40 Things to do in India Before You Turn 40

India, the land of vibrant colors, ancient traditions, and heart-pounding adventures, beckons travelers from all corners of the globe. But with so much to see and do, where do you even begin?

Also Read: Considering a trip to India in April or May? Check out these budget-friendly flight options for your journey!

To help you create an unforgettable itinerary, we've curated a list of 40 incredible experiences to tick off your list before you turn 40:

1. Witness the sunrise over the Taj Mahal:

As the first rays of dawn bathe the Taj Mahal in a soft pink glow, experience the ethereal beauty of this monument to love.

Taj Mahal

2. Hike through the ethereal ruins of Hampi:

Explore the captivating ruins of Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and wander amidst ancient temples, vibrant bazaars, and monolithic structures.


3. Pay homage at the Golden Temple in Amritsar:

Immerse yourself in the spiritual serenity of the Golden Temple, the holiest shrine for Sikhs. Witness the selfless service in the langar, the community kitchen that feeds thousands daily.

Golden Temple

4. Get lost in the vibrant chaos of a Delhi bazaar:

Delve into the heart of Old Delhi and lose yourself in the bustling labyrinth of Chandni Chowk bazaar. Explore a kaleidoscope of shops selling spices, jewelry, textiles, and everything in between.

Chandni Chowk

5. Learn the art of yoga in Rishikesh, the "Yoga Capital of the World":

Unwind and rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul by learning yoga in the birthplace of this ancient practice. Rishikesh offers a plethora of yoga schools and ashrams catering to all levels.


6. Go white-water rafting on the Ganges River:

Embark on a thrilling white-water rafting adventure on the mighty Ganges River. Navigate through rapids, soak in the breathtaking scenery, and experience the untamed beauty of the Himalayas.

white-water rafting on the Ganges River

7. Trek the challenging trails of the Himalayas:

Challenge yourself with a trek through the majestic Himalayas, the world's highest mountain range. Hike through breathtaking valleys, encounter diverse flora and fauna, and witness panoramic views that will leave you speechless.


8. Hike through the lush green hills of Munnar:

Escape the hustle and bustle and embark on a refreshing hike through the verdant hills of Munnar, a hill station nestled in the Western Ghats. Breathe in the crisp mountain air, explore tea plantations, and discover cascading waterfalls.


9. Take a camel safari through the Thar Desert:

Jounce across the golden sands of the Thar Desert on a traditional camel safari. Experience the nomadic way of life, witness breathtaking sunsets, and sleep under a canopy of stars in a desert camp.

Thar Desert

10. Go paragliding in the scenic valleys of Himachal Pradesh:

Soar through the skies like a bird and experience the thrill of paragliding in Himachal Pradesh. Take in the panoramic views of snow-capped mountains, lush valleys, and quaint villages.


11. Devour a plate of spicy biryani in Hyderabad:

Hyderabad, the City of Pearls, is famous for its delectable Hyderabadi biryani. Savor this aromatic rice dish cooked with meat, vegetables, and fragrant spices, a true explosion of flavor on your palate.

biryani in Hyderabad

12. Savor the melt-in-your-mouth butter chicken in Delhi:

Indulge in Delhi's culinary gem, butter chicken. Tender pieces of chicken simmered in a creamy tomato gravy with a hint of sweetness will leave you wanting more.

butter chicken in Delhi

13. Indulge in the fresh seafood delicacies of Kerala:

Kerala, known as God's Own Country, boasts a stunning coastline and some of the freshest seafood in India. From succulent prawns and flaky fish to aromatic curries, embark on a culinary adventure along the Malabar Coast.

Fish fry in Kerala

14. Try a masala dosa, a South Indian staple:

Experience the heartiness of South Indian cuisine with a masala dosa. A large, crispy crepe made from fermented rice and lentil batter, stuffed with a spiced potato filling and served with sambar and coconut chutney, it's a satisfying and delicious meal.

