North India

Tourist Places To Visit In North India

Planning A Trip To North India? Here's our list of top tourist places to visit in North India

The Indian subcontinent is a vast landscape of varied cultures, varied languages, varied religions and more varied geographies. The most basic demarcation for tourists coming down to India is that of North India and South India. They are two major parts of this beautiful country, mainly drawing a line between the vastly different cultures and languages. While the North is majorly dominated by a Hindi-speaking populace, the South has its own languages like Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. North India belt consists of some great tourist attractions and places that must definitely be visited on your trip here, including the Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra, Jaipur), Rajasthan, Mathura-Vrindavan, Varanasi, Jammu-Kashmir, Ladakh etc. 

 

While we have linked the South India Travel Guide below for your reference, this article is a vivid portrait of places you will enjoy in North India.

Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra, Jaipur)

Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra, Jaipur):  Tourist Places To Visit In North India
Photograph by https://exclusives.webjet.com.au/deals/tour-deals/india/golden-triangle-tour-india-2018/

The Golden Triangle is a very prominent and famous tourist circuit formed by three major cities of India - Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. These three cities when plotted on a map make a sort of equilateral triangle and become a one-stop Indian holiday destination, especially for foreign tourists coming this way. When in Delhi, take time out to visit the Qutub Minar, Red Fort, India Gate, Humayun’s Tomb, Jama Masjid and Chandni Chowk (for its rustic old world charm and amazing food). Agra is famous for the iconic monument Taj Mahal, along with the Fatehpur Sikri Fort a few miles away. There is also the Agra market to shop for souvenirs. 

 

Down in Jaipur, Rajasthan, tour Hawa Mahal for its windows and lattice-worked glass panes, the City Palace, Jantar Mantar and the Amer Fort (Amber Fort). You will also get to shop for gem stones, precious and semi-precious stones, Rajasthani handicrafts and shoes from the many bazars of Jaipur.

Rajasthan

Rajasthan:  Tourist Places To Visit In North India
Photograph by http://www.darter.in/photography-tours/travel/rajasthan/

The state of Rajputs, Rajas and Maharajas, Rajasthan is the desert state in the west of India. A popular tourist destination for its rich heritage of history and culture, this state encompasses beautiful cities like Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Mount Abu and Ajmer. Some other major tourist attractions include Pushkar (for the Pushkar mela and the famous Brahma Temple) and Ranthambore in Sawai Madhopur for its Reserved Forest that is inhabited by the Royal Bengal Tiger among many other animals. 

 

Some coveted attractions in Rajasthan are Hawa Mahal in Jaipur, the City Palace and Lake Palace in Udaipur, the various camel safaris, sand dunes and New Year desert camps in Jaisalmer, as well as the Ajmer Sharif Dargah in Ajmer. The food, dance forms, clothing and language in these regions are very enticing, and instantly make you fall in love.

Varanasi

Varanasi:  Tourist Places To Visit In North India
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Better known as Benaras or the City of Lights (Kashi), Varanasi is a holy town with ancient roots, situated on the banks of the Ganges. It is the land of Lord Shiva, who was considered a Rudra avatar. With a history that steeps in the timeline of more than3000 years, Varanasi today is a huge pilgrim as well as tourist spot. The greatest pilgrimage sight here is that of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, dating back 3,500 years. It houses one of the 12 Jyotirlingas or the Lingas manifested from a fight between Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Another must-visit is the new Vishwanath Temple, along with Tulsi Manas Temple and the Alamgir Mosque.

 

Additinally, Varanasi is also known for its numerous ghats or embankments that kiss the shore of Ganga flowing swiftly by. The Dasaswamedh Ghat is a significant landmark and is always populated by sanyasis and sadhus (celibates and hermits). Devotees light earthen lamps and let them down in the flow of Ganga here during dawn, dusk and Ganga aartis. You must also pay a visit to Assi Ghat for its significance in the lore of Lord Shiva. But the real eye-opener is the Manikarnika Ghat, which forms a cremation ground. It is believed that the one who dies and is cremated in Varanasi gets liberated from the cycle of birth and rebirth (Moksh). Also visit the Gyan Vapi Well (Well of Wisdom) and Ramnagar Fort.

