When it comes to portraying diversity, there’s one nation in South Asia that displays it best. India – famed amongst many for its variety of tantalizing cuisines – has much more to offer to its visitors.
Most of today’s much-adored cultural significance has long been weaving around the ancient values which were passed on for thousands of years. That’s not all, from the iconic architectural sights of Uttar Pradesh to the scenic golden beaches of Goa, India is not a destination to travel to, but a wholesome experience worth relishing.
If you’re looking to make a visit, down below we’ve listed some of the top places to visit in India. Enjoy your read!
Known as the capital of the ‘Land of Kings’ – or commonly referred to as Rajasthan, Jaipur is famous for its pink-washed ancient structures and opulent palace complexes that stand out from the usual bustling cityscapes.
Jaipur is not quite ancient as one would expect but it’s the very first planned city in the country and is a renowned tourist destination in India. It was founded in 1727 by Rajput ruler Jai Singh II, from whom the name of the city derived.
Looking at the most instagrammable unique places in Jaipur, Hawa Mahal, Amer Fort, and Jal Mahal definitely top the list. We would rate it as one of the best places for foreigners to collect souvenirs for their journey back home.
2. Amritsar In Punjab
A dream place for many Sikhs living overseas, and travellers who love the lux of cultural epitome, Amritsar is one of the top places to visit in India. It’s known amongst locals as the ‘Jewel of Punjab’ which owes credit to the illustrious Golden Temple, a holy location for Sikhs across the country.
Here in Amritsar, one of the most interesting rituals is the ‘Wagah-Attari Border’. It’s a military formality where soldiers arrive at Pakistan’s border and lower the flags of the two countries. Celebrations are quite over the top, and it’s the best place for foreigners who love witnessing ceremonies.
3. Red Fort of New Delhi
The urban hustle-bustle of the capital city Delhi is a fascinating sight for travellers. Amidst this developing city and its other modern buildings, lies a 500-year-old fortress which used to be the Royal House of India’s most renowned dynasty – the Mughals. Now known as Red Fort, this palace is also referred to as Lal Qal’Ah and is another commissioned creation of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.
Its Mughal architecture is staggering, the red sandstone walls stand 75 feet high, while the enclosed complex consists of entertainment halls, baths, gardens, indoor canals, and many more.
4. Kerala in South India
Compared to the populated urban hubs of Delhi and Chennai, Kerala in South India is a laid-back rural countryside. Its tropical forest vibes, tranquil lakes, and lagoons invite countless tourists from across the globe.
Some of the best experiences that Kerala has to offer are the scenic thatched-top boat rides along the palm-fringed backwaters. Here travellers get to witness an awe-inspiring view of unspoiled nature on a rural backdrop, either in broad daylight or as dusk sets in.
5. Taj Mahal of Agra
We need not say, Taj Mahal is any traveller’s first priority when visiting India. It’s a famous tourist attraction that attracts over 800,000 tourists annually. Located in the bedazzling Uttar Pradesh of Agra, this Moghul Grandeur is not merely an architectural masterpiece, but an icon of a love story that lies immortal beneath the humongous marble walls.
Travellers usually plan their visits to this mausoleum for October or November. But, there’s no such time-of-visit as all year round, the view is magnificent as it always has been.
6. Goa On The West
Speaking of tropical wonder, here’s another captivating destination. Surrounded by several states including Maharashtra and Karnataka, and the Arabian Sea, Goa is a coastal town that elaborates the serenity of sea life, unlike any other city.
The glistening golden stretch of Goa is a renowned backpacker’s paradise. There’s a variety of inns and resorts to suit different types of traveller requirements. For those who are looking for a getaway from monotonous life, Goa can be recommended as a beautiful place to visit in India.
Are you a beach person? Then check out our guide on the Longest beach in India
7. Ajanta Caves of Maharashtra
Located in Aurangabad District, both Ajanta and Ellora Caves are renowned breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The cave paintings and sculptures began in the 2nd Century B.C and continued up till the 6th Century A.D.
The most spectacular excavation discovery was the Kailasa Temple, the largest rock-carved Hindu Temple in Ellora Caves. Inspired by Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism, the well-articulated expressions within these walls aren’t merely a story, but a statement of how creativity and freedom are emphasized during a time of such.
It’s a dream place for art admirers around the world.
8. Manali of Himachal Pradesh
Generally referred to as ‘The Swiss Alps of India’, both Shimla and Manali resemble the vibes of a quaint European countryside. This hill station is famous for honeymoon vacations and backpacker adventure tours.
During the winter season (which spans from December to February), the city gets covered by snowfall, creating a perfect atmosphere for some skiing – most preferable in Solang Valley.
From June to October, the city comes alive in full bloom and warmth, beckoning thrill-seekers for rafting, paragliding, trekking, and hiking.
We believe it’s definitely one of the top places to visit in India as it offers ‘variety’ for all travellers.
Surrounded by the densely populated state of Tamil Nadu lies a French colonial city that’s sure to awe any visitor. Now a union territory, Pondicherry, also known as Puducherry, houses some of the most intriguing colonial sites in the country.
Since its departure from French rule in 1954, the tranquil city has managed to maintain the exquisite French ambience with its chic cafes, Gallic aesthetics, cobblestone alleys, and lip-smacking cuisines. The promenades by the beach are well renowned as tourist-friendly.
Pondicherry may not house as many historical sites compared to other famous locations, but it sure is a unique place that offers a complete fusion experience.
