Best Places to Visit in India

best places to visit in india

After 5 years of travelling straight with Tanbay, I am now semi-settling down to life with Tamás (don't ask me why my boyfriends are always left-handed, linguistical, non-Brits whose names start with T, I don't know). Anyway, does that mean I've stopped travelling?

Absolutely not, it just means I'm trying really hard to travel in a more ethical and eco-conscious way. Right now I'm concentrating on revamping Travelling Weasels and Vegan Vs Travel, whilst occasionally visiting friends and family in Europe, but my goal – once everything is finalised – is to take a big overland trip (no more flying for us, cos carbon emissions!) to India and start exploring one of the most culturally rich and geographically diverse countries on the planet. What I have to keep in mind is that I am going to visit a country that was colonised and ruled by a state (that I am currently a citizen of) for over 300 hundred years. This raises some important questions for the socially aware traveller and casts a different light on many things I am going to see.

"So where should we start, how do we get there?" asked Tamás who's never been to Asia. Failure to prepare is preparing to fail - with this in mind I've already started writing a list of the best places to visit in India, researching things like how to get an India visa and when is the best time to visit India. And I thought instead of shoving all that info on a piece of paper in a drawer and forgetting where it is when Tamás asks me again in three weeks, I'll put it on here so that I won't lose my research – and in the hope that it will help you with your research too! :)

Best Places to Visit in India

1. Best Places to Visit in India for Yoga

One of the main reasons I want to travel to India is to learn more about yoga which originated in ancient India (perhaps dating back to 3000 BCE, wow!) I specifically want to learn about the cultural and spiritual aspects of it (as opposed to being cultural appropriation-y all over it, looking at you Bad Yogi)! 

best places to visit in india for yoga

According to Hippie in Heels, Goa, Rishikesh and Mysore are all huge for yoga. As the former two are both some of the best tourist places in India (read: very touristy), I'm tempted to go to Mysore, but my friend Karn just tried Ananda Yoga Shala and recommended it very highly, and it's in Rishikesh so the jury is still out.

Geographically, Rishikesh is close (relatively) to New Dehli (200km) and Nepal, so if your India travel trip takes you to one or both of these, Rishikesh is definitely your best bet. Mysore is in the south of India and Goa is on the South West coast.

Here is a full list of yoga retreats in India

And if you have a yoga retreat to recommend in India, please let me know :)

2. Best places to visit in India for vegan food

Okay, seeing as India is famous for its gastronomy worldwide (oh, cumin, coriander, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, cinnamon, I love you all!), this list could potentially go on forever. However, this is one of those cases where travelling vegan has its advantages, in that it reduces the best places to visit in India for food list drastically!

best places to visit in india for vegan food

According to Happy Cow:

"In India, with a population of over 1.1 billion, more people are vegetarians than anywhere else on earth. The majority of Indian vegetarians are vegetarian because of tradition or religious beliefs. Food plays a major role in the practice of religion in India. Vegans should be aware that most Indian vegetarian recipes include dairy in the form of either ghee, curd, and/or paneer. Being a vegan in India is not so easy, but being vegetarian is."

vegan food india

Also according to Happy Cow, Mumbai has the highest number of vegan restaurants (12) so it is definitely one of the best places to visit in India for vegan food.

best places to visit in india for food

The rest of the time we will take full advantage of all the amazing fruit and vegetables that India has to offer and stay in a place with a kitchen (like an Airbnb or a Couchsurfing host) so we can make rice and potatoes :)

3. Best Places to Visit in India to See Wild Animals

best places to visit in india for wildlife

With wild Indian leopards, Indian wolves, Asian and Indian elephants, Dholes and so much more, Indian is one of the best places in the world to see wildlife. We believe it is important to only see these creatures in their natural habitats and not support industries where animals are exploited like zoos, animal circuses, elephant riding, camel riding, snake charming and more.

There are an abundance of safari tours in India (see full list here) and it's important to double-check that these practice good animal courtesies, e.g. not getting too close to wild animals, like on this tour:

unethical animal treatment india

But back to the best places to visit in India to see wild animals: many recommend Ranthambhore (near Jaipur) to see wild tigers, Assam (between Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar) to see wild elephants and the central Indian Highlands to see Dholes.

There are wild animals all over India,  but always remember: animals are not there simply for us to see and they deserve to live in peace. If you see one in the wild, count your blessings, and please don't support those that don't believe these. Live and let live :)

4. Best Places to Visit in India to See Nature

Sunderbans and Meghalaya are renowned as two of the best places to see breathtaking nature in India. The latter is known for its tea gardens (a special variation of the Darjeeling and Assam varieties) and its living root bridges and the former for its huge mass of mangroves, which, according to Wikipedia

"move carbon dioxide 'from the atmosphere into long-term storage' in greater quantities than other forests, making them 'among the planet's best carbon scrubbers'

How cool is that? Save the planet, people! :) Go go, Extinction Rebellion!

best places to visit in india

Sunderbans and Meghalaya aside, pretty much everywhere in India (apart from the cities) is the best place to see nature – from coasts with beaches as far as the eye can see to jaw-dropping mountains and everything in between, India has it all. Such diversity of terrain! But if you think about it for a moment: India (3.29 million sq km) is almost as big as Europe (4.32 million sq km) – so no wonder that they have such variety!

And actually, I take back what I said about the cities not being good for nature, wildlife grows there too – plants are wonderful, aren't they? Growing from every little crack in the asphalt, from between bricks, on roofs (plz don't weed them out, all plants produce oxygen)

Oh and of course, monkeys are everywhere in the cities, too :)

Travelling to India Checklist

Now that we have a taste of some of the best places to visit in India, our wanderlust heart racing and filled with compassion for the once-oppressed peoples of this country – it's time to put our brain into gear and start looking at some of the more practical sides of travelling to India with this checklist:

1. India Visa UK

To be honest with you, one of the things that put me off India travel in the past was the visa, I wasn't sure how it worked exactly and I was too lazy to work it out. Not any more. It turns out if you're a Brit like me, getting an India visa is easy (wait a sec, just checking my privileges...)

The electronic visa India (or e-visa India) can all be done online (saving us the effort of having to go anywhere and do anything). It costs £109.95 and the travel permit is sent by email within a few days. Find out more and/or apply here: Indian visa application form

2. Vaccines Needed for India

According to FitForTravel (a website run by the NHS), they advise these vaccines (or boosters if you've had them in the past but they've run out):
  • Diphtheria; 
  • Hepatitis A; 
  • Tetanus; 
  • Typhoid.

(+ consider getting Hepatitis B and Rabies jabs, just in case. They're useful in Europe, too btw :))

3. Travel Insurance

It's not a nice experience to get injured abroad and then not getting  any healthcare because you're a foreigner – nation-states are funny, aren't they? So our only option left is to pay for travel insurance. After using World Nomads for years, we've recently switched over to Safety Wing for travel insurance because it's cheaper and has more advantages (for a full comparison see our post:SafetyWing - Is it a World Nomads Alternative?

Wrap Up: the Best Places to Visit in India

best places to visit in india
So there you have it, a list of some of the best places to visit in India for foodies, nature-lovers, yoga-fans and more: some history to think about! Plus a little checklist for people travelling to India from visa to jabs to travel insurance. I hope this post has been helpful for you – I've really enjoyed prepping for our trip! :)

PS if you're in India already, please take advantage of being able to overland to Nepal - here are 5 best treks in Nepal - in our humble opinion. 

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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