For one reason or another India was not on my bucketlist before I started blogging. But over the last few months I saw so many nice pictures and I read so many inspiring stories that I got interested. A few months ago I read about a tiger safari in India and I decided I had to add India to my list.
Thank God I could convince my husband and we booked tickets for next month. We are flying to Delhi. Afterwards we drive to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. Next stop will be Ranthambore to (hopefully) see the tigers andat the end we stay one day in Jaipur.
I asked some fellow bloggers to share their experiences with us.
By Somnath from Travel Crusade
Delhi is now the smartest city in the country with lot of revenue and FDI pouring in. It is now a merger of three cities namely Gurgaon, Noida and Old Nelhi coming under NCR (National Capital region). It is the capital of India since 1913 and there have been lot of changes in the city recently due to the formation of the new government.
Delhi can be planned and visited and sighted in less than a weeks time if planned properly. One can plan to visit Qutb Minar, The Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Jantar Mantar, Kashmiri Gate in one go. The remaining places, like Akshardham Temple, The India Gate and The Lotus Temple can be planned in another day. There are also weekend drive gateways in the hills and mountains available to the people of Delhi and Gurgaon and Uttar Pradesh. There have been lot of initiatives taken bythe government to curb pollution and anti social activitis like rape and cyber crime in the city.
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By Natalia from My Trip Hack
Natalia lived in India for 2 years, so she knows what she is talking about.
Delhi has numerous cultural and heritage sites, yummy food, great transport connectivity - yet, so many visitors hate it! One of the main reasons – budget. Delhi is a city of contrasts when it comes to people, architecture, food and money. You can find accommodation in the city as cheap as 3 USD/night up to hundreds of dollars in 5 star hotels. Nevertheless, it’s a capital city and it’s expensive even if you come from the west.
Unless you are habitual to huge crowds, constant noise, mix of smells, small spaces, I wouldn’t recommend staying in Paharganj area even if you are tempted by cheap prices. Do visit Old Delhi – it’s one of the most historical parts of the city, yet stay in residential areas in the south of the city. Expand your preplanned daily budget for Delhi by 10-15 USD and it will change the way you perceive the whole place. Delhi has many experiences for travelers, but give this town at least a chance to open up to you!
If you want to read more about Delhi beyond Red Fort and India gate, check the article Offbeat things you need to try in Delhi.
By Liz from It's a drama!
Liz travels the world with her husband Brian and their two teenagers Sonny and Tessa. And oh yes, she loves a good glass of wine.
Say Agra and everyone will say the Taj Mahal And rightly so. This seventh wonder of the world deserves every ounce of glory layered upon it. But, what people will fail to tell you is that paying one thousand rupees admission price isn't the only way you can get to admire this beautiful building whether it be bathed in the light of sunrise or in the soft orange glow of the sunset. Just a few steps away from the Eastern gate you will find the Hotel Saniya Palace. From the outside, in the dirty little side street, this hotel looks like something not to be crossed with, but be brave. Step inside and climb the stairs to the cafe hidden at the top. Here you will be welcomed by a roof garden with the most spectacular views of the Taj Mahal herself. An uninterrupted chance for you to take in this panorama. The beer is cold and cheap. The tea is warm and soothing. The spectacle of the Taj Mahal is something you will never forget.
Read her entire story about Taj Mahal.
Ranthambore National Park
By Sarah from ASocialNomad
Sarah and Nigel travel the world slow and they love to eat and drink local. They were lucky to have a close encounter with a tiger.
Ranthambore is unique as a National Park in India. Not only is Ranthambore a National Park renowned for Tigers in the wild, but also for the fort, within the park that was founded in 944. The fort is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site under the title of “Hill Forts of Rajasthan”.
Wild Tiger Safaris in Ranthambore are undertaken in smaller “Gypsy” jeeps that seat 6 people and “Canters” that seat 20 people. Each vehicle comes with a separate driver and guide and allocations to the different areas of the park are made randomly each morning and afternoon.
It’s possible to see deer, wild pigs, peacocks, a huge amount of monkeys and birds here at Ranthambore. Everyone, though, wants to see the tigers. We were lucky in our gypsy jeep safari, and spotted Ladali, sitting under a tree. We watched her for perhaps 15 minutes until she left us and walked off into the bush.
I you want to read more, check out her blogpost How to see wild tigers at Ranthambore.
By Mike from Live, Travel, Teach
Mike is currently based in Anchorage, Alaska, to photograph the Aurora Borealis! Enjoy his pictures on IG.
Jaipur was one of my favorite cities in India and my best suggestion for a hidden gem in Jaipur is Panna Meena ka Kund. It’s a small stepwell with a temple around the corner but most tourists skip this beautiful site and spend their whole day at the nearby Amber Fort. Tourists aren’t allowed to walk down the steps of this ancient structure which helps keep it so well preserved. Panna Meena ka Kund turned out to be one of the best photos I’ve ever taken and is well worth the visit on your trip to Jaipur!
Read all about his weekend in the Pink City.
By Dev from Footloose Dev
Located in Northeast, bordering Bangladesh, Meghalaya is unlike any other place in India. It is dominated by nearly 5 hill tribes, with Khasi tribe having the majority population. Meghalaya is popular for its rainforest, wildlife and waterfalls. But among all, it is popular for root bridges. Also known as man-made wonders, root bridges are when local people planted rubber-fig trees on either side of a river and build a bridge using the original roots. There are nearly 20 such root bridges across Meghalaya.
Other than rootbridges, Meghalaya has Asia’s cleanest village, world’s wettest place and a lot more to explore.
There was almost no tourism some 10 years ago here, because everyone was scared of the local tribes. But over the years, Meghalaya has established itself as India’s top tourist destination. Naturally, overtourism has had its negative effects. Many popular tourist destinations in Meghalaya including Dawki River has lately got polluted. To overcome the problem, however, Meghalaya came up with many community initiatives and created life-examples for better tourism in India. Despite growing pollution, Meghalaya is setting scores as one of India’s cleanest state now.
So yea, when it comes to holiday in India, there is a lot more to see than just Goa and Kerala. And Meghalaya is the best upcoming example. Meghalaya is beautiful, cultural, historical, and now exemplary too.
All these great stories make me even more anxious to go. I count the days and can't wait to tell you about my experiences.
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3 more weeks before I go to India, so if you have any other tips, feel free to share!