Somebody once said this about India “Whatever you hear about India is True, The opposite of that is also true”… With a country as culturally rich and diverse as India , It is quite a task to come down to the Top 20 places to see in India , None the less I will give it a shot .To be fair , the list is in no particular order.
Varanasi: Considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the whole world, Varanasi has a charm and exuberance no other city in India can match. The ancient, well preserved temples and the world famous “Ghats “are charming, invigorating and calming at the same time. The daily “aarti” is a photographer’s delight.
Manali: Widely celebrated as the backpacker’s paradise and the honey mooner’s haven, there is no escaping the snow capped beauty of this dainty little hill station in Himachal Pradesh. The beautiful, green hill station is also a popular biking trail route and gateway to higher peaks.
Darjeeling: The Original Summer hideout of the British and the affluent Indian alike, nestled under the mighty Kanchenjunga, Darjeeling is a perfect picture postcard of a city, the perfect ‘Nepalese” charm and beauty is everywhere to be seen. Home to the world famous Darjeeling Tea, the tea gardens are a tourist attraction in themselves. The toy train is a clear reminder of the ingenuity and the design brilliance of the colonial Britain.
Sundarbans: The largest Mangrove forest in the whole world, Sundarbans is abundant in flora and fauna and is well known for the Royal Bengal Tiger. The backwaters cruise in Sundarbans is a surreal experience, passing though lush, thick vegetation and clear rivulets.
Laddakh: The scenic and serene hill resort of Laddakh is as breathtakingly beautiful as it is traditional. Spectacular in its view of arid mountains, the rich Buddhist history is clearly evident in this former Buddhist Kingdom. Laddakh is also an extremely popular biking and hiking destination The Land of High Passes is beautiful. And barren.Thank God for that.
Munnar: This beautiful South Indian hill resort is misty and mind bogglingly pretty. At a height if 6000 sq ft sits this little piece of colonial India. Showcasing unending tea gardens and coffee plantations, beautifully calm valleys and serene mountains, Munnar is a haven of the peace seeker.
Jaisalmer: Known as the “Golden City”, the desert city of Jaisalmer can best be described as Dramatic, Romantic and Exotic. The ornate Havelis rub shoulders with the rugged desert National Park and it’s beautiful. The fort of Jaisalmer instantly transfers one to the bygone magnificent era of pomp and royal gaiety. The demographic contrasts of this city is singularly mind-blowing
Hampi: One of the richest cities of the world during its time, Hampi in Karnataka is unreal, bewitching and spellbinding .The ancient ruins and temples of this World Heritage Site is awe inspiringly brilliant. The beautifully fluid architecture studied and admired the world over is breathtaking and humbling.
Amritsar: One of the most ancient and fascinating cities of India, home to the stunning Golden Temple, also known as Harminder Sahib is the holiest site for the Sikh religion in the world. Amritsari Food is also very famous. Not to be missed.
Udaipur: The city of shimmering lakes, set in the midst of a sprawling desert, Udaipur is romantic and intriguing. Known as the “most romantic spot on the continent of India”, by the British, the beauty of this place will blow you away at sight. The splendour and the legacy of the Rajasthan Royals is clearly evident and is a unique experience.
- Andaman Islands: The idyllic islands of the Andamans are also known as the “Maldives of India” and are breathtakingly beautiful, serene and quiet. A must visit for all beach lovers .Havelock Islands are universally admired for its beautiful beaches among which the Radhanagar beach is among the most beautiful in the world as ranked by CNN.
Srinagar, Kashmir: Known widely as the “paradise on Earth” the gorgeous Kashmiri city of Srinagar needs no introduction whatsoever. The beautiful, Shikara lined Dal Lake is every honeymooner’s dream. The spring season of Kashmir when “million blossoms blossom “is a site to behold. Gulmarg , a short distance away is aptly called the “Switzerland of India”
Khajuraho: Among the most beautiful medieval cities in India, the host to the: Temple of Love”, Khajuraho is home to some of the most intricately carved stone sculptures anywhere in the world. Ranked by UNESCO as the “finest temple art in the world”, the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho have brought about wonderment and intrigue since time immemorial.
Puri: The abode of Lord Jagannath, among the most religiously significant places in the country, Puri is also the gateway to the Stunning Sun Temple Konark, in addition to having some of the most beautiful beaches in India. Apart from the religious aspect Puri is also home to some of the most stunning beaches in the whole of the country. Idyllic, secluded and pristine Puri is a great combination of religion and romance, ideal for all tourists, of all ages and purpose.
Shimla: The erstwhile Summer Capital of the Country, Shimla has a wonderful British legacy and history. Known for its beautiful, imposing Colonial era monuments as well as gleaming, green mountains, Shimla are a vacationer’s paradise. Also home to some of the most beautiful and well known educational institutions, it is also home to the highest cricket stadium in the world.
Jaipur: The Pink City needs no introduction .A city with legendary history and culture, Jaipur is flamboyant, colourful and resplendent with majesty. The Beautiful, elegant and Grand Palaces, of which there are numerous, rub shoulders with dense, charming bazaars and wide boulevards. Jaipur is among the three most popular tourist destination for foreigners in India and it is easy to see why.
Goa: The former Portuguese settlement of Goa is on the tourist map of all vacationers that come to India. With a varied culture, stunning line of beaches and intriguing night life, Goa is a little part of Europe on our Western Ghats. The Goan Carnival is known all over the world as a celebration of India’s diversity and the fun loving Goans make a great spectacle out of it , and in a good way.
Agra : No list of Indian tourist sites will ever be complete without the mention of Agra , the legendary city that was a former Capital of the Mughal India and is known for the wonder of the world , the ode to love , The incredible Taj Mahal , Fatehpur Sikri , a short distance away is among the biggest and the most well designed forts in the whole country
Mysore: Known as Mysuru now, this opulent city in the Southern India has the most resplendent collection of Palaces, temples and monuments. A thriving commercial centre for centuries, Mysore is also among the cleanest cities in the country. The Beautifully designed Mysore Gardens is among the best public gardens in the whole country and the Mysore Dussehra Festival is known all over the world for its grand Elephant processions.
New Delhi: Among the most populous and the biggest cities of the World, The capital of India is one of the most intriguing too. With stunning Red Sandstone monuments, Rich Colonial Architecture and modern infrastructure, it truly and figuratively is the Gateway to India. The resplendent Mughal era architectural icons of Qutub Minar and Humayun’s Tomb co exist with Grand colonial buildings such as the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the India Gate , the tribute to the Indian soldier