Masala Dosa

15. Explore the street food scene in Mumbai, from pav bhaji to vada pav:

Mumbai is a haven for street food lovers. From the rich and flavorful pav bhaji, a vegetable curry served with soft bread rolls, to the humble yet delicious vada pav, a potato patty tucked inside a fried bun, embark on a budget-friendly culinary adventure on the streets of Mumbai.

pav bhaji

16. Explore the deserted beaches of Lakshadweep Islands:

Escape to the pristine Lakshadweep Islands, a chain of coral atolls boasting crystal-clear waters, untouched beaches, and swaying palm trees. Dive into the turquoise waters, unwind on the white sand beaches, and experience serenity like never before.

Lakshadweep Islands

17. Visit the mystical town of Mawlynnong, known as Asia's cleanest village:

Journey to Mawlynnong, a charming village nestled in the East Khasi Hills of Meghalaya, renowned for its cleanliness and picture-perfect beauty. Explore bamboo bridges adorned with colorful flowers, marvel at the sustainable practices, and breathe in the fresh mountain air.


18. Hike through the living root bridges of Meghalaya:

Embark on a unique adventure in Meghalaya and discover the fascinating living root bridges. Woven from the aerial roots of banyan trees by the indigenous Khasi tribe, these bridges are a testament to human ingenuity and co-existence with nature.

root bridges of Meghalaya

19. Witness the breathtaking beauty of the Tawang Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh:

Perched atop a mountain in Arunachal Pradesh, the Tawang Monastery is the largest Buddhist monastery in India. Immerse yourself in the spiritual atmosphere, admire the intricate architecture, and soak in the stunning Himalayan views.

Tawang Monastery

20. Go stargazing in the remote Spiti Valley:

Escape to the Spiti Valley, a high-altitude desert region in the Himalayas, renowned for its clear skies and minimal light pollution. Gaze at a mesmerizing blanket of stars, witness the Milky Way in all its glory, and reconnect with nature under the vastness of the universe.

Spiti Valley

21. Take a boat ride on the serene Pichola Lake in Udaipur:

Glide across the tranquil waters of Lake Pichola in Udaipur, the "City of Lakes." Marvel at the majestic City Palace on the lakefront, admire the surrounding Aravalli Hills, and experience the serenity of this picturesque city.

Pichola Lake

22. Explore the colonial architecture of Pondicherry:

Wander through the charming French Quarter of Pondicherry, a coastal town boasting cobbled streets, colorful colonial buildings, and French cafes. Relax on the scenic beaches, explore historical landmarks, and indulge in a fusion of French and Indian cuisine.


23. Visit the Valley of Flowers, a UNESCO World Heritage Site:

Embark on a trek to the Valley of Flowers, a breathtaking alpine meadow nestled in the Himalayas. Witness a vibrant carpet of wildflowers in full bloom during the monsoon season, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its unparalleled natural beauty.

Valley of Flowers

24. Learn about the martial art form of Kalaripayattu in Kerala:

Delve into the rich heritage of Kerala and discover Kalaripayattu, one of the oldest martial art forms in existence. Witness a captivating display of agility, strength, and weaponry, and learn about the philosophy behind this ancient practice.

Kalaripayattu in Kerala

25. Attend a classical Indian dance performance:

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of India by attending a classical Indian dance performance. Witness graceful movements, captivating storytelling, and colorful costumes as dancers bring ancient myths and legends to life.

classical Indian dance performance

26. Go spelunking in the Meghalaya caves:

Embark on an underground adventure and explore the vast network of caves in Meghalaya, one of the wettest places on Earth. Witness ancient cave formations, spot unique wildlife, and rappel down sinkholes for an adrenaline rush.

spelunking in the Meghalaya caves

27. Go mountain biking in the Himalayas:

Challenge yourself with a mountain biking adventure through the rugged terrain of the Himalayas. Navigate through scenic trails, conquer challenging climbs, and experience the thrill of riding amidst breathtaking mountain scenery.

mountain biking

28. Go white water rafting on the Zanskar River:

Embark on an epic white-water rafting adventure on the Zanskar River, a tributary of the Indus River. Navigate through thrilling rapids, witness the majestic Himalayas, and experience the untamed beauty of the Ladakh region.

