India is the world’s second-largest nation in the world, known as one of the most historical countries globally. India also offers a diversity of natural beauties, from the high mountains of the Himalayas to sunny beaches. So it can be the perfect tourist destination for various tastes. Nature lovers have many different options to find the natural environment that best fits their interests. At the same time, those interested in historical or spiritual experiences can enjoy the glorious remains of the old times.
India Tourist Destinations
A proper list of destinations can help you schedule the appropriate plan, which can help you get the most out of your time in India. As there are so many amusing tourist destinations in India, you may get confused about priority settings among these attractions. This list can help you set a good plan for travel to India.
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The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal stands as a monumental tribute to love and one of the most celebrated landmarks in India. Crafted over 17 years by a workforce of over 20,000 artisans, this stunning mausoleum was erected in honor of Mumtaz Mahal, the adored consort of Emperor Shah Jahan. Constructed from exquisite white marble and inlaid with precious materials such as jade, pearls, lapis lazuli, and diamonds, the Taj Mahal showcases an intricate blend of Islamic and Indian architectural design, with its geometric patterns and detailed craftsmanship.
As the most famous tourist destination in India, the Taj Mahal encapsulates the essence of love in its gleaming marble edifice, a poignant memorial conceived by Shah Jahan for his beloved wife. The changing light of day casts an ethereal glow upon the Taj, with the colors of dawn and dusk painting the sky in hues that complement the marble’s natural luster. Visitors are encouraged to witness this phenomenon, as the shifting light presents a captivating tableau against the backdrop of the sky.
In the rich tapestry of India’s architectural history, the Taj Mahal also shares a connection with another symbol of love—the tomb of Humayun in Delhi. Commissioned by Hamida Banu Begum for her husband Humayun, this tomb precedes the Taj and is noted for its Persian influences melded with traditional Indian architecture. Its grand domes, arches, and kiosks are a testament to the era’s artistry. Humayun’s tomb, particularly admired for its design and historical significance, is said to have inspired Shah Jahan in the creation of the Taj Mahal. Visitors to the Taj should consider exploring this UNESCO World Heritage Site to gain a deeper appreciation of the architectural lineage that culminated in the construction of the Taj Mahal.
The Beaches of Goa
Recently discovered, Goa is one of India’s best tourist destinations with its charming coastline overlooking the lucid water of the Arabian Sea. Goa is more than 60 miles from the seaside, home to some of the world’s most exquisite beaches with various appeals. Outlying Agonda Beach may be a good choice for those who seek peace and calmness, while Calangute Beach is, by contrast, the most merchant and congested. Don’t forget to visit the superb Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary while in Goa. This attraction is home to velvety forests and plenty of animals, including some spectacular mammals and astonishing birds, as well as India’s well-known king cobras.
Sri Harmandir Sahib, aka the Golden Temple, is such a brilliant golden structure that provokes every visitor’s dignity, especially with its reflection in water doubling its beauty. Although it is a Hindu holy shrine, it attracts people of other faiths because the spiritual atmosphere can impress every visitor as the prayers chant different parts of their holy book. You can also observe some Islamic cultural elements, as the dome in lotus flower shape is combined with flourishing inlaid floral and animal motives. Visitors are welcome to participate in the benevolent act of sharing more than 50,000 free meals daily.
The Holy City of Varanasi
You might have heard of the Ganges River, which is famous as a symbol of the Hindu faith. The holy city of Varanasi is mostly famous as a tourist destination in India for being associated with this holy river. The riverside includes some stairways ending the river where prayers can faithfully bathe. These stairways are called “Gath,” and Dasashvamedh Ghat and Assi Ghat are the most famous ones. You can also visit Kashi Vishwanath Temple while exploring the Old Quarter adjacent to the Ganges. You can also explore this city’s rich historical heritage in the Banaras Hindu University library, containing more than a million books. The Bharat Kala Bhavan museum holds priceless remains of old eras.
