Travel to India to See The Gateway of India

The Gateway of India remains one of the most popular attractions in the country and is situated in the southern region of Mumbai. Construction on the massive and intricate structure began in 1920 and was completed four years later. Yellow basalt was used to create the gateway, which is designed in Indo-Saracenic style with Gujarati features that include complex latticework. The Mumbai harbor and the famous Taj Mahal hotel are nearby.  
The arch is rectangular and contains three distinct sections. The center of the structure rises 85 feet into the air. The top boasts a dome that is 48 feet in diameter. The dome has four turrets adorned with latticework. On either side are expansive halls covered by intricately carved stone. The interior of each is large enough to hold 600 guests. Behind the arch are steps that venture down to the Arabian Sea.  
When to Visit  
Making the journey to India after September spares guests from the monsoon season. Venture to the site in the early morning hours or after sunset to see the structure illuminated. The entrance to the gateway is free. However, visitors are advised to bring cash in the event they decide to make purchases from local vendors who frequent the gateway.  
Additional Attractions  
As the gateway is situated along the harbor, guests often take boat trips to see the city from the waterfront. Local boats also venture for six miles to the Elephanta Caves, which involve a series of temples constructed in the caves to honor the Hindu God Shiva. The caves are open to the public daily from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Entrance fees for visitors is 250 rupees. One can easily spend up to five hours touring the site. 

Travel to India to See Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary

I recently returned from my trip to the 485 square mile Periyar National Park. While I had a wonderful time, there are some things I would do differently next time. To save you the hassle of having to visit this national park that costs 300 rupees to enter for foreign visitors, here are some of those things. 
Expect to Pay Extra 
Make sure to bring extra rupees with you. You will need to pay 100 more rupees for every still camera and 250 rupees for every video camera that you bring. You will also have to pay 50 rupees to bring a vehicle in. Each activity has its fees attached.  
Best Time to Go 
While October to February are popular times to visit this park, if you want to see elephants, then go in March or April. The elephants will be in the water, which makes them much easier to spot. Try to plan your trip on a weekday that is not a public holiday to avoid crowds.  
Take the Early Boat 
The best way to see the animals at Periyar National Park is from a boat. These 90-minute rides leave throughout the day, but the best chance to see the most animals is on the 7 AM trip. You may also want to opt for a night-time safari as many animals are more active at night.  
Go Trekking 
You will also want to go trekking while you are at Periyar National Park, but avoid the whole-day excursions. Instead, look for opportunities to go with local tour guides on trekking trips lasting about three hours. First, the whole-day trips are filled with too many people to make them worthwhile. Secondly, the local guides are former poachers and loggers who are now doing eco-tourism to make their living. 
Visiting Periyar National Park is a wonderful adventure. Follow these tips to make the most of your time in the park. 

Travel to India to See Amer/Amber Fort

If you are planning on visiting Amber Fort and Amer, then following some tips will help you maximize your time there. 
Use a Hired Car 
When visiting Amber Fort, go ahead and rent a car with a driver. The public buses in this area are dirty and very crowded. There are very few parking spaces available, and someone needs to design a better road system. Go ahead and rent a car with a driver for the day so that you can enjoy your time in Amer. 
Take the Jeep 
When you arrive at Amber Fort, you will see that it is located on the top of a steep hill. You have three choices on how to get up the hill. You can choose to walk, but that can be hard as temperatures are often hot. You can also choose to ride the elephants, but that is very expensive. Instead, choose to take the jeep, which brings people up the hill once an hour. 
Best Time to Visit  
Escape the summertime crowds and the brutal heat by touring Amber Fort between November and March. Try to go during the week and not on a public holiday. This is one attraction where going later in the day pays vast dividends because you can tour the fort, watch the nightly sound and light show, and have dinner at the restaurant inside the fort. 
You can expect to pay 100 rupees to get into the fort. The sound and light show will cost you 295 rupees. Dinner at the 1135 AD restaurant within the fort can be expensive, but it is worth the splurge. 
Visiting Amer Flor is a memorable experience. You can expect to spend an hour touring the fort, 90 minutes at the sound and light show, and a couple of hours dining at the restaurant. Speed up the process by going during the week and taking the jeep up the hill when you arrive. 

