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Tourist Places To Visit In India
India is a land of civilizations dating back centuries, even millennia. And today, in the modern world, it makes for a great holiday destination, with some of the best tourist places listed below.
The land of India is blessed with a network of rivers and forests, while mountains abound its crown, making this subcontinent a wonderland of nature. If you are looking at visiting India, you need to know that you are in for a heady mix of beautiful cultures, dialects, geographies and people; all speaking the language of hospitality. From the ruins of forts in Rajasthan to royal palaces, the Taj Mahal to the backwaters of Kerala, hikes in the Himalayas to quiet evenings on the shore of Marine Drive in Mumbai, you will meet people who will be nothing but welcoming.
To know what are the best tourist places to visit in India for you, read on. The following are your must-go to destinations when in this magical country of Rajas, Maharajas and rivers.
One of the most popular tourist places to visit in India, Rajasthan is the land of gem-laden palaces, daunting fortresses and the remnants of India's maharaja culture. From its lilting desert music and scrumptious food, to its ethnic charm and colourful people, Rajasthan will delight all your senses for an unforgettable and picture perfect Indian holiday.
The best time to visit Rajasthan is in winters, when the air is cool and dry, i.e. from October to March.
A 500 year old Portuguese colony, Goa is an extremely popular tourist place in India, known for its alluring beaches and utterly laidback pace of life. Kick back and unwind on a sunny beach and swing with its spirited people when the sun goes down. One of the top tourist destinations in the world, Goa boasts of some exquisite food, luxury beach resorts and merry travellers from around the globe. With its many charms and an uncomplicated vibe, Goa will bring you back over and over again!
Goa is best visited in the months between October to May, when the rains have receded and pleasant temperatures prevail.
Kerala has been named one of the 'Top Ten Paradises of the World' and '50 Places of a Lifetime' by the National Geographic Traveler magazine The southern-most state in India, Kerala is known for its idyllic backwaters, pristine beaches, lush rain forests and tea plantations. The best thing about holidaying in Kerala is that whether you're a beach bum, a jungle explorer, a mountain goat or a city crawler, there's something magical in store for you. No wonder then Kerala is known as God's Own Country.
The best time to visit Kerala is between October-April.
At 3,000 metres above sea level, Ladakh is the highest plateau in the state of Jammu & Kashmir and is home to some of the most beautiful lakes in the world. For decades, Ladakh has enchanted writers, photographers and adventure seekers from all over the world by its unspoiled and poetically rugged landscapes. Ladakh is strongly influenced by Tibetian culture and has a predominantly Buddhist population. If you get a chance to visit, rest assured you will come away with some of the most captivating memories of your life.
The best time to visit Leh-Ladakh is in the summers (March-July).
Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra, Jaipur)
The Golden Triangle, formed by the cities of New Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, is a very popular tourist circuit in India. New Delhi, the Capital of India, is the seat of the country's democratic power. Agra is famous as the home of India's most iconic symbol - the Taj Mahal - an intricate crypt of white marble built centuries ago by an aggrieved king in memory of his beautiful wife. Jaipur is the capital city of Rajasthan - the desert state in the Thar renowned for its palaces, tribal art, folk music and delicious food.
This region is scorching in the summer heat, and wet during monsoon; hence the best time visit the Golden Triangle is during winter (November-March).
North-eastern India (including the states of Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, and parts of West Bengal) is one of the most upcoming tourist places to visit in India. The north-east is known for its virgin landscapes and natural beauty. The people of this region have strong mongoloid features and their culture reflects strong ties with Southeast Asia. The cities and towns are small and not particularly industrialized and you'll enjoy seeing how beautifully the people here integrate with their environment.
The North East can be visited through monsoon (June-September) for its wet, lush landscape. But the best time to visit it is during summer (March-May). Winters are very cold here and most roads are blocked due to snowfall.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Andaman And Nicobar Islands are a group of islands in the Bay of Bengal. The white sandy shores, sunrises and sunsets, untouched coral reefs and rolls of palm trees make this the perfect beach holiday destination. Visit Port Blair, Neil Island, Ross Island, Havelock Island and many others for some splendid water sports. Scuba Diving and certification is another added bonus of Andaman. People from all over the world come here to become professional divers.
