A few words that can explain India are: fascinating, stunning, diverse, and colossal. Traveling to India is not just a visit; it is an experience. And to experience India, the real India, there are a few things you should do that most travelers look over. These things are not only exciting and enjoyable to experience, but these things help you experience the real essence of India. Whether it is exploring the alluring Indian villages, traveling in Indian trains, or enjoying the Indian street food, these activities add up to make your India visit unique and memorable.
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In India, there are 640,867 villages compared to around 8,000 cities and towns. Villages are an integral part of Indian culture and as per the famous saying by MK Gandhi, “The soul of India lives in villages.” Many travelers make this mistake of visiting mainstream tourist spots in India and overlooking the villages. Traveling India is incomplete without visiting some of the villages that are not only beautiful but unique in their own dimension. Some villages are famous for their beauty whereas some for their food and unique culture, but every village has something unique to offer.
For example, there is a village called Mawlynnong in the state of Meghalaya. It is known to be the cleanest village in Asia. Other examples include Kila Raipur village in Punjab known for its rural Olympics, Mayong Village in Assam known for black magic, Pothanikkad village in Kerela known for its 100% literacy rate, and many more. Although it is impossible to visit all the villages, you should definitely take some time to explore the real beauty of India that lies in its villages.
Another popular misconception that travelers have about India is that India is all about villages, temples, and forts. Although it is true, you cannot overlook the exotic city life of the Indian cities. India, being a country with one of the fastest-growing economies and growing corporate culture, offers city life you should not miss. Indian cities are gaining popularity for having an exotic nightlife with nightclubs, pubs, bars, and lounges finding their way into almost all the cities. Step out on the roads of these cities after the sunset and be a part of an extraordinary experience.
The country’s nightlife is led by Mumbai, a city full of celebrities and glamor. Home to the wealthiest people in India, Mumbai has a city life you cannot miss. Delhi, the capital of India, is often praised for its delicious food and rich history. However, the newer part of the city commonly called as New Delhi is famous for its lavish restaurants, nightclubs, markets, and more. Other famous Indian cities include Bengaluru and Pune known for their pubs, and Jaipur and Hyderabad famous for their lounges and discos.
Another mistake tourists make in India is to travel by air. Although air transport is a fast and convenient mode of transport, it is not an ideal way of exploring India. Traveling to India is incomplete without experiencing an Indian train journey. The Indian railway network is one of the largest in the world comprising 115,000 km of track length and more than 20,000 passenger trains. These trains are further divided into various categories and have different coach types, facilities, and experiences.
The Maharajas Express is the most luxurious train in India and one of the most luxurious trains of the world that consists of stunning interiors and world-class amenities. Other luxurious trains include Palace on Wheels and Deccan Odyssey. If you prefer sightseeing, you can travel on Kalka-Shimla narrow gauge railway for experiencing stunning ice-capped mountain scenes. If you prefer a superfast mode of transport, you can travel on highspeed trains like the Vande Bharat Express and Shatabdi Express known for their speed.
North East India
Another blunder that visitors make in India is not to visit the Northeastern part of India. Travelers usually visit temples in the south and historical places in the north but miss the most beautiful part of India, the North East. With its verdant landscapes and unbound natural beauty, this mystical region resides in the pristine mountains. Northeast India is the land of cascading waterfalls, high hills, and exotic wildlife. The lifestyle and culture of the northeast are divergent from the rest of the country.
Kaziranga National Park is one of the prevalent tourist destinations famous for its one-horned rhinoceros and 250 species of avifauna. Another famous destination is the Tawang Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh that is home to 700 monks and 450 lamas. Other popular destinations in Northeast India include Living Root Bridges in Meghalaya that are naturally grown bridges, Gurudongmar Lake in Sikkim known for its picturesque beauty, and Unakoti Hills in Tripura that is a famous pilgrimage site.
India is a country famous for its spices, curries, and food. Each and every state of India has a different cuisine and different taste. India is a heaven for people who are hardcore foodies, and their life rotates around food. From Kashmir to Kerela and from Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh, wherever you go, you will find different types of food. But a mistake that is commonly made by travelers is to stick to restaurants for eating. This move might be good if you are highly conscious about your hygiene, but you will be missing out on a huge portion of the real Indian food.
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When it comes to street food, Delhi takes the lead with non-veg dishes like kababs, biryani, and curries being its specialty along with veg delights like paranthas and sweets. Kolkata is another city famous for its sweets, mutton chops, and seafood. Lucknow is a city famous for its royal non-veg, especially biryani, kebab, and other meat dishes. If veg street food is your thing, head over to Mumbai to experience the ultimate veg street-food experience. The city of dreams is famous for its vada pav, masala tea, pav bhaji, panipuri, and Dahi puri. Other cities include Amritsar famous for its lassi and kulchas, Hyderabad for its dum biryani, and Ahmedabad for Gujarati dishes like dhokla, khakhra, fafda, and dabeli.