“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
While searching for a good quote on travel, I found this one which I easily can relate with my life and I assume so can you, right? Well, I am 21 and still have many regrets for not doing things which were once on my bucket list of teenage days. And to be honest I don’t want the same feeling when I’ll be in my 30s. So, as a wanderer and a travel writer, I have prepared my list of top things to do in India before turning 30 and the best thing is, I have got plenty of time to experience it all. If travelling is your thing, then you must check out this list which include the thrill of scuba diving in Andaman, quad biking in Goa, or airshow in Bengaluru, which you might want to add in your travel bucket list. Now, let’s begin!
Probably, the most popular water adventure activity in India, River Rafting can be best experienced at Rishikesh, but the Uttarakhand HC had imposed a ban on rafting for a short period of time, so that new and clear guidelines can be set for this commercial water-based adventure. Now, as far as I know, rafting is open and y’all can begin your much-awaited adventure! Also esteemed as White River Rafting, this is one of those water sports in India that have won many hearts, and thus, it finds its place on the top of this list. However, river rafting is not the only activity which this city in Uttarakhand offers to tourists – bungee jumping, camping, cliff jumping, rappelling, kayaking, swing, flying fox, and mountain biking are some more enthralling adventure activities you get to savour here in Rishikesh. So, let your hidden adventurer step out of his/her comfort zone to experience something unique and amazing before it’s too late.
Best Time to Visit: October to June
Have you ever dreamt of walking on a frozen lake? Well, I’d never given it a thought unless I got to know about the Chadar Trek. No, it’s not any foreign destination where you can get to savour this once in a lifetime experience, it’s in our India. In the Zanskar region of Ladakh, Chadar Trek is one of the most challenging expeditions for any adventure buff, but it is best to do this trek in your 20s, because apparently, you need to be physically fit, and being in 20s somehow helps. This beguiling trek takes adventurists from the villages of Zanskar valley to far in the mountains.
Best Time to Visit: January and February
There was once a time when deserts were like an isolated place where no one wanted to go. And now wanderers prefer offbeat destinations the most. Camping in the desert is one such offbeat thing which travellers in today’s time are dying to do. Rajasthan is one such place which gives an opportunity to indulge in such activities. The wide stretch of sand, tent life, and gleaming stars make an ideal destination for anyone to spend a night here in the desert of Rajasthan.
Best Time to Visit: October to March
One of the best routes to bike ride in the world, Manali-Leh road is like a silver streak amidst the scenic landscape, snow-clad mountains, and composed ambiance, and here, a bike trip is surely a worth-cherishing experience for any hardcore bike rider. Starting from Manali, the route to this enthralling expedition cuts through rugged and challenging terrains. But, what makes this a must-do activity is the exquisite beauty of the place which you get to adore after conquering the challenging routes of this trip. So, if you’re ready to dare yourself then a bike trip to Leh Ladakh must be on your wishlist.
Best Time to Visit: June to September
Does the thrill of diving give you a sudden feeling of fuss? Then, an unforgettable experience of Scuba Diving is what you should try. The irresistible sights of spectacular corals, gorgeous fishes, and the extremely calm underwater setting will certainly take you to a different universe here in Andaman. Amongst all the places in Andaman, Havelock Island is the most ideal place to savour the best scuba diving experience in India. And while in your 20s, what else you want from a perfect beach destination?
Best Time to Visit: January to May
A great adventure accompanies with spellbinding views of dense forests, long stretch of meadows, dreamy campsites, and that of the snow and finally and unparalleled sight of an alpine lake, and all this you can find on the Roopkund Trek! Starting from Lohajung and cutting through Didna, Patar Nachauni, Bedni Bugyal, trail to Roopkund is perhaps one of the most stunning in India. The trek requires a good level of physical fitness. It is an experience that’ll indeed make your youth look really cool to your future kids.
Best Time to Visit: May-June and September-October
Were you a fan of the famous cartoon Dragon Tales? Well, more than the characters, I was a fan of the Dragon land where Max and Emmy used to travel from their world. And for me, Valley of Flowers seems the reality of that imaginary land. Located in Uttarakhand, VOF is a land of magic, a magic performed by the Mother Nature. A sightseeing tour of Valley of Flowers gives you a chance to adore the beauty of more than 500 floral species. However, in order to reach this enticing land, one has to undergo an easy to moderate trek. Are you ready for it?
