Backpacking in India

Backpacking in India, the world's second most populated country offers a unique experience that you will remember for a lifetime. To use the old cliche', India is a country of extremes and a backpacking trip through the country will open up your mind to a beautiful culture. While many backpackers prefer to have the cushion of first world luxuries while they are backpacking, India is a popular choice for those looking for something a little out of the ordinary.

From ancient historical monuments like the Taj Mahal to the modern Indian cities, there is much to see. Each Indian state will offer you a unique experience and India never stops surprising you with its diversity of cultures, religions and exotic food. It is a backpacking trip with its highs and lows and definitely a one of its kind experience.

Backpacking in India is definitely not the same experience as backpacking through you Europe but can be just as exhilarating. Some of the advantages of visiting this south Asian country are:

  • The history - India has a rich history that goes back thousands of years and the Taj Mahal and the beautiful palaces of Udaipur, are just the tip of the iceberg.
  • The cultural diversity of India surprises and enthrals many and there's something new to be learned from every culture.
  • From five star hotels to youth hostels - backpackers have plenty of accommodation options to choose from.
  • Affordable trips are important for most backpackers and travelling through India is perfect for the budget-conscious traveller.
  • Variety of climates to choose from - with the extreme cold of the northern Himalayas to the extreme heat of the western deserts.
  • It is a third world country and not all amenities will be top of the notch, but when living in cities, you can easily find all the first world luxuries you may be used to.
  • An India travel visa is easy to get, so no worries there.

Cities Worth Visiting

While each city in India is a unique experience by itself, some of the cities that are definitely a must see are Mumbai, Goa and Jaipur.

Mumbai is the city of Bollywood dreams and the city of Slumdog Millionaire. Located on the west coast, it is India's commercial capital and you can see the homes of the richest superstars and the poorest slums side by side. It boasts an active night life and is a great experience of an Indian city.

The ancient Portuguese-occupied town of Goa, also located on the west coast is a few hours' drive from Mumbai and the holiday capital of the country. It is a backpacker favourite and famous for its beaches, parties and laidback hippie culture.

A trip to India is incomplete without a visit to the cities of the state of Rajasthan, mainly Jaipur and Udaipur. Beautiful historical palaces, affordable ethnic shopping and a thousand different colours is what this state promises you.

Saftety and Medical Advice

While there are no particular medical requirements for a visa, you could be safer with certain vaccinations, just to protect yourself. Although recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai have scared many backpackers, India is actually very safe and a trouble free destination for a backpacking trip. Backpackers should however be alert at all times as petty theft and robbery is common in tourist areas.

A motley mix of ancient cultures, a myriad hue of colours, the world's richest and the poorest, a happy blend of tradition and 21st century life - you'll see it all in India and if you really throw yourself into it, you're bound to have the time of your life as you backpack in India.