May 15, 2019
No matter which age bracket you fall into, once the wanderlust creeps in there is no way you want to shake off that feeling. Travel is a surreal experience. The unknown roads that lead to places that boast of cultures which are very alien to you, this very experience surprises you with happiness in a world where youâ€™re a mere nomad.
Traveling helps you evolve in terms of virtues, it teaches you life lessons youâ€™ll never forget. And if youâ€™re someone who belongs to the kind that packs a bag with bare necessities like a pair of T-shirt and jeans â€” youâ€™re undoubtedly a part of the backpackerâ€™s community then. Hello, mate!
And let us tell you that India is a country thatâ€™s regarded as a backpackerâ€™s haven. Indiaâ€™s rugged mountains, snow-capped peaks, lush green forests, exotic beaches, sprawling desserts, and of course, itâ€™s got the holy brook of the Ganges River too â€” these are enough to awaken the travel thirst even among the discerning travelers. Add to that the reasonable accommodations, economical commuting facilities, low-priced food, and very friendly and forever happy to assist natives are the royal icing on the cake that backpackers need. Weâ€™ve curated a list of places which offer you the best backpacking experiences ever, read on and start ticking them off your bucket list.
You can call it as the most legendary road trip, not just in India but in the entire world. The Manali-Leh road is a 487 Km journey through the treacherous Himalayan Mountains. It demands a two-day long journey under extreme weather conditions and tricky motoring roads. These roads are of intense nature and might not really be everybodyâ€™s cup of tea. But the ethereal beauty and the scenic awe-inspiring mountain views that this journey offers is an experience that is sure to be etched in oneâ€™s memories forever.
Keralaâ€™s backwaters offer the perfect picturesque and tranquil setting if youâ€™re looking to connect with nature. The serene stretches of lagoons, canals, and lakes lying just parallel to the Arabian Seaâ€™s coast witness a huge influx of backpackers and travelers from all over the world. If youâ€™re looking for a trip that stays close to your heart, you need to forget about hotels and experience the houseboat stays and relish the delicacies made from fresh seafood caught right in front of you. The center of attraction of the backwaters here is Alappuzha, now popularly known as the â€śVenice of the East.â€ť
India is one country where you can backpack through time. Varanasi is the city which falls on the banks of the most sacred river of the world, the Ganges. They say that taking a dip in this holy river washes off your sins and rekindles your mind and soul. Youâ€™re bound to get transported back in time as you walk through the narrow alleys of this city. And youâ€™ll find yourself lost in spirituality upon witnessing the holy aarthis on the ghats of the river which are ceremoniously performed every day.
Whether youâ€™re a history buff or not, you will still fall in love with this land of ruins from the bygone era of the Vijayanagar empire that dates back to the 14th century. This place is a must on the list of backpacking trips! Youâ€™ll witness the ruins of the empire that once was and you will be mesmerized by its historic relevance. Hampi, set against the backdrop of the Tungabhadra River is said to be home to one of the most magical sunsets.
Itâ€™s true that not all of us have an inclination towards spirituality. But if you ever want to experience adventure intertwined with peace, then consider a backpacking solo trip to Sikkim. Trek through the mountains and the monasteries here and we guarantee that youâ€™ll rediscover your inner self and find many reasons to appreciate the life youâ€™re living. The monks in monasteries organize exchange programs where you can teach them English or computers and in return, theyâ€™ll give you a glimpse of their spiritual world.
You need to go experience it, for words donâ€™t matter here, itâ€™s the colors that play a role in the their lives. Vrindavan, considered as the childhood playground of Indiaâ€™s dear God, Lord Krishna, witnesses a riot of colors during the festival Holi. Lord Krishna devotees from across the globe gather here to celebrate this festival and paint each other in Holi colors. The entire town is painted in colors and youâ€™ll find echoes of â€śBura na mano Holi haiâ€ť (No offence, itâ€™s Holi! đź™‚ )in every nook and corner.
Rajasthan is considered as the home of royalty in India. The name itself has Raj in it, which translates to reign or rule. This place boasts of picturesque desserts, magnificent palaces, and Havelis (Mansions), and not to forget the rich vibrant culture that it is famous for worldwide. If you want to feel royal and do things like camping in dessert, then you need to plan a backpacking trip here. Itâ€™ll surely be remembered as one of the most unique experiences of your life!
If you want to take a break from the hustle-bustle of city life and live a nomadic life disconnected from everything worldly, then Gokarna is the place to be. This is the only place in India where you can trek through the virgin beaches and camp under the stars. Take that guitar along or a notepad to sing and pen-down your heartâ€™s feelings, because nature and yourself will be the only source of entertainment here.
These were our top picks for backpacking experiences in India. Is there an upcoming long weekend or summer vacay? Book your tickets to these destinations as the most surreal backpacking travel experience awaits you. So, where are you heading first?