Top 25 Popular travel destinations in India

1.) Munnar

Sprawling tea plantations surround the serene hills of Munnar, which attract adventure travelers hungry for paragliding, treks to Anaimudi (South India’s highest peak) and hikes originating at the confluence of three mountain streams.

The stone Christ Church, built by the British in 1910, is adorned with renowned works of stained glass, and Eravikulam National Park, about 10 miles away, is home to equally colorful wildlife, including the endangered Nilgiri Tahr (ibex), ruddy mongoose and 120 bird species.

Places of Interest

  • Rajamalai (Eravikulam) National Park
  • Tea Gardens
  • Kolukkumalai Tea Estate

2.) Manali

In Hinduism, Manu was said to have survived a great flood that destroyed the rest of the world. He then recreated mankind in this Kullu Valley town. What a rush, huh? No wonder the towering peaks and verdant terrain of Manali attracts adventure travelers, with heli-skiing, hiking, mountaineering and river rafting the favored active pursuits.

Come down from your endorphin high by breathing deeply at the four-story, wooden Hidimba Devi Temple, which sits in the middle of a nearby deciduous forest, or take a medicinal soak in the hot springs burbling from the ground a 30-minute walk from town.

Place of Interest

  • Manikaran Gurudwara
  • Hadimba Devi Mandir
  • River Beas

3.) Hampi

The former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire, Hampi remains an essential religious hub, housing the Virupaksha, Lakshmi Narasimha, Hemakuta Hill, Big Shivlinga and Vithala temples. The architectural ruins of Hampi are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rock-climbing enthusiasts will adore Hampi, considered the bouldering capital of India, and the city’s rocky landscape, dotted with ancient temple ruins, makes for a unique climbing experience

4.) Goa

East meets West in this sun-soaked state, where Indian culture intertwines with Portuguese influences left over from a 500-year occupation. The beaches have long served as a magnet for serene hedonists.
To the north, the tourist-centric scene is prevalent, with an international flair that is now skewing more hip than hippie. Travel south for stretches of unspoiled sand and an escape from large resorts. Temples, mosques and wildlife sanctuaries provide diversions from the beach.

Places of Interest

  • Old Goa
  • Dudhsagar Falls
  • Anjuna Market

5.) Udaipur

Udaipur, known as the Venice of the East, boasts several sparkling lakes against a backdrop of the Aravail hills. Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir, islands in Fateh Sagar Lake, are the site of Udaipur Solar Observatory and Nehru Garden.
Famous palaces include the magical Lake Palace, now a luxurious five-star hotel, and the massive City Palace on Pichola’s east bank, featuring epic courtyards and stunning paintings.

Place of Interest

  • Jain Temple – Ranakpur
  • Shilpgram
  • City Palace of Udaipur

6.) Gangtok

The capital of the state of Sikkim, Gangtok is an attractive tourist destination, reflecting a unique ambience which derives from its happy blend of tradition and modernity. Alongside the deeply felt presence of stupas and monasteries, Gangtok also bustles like any other thriving town. Some of the key places to visit include Rumtek Monastery, Do-Drul Chorten, Enchey Monastery, Tashi View Point and the local bazaar, Lal Bazaar.

Places of Interest

  • Deer Park
  • Phurchachu Hot Springs
  • Nathula Pass

7.) Bangalore

Known as both the “Garden City” and “The Silicon Valley of India,” Bangalore (officially “Bengaluru”) is a techie’s paradise, boasting the highest concentration of IT companies in the country. When you’re done geeking out, there are plenty of gardens, museums, natural features, palaces and temples to fill your dance card. Visit Vidhana Soudha, Cubbon Park and the Ulsoor Lake of Bangalore, well known for its beautiful locales and boating facilities. Bangalore is also a major centre of Indian classical music and dance, and of vivid, cutting-edge nightlife.

Places of Interest

  • ISKCON Sri Radha Krishna-Chandra Temple
  • Lalbagh Botanical Garden
  • Bannerghatta National Park

8.) DharamShala

Serenely spiritual Dharamsala is home to the largest Tibetan temple outside of Tibet. It’s known for its religious iconography and is the monastery of the Dalai Lama, who holds public lectures a few times a year. Once you’ve restored your spiritual energy, enjoy a picturesque stroll to Bhagsu Waterfall or climb the hill to Triund to bask in stunning views of the Himalayas.

Places of Interest

  • Tsuglag Khang
  • Kangra Valley
  • Triund Dharamshala

9.) Jaipur

If you take one look at the glorious stucco buildings that line Jaipur’s wide streets, you’ll understand why this is nicknamed “The Pink City.” Spend your days exploring City Palace, Hawa Mahal, and Amber and Jaigarh forts. And if you’re looking for a unique souvenir, head to one of the bazaars, where you can pick up a pair of camel-leather slippers.

