Although all nations and cultures have their own intriguing attributes, there’s nowhere on earth quite like India.
Places to Visit in India – Travelers Guide
With a long and complex history, an exceedingly spiritual culture which exists till date, and countless unique experiences to be had, it’s no wonder why this country is a top priority on countless travelers’ bucket list. If you’re still waiting to cross it off yours, then here are the top 14 Places to Visit in India:
When most people hear “India”, the very next word that comes to mind is “hot”. Yes, it’s true that the summers and springs in India are absolutely sweltering. However, when you get to more mountainous regions, it can get pretty nippy! The Chadar trek route, for example, takes you walking over a frozen river surrounded by a dreamlike, snowy landscape. This breath-taking trek leads you from the villages nestled in the Zanskar valley and goes deep into the surrounding mountains. Though traveling this route is a truly unforgettable experience, it can be a real challenge for people who aren’t used to such demanding walks. Make sure you and your whole party are physically fit before embarking.
This city is truly unique and is home to a palpable and fascinating mix of adventure and spirituality. Known as the yoga capital of the world, enthusiasts come from all over to take part in mass group classes and learn about the roots of this ancient practice. The Ganges runs right through the city, making it a favorite destination of Hindu pilgrims and water sports enthusiasts alike. It’s also the site of the “Beatles Ashram”, where the Beatles visited the world-famous yogi Maharishi for a retreat of meditation and spiritual growth. Nestled at the foot of the Himalayas, you’ll also find loads of great trekking routes and areas of stunning natural beauty. Whether it’s rafting, bungee jumping or spirituality that attracts you, visiting Rishikesh is an experience you won’t forget in a long time!
For some people, travel is all about escape. If you’re planning a trip because you’re sick of all the noise and chaos of your town or city, then Ladakh is the perfect place to get away for a while and really get in touch with nature. Ladakh, meaning the “Land of High Passes” is a large stretch of infertile, yet absolutely stunning land which straddles the regions of Kashmir and Jammu. The towering dunes and mountains surrounding deep, echoing valleys are like something from a sci-fi film, and something you can experience in very few places on earth. The sheer size and emptiness of it all make this a popular meditation spot for Dharmic aesthetics, and after a few minutes there you’ll be able to tell exactly why!
If you or one of your traveling party is a real history buff, then Pushkar is certainly a place you don’t want to miss. One of the oldest cities in India, you only have to pick a direction and walk to find all kinds of relics of times gone by. This single destination has over 400 religious sanctuaries, including the Brahma Temple, one of the most prominent and widely visited Hindu religious sites in the world. Whether you’re going there to find out more about the fascinating culture, spirituality, and history of the land, or you just want somewhere to relax and recuperate from it all, Pushkar is the place to go. If you’re fine with looking around historical and cultural sights, but you’d like a little more excitement in your trip, try to visit Pushkar in mid-November to catch the annual camel fair.
Another great destination for the history buffs, especially those who are more into recent, political history rather than the ancient culture of India. If you could only go to one place to get a sense of India’s national identity, then Delhi is certainly the one to choose. A sprawling metropolitan area in India’s capital territory, you won’t be able to help getting sucked in by all the sights, sounds and all kinds of fascinating things about the Indian way of life. Take a trip into the Old Delhi region, and you’ll get to marvel at the famous Red Fort, a potent national symbol which dates back to the Mughal era. The equally ancient Jama Masjid Mosque is also something you wouldn’t want to miss. Hit some tourism centers in Delhi, and you’ll find it easy to hop on some intriguing tours about the movement for Indian independence in the early 20th century, on which you’ll get a fascinating look into the lives of some of its most prominent leaders, including Mohandas Gandhi.
6. Spiti Valley
Spiti Valley, known colloquially as “Little Tibet”, is massive, breath-taking valley situated on the border between India and Tibet. The word “Spiti” itself means “Middle Land” in Sanskrit. As soon as you arrive, you’ll feel dwarfed and awe-struck by the towering, snowy peaks around you, and the captivating vistas stretching far into the distance. Once you’re done taking pictures, (and believe me that will take quite a while!) visit the ancient and beautiful Buddhist monasteries of Lalung and Dhankar. Some of the monasteries and shrines scattered throughout Spiti Valley are over 1000 years old, and thus draw pilgrims and history enthusiasts from every corner of the globe. Certain areas can also be a great place for seeing the exotic wildlife that thrives in Northern India.
If “traveling” to you means cities, then Mumbai is the place for you. This is probably the most exotic and vibrant settlement in the whole nation, making it one of the most popular destinations for travelers all year around. Full of historical intrigue, an eclectic mesh of different Asian cultures, countless exotic cuisines, and various other curiosities, you could spend your whole trip in this one city and still get a potent, genuine taste of India as a whole. Whether you’re experiencing the restless buzz of the nightlife, taking an engrossing walking tour or simply enjoying a drink and watching the city go by, a few days in Mumbai is something no one will easily forget!
