India Bucket List Ideas: Experiences To Try At Least Once

A break now and then from your daily schedule is great but it’s time you take these up a notch or ten! This is your sign to sign up for experiences that you should try at least once in your life. You see, we’re not talking about your usual getaway, we’re talking about things worthy of going on your bucket list. These will one day be great stories to tell for life. Lucky for us, in a country like India, there's plenty of awesome things to do. So here are our top India bucket list ideas!

Incredible Ideas For Your India Bucket List

1. Relax In The Backwaters Of Kerala

Kerala is considered by many as one of the most beautiful states in India. Just visiting this place is enough to satisfy your soul. This state is known for its network of backwaters that is made up of around 900 km of waterways. This riveting labyrinth of serene water is surrounded by lush greenery through which several boats keep moving throughout the day. 

These boats are very much used as cars here and the waterways, as roads. This has been and continues to be a major attraction for tourists. Kumarakom and Alappuzha (also known as Alleppey) in Kerala are known for their magnificent backwaters and this is exactly where you need to be. Being on a boat, under the cool shadow of coconut trees, listening to the sound of lapping water and of the little birds chirping away, will be one of the most relaxing experiences of your life.

Also read: Malana Himachal Pradesh Travel Guide

India Bucket List Ideas: Experiences To Try At Least Once

2. Live Like A Royalty At The Umaid Bhawan Palace

Rajasthan is studded with enormous palaces that ooze opulence and charm. Some of these palaces have been turned into hotels so anyone can experience their grandeur themselves. But there is no palace that tops Umaid Bhawan, of Jodhpur. It sits on the city’s highest point, Chittar hill, and offers a panoramic view of the city’s beautiful blue houses. The palace was built in 1943 and is named after its owner at the time, Maharaja Umaid Singh. 

The design used for this massive structure blends the best of Indian and Western architecture. Just like the palace, its gardens are also unbelievably huge and the peacocks that stroll here add more to its majesty. All the rooms here are designed in timeless Art Deco style, and at this point, you know that they are going to be luxurious in every way. The palace has not lost any of its authentic royal aura, a part of it is still used as a residence by the royal family. Staying in a palace to feel like royalty for a day is something that you’ve got to consider putting on your bucket list.

Also read: Maharashtra Travel Guide

3. Go Surfing In Goa

Surfing in India is not in its infancy anymore. Many surfers have started exploring this country’s 7,500 km long coastline and have found lots and lots of great spots. Lots of professional surfers from abroad have surfed on Indian waters. Some say that surfing is easy to learn while others say that it is very difficult to learn. 

The opinions are mixed, but what everyone agrees on is that riding the waves is both a joyful and thrilling experience. We think you should listen to the majority here and add this adventure to your bucket list if you haven’t thought of it yet. There are many places in India where you can learn and indulge in surfing but Goa is the ultimate beach destination. It has a lot of surf shops and schools here to help you get started.

Also read: Karwar Travel Guide

4. Explore The South Of Mumbai At Night

Mumbai has earned the ‘city that never sleeps’ tag. One of the most beloved cities in India gets even more beautiful after the clock strikes 12 am. This is when the traffic-filled streets free up and every other shop and business shutter falls down for a good night’s sleep. Mumbai after night has a very different vibe and to experience it best, you will have to get to the South of Mumbai, also known as South Bombay or Sobo. 

Many of the buildings here are built in the colonial period using Gothic, Victorian and Art Deco styles of architecture and they are a delight to watch. Making things even better is that Sobo is a neighbor of the Arabian Sea, whose inky blue water showcases the painting-like reflections of numerous streetlights. You can roam around in a private car, a cab or make things more engaging by switching to a bicycle. Watching one of the busiest areas in its most peaceful form is truly a pleasure.

