Explorers around the world dream about visiting India at least once in their life. They mostly think of the country to be an exotic and spiritual place and they aren’t wrong. India is the largest democracy where so many different kinds of people live in harmony, and we Indians take pride in our hospitality too. The country welcomes every tourist who comes here visiting places. Just like the citizens, the country is filled with so many diverse kinds of places that you might feel confused while planning your trip. Hey, this might happen if you are an Indian who wants to explore the corners of the country. We have drawn a list of best places to visit in India so that you know which places you shouldn’t miss!
Do you know about the top Places to visit in India?
This state is a popular tourist destination which is in the north-eastern part of the country. Meghalaya is a heaven for tourists who love to visit places which are all about greenery. Shillong is a popular and happening hill station. It is a proper town. The crystal clear Dawki river will amaze any world traveller too. A boat ride on this river is an unforgettable experience. Trekkers love to visit the forests and cross the one-of-a-kind living root bridges that are rarely found anywhere else. The cuisine, culture, the tribal people – everything is going to make you visit the place again and again.
This is a state which is on almost every Indian traveller’s list. Rajasthan is in the north-western part of the country sharing a border with Pakistan on its western side. The famous Thar Desert is in this state. Rajasthan is truly exotic and a historic place. If you are a history buff, the Rajout palaces are going to intrigue you. If mountains are your thing, the Aravalli mountains are there for you. You can begin your Rajasthan trip at Jaipur, its capital city, which is also known as the Pink City.
Manali is not only a popular hill-station in Himachal Pradesh but of the whole country too. The best time to be here is between October to June. You will be able to see the snow-clad Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges from Manali. This is the top place to visit in Himachal. A trip to Manali needs two to four days. The temperature mostly remains around -7 degrees here. If you are newly married or are about to get married and are chalking up your honeymoon, this hill station is a great honeymoon destination. Currently Manali has also become a very popular workation spot, especially for young professionals. Availability of WiFi, insta-worthy cafes, small eateries and budget shops makes Old Manali a comfortable place for a short stay. If you are a budget traveller, Manali has plenty of hostels and homestays where you can book a dorm bed and enjoy a long vacation.
“We are young, we run free/ Stay up late, we don’t sleep/Got our friends,got the night/We’ll be alright’ – This might well be your anthem if you are a below 30 person who’s on the lookout for crazy fun experiences. Well, Goa is already on your ‘Things to do before I turn 30’ list, isn’t it? The state is the whole country’s official party destination, afterall.
Goa has some of the best resorts, especially near the Baga beach, but there is no dearth of accommodations of all price points. Goa is a shopaholic’s paradise too with its Anjuna Flea Market, Saturday Market, Panjim Market and Mackie’s Night Bazaar. Thrillseeker? You can do white water rafting, kneeboarding, scuba diving, kayaking, windsurfing and wakeboarding!
The Sunburn music festival is held in December which draws a huge crowd every year. Apart from that, of course the main attractions are the beaches and then there are basilicas, forts, waterfalls, clubs and casinos.The ideal time to visit Goa is between November to February as during other months, Goa can be warm and humid.
If a cultural tour is on your mind or you love everything about history and ancient civilization, hit up Hampi. You will feel like you are in a museum built in the historic times. The structures are all so dexterously carved, like an elegantly carved chariot, out in the open, visible to every passer-by. Hampi has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tourists have been floored over the years by the ruins and remnants of the 14th century Vijayanagara Empire.
Taj Mahal! Need we say anymore? Agra is one of the oft-visited tourist places in India and worldwide. Agra which was the Mughal Empire’s capital in the past is home to one of the new seven wonders of the world, the grand mausoleum – Taj Mahal. This monument of love was built in the 17rth century by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to immortalize his wife Mumtaz Mahal. This historical and beautiful monument is beside the Yamuna river. It is not a surprise that this place is thronged by visitors throughout the year. When you visit Agra, do not miss out visiting the Agra Fort which is much like Delhi’s Red Fort. This fort was built in the 16th century and you will have a lovely time exploring the interiors of the fort.
7. Leh Ladakh
Ladakh is certainly one of the top ten places to visit in India and the best time to do so is between June to September. This union territory was earlier under Jammu Kashmir but now it falls under India occupied Kashmir. On 31st of December in 2019, Ladakh was declared as a Union Territory. Ladakh’s dramatic landscape is unparalleled as it stretches from Siachen Glacier to the Great Himalayas.
Ladakh is both called ‘India’s Own Moonland’ and ‘World’s coldest desert’. A complete trip to Leh Ladakh will take about five to seven days, and the best time to be there is June – July and September – October. Expect the temperature to not be higher than -10 degree celsius. If you are confused about whether Leh and Ladakh are the same, Leh is a district under Ladakh. Leh is a popular tourist town because of the cafes, monasteries, Leh Bazaar and the Shanti Stupa. Ladakh is a cultural hotspot with all the stupas, the gompas, the monks in red, the murals and the prayer flags.
