Immerse Yourself in an Outdoor Adventure in India
India is a tapestry of culture, religion, and experiences you can't find anywhere else in the world. But to really explore a country, you need to step out of your comfort zone, leave your hotel, and indulge in some outdoor adventures. Following are 3 suggestions for outdoor adventures that will give you a whole new appreciation for the amazing country that is India.
Kanha National Park
This incredibly beautiful national park includes bamboo thickets, plateau grasslands, and sal forests. The Kanha National Park was the inspiration behind The Jungle Book, the endearing children's book by Rudyard Kipling. In addition to over 200 species of birds and 22 different species of mammals, the Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh is your best chance of seeing the magnificent Royal Bengal Tiger roaming free in it's natural habitat.
While the Kanha National Park was created by law in 1955, the Kanha Tiger Reserve came about in 1974 as part of Project Tiger. When the reserve was established in 1974, the original population of Bengal Tigers was 48. Now that population has more than doubled, at approximately 100. Another success story for the Kanha National Park is the illusive Barasingha, or hardground swamp deer that was on the brink of extinction. Currently, the Kanha National Park is the only place on earth where you can find the Barasingha. Other mammals you might see are the golden-backed jackal, sloth bear, wild boar, and chausingha (the only 4 horned antelope in the world). This isn't a zoo where animals live in an artificial environment. This is the real thing.
Hiking the Himalayas
There are many different opportunities to trek in the Himalayas while you are visiting this ancient country. You can take a day trip to explore different sections of this vast mountain range, or you can extend your hiking adventure to several days and include camping along the way. Go off on your own to explore the most popular hiking locations, or enlist the aid of a local guide to discover the most beautiful areas that only the locals know about.
Ancient wooden temples, snow-capped mountains, and up-close views of the flora and fauna make the Himalayas one of the most beautiful areas in the world to hike. Dress in layers with quick drying clothes, such as mesh leggings so you are ready for whatever adventure the quick changing weather throws your way. To get out and really explore a unique country such as India, you need get off the beaten path and immerse yourself in its back-country and culture. Hiking the Himalayas is the perfect way to explore the very heart of India.
Explore Varanasi Along The Ganges River
Varanasi is widely considered the spiritual capital of India. Located on the sacred waters of the Ganges River, Varanasi is considered to be the oldest living city in the world, at over 3000 years old. There are fairs and festivals all year round in Varanasi because this city is the cultural and religious center of India. Millions of Hindu make a pilgrimage to Varanasi at least one time in their lives. It is said that anyone who dies and gets cremated here will instantly be freed from the cycle of birth and rebirth that is the core of Hinduism.
Wander along the winding streets and explore some of the 2000 temples that are found everywhere, including Kashi Vishwanath, the "Golden Temple." Many of the temples only allow Hindu making a pilgrimage inside the actual temple, but you can wander around the outside and view the beautiful architecture and shrines. Shop at some of the classic bazaars for silver jewelry, beautiful opulent silks, and fresh naan.
India is a country unlike any place on earth. To truly immerse yourself in the culture and experience that is India, get out and explore some outdoor adventures.