebrate the smallest of things. Hence, there are a number of festivals spread over the year celebrated in different manners around India.
15] Variety of cool cafes in every nook and corner
Cafe culture has its origin in the canteen culture in college. But now it has grown fast in various cities of India. The creativity in themed cafes keeps you intrigued along with the food of course! Now cafe is not just a place to eat, it is an experience to have, a place where long-lasting memories are built!
India has a plethora of travel-themed cafes, books cafes, art cafes, and so on! We will have to do a separate feature on cafes you should not miss when you are traveling in India! So Stay tuned!
After going through these 15 reasons why you should plan India travel 2021, I am sure you must have started planning. The long history and rich heritage will leave you spellbound! Do not hesitate to try the street food! Also do not forget to flaunt your street jewelry! The people, culture, food, and lifestyle in India will be the reason you will fall in love with this place as much as I have!
Happy India travels!