With a wide variety of adventurous landscapes, cultures, foods, dressing styles, historical treasures and artifacts that go back centuries, India has something for everyone. Be it the sun-burned and coconut-fringed lands in South India, the forested parts of West India, the smooth lush plain lands of East India, or the colorful escapes into the lands of princes in south-west India, each part has its own wonders.
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Top North India cultural destinations
The major part of North India is watered by the Ganga, and many religious cities have grown up along the banks. For those interested in exploring the cultural heritage and earthy charm of India, Varanasi and Haridwar are perpetually enchanting. The ancient ghats of Varanasi, stepped on by millions over times, the ‘Har-ke-Pauri’ ghat lit up with countless ‘diyas’ in the evening, the soulful music and community of Vrindavan all have tremendous appeal.
Famous architectural expressions, carved in a variety of stones, are a part of India’s heritage. In the north, the white marble Taj Mahal in Agra is one of the World’s Seven Wonders, and Delhi has the Qutb Minar, a towering centuries-old minaret with intricate detailing. Down South, temples like Tirupati Temple, Meenakhshi Temple, Lingaraja Temple all have a huge appeal. Konark, in south-east India has one of the world’s oldest sun temples. In Eastern India, Vishnupur is known for its fascinating terracotta temples with carvings.
Himalayan adventures in the north
The Himalayas frame the topmost part of North India, offering great opportunities for trekking, mountain biking, hiking and other adventure sports. Rishikesh, Shimla, Mussorie and Nainital are a few top hill stations in India. Rishikesh is also a great place for white water rafting enthusiasts. Further up, Ladakh and Leh with their stark landscapes and monasteries, have their own appeal. Jammu and Kashmir with its ice-bound slopes in winter, is a huge hub for skiing enthusiasts.
South Indian magic of spices and hills
The South Indian hill stations have a lush charm fragrant with the smell of coffee and spices. A few top South Indian destinations are Ootcamund or Ooty, Kodaikanal and the green Araku Valley. In the summer months, waterfalls add to the sparkle of many South Indian hill destinations.
Exploring the desert
The desert land, comprising the Thar Desert, has many attractions worth exploring. The intricately carved hanging verandahs, friezes, paintings on walls, stone-set floors all add up to make the magic of Rajasthan, the land of the kings. Couple this with cultural performances like local dances and music, and you know why, despite the fiery heat, this is one of India’s top toured places.
Excursions into the wild
India has many wildlife sanctuaries and national parks that house some of the world’s rare species of flora and fauna. Bandhabgarh and Kanha in Madhya Pradesh , Ranthambore in Rajasthan, Singalila in North Bengal, Jim Corbett National Park in Uttaranchal, Kaziranga in Assam are a few of the best travel destinations in India to see various animals and birds. The Sunderbans with its mangroves is famous as tiger country, and has received the international spotlight for its delicate and unique biodiversity.
Beaches of India
With nearly half its length jutting out into the Indian Ocean, India is a peninsula. The beaches of India have a lot of variety, from the sand-bound beach of Puri to the smooth white sands of Goa to the laidback pristine beaches of Kerala. Kovalam is a famous beach destination of Kerala with backwaters giving it a lush and distinctive beauty. Anjuna Beach is one of the best beach in North Goa is where you can also see various ancient churches. These are easily places you can visit and enjoy on a summer vacation.
Here are some tips to enjoy your Indian holidays:
- If you are opting for a travel package, there are options based on what you want to explore, example, adventure sports, cultural sights etc. or simply location-specific excursions.
- An informative travel destinations in India guide can help greatly to give you a bit of the back-story of any place you are going to.
- Research the place where you are going, to know more about tourist spots around the key attraction. This way, you can pack in more sight-seeing on one trip.
- Stay hydrated – Indian weather and climate can be quite enervating – and keep updated on local weather conditions.