25 Things to do Alone in India
Multilingual people, rich history and culture, diversity in food, innumerable tourist hotspots, millions of tourists each year, and 1.37 billion people – that’s India for you. Many people assume that India isn’t a safe place for travellers, solo female travellers specifically. But let me tell you, that’s far from the truth because Indians treat anyone and everyone in their country as guests. And that is something you will notice only after you travel to this beautiful country.
In my opinion, India is one of those few countries which would force you to take multiple trips to explore completely! While you might not be able to do so, you can definitely enjoy your stay in the country and indulge in some exciting activities that you will cherish for the rest of your life. But before travelling to India, do keep these things in mind. Here’s a list of some things that you can do alone in India.
1. Visit Taj Mahal
Also known as the “Crown of the Palace,” it is made up of white marble in the memory of Mumtaz Mahal, and that’s where the name comes from. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site admired worldwide and is visited by millions of tourists every year. You can visit the Taj Mahal for as little as ₹250 if you are an Indian or ₹1300 if you are a foreigner. Just keep in mind that it is closed for visitors on Fridays.
I have given details on what to wear on your solo trip to India on my blog here. Trust me, it is going to help you a lot. It has everything and anything that you MUST know about clothing in India.
2. Langar at the Golden Temple
Built-in the 16th century, the Golden Temple is one of the major tourist attractions in India. Not only does this temple has gold in its name, but a huge amount of gold is actually used to build this temple! Even though it is the holiest place for Sikhs on the entire planet, it is open for people of all religions at all times and also serves free vegetarian meals to everyone irrespective of race, gender, caste, creed, or religion.
3. Chill at Palolem Beach
Even though the country has a huge number of beaches, Palolem Beach is the beach that you must visit for sure. We all know that Goa is the beach destination of India. And Palolem Beach is a lot serene than other beaches in Goa. It is arguably one of the most beautiful in the country too. Apart from that, there are water sports, restaurants, cafes and great shopping centers. If you would like to know about Goa’s beaches, do read this blog.
4. Experience the magic of Kerala’s Backwaters
With over 900 kilometres of backwaters, this is one of the few places that you must explore during your life. In a world that is facing the issue of climate change, Kerala‘s backwaters tell a completely different story. Not only is the beauty of the Malabar Coast what makes it so special, but the abundance of flora and fauna also takes it to the next level. You can explore the backwaters on a houseboat, ferry, or book a resort too.
5. Travel on a rail
While you are in India, you must experience the rail journey at least once. Be it for travel purposes from Mumbai to Goa or the Toy Train from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling, it doesn’t matter. In the world of emerging technology and faster modes of transportation than ever before, travelling on a rail is an experience in itself. And needless to say, the views from the train are no less than stunning!
6. Celebrate festivals like never before
India’s diversity is surreal and certainly the biggest in the world. With a huge number of languages being spoken and religions being practised, festivals follow the same path. Indians celebrate a lot of festivals all year round. While many of these are regional, Holi and Diwali are some of the few that are celebrated by the majority. Holi, the “festival of colours,” is celebrated in March and Diwali, the “festival of lights” in October and November. If you visit India during these months, do not miss the opportunity of celebrating these festivals.
7. Take a camel safari at the deserts of Rajasthan.
Rajasthan is famous for its camel rides. There are multiple places where you can ride a camel, but the experience in Rajasthan is a different and unique one. The cost ranges from ₹500 to ₹2500, and it includes meals as well. This is something that you must do duringyour solo trip to India, and it could be an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.
8. Admire the patriotic beauty of Red Fort
Locally known as Lal Qila, it was built by the Mughals in the 17th century. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is one of the most beautiful monuments in the world. A few million tourists visit this fort every year, and a ticket will cost you ₹90 if you are an Indian and ₹950 if you are a foreigner, and it is totally worth it. Also, the Indian tricolour is hoisted here by the prime minister every year on Independence Day.
9. Sleep under the stars
Rajasthan – the Land of Kings, is primarily known for its deserts. While a camel safari in the state is quite ordinary, sleeping under the starry sky is a unique experience. Astroport Sariska is the darkest site in India and offers stellar views of the night sky. You can have your own campfire here with a camel relaxing beside you. I also suggest you book a hotel and enjoy the starry night sky here.
10. Learn about the national animal through Tiger safari
You might have never heard of something like a tiger safari. But India is home to more than three-fourths of the tigers in the world, and that is what makes a tiger safari possible here. Looking at the largest cat species in the world from a distance of a few metres is nothing less than absolutely thrilling. If you would like to know more about tiger safari, click here.
11. Meditate and find inner peace
The practise of meditation in India dates back to the 6th century BCE, that’s more than 2600 years ago! Spirituality is a big thing in India, and once you get started with meditation in the country, you can continue doing it in your home country and find your inner self. Places like Varanasi and Rishikesh are the most famous places for tourists to meditate and also learn about meditation and yoga history in the country.
12. Explore the Indian street food
You might have visited a lot of fancy restaurants around the world. But the street vendors hold their own when it comes to tasty food, and I highly recommend you eat here at least once. They serve some of the best delicacies you will ever eat at a price that will blow your mind.
While you can eat street food on almost any street in the country, the best place is Delhi! And while you are here, you might also want to learn some Hindi phrases to help you communicate. Keep in mind that a plate of snacks will cost you no more than ₹20-30, which is 10x cheaper than an average meal in a restaurant. Some of the most famous snacks that I would recommend are samosa, jalebi, pani puri, dahi puri, masala puri, and aloo tikki. And most importantly, you should also know how to deal with Delhi belly!
