Traveling is the best way to experience life, gain exposure to the diversity of life and learn more about new cultures and lifestyles.
“I’m in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met.” – John Green.
I will have to confess I do not travel as much as I would like to (not talking about commute with in the city), but I only wish I could one day. I have a very long list of places I would like to go but most of all I would like to take one long trip to central Asia.
I would prefer central Asia over any other part of the world because it is very rich in scenery and culture.
Right now I am recommending India because it is relatively cheaper destination with much to offer. You can simply pack your bags and leave for a year worth of vacation.
India is the seventh largest country by area and second most populous country. It is culturally very diverse land, with multiple religions each adding with its history to the rich geography. It has planes, snow-covered mountains, and deserts. It has Hindus Sikh, Muslims, Buddhists and Christians. Such diversity dates back to the Kushana Empire which was one of the oldest known civilizations in central Asia, known to home rulers and invaders from around the globe.
Honestly, I was fall in love with the country and wanted to travel India after reading the book ‘Imperial India: A Pictorial History’ by A. S. Bhalla. The book is detailed with the social and cultural history of Indian Sub-continent and has illustrations of all these beautiful historical architects like palaces, forts, churches, mosques, and temples all from the author’s collection of old postcards. Seriously when was the last time you saw a postcard? The book was really cool and so is India!
Not to mention India ranks 40th out of 136 countries for tourism and had entertained 10 million tourists in 2017 alone. That does day something about tourist attraction in this country. Not to mention the beautiful ladies and handsome actors from India joining Hollywood lately. And most Bollywood movies are not too bad to say. There has to be something about India that calls to the spirit. Let’s explore what it is?
The famous Mumbai is capital of this state, with tourist attractions like the rustic, beach-lined Konkan Coast, cave temples at Elephanta Island and British Raj-era Gateway of India monument to brag about.
This city rich in cultural and historical background is famous for temples, museums and Agha Khan Palace built in 1892, which is a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. If you have a knack for history or site seeing this might the place for you to begin with. Sinhagad Fort, Shaniwar Wada, Parvati Hill and a lot more is waiting for you there. There are also some awesome camping sites near by.
This should be on your list if you are into historical places.
The best time to visit this tourism hub surrounded by many historical monuments is from October to February when weather is not too hot. The main tourist attraction is Tomb of Aurangzeb, the last Mughal ruler. When you visit this place do not miss out on Ajanta Cave, Ellora Cave and bibi ka makbra and panchakki. Bibi ka makbara is exclusively built on Taj Mahal site. There are some temples and sanctuaries you should also visit. The beautiful rock cut architect will transport you back in times and myths and history attach to these areas is indeed mesmerizing. Also do not miss visiting Siddharth Garden and Zoo. The city is facilitated with airport and a major railway stations. Also while you are there do not miss out on the Naan Qaliya a dish of bread and stew made out of mutton and spices.
Assam is famous for its rich religious history, silk bazars, tea fields and wildlife attractions. This is to be visited in the cooler months from October to April.
Kamakhya Temple -Guwahati
This city is home to many temples related to Shiva and Vishnu Hindu deities from the 18th century. Durga Pooja is also hosted here and is a special festival of the area where pilgrims gather for religious rituals.
Umanda Temple- Umanda Island
Also called as Peacock Island, this is the smallest island in vicinity and is home to the endangered Golden Langur a rare species of monkey now only found in Bhutan and Assam.
Manas National Park
This should be on your list if you are into wildlife.
Assam is culturally very diverse with Hajo, an ancient pilgrimage centre for Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists. While there are temples and historical sites anywhere and everywhere you travel in India, Assam is on my list for its wild life park and river. Majuli is a site to behold for real and the Manas National park, Kaziranga National Park and other bird sanctuaries have the most captivating wildlife beauty including one of the last remaining habitat of the Great Indian One-horned Rhinoceros. You can travel to this beautiful area through flights connecting to major cities of India, railway station and the private bus services.
There are archeological evidences that human’s existed in the pre-historic times. It is also believed to be the birth land of Shivism.
Ganges or ganga river
Considered one of the most sacred river in Hinduism, and is referred as personification of a Goddess and thus is worshiped. It is also a source washing way the sins of believers thus many Hindu Pilgrims come to bathe in this river for religious reasons. Different banks of this river also holds some historical importance with many historical tourism attraction places.
It is Uttarakhand’s religious Hindu city, auspiciously located at the slope where the Ganges arises from the Himalaya, and pilgrims assemble here to bathe in the holy Ganges. The place is jam packed during annual yatra (pilgrimage) season from May to October So plan your visits accordingly. The famous tourist attractions around Haridwar are Har Ki Pauri, Chandi Devi Temple, Bharat Mata Temple, Bara Bazaar and much more.
