How to Travel India in most Authentic Way in 12 days
Covering Taj Mahal, Delhi, Rajasthan
This is a country where words like ancient, Incredible, huge, contrasts, architecture, history, rich culture, crazy, noisy, bizarre, crowded can be used to describe it. Each of these words is true in their own way.
It is the land of Authentic, unique and off the beaten track Travel Experiences. Yes, it can get overwhelming, frustration if you don’t research and plan ahead. That’s why I, just like other bloggers always recommend to have at least a rough plan and don’t just show up in places.
If you are traveling to India for the first time, is it difficult to decide where to go and what to do especially of you have about 10 or 12 days? It can be a daunting to decide as there is everything you can ask for and India is a humongous country.
I suggest you start with the Classic Golden Triangle but I always add on 2 more places to make your Travel to India one of the best ones. Keep reading.
Delhi (first Day ), Agra (2nd Day ), Jaipur ( 3rd & 4th Day), Alsissar in Sekhawati (5th & 6th Day), drive back to Delhi Airport for a late afternoon flight to Varanasi, so Varanasi (7th & 8th Day), on Day 9 Fly back to Delhi for your connecting back home or continuing further in India or SE Asia.
Here are Tips on How to Make Travelling richer and more Authentic.
1. Stay in a real palace.
I recommended Jaipur and Alsisar especially because you can stay in really historical mansions or real palace. Sometimes you spend the same price as a modern 4 Star hotel but in this region of Rajasthan you can stay in a real small palace. Prices can range from $100 to $10,000 .
In this itinerary, you can stay twice in these palaces to have amazing authentic and real Royalty experiences.
2. Visit a bustling local Bazaar and a Spice Markets.
Every city would have a bustling bazaar with fruits, vegetables, spices and also many other things going on. Of course, you are going there to buy fruits and veggies, I mean you can always buy fruits (make sure you wash them very well before you eat) but you are going there to see a place teeming with life, it would be crazy but amazing I promise.
You can alway come across other interesting things which you can only see in postcard and travel magazines.
For example, I always take my Amazing Authentic Travellers to Agra Bazaar and as I said there not only fruits and vegs but also barber under a tree, shoe cobbler, children approaching you to take a photo with them … if you are into these things, you will cherish this experience.
3. Take a Cycle Rickshaw and an Auto Rickshaw (Tuk Tuk) ride.
Generally, you will be traveling in the comfort of your car but you must come out of your comfort zone and take a rickshaw ride especially in a busy area.
To give a kick to all your senses I always make sure to have this part of my itineraries. You will feel like being on a Travel Show as you can see and feel so many things going around you.
I always take my Amazing Authentic Travellers to Old Delhi for almost an hour rickshaw ride and also through narrow busy streets with colourful shops, full of people and many times even cows
4. Visiting Hindu, Jain or Sikh Temple.
Visiting India in an authentic and meaningful way is not complete without visiting temples. Ancient Hinduism dates back over 5000 years, yes I said 5000 years and there is no shortage of ancient, enormous and magnificent Hindu temples.
In this itinerary, I recommend absolutely non-touristy Sikh Temple in New Delhi, called Bangla Sahib Gurudwara. My #AmazingAuthenticTravellers always have the same feedback about this place, that “this place was special, there is a feel of serenity”. It is one of my favourites temples as they are so welcoming.
Also, you can see a gigantic kitchen which serves about 10,000 to 15,000 vegetarian meals per day and the good news is, it’s for FREE. You would see people from all walks of like volunteering in this mega kitchen. Don’t miss it.
I also recommend visiting Birla Temple in Jaipur a comparatively new Hindu temple made of marble. The ideal time is during sunset and witness the evening prayer rituals as well at the same time.
5. Find Joy in small things and interacting with locals.
I know there are many news and concerns about the safety in India. So you need to be careful and read a bit on the safety tips but simultaneously you need to have an open mind.
You will be stared and approached by locals, even friendly families all the time to take photos and also you will be asked many questions. It is totally safe to engage in different ways with a family. Instead of blocking out yourself and only answering their question, you can ask questions reciprocally.
You will see the whole situation will change from annoying to something fun, friendly and special. I have met Solo Female Travellers from UK, Spain and may other countries traveling India for 6 months or even a year. And they have fallen in love this country.
Also, you will people being so friendly and helpful. Give a small tip ( not always needed but when they are poor people I always give) and people would let you do anything you want … you will have time of your life.
6. Visiting Villages is a must.
Many please say by visiting villages you see the real India and I totally agree and recommend you the same.
You will find everywhere and everything extremely photogenic and again you will feel like in a Travel Documentary. If you are guided by the right people you will have few beautiful moments with the people.
Again if you have good guides, they will take you to a real mud home, see their simple lifestyle sometimes living less than $2 per day yet it is not a slum. They have very simple but hygienic lifestyle and extremely welcoming.
7. Mouth watering food in a roadside Dhaba and small eateries.
Food is very important part of life and there is a variety of dishes, maybe even over 1000 dishes and they are so different than how they taste here in the western countries.
Most of the time the food in these roadside Dhaba’s or small eateries are the most authentic and absolutely delicious. Important TIP: Make sure it is a busy place and do this at least after 5 or 6 days after arriving in India.
I always take my #AmazingAutheticTraveller inside the kitchen to make give them a real feel of the smell, flavors, spices, the process, basically the whole behind the scenes.
Go for elephant ride like a Maharaja.
Visit Varanasi and the Ganges.
So hope this was helpful and In my next blog post I will give you this same itinerary but a very detailed version. I hope it will very useful in planning your first trip to India.