13. Shop till you drop
There are a lot of malls in India, just like anywhere else in the world. But the thing that separates India from others is street shopping. Almost every city has a couple of big street shopping centers which sell clothes and souvenirs at an incredibly cheap rate. Yes, the quality of the clothes might not be like that of a name brand, but it is more than worthy of the price you pay. And not only that, the experience of street shopping is a completely different one from, say, shopping in a mall or shopping online. The best tip is to haggle A LOT.
14. Animal gazing in zoos/sanctuaries
Not only is India known for its human population of 1.37 billion, but also its abundance of wildlife species. Not only do you find common animals like giraffes, monkeys, and elephants, but also endangered animals like the Asiatic Lion, Sangai Deer, Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros, Snow Leopard, and Bengal Tiger. While you won’t find these animals all in one place, I would suggest you visit the zoos to take a look at the endangered species in India, if you love animals.
15. Experience the rain in Mawsynram
Known as the wettest place on the planet, Mawsynram receives more than 18x rainfall as compared to the national average every year. Just visiting a place like Mawsynram is very different from the usual, and the experience is unique. Your day-to-day tasks like shopping and travelling will be completely different here. I don’t want to spoil too much, but it is an experience that is completely worth it and something that you will not regret.
16. Enter into a different world with Qawwali at Nizamuddin Dargah
The shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin – that’s where the musicians come together and sing qawwalis (devotional music), the reason for this place’s popularity. The music, in combination with the harmonium and drums, is an absolute treat to the ears and something that you should not miss. While women can sit here for the qawwalis, they cannot enter the tomb. Make sure you cover your head with any piece of clothing while you are here.
17. Visit Qutub Minar
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site in India, Qutub Minar, is the tallest minaret in the world made up of bricks. Constructed in the 13th century, it was built when Muhammad Ghori took over Prithviraj Chauhan’s kingdom. Unfortunately, one cannot go inside the minaret anymore due to an increased number of accidents. However, you can enjoy the beauty of it from the outside by paying a fee of ₹40 if you are a local and ₹600 if you are a foreigner.
18. Be inspired by the Rock Garden of Chandigarh.
This garden is exclusively made up of home-waste and an eco-friendly one. This is more like a huge “best out of waste” school competition, just a better one. It truly depicts how something beautiful can be made from waste materials that one would rather end up throwing in the dustbin. Not only is this place beautiful, but also worthy of your next Instagram post.
19. Experience Hornbill Festival
The north-eastern part of India is culturally very rich but unexplored by many. The Hornbill Festival depicts and promotes the Naga culture by showcasing artistic performances. It is celebrated every year from the 1st to the 10th of December. It is like a local art festival of the ‘Nagas’ and something that cannot be witnessed anywhere else in the world. Some bazaars which sell food items and handicrafts are set up during this time.
20. Know the history of Bodhi Tree
Also known as the tree of awakening, the Bodhi Tree in Bihar is where the spiritual leader Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. It is more than 2300 years old and, surprisingly, still exists. No matter which religion you practice, the Bodhi Tree is one you shouldn’t miss during your solo trip to India, as it is one that surely has a positive vibe around it.
21. Don’t forget to have a Chai!
Be it at a tea stall on a busy street or in a fancy restaurant, having a cup of tea while you are in India is a must! You would start wondering how a cup that costs only ₹5 can taste so good. Well, that’s the speciality of Indian tea. Darjeeling, Tamil Nadu, Munnar, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, and Karnataka are some of the many places where you simply cannot miss your cup of tea!
22. Appreciate the craftsmanship of Fatehpur Sikri
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Fatehpur Sikri, was built in the 16th century during Akbar’s reign. It is famous for its architectural brilliancy that depicts the works of craftsmen from Bengal and Gujarat. Built from red sandstone, the beauty of this monument cannot be expressed in words. Once you enter the Fatehpur Sikri, you will find many more attractions, and it takes at least a couple of hours to see it all. The entry fee is ₹50 for Indians and ₹610 for foreigners, and it is open every day of the week.
23. Go on a spiritual journey with Kedarnath!
Kedarnath is another town in the country which is also a major tourist attraction. It is primarily known for the Kedarnath Temple, but let me tell you, it is beautiful otherwise, too. It is located in the Himalayas and is more than 11,750 feet (3.5km) above sea level. The elevation of Kedarnath only adds to its beauty and also makes it a pretty cold place to visit, so don’t forget to pack your jackets during your solo trip to Kedarnath!
24. Visit the majestic Jama Masjid, Delhi.
This is one of the largest mosques in the country and another structure built by Shah Jahan in the 17th century and one of the last ones built by him. It has a capacity of more than 25,000 individuals and is easily one of the most famous mosques in the country. Irrespective of your religion, you must visit the mosque to take a look at the work of the artists who built it.
25. Take a walk at Marine Drive, Mumbai.
It is a 3.6 kilometer-long seafront beside the Arabian Sea. It is one of the most famous places in the city, and a lot of people visit Marine Drive just to view the sunset or simply take a walk. Considered the locals’ favourite, tourists enjoy it just as much. If you happen to visit India in the monsoon season, this is one place that you must definitely consider visiting. The views during a shower of rain are mesmerizing.
In my opinion, India is one of those wholesome destinations for solo female travellers. No matter what your interests are, you can find something or the other for yourself here. And when you are done with visiting places of your interest, you can explore the beauty of the country. While some may argue that India isn’t a safe place for solo female travellers, I beg to differ.
All the best if you are planning for your solo trip already! Do let me know about your experience in the comment below, as I would love to know about it.
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.