There aren’t words descriptive enough to fully epitomize the splendor of India. India is said to be more of a continent encompassing the highs and lows of everything that is magnificent and beautiful. India’s diversity is unimaginable unless you physically explore its many wonders. If you are planning a trip to India, you must know that one can never be fully prepared for the many surprises that a country as vast as this might throw at you. Right from the frost-covered tips of the Himalayas in the North to the lush greenery of Kerala in the South, India has a myriad of landscapes and cultures to boast of.
Travelling to India might just be the ultimate experience of your life. India’s amazing diversity is seen in its people who belong to different faiths, have different dressing styles, skin tones, sub-faiths and demeanours. India is the perfect destination in the world because it has everything to make your vacation the most memorable and worthwhile.
You can see unique cultures, ancient architectural marvels, pristine backwaters, exotic wildlife, mountains and streams, rivers and beaches, rich cuisine and exotic wildlife. Although you might need a lifetime to go to every nook and cranny of India, the following ten places are the most popular and prominent places to include in your holiday itinerary:
Best Places to travel in India – Top 10 destinations
Himachal Pradesh is an Indian state quite unparalleled from many others in terms of natural beauty and abundance. Situated in North India, it is surrounded by the snowy Himalayan mountain ranges. Himachal Pradesh is one of the topmost beautiful places to visit in India. It has towering frost-covered peaks, fathomless gorges, lush valleys, resounding rivers, charming mountain lakes, flower carpeted meadows, ancient temples and serene monasteries that will have your cameras clicking away of its own accord.
Himachal Pradesh is home to a number of hill stations and is the perfect place to relax and unwind and feel the cool, refreshing hilly wind whip your face. You can go trekking, mountaineering, para gliding, skiing, golfing, river rafting and ice skating at Himachal Pradesh. Important places to visit are Shimla, Manali, Kullu valley, Dharmshala, Dalhousie, Chamba Valley etc.
The Golden Triangle
If you want to see the best of India, go on a Golden Triangle Tour. This tour covers locations in three major cities namely, Delhi, the national capital, Jaipur, the pink city and Agra, where the Taj Mahal is. You must know that these cities are prone to harsh weather which may be tolerable during the winters but are simply unbearable during summers. At Delhi, which is a modern metropolis and possibly the busiest city in India, you can taste amazing delicacies and shop for truly beautiful things that you wouldn’t find elsewhere, apart from luxuriating in superior hotels and fine dines.
At Agra, you will see the splendour of the long-gone Mughal era still standing tall and majestic in the form of architectural wonders. Jaipur has resplendent old buildings from the Rajput era that is seen so vividly in its lifestyle, culture and heritage. These three cities form a perfect triangle, geographically, hence the name Golden Triangle is derived.
How can a trip to India ever be complete without going to Goa? This tiny state along the western coast of India is famous for its tropical spice plantations and splendid beaches as well as quaint little fishing hamlets. At Old Goa you will see 17th century Portuguese style churches like the Se Cathedral and the baroque Basilica of Bom Jesus. Apart from the most popular beaches in Goa like Baga, Anjuna and Calangute, you can explore the streets of Panaji for wonderful cafés, galleries and to look at Portuguese-style homes from the colonial era. You can shop your heart out at the flea market in Anjuna and the seasonal night bazaar at Mackie. But what makes Goa a true holidayer’s paradise are its small villages, quiet retreats and serene life. Read about Goa in details here – Goa travel guide
Gujarat is a largely versatile land since it has both the hot and the cool. Rajasthan and Pakistan nearby send all their heat and the Arabian Sea below, cool it down considerably. Gujarat has forest covered areas, fertile plains, vast tidal swamps and desert plains. Gujarat has thousands of Hindus, Jains, Muslims and Christians living together in peace and harmony together with nomadic and tribal groups. Gujarat’s lifestyle and culture are very interesting and exciting to learn and understand. And so is their food.
