India, with all its contradictions and complexities, is a land that elicits a range of emotions. It challenges our perceptions, expands our horizons, and invites us to embrace its vibrant chaos. It is a place where every sense is awakened, where the fragrant spices of its cuisine mingle with the pungent scents of its streets, and where the symphony of voices, music, and prayers create an indescribable symphony.

In India, one is confronted with the rawness of life, the beauty that emerges from chaos, and the undeniable resilience of the human spirit. Original and unique, this is India—a tapestry of contrasts that leaves an indelible mark on those fortunate enough to experience its magic.

How to get to India

Delhi Airport. Image: Wikipedia

From Australia, flights to India are readily available, with major airlines offering direct or connecting flights to key cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai. Once within the country, an extensive network of railways, buses, and domestic airlines allows travellers to navigate India efficiently. Trains offer a glimpse into local life while long-distance buses connect major cities. Additionally, domestic airlines facilitate faster travel between regions, ideal for covering vast distances within limited timeframes.

Where to stay in India

Find unique stays like Tree House Hideaway in Bandhavgarh National ark. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

India presents a diverse spectrum of accommodations catering to every traveller’s preference and budget. From opulent heritage hotels and luxurious resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses and homestays, the options are as varied as the country itself. Immerse in regal splendour in Rajasthan’s palaces, unwind at beachfront retreats in Goa or experience tranquillity in Himalayan hill stations.

Top things to discover in India

Most people don’t realise just how expansive India is. It can be overwhelming travelling around India and trying to fit it all in is nearly impossible – you would need to spend years in the country to really see it all. So we recommend picking a few areas of interest and spending quality time there instead of rushing around.

Adventure travellers will find many off-the-beaten-track experiences, travellers interested in architecture and history will have their itineraries full while those seeking opulence and luxury will revel in the vast offerings across the country. Here are some of our picks as the must-see highlights.

India – Taj Mahal at Agra. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

Marvel at the Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal, an architectural masterpiece and a symbol of undying love, lures travellers from across the globe. Intrepid’s Taj Mahal Extension takes you on a journey to the heart of this remarkable monument. Beginning in bustling Delhi, you’ll venture to Agra, home to the Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spend a day exploring this exquisite mausoleum and its captivating history. Then, return to Delhi, a city that effortlessly blends tradition and modernity.

Cruise Kerala Backwaters

Sail through Kerala’s serene backwaters aboard a traditional houseboat, drifting past lush greenery, quaint villages, and tranquil waterscapes. Engage with local communities along the waterways, savouring Kerala’s culinary delights and witnessing traditional craftsmanship while basking in the tranquil ambience.

India – Varanasi. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

Do a homestay in Varanasi

Varanasi, one of the world’s oldest living cities, is a spiritual epicentre and a microcosm of India’s diverse culture. Intrepid’s Varanasi Homestay Extension immerses you in the essence of this city, offering a unique opportunity to stay with a local family and witness life along the Ganges River. Participate in sunrise rituals, explore the winding alleys, and experience the spirituality that defines Varanasi.

Visit Jaipur’s Amber Fort

Nestled atop the Aravalli Hills, the Amber Fort resonates with tales of Rajput valour and opulence. Explore its intricate chambers, the Mirror Palace adorned with intricate glasswork, and the majestic Sheesh Mahal, all while enjoying panoramic views of the surrounding landscape from its lofty vantage point.

Bath in Goa’s Beaches

Goa’s coastline, adorned with golden sands and swaying palms, offers a laid-back atmosphere and a vibrant beach culture. Beyond sunbathing, indulge in water sports, explore the bustling flea markets, and embrace the vibrant nightlife that makes Goa an eclectic blend of relaxation and revelry.

Witness the Golden Temple, Amritsar

Enter the sanctum of Sikh spirituality at the Golden Temple, where a gleaming golden edifice rises majestically amidst a serene pool of holy water. Engage in langar, the community kitchen offering free meals to all visitors, and witness the nightly Palki Sahib ceremony, a stirring display of reverence and devotion.