Kachchh and Gujarat Planned Itinerary

Day 01 

Arrival at Mumbai and board the flight for Bhuj 

Arrival at Bhuj, transfer to hotel, and rest 

Dinner and night halt a Bhuj 

Day 02 

Full day sight-seeing at Bhuj 

Night halt at Bhuj 

Day 03 

After breakfast, departure for Mandvi, 60 Kms 

Visit old city and harbour Laxmivilas Palace and beach 

Back to Bhuj by evening, night halt at Bhuj 

Day 04 

Full day visit of Banni villages, like Hodoko, Dhordo, 100 Kms 

Bhirandiyara for culture of Kachchh and handicraft 

With packed lunch, night halt at Bhuj 

Day 05 

Full day visit to Narayan Sarovar, Mata Na Madh, Koteshwar, 300 Kms 

Lakhpat, evening arrival to Bhuj, night halt at Bhuj 

Day 06 

Departure after breakfast for Jamnagar 

Afternoon arrival at Jamnagar, Check in at hotel 

Evening free, night halt at Jamnagar 

Day 07 

Departure for Dwarka after breakfast, 150 Kms 

Afternoon arrival and check in at hotel, attend evening Aarti and Darshan at main temple 

Night halt at Dwarka 

Day 08 

Morning Aarti at Dwarka and visit to Bet Dwarka 60 Kms 

After lunch departure for Porbandar, 105 Kms 

Evening arrival at Porbandar, night halt 

Day 09 

Departure for Somnath after breakfast, 135 Kms 

Arrival at Somnath and attend Aarti at noon in main temple 

After lunch, departure for Junagadh, 80 Kms 

Night halt at Junagadh 

Day 10 

Full day at Junagadh 

Day 11 

Departure for Ahmedabad, on the visit Virpur and Rajkot, 315 Kms 

Evening arrival at Ahmedabad, night halt 

Char Dham Yatra Planned Itinerary

You may know you want to visit India. You may even know where you’d like to go. The question, then, becomes how you want to spend your time. Here’s a great 10-day itinerary of some western coastal hotspots you’re sure to love. 

Day 01- Delhi – Hardwar 
Drive from Delhi to Hardwar. On arrival Hardwar, Check in Hotel. Later we shall take you for a visit to the Har-Ki-Pauri, enjoy the AARTI in the evening. Later back to hotel for overnight stay at the hotel. 
Day 02 – Haridwar –Barkot (Drive 230kms, 7 – 8 hrs) 
Depart from Haridwar early morning and stop for lunch on the way in Mussoorie. Continue your journey and reach Barkot in the evening, after visiting Kempty Falls on the way. On arrival check in at hotel in Yamunotri, just 1km out of Barkot town on the Yamunotri Road. Dinner and overnight at hotel. 
Day 03 Barkot –Yamnotri –Barkot (Drive 32 kms, trek 14 kms round) 
After an early breakfast leave for Hanuman Chatti (drive 32 kms ) to start your journey. Take a local jeep to reach Phool Chatti to shorten your trek by 5 kms. On arrival, start your day with a tough trek of 7 kms .Arrive at Yamunotri and pray at the temple, and take a holy Achman to start your most sacred pilgrimage to Char Dham. Come back to Phool Chatti in the evening, and check in at hotel.Overnight stay at hotel. 
Day 04 Barkot –Harsil via Uttarkashi ( Drive 152kms, 6 -7 hrs ) 
After a relaxed breakfast, leave for Harsil, a drive of 152 kms. En route, stop at Uttarkashi for lunch. On the way stop at Gangnani for a hot water spring dip. Continue towards Harsil, one of the most beautiful valleys in the world, and arrive at the Char Dham Camp, set amidst an apple orchard in Dharali village, 2 kms away from the Harsil cantonment. On arrival check in for dinner and overnight stay. 
Day 05 Harsil – Gangotri – Uttarkashi 
After breakfast 22 kms drive to Gangotri and on arrival take a holy dip in the sacred river Ganges, also called Bhagirathi at its origin. Perform Pooja after that and relax for some time in the lovely surroundings. afternoon drive to Uttarkashi. On arrival check into the Hotel. 
Day 06 Uttarkashi –Guptkashi 145 kms (Drive 9 -10 hrs)  
After a very early breakfast, leave for Guptkashi. A late lunch is scheduled en route at Srinagar. On the way, see the heritage city of Tehri slowly sinking into the mighty waters of the Holy River Ganges, due to the construction of the Tehri Dam. After lunch, continue your journey and today for the first time see the beautiful river Mandakini. Travel alongside the river to reach Guptakashi late in the evening. On arrival check in at Hotel. 
Day 07 – Guptakashi -Kedarnath (Drive 32 kms, trek 14 kms ) 
After breakfast pick up your packed lunch, and leave for Gaurikund (32 kms drive-one way). On arrival start your journey on the tough trek ahead. Stop for lunch en route and continue after that to arrive by late afternoon.On arrival check in to the Tourist Bunglow/ Parmarth Ashram. After freshening up, perform Pooja and also Darshan at Shri Kedarnathji. In the evening also visit Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi behind the temple. Dinner and overnight at the Ashram or Tourist Bunglow. 
Day 08 Kedarnath – Joshimath via Chopta (Trek 14 kms, drive 200 kms) 
After breakfast start you journey back to Gaurikund, and on arrival leave for Joshimath via Chopta by road to reach the Joshimath. On arrival check in at hotel O/N stay at Hotel. 
Day 09 Joshimath – Badrinath –Joshimath (Drive 90 kms) 
After breakfast leave for Shri Badrinathji. On arrival take the holy Darshan and spend time visiting Mana village -the last village before the Tibetan border.Return to the hotel for dinner. Overnight at Joshimath. 
Day 10 Joshimath – Rishikesh (Drive 249 kms 9-10 hrs) 
After breakfast leave for Rishikesh and on the way stop for lunch at Srinagar. Continue the journey and if time permits, visit Devprayag ( The confluence of rivers Alaknanda and Bhagirathi, which become the Ganga ). Reach Rishikesh in the evening to check in to Hotel.Evening visit Laxamn Jhula and Ram Jhula and see the evening arati. Overnight at Hotel. 
Day 11 Rishikesh – Delhi 
After breakfast drive to Delhi via Hardwar. 

