Top Ten Places to Visit in India – This beautiful and treasured land called India is known for its extremes, history and enormous diversity. The country is still one of the most popular travel destinations in the world and attracts backpackers, cultural and spiritual seekers or just those in search of a place to relax. Love it or hate it, your trip to India is guaranteed to be one of the most memorable experiences of your life.a:
Agra is a must on your tour of India. There are many places of interest to a visitor in Agra, the most famous of course being the iconic and beautiful Taj Mahal. A Unesco World heritage site and an eternal symbol of love (it was built by an emperor in memory of his third wife). The white domed structure boasts delicately detailed interiors, tranquil gardens and a collection of other impressive buildings.
The Agra Fort is the sister monument of the Taj Mahal and also holds UNESCO heritage site status. The striking fort dates from the year 1000 but was later remodelled in the 1500s to be used as a palace. Thirteen kilometres from the Agra Fort you will find Akbar’s Tomb, a stunning red-ochre sandstone tomb and another architectural masterpiece.
Shimla is a popular tourist destination situated in the north-west Himalayas, Shimla is known as the ‘Queen of Hills.’ and its colonial past is still evident today. Once the playground of the British Raj there are many leftovers from that time with unusual neo-gothic buildings surrounded by thick forest and outstanding views, offering a very different feel to the rest of India. ‘The Mall’ is the main shopping street and the hub of the city where tourists and locals lmeet, to shop and eat. This area also has good number of clubs and bars great for those looking to step it up a gear.
The Christ Church is also worth a visit – it’s the second oldest church in northern India and its stained glass windows are designed in a distinctive style that you won’t find anywhere else. Also don’t leave Shimla without visiting Jakhu Hill – the highest peak which is also home to many playful monkeys who hang out waiting to be fed.
The famous idyllic party place should not be missed and it’s still one of the most popular places to visit in India. If you decide to take a trip, I recommend not leaving the island’s coastal areas. Goa is the smallest state in India and has the most beautiful beaches by far – when you’re here you’ll want to make the most of them. Many refer to Goa as a tropical paradise and when you’re here enjoying the warm temperatures, clear turquoise water and palm trees you’ll also probably agree. If you time your visit around the the Goa Carnival held every February you’ll be treated to three days and nights of music, lights, dancers and awesome food. This is when the legendary King Momo takes over the state and the island becomes party central. Originally celebrated in the 1800s by locals only, now both tourists and locals come here to have a good time.
Formally known as Bombay, Mumbai is the most populated city in India. Noisy, frantic and polluted, Mumbai is a melting pot of different cultures, religions and wealth extremes. Even though the city is developing at a fast rate, unfortunately you’ll still see many scenes of poverty. The city is also the birthplace of Indian cinema and there are many theatres to watch movies from all over the world (including the worlds largest IMAX dome theatre). A visually impressive city Mumbai has a large metropolitan area comparable to the size of New York’s skyline and a fine but eclectic mix of colonial buildings, stylish bars, colourful bazaars and shiny new malls. Finding something to do here would not be a problem.
Auroville is an amazing place. It’s an experimental township of an international community. Here people from all over the world come to live in peace, and “progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities.” The sole purpose of Auroville is to realise human unity. In the centre of this town is ‘The Matrimandir’ a huge gold sphere accompanied by ramps. It was put there by the town’s founder as “a symbol of the Divine’s answer to man’s inspiration for perfection.” It even has its own solar power plant and inside is a spiral ramp that leads to a marble room where you can “find consciousness.” Surrounded by pristine beautiful gardens and a peacefulness you won’t find in many other places, in my opinion this is one of the most interesting places to visit in India.
Near Auroville is Pondicherry, one of the most famous places in southern India for tourists. The city is full of colonial buildings, statues, churches and temples. I personally think the best areas here are Paradise Beach, The Auroville Beach, Serenity Beach and Promenade Beach. It has the same purpose as Auroville which again gives the place a very peaceful vibe. You’ll also find here many large interesting churches dating from the early 1900s and Pondicherry should definitely be on your list of places to visit in India.
7. The backwaters of Kerala
The backwaters are a beautiful chain of lakes and lagoons along the Arabian sea coast and definitely shouldn’t be missed – they are considered to be the number one tourist destination in India. Ferries here will take you anywhere and you can even hire a houseboat to stay in. In the Kuttanad region of Alappuzha you’ll also be treated to boat races, where you will also find snake boats that can hold up to a hundred oarsmen. Thousands of fans line the riverbanks and cheer on their favourite teams which makes for a great atmosphere. There are dozens of villages and communities throughout this area which you can visit and get a real sense of everyday life and culture in this interesting place.
In the Ghat mountains lies this beautiful and atmospheric town, which translated means “the gift of the forest.” Easily one of the most beautiful places to visit in India, Kodaikanal has many places of interest for travelers and tourists. One of which is the Kodaikanal lake which is a star shaped man made lake. Here you can rent horses or bicycles to ride around the shore. Just east of the lake is a 20 acre botanical garden, from here you can reach Coaker’s Walk, a 1 kilometre long pedestrian path that follows along the south of Kodai. Expect wooded slopes, rocky scenery and beautiful waterfalls.
9. City Palace, Jaipur
which includes the Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal palaces and other buildings, is a palace complex in Jaipur the capital of the Rajasthan state, India. It was the seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur, the head of the Kachwaha Rajput clan. The Chandra Mahal palace now houses a museum but the greatest part of it is, it still a royal residence. The palace complex, which is located northeast of the centre of the grid patterned Jaipur city, incorporates an impressive and vast array of courtyards, gardens and buildings. The palace was built between 1729 and 1732, initially by Sawai Jai Singh 2nd the ruler of Amber. He planned and built the outer walls, and later additions were made by successive rulers right up to the 20th century. The credit for the urban layout of the city and its structures is attributed to two architects namely, Vidyadar Bhattacharya, the chief architect in the royal court and Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob apart from the Sawai himself who was a keen architectural enthusiast. The architects achieved a fusion of the Shilpa Shastra of Indian architecture with Rajput, Mughal and European styles of architecture.
Darjeeling;nestling in the grandeur and beauty of towering snow-capped mountains with the mighty Kanchenjunga (King of the Mountains) dominating the somber landscape around, lies a jewel of a town — elegant, sophisticated and incredibly beautiful; the name of Tibetan origin means where Indra’s thunderbolt or scepter rested (Dodi-thunder bolt, Ling-place). In Sanskrit, the name is derived from the world ‘Durjay Ling’ means ‘Shiva of invincible prowess, he who rules the Himalayas’. The official name of the town town today is known as Darjeeling.Darjeeling is a popular tourist town in the Indian State of West Bengal. Famous for it’s tea production