India is an amazing place to visit, with a rich history shown at every corner. It is so vast and diverse, it seems almost impossible to experience it all, even on multiple trips. Everybody knows about the Taj Mahal and it is futile to tell classic travel tips we all know like taking a lot of photos. But there are some fun things you can do while visiting this awesome country that will make your trip go to the next level.
Eat as much local food as you can
Indian cuisine is the oldest continuously prepared cuisine in known human history. They are famous for their spices and the way they value food. Among the most famous dishes, you can try is of course their flatbread, Roti, which originated in Persia. Also, arguably the most famous rice dishes are Biryani, a group of classic dishes that date back to the Mughal Empire. It is believed that Mumtaz Mahal, Emperor Shah Jahan’s queen inspired the dish in the 1600s. If you want to try a genuine experience, try talking to locals and befriend them. Indians are known for their hospitality and you could be invited to their home. Don’t forget to eat only with your right hand, even if you are a leftie, as Indians consider the use of the left hand to be unclean and offensive.
Try the local boat casinos
The history of gambling and casinos in India is vast and goes back to the Ancient World. Nowadays, it is forbidden by law to own a casino in India, except in a few states. Goa is one state where gambling is permitted and you can usually find casinos on boats anchored in the Mandovi River. But if Goa is not on your trip itinerary, you can try an online casino in India. While on the train or the bus from place to place, you can check things out and maybe win enough money to book a second trip. There are tons of bonuses available and a great variety of games for you to choose and the great part is that if you enjoy it, you can continue playing from home.
Visit less known places
There are some landmarks in India that everyone on this planet knows. Of course, you heard of the Taj Mahal, but far less know about the Jal Mahal in Jaipur. It is a spectacular place, more than half of it being drowned in the Man Sagar Lake. Especially at sunrise, the reflection on the lake is astonishing.
Akshardham, Delhi is also one place you can’t miss. Located near the Yamuna River, the complex is full of intricate details and otherworldly architecture. There isn’t much to say, as any detail pales in comparison to the moment you see the structure itself.
One curious location, Shani Shingnapur, Maharashtra is the village where no house has a door. People lock their valuables, but there isn’t any house or even shop to have a door. Surprisingly, there are no thefts reported in the village.
For a little piece of history, The Edicts of Ashoka (200 BCE) are known to be the very first declaration of Human Rights. More than thirty inscriptions on pillars, boulders, and cave walls are forming The Edicts and they represent the first tangible evidence of Buddhism.
Meet the locals and dress in traditional clothes
As said before, locals are usually friendly and very welcoming. You can ask them about their traditional clothing, which varies a lot depending on the place, ethnicity, and religion. The most famous is the saree or sari for women and Dhoti for men. Fun fact, the saree dates back to at least 100 BC. But there are a lot of other clothes, pieces, and ornaments for every occasion. Of course, you can learn about them online, but to see it all unfold in front of your eyes, especially in remote villages that keep the tradition, is a whole new level. Maybe they will offer you the possibility to try them on. Remember to be respectful of the culture and not look at the experience as just a fashion photo for Instagram. Instead, educate yourself on what every piece represents and what its history means.
See the wild fauna
Did you know that white tigers are only found among Indian tigers? Also, elephant culture is very widespread throughout India and you can ride the majestic animals in the Indian villages and explore the views. Be aware that there is a real problem of exploitation regarding elephants, so research a place where they are treated nicely to support good behavior towards animals and contribute to stopping the abuse. A landmark of both history and wild fauna is the Hanuman’s Temple in Jaipur where monkeys roam freely. The temple dedicated to the Hindu monkey god Hanuman is one of the most famous on the site because a tribe of his present-day monkey relatives resides there. Hindu pilgrims and tourists gather to see the complex with its seven pools of natural spring water. The monkeys there have become famous for their mischiefs, including robberies and havoc, in contract with the piece of the sanctuary.
Try Yoga the authentic way
The practice of Yoga has started during the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India over 5,000 years ago. Its first mentioning was in Rig Veda, a collection of texts that consisted of rituals, mantras, and songs. With time, it spread in the Western world, with many people practicing today. Although as any other concept, it is bound to evolve, the history of Yoga and the meaning behind all the poses are a great thing to learn. Westernizing the practice washed out in some ways the core beliefs of Yoga and not all Gurus have the ability to guide a seeker truthfully in the four systems of it. You can seek out a true knower of Yoga and learn all the deeper meanings or just try it out for fun to see how it is different from the mainstream version.
India is a vast country with a rich culture and grasping it all in one go is not possible. For a great travel and learning experience, broaden your horizons and step out of your comfort zone to try out some things as they are done by the people who invented them. Try wearing what the locals wear; that will give you a more immersive experience. Kurtas like these are great for men, while the sari is a staple for women. And remember to always be respectful of the culture, locals, and history.