Leisure in the South Planned Itinerary

You may know you want to visit India. You may even know where you’d like to go. The question, then, becomes how you want to spend your time. Here’s a great two-week itinerary of some southern hotspots you’re sure to love. 

Day 01 Mumbai  
Arrive Mumbai, meeting on arrival and transfer to hotel.  
Rest of the day free for independent activities. Overnight at the Hotel. 

Day 02 Mumbai  

In the morning visit the world famous: 
Elephanta Caves: A must for any visitor to India. Mute testimony of the Golden Age in Indian history during the Gupta period and built to honor Lord Shiva. Elephanta is a 3 kms long elongated island, consisting of two hills separated by a valley. The caves with rock-cut figures and carvings are believed to be carved by the sculptors of Ajanta or Udayagiri. 
In the afternoon enjoy sightseeing tour of city.
Overnight at the Hotel. 

Day 03 Mumbai – Banglore 
Transfer from hotel to airport in time to connect your flight to Bangalore. Meeting on arrival and transfer to hotel.  
In the afternoon enjoy sightseeing tour of:  
City which includes the Lal Bagh, Gole Temple, the Government Building, Vishveshwara Industrial and Technology Museum and the Ulsoor Lake.  
Overnight at the Hotel. 

Day 04  Banglore – Hasan  
In the morning leave Bangalore for Hassan by surface.  
In the afternoon visit : 
Belur – Halebid : Visit the Chennakeswara Temple at Belur and the Hoyasaleswara Temple at Halebid. These are some of the finest examples of temple architecture.  
Overnight at the Hotel. 

Day 05 Hasan – Mysore  
In the morning leave Hassan for Mysore by surface and enroute visit: 
Sravanabelagola : “White lake of Jain hermit” is the leading Jain pilgrimage centre of the Deccan. Amongst the temples is the 57 ft. colossal statue of the hermit Gomateshwara built in 985 A.D. “White lake of Jain hermit” is the leading Jain pilgrimage centre of the Deccan. Amongst the temples is the 57 ft. colossal statue of the hermit Gomateshwara built in 985 A.D.  
Srigangapatnam : 16 Kms. north of Mysore Srirangapatnam meaning “port of the Lord of the World” is an ancient religious site on an island in the river Cauvery.  
Continue you drive for Mysore. Rest of the evening at leisure.  
Overnight at the Hotel. 

Day 06 Mysore  
In the morning enjoy sightseeing tour of: 
Mysore: The old capital town has the magnificent Maharaja’s Palace, Chamundi Temple, and the Art Gallery with a fine collection of paintings and musical instruments. Finally you also visit the fruits and flower markets.  
Afternoon free for independent activities.  
Overnight at the Hotel. 

Day 07  Mysore – Trichy  
In the morning leave Mysore for Trichy by surface.  
Afternoon at leisure.  
Overnight at the Hotel. 

