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PHOTOS: 11 unique experiences in India

Last updated on: November 10, 2012 19:11 IST

PHOTOS: 11 unique experiences in India

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Courtesy Hotels.com

Bringing you Hotels.com's guide to 11 unique experiences in India

When you think of travelling within India, Taj Mahal in Agra, the beaches of Goa, The Gateway of India in Mumbai are few of the many experiences that instantly come to mind. Though these marvelous spots will continue to lure travelers, there are many more culturally rich and distinctive experiences which will leave you enthralled in this wonderful country.

Hotels.com shares 11 unique experiences which could be a part of your itinerary the next time you travel.


Image: 11 unique experiences in India


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Yak Safari in Sikkim

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Ditch your mountain bike and explore the scenic beauty of Sikkim in a rustic way -- a yak safari! The trail from Dzongri to Tsomgo Lake is one of the most popular routes to experience this safari. One can witness magnificent peaks of the Himalaya Mountains, glaciers, valleys, and more through such trails.

Image: Witness magnificent peaks of the Himalaya Mountains
Photographs: Wikimedia Creative Commons

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Jain temples on a hill in Gujarat

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In the state of Gujarat lies Palitana, often referred to as 'The City of Jain Temples'. Situated at the foot of Shatrunjaya Hills, it is home to 863 Jain temples making it one of the most sacred pilgrimage spots amongst the Jain community in India. The temples are made of white marble and the idols are adorned with gems and jewels donated by devotees. The fragrance from jasmine trees fills the atmosphere and some spectacular views can be witnessed from atop the hill.

Image: Palitana, Gujarat
Photographs: Wikimedia Creative Commons

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Hot air balloon ride in New Delhi

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This new adventurous activity is gaining popularity amongst tourists as well as locals. With a number of adventure clubs offering hot air balloon rides in New Delhi, one can choose from the early morning rides to witness the sun rising over the capital city or the evening ones for a romantic sunset setting. The rides last up to one hour and the best time to experience them is between the months from September to March.

Image: Hot air balloon ride in New Delhi
Photographs: Wikimedia Creative Commons
Tags: New Delhi

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Valley of Flowers, Uttaranchal

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The valley of flowers in the northern state of Uttaranchal is known as 'Nature's Gift to Man'.  Declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the valley houses over 300 species of flowers.  Vast stretches of colourful flower beds result in some of the most enchanting views in the world. Some flowers are said to be endangered while others are known to have medicinal properties. The ideal time to visit is during July and August when the flowers are in full blossom.

Image: Valley of Flowers, Uttaranchal
Photographs: Wikimedia Creative Commons

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Rural Olympics in Punjab

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Every year, the nippy month of February plays host to the Rural Olympics, originally known as the Kila Raipur Rural Olympics in Punjab. Bullock cart race, tractor race, horse dance, dog race, etc. are amongst the exciting events that make up this 3 day long festival. Moreover, men also participate in feats such as weight lifting, hockey matches, riding a carriage drawn by 4 horses in a standing position, etc to demonstrate strength and skill. The day ends with traditional song and dance performances, folk theatre and delicious food.

Image: Rural Olympics in Punjab
Photographs: Courtesy: Ruralolympics.net
Tags: Punjab , Kila

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Trekking on a frozen river in Ladakh

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The Zanskar River Trek, traditionally known as the 'Chadar Trek' is a paradise for every adventure lover. Set aside up to 18 days from your itinerary to complete this trek which takes you along the Zanskar River to explore isolated villages, caves, Buddhist monasteries and more. The best time to take this trek is between mid January to end of February.


Image: Ladakh
Photographs: Wikimedia Creative Commons

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Desert Festival in Jaisalmer

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Though the Pushkar Festival is one of the most famous ones in Rajasthan, there are other lesser known yet riveting festivals celebrated in the state. Every year in February, the tranquil desert sands of Jaisalmer come alive with the Desert Festival. This festival is the ultimate way to experience the vibrant culture of Rajasthan. The three days of the festival witness traditional music and dance performances, camel polo, camel dance, puppet theatre, turban tying contest and many more entertaining feats.

Image: Desert Festival in Jaisalmer
Photographs: Courtesy: Rajasthantourism.gov.in

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Bathing elephants in Karnataka

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If you are an animal lover, bathing an elephant with your own hands has got to be on your bucket list! One of the places where you can do this is  at the Dubare Elephant Camp in the state of Karnataka which is open throughout the year. The camp consists of around 150 elephants that are tamed and trained by locals. Visitors can feed and bathe the friendly elephants and also explore the adjoining forests and Kaveri river areas.


Image: Bathing elephants in Karnataka
Photographs: dubareelephantcamp.com

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Exploring the haunted Bhangarh fort in Rajasthan

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The Bhangarh Fort in Rajasthan, is considered to be one of the most haunted places in India. There are numerous myths around how the place was cursed and eventually became haunted. One of the more popular stories is one of a sorcerer named Singhia who was in love with princess Ratnavati and cursed the palace before dying in an attempt to hypnotize her. The fort is off bounds to visitors before sunrise and after sunset. It is considered mysterious and spooky by travelers.


Image: Bhangarh fort
Photographs: Wikimedia Creative Commons

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Tree houses in Kerala

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While in Kerala, one can literally stay amidst nature. Previously constructed by local tribes to protect themselves from wild animals, tree houses in Kerala are built at a height of about 20 to 90 feet off the ground. One can wake up amongst lush green surroundings and take in the scenic landscapes of Kerala. Staying in a tree house is the best way to relax and spend quality time with your loved one.

Image: Tree houses in Kerala
Photographs: Wikimedia Creative Commons
Tags: Kerala

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Flamingos in Mumbai

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Amidst the hustle and bustle of the big city life, lies a haven for one of the most gorgeous bird species known to man – Flamingos! The period between the months of October to March witnesses thousands of flamingos migrating to Mumbai from the Great Rann of Kutch. These splendid visitors can be spotted at the Sewri mudflats and are more than welcomed by the city every year by avid bird watchers!


Image: Flamingos in Mumbai
Photographs: Wikimedia Creative Commons

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