Best Time to Visit: July to Early September
A crazy adventure experience can only be relished here in the gorgeous Solang Valley through paragliding. Live a life of a bird, even though it is just for few moments, as you fly high in the air adoring the sweeping vistas of mountains, valleys, and forests, paragliding is one of the great activities to do in India.
Best Time to Visit: April to December
There is hardly any youngster or teenager who would say no to a vacation in Goa. Well, beaches and parties are not just the things for which this beaut destination is famous for, quad bike is another reason to visit Goa. Quad bike expedition is one the most popular activities in the state for all the adrenaline lovers. Amidst the wilderness of forests, the quad bike ride takes you to the trickiest terrains (including water, mud, and woods) which is certainly an exciting experience for all the thrill lovers.
Best Time to Visit Throughout the Year
One of the craziest things to do in India for youngsters is to be a part of the Sunburn Festival in Pune. Sunburn is an EDM Festival which earlier held in Goa but from 2016 it has shifted to Pune. Underneath the vast stretch of sky and amidst the cheering crowd, the heart-robbing electronic music is the showstopper of every sunburn festival. Just for the information, sunburn is one of the biggest electronic dance music festivals in Asia.
Best Time to Visit: 28 to 31 December
In your young days, with friends, even the longest journey seems like the shortest and the most beautiful ones. And one of the few such journeys is Goa to Mumbai road trip. A 16-hour long drive that cuts through India’s finest highways and astonishing vistas, this road trip would surely fill your memory lane with some of the most rememberable moments to cherish for a long.
Best Time to visit: December to January
In our young days, we often talked about supernatural stories either cooked-up or a real one, agree? If you and your friends did the same, you’d know that those were the best memories. But what I say is why not make it even more special by visiting one such eerie place like Bhangarh where you can expect to have an experience of a lifetime? Well, to be honest, I don’t know whether the stories related to this place are true but I know it very well that this is probably one of the most popular haunted places in India, and thus, you must visit it.
Lies on the border of Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar Rajasthan, Bhangarh Fort is said to be one of the scariest places to visit in India. Sounds fun, right? Well, this would definitely be one of the most daring yet fun experiences of your life if you choose to visit this fort. In the past, numerous supernatural activities have been witnessed in the fort, and hence, it is not allowed to visit the place after the sunset. However, you can still visit it during the daytime.
Best Time to Visit: October to February
You can’t resist the fact that we all have dreamt in our young days to at least see a Royal Bengal Tiger once in our life. And there is no place on earth than Sundarbans to catch a sight of those beasts and that in abundance. With that being said, a boat ride amidst the beauty of Sundarbans helps you to achieve your dream.
Esteemed as the world’s largest coastal mangrove ecosystem, Sundarbans is famous for its uncontaminated natural beauty and of course the man-eating predator, Royal Bengal Tiger. A boat ride amidst the composed ambiance of Sundarbans takes you to various attractions of the region which include fisherman’s cove, crocodiles’ den, a 400-year old temple, and more such enthralling destinations.
Best Time to Visit: October to March
I personally believe that there is no particular age to eat! But just imagine once, you are in your thirties you might want to watch your weight and health, you know for a better 40s, 50s, 60s and longer than that. This is why, your 20s are a blessing, when you can eat as much as you want, and be imprudent. So, before you start to make those healthy choices in life just let the wings of your palate fly in the aromas of some delectable street food of Delhi.
Even after spending almost 22 years in the capital, I never miss a chance to satiate my taste bud with some delicious street food. Well, you can’t resist it, that’s the taste you get to savour here in Old Delhi. Whether it is the Mughlai food or the sweets, the streets of Old Delhi serve some of the finest tastes one could ever wish to get. So, whether you go to a restaurant or not while in the city but a visit to Old Delhi is must just to try the lip-smacking street food. However, other places like Lajpat Nagar, Karol Bagh, Amar Colony and Moolchand are some more popular places for street food in Delhi.
