India is a great place, there is always something to do or to see that you most likely haven’t done before.
The outcome of such an unbelievable diversity and frequency of memorable experiences is what India is all about. You just can’t get enough and invariably perceive the call to return over and over again for more.
Some must-visit places in the country are:
Gali Paranthe Wali (Delhi)
Paranthe Wali Gali is what you must not miss at any cost. It is a famous food lane in the heart of Old Delhi. It is in the midst of the famous Chandni Chowk market. On this lane, you will find some very popular eateries, all serving the same dish. The unique Delhi-style stuffed paranthas (a type of flatbread made from wheat dough and lightly fried in oil on both sides).
The most common filling in parathas is potatoes, but on this street, you can get them stuffed with almost anything, from cheese to raisins to mint to mixed vegetables to cashews and much more. Some of these eateries have been around for over 100 years.
To reach Chandni Chowk, take the metro to Chandni Chowk metro station. Once there, walk east on Chandni Chowk until you hit the road. Follow the road and you’ll reach the paratha restaurants.
Akshardham is a cultural complex. It is located near the Yamuna River. Akshardham is one of the most majestic structures in India. It has a massive temple constructed with the carvings of several thousand Indian artisans. It will blow you away with its bizarre appearance and seemingly abstract structure.
The inside of Akshardham is a scene of absurdly detailed design, from the pillars to the walls to the domed ceilings, all telling the story of Hinduism. An hour or so before the sunset is when the beautiful temple is all lit up, a sight worth seeing.
Raj Mandir Cinema (Jaipur)
Raj Mandir Cinema in Jaipur opened in 1976 and is one of the best-known cinemas in India. It is a large art-deco structure and a great place to catch a Bollywood film. Raj Mandir Cinema has pastel-coloured interior design, expert suit-clad staff, spacious theatre with comfortable seats, and a lively atmosphere. The place attracts hundreds of excited Indian moviegoers and gives you the feel as if you’re attending a major movie premiere.
Raj Mandir Cinema is situated at a very good location as once the movie is over, you’re only a two-minute walk away from MI Road, where you’ll find several Jaipuri lassi shops. You can order a large sweet lassi, and enjoy its sheer deliciousness!
Chand Baori Stepwell (Abhaneri)
The dusty village of Abhaneri is located some 10 kilometres off of the main Agra-to-Jaipur road. The village has the spectacularly striking Chand Baori Stepwell which is a 1,200-year-old water tank. It is one of the largest in India.
Chand Baori Stepwell was constructed by King Chanda of the Nikumbha Dynasty in 8000 BCE. The huge oblong well is about 30 meters deep and consists of over 3,500 steps tangled in a specific maze-like design on three sides, dancing with the sunlight bouncing off of its edges.
When you are inside, do have a look at the dozens of statues of Hindu gods and religious scenes that line the outer walkway of the well, some dating back a thousand years. There is no entrance fee, but the local caretaker, who keeps the place immaculate, will ask for a tip as you leave.
Abhaneri is established about 95km from Jaipur. Take the bus to Sikandra, which will take about 90 minutes and cost 60-90 INR. From there you can rent a jeep for around 250 INR (return) to take you to the Chand Baori Stepwell.
Ranakpur Jain Temple (Ranakpur)
The village of Ranakpur is a bit off the main route from Jodhpur to Udaipur and is an exceptionally peaceful place. Aside from a few hotels and a couple of eateries, the only other building is the Ranakpur Jain Temple. It is one of the most significant Jain temples in the world, dating back to the 15th century.
The temple is set in the forest and is held by more than 1,400 intricately sculpted pillars. The most amazing thing is that no two pillars are the same, creating an almost uncanny atmosphere as you walk through the courtyard, as if in a perpetual antiquated maze.
An audio guide is highly recommended. It comes with your ticket, as regular guides are not permitted inside. The narrative gives a precise look at how this temple was established, its period of abandonment, and its transformation as a significant place of worship.