Things to see and do during your Gap Year in India
If you are looking for things to do in India, you might want to first ask yourself – you might want to first ask yourself how much time do I have? Landscapes ranging from the towering Himalayas, the scorching Thar Desert, the blue Indian Ocean, the lush green backwaters India has it all.
If during your gap year in India you are looking for arts, history and culture, you wouldn't be disappointed either. There is so much on offer that you will find it difficult to pick a few things to do during your exciting gap year abroad. The melange of people, languages, culture and customs makes each city different from the other.
From years of experience, we know where previous Gap Year Travellers have travelled and enjoyed. The list below is just an indication of what you can do.
Choose your interest, back your bags and discover India
The Taj Mahal
Arguably the most iconic representation of India. Some historians say that the architectural beauty of this historic monument has never been surpassed. Built by an emperor in memory of his dear wife, it is an 'elegy in marble' or some say an expression of a 'dream'. The easiest to get to The Taj during your gap year travel in India is to go from Delhi.and it certainly is something no gap year in India is complete without. .
Ask anyone around in India for a beach break during your gap year, they will tell you to head to Goa. Like everywhere else in India, Goa will surprise you. The beaches are known for their beauty and are teeming with people on sun deck chairs and a bottle of beer. In some parts, the golden days of Goa fuelled by the hippy years are still very much alive. You can wander into old Goa and stroll through its many basilicas during your gap year trip.
If you want to get away from the noise during your gap year in India, you might want to consider the backwaters of Kerala. Stay on a houseboat in the backwaters, eat freshly caught fish and spend the evening looking at the glorious sunset listening to the chirping of birds to enjoy peacefully your gap year trip.
If you see a collage of Indian photos, you are sure to catch a scene from Rajasthan. The land of Kings, Rajasthan is peppered with palaces and forts. The state is awash with colours and you will inevitably join the tribe during your gap year travel. It's not something to be done in a hurry but then again, you wouldn't want to miss it if you travel during your gap year in India. From the famous Pushkar festival which attracts a million people, to the lakes in Udaipur, rich cuisine, golden sandcastle in Jaisalmer, the Wagah border with Pakistan and a ride on the camel - Rajasthan is the royal Romantic India and is a must do during you gap year travel.
In the Hills
Very often during your gap year you will want to escape from the temperate climate and the hills are the best options. In the North of India, there are many hill stations that you can visit for the weekend during your gap year travel. Darjeeling in the north east of India is one such place where you can stand in a tea plantation with a hot cuppa in your hand and the panoramic Himalayas in front of you!!
For the more adventurous and wanting to see rugged terrains, get to Ladakh during your gap year abroad. At a breathless altitude of 3505m above sea level - it is bound and made up of mountains. From November to May, Ladakh is almost completely cut off from the outside world.
Even in summer, getting here involves crossing the highest mountain passes in the world (Khardung La - The highest motorable road in the world at5359m), or a hair-raising flight that weaves between the peaks.
Abundant with national parks, if you want to spot tigers and lions during your gap year travel, head to any of the top national parks and you will be in a for a visual forest treat. Some popular national parks to visit during your gap year abroad:
- Kanha National Park: Based in central India, Kanha tops the list to glimpse a tiger in India. The Park boasts of more than 200 tigers and leopards, 350 swamp deer, more than 300 species of birds and thousands of spotted deer.
- Bandhavgarh National Park: Though smaller than Kanah, it claims to have the world's highest density of tiger population - offering you a 99.99% chance of spotting a big cat when visiting the park during your gap year abroad. Apart from tigers, the park's residents include leopards, wild boars, jackals, sambars and porcupines.
- Sunderbans Tiger Reserve: This reserve is a network of channels and semi submerged mangroves that is part of the world's largest river delta.
Arts and Heritage
The best way to plan your gap year travel to places to cover the vast heritage of India is to look around the places where you are based and you wouldn't be disappointed. Anywhere you are in India during your gap year abroad, a world heritage site will not be far off. We give you a brief list that you can start off with:
During your gap year in India, visit the village of 'Hampi' (near Bangalore) to view ruins of a majestic dynasty. It is one of the most historical sites in India.
Ajanta and Ellora Caves 'Near Mumbai' The caves display some of the masterwork of the Buddhist religion. They are closed on certain days of the week, so check with the locals before you head out during your gap year trip.
The Great Living Chola Temples - Built in the 11th and 12th century A.D, the temples depict a standing testimony of the achievements of the Chola dynasty in architecture, sculpture, painting and bronze casting
If you are spending your gap years in Delhi, do visit the Qutb Minar and the Red Fort The Sun temple of Konark, based on the shores of Bengal, was built in the 13th century and is one of India's most famous temples.
These are just some of the many sites to visit during your gap year travel in India. Ask locals and you will always find a city, a discovery that is still untouched by tourists.
If you would like to discover India during your gap year abroad, GapGuru offers fantastic gap year travel all around the country: relax during a beach break in Mumbai, discover the impressive Himalayas on the road to Ladakh, approach majestic tigers during our 'Jungle Book' journey, admire the magnificent 'Golden Temple' and much more during your gap year travel in India with GapGuru!
To know more about our gap year travels in India, click here.