India is one of the most aspired countries to be visited for many travelers around the world, who seek for exotic places and all things new. So new at times that a region of India seems more than enough to absorb, and one couldn’t fathom that there would be more to offer in this land. The land that promotes unity in diversity but often making many tourists ignore the depth of diversity that we pride ourselves upon.

No one is oblivious to the golden triangle holiday loop of India, the famous Delhi-Jaipur-Agra road trip. This journey makes people see vibrant cities with age-old history and experience the king-size lifestyle led by today’s and yesteryears royalties. Anyone who has been to these places would know that the rural lifestyle here is nothing less than royalty of its own with rich tradition and culture not found anywhere else.

The tradition of music, dance, art, and food that have a long journey of its own is showcased in the most beautiful way that would make people yearn to come back to India. But is it the desire to see more of the same or the hunger for something fresher that India has to offer? Unfortunately, on global tourism network, there isn’t much promotion or details about other Indian cities. We want to bridge this gap of information slowly by sharing just a couple of the different paths that you may consider for your next vacation to the mighty land of gods and goddesses.

Let’s call this the Diamond Loop

Keeping Delhi as the starting point of the journey, from here one can drive up north towards the Himalayan mountain ranges that will bless you with fresh air and greenery. The gigantic ranges of Himalayas have long been the numero uno place to visit for serious explorers from time unknown.

Travel the road from Delhi towards Uttarakhand, then to Himachal Pradesh and stop over at Punjab before finally heading back to Delhi with memories of the meadows, snow peaked mountains, vast greens, religious traditions, varied cultures, sports adventure and the alluring different lifestyles witnessed before bidding adieu until next time.

Let’s look East

Far from the maddening crowd is another world that flourishes in the gift of nature. The Himalayan ranges extend its arm all the way to the North East of India which is known as the Seven Sisters and there is also the brother state that is often neglected but only in name under the shadow of the more popular tagline of the sisters.

From being the most ignored region of India, one can arguably state that some of the cleanest villages in Asia are found here. With Manipur once named as The Land of Jewels by a former Prime Minister of India, to Shillong, capital of Meghalaya globally referred to as the Rock (Music) Capital of India to picturesque Arunachal Pradesh giving chills to other valleys, these are just a few drops of an ocean of different world in India. To say the least, it will be heaven for travelers and wanderers.

It won’t be right to not mention that the gastronomic experience in The Diamond Loop and North East India will be nothing short of a delightful surprise, with each state giving you a new taste. One better than the other and the discovery of new cuisines keeps continuing.

True to my words, India doesn’t stop being mesmerizing and surprising. Just as it impossible to travel the length and breadth of the country in one holiday trip, it will be a fool’s ambition to plan to write about all of India’s hidden gems in one article. The never-ending saga of travel tales will continue…

Keep looking out for this blog for more travel ideas and details on each of them.

Best Things in Life Comes for Free

As I always say that it is impossible to explore Delhi in a few days, you need at least 8-10 days if you want to explore and understand the city. There are more than 1300 monuments in the city with timeline going back to 850 AD, 10 dynasties, amazing history, and stories, several museums, gardens, round the year cultural events and not so known but amazing nightlife. So, in this blog, I am going to share a day where you need not spend on anything except traveling and food and enjoy the city, because the best things in life come for free.

RAJGHAT – GANDHI MEMORIAL

You can start your day by paying homage to Father of Nation and peace icon of the world, Mahatma Gandhi. His memorial is situated quite near to central Delhi and old Delhi, known as Rajghat (Google Maps). There is also an interesting picture gallery on the other side of the road, near parking known as ‘Gandhi Darshan’. There is a beautiful lake behind Rajghat within the connected gardens and other memorials, a place to sit peacefully and enjoy the nature.

Suggested time to visit: Morning
Nearest Metro: ITO | Delhi Gate (Under Construction)

AKSHARDHAM – LARGEST HINDU TEMPLE IN THE WORLD

Akshardham (Map) is the largest Hindu temple in the world. The art on the wall, stonework and stories written along with the art is a reflection of India’s ancient tradition and architecture. The temple is dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan. You cannot take anything inside except purse, wallets and small lady handbag. You need to deposit everything in the locker room near the entrance. So, you cannot click pictures inside, which is good in a way, because you will focus completely on magic created by hands! Everything is so perfect that it is difficult to describe it in words. You need to visit it to feel the immortal beauty. Iron is not used in the construction of this temple as the ancient tradition of construction in India. If you want to see the light and sound show, you need to be there by evening.

Suggested time to visit: 10 am | Closed on Monday
Nearest Metro: Akshardham Metro

LODI GARDEN

Lodi Garden (Map) is considered as one of the most beautiful gardens in India, this garden has something for everyone. With monuments dating back to 1300 AD, to exotic trees and more than 40 species of birds. A perfect place to sit, walk, explore and even to jog. Several ancient tombs and mosques are there in the garden compound. Beautiful place to click pictures and relax. I usually cycle to Lodi Garden early morning and jog around over the trek. Khan market is next to Lodi garden, you can visit the market for food, shopping, books or just coffee. Garden also has an exotic restaurant!

Suggested time to visit: Anytime before sunset
Nearest Metro: Jorbagh | Khan Market

Lodi Garden

MEHRAULI ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK

If you really want to visit an amazing offbeat place in Delhi then you have to visit Mehrauli Archaeological Park (Map)! You can call this place the first Delhi of the modern period. The structures over here are as old as 900 AD with the first true arc of Indian architecture in the tomb of Balban. This whole place is covered with the trees and looks like a mini jungle. More than 5 big and several small monuments in the park to visit, this place has everything to amaze you. Suggested to visit with someone, not alone. It’s good even if you are even two people. Don’t miss the step well known as Rajon Ki BawoliTomb of Quli Khan and several other monuments. MAP is quite near to Qutb Minar (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and you can see it from almost all the monuments of MAP.

Suggested time to visit: Morning and Noon | Not Evening
Nearest Metro: Qutb Minar

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HAUZ KHAS – RUINS, LAKE & LIFE

Hauzkhas District Park (Map) is home to magnificent ruins of an Islamic school as old as 700 years, a lake, an urban jungle and place to experience the beautiful sunset. Just with somewhere in the ruins and see the sunset over the lake. It is amazing to experience that how that back the school used to accommodate students in hostel dorms with the separate room for students. Hauzkhas is also the place to experience the nightlife of Delhi, with some of the best cafes, bars, and restaurants situated at this place. You can choose to be at anyone after the sunset. Just experience that how two different timelines merge at this point, ancient India and the modern one.

Suggested time to visit: Evening
Nearest Metro Station: Hauzkhas Metro | Walk or tuk-tuk for Rs.50

Hauz Khas