Day 08 Trichy  
In the morning enjoy sightseeing tour of:  
Trichy : Visit the Rock Fort, Srirangam, one of the largest temple of God Vishnu; and the jambkeswaram temple of Lord Shiva submerged in water.  
After sightseeing tour of Tanjore. 
Tanjore: Famous for the Classic Dravidian style temple of Brihadishwara (Shiva in his fearsome aspect), also noted for its art and crafts; pottery, silk, jewellery, beaten copper, bronzes & silver statutes.  
Overnight at hotel. 

Day 09  Trichy – Madurai  
Leave for Madurai by surface and check in at hotel. Rest of the day free  
Overnight at hotel 

Day 10  Maduri  
In the morning enjoy sightseeing tour of:  
Madurai City : You will visit Minakshi Temple- built in the 17th century the iconography makes much use of the lotus, which in Indian symbolism is a representation of the female sex and at the same time an emblem of bliss and of the abode of the gods; Palace of Nayak Tirumalai – depicting influence of Mughal art on traditional Hindu art- the beginning of the Indo-Saracenic or Indo-Mauresque Style.  
Afternoon at leisure.  
In the evening witness the “Night ceremony” at Minakshi Temple.  
Overnight at the Hotel. 

Day 11 Madurai – Chennai  
Transfer from hotel to airport in time to connect your flight to Chennai.  
Meeting on arrival and transfer to hotel.  
Afternoon at leisure.  
Overnight at the Hotel. 

Day 12 Chennai  
Enjoy full day excursion to Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram.  
Kancheepuram: known as the Golden city of a thousand temples. This is one of India’s sacred cities. Many early styles of temple architectural design; the Five Radhas-a group of monolithic monuments and animal figures carved out of solid rock; the Shore Temple, lashed by the waves of the Sea; and the huge frescoe; ‘The Penance of Bhagirathi’.  
Mahabalipuram: An ancient coastal port South of Madras, here you will see many sculptures and temples of typical South India architectural designs; the five Radhas – A group of Monolithic monuments of animal figures carved out of solid rock; the shore temple, lashed by the waves of the sea, and the Huge frescoes; the penance of Bhagirath.  
Overnight at hotel. 

Day 13 Chennai 
In the morning enjoy sightseeing tour of: 
Chennai City: A typical Indian city, its the capital of Tamil Nadu. Though it was the oldest settlement of the British, Chennai remained unaffected in spirit. Only the cathedral and the Fort of St. George are a reminder of its British past. Visit the Marina Beach- second longest beach in the world, it’s an elegant promenade; Fort St. George- the first foothold of British from where Robert Clive started the expansion of British Rule. 

Day 14 Chennai – Mumbai  
In time transfer to airport to connect flight for Mumbai.  
Assistance on arrival and transfer to hotel.  
Overnight at the hotel. 

Day 15 Leave Mumbai  
Transfer from hotel to international airport in time to connect your flight back home. 

City Spotlight: New Delhi

New Delhi, an urban district of Delhi, serves at the capital of India and the seat of all three branches of Government. The city was officially founded in 1911 by George V, Emperor of India during the Delhi Durbar, and it was designed by British architects. When Calcutta, now Kokata, became the epicenter of the Indian Independence movement, British colonizers moved the capital to New Delhi, where it has remained for more than a century. After the country gained independence in 1947, a limited autonomy was conferred to New Delhi.


New Delhi forms just a small part of the Delhi metropolitan area, sitting on the Indo-Gangetic Plain. As a result, there is little difference in elevation across the city—something quite rare to find in large Indian cities. While New Delhi lies on the floodplains of the Yamuna River, it is essentially landlocked. Additionally, the city falls under the seismic zone-IV, making it especially vulnerable to earthquakes. New Delhi is also known for its bad air quality and pollution. In 2014, the World Health Organization ranked New Delhi as the world’s worst polluted city among the 1,600 cities tracked. The city is doing what it can to alleviate some of the pollution, the Indian Medical Association declared a public health emergency in 2017 due to high pollution levels. If you travel to this city, especially in the winter, when pollution is at its worst, I recommend wearing some sort of face mask. You can purchase these items at most stores and pharmacies.


Despite the devastating pollution, New Delhi is a remarkably cosmopolitan city. This is due, in part, to the cultural presence of the vast Indian bureaucracy and political system. National events, such as Republic Day, Independence Day, and Gandhi Jayanti are celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm, and I highly recommend timing your visit with a celebration. The city is full of historic sites, museums, and gardens, making it a perfect Indian destination for lovers of art and culture.