Also read: Karnataka Travel Guide

India Bucket List Ideas: Experiences To Try At Least Once

5. Go For A Wildlife Safari At Jim Corbett National Park

Formed in 1936, this is the first national park in our country. It is like a different world in itself that is spread over an area of  520.8 square kilometers. A world of mashy lands, lakes, and hills. Here, the inhabitants are animals like elephants, deers, snakes, and foxes and the kings are indeed the royal Bengal tigers. 

You are a guest here who gets to watch these incredible creatures go about their lives. Your existence is dwarfed by thousands and thousands of old tall trees and the dominant presence of the animal kingdom. These safaris get even better when you spot a royal Bengal tiger. Seeing these grand beasts in their natural habitat is just a pure thrill and definitely makes it an experience to add to your bucket list.

Also read: Mizoram Travel Guide

6. Stargazing In Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh

It is said that there are trillions of stars in the sky. But the number is very low if you are someone who lives in a populated area or area with light pollution. This is why people in metropolitan cities can do what even the best astronomers can’t, count the stars on their fingers. This is exactly why you need to travel to distant places to truly see a sky full of stars and Spiti Valley is that place. 

Situated amongst the Himalayas at a high altitude where the light pollution is close to none. It is in places like these that nature’s beauty shines the best. Spiti’s neighbors are Tibet, Ladakh, Kullu, Kinnaur and Lahaul, so you know right away that you are in one of the most picturesque regions of the world. All of this comes together to give you a night sky that you can’t even imagine in your dreams. So go ahead put it on your bucket list and spend less time trying to capture this wonder on your camera and more time gazing at it.

Also read: Mangalore Travel Guide

7. Hop Into A Hot Air Balloon Ride 

People have always been fascinated with flying. A lot of us have booked plane tickets not to save time but, but because we wanted to experience plane travel. While it sure is fun, it cannot beat the excitement and thrill of flying in a hot air balloon. The fun starts right from the moment you get into its wicker basket and you are just holding your breath waiting for it to lift off. Slowly the balloon starts to rise, the trees on the ground start to look smaller and the clouds start to seem bigger and bigger with every passing second. 

Hot air balloon rides are always organized in scenic wide open spaces, which is why we have not added a specific place for this experience, because all of them were amazing! These balloons tend to rise between 1000 to 3000 feet. Once you reach the optimum altitude, all you have to do is take in the breathtaking view and enjoy the weather up above as the balloon keeps floating at a leisurely pace. Some of the popular places to ride a hot air balloon are Lonavala in Maharashtra, Hampi in Karnataka, Pushkar and Jaipur in Rajasthan and so on.

Also read: Lonavala Travel Guide

India Bucket List Ideas: Experiences To Try At Least Once

8. Visit The Only Active Volcano In India: Barren Island

This is a truly unique one. Not many people know that India even has an active volcano. Well, we do and it is stunning. It’s called Barren Island and it is located in the Andaman Sea. Barren comes under the Indian Union territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This volcano’s latest eruption was in 2020. No one lives here except for animals like birds, goats, bats and rats. So next time your overdramatic friend faces a minor inconvenience in life and says “I am done with humans,” send them here right away. Just do it. Let’s see how long they can make it. 

We are just kidding. Nobody is allowed to step foot on this island. But if you apply for the permit, you can see the island up close from a boat or from an aerial tour. It doesn’t matter which one you choose, you are going to have a lot of fun. Apart from being an active volcano, this island is also known for its large population of Manta Rays, coral gardens and pristine water, this is why it is considered to be one of the best scuba diving spots.

Also read: Malvan Travel Guide

9.Manali To Leh Bike Trip

You don’t have to own a Royal Enfield to dream about this trip. But if you have one and this is not on your bucket list already, why did you even buy a Royal Enfield! A road trip from Manali to Leh is a biker’s paradise. Both places are equally breathtaking and the route that connects them makes for a great adventure. It’s a long journey with curvy roads surrounded by mountains and would take you approximately 6 to 10 days to complete. If time is a luxury you can afford, then take around 8 to 10 days and enjoy this epic road trip at a comfortable pace with plenty of breaks.

