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Places to visit in India

Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by Graham, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. Graham

    Graham New Member

    My wife and I would love to visit India, but have no clue to the places to visit. The only place we know about is the Taj Mahal which we want to see apart from that we don't know anything else about India.

    The reason for my to join this forum is to find out what places to visit in India which are from a tourist point of view who is coming from abroad.

    By knowing what places to visit, I can decide which destination or destinations to choose for my future planned holiday with my wife.
     
  2. Blue Betta

    Blue Betta New Member

    India is a big country, and there is a lot to see!
    I would recommend a visit to the Golden Temple in Amritsar. This is one of the holy spots of Sikhism, and the temple itself is beautiful. I would also suggest a visit to Varanasi to visit the Ganges and the temples along it. And of course you wouldn't want to miss a trip through Mumbai (Bombay), just because of how vibrant the city itself is. If you visit Kerala, the backwaters are lovely, and you may want to take a trip on a riverboat to see them properly. It really depends on what region you want to visit, and when. If you go in the fall, you can be in town for Diwali, and there is Holi in the spring. Other regions have their various festivals and special times of the year. Check out the places you want to visit, and plan your trip around those. I hope this helps a little!
     
  3. djtravels

    djtravels Member

    You have to decide what you want to get out of the experience. If you want to experience royalty, there's a separate list of destinations. If you're a history buff and love architecture, there are different destinations. If you want to go for adventure sports then you want to go to some other destinations. If you're into spiritual or religious stuff, there are different destinations. Also, you can get those experiences if you decide to visit just the north of the country or the south of the country.

    So, decide what you want to get out of the experience.

    In terms of historical architecture and monuments, some key places to visit are Agra, Delhi, Mysore, Kolkata, Jaipur, and Jodhpur. Basically, land in Delhi, and then from their a lot of medieval architecture related destinations are nearby.

    If you're looking for some thrilling experiences, places such as Rishikesh, Manali, Bir-Biling, etc. are well known destinations in the North. In the south, there's Dandelli, Goa, Coorg, etc. These places all offer different adventure sports and experiences. My favorite so far has been Rishikesh because you can camp by the riverside, and get the wholesome outdoorsy experience.

    If you want to experience royal cuisines you can visit the palace in Jaipur, Jodhpur, etc. The palace on wheels, is also one of the most unique experiences. In fact, you should book a place on that train. It will take you through the Rajputana belt and you can feel like a King during the entire journey!

    If you want spiritual experiences, certainly, India being the birthplace or propagator of most world religions, philosophies, and schools of thought has much to offer. We even have something for the atheists- its called Vipasana and its a 3000 year old atheistic system of life. OR You can learn about meditation and Buddhism from the Dalai Lama himself at Mcleodganj. They organize a retreat every month ( I believe it begins the 10th of each month). You can go through Ayurvedic retreats in Kerala where they'll give you all forms of "spa" treatments while you enjoy the landscape. And then there are the religious monuments - temples, churches, monasteries, mosques, synagogues - all of which are some of the oldest in the world.

    Or you could just go to the top 10 destinations, which are just a google search away.

    There's a lot to do in India. All you have to do is decide what you want to get out of the experience.
     
    briannagodess likes this.
  4. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello there, welcome to the forum!

    India is such a diverse country and exploring it can take a long, long time. On one hand, you have the big cities, with the chaos, the crowds and the traffic. But these cities are worth exploring to experience the urban India. On the other end, you have the more remote locations where sometimes, tourist infrastructures are quite sparse. These remote locations are worth visiting just so you can experience the rural life in India.

    Yet on the other side, there are these tourist destinations, those places advertised as the attractions of the country. Here you'll find quite plenty of hotels and travellers as well, both local and international. That's another good experience, being able to see the historical structures and heritage of the country. Of course in every city or state, you cannot pass the opportunity to taste the local cuisine, which is as diverse as the country itself.

    It depends really on what your interests or likes are so you can decide which places to visit in India. This list would guide you in the best destinations in the country but keep in mind that this is nowhere extensive. There are many places to explore in the country and some are even so remote that there is not much information about them on the internet. Let's begin!

