Backpacking in India: My Best Five Memories

“My spirit has been purified” (Ahmedabad, India)

It took me a while to arrive finally in India. I was 35 years old and it was my 113th country to backpack. I look back fondly on my time there, as right now it feels like the last time I truly enjoyed backpacking. I wasn’t to know that back then.

1.Arrival in Delhi – First few days exploring
Undoubtedly I was shocked on arrival into New Delhi. It doesn’t get much sweeter when you have that travel buzz. I had previously backpacked in Bangladesh, Myanmar and China, all of whom share a border with India. But now I was finally here – the place was nuts.

My first real arrival into New Delhi, India in 2016

Backpacking in India: Top Four Places to Visit in New Delhi

Backpacking in India: Top Four Places to Visit in New Delhi

Backpacking in India: Top Four Places to Visit in New Delhi

My reader Sapna and I having breakfast together in New Delhi,India

2.Gujarat: Backpacking Gandhi and Getting my Alcohol Permit in Ahmedabad
Being inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and Michael Palin meant a certain trip to Gujarat Province – probably the main part of India I wanted to see – the Gandhi Home and Museum and do the evening on the rip in a state where alcohol was forbidden in public.

Touring Gandhi’s House in Gujarat State

How To Get An Alcohol Permit at the Grand Bhagwati Hotel in Ahmedabad, Gujarat State, India

How To Get An Alcohol Permit at the Grand Bhagwati Hotel in Ahmedabad, Gujarat State, India

3.Whackpacking in Goa
Despite having already used the term “whackpacking” for my earlier in February trip to the Republic of Karakalpakstan, it was here in hippy Goa that the term went mainstream. At least in my head, my blogs and my Instagram feed. I had whackpacked something shocking and for now I was a whackpacker rather than a backpacker.

Whackpacking in Goa – Anjuna Beach

Whackpacking in India: Becoming a Hippy in Goa

Backpacking in Goa, India: Harvali Temple

Sunfall in Goa


4.Paradise in Port Blair, Andaman Islands
On my travels around the world I had normally been a dorm hostel loving backpacker. Things had changed by 2016 however and I was now working with bigger companies and staying in much finer hotels. It was a huge progression for me to stay in swanky hotels in places like The Doxford Hall (England), the City View (Hong Kong), the Hotel Foroyar (Torshavn, Faroe Islands) and the Ibis Seef Manama (Bahrain). In India, I loved lots of hotels there too including Mowgli’s (Hampi) vythiriresort (Wayanad), Portico Vrindavan and the Formule One in Ahmedabad. But the highlight was my relaxation at Peerless Sarovar Portico just outside Port Blair on the Andaman Islands

Jonny Blair at Peerless Sarovar Portico Andaman

My Luxury Stay at Peerless Sarovar Portico Andaman

The gorgeous private beach at Peerless Sarovar Portico

Peerless Sarovar Portico Resort

5.City 800 in Agra
I had worked out and it was also some coincidence that I wound up in Agra as my 800th city on this crazy journey. So I eyed up a guided tour of the city’s double UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal to celebrate. My Brazilian friend Katia was with me on this trip and we had a few beers on our final night in India together before it was time to move on, again.

Touring the Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Akshay and I at the Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Backpacking in India: Touring Agra Fort with Delhi Magic Tours

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11 thoughts on “Backpacking in India: My Best Five Memories

  • Wow, great post and even better that I could read all your previous posts (It’s my first time on this site) and experiences. Thank you for the extensive info!
    I was wondering – are you relying in your journeys on your inner guide, friends, guides? Or have you tried out some services like ? I’m also thinking of going to India and am considering choosing local people from this site in order to help me learn more about the culture! I’m not too adventurous when it comes to being loner in a new place 🙂

  • Hi Saira, thanks for the comment and checking out my site. I haven’t tried those guides as generally I backpacked India on my own. Safe travels. Jonny

  • Hope that you had some awesome time in India and in it’s amazing cities. Thanks for sharing this post.

  • i hope you have great trip in india. Because last year we have booked Indian Tour From KESARI TOUR, we enjoy it alot our trip to india.

  • Hi Aparna, Thanks for the comment and I am extremely sorry for the huge delay in replying to you. I have been going through problems with depression and wasn’t checking the comments or messages that much. Stay safe. Jonny

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