- Plan a holiday to Northern India and enjoy a trip of a lifetime – from a tiger safari to visiting the world’s largest camel fair in Pushkar
- Our expert guide to some of the lesser-known things to do in India, as well as tasty Indian cuisine and tea to discover
- Ideas and inspiration for when to go, including major festivals such as Jodhpur’s Kite Festival and Jaisalmer’s Desert Festival
Holidays to India open up so many wonderful unique experiences. From going on a tiger safari to attending a camel fair, create lifelong memories on Golden Triangle escorted tours around Northern India. Discover some of the many brilliant and unusual things to do in Delhi and throughout Rajasthan – and prepare to be amazed.
Top 10 things to do in India
Visit the Golden Temple’s kitchens
A tour around India’s Golden Triangle has many highlights, one being the Golden Temple at Amritsar, and there’s no denying the shimmering sacred sanctuary is something special. However, although the Sikh pilgrimage site is a magnificent temple, the community dining hall and kitchens will also leave an imprint on your memory. In accordance with Sikh custom, sustenance should be offered free of charge to worshippers, so around 100,000 people a day are given a simple, tasty meal. Lentil dhal in huge vats is spooned into bowls and eaten with a hot chapatti.
Explore more of India – including the Taj Mahal, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Hawa Mahal and the Red Fort – with our first timer’s guide to India’s Golden Triangle.
Go wild on a tiger safari
When thinking about things to do in India, don’t forget the country is home to 15 big cats, including Asiatic lions, Bengal tigers, snow leopards and black panthers. A trip, therefore, to Ranthambore National Park is a must – it’s one of the best places in India to spot the elusive tiger, and you may catch a glimpse of a sloth bear, marsh crocodile and black-faced langur monkey too. Tiger safaris in India are worth any early rise, and with a wildlife expert in tow, you’ll get close to the action in an open-top four-wheel drive.
Take a memorable train ride
If you relish train journeys, India won’t disappoint, especially if you embark on an adventure on the luxurious Deccan Odyssey. The train’s iconic royal blue carriages carry just 96 guests between Delhi in Northern India and Mumbai – a truly enjoyable experience. Alternatively, jump aboard the country’s efficient, air-conditioned Shatabdi Express trains which run on routes such as Delhi to Agra or Jaipur – the fare includes refreshments. Or, on an India and Shimla escorted tour, take what’s called the ‘toy’ train and travel along a dramatic, narrow single track.
Enjoy India’s delicious food and tea
Holidays to India also allow you to sample some of the country’s flavoursome food. You may have tried lamb mahal or palak paneer in the UK, but eating these dishes in an authentic Indian restaurant in Northern India, well, they just taste so much better. Opt for a thali for a platter of different culinary sensations, and don’t forget to finish with a cup of tea. India is one of the world’s largest producers of tea leaves, so you’ll have plenty of choice from Assam and Darjeeling to a refreshing Chai tea.
Attend the world’s largest camel fair
If you’re on holiday in India in November and near Pushkar in the northern state of Rajasthan, make your way to an event like no other – the world’s largest camel fair! Over 160,000 dealers descend on the sacred Hindu town around the month’s full moon, and farmers and nomads (and their camels) join musicians, snake charmers and a wealth of other entertainers. If you miss the extravaganza, Pushkar is still an exciting destination, home to a Brahma temple, one of the few remaining places worldwide to worship the creator-God of Hinduism.
Browse around Jodhpur’s Clocktower Market
Known as the Blue City as buildings in the old town are painted an indigo colour, Jodhpur is a joy. And after spending time marvelling at the imposing Mehrangarh Fort which towers above the city, head to the open-air market near the Clocktower for a unique shopping experience. Stalls sell spices, silverware, hand-embroidered fabrics and flavoured tea – have fun negotiating prices with the smiling shopkeepers. Even if you’re not buying, there’s a photo opportunity waiting around every corner, so enjoy a leisurely wander through the narrow winding lanes.
Travelling to India? Make packing a breeze with our expert guide to what to wear in India travel essentials checklist.
Capture colourful memories on camera
Keen photographers won’t be short of subject matters in India. Of course, you’ll snap iconic sights such as the Amber Fort and Delhi’s Red Fort, but you’ll also soon discover why Rajasthan is India’s most colourful state. There always seems to be an eye-catching display of vibrant spices at a market or a row of brightly-decorated slippers outside a temple – pack plenty of batteries. If taking photos of the Taj Mahal, visit early in the morning or at dusk. The white marble mausoleum takes on a rosy glow as the sun rises, and a soft shade of orange at sunset.
Watch a film at Raj Mandir cinema
The enthralling city of Jaipur has much to offer visitors and if you’re compiling a list of things to do in India, add the Palace of Winds, the Jantar Mantar Observatory and the Raj Mandir cinema. The latter is an atmospheric venue to watch a Bollywood film – the crowd’s excitement will transport you to a star-studded premiere. If time is precious and you can’t catch a movie, still take a stroll to see the pink art deco building. The interior is equally as impressive, with grand chandeliers hanging in a large foyer and a vast auditorium.
Receive a warm, friendly welcome
One thing you’re sure to notice while on an escorted tour in India is that everywhere you go, there are smiling, friendly locals. Increasingly aware of their unique, sophisticated culture, Indians are eager to share their knowledge with you – and to practice their English. Be mindful, however, to respect beliefs and customs. India has a diverse religious make-up, and you’ll often be required to cover your shoulders and knees when visiting any place of worship and remove your shoes. Also remember that public displays of affection, even just holding hands, can be frowned upon.
Try to catch an Indian festival
Being a diverse country of many religions, there’s no shortage of festivals in India, with Diwali being the most well-known celebration. Taking place in October or November, the festival of lights sees clay lamps being lit in thousands of streets, houses and temples throughout India, honouring the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. In Rajasthan, an International Folk Festival also takes place in October, a Desert Festival occurs in the dunes of Jaisalmer over a long weekend in February, and Jodhpur’s Kite Festival held in January celebrates the marvel of flight.
Discover even more things to do in India
Compiling a top 10 list of things to see and do in Northern India was somewhat of a challenge as this part of the country has so much to delight visitors. On an escorted tour to India, you’ll be guaranteed to see all the main highlights, with time included to do a little exploring of your own.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.