Most travelers gets confused whenever they think about Best Places to Visit in India, just because, vacation in India is considered to be a journey into a land of diversity. There are very places in the world that are as diverse as India. It boasts of a place, Cherapunji that records the highest rainfall in the world and also, the Thar Driest that is known to be one of the driest regions on Earth. Again, the Indian subcontinent is home to several beautiful beaches in the world. And not to forget, that this continent also hosts the snow-capped Himalayas. In addition, India has as mix of different cultures and dialects, which further makes it a heady mix of miscellany. Sometimes, it is really amazing that with such a heady mix, how India operates as a democratic nation.
At times, staying within the boundaries of such diverse culture, it is really hard to hand-pick few popular destinations that would offer a nice delightful experience. But, then I will still try with my experiences and insights to make it easier for you to choose among the most visited destinations of India.
Best Places to Visit in India
Delhi: Being the capital city of India, it has always enjoyed the luxury of being the first city of visit for many of my foreigner friends. Of course, the ever-changing moods of the city and the always-chaotic traffic jams are best suited to the locals. The British architect, Edwin Lutyens is known to have played an instrumental role in designing a major section of the city, now better known as New Delhi.
Jaipur: A look at the magnificent stucco buildings would wipe off your curiosity as why this city is called ‘The Pink City’. Spend few days exploring the architectural marvels like the City palace, Amber and Jaigarh forts, and Hawa Mahal. If you are searching for a souvenir that helps you to carry the fond memories of this place back home, then visit one of the local bazaars where you can shop for traditional jewellery or camel-leather artefacts.
Varanasi: Known to be the spiritual hub of India and one of the seven cities where one can attain Moksha (salvation), this North Indian city evokes a sense of mysticism. The place is forever bustling with saints (sadhus), devotees, locals, and tourists and they offer a sight that reflects the uniqueness of Indian culture. The sight of the brilliantly constructed temples and the steps leading to the sacred Ganges where you are sure to find thousands of devotees at any time of the day performing varied religious rituals is a sight worth of being treasured lifelong. A short distance away from this place is Sarnath, where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon.
Goa: It is known to be the sun-soaked state of India. With the little remnants of the Portuguese culture intertwined with Indian ethnicity, this place offers a heady mix of international and traditional flavours. It is also known as great place which offers a silent escape from the maddening city crowds. If you are not much of a water-person and do not like to spend much time on the beaches (which is again a rarity given that the unspoiled stretches of sand can be a rejuvenating experience of its kind), there are enough sanctuaries, temples, and mosques, to make a remarkable visit.
Gangtok: Known to be a popular hill station, this place reflects a unique blend traditions and modernizations. It is the capital city of the Himalayan state, Sikkim. This is a favourite trekking spot of many thousand tourists. It is also a beautifully organized and well-maintained city and is popularly called as the ‘Switzerland of the East’. There are various destinations in Gangtok that are frequented by millions of tourists every year.
Mumbai (Bombay): Formerly known as Bombay, this city is not as famous for its historical edifices, as much for being the entertainment capital of India. From beaches to nightlife, outdoor bazaars to waterfront destinations, this city is known for its interesting array of tourist delights.
Agra: There is no better way to celebrate a romantic holiday other than visiting the city where the testament of love is sited. There are plenty other tourist destinations here without which a visit to Agra would not be considered complete.
Kochi (Cochin): Until sometime back, Kochi was known to be a place which received mariners from across the globe. Sailors from all across the world have shaped the place to its present state. It is the effect of these successful invasions that has made it the prime tourist attraction of Kerala in the recent times.
Kolkata (Calcutta): This city boasts of a strong reminiscence of the British reign with its colonial style buildings. It is home to many artistically-inclined souls and several lively festivals are celebrated here with much pomp and show. Though the city is polluted, but we can never deny the fact it is ultimately as invigorating as we expect it to be. Still, there are remnants of architecturally diverse edifices, without which your visit to the ‘City of Joy’ would be incomplete.
