~ Zainab Sariya (@zainabsariya)
“Wherever you go, it becomes a part of you somehow!”
This is the truest line ever! We think travelling is just for fun and is just a way to while away time. Travelling is a kind of magic that one can only experience. It cannot be gained or seen in any other way.
The breath of fresh air, the warmth of the first sun rays, the chill of the icy waters, and beautiful memories of all the smiles and adventures make up this magical potion called travelling.
The irony is, nowadays we are so influenced by the western culture that although we love to travel, our dream travel list is filled with foreign places. But the truth is our country, India, is full of sumptuous locations that are a paradise for the traveller.
Owing to various cultures and different land forms we have in different parts, we have a mixed bag of destinations, from deserts and mountains to beaches, plateaus and many more. The list is endless.
Even though the list is unending, here are 13 places in India for the solo traveller in you.
1. Leh, Ladakh
It’s fair enough to say that this heaven on earth is a destination that you can’t miss. Ladakh has recently become one of the most favorite places for trekkers, bikers, and hikers. The whole union territory of Ladakh is filled with scenic lakes and picturesque Buddhist monasteries.
The best time to visit Ladakh is from September to October. Highlights of this place are its infamous Pangong Lake where various films have been shot, the pearl-shaped Tsomoriri lake. Apart from that, the Magnetic Hill is a tourist attraction. Moreover, the Khardongla pass is the highest motorable pass and is lined with glaciers and orchid gardens.
Overall, Ladakh is the perfect getaway for a solo traveller. The best option is to join a tour with complete strangers and you never know you might have the best time of your life!
2. Delhi, the Capital of India
Eh? Delhi!? I know you must be wondering, “Why is this city here”? In this list, I’m going to cover a mixed bag of destinations. Every city or place has a different way/style of living. If you want to go to Delhi, go with an empty stomach and an empty suitcase. There are lots to shop and eat in Delhi.
Not just food but there are various historic landmarks which are surely a feast to your eyes. Delhi is the home to 3 of UNESCO World Heritage sites
Adding to all this, as a bonus Taj Mahal is not that far away from Delhi.
You need a week’s time to explore properly, one whole day for shopping and bargaining at Sarojini Nagar and after every monument visit, you can end your day with the finger-licking food at Chandni Chowk. In short, it’s a complete package!
3. Alleppey, Kerala
Alleppey or Alappuzha in Kerala is also called Venice of the Southeast India. The reason is that it has a lot of canals that open to the infamous backwaters which drag thousand of tourists every year.
The best time to visit Alleppey is at the start of the winter, as the temperatures will be down. But even if you go in the summer, get a tender coconut, shades to perfect the OOTD, flip flops and feet dipped in the cool water of the Alleppey beach.
Apart from its houseboata and canoe backwater rides, you can indulge in the Ayurvedic spa treatment and buy Khadi and heirloom products. All this makes Alleppey an ideal getaway destination for solo travellers.
4. Rann of Kutch, Bhuj, Gujarat
A full moon night, white sand everywhere, and a sky full of stars. Feels like a dream? Your dream can be turned into reality if you visit the White Desert of Kutch.
The White Desert in Gujarat is one of the largest white salt deserts in India. The infamous Rann Utsav takes place here and it attracts a lot of visitors every year! The best part is you get to stay in a tent and sleep under the stars.
In order to visit the white desert, one needs to get a permit from the authority before going. Watching the sunrise or sunset or gawking the night sky will leave you in a trance and gives you a special mood-setting. Destinations like these are a must go in order to unstress yourself as it will keep your worries away.
5. Andaman & Nicobar Islands
No visa, no extra flight charges. These Islands are a valuable treasure for the Indian subcontinent. Andaman and Nicobar Islands are of one the most underrated tourist spots, but the graph is elevating year by year.
These islands are filled with pristine clean white beaches and dozens of water sports to do. Havelock Island is the most famous for scuba diving, snorkeling, and open water dives. It is considered as one of the best beach destinations in India.
Apart from its virgin beaches, there are many tourist attractions which you can include in your ‘solo traveller‘ blogs like the Parrot Island, the Cellular Jail a.k.a Kaala Pani, and the Barren Island Volcano which is the only active volcano in Southeast Asia!
6. Shillong, Meghalaya
A camera in one hand and an umbrella in the other as you enter the city of the state which receives the highest rainfall in India! Meghalaya translates as ‘abode of clouds’. It is true when they say that the Northeast of India is an unexplored paradise! As this state receives lots of rainfall, it is filled with lakes, rivers, and falls.
Shillong has various falls and different rivers and marvelous wonders to see, thus making it a top destination for a solo traveller. You can start by seeing the elephant falls and maybe getting wet too. Next, you can enjoy an aerial view of Shillong from the viewpoint.
