In October 2013 we left Latvia and started to travel. First we flew to India and took our bicycles with us. We cycled across India for 5 months – started in Delhi, went up to Shimla and then cycled South through such big cities as Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Pune, till Goa where we stayed for one month. After that we continued our journey till the very Southern tip of India – Kanyakumari. And then we cycled up to Chennai. Chennai was the final destination of our adventure in India.
On our way in India we visited a lot of small villages, small towns, bigger towns and also huge million-people cities. We cycled a bit more than 5300 km and still it was small part of India.
We loved India because of the beautiful nature – fields, mountains, sea, deserted areas, meadows. Because of mostly warm and hot weather. Winter and +30 C degrees satisfies me very well. Because of so many contrasts everywhere. While 5300 kilometers for India it’s still quite small part of the country, we saw a lot. And now I want to tell you about my 6 most favorite places in India.
1. Goa – Where to Go in India
Goa is the smallest and richest state of India. Goa is so small that we could cycle through it in one or one and a half day. This state is very popular among tourists. It is visited by large numbers of international and domestic tourists each year for its beaches (see our favorite beaches in Goa) and world heritage architecture.
Why I’m telling, that one of my most favorite places in India is a whole state not only some part of it? Well, it’s easy to explain – I liked every place in Goa where I went. Cycling and traveling around by bus in Goa, exploring rural areas and visiting some bigger cities, I liked it all. Beaches here are clean and towns – nice.
In both – villages and towns – you can spot many bright-colored houses. These colorful Goan houses are the second most coolest thing I love about Goa (after beaches). Green, violet, red, sky blue and pink houses standing between tall and green palm trees! We even saw some houses which looked like candy houses! Amazing!
2. Kovalam – Where to Go in India
This town has the coolest beach that we saw in all Kerala (state in India) and also the coolest one we saw in whole India. Nice looking beach, clean sand and with transparent blue water!
And also there is a lighthouse which you can enter and it’s possible to climb to the top of it. Views from there are stunning – palm trees surrounding Kovalam beach, rocks intertwine with sand and nice small houses near the beach. Kovalam and it’s beach is not deserted, far from that. It’s a very popular tourist destination, so it is very crowded here. But it is worth a visit, definitely!
What about the state itself? We loved Kerala. Everywhere you go in Kerala you see palm trees and bright-colored houses.
And then there are some fishermen villages on the coast and in these places there are a lot of “old-school” fishing boats. We truly enjoyed Kerala backwaters which is a chain of lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the sea coast. Truly relaxing views!
3. Kanyakumari – Where to Go in India
Kanyakumari is a town in Tamil Nadu state and it is located at the Southernmost tip of India.
Kanyakumari is totally unusual place because of three seas meeting here – the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. Couple of hundred meters from mainland there is a very small and rocky island on which Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Thiruvalluvar Statue is located. After sunset this really big statue is also illuminated and the view of it from the mainland is quite impressive.
We also enjoyed view of the billowing sea – strong waves hitting rocky shore looked dangerous and yet very relaxing.
4. Udaipur – Where to Go in India
Clean and historical city in Rajasthan state. With amazing old city with narrow paved streets and local crafts shops. There is a Pichola lake in the middle of the old city. Lake has two small islands and is surrounded with temples and houses. There are many ghats by the lake for bathing and washing.
Udaipur old city is like a paradise for tourists – many small crafts and souvenir shops, many different restaurants and eateries and cafes, and a lot of beautiful temples and sacred places to visit.
There are hills surrounding Udaipur, and there is also a cable car (Udaipur Ropeway). We went uphill on foot, but down – by cable car. Views from hills and mountains always are our favorite so we enjoyed looking upon Udaipur from above.
5. Shimla – Where to Go in India
We call it a “Little Europe”. After cycling through craziness of Delhi, followed by many dirty and dusty towns were sky was covered with smog and sun was not visible at all, Shimla for us seemed super tidy, a bit European city with clean air and without smog. And with sun shining quite bright although summer there was going to an end and days were becoming colder.
We enjoyed relatively calm streets of Shimla, some of them allowed to be used only by pedestrians. So, no loud sound of engines and no honking…
Shimla is located ~ 2400 meters above sea level and the city is surrounded by many green hills. On the highest of them Jakhoo Temple and world’s tallest statue of monkey faced god Lord Hanuman are located. You can spot the statue from almost anywhere in Shimla.
6. Saputara – Where to Go in India
Going on a bicycle to this small town in Gujarat was hard. Because Saputara is located 1000 meters above sea level. Well, it wasn’t that hard as cycling to Shimla, but still. Especially because of the fact, that big part of the elevation gain was in the last 5 kilometers.
After exhausting climb we arrived in a very small city which “has been developed as a planned hill resort with all the necessary amenities like hotels, parks, swimming pools, boat club, theaters, ropeways and a museum to ensure an enjoyable holiday in the cool of the hill” (source: Wikipedia).
Well, we didn’t swim in swimming pools, we didn’t go to the museums or theaters and we didn’t stay in luxurious hotel. But we did climb hills there. On one of these hills there is a sunset point, on some another – a sunrise point. And from these two hills you can see the best sunsets and sunrises in this area. And at the same time charming and unforgettable views of Saputara and it’s surroundings. There also is a cable car which goes up to the Sunset Point. It goes above hills and valleys and so this amazing ride gives you a bird’s eye view of Saputara without a need to go for a long walk up the hill.
How about you? Have you been to India or maybe to some of these places?
Author: Una Baufala
Una is a traveler and travel blogger from Latvia. Apart from traveling and exploring new places she loves to read books. And she adores cats. Together with Kaspars they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since October 2013. WeAreFromLatvia.com is where she shares her travel experiences.