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Why India is on my Bucket List

The Taj Mahal India - Why India is on my Bucketlist

“India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great-grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.”  Mark Twain.

India is a place that has fascinated me for years, but I haven’t had the chance to go yet.  It does seem to split opinion, and people who have been to India either love it or hate it.  However you feel, there is no denying that a trip to India is something you should do at least once in your life! From speaking with Indian friends to seeing pictures and watching films about this magical sub-continent, India is definitely on my bucket list, and here’s why I think it should be on yours too!  But don’t forget you have to get an Indian visa before you go!

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The Festivals in India

India’s annual program of festivals right across the country is so richly diverse it is a tough choice when it comes to deciding which you should visit!  From parading camels to throwing paint, there’s going to be literally something for everyone here. Festivals are so interwoven with the history and culture of this country that even if you’re not going specifically to visit one, you’ll probably stumble into the middle of it anyway!

Holi in India - Why India should be on your bucketlist
Holi in India – Why India should be on your Bucket List

Nature in India

Wildlife might not be the first thing you think of about India, but when I recently watched a documentary about wildlife in India I was shocked to learn that there are lions in India!  I had no idea that there were Asiatic lions in India, although they are very rare I would love to see them in Gujarat’s Gir National Park where they live.  And of course, to see a tiger in the wild would be a very special experience indeed.  That’s not to mention the elephants, leopards, bears, and hundreds of species of birds.

Indian Food

The culinary delicacies that this region has offered the dining tables of the world are no secret, influencing many other cuisines in the process. The beauty of it is, it’s so eclectic that typical “Indian” food probably doesn’t exist!  You’ll find the plates and palates vary just as much as everything else in this country, and no two region’s creations will be alike. And just as interesting as the food is the way that the people eat it too. Dining in India should hold a place on your bucket list alone!  I am very excited about trying authentic Indian food, from street food in Delhi to fish curries in Goa and vegetarian specialities in Kerala, and everything in between.

Food in India - Get used to the colours, sights and smells in the markets
Food in India – Get used to the colours, sights and smells in the markets

Indian Cities

You’ve never seen chaos until you’ve visited a city in India. The likes of Mumbai, Calcutta, Delhi, and Chennai are bustling, whirlwinds of activity that will sweep you off your feet if you’re not careful.  You may love them or hate them, but these vibrant metropolises need to be seen to be believed. Traffic jams, a sea of bodies jostling in the streets and invasions of personal space are all part of the experience.  I fell in love with Mexico City, and although I know that India is completely different, I hope my travels to that monster of a city gave me a small introduction to what going to cities in India might be like!

The Taj Mahal

Quite possibly the most famous monument on the planet, the Taj Mahal needs no introduction, but it’s definitely one of the most obvious reasons to visit India.  Sitting on the banks of the river Yamuna near the city of Agra, this stunning architectural feat was built as a memorial and tomb for the Persian princess, Mumtaz Mahal. It is one of the new 7 wonders of the world and attracts around 8 million visitors a year.  Aside from being able to visit another of the 7 wonders, after Machu Picchu, Chichen Itza and Christ the Redeemer, simply being able to see this beautiful monument up close is something I can’t pass up!

The Taj Mahal - Why India is on my bucketlist
The Taj Mahal – Why India is on my Bucket List

The People

As hospitable and as friendly as they come, Indians are loved for their spirit, positivity, generosity and good nature. Of course, you’re going to get one or two bad eggs in any country – especially one of such size, but for the most part, you’ll be welcomed with open arms and treated like one of the family. And family is a very important thing here, as is a tolerance to other cultures and peoples. You’ll arrive a stranger and leave a friend – whatever your background.


Whether you’re a person of faith or not, visiting India to witness a vast array of religions and practices is key to many experiences here. Travellers often come to India looking for answers, be it from a knowledgeable Sadhu, Guru or Yogi, it matters not. Spirituality is powerful in this country and peace is its byword. You’re going to need it to remain calm, but you just might find what you’re looking for here.

A Yogi - Why India Should be on your Bucket list
A Yogi – Why India Should be on your Bucket list

Train Journeys in India

Long journeys on India’s railways are legendary and truly the defining spirit of adventure here. You’ll rub shoulders with people from all walks of life while passing by some astonishing landscapes, towns, and villages. You’ll see things you’ve never seen before – and never will again.  Anyone who undertakes such an experience will not be going home the same.


India has the largest film industry in the world, producing an astonishing 1,986 films in 2017. As someone once said, it is more a way of life than it is film-making! But the reason I include it here is that it’s perfectly possible you could be in one!  Whereas you probably won’t make it in Hollywood for simply standing on the street, with Bollywood if you go to a certain area of Mumbai and you’re a foreigner, there’s a strong chance they’ll ask you to be an extra in a film, and then superstardom beckons!

The Tea

It may seem sacrilegious to admit that I’m an English person who doesn’t drink tea, but it’s true.  However, I’d love to visit Assam and see the green fields of tea and see how it is picked.  And who knows, maybe tea here tastes different to how it does back home!

Indian Tea - Why India Should be on Your bucketlist
Indian Tea – Why India Should be on Your Bucket list

So What am I Waiting for?

India is a country of extremes, in colour and life, history and culture, art and architecture and everything in between, and even after backpacking South and Central America, India is an exciting melting pot of people and beliefs that will have me stepping outside my comfort zone for a challenging, spiritual and empowering adventure I’m sure I will never forget. I shouldn’t really have to tell you why India should be on your bucket list too – it just should be!

Where would you like to visit in India and why? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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India is a place that has fascinated me for years, but I haven’t had the chance to go yet. India is definitely on my bucket list, and here’s why I think it should be on yours too! #Travel #India #Bucketlist #BackpackingIndia

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Last updated: February 15, 2020

6 thoughts on “Why India is on my Bucket List

  1. Cat says:

    I would love to visit India for the food! I have tried Indian food in other countries before and love all the spices. It would be neat to compare how close they were to authentic Indian food!

  2. Deeptha says:

    I will be a little biased here as I was born and brought up in India. So, yes, if you love traveling and exploring new places/cultures I would recommend a visit to India. However, instead of the tourist-y things, I would suggest some lesser visited places like the Great Rann of Kutch (a salt marsh in Gujarat), Nohkalikai Falls (said to be the tallest waterfall plunge of India), Valley of Flowers (National Park in Uttarakhand) or the Phugtal Monastery (in Ladakh) to name a few.

    And if you are a foodie, you will enjoy the wide variety of regional and traditional cuisines in India.

  3. umiko says:

    To be honest, India is still not in my bucket list. I don’t think I want to experience the train journeys, Bollywood, or the cities to name a few. The two things that make me want to go there are the palaces in Rajasthan and Kashmir. I have a friend who specializes in South Asia’s travel and I saw lots of pictures of two places from her journey there.

  4. Sage says:

    I wrestle with myself about my desire to visit India. To see something as iconic as the Taj Mahal seems worth it, but then there are other aspects that don’t interest me. Thank you for providing an inspirational view of India in this post!

  5. Lisa says:

    I’ve also not been to India, and would like to make the journey one day. I too have heard many split opinions on traveling there, but when you see the photos, they’re so inspiring! I think I’d love to see the Taj Mahal and Rajasthan. They have so many ancient temples, I’d probably take hundreds of photos while there!

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