One of the most unique things seen here is the natural root bridges which are giant and peculiar but surely one to be clicked and added in your ‘solo traveller‘ journal.
7. Kolkata, West Bengal
The City of Joy and the Land of the Sweet Tooth is none other than ‘Ami Kolkata‘!
Kolkata is one of the oldest cities in India and has many historic and iconic landmarks. You don’t need a tour package to go around Kolkata as I’m going to mention what all you need to do!
Bengali is one language in which your mouth is always in an ‘O’ shape so that one can pop a roshogolla in your mouth. It is one of those places where you can get the cheapest yet very tasty food! There are lots of markets which sell cheap clothing, which of course you can loot and refresh your wardrobe.
Things you need to eat include phuchka, sondesh, firni, and the infamous mishti doi (dahi). These are just some but once you reach there you will find out more!
Don’t forget to visit the iconic Howrah bridge and a tram ride to the Eden Gardens where legends have played.
8. Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu
I will give you only one reason to go to this small island town in Tamil Nadu. The reason is to witness and travel in the most thrilling train journey of your life, that is on top of the Pamban Bridge. This bridge was made to create a connection from Rameshwaram to the rest of India.
Rameshwaram is also considered one of the holiest towns in India and has a lot of temples. After visiting Rameshwaram a solo traveller would surely travel to Dhanush Kodi which is the tip of India.
9. Lakshadweep, India
Just like we have the Andamans in the east, we have the Lakshadweep Islands in the west in the Arabian Sea. It has 10 inhabited and 17 uninhabited islands and new islets keep coming up.
The main islands include Kavaratti, Agatti, and Minicoy and are famous for their water sports and underwater activities like snorkeling and scuba diving. There are ferry rides available which let you travel to different islands.
10. Mumbai, Maharashtra
‘The City Of Dreams’ or Bollywood City, Mumbai is one destination you can’t miss, being a solo traveller. You need to be well prepared in order to step into this city as life here is very fast and happening.
Food is cheap and you have streets lined with stores and markets where you survive, only if you know how to bargain. Mumbai is a city which never sleeps. Even if you go to the streets of Bhendi Bazaar at 4 a.m, you will find a traffic jam and shops buzzing with people.
All this is what makes Mumbai – ‘MUMBAI!’. There are many tourist hotspots too such as the Gateway of India, Chowpatty and the Elephanta Caves. There are many iconic landmarks such as the Taj Hotel, the National Art Gallery Museum, and the Marine Drive.
11. Udaipur, Rajasthan
The name Udaipur itself sounds royal. In reality this city in Rajasthan is a royal destination, filled with palaces, havelis, and grand mansions. It is also called the Lake City with 7 lakes, Lake Pichola being the most famous.
As a solo traveller, keep a pair of royal clothing in your backpack so that whenever you see a beautiful haveli, you can do your own shoot and pretend to be a prince or a princess.
Its picturesque lakes and palaces will lure you to sit and sketch with the cool breeze of the lakes. All these make Udaipur one of India’s top destinations for a solo traveller.
12. Goa, India
A near spot for Mumbaikars and a weekend getaway for some, Goa is a very top and well-visited solo destination for Indians as well as foreigners. It is pretty famous among the youth and the maximum college-going young adults must have planned a Goa trip.
For a solo traveller, if you are a ‘beach party’ person, and are interested in the nightlife, then this is the most accurate destination for you. There are a lot of water sport activities which can be done on the beaches like parasailing, jetski, zorbing and so on.
13. Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Madras or ‘Namma Chennai’ as the locals call it, is the last but not the least. Chennai is also a very old city and one of the most thriving metros in India. If you live in the north, you should definitely come down to visit this city, not just because this is a city and a metro, but because you get to witness an ancient culture and a completely different living style.
Chennai is the home to India’s longest beach and the world’s second longest beach. Marina Beach is spread over a distance of 12 kms. It’s definitely worth a visit!
Travel to Chennai is very easy as numerous flights and trains are connected from here to almost all parts of the country. It is known for its South Indian Cuisine and Filter Kapi (coffee).
Apart from the beach, there are many tourist attractions like boating at Muttukadu. You must visit the Marina Lighthouse which is open for visitors now to get an aerial view of this beautiful beach and Mahabalipuram which is a historic place, with ancient architecture and idols from the time of Pallavas.
In the end…
The list comes to an end, but the destinations of India don’t come to an end! There are still so many places which are a solo traveller’s haven and have enchanted beauty.
We should realize that our country is an abode of magical destinations that are still unexplored. The sad part is that most of us only dream or wish to go to exotic foreign destinations, whilst there are so many hidden gems in India.