Yes, the nightlife in Mumbai is certainly an experience to be had. However, if you’re in your party-animal mode 24/7, some of the clubs and bars may feel a little tame. If this sounds like you, then Goa is a brilliant alternative. This is the party capital of India, covered in beautiful sandy beaches, and full of unique clubs and bars, and parties that go on well into the morning. You’re certainly going to have a hard time being bored in this electric place! If you ever get worn out by the constant partying, there are various, more touristy places around that will give you a welcome break. Delicious restaurants, fascinating colonial architecture, and traditional yoga classes are dotted up and down the beachheads, so be sure to check this out as well.
If you’re a passionate photographer, or you just want to take a trip that will leave you with some potent and wonderful memories for years to come, then Kolad is a destination you really don’t want to overlook. This is a small, picturesque village nestled on the banks of the Kundalika River, which has been a popular spot for photographers and idle tourists alike for decades. Despite its fame as a travel destination, you’ll find the unique, rural beauty to be relatively unspoiled by the tourist trade. There’ll be genuine local guides who will show you another side of India; the everyday challenges and processes of rural life, and how tradition has gradually blended with the modernity of the rest of the country. There are also various places where you can rent out rafts for a mellow, yet exceptionally stunning, journey down the river.
If you’re a seasoned traveler, you’ll know that true adventure can be a little hard to come by, even in the most exotic locations. Everything’s been explored and mapped out, and if you’re hoping to see some ancient ruins or serious natural beauty, you can almost be certain that you’re going to have a tour guide telling you where you can go and where you can’t. If this is something you want to avoid on your trip to India, then Rajmachi should really make your list. 2710 ft above the ground, this trek is an adventure seeker’s paradise. Walking up the paths that take you through the clouds and soaking in the natural beauty is incredible enough, but if you want something more you can stop to explore the twinned forts of Shrivardhan and Manaranjan. The view from the top, provided you’re not too scared of heights, might just be the most memorable experience of your whole trip.
If you love taking in the natural beauty of a country, but you also like to sleep and relax in at least some conventional comfort, then Lavasa may be the perfect middle ground for you. Nestled at the base of a few mountain ranges in the west of India, Lavasa is a city that feels more a part of nature, rather than a blemish on it! Lavasa is a quiet and picturesque settlement, with more of an emphasis on the arts and history than partying and nightlife. After spending a morning taking in some of the lovely sights and experiences Lavasa has to offer, a short journey can take you right into the heart of the surrounding hills. Just make sure you’re somewhere near the Mutha river as the sun sinks behind the surrounding mountains. It’s something no one should miss!
12. Mount Abu
This is another beautiful rural area where you can get away from the chaos of a city. One of the lower points of the rocky Aravalli mountain range, various natural factors give Mount Abu a very cool climate. The foothills are covered in green forest and traced with many scenic walking routes if you want to take things slow for a day or two. Nearby is the picturesque Nakki lake, where tourists can try their hand at a range of water sports and other activities. If you haven’t had your fill of Indian culture and spirituality, then head down to the Dilwara temples. This is a large complex of 5 Jain temples, built mostly of marble, and a truly stunning example of ancient Indian architecture.
When visiting the east of India, Sunderbans is the one sure place that every tourist should visit. One of India’s most famous national parks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sunderbans encompasses a large stretch of land straddling Bangladesh and India. It’s made up of 52 islands, and you’re sure to see many fishermen and locals gliding from place to place on long, traditionally constructed boats. While I’m all for winging your travels and finding out about different countries from your own experience, I’d at least talk to one local guide a before you wander out into the bush of Sunderbans. The park is home to a wide range of animals, including tigers, rock pythons, and water monitors. You’re also likely to see many species of monkey. These aren’t particularly dangerous, but are used to humans and can be pretty annoying once they start stealing your things!
If there’s one place on planet earth where someone can come to experience real tranquillity, then it’s Hampi. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, this is a large rural area near the Tungabhadra river, dotted with ancient, crumbling, but sublimely beautiful temples. Provided you manage to dodge the large tourist excursions, you’ll have a profoundly peaceful experience wandering around the intricate stone structures which have stood in Hampi for thousands of years. Though there are efforts to keep these ruins preserved, you’ll still get a potent, genuine experience of the incredible history of the place. You may just fall in love with this mystical spot, and if you do there are many local house share schemes in operation too.
India is a fascinating country wherever you go, but hitting any one of these 14 places will guarantee a trip that you’ll never forget! Make sure you check out our Oyo Room coupons if you are a planning a trip to India.