India is a very interesting country, that’s why a lot of travellers have it on their bucket lists. From beautiful landscapes to spicy cuisine, and diverse culture, there’s just so much that India has to offer. Some of the things or practices in India might amaze you. This 3-weeks in India itinerary will show you more amazing places to visit.
The Meghalaya Village holds the Guinness world records title for that. They have more than 300,000 mosques and 2,000,000 Hindu temples. They have a temple of rats because they consider rats sacred and they have the highest rail bridge in the world.
If you still need some convincing, they also have very diverse cuisines. Every state highlights different food or cuisines. Seafood is their main food in Andaman and Nicobar Islands while Andhra Pradesh has what they call Telugu cuisine which consists mainly of lentil soups and a variety of curries. Gujarat food is mainly vegetarian, consisting of roti, vegetables, and spices.
There are still tons of other cuisines but let’s dive into other interesting facts about India. For those who are interested in language, India has 22 recognised languages, and last but definitely not least, well, the magnificent Taj Mahal – no need to say more, right?
TIP: If India is not for you, check our list of recommended places to spend your 3-week vacation
BASIC TRAVEL TIPS FOR INDIA
Now that we’ve got you hyped up about spending a vacation for 3-weeks in India, there are some reminders first that you need to know before embarking on this unforgettable trip. This section of the article will talk about the ways you could get around in India, as well as the best time to go. So sit back, relax and continue on reading the article.
Getting around India
You can travel to India through their rail transport, which is the most common mode of transportation they have. But keep in mind, they are often very packed and many are no longer of their best quality. They also have buses and what they call “auto”, which is a three-wheeled vehicle for hire, some of you might know it as “tuk-tuk”. As well as automobiles and taxis if you want safer and more private options.
For those who really want to try their culture, they also have unique modes of transportation while touring around various cities or provinces. India has human pulled rickshaws, horse carts, cycle-rickshaw, or what they call a “coracle”, which is shaped like a deep saucer and is a mode of transportation across small rivers.
Best time to go to India
The best time to travel to India would be from October to March because those are the warm and sunny months. However, if you prefer a colder and foggier climate, you can plan on going between December and January as it also has some clearer mountain views. For those who are on a budget, accommodation rates are usually lower between April to May. The trekking season is at its peak from August to September.
Visa and Covid policy
India opened their international borders to tourists on November 15, 2021. Tourists have to be fully or show the negative test result upon arrival or before boarding the flight (test must be valid for 72 hours). It is also required to follow COVID protocols like wearing masks.
For visas, travellers coming from almost anywhere in the world can apply for an eVisa valid for 30-180 days except Canada, North/Central Africa, many Middle Eastern countries, Central Asia, and some Southeast Asia.
MUST-SEE PLACES IN INDIA PINNED MAP
This will help you have a visual idea of where the best attractions in India are located and plan your itinerary.
You may click the icon on the top right corner to enlarge the map. Credit: Map Data: Google
3-WEEKS IN INDIA ITINERARY
My goal today is to share a 3-week holiday in India, to inspire you in writing your own or feel free to follow this itinerary. First on your India travel itinerary would be staying in Rishikesh, New Delhi, and Agra for 12 days.
New Delhi, Rishikesh, and Agra for 12 days
New Delhi is where modern metropolises and ancient landmarks perfectly coexist. It is where you would be able to find the world’s tallest brick structure. You can also find Asia’s largest wholesale spice market here. New Delhi is the second most bird-rich capital in the whole world, second to Nairobi in Kenya.
Rishikesh is regarded as one of the holiest places for Hindus and is regarded as a pilgrimage town while Agra is famous for its Mughlai cuisine. Rishikesh is a city in India that is known as the gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas and the yoga capital of the world. Meditation is also prominent in this area.
New Delhi on the other hand, is the capital of India and is well-known for its historical significance and stunning landscapes.
Last but not least is Agra, which is a city on the banks of the Yamuna River. Agra has numerous UNESCO world heritage sites, one of which is the world-famous Taj Mahal. If you prefer convenient planning, check out this 3-day or 6-day Golden Triangle tour – it covers New Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, and Varanasi.
Must-see attractions in New Delhi
Aside from the ones written in the previous paragraphs, here are other places to see or things to do in New Delhi:
- Akshardham Temple
- Red Fort and Old Delhi – there’s a walking and Rickshaw tour you can enjoy
- Qutub Minar
- Lotus Temple
- India Gate
- Humayun’s Tomb
- Old Delhi steet food tour
Must-see attractions in Rishikesh or Jaipur
I know some people would prefer to go to Rishikesh, however, Jaipur is a popular destination as part of the Golden Triangle (New Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra). If you want to follow this route, that should be easy as well.
Let’s first talk about Rishikesh. There are actually a lot of ways to reach Rishikesh if you’re coming from New Delhi. You can take the bus, hail a cab, ride the train, or via plane if you’re in a rush. Riding the plane from Rishikesh to New Delhi would only take 50 minutes but it is the most expensive option. That’s why if you’re on a budget and want to save, you can choose either of the three other options.