When traveling to New Delhi, visitors can utilize its railways, Metro, bus system, and motorways. Getting here is remarkably easy. In fact, in 2010, Indira Gandhi International Airport was conferred the fourth best airport award in the world (within the 15-25 million category). This is a can’t-miss destination in your Indian experience.

How to Travel in India

India is a slight departure from most western travel norms. When on vacation, most Americans opt for places in Western Europe—think France, Italy, Germany, and—for the more adventurous—Portugal. Most travelers only experience the Asian continent on the Eastern end—Japan, South Korea, and China. India, however, provides the opportunity to explore an intersection—what happens when Europe collides with the east?


This crazy, beautiful, overwhelming country is a must-see destination for people worldwide, but the traveling itself can be a bit intense. I am here to help you navigate through some of the most challenging aspects of Indian travel. My name is Lukas, and I (basically) grew up in India. Though my family is originally from Vienna, we moved to Pune so my mother could take a job at UWC Mahindra College. I spent my childhood exploring the country and, after attending UWC myself, took a gap year before starting university in the United States.


During that year, I worked as an independent tour guide and travel consultant. Using my personal experiences, I learned to craft the perfect vacations for visitors. If they wanted to go on safari, I knew where to point them. If they wanted to explore India’s Islamic history, I drew up a list of important mosques. In addition to helping plan trips, I also, at times, traveled alongside clients, helping to translate, haggle, and book accommodations along the way.


Though I have since left India, my love for the country will never die. I want to turn my experience into a resource for anyone planning to travel there. That, in essence, is the mission statement for this blog. Here, you will find travel guides, tips, and must-see destinations. If you every have a personal question or want an individualized travel guide, shoot me an email!


Traveling in India: What You Need to Know

So: You’ve decided to visit India. You might have an idea of the places you want to visit, but—odds are—you’re agonizing over every detail of your trip. Traveling in India is an overwhelming but rewarding experience, and new travelers should seek out expert tips and advice to prevent overstimulation. Luckily, that’s what I’m here to provide. Below are my four tips for having a successful Indian vacation.


  1. Plan your route. Don’t show up in Mumbai expecting to visit Kerala. Think about the sites you want to see and plan your trip around that. If you want to stay in one place, by all means, this is the easiest option. However, India is such a compact, diverse country that seeing several cities in a single trip is very manageable—just choose cities that interest you rather than those you’ve only heard about in passing.


  1. Take a few hours each day to get away from the crowds. With over a billion locals, parts of India can feel very claustrophobic. It’s easy to reach a personal breaking point, so spend some time alone, inside, or in one of the country’s smaller towns.


  1. Know what you consume. Don’t drink tap water, and don’t consume food that has been washed in it. Avoid ice cream, salads, and fruit you haven’t peeled or prepared yourself, and give your stomach a few days to adjust before trying any street food ventures.


  1. Take it slow. It’s better to concentrate on just a few places rather than trying to tick off as many as possible. Spend a few days in a single place before moving on—you’ll gain a deeper understanding of where you are and have more time to explore.


Must-See Spots in India

At this point in your planning process, you’ve likely booked your flight, but you’re not completely sure what you want to see. India is a dense, highly-populated country; as a result, there is a lot packed into the space, and you won’t have the time to see it all in a single trip. While planning your vacation, think about what interests you most about the country. Is it the wildlife? Is it the religious sights? Maybe it’s the standard landmarks and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is essential to plan your trip around what you absolutely need to see, concentrating on either the North or the South. Be realistic about your time—you’ll have a more relaxing trip.

While working as a tour guide, I came to recognize four popular routes. I have the important sites listed below.


The Classics—This is the most popular route for travelers in India. It includes the Golden Triangle—Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. If you don’t mind a fast-paced trip, you can squeeze it all into a week. Your can’t-miss sites include: Humayun’s Tomb, the Red Fort, the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, and the Pink City.


Religious Tour—Whether you are personally religious or merely interested in religious architecture, India offers countless temples, mosques, and places of worship—especially in north and central India. Your can’t miss sites include: the Golden Temple, Khajuraho, the Sun Temple, the Jain temples in Rajasthan and Gujarat, and the temple caves at Ajanta and Ellora.


Beach Relaxation—The southern end of India is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. From Mumbai’s Girgaum Chowpatty beach to the Goan beaches, you can’t go wrong in choosing a destination. I personally enjoy Kerala’s black sand beaches (Kovalam and Varkala) in the north.


Adventure Trekking—Northern India is mountainous and beautiful—perfect for those seeking a bit of an adrenaline rush. Start in Shimla and work your way up to Manali to experience some of the best hiking, skiing, and whitewater rafting available.