The mountains of McLeodganj makes it one of the most beautiful places in the country to be in. There is the popular Triund trek done in the Kangra district. Triund is a small village in Himachal Pradesh, located at a height of 2850 m. The village being at the foothills of the mountains gives a great view of the Dhauladhar ranges. You will find restaurants here serving good Italian and even Japanese cuisine. Apart from the Triund trek, which you can go on any season, the other highlights of the place are the Kangra Fort, the tea plantations, the HPCA stadium, the Bhagsunath temple, the Namgyal monastery, the Bhagsu Falls and the Dalai Lama temple complex. If you are thinking about where to visit in India between September and June, book your tickets to McLeodganj!
Sikkim is a state which falls under the Himalayan kingdom in Eastern India and is blessed with hill stations like Gangtok. It is a state which sees plenty of Indian trekkers and people who prefer hills over beaches. Sikkim has a marvellous charm and if you are adventurous, you will be thrilled to see the trekking options. Visiting small and quaint hill towns has an attraction of its own.
Kerala is a state in the south-western part of India and is undoubtedly one of the most famous places in India. Eco-tourism is big in Kerala and the palm trees, well-known backwaters and pristine beaches makes it a tropical paradise. The visits to temples, experiencing festivals, and staying on houseboats will make your Kerala trip simply unforgettable. If you want to explore the state’s flora and fauna without having to be in a crowded place, you must visit Thekkady which is a tiger reserve.
Kochi is Kerala’s biggest city which is very cosmopolitan and has a major commercial port. You will find buildings with colonial architecture, fashionable high-rises and also a bustling fishing industry. You will be amazed to see the religious and ethnic diversity that you will see in Kochi. Reserve half-a-day to see the Dutch Palace, the Hindu Thrikkakara temple, the Jewish synagogue and the Portuguese Pallipuram Fort.
This is a hill station in Karnataka where the misty landscape will make you feel very romantic and fall in love with nature again. The mountains in Coorg are a popular summer holiday destination for Indians across the country. Coorg is known for its coffee plantations.As you approach Coorg, the panorama of the verdant emerald hills with streams flowing across them will seem like a photo right out of your childhood storybooks or painting books. You will need two to three days to experience the culture of the place. The locals, known as Kodavas, are equally good at traditional martial arts and hospitality!
Coorg. Or Kodagu, is one of Karnataka’s rich hill stations. During your trip you must put up with homestays and also visit splendid towns like Somwarpet, Virajpet, Pollibetta, Gonikoppal and Kushalnagar. You will get transportation from Madikeri to go to different places as it is located centrally. Go to Coorg between September to June and experience the beauty of the coffee and spice plantations and the hills covered with forests.
This is another place in Kashmir which is an absolute tourist’s gem. If you are below 30 and in your 20s and thinking about where to go in India, we would strongly recommend Kashmir. Yes there are times when Kashmir gets hit by floods and terrorist activities but now is a pretty safe time to go to what has been known as ‘heaven on earth’.
You must have heard from your parents about a time when they had visited Kashmir before it became a controversial place. It’s time for you to explore the place and actually it would be a delightful trip for you if you love to experience different cuisines. Of course you will be visiting the famous Dal Lake and Nagin Lake, but you must visit restaurants and cafes too.
What you must absolutely do, however cliche it might sound, is take a shikara ride and stay at a houseboat in Dal Lake. The places worth visiting are the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, Nishat Bagh, Hazratbal Mosque, Shankaracharya Hill, Shalimar Bagh, Pari Mahal, Jama Masjid and tomb of Zin-ul-Abidin. The best time to explore Srinagar is between April to October as the weather will remain pleasant and not unbearably cold.
This place which is also known as Banaras or Kashi is super special because it is one of the oldest living cities of the world! Earlier it was also one of the richest cities as it was an industrial centre. This historical city is considered sacred by Hindus and is a pilgrimage spot for them. This north Indian city is located on the left bank of the Ganges in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Built in the 11th century, this city is believed to be the country’s spiritual capital and there are about a thousand temples in the city. The Ghats lined up by the river Ganges are always teeming with people taking dip in the holy water and performing rites. The city is sacred for the Buddhists and the Jains too. If your mind is always pore-occupied with various thoughts and you feel it needs to be cleared up, visit Varanasi, take in the sights, experience the Ganga arati, meditate by the Ghats and you will feel a spiritual awakening. Even if you are not a religious person, this city with its vibrant mix of the old and the new is a great place to visit.
14. Ellora and Ajanta Caves
The famous Ellora & Ajanta caves are in Maharashtra. The caves of Ellora are an excellent display of architecture and artistry as the shrines on the cave have been carved out of the rocky landscape. There are thirty-four cave shrines and they are based on three religions – Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. All of these shrines are over 1500 years old. They date back to the time between 6th century A.D. and 11th century A.D. Situated in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district, Ellora is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Vajrayana form of Buddhism, specifically its development, has been depicted in the caves. Many Buddhist deities can also be seen carved here.
The Ajanta Caves are located about 100 kms away from the Ellora caves. These caves are 29 in number and built between 2nd century BC and 6th century AD. Ajanta too is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Unlike the Ellora caves which are a mixture of three religions, all the caves in Ajanta are Buddhist. Different rulers had funded for the construction of these caves. These exponential rock-cut caves are a true representation of Indian architecture, art and culture. Though both are at a distance of two hours, visiting both the sites are a must for all tourists.