Gujarat is a vegetarian wonderland of food. Once the homeland of the great Mahatma Gandhi, Gujarat is home to India’s most elite, sophisticated and educated businessmen and supposedly bring in a major portion of India’s economic output. Saurashtra has a myriad of temples, mosques and ancient palaces. Somnath and Dwarka are the holiest places you can ever visit in India and you can witness Gujarat’s thriving wildlife at the Gir National Park and the Blackbuck National Park. I had a memorable trip to Bhuj, Gir and Somnath during Rann utsav.
Jammu and Kashmir has beckoned people from every corner of the world since times immemorial. The Mauryans, Mughals, Sikhs and British have all fallen in love with this astonishingly beautiful land. Srinagar, the capital of the state sits at a height of 1730 m on the banks of the Jhelum river. Houseboats in the Dal Lake are a real treat to watch and ride in and are the biggest tourist attraction in J&K. Srinagar has shimmering lakes and ancient Mughal gardens.
There are also splendid religious places like the Hazratbal Mosque and the Shankaracharya temple. Skiing, trekking, river rafting and paragliding are popular sports in Srinagar.Other popular towns around Srinagar are Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonmarg. Kashmir has breath-taking views of the surrounding Himalayas, colourful valleys and the most amazing weather in eternity. Besides, Mughlai and Kashmiri food will have you licking your fingers and probably biting them off, if need be. If you love trekking, you must do kashmir great lakes trek organized by Indiahikes.
One of my favorite states of India on the coastal belt of India down south. Cleaner, greener as compared to others and has beauty in abundance from beaches to backwaters to tea /spice plantations to wildlife parks. Kerala is synonym with houseboats, Ayuredic massages, kathakali plays, snake boat races and mouth watering cuisine. It has so much to offer that it won’t be partial to call it God’s own country. Must visit places include Allepy, Kumarakom (backwaters) & Munnar (Hill station) if you have limited number of days at hand.
Manipur is a very beautiful Indian state situated in the slopes of the sub-Himalayan ranges in north-east India. Manipur, literally translated into ‘the land of the jewels’ has picturesque landscapes, misty hills, shimmering lakes, verdant valleys and rich forests. Manipuri cultures and traditions are truly one-of-a-kind. Manipur is widely popular for its various art forms, excellent handloom and exquisite handicrafts.
Important places of tourist attraction include Loktak Lake, Sendra Island, Shree Govindajee Temple, Keibul Lamjao National Park, Moirang, Langthabal and Khwairamband Bazaar. Manipur is surrounded by Nagaland in the north, Mizoram in the south, Assam in the West and shares an International border with Burma in the east. These are all places of great beauty just like Manipur.
If you are looking for a spiritual retreat in India, what better place to visit than the most sought-after Buddhist destination in Asia, the Bodh Gaya. Being the very place where Gautama Buddha, the progenitor of Buddhism attained enlightenment, Bodh Gaya houses the legendary Mahabodhi Temple which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bodh Gaya is located in the state of Bihar and can be reached from Patna or Gaya via buses. Bodh Gaya has a large temple which is so spiritually elevated, calm and serene that you will never want to go back to your old chaotic life. The Mahbodhi Tree is said to be the fifth incarnation of the original tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment
Aurangabad- Ajanta Ellora
More than 2000 years old, Ajanta Ellora caves are in Aurangabad in the state of Maharashtra. These are Buddhist cave temples teeming with the most beautiful works of art paintings that are spectacular in every sense. There works are bascially the depictions that tell the tale of the great Indian epics of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Its a unesco world heritage site and one of the finest examples of ancient cave architecture that would leave anyone spellbound.
p style=”text-align: justify;”> Among the most beautiful medieval cities in India and host to the: Temple of Love”, Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh is home to some of the most intricately carved stone sculptures. Ranked by UNESCO as the “finest temple art in the world”, the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho have brought about wonder and curiosity among people since times immemorial. These temples have both Jain and Hindu style of art and were built around 9th century.
Interested? Do visit India soon.
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