Do remember that the roads here are some of the toughest in India, in other words, these roads are not well maintained and to an extent dangerous. So ensure that you are an expert rider who knows how to change the tires and make basic repairs as your bike could face some issues due to poor road conditions. But apart from this, you have nothing to worry about, just a beautiful open road to enjoy.

Also read: Naldehra Travel Guide 

10. Snorkel In Tarkarli, Maharashtra

Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra is home to the famous fort of the same name. But not many people know that Sindhudurg has one of the most pristine beaches in India which is Tarkarli beach. It has a lot to offer to those who want to experience the thrill of water sports and other fun activities, especially snorkeling. The crystal clear water and the rich marine life that includes sharks, dolphins, and multicolored plants, makes snorkeling here very entertaining. 

The world works differently underwater and it belongs to a set of animals that we are not used to seeing. So book a snorkeling session, put on your suit and dive in! Watch an aquatic plant sway peacefully, be mesmerized as a school of fish passes by your side and embrace the fact that you are just hanging out underwater! The best time to experience all this in Tarkarli would be from October to March.

Also read: Punjab Travel Guide

India Bucket List Ideas: Experiences To Try At Least Once

11. Attend the Fireflies Festival in Purushwadi Village

​​Situated in the picturesque western mountains of Maharashtra is the little village of Purushwadi. The quaint town is roughly 100 kilometers from Nashik and 190 kilometers from Mumbai. This village becomes a perfect escape from the city between May and June. It’s the mating season for fireflies and the place is magically lit by swarms of them. You’ll fall short of words to describe the beauty from the illumination. 

Purushwadi’s lush greenery, narrow streets, and humble houses become even more attractive with the arrival of fireflies. It is just another example of how fun nature can be. One doesn’t need to spend big bucks to watch this annual phenomenon, all you need to be is a person that enjoys the simple joys of life.

Also read: Kurseong Travel Guide

12. Do A Vipassana Course 

It’s hard to keep a track of life in this day and age. Today you’re at a New Year party, you blink and it’s the end of February, blink again and you’re choosing what to wear for Diwali. Life moves at such a fast pace, you got to take a break once in a while. A break doesn’t always have to mean a fun activity or a weekend outing. Sometimes a break should be a break from everything and could have that with Vipassana. If you haven’t heard about it before you should know that Vipassana is India’s oldest meditation techniques. It is a 10-day course that focuses on self-transformation through self-observation. 

Practitioners use it to understand their own feelings, thoughts, sensations, and more. It helps in dealing with life in a healthier manner because you understand yourself better. These courses are free and they operate on donations. See this as an opportunity to get closer to the person that matters most in life which is you! This course might not make problems disappear, but it will make you feel more capable of dealing with them. Vipassana courses are taught at locations across India, so you can find one that’s near you!

Also read: Jorhat Travel Guide

13.Go On A Gulmarg Gondola Ride

Gulmarg is situated in the majestic Pir Panjal Range of Jammu and Kashmir in a  cup-shaped valley. It has gained popularity as one of the best places for skiing and for adventure lovers. But Gulmarg is also very popular for having Asia’s largest and highest 

cable car ride. It is a two-stage gondola lift that takes people from Gulmarg resort (8,530 ft) to Kongdoori station. The second stage takes people to Kongdoori Mountain (12,293 ft) and it can ferry around 600 people every hour. 

This experience is like an nviting layered cake. Firstly, you are in the beautiful region of Jammu and Kashmir. Secondly, you’re amidst the dreamy snowcapped mountains of Gulmarg and last but not least, you are riding in a gondola! None of your friends are going to be able to top your Instagram story for a long time.

