I just had the amazing opportunity of spending two weeks backpacking Northern India along with two other friends. We started in Delhi and made our way around the Golden Triangle stopping in Agra, Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Ranthambore, and Mathura. I can only describe India as one of the most interesting experiences of a lifetime. Here are my five can’t miss sights and activities:
5. Jaipur aka The Pink City
This entire city is built of pink stucco, even the walls that surround it, hence the name “The Pink City”. It is known for its beautiful palaces, rugged fortresses, and the most amazing sunset colors known to mankind… well at least in my opinion.
During the time we visited, the Indian holiday Dewali was in full force. The streets were exceedingly crowded and chaos surrounded us. After several attempts to fit in with the madness we retreated to a roof top restaurant and enjoyed the views and activities from a comfortable distance.
4. Market Shopping Galore
India is filled with every kind of market imaginable to fulfill anyone’s shopping fantasy. Though at times it can be overwhelming, the fun part comes through haggling with the shop owners. It may take a few practice rounds, but once you get the hang of it, setting your own price can make your day.
3. Amber Fort
Nestled in the hill tops outside of Jaipur in Rajasthan, this fort can be reached by renting a jeep or an elephant back to jostle your way to the top (walking NOT recommended unless you have super human powers). Once you reach the top you can spend the afternoon taking in the astonishing architecture or watching the sunset over the foothills.
2. Camel Trek through the desert
One would think riding a camel would be somewhat uncomfortable, but surprisingly I found it much easier, and a lot less bumpy, than riding a horse. It may get a little smelly at times, but the views and tranquility of the Indian desert make it worthwhile.
1. Majnu ka Tilla (Delhi)
Sometimes, the hustle and bustle of Delhi can be quite overwhelming after a few days in the city. After touring the rest of Northern India, we returned to Delhi and decided to retreat to this area of town filled with Tibetan Buddhist refugees. The peacefulness of this area is nothing compared to the rest of Delhi. It feels as if you are in another county completely! The accommodations are reasonable and very comfy. Even if you don’t stay in this area, it is worth a trip just for the fried veggie momos at one of the Tibetan restaurants.
Can’t get to India right away? Experience it from your home by entering the exciting world of Bollywood through these films.
Bollywood is the term used for the Hindi language film industry based in Mumbai, India.
Bride and Prejudice: Based on Jane Austen’s classic novel, Pride and Prejudice, with a Bollywood twist. In Ammritsar, the determined Mrs. Bakshi sets out to find matches for her four daughters. Second sister, Lalita, meets American Will Darcy – is it love?
Captured by You: A breathless cat-and-mouse romantic thriller with charming comedy and catchy songs. This Bollywood thriller offers dazzling action, danger, and intrigue.
Devdas: This musical love story follows the tragic story of Devdas’ inability to marry his childhood sweetheart Paro, and his descent into alcoholism and death.
Bollywood/Hollywood: Rahul, a young millionaire who is pressured by his family to find a bride, employs a girl to pose as his Indian fiancé. A musical comedy and family drama that is also a spoof of Indian film culture.