    Best Places to Visit in India

    For experiencing the chaotic city life

    1. Delhi (with Agra and Jaipur) - These three cities are usually combined and called the Golden Triangle. Of course, a visit to India won't be complete without traversing through the chaotic streets of Delhi. A highly urbanised city yet still was able to hold on to its rich heritage. Here you can see an assortment of modern buildings along with historical ones. From the ancient monuments like Qutub Minar, Humayun's Tomb and Lal Quila, to the newer monuments like the Lotus Temple, Connaught Place and Promenade Mall, there's lots to explore here. After exploring Delhi, you would then go to Agra. Of course Agra is known for the Taj Mahal, but you can also visit other attractions here like the Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. Last on the itinerary would be Jaipur, which is yet another gem of a city. From its palaces and forts, taking a tour around Jaipur is like having a glimpse of the royal era of the maharajas. Two of the best attractions here are the Amer Fort and the City Palace. By taking the Golden Triangle Tour, you are familiarised with some of the best historical attractions in the country. Amidst that, the modernity of these cities is also apparent and give you a taste of the real India.
    • Must visit places - Qutub Minar, Humayun's Tomb, Lal Quila, Lotus Temple, Connaught Place, Promenade Mall, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Amer Fort, City Palace and many more.
    2. Chennai - A surprising mixture of rich culture, beaches and temples, Chennai is yet another must visit destination in the country. When in Chennai, it's a must to sip a cup of filter kaapi while you take in the chaos of the city. A stroll amidst the Marina Beach might be exhilarating, not peaceful because it is always crowded. Or you can go further south where Elliot's Beach can be found, a little bit secluded and more peaceful. Chennai also has its share of historical monuments like the Vivekananda House and the Fort Saint George. On the outskirts of Chennai, you might be glad to find several sanctuaries such as the Arignar Anna Zoological Park and the Guindy National Park. Yet other popular attractions of the city are the Railway Museum and the Government Museum, in which you can view the rich heritage and culture of the region. Chennai might be a metropolitan city but it still has retained many of its heritage, making it one of must visit destinations in the country.
    • Must visit places - Marina Beach, Elliot's Beach, Vivekananda House, Fort Saint George, Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Guindy National Park, Railway Museum and Government Museum.
    For experiencing the rich culture of the country

    3. Kolkata - Hailed as the Cultural Capital of the Country, Kolkata might overwhelm your senses at first glance. From its centuries old temples, street stalls, British structures and modern buildings, it is a mixture of traditions and modernities. Not to mention the almost always crowded roads, with cars, buses, autos and rickshaws. Everywhere you look, you'd find something showcasing the rich culture of the city. Home to some of the most famous personalities in India like Swami Vivekananda and Subhas Chandra Bose, the city boasts of these cultural icons who have helped shape the country into what it is now. The Victoria Memorial Hall is one of the main attractions here, with its imposing white facade, it's the best example of British architecture one can find in the city. A more recent architectural marvel would be the Howrah Bridge, which looks quite majestic during night time when it is illuminated. There are plenty more to explore in the city and a whole day won't be enough for it. Do visit the Eden Gardens, Maidan and Rabindra Sarovar as well. A city of contrasts, that is Kolkata, yet quite charming in its way.
    • Must visit places - Victoria Memorial Hall, Howrah Bridge, Eden Gardens, Maidan, Rabindra Sarovar and many more.
    4. Mumbai - Bollywood, Dhobi Ghat, Marine Drive, Crowded Trains... These are just some of the images that come to our mind on the mere mention of Mumbai. But the truth is, there is more to Mumbai than just these images. The people here are extremely warm, even those who are quite unfortunate in life. The street food here is delicious and it's not uncommon to find a mixture of middle class men and lower class men enjoying a meal here. Mumbai is also the best place for shopping, with is numerous street markets, with very affordable clothes and shoes. Although the central beaches might be more crowded, venture further to the north and you'll find the more secluded Gorai Beach or further south to reach the Dana Paani Beach. Other attractions here that you must visit are the Kanheri Caves and Sanjay Gandhi National Park. If somehow the city centre becomes too chaotic for you, you can always go to the outskirts of the city and find your much needed getaway. Or a ferry ride away, there's the Essel World, a water theme park best suitable for families, friends and even couples.
    • Must visit places - Bollywood, Dhobi Ghat, Marine Drive, Gorai Beach, Dana Paani Beach, Kanheri Caves, Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Essel World and many more.
    For the love of beaches

