What I like the most about India is that every place is so different. India has a lot of issues and many people come back from this country swearing inside that they will never do it again. I had plenty of bad emotions there as well, but apart from that India is very rich in culture, history, nature and it is definitely worth to visit. Here‘s my Top 3 places I liked the most.
Life in Hampi is floating very slowly and while you can visit all major tourist spots in two days, I strongly recommend to spend here at least few days. One can wonder among big boulders and spend some time alone – while in some places, there are more tourists than locals. We took a bike tour for 500 ruppees and covered some of the most spectacular temples. The entrance is free in most of the places. There is a nice hill in Hampi that you can climb to watch the panorama of the city or wait for the sunset. The food is also worth trying.
In the capital of yoga, westerners are attacked by hundreds of spiritual practises from ayurveda and astrology to meditation and reiki. The most funny part is that I didn‘t tried any of them and ended up hiking in Hymalayas, rafting and walking around the city.
Rishikesh is beautiful and I used to go for some sightseeing and wander in the streets without any particular destination. That‘s my way of exploring the places in most of the cases. No map and no directions, just a feeling that you‘re a part of a city, a live creature with its own pace and atmosphere.
Varanasi is very crowded and noisy compared with Hampi and Rishikesh. It is a sacred place for Indians, so no wonder that many people from all around the country come here. The ghats next to Ganga are my favourite place, where you can see a surreal life going on. It is especially spectacular in the morning, when you can see many locals washing their clothers and blankets and drying them on the banks of the river. I also watched the burnings and that was a really freaky experience. Every evening there are some rituals held on the ghats and many choose to rent a boat in order to watch them from the river side. There are a lot of narrow streets in the city. It‘s not easy to go for a walk as you have to pass through cows and motorcycles, but these streets definitely have a lot of charm.
The strenth of these cities is their unique atmosphere and I‘m looking forward to come back one day. I think if you want to explore India, you have to do it slow. It is not only about the things you can see there, but also about exploring the surroundings and mingle with the life that is going on.