The best time to visit these islands is between October to April and they are well connected by air (Port Blair) and waterways.
Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand
Himachal is a North Indian state sharing borders with Punjab and Kashmir. Known as the current home of the Dalai Lama and the refuged government of Tibet, Himachal is a hilly mountainous region, engulfing the Garhwal belt of the Himalayas. It is also home to one of world’s best skiing destinations- Auli. Dalhousie, Simla, Manali, Dharamsala and Mcleod Ganj make for some of the best hill stations for a three day respite.
Uttarakhand is best known for Haridwar and Rishikesh, two of the oldest and biggest cities formed on the bank of the Ganges. While Haridwar is an out and out pilgrimage hub, Rishikesh also boasts of some great water sports in the Ganges. Both Uttarakhand and Himachal are home to magnificent trek routes and become a hikers’ paradise; Kangra and Spiti Valley being hot favourites.
The best time to visit Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand is in the summers (April to June).
Jammu and Kashmir
This is the state most in the news lately. Jammu And Kashmir are two parts of one state, which also includes the rugged terrain of Ladakh. Jammu constitutes the southern plains while Kashmir is the most beautiful valley mankind could see, nestled between the Pir Panjal ranges of the Himalayas.
Srinagar is a great stop for boating in Dal Lake, where Asia’s biggest Tulip Garden blooms and the old town echoes with azan (prayer calls) of Hazratbal Shrine. You can also visit the Gurez valley for its quiet, clean air and crystal water, flowing freely between the two countries of India and Pakistan. Sonmarg is a meadow of gold and Leh-Ladakh make for a rugged, snow-covered rocky home to Buddhist Gompas and monasteries.
The best time to visit Kashmir is summer and autumn (from April to October). At these times the place truly ascribes to King Jehangir’s words - 'a piece of heaven on this earth.'
South India (Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry)
Having covered Kerala in detail above, there is also Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry to make your trip to South India memorable. Karnataka is home to tall waterfalls and herds of wild elephants. You must visit the Mysore Palace, Jog Waterfalls and Virupaksha Temple. Tamil Nadu is famous for the Nilgiri tea estates and the ancient city of Madurai with Meenakshi Amman temple. Pondicherry is an erstwhile French colony, now a beautiful mix of French cafes and Indian gallis (small lanes). It is a one-stop destination for most solo travellers and group trips with friends.
Since the South Indian landscape is heavily influenced by the tropical climate, the best time to visit these places is during winter (November to March). Some hill stations like Ooty and Munnar can be visited during the summers too.
The westernmost state of India, Maharashtra literary means ‘the great state.’ Known for its varied climates, from maritime to continental type, and a unique set of cultures ranging from Konkani to Marathi, you will find this state a mix of beaches, ancient towns, metropolitan cities and farmlands. Visit Mumbai for its shopping, Bollywood mania, Sea Link and Gateway of India, check out the hilly uber-cool Pune with its cafes and parks, and don’t forget to take a ferry down to Alibag and Ajanta Ellora Caves. Other places to cover when in Maharashtra include Mahabaleshwar, Matheran, Lonavala, Aurangabad, Bhandardara and Shirdi.
Since Maharashtra experiences scorching summers and heavy monsoons, the best time to visit is winters (October to March).
How can you miss this region when in India? Agreed, Gujarat doesn’t flash on most top tourist places to visit in India listings. But that’s because it’s not thronged by your everyday tourist. If you want to experience white sand deserts and the Statue of Unity, if you are fond of going on lion-sighting safaris and enjoy dancing your heart out to folk garba tunes — Gujarat is for you. What’s more, the food of this ‘land of foodies’ is for you. Best places here are Rann of Kutch, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Gir Forest and Dwarka.
Most of Gujarat is lush, so monsoons are heavy and summers very hot. Hence, make sure to plan your trip in winter months.