    5. Goa - There's plenty of beaches to explore in Goa. From the party areas of Baga and Calangute, to the more serene areas of Palolem and Benaulim, it has something to offer for any type of beach lover. But more than just beaches, Goa has lots of other attractions to be explored as well. There's the different churches like the Basilica of Bom Jesus and the Se Cathedral. These churches are great examples of the beauty of Portuguese architecture. On the other hand, Reis Magos Fort and Fort Aguada have stood the test of time and brings one back to the glorious royal eras. For the adventurers, there are numerous water sports that you can do here, from parasailing, jet skiing, surfing and much more. Tasting the local Goan cuisine is also a must and the good news is that there are numerous beach shacks here that are easy on the pocket.
    • Must visit places - Baga, Calangute, Palolem, Benaulim, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral, Reis Magos Fort, Fort Aguada and many more.
    6. Andaman Islands - Reachable only by ship or airplane, the Andaman is one of the premier destinations in the country. Sure you need to spend quite a bit more to reach the islands and you also need to shell out money for the accommodations here, but they're all worth it. Pristine and untouched beaches, almost comparable to the Maldives, yet right in India, it's no wonder the Andaman Islands are gaining popularity not only locally but also internationally. One of the beaches here, the Radhanagar Beach in Havelock Island, was even named as Asia's Best Beach. For something different, a visit to the Barren Island is a must, the only active volcano in South Asia can be found here. For something historical, a visit to the Viper Island is a must where the ruins of a colonial era prison can be found. In the Little Andaman Island, you can visit the White Surf Waterfall and the Whisper Wave Waterfall.
    • Must visit places - Havelock Island, Barren Island, Viper Island, Little Andaman Island and many more.
    For the rich history of the country

    7. Udaipur - One of the most romantic destinations in the country, Udaipur, is home to many lakes. This adds to the serene beauty and romance of the city. Lake Pichola is one of these lakes and probably the most famous as well. Built around the 13th century, it was further expanded by Maharana Udai Singh. The best activity you can do in the lake is boating and visiting the islands located within it. Other lakes worth visiting here are Jaisamand Lake and Fateh Sagar. Because Udaipur was once the home to the maharajas, it also has plenty of palaces that you can explore. The City Palace Complex of Udaipur is considered as one of the largest in Rajasthan. The complex has about 11 more palaces inside it, built by different rulers so you get to see the individual architectural styles of each. So if you'd like to get this royal era glimpse, particularly of the maharajas of Rajasthan, then Udaipur is a must visit place in the country.
    • Must visit places - Lake Pichola, Jaisamand Lake, Fateh Sagar, City Palace Complex and many more.
    8. Hampi - Listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hampi is one of the lesser known destinations in the country yet it has a rich history behind it. It was once the home of the might Vijayanagar rulers and to this day, you can find the ruins of this majestic empire in the city. The Virupaksha Temple is one of the prime attractions of the city. It was built around the 7th century and still stands strong today. Yet another must visit attraction here is the Vithala Temple Complex, best known for its musical pillars and intricate sculptures. One more architectural marvel here is the Pushkarini or Step Well that used to store water during the royal era in the region. To learn more about the bygone royal era, then a visit to India's Hampi is a must.
    • Must visit places - Virupaksha Temple, Vithala Temple Complex, Pushkarini or Step Well, Krishna Temple and many more.
    For the nature and wildlife lovers

    9. Sundarbans - With its thick mangrove forests and infamous man-eating tigers, Sundarbans is one of the most remote regions in the country. Due to this, it remains largely untouched by commercialisation and has maintained its natural ecosystem. As of latest estimates, there are about 400 royal Bengal tigers residing in the forests of the Sundarbans. However, these tigers are largely elusive and hard to spot. But despite this, Sundarbans is worth a visit because of the varied natural habitats and animals that you can spot here. The best way of exploring the sanctuary? Through a boat ride amidst its mangrove swamps. With the thrill of the possibility of seeing tigers and the rich forestry of Sundarbans, this is a trip of a lifetime that you won't regret.
    • Must visit place - Sundarbans National Park.
    10. Gir - The Gir National Park is the home to the world's largest numbers of Asiatic lions. As of latest estimates, over 500 Asiatic lions reside in the national park. These majestic creatures were on the brink of extinction and it is only now that at least their numbers are rising. Aside from the rich flora of the park, you can also find a variety of other species of animals here like leopards, sambars, chinkaras, wild boars, striped hyenas and jackals. The national park is also home to a wide variety of bird species. Not only for its Asiatic lions, the Gir National Park is worth visiting because it showcases the beautiful landscapes of the forestry and natural habitats of animals in the region.
    • Must visit places - Gir National Park.
    For a pleasant climate