India – Bandhavgurh NP Tiger Safari. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

View tigers in Bandhavgarh National Park

Embark on exhilarating wildlife safaris in Bandhavgarh National Park to catch a glimpse of majestic tigers amidst diverse flora and fauna. The thrill of spotting these elusive big cats, along with encounters with leopards, sloth bears, and a myriad of bird species, adds an adventurous edge to this natural sanctuary.

Taste the Darjeeling’s Tea Estates

Wander through emerald-green tea plantations in Darjeeling, absorbing the aroma of freshly plucked leaves and learning about the intricate process of tea production. Sip on a steaming cup of Darjeeling tea while beholding panoramic views of rolling hills, an experience that encapsulates the region’s beauty and rich cultural heritage.

Jaipur in India. Photo: Wikipedia

Visit Jaipur’s Amber Fort

Nestled atop the Aravalli Hills, the Amber Fort resonates with tales of Rajput valour and opulence. Explore its intricate chambers, the Mirror Palace adorned with intricate glasswork, and the majestic Sheesh Mahal, all while enjoying panoramic views of the surrounding landscape from its lofty vantage point.

Step inside the Mysore Palace

Step into a realm of grandeur at Mysore Palace, a masterpiece of Indo-Saracenic architecture adorned with intricate artwork, ornate ceilings, and opulent interiors. Witness the spectacle of the palace illuminated by thousands of lights during the Dasara festival, a sight that embodies regal splendour and cultural richness.

Explore the Khajuraho Temples

Explore the UNESCO-listed Khajuraho Temples, renowned for their stunning and intricate carvings depicting various aspects of life and spirituality. These architectural marvels offer a fascinating glimpse into ancient Indian artistry and philosophy, showcasing the country’s cultural depth and historical significance.

The best time to visit India

India – Varanasi. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

While India experiences diverse climatic conditions, the ideal time to visit varies by region. Generally, the cooler months between October to March are preferable for most regions, offering pleasant weather conducive to exploration. Summers, especially in northern India, can be scorching, while monsoons might hinder travel plans in some areas.

Top Tips for travelling India

India – Varanasi. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

The first tip for travelling to India and the most important one is to check if you need a visa to enter the country and if so – apply for it on the official website with plenty of time before travel. Other tips include:

  • Pack Smart: Light, breathable clothing is a must, but don’t forget to cover up appropriately when visiting religious sites.
  • Stay Hydrated: The Indian climate can be scorching; carry a reusable water bottle and drink bottled or purified water.
  • Cuisine Adventure: Try local street food, but be cautious about hygiene. Opt for busy stalls with a high turnover of customers.
  • Respect Local Customs: India is diverse, and customs vary. Research and respect local traditions, especially when visiting temples and rural areas.
  • Haggling: Bargaining is common in markets, so don’t be afraid to negotiate prices.
  • Beware of Scams: Be cautious of scams, especially involving guides and touts. Stick with reputable tour operators like Intrepid.
  • Currency Exchange: Use ATMs for currency exchange, and inform your bank of your travel plans to avoid card issues.
  • Health Precautions: Consult a healthcare professional for recommended vaccinations and carry a basic first-aid kit.
  • Traffic Awareness: Traffic in India can be chaotic. Exercise caution when crossing roads and consider local transportation options.
  • Travel Insurance: Ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance to cover unexpected events.
India – Varanasi. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

To discover more about India, visit

Disclosure: The writer Kate Webster travelled as a guest of Intrepid Travel and Pugdundee Safaris. All images are credited to Kate Webster unless otherwise specified.

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Kate Webster

Kate Webster is the founder and owner of Captured Travel Media. She is a world traveller, ocean lover and conservation warrior who is determined to make every moment count for not only herself, but the world around her. An editor and travel journalist, Kate travels the globe in search of vivid imagery and compelling stories that capture the essence of the people and places she visits. She is a passionate conservation advocate, sustainable traveller and always travels with reason and cause.