The land of five rivers, as it is named, Punjab has been one of India’s greenest farm belts and also the producer of its fighter clan — the sikhs. The Golden Temple graces the city of Amritsar here, while the modern city plan of Chandigarh surprises every ignorant tourist who thinks India is just a land of villages, cows and urban sprawls. Do also visit Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Patiala. And if you are interested in seeing the spirit of Indian national sentiment, visit the change of guard at the Amritsar border, where Indian and Pakistani soldiers perform an elaborate salute march every morning and evening, before they switch guard.
You can visit Punjab in early winter as the peak months are quite cold. Spring season is also a great time as Baishakhi is celebrated during this time. So October to December and March to April are good months for a trip.
Bihar is literally the heart of India, situated right in its centre. It is also famously known for its Buddhist circuit and a pilgrimage for Buddhism followers. From Rajgir to Patna to Bodh Gaya, Bihar is home to some of the oldest and most revered temples, sights and relics of Lord Buddha. There are also a good number of ancient Hindu temples, predating even the Buddhist era. And of course, if you want to see one of the world’s oldest Universities, then visit Nalanda.
Winter months between October and March are the best for a visit.
This state of India is home to a wide variety of tourism. It is also the biggest state of India, land-wise. So where on one side, there is a religious, almost pilgrimage-kind of tourism in Vraj region, where the flamboyant Indian god Shri Krishna was born, on the other side you will find cities of Mughals and Nawabs. Visit Mathura (birthplace of Shri Krishna), Vrindavan, Jatipura, Lucknow (city of Nawabs), Prayagraj (the epicentre of Kumbh Mela) and Kanpur. Another highlight of Uttar Pradesh is the great city of Kashi — also known as Varanasi in today’s world. It is said to be the oldest continuously inhabited city of the world, and holds the bank of Ganges.
U.P. being right in the centre of India sees very hot summers and very cold winters, so the transition months are best for a visit -- October to December and February to April.
Well, this state is home to the culturally rich Kolkata as well as the hill station of tea-producing Darjeeling. Yes, that’s where your favourite tea gets its brand name from. There are quaint coastal towns, beaches, snow-capped hamlets and marshy mangrove forests waiting for you here. If you love tigers and trees then do visit Sunderbans too. Monsoons are good to get a wet, local feel of the state, but prefer winter over all other seasons to visit West Bengal.
India is a land of rivers and farms and forests. Almost 25% of India’s land is covered in forest, which makes fertile ground for wildlife — flora and fauna, to survive and thrive. therefore, you can’t miss the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks when you are in this country. Some of the best wildlife sanctuaries to visit in India are Corbett National Park (Uttarakhand) and Ranthambore National Park (Rajasthan) for tigers and blackbuck respectively, Keoladeo Ghana National Park (Bharatpur) for birds, Sariska (Rajasthan) for more tigers and Gir National Park (Gujarat) for lions. For one horned rhinoceros, Kaziranga National Park in Assam is the best.
And if you want a unique experience of marshlands, mangroves, backwaters and tigers then visit Sundarbans in West Bengal.
Lakshadweep, an archipelago of islands and coral reefs is set in the Laccadive Sea. You can easily travel here from Kerala by sea or air. Most of the islands on Lakshadweep are off limits as some are uninhabited wilderness, while others are tribal zones. But rest assured, you can visit those islands that are open to tourists. Kavaratti is a developed island and best visited through winter months. Scuba diving is a coveted sport here and you can also learn and get certified in it. Beaches, island shenanigans and water sports are aplenty on this island. And what's more, its cheaper than most South-East Asian islands offering the same kind of fun.
Char Dham, literally translating to ‘four pilgrimages,’ is a circuit in the Indian subcontinent that is said to be a holy pilgrimage in Hinduism. These four places include Yamunotri (the glacier where river Yamuna originates), Gangotri (where river Ganga originates), Badrinath (the abode of Vishnu) and Kedarnath (the abode of Shiva). While the former two are single points in glaciers where water starts to trickle and a temple each is built, the latter two are famous for their grand temples. All four abodes are in the state of Uttarakhand and a must visit if you want to experience one of the holiest, most important part of a Hindu person’s life.
Since Char Dham is located atop snow-capped mountains, it is imperative that winter will be harsh. So summer is a good time to visit.