India is a great place, there is always something to do or to see that you most likely haven’t done before.
The outcome of such an unbelievable diversity and frequency of memorable experiences is what India is all about. You just can’t get enough and invariably perceive the call to return over and over again for more.
Some must-visit places in the country are:
Natraj Dining Hall (Udaipur)
Natraj Dining Hall is very well-known amongst locals in Udaipur. You can experience having a traditional Indian thali here. A thali is a meal that consists of a mixture of foods, normally, all served on a huge, circular metal plate. Natraj is in the Bapu Bazaar area, approximately a 30-minute walk from the City Palace. If you’re lucky, there won’t be a line, but once you get a table, food appears instantly.
There is no menu here so you only eat whatever they cook: a mixture of vegetable preparations, rice, fresh chapati, chutneys, and plenty of other delicious food. Some preparations might be spicy, so it is always better to ask before taking a bite. It’s all-you-can-eat and they’ll keep dishing out the food until you give a powerful “no more!” It costs about 120 rupees ($1.85) per person.
Natraj Dining Hall Opens daily from 10:30am-3:45pm and 6:30pm-10:30pm.
Jolly Music House (Varanasi)
It’s hard not to find this 3,800-year-old city, Varanasi fascinating. Holy commemorations, countless temples, open cremations, narrow roads winding through old markets, crumbling palaces, people praying and bathing in the sacred Ganges River, animals wandering the streets is what Varanasi is all about.
Aloof from the typical sights and activities, there is one tiny room situated down a road in the Bengali Tola area of the City. It is the Jolly Music House, run by the welcoming Jolly, a middle-aged man and talented musician who gives classes and lessons on all types of classical Indian instruments. But if you ask him, he’ll also organize a performance in the evening. The experience will leave you mesmerized and desiring to return every night you’re in this city.
The medieval city of Orchha (Orchha)
Bus gatherings usually come to Orchha for a few hours, see some temples, and then drive off to their next destination. But, if you spend a few days here, with its endless abundance of beautiful temples and palaces dotting the scenery, you’ll get a chance to have an experience of a lifetime.
Wake up before the buses arrive, and rent a bicycle. Bike on the trails connecting the temples, palaces, and fort. In the evening, when the bus tours go, walk in the yard of the Ram Raja Temple, a significant pilgrimage place devoted to Lord Ram. Climb on a rooftop and watch the life below, as there are often festivals and celebrations taking place by the temple.
Given the small size of Orchha (just a couple of streets), accommodations aren’t plentiful, but the best choice is to book a homestay in a local family home through the NGO, Friends of Orchha.
Golden Temple (Amritsar)
With its sparkling golden temple and an infinite stream of local pilgrims to talk to, each visit to Amritsar will lead to a new and fulfilling experience. Be sure to go to the Langar Hall, the community dining hall where all everybody is welcomed to enter for a modest but delicious free meal, available at all times. They feed up to 100,000 people per day. You sit on the floor, they dish out the meal, you eat, and you leave so that another group of several hundred people can do the same soon after.
Palolem Beach (Goa)
If you want to experience the Indian beach, Palolem Beach in Goa is the best spot for that. Palolem is very low-key, offering an affordable mix of beach cottages placed in a completely walkable and welcoming village setting. The sand is clean and the beach has huge palm trees, the bluish water is calm and ideal for swimming, and the sunset is remarkable as the sun dips behind jungle-filled Monkey Island at the far end of the beach, each evening.
This beach, unlike others, has independent travellers, couples, a party crowd, vacationers, all kinds of food, some nightlife, water sports, and lots of day trip choices to waterfalls, isolated beaches, snorkelling, canyons, and more — all while maintaining a laid-back mood.