Also read: Tamil Nadu Travel Guide

India Bucket List Ideas: Experiences To Try At Least Once

14. Treat Yourself To Delhi’s Street Food

Aah, the street food of Delhi is the ultimate challenge for everyone on a strict diet. If you’re one of those people, then please convince yourself to cheat a little bit or a lot and go on a crazy binge. Just do yourself a favor because you can always lose a couple extra pounds later, but your tastebuds will be thankful to you forever.

Delhi’s street food is a big deal. It is not just 4 to 5 items, it is an entire battalion that’s capable of wiping off any menu fatigue. You’ll fall in love with the flavors and within no time be saying “Bhaiya, get me one more plate of that.” Don’t underestimate the power of chole bhature, aloo chaat, golgappe, rabri faluda and kebabs!

Also read: Konark Travel Guide

15. Skiing In Auli 

Skiing is not as huge in India as in other countries. But is slowly getting popular and steadily. The sport has been described as the closest thing to flying on the ground. This is true because you move very fast on the snow and you can feel the force and velocity on your entire body. It might sound risky, but it isn’t, once you learn. Also, moving at a high speed down a mountain slope in majestic surroundings gives a rush of pure adrenaline. 

You also don’t have to be an expert skier to make the most of this sport. Learners also have a great time even in their early stages. There are many places in India where you can indulge in this simple and super fun activity, but Auli in Uttarakhand is considered one of the best. It is situated at around 2,500 to 3,050 meters of elevation and its neighbors are beautiful forests of oak and coniferous trees. The perfect time to visit Auli is from December to March because this is when it turns into a Mecca for ski lovers.

Also read: Horsley Hills Travel Guide

India Bucket List Ideas: Experiences To Try At Least Once

Summing Up

You have made it to the end of this list and by now, you might have already decided what you want to do and what you don’t. Even if you have made up your mind to do four things from here, make sure to add them to your own personal bucket list. Every human is a collection of adventurous stories. So make sure that you have some really good ones to tell others and also, to yourself.

FAQs

Where Can I Go Surfing In India?

Apart from Goa, there are so many more places where you can surf. Covelong Beach in Tamil Nadu, Kodi Bengre Beach in Karnataka, Gokarna Beach in Karnataka, and Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu are some examples.

How Many Items Should Be On A Bucket List?

You will find people who have 5 items on their list, some keep 10 and many even go beyond 25 items. It is ultimately up to you. More than the number of items you add, what matters is that you keep adding and ticking things off the list. Keep ideas that excite and motivate you.

Is Snorkeling Safe For Non-Swimmers?

Yes snorkeling can be done by non-swimmers but you would need a bit of preparation first. This part will be handled by the instructor present during your session. Just follow what they say and you’ll have a great time.

Can We Ski In Kashmir?

Sure you can. Gulmarg, Sonamarg, and Pahalgam are some of the best places to go skiing in Kashmir.

When Can We See Fireflies In India?

Maharashtra is the place to be if you want to see these magical insects. Apart from Purushwadi, there are many other places that you can visit to see fireflies. For example, Sandhan Valley, Rajmachi fort, and forests around Mulshi lake.

Can I Reach From Manali To Leh In One Day?

Yes. It can be done. You will have to board a local taxi and embark on a tiring 15 to 17 hours long ride. But you won’t get to really enjoy the journey. It will be best to take it slow and over a course of multiple days to truly enjoy it. Otherwise, it will be like gulping down a glass of fine wine in 10 seconds. It won’t be a fun thing to do.

How Much Does A Hot Air Balloon Ride Cost In India?

It will roughly cost you around INR 8,000 INR - INR 15,000 per person for a hot air balloon ride. Some of the best locations for a ride are Jaipur, Kamshet in Lonavala, and Neemrana in India.

Why Is Jodhpur Called The Blue City?
There are many popular answers to this, but only one sounds to be truly sensible and accurate. There was a time when termites were damaging the walls of the houses in the city. The residents tackled this problem by coating their houses with copper sulfate. This chemical tends to turn blue under certain weather conditions. That’s how this city got its unique look.