Kerala, India’s southwestern state is a place of tropical beauty. Palm trees, white sand beaches, and eco-tourism are major reasons for exploring the area. Besides its famous backwaters, elegant houseboats and temple festivals, Kerala is also home to Thekkady, a tiger preserve that allows you to enjoy wildlife without crowds. Kerala’s center is Kochi, where you can see the flourishing local fishing industry along with new high-rises and colonial architecture. Kochi is culturally and religiously assorted and you can visit a Jewish synagogue, Dutch palace, Portuguese Pallipuram Fort and Hindu Thrikkakara Temple in one afternoon.
Agra is one of the most-visited cities in all of India. Once the principal of the Mughal Empire, Agra is now household to the iconic construction known as the Taj Mahal. The white marble vault was built in the 17th century, and it is widely stared as a symbol of love. While fabulously beautiful, the Taj Majal can be very packed. Also worth seeing in Agra is the Agra Fort, which is very parallel to the Red Fort of Delhi. You can tour this 16th century fort and even explore the interior of its beautiful palace.
Northwest India is where you can find Rajasthan, bordering Pakistan, and close to the Thar Desert. If you’re interested in Rajput history or Aravallis Mountains views, Rajasthan has some of India’s best places to explore. Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and a wonderful place to start your trip. It houses an array of impressive architecture, including three forts, several temples, and the incredible City Palace. Also in Rajasthan and worth visiting is Jodhpur, the so-called Blue City, the gateway to the Thar Desert and home to the spectacular Mehrangarh Fort.
In India’s southern end, you’ll find Mysore. Once Wodeyar’s capital, Mysore is best known for housing the magnificent Mysore Palace. The palace is the epitome of opulence, and a walk through the building will expose luxurious touches including carved rosewood doors, ivory-decorated ceilings and numerous wall paintings. If you’re in Mysore, you won’t want to miss the unbelievable Devaraja Market, an open-air experience on Dhanwanthri Road where you can buy some chai tea and then browse stalls selling sandalwood carvings.
In Punjab’s northern province is Amritsar, a holy city and Sikh religion mecca. Amritsar’s main attraction is the Golden Temple, also known as the Sahib. Established over 400 years ago, this temple is truly golden and is always filled with Sikhs visiting from around India and the world. You can visit the Golden Temple irrespective of religion, but by covering your head and removing your shoes, you must show respect. Arrive the temple via the main entry, Ghanta Ghar, and esteem Amrit Sarovar, a pool near the temple where pilgrims bathe.
In the heavily contested Kashmir region, northernmost India is Ladakh’s mountainous destination. This area is large but has a low population density and many nomadic inhabitants. Amazing, pristine scenery is a major draw to the area, but virtually all travelers will also spend time in Leh City. The town is located at a very high elevation and is also home to King of Ladakh’s 17th-century Palace. Buddhist culture is also prevalent in Leh, and you may want to visit some of Old Town’s many Buddhist monasteries and temples.
On India’s west coast is Goa, a former Portuguese colony combining Indian culture with colonial influences and plenty of foreign tourism. Goa’s stunning beaches make it famous. The busiest of all is Candolim Beach, where travelers from around the world come to soak up the sun. Anjuna Beach is also less crowded. You can also walk to Chapora Fort and enjoy the sandy coastline from a new perspective. Palolem is one of Goa’s most beautiful beaches, with its natural bay surrounded by towering headlands on both sides.
If you spend time in Northern India, you’ll almost certainly visit Delhi’s capital. The large sprawling destination is home to many neighborhoods, considered one of the world’s oldest towns. One of Delhi’s top sights is the Red Fort, or the 17th-century Lal Qila. The Red Fort is made of sandstone, and you can walk through the Lahore Gate, the bazaar, the jewel palace, and even the sultan’s former residence. While in Delhi, you should also make time for the city’s many museums and religious structures.
Ellora & Ajanta Caves
In Maharashtra state, you can discover Ellora and Ajanta’s caves. Ellora has a huge complex of shrines carved from rocky landscape. Such 34 cave shrines, up to 1,500 years old, come from three distinct religions: Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism. Two hours north is Ajanta, home to 29 caves. The caves of Ajanta are covered in murals and paintings, most reflecting Buddhist stories. Although the two cave complexes are two hours apart, it is worth visiting both to compare these amazing attractions.
On River Ganges banks is Varanasi, an ancient city regarded as India’s spiritual capital. The city’s history goes back over 3,000 years, making it one of the world’s oldest continuously populated cities. Religious constructions are positively a major attraction in Varanasi, so be sure to check out the Alamagir Mosque, the Shri Kashi Vishwanth Temple and the monk-filled Sankat Mochan Temple. Make your way to Ganges banks at sunrise. Over 60,000 people bathe in the river every day, and this event is truly unforgettable.