Leh / Ladakh

Leh / Ladakh:  Tourist Places To Visit In North India
Photograph by http://jamiemanley.blogspot.com/2015/11/ladakh.html

Ladakh is a major chunk of the state of Jammu And Kashmir, known for its rugged terrains, white snow deserts, monasteries and frozen lakes. A perfect holiday getaway, Leh-Ladakh are highly coveted in the North-Indian belt, especially by foreign tourists. Drive through the Khardung La (highest motor able pass) and Rohtang, explore lakes like Pangong Tso, trek over frozen rivers in Chadar Trek through the Zanskar Valley. Go sightseeing in Leh where there is the Leh Palace, Magnetic Hill, Shanti Stupa etc. Lamayuru Monastery is a very peaceful retreat to mediate and revel in the ways of Buddhist culture.

 

Mulbek Valley is great for for trekking, star-gazing and overnight camping. Nubra Valley is another awesome sightseeing as well as trekking destination, and Hunder sand dunes make for some great backdrop for your holiday photos.

Jammu & Kashmir

Jammu & Kashmir:  Tourist Places To Visit In North India
Photograph by http://www.epicphototours.com/kashmir-oct-30th---nov-10th-2017---waitlist.html

Known as 'Heaven on Earth,' this state of valleys and Himalayan ranges, pines and deodars, is a paradise through and through. While Jammu is the southern part populated mostly by Hindu Pandits, Dogras and Punjabis, Kashmir is the northern portion dominated by Shia and Sunni Muslims. When in Kashmir, a visit to Srinagar’s wonders like Hazratbal dargah, Shankaracharya temple, Tulip garden and Pari Mahal is a must along with the shikara (houseboat) rides in Dal Lake. You should also explore Sonmarg, Gulmarg, Gurez Valley, Betaab Valley and Pahalgam to discover the endless rolls of meadows, mountains and streams in Kashmir.

 

Jammu City on the other hand holds a more historic and cultural interest with its seat of Dogra kings. You can visit the many forts and ruins here, tour Akhnoor city for its lakes, and pilgrim at Vaishno Devi Temple. All in all, a trip to North India is definitely incomplete without Jammu-Kashmir on the itinerary.

Mathura & Vrindavan

Mathura & Vrindavan:  Tourist Places To Visit In North India
Photograph by https://www.firstpost.com

The Vraj (Braj) area of Uttar Pradesh is devoted to a culture very different from rest of that state. Known as the birth place of Lord Krishna (the greatest god of Hinduism), Vraj consists of two main tourist attractions today - Mathura and Vrindavan.

 

When in Mathura, the most coveted attraction is Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi, the place that was a prison cell 5000 years ago, where Lord Kirshna was born. Today it is a temple. You must also visit the Government Museum, Dwarkadhish Temple and Rangji Tample. A few kilometres away from Mathura is the town of Jatipura that falls on the foothills of the revered mountain Goverdhan. This is also a great retreat into the tales of Krishna Lila (stories of Krishna). Mathura is propped on the bank of river Yamuna and there are many ghats here as well, including the great Vishram Ghat, from where you can hire boats and ride into the majestic river Yamuna to witness Yamuna aarti at dawn and dusk everyday. 

 

In Vrindavan, the Banke Bihari Temple is very famous, as is the Radharaman Mandir, built in 1542. It houses a self-manifested idol of Lord Krishna, known as shaligram. One very interesting tour is of the Nidhivan temple, which is surrounded by a huge garden of human height trees, each of which is fabled to turn into gopi (maiden) at night and dance the ‘raas’ (a form of romantic dance) with Lord Krishna. Janmashtami and Holi are two major festivals to visit Mathura-Vrindavan as these towns comes alive during these times.

Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh:  Tourist Places To Visit In North India
Photograph by http://www.darter.in/photography-tours/travel/lahaul-spiti-photography-tour/

Himachal Pradesh is a northern state in India, ensconced in the lap of Himalayas. It is a state of rivers and mountains, landscapes that look like they are out of a child’s painting and a feeling of ecstatic liberation. Himachal is an ideal hill-station getaway and boasts of some amazing destinations like Shimla, Manali, Kufri, Kasauli, Kullu, Mcleod Ganj etc. Adventure seekers find Kinnaur, Beas Kund and Indrahar Pass as major attractions for some challenging hikes. Spiti Valley is another current hot favourite with many trekkers, solo travellers and wander-lusters. The Chandra Taal Lake is also very famous and the trek is majorly coveted by adrenaline junkies.  