Zanskar River

29. Go windsurfing in Gokarna:

Catch some waves and enjoy the thrill of windsurfing in Gokarna, a beautiful coastal town in Karnataka. With consistent winds and stunning beaches, it's the perfect spot to learn this exhilarating water sport.

windsurfing in Gokarna

30. Go on a wildlife safari in Kanha National Park:

Embark on a jeep safari in Kanha National Park, a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Spot majestic tigers, observe a variety of birds and animals, and experience the diverse flora and fauna of central India.

wildlife safari in Kanha National Park

31. Go for a houseboat cruise in Kerala backwaters:

Glide through the serene backwaters of Kerala on a traditional houseboat. Witness lush greenery, spot colorful birds, and experience the tranquility of rural Kerala. Enjoy fresh local cuisine onboard and unwind amidst the beauty of nature.

houseboat cruise in Kerala backwaters

32. Float Through the Rann of Kutch: Witness the Great Rann Festival:

During the winter months, the Rann of Kutch, a vast salt desert in Gujarat, transforms into a glistening white landscape. Experience the Rann Utsav, a vibrant festival featuring cultural performances, desert safaris, and the opportunity to stay in a luxurious tent city under a blanket of stars.

Rann of Kutch

33. Reconnect with Nature in Wayanad:

Escape the ordinary and spend a night nestled amidst the lush greenery of Wayanad in Kerala. Choose from a variety of unique treehouse accommodations, wake up to the sounds of birdsong, and reconnect with nature in a truly unforgettable way.

Treehouse in Wayanad

34. Witness the Hornbill Festival of Nagaland:

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Nagaland by attending the Hornbill Festival. Witness traditional dance performances adorned with colorful costumes and intricate headgear, celebrate the rich heritage of the Naga tribes, and experience a unique display of indigenous arts and crafts.

Hornbill Festival of NagalandImage credit: Hindustan Times

35. Take a Backpacking Trip Through the North-East:

Challenge yourself with a backpacking adventure through the majestic terrains of the North-East. Trek through breathtaking valleys, camp under a star-filled sky, and connect with the stunning beauty of the mountains on a budget-friendly adventure.

Pangong Tso Lake

36. Go on a Night Safari in Corbett National Park:

Embark on a thrilling night safari adventure in Corbett National Park, home to diverse wildlife including tigers, leopards, and elephants. Spot nocturnal animals using special searchlights, experience the thrill of the hunt, and witness the unique behavior of animals at night.

Corbett National Park

37. Learn to Surf in Kovalam:

Catch some waves and learn to surf on the beautiful beaches of Kovalam in Kerala. With consistent waves and a relaxed atmosphere, it's the perfect spot for beginners and experienced surfers alike.


38. Attend a Boishakhi Mela in West Bengal:

Celebrate the Bengali New Year with a visit to a Boishakhi Mela, a vibrant fair filled with cultural performances, delicious food stalls, and traditional handicrafts. Witness folk dances, boat races, and immerse yourself in the joyous spirit of this annual celebration.

Boishakhi Mela in West BengalImage credit: Utsavpedia

39. Visit the Elephanta Caves near Mumbai:

Take a ferry ride from Mumbai to explore the Elephanta Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Witness ancient rock-cut cave temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, delve into Hindu mythology through intricate carvings, and appreciate the artistic legacy of this historical site.

Elephanta Caves

40. Explore Rajasthan's Majestic Forts:

Journey through Rajasthan and be awestruck by its majestic forts. Explore Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, climb the ramparts of Jaigarh Fort in Jaipur, and relive the grandeur of India's rich royal heritage.

Majestic Forts

This is just a taste of the incredible experiences that await you in India. So, pack your bags, embrace the adventure, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime!\

Also Read: Budget Travel: Cost of Travelling in India 2023

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