Best Places to Visit in India
India is not just another country but a subcontinent and literally offers a plethora of diverse places to visit. From high altitude mountains to vast expanse of Indian ocean, from the hot dry desert on the west to jaw dropping landscapes on the east, it is surely a journey to remember. As the activities and places are endless, this article will guide you about the best places to visit as a first timer and make the best of your precious leisure time. These enchanting places have put India on the global tourism map.
The capital city of Delhi and neighbour Agra
The capital of the country and located in the northern part of India, Delhi is well connected with all major international cities and also acts a good base to explore the rest of the country. Once home to the royal Mughals and hundreds of other dynasties that ruled the country, Delhi is now a major tourist and shopping hub of India. The northern part of the town is Old Delhi which still retains the Mughal style markets, magnificent architectural buildings and famous for street food while the other half is a metropolitan city. Located just 230 km from the capital is Agra City, the home of the lover’s tomb Taj Mahal which figures in the bucket list of everyone.
Crown of India Jammu and Kashmir
The heaven on earth Jammu and Kashmir state lies on the northern most part of India and ideal place to start your travel. The enchanting beauty of the state is known far and wide. It’s grasslands and meadows to Alpine forest, everywhere there’s surreal beauty that heals the soul. Stay in one of the houseboats in Srinagar city for a memorable experience and go for shikara rides on the lakes. About 2 hours from Srinagar is Gulmarg where there are plenty of things to do like go on world’s longest gondola rides, skiing and many other winter adventure sports.
Leh-Ladakh and cold desert
Located on the eastern half of the Jammu and Kashmir State, famous cold desert, are the highest district of India, Leh-Ladakh. Dominated by the Buddhist culture, this place offers a totally different world. Here is the world’s highest motorable road the Khardungla pass which leads to the bordering villages. There are hundreds of monasteries where you can meditate, learn a thing or two about Buddhism or get a sneak peek of the culture. The high altitude lakes in Leh-Ladakh are a major tourist attraction in the summer months.
Trekking in the Himalayas of Himachal Pradesh
Towards the south of Leh, lies the Himalayan mountain states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand. Himalayan flora and fauna at its best can be seen here and the changing landscape will leave you awestruck. These states are also home to the UNESCO heritage sites of GHNP and Nanda Devi National parks. Endless treks on the trails amidst the lush green forests or icy sheets and unmatched serenity is what attracts the people here. There’s a list of adventure sports in Himachal and Uttrakhand which you can engage in, like river rafting, bungee jumping, zip lining, para gliding and much more. This is also a place to learn yoga, meditation and find yourself!
Colourful Rajasthan and Hot Dry Deserts of Thar
Rajasthan, the desert state is located just around 300 km from Delhi and home to the popular and scorching Thar desert. The state of the brave Rajput clan who are known for their valor throughout history, Rajasthan still has over thousands of forts that reflects the rich grandeur of the state as well as the kings. A trip to Rajasthan is incomplete without indulging in its cuisine. It’s a major stop for culinary tour of India and an authentic Rajasthani thali is a must try. There are hundreds of places for cheap shopping in Rajasthan, where you can pick up colourful local crafts as souvenirs. Known for unmatched hospitality, the Rajasthani culture will make you feel like a king. One of the best cuisines in India, also a stop for culinary tour of the world.
Exquisite Nature in the North east
Unexplored, untouched and offbeat is what describes the northeastern states of India comprising of 8 different Indian states. This is where you can find the wettest place on the earth, Mawsynram, in the state of Meghalaya. Majuli, the largest river island of the world is found here in the state of Assam. Every year the state of Nagaland attracts thousands of visitors for the rock fest Ziro Festival. Kaziranga National park, Tawang monastery and Nathu la pass are some of the famous places to visit in the northeast. Those who love adventure can go for adventure sports like rafting or go caving and kayaking in the Jaintia hills. The state of Arunachal, also known as the gateway to Tibet is where Indian culture blends with Tibetan.
Pristine beaches of Goa
Goa is the place which brought beach holidaying in India. Once a hub of hippies in 1980s, Goa is now the top beach holiday destination in India. Place of water sports, churches, golden sand beaches and parties is what Goa is all about. A part of it is still reminds of Portuguese heritage. Goa is where one can go for yoga retreats, relax on the beach or go for adrenalin water sports of all kinds. The tiny state flaunts some of the best beaches in India, lined with bars, restaurants and sunbeds and parasols, making a perfect setting for a beach time. The state is always upbeat with events by bands and music artists.
Backwaters of Kerala
On the south of Goa, at the southernmost part of India lies the state of Kerala whose backwaters attracts millions of tourists for kayaking and experiencing the village life. The culture, the landscape, the food, everything is different here, as this place is an introduction to the south India. Allepey and Alappuza are the places to enjoy shikara rides. The aromatic spice gardens and coffee and tea plantations is truly the second most captivating thing about Kerala, first being the gorgeous beaches of Varkala and Kovalam which also has a lovely lighthouse. Enjoy delicious rich Indian seafood cuisine in Kerala, the cultural traditional dances and legendary snake boat races. Stay in treehouses or fall in love with the natural beauty of Munnar. Kerala is known as the best place for massages, therapeutic spas and rejuvenating ayurvedic treatments.