India: The Places I’ve Been & What They’re All About

2013 - 2018

India is a huge country that’s more like several countries in one, so it can be super overwhelming figuring out where to start when planning a trip. The first step is deciding which places interest you - I’ve written a little bio on each of the places I’ve visited in India below. Once you’ve decided where you want to go, check out my individual blog posts on each of the places you want to go for more in depth info and tips on getting there.

Where I’ve been & Their Vibe

Agra

It's not the most charming place in India, but is totally worth a visit because it’s home to the Taj Mahal which is deserves every bit of the hype it receives. In my opinion, a trip to India is incomplete without a short stop in Agra.

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Chittorgarh

This city is home to a seriously cool fort. By far my favourite fort in all of India, Chittorgarh is a gem hidden away in Rajasthan and overshadowed by its neighbouring cities. It’s well worth a day trip to see this stone fort, perched atop a mountain and surrounded by a deep green moat.

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Hampi

Super relaxed vibe here, Hampi is a place you could easily hang out in for a week or two if you felt like stopping. There's a big watering hole to swim in as well as lots of cool temple complexes. It’s a place to rent motorbikes, explore and slow down.

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Goa

It may seem obvious, but lots of people don't realise that Goa is actually an entire state, not just one beach, and each spot has its own unique vibe. Goa has something for everyone - whether that be all-night psytrance parties, wholesome cafés and markets or just relaxing by the beach.

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Jaipur

Also known as the pink city, Jaipur is hectic! It’s smoggy, it’s traffic-jam galore, and it’s also home to some of India’s most incredible architecture (Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal). It wasn’t love at first sight, but I’ve come to appreciate Jaipur more than I thought I ever would.

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Jaisalmer

Also known as the golden city, Jaisalmer has a lot to offer between the nearby Thar Desert where you can camp a night out under the stars, and a fort that’s full of cafés and beautiful textiles shops.

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Jodhpur

Also known as the blue city, Jodhpur’s impressive fort towers above the rest of the city. Jodhpur has really cool shopping, bustling markets, and lots of rooftop restaurants.

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Kerala

Like Goa, Kerala is an entire state. It's packed with tea fields, lush jungle and water canals known as 'backwaters'.

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Manali

Nestled in the Himalayas with a river running through the centre, Manali is a lovely mountain town. There are lots of walks to do, shops stocked with Tibetan jewellery and cosy cafés. We had a white Christmas here in 2015 and it was the best.

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Pushkar

A little town in Rajasthan, Pushkar is centred around a holy lake and shrouded by mountains. The vibe here felt much more touristy than most of the other places I've been in India, but the sunsets were some of the best I've seen and the shopping was good.

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Rishikesh

Rishikesh is a yogi’s dream. Yoga and meditation courses are widely offered and there’s an abundance of vegan food. Rishikesh also has a lot to offer with its natural beauty: it’s surrounded by mountains, and the Ganga flows through Rishikesh. To top it off, it’s home to the ashram where the Beatles once lived – it’s abandoned now, and the perfect place to chill for a day.

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Udaipur

Also known as the white city and affectionately called ‘Venice of the East’ because of its numerous lakes, Udaipur is the place that made me fall in love with India. This is the place I go back to every single time I visit India and the place I miss the most when I’m back home.

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Varanasi

What a place! The Ganges runs through Varanasi and burning ceremonies of the dead take place along its bank. It’s one of the most holy places in the world, and there is definitely a seriously strong vibe here. It’s dirtier than anywhere I’ve ever been, but it’s incredible to visit a place that is so culturally rich and still maintaining its religious traditions.

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Sarah in a train in Sri Lanka

by Sarah Jackson

© Sarah Jackson, 2018-2022