India is known for its rich heritage and natural beauty. It is probably the only country in the world where every state has its unique culture, traditions and cuisine, offering a rich experience to tourists. No wonder it is on every tourists ‘must-visit’ list, backpackers in particular, since it is a relatively inexpensive tourism destination.
This article summarizes some backpacking tours suiting the taste buds of avid travelers of all age groups.
1) Riding heights
For real adventure and thrill, go for backpacking on a motor bike at the picturesque Ladakh-Leh highway. Situated on high altitude, the pristine beauty of Ladakh leaves one spell bound. Pack the bags with handy food items, warm woolens and drive while enjoying and connecting to the simplicity of life in this area. Enjoy the high passes, Buddhist monasteries, tiny hamlets, sapphire lakes, sumptuous Ladakhi eateries on your way!
2) Panoramic Himalayan Views
Situated near the hill station of Mussoorie on the Chamba Road, Dhanaulti is a paradise for people wanting to enjoy peace amidst the serene surroundings of snowcapped mountains. Unlike a crowded hill station, the place is very quiet and one can soak in the tranquility amongst the alpine forests of Deodar, Rhododendron and Oak.
Pic Credits: Flickr
Several nature trails,treks and eco-parksin the region keep the walkers busy. Don’t forget to capture the scenic views of Gangotri-Yamunotri glaciers in your camera!
A short tour across Mathura-Vrindavan, just about 2-2.5 hours from Delhi will prove to be a spiritually healing one. The devotional songs,ringing bells of temples,prayers and the holiness of place is enchanting. The mythological stories associated with these places are equally captivating.
Pic Credits: Flickr
The state of Rajasthan has numerous palaces and monuments related to Rajput and other Hindu rulers.One is amazed to see the finesse in art and architecture, natural ventilation and lightning of these magnificent structures which challenges the architects of today.
Winter is the perfect weather to enjoy this place. Plan a tour covering Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur and Bikaner.Visit the royal museums and enjoy camel rides and desert safari on the undulating sand dunes.
A visit to the local markets for kundanand lac jewelry and rajasthani ‘bandini’ and ‘lehriya’ sarees as well as inticately carved handicraft items is a must.
5) Rock and fall
Plan a tour to central part of India where Jabalpur and nearby places make for ideal backpacking destinations. The Dhuandhar falls at Jabalpur are a must-visit. The beauty of falls and the surrounding mist all over is mesmerizing. Enjoy the boat ride on the Narmada river cutting its way through the marble rocks at Bhedaghat. The place is a favourite with photographers and if you are lucky then you could be part of a movie shoot!
6) Touching the shore
Drive along the Konkan coast and revelin the beauty of the beaches, waterfalls, mountains, creeks, forts, harbors and temples. The lush palm groves, mango trees and cashew trees planted in the agricultural fields make the place a green heaven. The rain gods are kind to this place, so carry along umbrellas if you are travelling from June to September.
7) Time for a jungle safari
The road trip from Bangalore to Ooty via Bandipur sanctuary is a captivating experience. Be ready with your lenses and catch the sauntering deer, elephants, monkeys, sambhar and a lot more on the way!
Take a break in the lodges at Bandipur sanctuary to enjoy the treasure of flora and faunaspread amidst the beauty of the Nilgiris and relish the lush greenery dotted with tea plantations, canopy of tall trees. It’s also the perfect opportunity to boost your Ayurveda knowledge while learning the therapeuticvalueof medicinal plants.
Don’t forget to grab some home-made chocolates at Ooty!
8) Fanatic Goa
Famous for friendship, football, fish, feni and its pristine beaches, Goa is an ideal backpacking hotspot for enthusiastic vacationers. Top it up with glorious churches, magnificent forts and temples a complete experience.
The central Goa witnesses a rich culture and history. The leisurely walk across river Mandovi is an experience to vouch for.Be prepared to immerse yourself in the gamut of water sports at Goan coast which include windsurfing, dinghy sailing, scuba diving, water skiing, angling, parasailing, water scooter and offcourse swimming. The beach shacks make for an ideal place to stay, live like the locals and save money.
While packing your bags off this place, do not forget to buy the umpteen varieties of cashewnuts!
9) South ‘sangam’
Kanyakumari, the southern-most tip of India, is famous for its majestic hills, virgin beaches, rivers and meandering streams.The place is known for its breathtaking memorials and temples.Watching the ‘sangam’ of three oceans is an life experience in itself!
Shop for some shell artifacts and beautifully carved wooden handicraft items in the area!
10) Eastern beauty
Behold the beautiful lakes, waterfalls, pine forests spread over the green Khasi hills in Shillong.The trekking trails among-st the bamboo plants and orchids are a boon for the walkers. Golf lovers too will find a paradise in one of the world’s oldest and best natural golf courses situated in the city.
Better still, walk your way to Shillong Peak and admire the glimmering lights of the town below appearing like a star studded veilin the evening.
You can also drive to Cherrapunji, the second wettest place on planet and see how the surroundings have adapted to the god’s bounty. Be sure to walk your way on the ‘living root bridges.
So go…..soak in the many facets of India!