Often the thought of visiting India could be a little overwhelming, with some of the most famous spots quite over crowded by tourists and a little intense! However, there’s some hidden gems that are equally beautiful but with less of the crowds, letting you experience the real India on your holiday.

The meaningful travel experts at Rickshaw Travel have put together some alternatives to the famous tourist spots:

Assam:

Do you love tea but want something a little different to Darjeeling? Assam is a more rural alternative, where you can stay in a jungle lodge within the lesser known Kaziranga National Park with a chance to see the incredible one-horned rhino, wild elephants or even the giant tiger. Then you can head to Assam’s second largest city, Jorhat, to see the whole tea-making process, from lending a hand to tea pickers to taking a sip back in time, in a colonial manor overlooking lush green lawns.

Rhinos and Tea Leaves

Rajasthan:

For those looking for the real Maharaja experience, but looking to head somewhere a little less tourist-covered than the famous Samode Palace can head deep into rural Rajasthan, and spend a few nights in Shahpura Bagh, surrounded by orchards and beautiful gardens, overlooked by hills and blue skies. You’ll be staying in a property owned by the Maharaja family, with a stunning infinity pool and individually decorated suites.

Relaxing in Rural Rajasthan

National Parks:

For real nature lovers, looking to see the majestic Bengal tigers of India, a common choice is Ranthambore National Park, however if you’re looking for somewhere quieter and a different experience, you can head to Bandhavgarh National Park. You can stay in an African style cottage with your own veranda to enjoy the views over the park, then the following day go on a private jeep ride safari to see what you can find, from tigers, to cheeky hyenas.

Bengal Tigers in Bandhavgarh

Madurai:

Want to see a different side to the history & culture of India? It’s not all about British colonialism, the south of India offers some very different influences. Heading to Madurai gives you the chance to see breathtaking multi-coloured temples and palaces, in a more relaxed atmosphere than most places. Then heading to Tanjore, a little slice of France with an Indian sprinkling for good measure. You’ll wake up to enjoy a fresh croissant, then walk through the French District in Pondicherry, with small boutique shops and wide boulevards, surrounded by European style churches and green parks.

Mystical Temples of the South

Rajasthan:

For train lovers who normally head to Shimla, for the famous toy-train experience, there’s a hidden gem right in the middle of Rajasthan. Pretty much undiscovered by tourists, Deogarh is built around a former Maharaja’s palace and the splendour will leave you breathless (without the crowds in the way!). Then you can ride a local train to visit the nearby Phulad and see the incredible countryside and feel like you’re back in the 1930’s.

Local Train through the Countryside

Rickshaw Travel specialises in Meaningful Travel holiday experiences. Making sure that everybody benefits from their trips, from you, the people you meet, the animals you see and the guides who’ll show you the real side to their country. Their specialists work with you to build the perfect holiday based on small, bite-sized experiences, letting you travel independently, but supported throughout your adventure. For further details on Rickshaw’s India holidays visit www.rickshawtravel.co.uk/asia/india/