Jim Corbett National Park
Corbett is an excellent spot to spend some time in the vicinity of nature and wild life. It is also home to some captivating marvels of age-old architecture at historical monuments, museums, and buildings, popular picnic places. This place is a promise for an offbeat vacation experience for you and your family.
It is home to two sacred rivers Ganga and Yamuna and is also hold the pride of homing the famous Taj Mahal of Agrah, the symbol of love.
Ghats in Varanasi
Located on the banks of River Ganga, Varanasi, the city is deemed sacred in Hinduism It is believed to be the oldest civilization is among the most India. This is a perfect spot for work on spiritual awakening and start your spiritual journey. Every year many Hindu come here to for performing the last rites of their deceased family members. From the end of September till March several festivals and events that take place in Varanasi, which could be a great opportunity to experience the culture.
This city is proud home of famous historical spots like Agra Fort, Taj Mahal, and Manikarnika Ghat. The beautiful historical architects are worth watching. Plan your visit for a week at least for this major city and do not forget visit the famous Bazar of Agra and try out the tasty street food.
With New Delhi being the capital of India this is a major tourist attraction for all. Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Lotus Temple, Humayun’s Tomb, Akshardham, Purana Qila, Lal Mandir, Laxminarayan Temple, Sher Mandal and Qila-i-Kuhna Mosque and many more are some very amazing places for those interested in historical architects and arts of previous eras. Also the local cosines include, Buryani, Kachori, Dhai bhaly and gol gappy.
Although Punjab is not a place for sightseeing, it is majorly about colourful culture, religious diversity, and historical architects to visit.
This district enjoys four seasons with December to march being the best time to visit and for tourism. Golden Temple and Heritage street is a must place to go with The Akal Takht (throne of the timeless one). Partition Museum and Jallianwala Bagh are also a great place to start learning about the rich history of this sub-continent. Wagah border is also an important tourist attraction which is at the shared border with Pakistan, crowd at the both sides of boarder cheer for their army and site is representative of historical dispute of the country.
The rich colourful traditional dresses of area include Patiala Shahi turban (a type of headgear), paranda (a tasselled tag for braiding hair), patiala salwar (a type of female trousers), jutti (a type of footwear). The region also stands out for its measure of liquor called Patiala peg. Shri Kali Devi Mandir, Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib, Gurdwara Moti Bagh Sahib, Bahadurgarh Fort, and Qila Mubarak complex are worth visitng beautiful heritage architects. Sheesh Mehal Museum, Lakshman Jhula and Baradari Gardens are not to be missed tourist attractions.
Sailing at Sukhna Lake is a mystical experience to gain. Garden of Silence, The Rock Garden, Zakir Hussain Rose Garden, Garden of Palms, and Japanese Garden are worth visiting for families and couples to have some fun time. In February , every year ‘Rose Festival’ is held in Zakir Hussain Rose Garden.
Bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west, it is a south Indian state with wet tropical climate and landscape is covered with coconut trees so much so that it is nicknamed as Land of Coconuts. It is also popular for its spices, rice fields, waterfalls and beach. This state is home to a wide variety of wildlife but pythons and Elephants are major attraction. Different festivals and performance art dances attached to them are also culturally significant.
Sultan bin Muhamad Alqasimi is the current ruler of Sharjah, who frequent Kerela for vacation and enjoys the scenery. Seriously do you need any more convincing about the beauty this place is?
It is also known as Papanasham Beach and is significant s locals believe diving in the water can wash away your sins. For tourist attraction by the beach there are gliding and air balloon entertainment companies.
Another beautiful beach town by the Arabian Sea with an endless sight of coconut trees. The go to places for foreign tourists are Karamana River, Vellayani Lake, Halcyon Castle, Kovalam Art Gallery, Valiyathura Pier, Neyyar Dam, Aruvikkara Dam, Thiruvallam Parasurama Temple, and Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave Temple.
Athirappilly Falls and Vazhachal Falls,
One of the best attraction to travel India. There are number of beautiful waterfalls in the vascinity. However, Athirappilly Falls is the largest waterfall and is nicknamed “The Niagara of India”. There is a rich wild life in the area including, tigers, leopards, and elephants. Daily jungle safari trips are organized which could be enjoye with advance booking.
This tourist attraction spot offers mesmerizing view of valleys and hill tops bathing in clouds. It has to offer everything that represents karlla from water falls to hill stations and wildlife. Not that popular spot, but you must not miss on this secluded beauty if you ever travel India.
This popular honeymoon destination for locals is a town and hill station which is nicknamed as Kashmir of South India. Cowboy Park, Kundala Dam, Lockhart Tea Museum, Lockhart Tea Park, and Anamudi Peak are must visit.