Andaman is a place with a little history attached to it and pristine beaches by water which is amazingly turquoise blue in colour. Port Blair is the capital of the Andaman & Nicobar islands which is an Union Territory. The islands lie segregated from the mainland of India and are situated at about 1400 kms away from the eastern coast of the country. The best time to visit Andaman is between October and June. With a major airport present at Port Blair and a seaport connecting it with other tourist islands and the mainland, getting there is easy too. The opportunity to do scuba diving and the white beaches of Neil and Havelock islands make Andaman a hot tourist destination. Receive four to six days with this place of virgin islands having a colonial history.
Are you someone who has a thing for forests and wildlife sanctuaries? Head to Binsar for your perfect holidays! This is one of the tourist destinations of India which the young and young-at-heart will really love visiting. Explore the wildlife in Binsar in October or November, as these two are the best months for a visit to this wildlife sanctuary which is located in Almora of Kumaon region. Some of the animals that are found here are barking deer, porcupine, chital, Himalayan bear, flying squirrel and leopard.
Don’t forget to book a jeep ride in advance. If you come down during January or June, which are peak seasons too, and are thinking of camping, you must book a camping site in advance. Owing to the place’s popularity, the campsites get full otherwise and you won’t get a spot to put up your tent.
Other than the sanctuary, there are many other attractions like Bineshwar Mahadev temple, Zero Point, Mary Budden estate and Pariyadeva Pashan, to name a few. The temperature of the place remains 6.5 degree celsius to 19.8 degree celsius.
Kolkata is an old city and also one of the metropolitan cities with a rich history. The British had made the city the country’s capital during the rule. You will still find the influence of British rule in the architecture of old heritage buildings. The city has an old world charm. The first metro in India started running here, the largest botanical garden of India is here, India’s oldest formally stated zoo is in Kolkata.
The city is also referred to as the ‘City of Joy’ and is already a favourite winter destination for foreign tourists. The people are warm and it is a cosmopolitan city with people of all religions, speaking various languages, and living in harmony. There are malls and pubs and there are museums and libraries. Our top ten recommended places to visit for you will be Howrah Bridge, Victoria Memorial Hall, Dakshineswhar Kali Temple, Jorasanko Thakurbari, Park Street, Marble Palace Mansion, Eden Gardens, Indian Museum, South City Mall and New Market.
The best time to visit the city is either in autumn during Durga Puja which is celebrated on a huge scale over almost five to seven days, or in winter, especially around Christmas to New Year, as Christmas is also celebrated with a lot of fanfare. Park Street and New Market are the places to be in then, other than the churches.
Delhi is India’s National Capital Territory and a holiday in North India will remain incomplete without a visit to Delhi. It is an Union Territory spread across an area of 1484 sq. kms. Delhi has many districts under it and New Delhi, the country’s capital, is one of them. Delhi is one of the oldest cities in the world and India’s largest city.
In Old Delhi, which was built in the 1600s, you will find structures built during the Mughal era like the Red Fort and Jama Masjid. Also known as Lal Qila, the Red Fort was built in the 17th century using sandstone. Go through the Lahore Gate, walk through the bazaar and the jewel palace and see the sultan’s former residence. Do not forget to visit the bustling Chandni Chawk market, Humayun’s Tomb and Qutub Minar. Delhi is filled with religious buildings and museums which are good places for sightseeing.
Lakshadweep was earlier called the ‘Laccadive Islands’. In Malayalam, Lakshadweep means ‘one hundred thousand islands’. In Hindi too, it stands for the same. It is a cluster of some of the most exotic islands and beaches of the country and are extremely beautiful locations too. Lying at a distance of 400kms from the southwest coast of India in the Arabian Sea, It is India’s smallest Indian Territory. The best time to visit the Lakshadweep islands is from September to February. A trip here should be done for four to six days ideally. You have to obtain a permit from Kochi to visit the secluded islands of Lakshadweep.
The last destination out of all the places in India is an offbeat one but still one of the best places to visit in India, especially for travellers who are below 40. It is a gem for trekkers as the camping site here is terrific. It is a destination which is slowly becoming popular as an adventure spot. Kanatal is for all the thrill-seekers and adventure lovers with the opportunity of various thrilling activities and camping at an unbelievable place. This is why this place in Uttarakhand has won its place in the list. This place is also peaceful and will give you glimpses of the Himalayas. Kanatal is certainly one of the best places as a weekend budget getaway.The ideal time to visit Kanatal is between April to June. Few attractions of the place are the New Tehri Dam, Kodia Jungle, Surkanda Devi Temple and Tehri river.
Travelling gives us experiences and memories that are going to stay with us as long as we live. We have listed the top 20 out of top 100 places to visit in India. These places are spectacularly beautiful, offering rich experiences. These places are also fun for any young tourist and great for solo travellers too. And if you are a foreigner, know that covering just one or two places will give you only a minuscule taste of the real India, so you might think of including a few more places in your itinerary!