Best Time to Visit: October to March
Also deemed as the Himalayan Ski Resort, Auli in Uttarakhand is one of the most-celebrated hill stations and an amazing tourist attraction in North India. This beautiful hill town is a popular skiing hub. Tourists from round the world come here to ski or to learn skiing. So, if you have the curiosity of learning to ski, here you’ll get experienced and skilled coaches that will surely provide the guidance.
Best Time to Visit: November to March
I guess I don’t need to tell you guys why Paragliding is a must do activity before you turn 30, mainly because of its hype amongst youngsters. Just to let you know, Bir Billing was the place that hosted first ever Paragliding World Cup and is also known as India’s paragliding hub, interesting isn’t it? The feel of adoring the bird-eye views of the resplendent beauty of Himachal Pradesh from a soaring height is altogether a different experience to relish which you can’t afford to miss.
Best Time to Visit: April to June and October-November
Do you remember the 90s cartoon, Thomas the Tank Engine? Well, I don’t know about you guys but Darjeeling toy train remind me of that cartoon. And just for that reason, I have added this point in this list so that every 90s kid could actually relive those childhood memories, which you actually won’t be able to enjoy when you’ll be stuck in your personal and professional life in your 30s.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Toy Train in Darjeeling is one such experience to which you can’t say no, even not in your dreams. Passing through the dreamy settings of flourishing green forests shrouded with a mist, toy train is the most perfect way to adore the surreal natural beauty of North East India.
Best Time to Visit: October to March
Do I need to tell you why this point is in this list? I mean, being a youngster who doesn’t love to part, especially a night party on a beach destination amidst a crazy crowd with food, drinks, and music, it sounds perfect to enjoy your young days, right? Baga Beach, Candolim Beach, Calangute Beach, Arambol, Palolem, Cavelossim, Sinquerim, Vagator, and Anjuna are some of the popular nightlife beaches in Goa. However, there are also various bars, restaurants, and cafes that add a special charm in Goa’s nightlife, Chronicle, Hill Top, Leopard Valley, Club Cubana, Nyex Beach Club, LPK Waterfront, and Cape Town Cafe being some of them.
Best Time to Visit: November to February
Our childhood dreams and interests automatically get defunct after 30. And if I am not wrong, in our childhood we always have dreamt of playing with snow or building a snow castle/igloo or maybe a snowman. So, before your childhood instinct are lost somewhere in your busy and chaotic life, fulfil that evergreen urge of playing with snow here in Manali.
Renowned as the paradise of snow, Manali in Himachal Pradesh is undoubtedly one of the most visited hill stations in North India. Every year, from around the globe, oodles of tourists visit this surreal hill town just to relish the eternal beauty of the place which includes the snow (in the winter). Nowadays, the hill station of Manali is also one of the most prominent places amongst youngster to plan a trip, mainly because of various adventure activities that are popular amongst the young ones. Trekking, skiing, mountain biking, hiking, rafting, paragliding, and zorbing being top of them.
Best Time to Visit: December and January are the best months for those who want indulge into a snowy treat. However, if you want to do trekking, paragliding, mountain biking, zorbing, and rafting then the months of May and June are ideal to visit.
Every young adventurer loves to experience the thrill, especially with their friends. And one of those thrilling experiences of young days lies here in Pushkar – the vibrant city in Rajasthan, which gives you a lifetime opportunity to ride a hot air balloon with your friends. Although, you can also perform this activity in your 30s (considering only if you will not have any medical issues) with your family. But believe me, everything we do with our friends in our young days automatically makes space in our sweetest memories and riding a hot air balloon would surely be one of them.
From a height of 2000-4000 feet, you’ll get to see the bird-eye view of the whole town, especially the beautiful Pushkar Lake. So, be prepared to completely adore this 50-60 flight to its fullest.
Best Time to Visit: November to March
So, this was my hand-picked list of top 20 things to do in India before you turn 30. I hope, this must have helped you to make your bucket list. If so, then do let us know in the comment box. You can also drop your suggestions and feedbacks.