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Highlights of India: Top 10 things to do

India is a destination like no other, with it's vivid colours, bustling cities and spiritual customs. Discover our top 10 things to do in India to get under the skin of this fascinating country.


1. Visit the majestic Taj Mahal at sunrise or sunset

The story of the Taj Mahal, built by emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his favourite wife, is a romantic one and there is no more romantic time or light in which to see this monument of love than at sunrise or sunset. Arrive before or after the bulk of the day’s crowds, and see the Taj as it changes colour with the sun.
All trips including Taj Mahal

2. Spend a night on a house boat

You may think of India as a loud and busy destination, but there is another side to this diverse country. Stay overnight on a Keralan houseboat for a relaxed introduction to life on the backwaters. See paddy fields, village life and a myriad of birdlife from a traditional thatched houseboat as you slow down to the relaxed pace of southern India.
All trips including Kerala houseboat

3. Go on a safari in search of tigers

There's some incredible wildlife to be seen in India, including the majestic Bengal tiger. Our Highlights of Northern India tour visits Ranthambore, one of the best national parks to see tigers, as well as other animals like Indian elephants, striped hyenas, sloth bears and a myriad of bird species like crested hawk eagles, crested serpent eagles and white-breasted kingfishers.
All India tours including wildlife safaris

4. Feast on delicious Indian food

Much of the best food in India is found outside of the city’s hotels and restaurants. Head to the streets of Mumbai to try delicious pav bhajis, a popular vegetable curry served with a bread roll. Or enjoy fresh parathas (Indian flatbreads) in Delhi’s Chandi Chowk.

When it comes to cuisine, you'll try different Indian curries depending on the region you’re visiting. Biryani in Hyderabad; hot meat curries in Rajasthan or thukpa (a noodle soup) in Ladakh. In southern India, mildly-spiced vegetarian and fish curries come fresh and wrapped in banana leaves.

For a trip with a focus on the region's cuisine, with cookery demonstrations, street food tours and visits to spice gardens, check out our Indian Food Adventure.

5. Meet locals

Leave the chaotic streets behind and take to winding backstreets on foot or by bike to get closer to the communities that live within them. Cycle through remote Rajasthani villages to get a close-up glimpse of daily life in this region. Or discover the hidden sights and lively street life of Agra and Jaipur on a walking tour that takes in this region’s historic cities, remote villages, hills and deserts. 

6. Visit a festival

India's busy calendar of events and festivals means that you’ll find colour and celebration whenever you visit. On the edge of the Thar Desert the Pushkar camel fair sees hundreds of thousands of people gather every November to trade camels, cattle and horses.

Or spend two full days at the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland. Tribes come together to perform traditional dances and folk songs, wearing ornate clothing and jewellery. They wear head dresses that reflect the colourful feathers of the hornbill, the state bird that the tribes admire for the grandeur of its plumage.

All India festival tours

7. Go on a train ride

Rail journeys are synonymous with travel in India, and the country is world-renowned for the scale and efficiency of its rail operations. Tour the highlights of North India travelling by train on our Kolkata to Amritsar trip , or see the Himalayan Foothills from the window of the Toy Train.

8. Visit a temple

It’s impossible to travel here without seeing some of India’s famous temples. With over two million temples in India, you’ll be stumbling over impressive monuments whichever region you visit. Marvel at the Meenakshi Temple which stands on the banks of Madurai’s Vaigai River, or explore the four gates of Jagannath Temple in Puri.

9. Relax by the coast

While not known for its beaches, India has plenty to offer – particularly on its west coast. The best beaches in India include the palm-fringed sandy beaches of Goa and the crescents of Kovalam. Alternatively, why not add an extension to your India trip and explore the sandy stretches of Sri Lanka or the Maldives?

10. Sail along the Ganges

Join a Ganges River cruise to observe the unique daily rituals of the villages that flank this sacred river. Travel through the timeless landscapes of the Ganges by traditional sail boat and set up camp on the beaches of the river – an unforgettable experience.


Want to make India your next holiday?

Have we convinced you that India should be your next trip? From trips that will immerse you in the culture and spirituality of India, to wildlife trips to spot tigers and lions, we've got an India holiday for you. 
View all India tours

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