India has exotic beaches, snow-capped mountains and numerous World Heritage Sites. The country has impressive wildlife too. India attracts millions of foreign visitors every year. Here are the most popular tourist destinations in the country.
Rabindranath Tagore described it as a teardrop on the cheek of time. Taj-Mahal is unarguably the most famous monument in India. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Today this white marble mausoleum situated on the southern bank of the river Yamuna attracts millions of tourists from all over the world. Taj Mahal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
This is a perfectly symmetrical monument and it took about 22 years to build. It was commissioned by Shah Jahan in 1632 AD. You have every reason to visit Agra. It is a prominent destination on the world tourism map. In addition to Taj Mahal, Agra has two other World Heritage Sites.
Jaipur / Udaipur
Jaipur (aka Pink City) is the capital of Rajasthan. Jaipur has numerous forts, palaces and monuments that reflect its glorious past. Tourism is an important source of revenue for Jaipur. The city has got some of the best hotels in the world.
Important forts and monuments in Jaipur
Chandra Mahal, The City Palace, Jaipur
Diwan-e-Aam, City Palace
Central Museum, (Albert Hall Museum)
Goa is known for its exotic beaches. It is a small state in western India. Goa used to be a Portuguese colony. Its 16th century churches attract a large number of visitors. Goa is different from other parts of India in very many ways. This is perhaps the only Indian state where foreigners aren’t expected to follow the traditional dress code.
Goa has two tourist seasons. During the winter season, the state attracts numerous tourists from abroad (mainly Europe). The summer season in other parts of the world is the rainy season in Goa. During this time tourists from all over India flock to Goa to soak themselves in the rain. A large number of Europeans and Americans have made Goa their home. Obviously, they are smitten by its exotic beaches and laidback lifestyle.
Kerala or God’s own country is located on the western coast of India. It is a travelers’ paradise with lush green hills, beautiful backwaters and lovely tea gardens. Kerala is also known for its Ayurvedic tourism.
“Agar firdous baroye zameen ast, hami asto, hami asto hami ast” – Amir-e-Khusru Dehluvi
(If there is a paradise on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here)
Yes, Kashmir is beautiful. It has every right to be called the most beautiful place on Earth. You will find flowers wherever look. There are saffron farms. There must be something special about the soil or weather here; otherwise, how could the flowers be so beautiful and colorful?
The State of Jammu & Kashmir can be divided into three geographical areas. Kashmir is part of the Jhelum valley or Lesser Himalayas. Ladakh and Frontier areas are part of the Indus Valley or Inner Himalayas. Jammu is part of the Southern mountain ranges. Contrary to popular belief, Kashmir isn’t particularly unsafe. While tourists are advised against visiting areas close to the Indo-Pak border, other parts of the state are generally safe.
Kanyakumari is the southern-most tip of India. This place has a lot of religious significance. Also the sunrise and sunset in Kanyakumari are simply spectacular. Kanyakumari is where the three Ocean bodies – the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea – meet. This confluence of the seas makes the sunrises and sunsets here truly magical.
India’s capital city is known for its magnificent forts, monuments and mosques. Most of them were built by the Mughal emperors. The majestic Red Fort is one of the most important monuments in Delhi.
The rock-cut cave temples in Ajanta & Ellora (Aurangabad, Maharashtra) were created between the first century of BC and fifth century of AD. There are about 28 – 30 of them. The sculptures and the cave paintings here are considered to be the masterpieces of Buddhist art. Ajanta & Ellora is a World Heritage Site.
Darjeeling is known for its natural beauty and clean mountain air. The sunrise is the most important attraction here. Darjeeling is the called the Queen of Hills. It is a trekker’s paradise. Tiger Hill is about 11 km south of Darjeeling and every morning thousands of tourists head to Tiger Hill to see the spectacular sunrise. First, a dull orange sun will emerge from behind the hills and paint the sky with brilliant strokes of gold, magenta, orange and fuchsia. Slowly, the snow-capped peaks of Everest, Kanchenjunga, Kabru and Jannu will become visible. The morning show is so spectacular that it will leave you mesmerized.
Mysore is a major tourist destination in South India. It is in the state of Karnataka. Mysore is known for its magnificent palace. The city attracts the largest number of visitors during the Navratri (Dasara) festival.