 

There is also Nainital, known for its lakes and Dharamshala for its Tibetian culture. Kasol, Kalka and Khajjar are other tourist spots known for temples of local deities, some mountain sports and long, idyllic hikes

Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand:  Tourist Places To Visit In North India
Photograph by http://www.india.com

Himachal Pradesh is a northern state in India, ensconced in the lap of Himalayas. It is a state of rivers and mountains, landscapes that look like they are out of a child’s painting and a feeling of ecstatic liberation. Himachal is an ideal hill-station getaway and boasts of some amazing destinations like Shimla, Manali, Kufri, Kasauli, Kullu, Mcleod Ganj etc. Adventure seekers find Kinnaur, Beas Kund and Indrahar Pass as major attractions for some challenging hikes. Spiti Valley is another current hot favourite with many trekkers, solo travellers and wander-lusters. The Chandra Taal Lake is also very famous and the trek is majorly coveted by adrenaline junkies.  

 

There is also Nainital, known for its lakes and Dharamshala for its Tibetian culture. Kasol, Kalka and Khajjar are other tourist spots known for temples of local deities, some mountain sports and long, idyllic hikes

Amritsar

Amritsar:  Tourist Places To Visit In North India
Photograph by https://curioso.photography/asia-gallery/

The city known for Golden Temple, Amritsar is a beautiful amalgamation of Pujabi culture, history and of course, food! 

 

When in Amritsar, visit the Jalianwala Bagh, which is now a memorial of the brutal massacre of Indians by British troops led by Colonel Dyer. There is also the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum for some major history lessons into India's freedom struggle. One of the most coveted touristy things to do in Amritsar is to attend the Wagah Border Parade on the Indo-Pak border. Every morning and evening the soldiers from both sides perform an elaborate salute as the Wagah Border opens and closes respectively. Explore the Chand Baori, the ISKCON Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda Temple, Khair Ud-Din Masjid and Akal Takht. 

 

Save the best and the most beautiful visit for the last as you step foot into the Golden Temple, a radiant symbol of Punjab’s Sikh valour and spirited character. 

Chandigarh

Chandigarh:  Tourist Places To Visit In North India
Photograph by http://www.thepulp.in/arts-and-culture/perks-living-chandigarh/

Chandigarh is India’s first planned city after independence. Green and concrete in almost equal parts, this city is systematically built and maintained, one of the cleanest in the country. Visit the Nek Chand Rock Garden of Chandigarh, a sculpture garden made by Nek Chand who was a government official. He started this in his spare time in 1957 and it is today the pride of Chandigarh. Also explore the Sukna Lake, Zakir Hussain Rose Garden (Asia’s biggest rose garden), Chhatbir Zoo, Government Museum and Art Gallery and Butterfly Park.

 

For sports fans, a trip to Chandigarh is incomplete without a visit to the Mohali Cricket Stadium. It is the home turf of IPL’s Punjab team ‘King’s XI Punjab’ and has a history of some great matches.

Lucknow

Lucknow:  Tourist Places To Visit In North India
Photograph by https://www.tripadvisor.in

When in North India and gone through the usual suspects of Kashmir and Rajasthan, do turn to the plains of Uttar Pradesh. More specifically, the graceful city of Nawabs — Lucknow. It is a place of old world grandeur, Awadhi architecture and food, along with a classic Mughlai touch. Spend your days here gorging on rich local cuisine, visit Rumi Darwaza, The Residency and Imambara, all the while getting a hang on the strong rich accent of the Lucknowis that is so dignified and respectful that even if they were to abuse you, you’d come out smiling.

Allahabad

Allahabad:  Tourist Places To Visit In North India
Photograph by https://www.culturalindia.net

Now known by its ancient name Prayagraj, this city of Uttar Pradesh is one of the oldest and holiest hubs of Sanatan Hindu Dharma. Why? Because Prayagraj is the meeting point of three holy rivers — Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati (now dried up). They call it the Triveni Sangam and bathe here as part of an age old ritual. The Kumbh Mela held here is an affair to behold. It is one for the ages as it happens every 12 years. You can also visit the Allahabad Fort, Anand Bhawan, Khusro Bagh, Allahabad University etc while here.

Haridwar and Rishikesh

Haridwar and Rishikesh:  Tourist Places To Visit In North India
Photograph by https://www.bigbreaks.com

In Uttarakhand, there are many beautiful hill stations worth mentioning under its umbrella. But the holy towns of Haridwar and Rishikesh deserve a special mention of their own. Ensconced in the foothills of Himalayas, Haridwar is home to some very old temples and ghats, while Rishikesh is known for its ashrams, yoga and river banks where souls have come to find a higher sense of being since time immemorial. Both the cities can be visited together as they are only 20 km apart. Visit Mansa Devi Temple, Rajaji National Park, and the famous Har ki Pauri. Indulge in bungee jumping and river rafting along with meditation!

