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. 

North India with Nepal 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 Nepali and northern Indian hotspots you’re sure to love. 

Day 01 Delhi 
Arrive Delhi.  
Assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel.  
Overnight at the hotel. 

Day 02 DELHI  
Full day visit Old Delhi and New Delhi.  
OLD DELHI: An ancient walled city. Here you will see Red Fort, the most opulent Fort and Palace of the Mughal Empire: Raj Ghat, the memorial site of the Mahatma Gandhi; Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India; and Chandni Chowk, the bustling and colorful market of the old city.  
NEW DELHI: This city designed and built by the British in the 1920’s – a city of wide boulevards impressive Government buildings, green parks and gardens. First you will visit two monuments from Delhi’s past Humayun’s Tomb and Qutub Minar. Then your drive takes you along the ceremonial avenue, Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate and Parliament House.  
Overnight at the hotel. 

Day 03 Delhi / Jaipur 
Leave Delhi for Jaipur by surface, on arrival check in at the hotel.  
Rest of the day at leisure.  
Overnight at the hotel. 

Day 04 Jaipur 
Morning visit Amber fort with elephant ride.  
AMBER FORT: 11 kms from Jaipur – A marvelous example of Rajput architecture with its terraces and ramparts reflected in the Maota Lake below. The magnificent old citadel, a labyrinth of massive walls and towers, shrouds an exquisite marble palace, pillared and carved glimmering with a million tiny mirrors, which create tantalizing reflection effect. The ascent to the fort is on gaily caparisoned elephants.  
Afternoon visit  
JAIPUR CITY: City Palace Museum – an imposing blend of traditional Rajasthani and Mughal art. The Museum is resplendent with its collection of robes of royal princes, carpets, an armory of old weapons, miniature paintings portraying court scenes, battle scenes and procession, Jantar Mantar (Observatory) – an accurate Observatory built in 1726 AD : Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) – a five storied wonder with a spectacular pyra midal facade and overhanging windows with latticed screens, domes and spires.  
Overnight at the hotel. 

Day 05 Jaipur / Agra  
Leave Jaipur for Agra by surface en route visiting  
FATEHPUR SIKRI : A fascinating ghost town, lies a little beyond Agra the deserted Red sandstone city that was built by Emperor Akbar as his capital. It was a veritable fairy tale city and its ruins are still in a pristine condition. It is not hard to imagine what the court life must have been like in the days of its grandeur. Set like a jewel in a courtyard of pink sandstone is the marble tomb of the Saint Salim Chisti, enclosed by delicately carved marble screens.  
After the visit continue your drive, on arrival check in at the hotel.  
Overnight at the hotel. 

Day 06 Agra  
Full day visit city and Sikandra.  
AGRA CITY : is the medieval city of the famous 17th century master piece Taj Mahal, which of course is the most splendid of all buildings – perhaps the most perfect architectural monument in the world. It was built in the memory of the beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal of one of the greatest kings Shah Jehan of the Mughal Empire – Agra is not only famous for Taj Mahal but the impressive Mughal Red Fort known as the Agra Fort. (Taj Mahal closed on Mondays)  
SIKANDRA : 8 Kms South West of Agra is the tomb of the Emperor Akbar, built in white marble. Built on the outskirts of the city is in its own way, splendid specimen of the Mughal Architecture. Beware of Monkeys!!!  
Overnight at the hotel. 

Day 07 Agra / Khajuraho  
Transfer to airport in time to connect flight IC 7407 for Khajuraho.  
Dep Agra : 1135 Hrs.  
Arr Khajuraho : 1215 Hrs.  
Assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel.  
Afternoon visit  
KHAJURAHO CITY: Founded in the 9th and 10th century by the rulers of Chandela Dynasty, influenced by tantrism, in eroticism becomes a theme of philosophical interest and the aim is sublimation of sexual relationship in the sexual act or “Maithun”, women being regarded as the incarnation of the divine energy or “Shakti”.  
It is also possible that the Khajuraho were influenced by “Kama Sutra” among the temples to visit are the Kandariya Mahadeo, the largest and most typical Khajuraho temple, it soars 31 meters high. Chaunsat Yogini, the only granite temple and the earliest surviving shrine of the group (900 A.D.) it is dedicated to Kali. Chitragupta temple is the temple dedicated to the Sun God : Surya.  
Vishwanath temple, a three headed image of Brahma is enshrined in this temple, and various other temples. 
Overnight at the hotel. 

Day 08 Khajuraho / Varanasi 
Transfer to airport in time to connect IC 7407 for Varanasi.  
Dep Khajuraho : 1245 Hrs.  
Arr Varanasi : 1325 Hrs.  
Assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel.  
Overnight at the hotel. 

Day 09 Varanasi  
Early morning boat ride on holy river Ganges.  
Later visit  
VARANASI CITY : The consists of visiting the city temples – the durga temple, better known as the Monkey temple on account of the large number of monkeys residing there and the temple of Vishwanath (or Vesheshwar “Lord of the Universe”) are the most sacred spots in the city. Visit will also include Bharat Mata or Mother India Temple and the Benares Hindu University.  
Afternoon excursion to Sarnath  
SARNATH : 10 kms from the center of the city, Sarnath symbolizes the birth of Buddhism. It was here that Lord Buddha revealed his doctrine and founded his monastic community. The Museum at Sarnath is amongst the most important in India and contains carvings representing a whole range of styles – Archaic, the covering work of sculptors from 3rd century B.C. to the 12th century A.D.  
Overnight at the hotel. 