    11. Manali - This is one of the most popular hill stations in the country. Manali is popular for its pleasant climate all-year round and the variety of fun activities that you can do here. It is most often visited during the winter season, to experience snow in Rohtang Pass. Here you can enjoy playing with snow or even engage in snow skiing. Manali also has a number of temples that you can visit like the Hadimba Devi Temple and the Bijli Mahadev Temple. For the thrill seekers, river rafting amidst the Beas River rapids is a must. A little further away from Manali itself are the sanctuaries of Pin Valley National Park and the Great Himalayan National Park, for wildlife exploration. So if you come from a tropical country and would love to enjoy a pleasant climate in India, then why not venture into Manali with your loved one!
    • Must visit places - Rohtang Pass, Hadimba Devi Temple, Bijli Mahadev Temple, Pin Valley National Park and Great Himalayan National Park.
    12. Wayanad - Nestled in a remote location in Kerala is the hill station of Wayanad. With its natural green beauty and amazing landscapes, a visit to Wayanad might just be what you need for a relaxing vacation. There are natural attractions that you can visit here like the Soochippara Waterfalls and the Meenmutty Waterfalls. Both are untouched by modernisation and very serene, perfect for couples. Next, there's the Kuruva Islands, the perfect place for bamboo rafting. Other adventure activities that you can indulge in here are trekking to the Chembra Peak and exploring the Edakkal Caves. Truly beautiful Wayanad, with its pleasant climate all-year round, and numerous attractions, include it in your itinerary when visiting India.
    • Must visit places - Soochippara Waterfalls, Meenmutty Waterfalls, Kuruva Islands, Chembra Peak, Edakkal Caves and many more.
    For something offbeat

    13. Meghalaya - One of the seven states of Northeastern India, Meghalaya is an offbeat destination because it has held on to its culture and traditions for the most part. Although the state has kept up with modern times, it has remained largely rural and pristine. Reaching Meghalaya is quite tricky as it doesn't have its own railway station and it only has one airport which only has domestic flights. Because of this remoteness, Meghalaya remains unexplored. Shillong is its most progressive city but even this has many natural attractions like waterfalls, caves and peaks. How about a visit to one of the wettest places on Earth, Cherrapunjee? While you're there, make sure you cross the Living Root Bridges, one of a few of its kinds in the world. Another must visit city in Meghalaya is Tura, where the Siju Caves can be found. Or maybe the Umlawan Cave in Jowai, the longest cave in the country. Don't forget to chat and hang out with the tribes of the region, the Khasis, the Garos and the Jaintias. A journey to Meghalaya is truly something that you won't forget in your lifetime.
    • Must visit places - Shillong, Cherrapunjee, Tura, Jowai and many more.
    14. Nubra Valley - Once a trading route between India and China, the Nubra Valley is now emerging as an offbeat tourist destination in the country. To reach Nubra Valley, you need to pass through Khardung La, one of the highest passes in the world. It's quite an adventure just reaching Nubra Valley and as they say, the journey is more important than the destination itself. On Nubra Valley itself, there are some attractions that you can visit like the Diskit Gompa or the Hunder Sand Dunes. Perhaps the charm of Nubra Valley is its little villages and it's quite an experience in itself to witness how these villagers live, far from mainland urbanisation and definitely far from the comforts we have learned to depend on.
    • Must visit places - Khardung La, Diskit Gompa, Hunder Sand Dunes and Villages.
    There you go, I hope this guide helps you on what places you can visit in India. There's a lot more and I'm sure other travellers have their fair share of favourite destinations in India. Good luck and enjoy your trip in the country!

    :)
     
  5. vkar

    vkar Member

    India is a huge country with a very diverse landscape and culture. It is very difficult to experience the whole India just being in a single part of the country. I guess, it is best to choose the destinations based on your interests, if you are interested in temples and religious places you can visit many of the temple cities, if you like wildlife India has a number of famous national parks, for adventure sports Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand is best, for backwaters nothing beats Kerala, Goa for beaches and party. I can provide more detailed suggestion if I know what kind of destinations are you looking for.
     

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