24 Hours in Indian Cities

24 Hours in Indian Cities
Jal Mahal in Jaipur, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

If you only have a few hours at your disposal, here is Team OT’s backpacking guide through four cities to make the best of it

OT Staff
December 05 , 2021
04 Min Read


Laid back yet vibrant, the Pink City is a delight. Best time to visit is November to February.


With touches of old-world grandeur in its forts and havelis, secrets in its desert, different cultures, cuisines and identities make Rajasthan anything but boring. And to get a glimpse of it all, head to the Pink City Jaipur. Get a calorie-loaded start to your day at Rawat ki Kachori and later, to burn those off, take a complete guided tour of the City Palace. Post the royal tour, fulfil your love for handicrafts and handlooms — vibrant prints in Bapu Bazaar, exquisite jewellery in Johari Bazaar, blue pottery, juttis, bags, mirror work products and more, all at a walking distance from the Hawa Mahal. For a tranquil evening head to the Jal Mahal and spend some time under the twilight sky. And to end the night, head for a hearty meal in the form of a Rajasthani thali.

Did you know that four floors of the Jal Mahal are submerged in the water?


Experience an all-encompassing one day trip to the capital of Telangana. Best time to visit is July to February.

Begin your day here at Minerva Coffee Shop with a hearty south Indian breakfast followed by a cup of coffee. Next up we suggest hitting the Chowmahalla Palace — where the Nizams of Hyderabad lived for generations and which still maintains its elegance and grandeur. Various courtyards, the clock tower, the council hall and Roshan Bangla; all unfold cultural and political ambitions of the Nizams here. Head to the Nimrah Bakery towards the evening for a cup of Irani chai. If you’re the kind to take things at a slow pace, opt for a serene view at the Hussain Sagar lake and watch the sea dip in the still waters. For the others Hyderabad’s nightlife is also a scene to experience with a lot of bars and clubs in tow.

Head to the Ramoji Film City and take a tour to witness various sets and locations that were featured in Tollywood and Bollywood movies.


Home to ancient forts and Hindu temples, Gwalior retains its historical and cultural charm. Best time to visit is September to February.

Witness Gwalior’s regal grandeur at the Gwalior Fort, set atop an isolated rock, towering over the old city. The ‘pearl amongst fortresses of India’ is a sight to behold during the riveting sound and light show in the evening. Known as the ‘City of Temples’, Gwalior has some of the most intricately carved temples, constructed in different eras. An amalgamation of divinity and antiquity is the Sun Temple here. The other famous Hindu shrines in Gwalior include the Teli ka Mandir — dedicated to lord Shiva, Vishnu and Matrikas, and the Chaturbhuj temple, significant because of its mathematical connection. As for its culinary offerings, opt for the steaming hot kachoris, the scrumptious bedai (pooris filled with spiced lentils), the addictive aam ki launji (mango chutney), petha gilori, and the paneer jalebi.

The Gwalior Gharana, an integral part of Gwalior culture, rose to fame during the reign of Akbar and Tansen was a prominent figure here.


From decadent food to abundant greenery, the city has a lot to offer. Best time to visit is September to March.

Shillong packs a punch for one of the smallest cities in the country. Multiple tiers of gorgeous waterfalls and fresh spring waters make for a refreshing change from the bustling city life here. If you are looking for places away from the common tourist eye then you can visit the Spread Eagle Falls, the Bishop Falls and Sweet Falls, each more majestic than the other. Shillong is also known for its living roots bridges — handmade from the aerial roots of rubber fig trees by the Khasi and Jaintia tribe. The city is also replete with many hiking and trekking trails, including the famous David Scott Trail. As for its culinary offerings, try the tungtab which is a preparation of fermented dry fish or the tarumbai, which are fermented beans and the very popular, dohneiong, a preparation of pork using local spices or kyat, a beverage prepared from rice.

One can also drive to Cherrapunji, or visit the limestone Mawsmai caves or the Mawjymbuin Caves, both of which are close by.

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