The Golden City of Jaisalmer
Being made of the glaring golden sands of the Thar desert, the city of Jaisalmer shines like a precious jewel designed with the jade green of trees and azure of the river. Different structures in their usage made a variety of buildings make this city one of India’s best tourist destinations; For example, Jaisalmer fort, Maharaja palace, some temples, and mansions of the natives. As the Jaisalmer fort rises above the town, passing the massive gate, it ends in the lower part with the jewelry Maharaja palace decorated with Italian and Chinese tiles and painted ceilings. If you want to deepen into this city’s rich history, consider visiting the 1,000-year-old library to perceive invaluable manuscripts and antiquities.
Hawa Mahal shining like an illustrious crown gets its name because of its many windows, making it like a honeycomb. It is amazing how a building this tall stands firm without any foundation. As opposed to this Indian-style palace, there is an unknown European-style palace with Saracenic architecture in Vadodara called Lakshmi Vilas Palace. The Gaekwad family was so ambitious that they built this palace four times the size of Buckingham Palace, making it the most significant private residence at that time. If you are interested in castles, we recommend visiting Mysore Palace in Karnataka, Jahangir Palace, Rang Mahal (palace of colors), Gujari Palace, Karan Palace, Rose Palace, and Glass Palace within the complex of Mehrangarh Fort, the palace of Kumbhalgarh Fort, etc.
In contrast with the pure and peaceful white Taj Mahal, the flaming red-walled palatial Agra Fort in Uttar Pradesh can amuse you in a completely different way. Being built entirely of red sandstone, Agra Fort is an astonishing gate to discover an immemorial city full of mysterious gateways, courts, passages, palaces, and mosques. Similar to Agra Fort, you can visit Red Fort in Delhi, also known as Qila-e-Mubarak.
Initially built with white limestone, the British later painted it as the limestone began chipping off. There are many other forts in India you may also find interesting. For example, the colorful Gwalior Fort in Madhya Pradesh, the elaborate Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, yellow and pink Amer Fort in Jaipur, the wildlife sanctuary of Kumbhalgarh Fort in Rajasthan, the majestic Golkonda Fort in Hyderabad, the prosperous Chittorgarh Fort in Rajasthan, the manifold Orchha Fort in Madhya Pradesh, etc.
Rann of Kutch
Being a salt marsh in the Thar Desert, Rann Of Kutch is where different shades of pale blue make a dreamlike perspective when the moon is shining in the navy blue sky. It may interest you that this desert is underwater for about four months during India’s Monsoon season. You can plan to visit this desert as it starts to dry up in October, making it a surreal desolate desert. If you prefer to visit this place in a quiet atmosphere, you may find your visit peaceful at the end of the tourist season in March.
The Red Fort
The Red Fort is also one of those tourist destinations in India built by Shah Jahan. It is one of the places you should not miss if you are interested in the Mughal era. This fort containing great gateways once was used for ceremonial purposes. Don’t miss buying Indian souvenirs and mouth-watering foods from a covered bazaar called Chatta Chowk, a 17th-century covered bazaar. If you want to make the most of the time of your visit, we recommend you enjoy the companionship of a local guide.
Meenakshi Amman Temple
From the old days, India was known to be the region of colors. Meenakshi Amman Temple can truly fulfill this imagination of India with its spectacular facade designed with 33,000 sculptures and its gateways coming to life with colorful shapes. As this temple is devoted to Parvati and Shiva, it is one of Tamilian Hindus’ most respected ones. As claimed by Hindu sacred text, Indra built a sanctum for the lingam, carrying to make amends for his evil deed. It is the place where the temple currently stands.
India is also famous for its marvelous temples. The sensual Khajuraho Temple, located in Madhya Pradesh, is one of India’s most famous temples. This temple is designed with sculptures and other creative arts depicting love, eroticism, grace, and beauty. Konark Temple in Odisha is another renowned temple mostly known for being a magical stone set. In contrast, Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya is mainly known because of an important happening there. It has been said that the Buddha attained enlightenment while meditating there. But not all temples represent peace. The Golden Temple in Punjab fills you with an experience of glory, while the colorful Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai can blow your mind with its unique façade. Muslims also built some holy sanctums like Qutub Minar in Delhi, Charminar and Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad, and Gol Gumbaz in Karnataka. You should not dismiss many other fabulous temples; for example, Sanchi Stupa in Madhya Pradesh, Chola and Mahabalipuram Temples in Tamil Nadu, Halebidu in Karnataka, temples in Orchha Fort, etc.