Pune: Being the eight largest metropolises in India and the second largest in the state of Maharashtra, this quaint little city has a lot to offer in terms of visual delight. The historical significance of this place is as prominent as its current secular environment.
Udaipur: Popularly known as the ‘City of Lakes’ or the ‘Venice of the East’, this place was named after Maharaja Uday Singh and is a major tourist destination in the state of Rajasthan. This place has served to be the inspiration for many poets and artists with its azure lakes surrounded by the lush hills.
Srinagar: Dominated by the beautiful Dal Lake, this is also known as the modern water world. You can either indulge in the popular local culture by hiring a house-boat called ‘Shikara’ to enjoy a twilight cruise, or you may take a stroll in the beautiful Mughal Gardens, which was dedicated by the Mughal Monarch Jahangir to his wife. Alternatively, you can have a gala shopping spree in any of the local arts and crafts centre shopping for hand-made silks and embroidered stuff.
Bangalore: Popularly known as the ‘Garden City’ and the ‘Silicon Valley of India’, this city is known to be a paradise for a techie. Apart from geeking out, there are plenty of museums, parks, gardens, and temples to keep your itinerary busy. If you are a music lover, you can gladly take part in any of the classical dance and music programs held round the year in this city.
Gurgaon: It is located at a close proximity from the Indian capital and houses many multinational companies. It also has a number of tourist-friendly malls, restaurants, and hotels. If you enjoy being close to Mother Nature, then a trip to Sohna would be an enthralling experience. Before you leave Gurgaon to return for the better, a visit to all the following places is a must.
Jodhpur: This city is surrounded by a huge fortress wall and has many blue buildings, which offers a striking contrast to its neighbouring Thar Desert. Your itinerary will be kept busy with the numerous forts, temples, and palaces that dot the city. The marketplace over here offers a wide range of textiles, embroidered leather items, carpets, puppets, and lacquer ware.
Ahmedabad: Founded in the 15th century, this is reportedly the largest city of the Gujrat state. The city displays varied moods – either indulge in the hustle-bustle of the main city or retreat into the calm and quiet of the Sabarmati Ashram. This city boasts of a thriving traditional culture, which can be witnessed through the numerous cultural programs organized here.
Chennai: This city is known for its exotic traditions and great food. The people here consider providing food to others as a humanitarian activity. Here you can treat your sense of taste to some exotic south-Indian delicacies. Once you are done with your tummy worship, there are plenty of attractions dotted across the city where you can visit to enhance your knowledge about the city’s history, culture, and traditions. And one thing that’s a must-have on your travel itinerary is a cup of coffee and that too Madrasi-style filter coffee.
Shimla: The snow-capped Himalayan range and the lush green landscape surround the capital city of Himachal Pradesh. You can either choose to take a leisurely walk through the city and admire its Victorian architecture or just indulge in the natural escape that this quaint little city has to offer to all its tourists. This place has a rich history to it. It was known to be a leisurely retreat of the noted Indian freedom fighter, Mahatma Gandhi.
Manali: Located at a height of 2050 metres, Manali is a hill-station that is frequented by tourists from across the globe. While the towering peaks attract the adventure travellers, the calm and serene surroundings are a retreat for the old and the young hearts. It is a hub of several adventure activities, like heli-skiing, mountaineering, river-rafting, and hiking among various other sports. Here you will have a varied range of activities to indulge yourself. If you are looking for a calm retreat, then the Hidimba Devi Temple located in the middle of a deciduous forest can be the most suitable option for you. A medicinal soak in the hot springs here can help you get rid of your seasonal ailments.
Hyderabad: The largest city of Southern India will surely give you a taste of the royal lifestyle of the monarchs and here you can also tickle your taste buds with some royal flavours. This place reflects the Mughal and Turkish influences by and large. This city organizes tourism fairs quite often and they are a must-visit. Other than that, there are few distinct spots in the city that will give you a feel of its culture and traditions.
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