The famous beach vacation destination is equally popular in local and foreign tourists for white sand beaches, nightlife, diverse flor and fauna, places of worship and World Heritage-listed architecture. You simply cannot skip on Goa.
Hamaliya is basically a mountain range in Asia spread across India, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Pakistan. It is home to hundreds of lakes, beautiful glaciers and valleys.Himalayan peaks are sacred in Hinduism and Buddhism with sacred rivers Ganga and Yamuna falling in its regions and running into next Indian State Himachal Pradesh. Stok Kangri is the highest mountain in Himalaya and is a great attraction for hikers.
South Annapurna Glacier
This glacier is snow bound throughout the year and is a great attraction for adventure loving mountaineers and hikers. The enormity of gigantic snow covered mountains spread to limits of sight is overwhelming. The nature is raw, and unforgiving climate makes it an attractive for adventurous thrill seekers.
Gurudongmar Lake in Sikkim
This lake considered sacred by Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists is one of the highest lakes in India and the world. The sight is breathtaking and climate is chilling. It is a great place to visit in summers. From around the globe believers come here and travel India.
The Great Hamaliyan National Park
In high altitude setting this park has a lot to offer in terms of diverse plants, animals and beautiful scenery. It’s a great tourist attraction to add in your list. I promise you will love it when you travel India, specially the hill stations.
The name of valley literally translated into ‘Meadow of Flowers’. Strawberry fields, wildlife, lake and snow covered mountain tops. This place is the literally heaven on earth. It’s a must go spot for all and any photographers around the globe. It is a prefect skiing spot in Indian state of Jammu Kashmir. The place is also blessed with Shiv Temple and Roman Catholic St. Mary’s Church.
A beautiful Indian state rich in culture and natural beauty, situated in Western Hamliya. It is rich in Hill stations, valleys and river. A place worth visiting for all travellers and you can easily spend a month or so only traveling with in Himachal Pardesh visiting all the sites including very famous Manali, Shimla, Dalhousie, Dharamshala, Chamba, Kullu, Khajjiar, and Kasauli. There is also option for river rafting in Manali-kullu area. These are some popular tourist attraction for both domestic and foreigner tourists. It can be accessed via Kullu-Manali airport, and National Highway.
A must when you travel India
It is the capital of Himachal Pardesh and historically was nominated as summer capital of British India, due to favourable climatic conditions. This hill station is a famous destination for local and foreign tourists. Jakhoo Temple is an ancient Hindu Temple in Shimla Dedicated to one of Hindu God named Hanuman. Kufri is also a tiny hill station which is yet under-explored for the beauty it has to offer. There are some very beautiful architected structures and building from the era of British India.
It is a promise for snow filled fun in winters and soothing vacation destination for locals. It also serves as a junction point for other tourism points in vicinity like Lahaul and Spiti district as well as Leh. With its snow-capped mountains, cascading waterfalls and the serene valleys this is a go to place for some memorable trip for a group of friends or a family. It is a go to place for locals when they want to travel India. It could also be great place for authors hunting for inspiration. Also do not miss out on paying a visit to Vashisht Temple. Lachulung La is a mountain pass with mystic beauty loved by hikers. Marhiis a seasonal settlement functioning as shantytown of roadside restaurants in summer when many travel India. Sarchu is a beautiful tented accommodation, often used as a starting trek point.
A hill station set as summer retreat by government of British India for its troops and officials. The best time to visit is in summers, from May to September.
Surrounded by dense coniferous forest, and apple orchards at the bank of Beas River, this is a perfect retreat rich in beauty of nature. This majestic hills are yet not fully explored by tourists and has a lot more to offer.
This is home to Chail Palace, and Chail Sanctuary, Stoned Kumbh Shiv Temple and many other temples in a beautiful scenery for spiritual and soothing experience. Kali Tibba, a temple is a temple dedicated to Goddess of War in Hinduism called as Mother Kali. Best tourist attraction for those who frequently travel India.
Dharamshala also has beautiful tea gardens which contributes to production of all types of tea. St. John’s Church and The tomb of James Bruce are important benchmarks from the British Rule era. Before British took over, the area was ruled by a royal family for two millenniums which still resides in a villa there named as ‘Clouds End Villa’. Shiva temple of Bhagsunag, Chinmaya Tapovan Ashram, Namgyal Monastery, Kalachakra Temple and library in Dharamsala are seriously worth your time.