Must-see attractions in Rishikesh
- Trimbakeshwar Temple
- The Beatles Ashram
- Shiv Puri
- Jumpin Heights
- Byasi Village
Must-see attractions in Jaipur
Jaipur is also another place that is very popular. It’s about a 5-hour drive or an hour flight. Jaipur is known as the location of the Iconic Wind Palace. Apart from that, here are other things you can see while in Jaipur:
- Wind Palace (Hawa Mahal)
- Amber Fort and Palace
- Enjoy a day tour – covers all must-see places in Jaipur or book a full-day tuk tuk tour
- Water Palace (Jal Mahal)
- Join the famous Instagram tour – a great tour for photographers
- Nahargarh Fort
- Heritage Water Walk
- Patrika Gate
- Join a food tour
Must-see attractions in Agra
To reach Agra coming from Rishikesh, you could ride a bus, take the train, or hail a cab. The longest travel time is the cheapest option, which is riding a train and then boarding a bus. Travel time lasts for more than 14 hours. The shortest travel time is via riding a bus than hailing a cab, with an estimated travel time of more than six hours. Agra is the last stop for your three weeks in India and here are some of the tourist attractions here:
- Taj Mahal and Agra Fort – you can book a sunrise tour that combines these two
- Fatehpur Sikri
- Itimad-ud-daulah’s Tomb
- Mehtab Bagh
- Chini ka Rauza
Mumbai and Pune for 5 days
Next on the itinerary for your 3-weeks in India would be staying in Mumbai and Pune for 5 days. Mumbai is the sixth most populous metropolitan in the world and is well-known for its lucrative streets and high-end malls. You can see various things there including promenades and you can experience the Indian cosmopolitan culture.
Meanwhile, Pune is known for being the top automobile and manufacturing hub of India and the second major IT hub in India. It is also known as Oxford of the East as it is an educational centre of the country.
Must-see attractions in Mumbai
- Gateway of India
- Sanjay Gandhi National Park
- Book a full-day sighseeing tour
- Red Carpet Wax Museum
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
- Elephant Caves – join a half-day trip
- Haji Ala Dargah
- Watch a Bollywood dance show with tour
- Lohagad Forts
- Mumbai food tour
Must-see attractions in Pune
There are four direct trains from Mumbai to Pune. The cheapest way to reach your destination is by train. Travel time could last around 2 hours and 40 minutes. The fastest way is through a plane which lasts for about 55 minutes. You can also ride the bus or hail a cab.
- Shaniwar Wada
- Aga Khan Palace
- Book a full day Pune tour
- Sinhagad Fort
- Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple
- Panshet Water Park
- Enjoy a food tour
- Parvati Hill Temple
Kerala for 3 days
3-weeks in India is not complete without a visit to the Southern part. Kerala is famous for its palm-lined beaches, a network of canals, and backwaters. It has various national parks as well. It is perfect for photoshoot backdrops as there are numerous coconut trees and turquoise blue waters. It is also known as the cleanest state in India.
The first Aryuvedic resort and the world’s wealthiest Hindu temple can be found here. They also have the most number of festivals so chances are, you’ll get to experience one of those during your stay.
Must-see attractions in Kerala
- Munnar – do a day trip
- Kochi/Cochin – you can book a 2-day Alappuzha backwater boat cruise
- Athirapphilly Waterfall – book a day tour with lunch
MUST-TRY INDIAN DISHES
You might have tried Indian food from your local restaurant – but as they say, there is no better way to eat a dish than having them where they originally came from. I will a few Indin food that you must try during your visit to India.
- Biryani – is a rice mix with spices and meat, it’s probably something some people would compare to fried rice
- Vindaloo – a curry dish based on meat marinated in sauce and spices, it is known as a very spicy dish
- Gulab Jamun – a flour and milk-based dessert that is cooked by deep-frying
- Korma – a creamy dish with meat and vegetables, it is cooked with yoghurt or water or stock to produce a thick and gravy-like sauce
- Tikka Masala – is probably one of hte most famous dishes from India, it is made of any meat in a creamy saucy with vegetables, it’s known for its orange-colour sauce
- Naan – a flatbread cooked in a clay oven, a very staple dish in Indian cuisine
SUMMARY ON 3-WEEKS IN INDIA
It is easy to get drawn to this country’s charms as it is brimming with culture, history, and religious or spiritual practices aside from its sceneries and cuisine. That’s why it can also get overwhelming, and first-time travellers might not know where to go first.
With everything that happened within the past couple of years, introspection and self-reflection along with basking yourself in the presence of nature and a serene environment are usually what people are looking for nowadays.
There’s no place that is more perfect to do all of that and more than India as it is famous for yoga and meditation practices. If you’re into arts, history, and culture, there are also tons of places to visit here and if you are an adrenaline junkie or a foodie, there are still lots of restaurants, cafes, and hole-in-the-wall places that you could discover.
This country is perfect for travellers of all ages, whether you’re with your partner, family, or friends, you’ll always find something to do. That’s why give yourself a break and have a 3-weeks holiday in India because you totally deserve it.