10. Mysore Palace of Karnataka
Sitting on the foot of Chamundi Hills is a world of its own called Mysuru. It’s the capital of the kingdom of Mysore, founded in 1300 and lasted up until 1947. The Wadiyar Dynasty made this magnificent palace their own official residence.
For foreign visitors, this palace at a glimpse may look like a fairytale. The interior architecture expresses styles of Hindu, Islamic, Gothic, and Rajput cultures.
11. Rann Of Thar Desert
A massive salt marsh located in the Thar Desert in Gujarat, Rann encompasses an area of 7500 sq. km, making it the largest one in the world. Tourists find this place quite unusual, yet a jewel for photographers.
The cracked valleys of Kutch were once a shallow arm of the Arabian Sea. Over time it turned baron due to geological shifts. Yet, it’s not the same for the wilderness that finds sanctuary here. Pastel Pink Flamingos, wild asses, tribal hamlets, and many more species can be spotted in Rann.
We would undoubtedly rate the Great Rann as one of the top places to visit in India.
12. Udaipur In Rajasthan
Once the capital of the Mewar Kingdom, Udaipur is home to 11 opulent royal complexes with intricate artificially built lake systems, courtyards, and mosaics. Maharana Udai Singh II founded this wonderful city in 1559. The City Palace stands boldly tall on top of a hill by the banks of Lake Pichola.
It overlooks some mesmerizing historic monuments such as Jag Mandir, Monsoon Palace, Jagdish Temple, and a few others. Travellers who love history and experiences would enjoy Udaipur as it offers so much knowledge of ancient crafts and picturesque backdrops for photography.
13. The Andaman Islands
An archipelago consisting of over 300 islands, the Andaman Islands is a paradise for wildlife and marine life admirers. It is also famous for its pristine beaches and coral reefs that surround most of the islands.
Located in the middle of the Bay of Bengal, the Andaman Islands is a less famous tourist place that is often looked past by travellers who are in search of more mainstream experiences.
Travellers who love sea adventures such as scuba diving and snorkelling would find themselves fascinated here on the islands.
14. Varanasi In Uttar Pradesh
Commonly referred to as the Spiritual Capital of India, Varanasi dates back to the 11th century BC. It’s the longest continually inhabited city in the world. Varanasi is a holy city for Hindus, as they arrive by the banks of the Ganges for spiritual healing of sins and to cremate their loved ones.
One of the most iconic experiences here in Varanasi is the morning sunrise boat tour. The city, however, is a little rough on the edges. Unlike famous tourist places, Varanasi is sprawling with poverty.
But for those who love the city experience raw as it comes, this is the ideal location.
15. Ranthambore National Park In Rajasthan
Located near Northern India, Ranthambore National Park is a famous wildlife sanctuary in South Asia. The Ranthambore forest possesses a total area of 1334 sq. km and is a natural habitat for Royal Bengal Tigers. Apart from these stripped predators, the national park is also home to 40 species of mammals, 320 species of birds, and 300 species of plants.
It is one of the top places to visit in India for wildlife photographers and enthusiasts. Although the location is quite travel-friendly throughout the year, visiting during October and March is considered best.
16. Coorg in Karnataka
Coorg – also known as Kodagu, is a remote city in Karnataka that preserves natural serenity unlike any other. Nestled amidst the highlands, Coorg is a dream place for tourists. But out of many who visit, only a few would travel up here.
One of the most famous monuments in Coorg is ‘Raja’s Seat, which is a seasonal flower garden with artificial fountains. During the Kingdom of Kodavas, the Kings would enjoy their leisure time in this seat with a magnificent view from above.
Another classic site would be the Madikeri Fort which houses two life-sized elephant statues at the entrance.
17. Darjeeling In West Bengal
Sitting by the estates at dawn, watching the sunrise while sipping an aromatic cup of tea is every traveller’s dream experience. And Darjeeling is sure to offer the same!
This city is located at the foothills of the Himalayas and is known amongst locals as well as tourists for its distinctive black tea that grows on the slopes. Many travellers are intrigued by the famous ‘Toy Train’, which runs between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling Railway Station.
Built in the 1800s, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999.
18. Ziro Valley Of Arunachal Pradesh
Nestled in the hills of Arunachal Pradesh – in the Lower Subansiri District – Ziro Valley is a holiday destination for many tourists. Its bewitching rice fields, scenic sightings, and trekking trails lure adventure lovers from across the world.
One of the most amazing experiences here would be witnessing the Apatani Tribe and their rituals. Talley Valley – a few kilometres away from Ziro is a lesser-known wildlife sanctuary that attracts wilderness experts for its hidden wilderness wonders such as the clouded Leopard.
19. Lotus Temple of Delhi
Known as Baháʼí House of Worship, the Lotus Temple in Delhi was designed by an Iranian Architect in 1986. The temple consists of 27 marble-clad petals with nine entrances leading to the central hall which rises up to 35 meters.
The total area can host up to 2,500 people at once, making it a fascinating creation. The temple also gained many awards even before it was completed. It surely is one of the top places to visit in India.
20. Leh Ladak
Renowned for its spectacular landscapes with mountain passes and lakes accommodating crystal clear waters, Ladakh should be right up there on your bucket list of places to visit in India. Visitors to this mountainous topography can engage in activities like camping, paragliding, and biking.
When in Ladakh, make a note to check Nubra Valley, which was originally referred to as Ldumra or “The valley of flowers”.
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