Lahaul and Spiti Valley
Often referred to as Mini-Tibet, Spiti Valley is a desert mountain valley based in the north-eastern part of Himachal Pradesh. Visit the famous Kardang Monastery, the largest and most important monastery in Lahaul, of the Drukpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, Kaza. This valley holds the promise for mesmerising you with the gigantic snow clad mountains and the picture perfect panoramas, antiquated monasteries like Dhankar and Lalung. This valley is must-go for photographers and artists with a love for scenery. The Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary, has the sparse vegetation with medicinal properties. Tabo Monastery is acclaimed historic treasure of India and also worth a visit. Jispa is a village that has a helipad, a post office, and a monastery where you can stay for a night.
In north of Manali this beautiful hill station, located along the Manali-Leh Highway, with Kardang, Shasur, and Tayul monasteries in proximity. It is recommended you visit this spot in July, when the annual Lahaul Festival is held annually with a big, busy market and a number of cultural activities.
Jammu and Kashmir
This beautiful piece of land on Hamaliyan land is said to be heaven on earth. It is a rich source of most expensive spice in the world known as saffron.
The area is clearly influenced by Chinese culture which is evident from Cho Khang Gompa, Thiksey Monastery and Chamba Temple. The Victory Tower and Zorawar Fort are great tourist attractions. Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist white-domed stupa (chorten) on a hilltop in Chanspa, Leh district. The Leh mosque and palace build in 16th centuary is worth a visit due to enchanting architect of the era. There also some impressive monasteries from undated times which are worth making a stop.
Ladakh to Debring
Stunningly rugged, dry mountains cloak this enchanting, Buddhist ex-kingdom. Himaliyan road trip from Leh Ladakh to Debring is an exciting road trip for bikers and site seeing enthusiastic. It is a hilly road perfect for hiking, climbing the tracks and it is surrounded by the most beautiful sites of natural beauty. Durbuk is a nice village to stay at with cheap rentals available. The views of nature in its most raw form are picture perfect and speak to the soul of travellers. The place closes from the month of October to May so make sure to plan your visit accordingly. You can take route from Manali or Shimla, to Ladakh and proceed to Debring. Nubra Valley is a beautiful site with its sand dunes and Bactrian camels and Seabuckthorn berries to enjoy. Nakee La is high mountain pass, however, the place is subjected to avalanche in extreme weathers. There is a helipad located in the small village Upshi.
If you are interested in history and cultural development, with stories related to Kings and Queens and Royal battles, this is the destination for you. The name translates to ‘The Land of Kings’ and indeed it is home to many fortes and palaces like Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) and structures like Dilwara Temples. This land boasts of a rich architectural and cultural heritage from Hindu and Muslim Mughal rulers, even Stone Age tools have been digged out from the vicinity.
The pride of this land are three national tiger reserves, Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar, the Ranthambore National Park in Sawai Madhopur, and Mukundra Hill Tiger Reserve in Kota. The main features of this land includes ruins of the Indus Valley Civilisation at Kalibanga; Mount Abu, in the ancient Aravalli mountain range; the Dilwara Temples, a Jain pilgrimage site at Rajasthan’s only hill station. It is also a must visit for wildlife lovers and bird watchers as other tourist attractions include the Keoladeo National Park near Bharatpur, a World Heritage Site known for its bird life. This is a place where you can enjoy dessert wild life and camel rides.
Alwar district takes pride in The Sariska Tiger Reserve it homes. Other outstanding tourist spots include several forts, lakes, heritage havelis and nature reserves. Bhangarh Fort, Hill Fort Kesroli, and Siliserh Lake offer captivating scenic views. Cenotaph of Musi Maharan and Ashoka’s Buddhist stupa are also not to be missed.
The city sings for its rich history. It is now an advance division with an international airport. Jantar Mantar and the Amer Fort are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Jal Mahal, Hawa Mahal and Albert Hall museum are other interesting tourist attraction spots.
Jodhpur Home to beautiful palaces, forts and towers this historic city is geographic centre of Rajasthan. Mehrangarh Fort is one of the largest fort in India with intricate carvings and expansive courtyards. Umaid Bhawan Palace is one of world’s largest private residenes. Kaylana Lake and Garden, Balsamand Lake, Bhim Bhadak Cave Mandaleshwar Mahadev Temple (Mandalnath), Jaswant Thada, and the Ghanta Ghar, or Clock Tower.
To summarise, India has much to offer for those who love to travel and explore and for those who want to experience different cultures or may be pick leaves from history. It can take at least a year if you travel India and cover all these beautiful places. If this blog has inspired you to visit India, please do! Or if you have already been to India please comment about places you have been to and if you would like to go back some day and explore some more sites of India.
If you found this blog helpful, and are planning to travel India here is some more I feel you would like to check out 24 Travel blog for Best Travel Advice and 10 Hacks to Help you Pack for Your Next Vacation