Day 10 Varanasi / Kathmandu 
Transfer to airport in time to connect flight IC752 for Kathmandu.  
Dep Varanasi : 1255 Hrs.  
Arr Kathmandu : 1405 Hrs.  
Assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel.  
Overnight at the hotel. 

Day 11 Kathmandu 
Full day visit city and Patan.  
KATHMANDU CITY: It is the unique and fascinating capital of Nepal. First visit the 2000-year-old stupa at Swayambhunath, then drive to the Central Durbar Square where you will see fine examples of Nepalese architecture in Kathmandu’s Palace and Pagodas.  
PATAN: You drive through the Nepalese country-side and visit Patan, known as the ‘City of Grace and Fine Arts’ where you will witness interesting and beautiful places of art and architecture. Enroute you will also be able to visit a particularly interesting exhibit and salesroom at the Tibetan Refugee Craft Centre.  
Overnight at the hotel. 

Day 12 Kathmandu 
Full day visit Pashpatinath, Bodhnath and Bhadgaon.  
Pashupati : Situated five kilometers east of Kathmandu on the bank of sacred Bagmati river, the temple of lord Shiva Pashupatinath with two tiered golden roof and silver doors is famous for its super architecture. It is a center of annual pilgrimage on the day of Maha Shivratri. Entrance to the temple precinct is permitted to the Hindus only however, visitors can clearly see the temple and activities performed in the temple premises from the eastern bank of the Bagmati river.  
Bodhnath : The stupa of Bodhnath lies eight kilometers east of Kathmandu. This colossal and ancient stupa, one of the biggest in the world has the all seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. It was built by Lichchhavi king Mana dev in the fifth century A.D. it is built on an octagonal base inset with prayer wheels.  
Bhadgaon : Situated at an altitude of 140 lm, is a home of medieval art and architecture. The urban city covers an area of 4 square miles. Shaped like a conch shell, Bhadgaon means the city of devotees. Pottery and weaving are its traditional industries. The city lies about 14 kms. East of Kathmandu.  
Overnight at the hotel. 

Day 13 Kathmandu / Delhi 
Transfer to airport in time to connect flight IC 814 for Delhi.  
Dep Kathmandu : 1350 Hrs.  
Arr Delhi : 1510 Hrs.  
Assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel. 

Day 14 Delhi Aboard 
Transfer to International airport in time to connect flight for your onward destination. 

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!


City Spotlight: Mumbai

Mumbai, known as Bombay until 1995, is the capital city of Maharashtra, a central Indian state. It is the most populous city in India with an estimated population (city proper) of 14 million; the greater metropolitan area houses more than 21 million people. In 2008, Mumbai was named an alpha world city, pointing up its developed connectivity and financial status. Furthermore, Mumbai is the financial, commercial, and entertainment capital of India—it deserves your visit.

Mumbai’s culture blends traditional festivals, food, and music with their modern counterparts. The city has always been a major trading center, leading to the development of a diverse range of culture, religion, and cuisine. Visitors enjoy the cosmopolitan lifestyle of this truly global city. However, beaches are also a major attraction; Girgaum Chowpatty, Juhu Beach, Dadaw Chowpatty, Forai Beach, Marve Beach, and Manori Beach are popular among both locals and tourists.

Mumbai is also the birthplace of Indian cinema, and the oldest film broadcast took place in the ealry 20th century. Dadasaheb Phalke began making silent movies, which were followed closely by Marathi talkies. The city has several movie theaters that feature Bollywood, Marathi, and Hollywood movies, but many cinemas host screenings during the Mumbai International Film Festival. In addition to film, the city is well-known for contemporary art, public sculpture, and their world-renowned zoo.

Traveling to Mumbai is very easy. The city offers several forms of transportation, including the Mumbai Monorail (opened 2014). Suburban railway and BEST bus services account for around 88% of the passenger traffic, but rickshaws and taxis are also popular.

City Spotlight: Jaipur

Jaipur is the capital and largest city in the state of Rajasthan, situated in Western India. The city’s population well exceeds 3.1 million, making it the tenth most populous city in the country. Colloquially, this metropolis is known as the Pink City for its gorgeously-colored buildings. Jaipur forms part of the west Gold Triangle tourist circuit (along with Agra), making it a vivacious, easily-accessible Indian destination. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, serving as a gateway to additional destinations within Rajasthan.

Jaipur is home to several important cultural sites. The Hawa Mahal is a pink sandstone palace known colloquially as “Palace of the Winds.” Similarly, the City Palace is a lavish, pink 1700s structure that includes both a main complex and a museum—perfect for tourists. History lovers will delight in the city’s many historic buildings; Amer Fort, a structure sitting atop a hill overlooking the city, was built in the 16th century. With a felicitous combination of royal heritage, ancient history, and an ultra-modern lifestyle, Jaipur is a great representation of urban Indian life.

While in Jaipur, visit the best-known cinema in India: The Raj Mandir Cinema. Opened in 1976, this large, art deco-inspired structure is one of the best places in the country to catch a Bollywood film. The spacious theater has comfortable seats, and the hundreds of moviegoers will make you feel like you’re attending a premier—regardless of the film, day, or time. When you’re done, walk over to Ml Road, which hosts some of the city’s best lassi shops.

Jaipur is located on National Highway No.8, which connects Delhi and Mumbai. Additionally, RSRTC operates bus services to other major cities in Rajasthan, making Jaipur an easily accessible destination when put into a larger Indian tour.

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.