Kullu and Manali

Kullu and Manali:  Tourist Places To Visit In North India
Photograph by https://www.oyorooms.com

Synonymous with the quintessential hill station holiday, Kullu-Manali are two towns that are all stunning green lushness in summers and white wonderland in winters. From resort leisure to nature adventure, you get everything here to enjoy a break in the mountains. Visit attractions like Vashisht Hot springs, Hadimba Temple, Himalayan Nyingmapa Gompa and Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art. And enjoy the free-flow of River Beas through the valleys of Manali. Both these towns are like complementary twins and mostly visited together. 

Dharamshala

Dharamshala:  Tourist Places To Visit In North India
Photograph by https://www.hindustantimes.com

A little hamlet, a beautiful hill station, all lakes and deodar jungles and home to the Dalai Lama, Dharamshala is the perfect Himalayan getaway. Treks, camps, star-gazing tours, paragliding… you name it and they have it. The markets of Dharamshala are also very coveted among tourists for the street stalls of momos, soups and other snacks. While cafes serve amazing Italian, Indian and Tibetan cuisine, you are also advised to drink copious amounts of their famous hot chocolate. Visit the Dal lake, Tsuglagkhang Complex, Kangra Fort and Naddi Village when here.

McLeodganj

McLeodganj:  Tourist Places To Visit In North India
Photograph by https://www.google.com

Popular as the little Tibet, McLeodganj is not far from Dharamshala. And yet, it has its own little vibe going. Even though it is a hill station, the quietness that its mountains, cafes and gompas brings is unparalleled. The town of course has a very vivid Colonial touch as it was the retreat of many a British officers during the Raj. This makes its bungalows and buildings a work of art from that era, and cafes selling everything from fudges to chocolates to mouthwatering European fare. Hike up the trails, go ride bikes in the hills and hibernate in the quaint aura.

Spiti

Spiti:  Tourist Places To Visit In North India
Photograph by https://www.thrillophilia.com

Spiti is an offbeat holiday retreat in North India, known for its full moon nights when the valley looks like a picture from a children’s book. The small villages here are not yet brought up to date with other tourist delights, hence most stops in Spiti don’t have the kind of luxurious service you may get in a Shimla or Manali. But the raw, earthy touch of life is wholesome and experience-worthy. Spiritual souls, wanderers, adventures venture here, exploring the monasteries and glaciers, paragliding and hiking, trekking across frozen lake beds.

Kasol

Kasol:  Tourist Places To Visit In North India
Photograph by https://tourastic.com/st_tour

Another offbeat town in North India is Kasol, charming and quiet. It is located near Kullu and attracts visitors for its swiftly flowing brook Parvati, camps at Kheerganga and backpacking hostels that serve delicious breakfast foods all day. Cottages, cafes, trek trails and photography are just some of the amazing things about Kasol that draw solo travellers and wanderers. Visit with friends or on your own for the best experience.

Auli

Auli:  Tourist Places To Visit In North India
Photograph by https://www.google.com

How can we mention North India and forget the ski-hub of the country? Auli is otherwise a small town in Uttarakhand’s hills, but has a big name for itself thanks to the ski resort developed here by the tourism board of India. What’s more is, they maintain the slopes of Auli so well with perfectly powdered snow all year round that the town is considered among the best skiing resorts of the world. Visit for skiing of course, and enjoy other tourist sites like the temples, ponds, lakes, cable cars and mountains around.

Jim Corbett National Park

Jim Corbett National Park:  Tourist Places To Visit In North India
Photograph by https://www.holidify.com

One of India’s most famous national parks, and coveted for their tigers, the Jim Corbett National Park is a must-visit in North India. Earlier in the 20th Century they called it Hailey National Park, but later named it afterJim Corbett, a man who worked tirelessly to conserve wildlife in the area. Located in Nainital, Jim Corbett National Park is best visited in Indian winters. You can explore the park on safaris, and rest assured you will site some elephants, sloth bears, nilgais, deer and tigers among other species. Other activities like boating, trekking and camping are also coveted around the park.

Char Dham

Char Dham:  Tourist Places To Visit In North India
Photograph by https://www.hindustantimes.com

Char Dham, literally meaning the four holy spots, is a pilgrimage circuit in North India, mainly the Himalayas. It includes Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath. While the former two are glacier towns, the latter are massive temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva respectively. Gangotri is the starting point of river Ganga while Yamunotri is of River Yamuna. Most pilgrims visit all four spots in one circuit, mostly on foot trekking along with ponies or palanquins to help. Nowadays there are helicopters too for easier and quicker transportation. It is believed that every Sanatan follower should visit the Char Dham at least once in their life. 

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