If you’re traveling to India, a visit to the iconic white mausoleum and UNESCO World Heritage site Taj Mahal is likely on the top of your list. And you might be familiar with other popular activities like deepening your yoga practice in Rishikesh, witnessing colorful festivals throughout the country, cruising the backwaters of Kerala on a houseboat, and immerse yourself in mighty forts and flashes of color in the “Blue City” of Jodhpur or the “Pink City” of Jaipur.
However, sometimes the best travel experiences come from those that are lesser-known. Here are some unexpected adventures to take you off the common tourist trail in India.
Take a hike in tiger territory
Thanks to conservation efforts in recent years, the number of tigers as well as opportunities to spot them in Madhya Pradesh is on the rise.
Pugdundee safari in Satpura Tiger Reserve leads travelers on a multi-day and mobile camping journey through tiger territory, which allows you to track paw prints and scan the trees for wildlife by day and then fall asleep to the sounds of the forest by night.
If you prefer a luxurious resort to return after trying a half-day walk on the wild side, head for lebua Corbett – a jungle resort that locates on the rim of Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand – India’s oldest national park.
Visit a salt desert
As monsoon season ends in October with the water evaporating from the low-lying salt marsh in the Rann of Kutch, a layer of salt will be left behind, which forms one of the world’s largest salt deserts.
Located in Gujarat – the western state of India, it’s quite removed from the well-trodden tourist trail (although domestic tourism to the region has increased in recent years), so you will want to stay a few days to explore the culture of the area.
The restored Parsi heritage home Bhuj House provides a peek into the intriguing past of a city once inhabited by Parsis.