Fatehpur Sikri town
India has many mysterious historical sites for wandering. We can name some of them, for instance, and leave the others for you to discover. The royal city of Fatehpur Sikri in Uttar Pradesh, once being the capital of the Mughal era, has many places to explore. Climbing Rani ki Vav in Gujarat can give you the experience of an ant climbing down an anthill. As Jallianwala Bagh in Punjab was where a massacre took place, visiting the site can provoke your dignity towards the independence revolution. Roaming in Ajanta and Ellora Caves in Aurangabad, Elephanta Caves in Maharashtra, and Bhimbetka Rock Shelters in Madhya Pradesh can represent a prehistorical experience. Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is a unique place for exploring the sky and earth. But these are not everything that India can offer you. Many places just hide in the shadows of being obscure for you to discover and explore them.
Being one of the largest and oldest mosques all around the globe, it is no surprise that it took so long to build it. This amusing mosque’s 15 big arches and piles were each shaped from black granite brought by enormous cattle trains, supposedly amounting to up to 1,400 bulls. The most important stones imported to build this structure were the bricks above the central gate imported here from Mecca. It has different places to explore; for example, gateways, a big plaza, a large artificial pond, and a place where lodges some strands of Prophet Mohammed’s hair are. The walls and roofs are amazingly designed with floral motifs and friezes, as well as some verses of the Quran.
The Gateway of India
You must visit this symbolic gateway standing tall, affording a view of the Arabian Sea. This marvelous structure was built to pay homage to King George V and Queen Mary’s arrival in 1911. This captivating piece of architecture was opened later with much spectacle and ceremony in 1924 and was the city’s tallest structure for a while. Built completely of yellow basalt and solid and noteworthy for its Indo-Saracenic style, this Gateway of India was also used for British soldiers’ triumphant parades after the 1948 independence revolution.
Thajiwas Glacier, the White Mounts
Thajiwas Glacier in Jammu and Kashmir, with its snowy tall mountains and hill ending to needle-leaved forests, may challenge India’s typical imagination. You can enjoy skiing and snowboarding at the meadow of gold, Sonamarg. Manali in Himachal Pradesh, with its high mountains, deep white snow, and dark green pine trees, is a heaven for snow lovers. You can do adventurous activities like paragliding, ice skating, rappelling, and rock climbing. Trying winter sports in Auli, Uttarakhand is highly recommended for visitors. But suppose you prefer a rural environment and snowy alleys. In that case, the picturesque Dalhousie town or the Queen of Hill Stations and Shimla town in Himachal Pradesh are just the towns you are looking for to have a warm family trip. Places like Chopta and Binsar in Uttarakhand offer you spectacular and breathtakingly beautiful perspectives of snowy peaks and mountains. Not far away from these, Mukteshwar can provide you with dense forests and green meadows.
Settled in the vigorous Himalayas, Manali has a bounty of eye-catching valleys surrounded by oak, fir, deodar, and pine forests. It is a perfect combination of nature, food, adventurous activities, and ancient legacy. Splashing rivers flow amidst the valleys ending at mind-blowing waterfalls. You can also catch spectacular sights of meadows, farms, and fruit gardens. Manali is also rich in history, with amazing architectural structures. The location provides a wide range of venturesome activities like paragliding, camping, trekking, and river rafting, as well as winter sports like skiing and snowboarding to feed the adventurous with adrenaline. It also has cozy places that are pretty suitable for hippie experiences.
Periyar National Park
Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary centered around an artificial lake are some of India’s famous natural attractions. Starting to work in 1934, this vast park is home to innumerable species of animals. The best way to relish the park’s sumptuous mountain perspectives is to take a lake cruise or a jungle walk with a professional guide. The latter gives visitors a chance to face elephant herds to observe their wildlife. We highly recommend you stop at one of the many spices, tea, or coffee plantations around for a tour and shopping.