Places of Interest

  • Amber (Amer) Fort and Palace
  • Jantar Mantar – Jaipur
  • Palace of Wind (Hawa Mahal)

10.) Leh

The Ladakh capital city of Leh lies near the eastern parts of Jammu and Kashmir, on the crossroads of the historic “Silk Route” from Sinkiang to West Asia and to the plains of India. The humbling monasteries of Shey, Hemis, Alchi, Thikse and Lamayuru will nurture your spiritual needs, and the landscape of Leh provides for a number of adventure activities including mountaineering, white-water rafting and trekking along the Markha Valley.

Places of Interest

  • Tibetan Market
  • Phyang Monastery
  • Leh Royal Palace

11.) Havelock Islands

Premium scuba diving and snorkeling are the highlights of the gorgeous Havelock Island, the most popular of the Andaman Islands. Glass-bottomed boats provide a similar up-close marine life experience. Jungle treks and camping are popular landlubbing activities, though the more delicately dispositioned can choose to retire to one of several luxury resorts. Refuel with fresh coconut milk and succulent, just-caught seafood, which dominates every meal.

Places of Interest

  • Radhanagar Beach
  • Barren Island Volcano
  • Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park

12.) Wayanad

The emerald landscape of Wayanad is the ideal destination for both intense outdoor adventure and calming restoration. Climb the foothills of Brahmagiri to reach the ancient Thirunelli Temple, hike to the overwhelmingly stunning Meenmutty Falls, or explore Edakkal Caves, rich with prehistoric paintings. Wayanad is brimming with healing Ayurvedic healing spas, perfect for restoring your pleasantly exhausted body after a day of exploring

Places of Interest

  • Chembra Peak
  • Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Edakkal Caves

13.) Mysore

The kings of the Wodeyar dynasty set the bar high for the southern cultural capital of Mysore. Ornate palaces and the Gothic St. Philomena’s Church with its 175-foot spires pack a visual punch; local institutions keep Carnatic classical music and dance in the public eye. A prominent 11th-century temple sits atop 1,000 steps on the city’s outskirts. Dress to the nines and party like a rock star in celebration of Mysore heritage during the lively Dussehra festival, held for 10 days in October/November.

Places of Interest

  • Somnathpur Temples
  • Mysore Zoo – Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens
  • Maharajah’s Palace (Amba Vilas)

14.) Mount Abu

Situated amidst lush green, forested hills on the highest peak in the Aravali range, Mount Abu is the summer capital for the Indian state of Rajasthan. Its cool and soothing climate makes it an ideal retreat. Explore a number of Jain temples, including the Dilwara Temples, a complex carved of while marble, or visit the nearby Achalgarh fort, which houses many beautiful temples of its own.

Places of Interest

  • Dilwara Jain Temples
  • Sunset Point Mount Abu
  • Nakki Lake

15.) Matheran

Matheran is all about the views. Easily accessible via scenic rail from Mumbai, this refuge in the Sahyadri Hills is blissfully free of motor vehicles and affords nearly three dozen lookouts over the Western Ghats and the region’s village-dotted plains. Porcupine Point is anything but prickly—rather, it’s an ideal spot for gorgeous sunsets, especially at the aptly named Panorama Point. Avid hikers hit the densely forested and wildlife-rich route to the ruins of Prabalgad Fort.

Places of Interest

  • Charlotte Lake
  • Rambaug Point
  • Paymasters Park

16.) Amritsar

Amritsar is a major commercial and cultural centre in the heart of Punjab. The city is the spiritual and cultural centre of the Sikh religion and is home to the Harmandir Sahib, also known as the Golden Temple. Respectfully marvel at the Indian and Pakistani soldiers who march-off nightly at the Wagha Border, and at the Jallian Wala Bagh the site of the 1919 Amritsar Massacre in 1919.

Places of Interest

  • Darbar Sahib
  • Jallianwala Bagh
  • Harmandir Sahib

17.) Mahabaleshwar

The city of Mahabaleshwar is a pinnacle of greenery, boasting one of the only evergreen forests in the world. The landscape abounds with lush hills, valleys and lookout points such as Lodwick Point, Arthur’s Seat and Babington Point, all of which offer spectacular views. Trot along on horseback for a delightful four-legged tour of the gorgeous Venna Lake area, and savour juicy native strawberries, mulberries and corn.

Places of Interest

  • Venna Lake
  • Wilson Point (Sunrise Point)
  • Mahabaleshwar Temple

18.) Shimla

Snow-capped Himalayan peaks and green pastures surround Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh. Enjoy a heritage walk through Shimla’s Victorian-era architecture, labyrinthine bazaars and lengthy pedestrian shopping mall. Don’t cause too much trouble taking in the town from Scandal Point, a large, open square; keep in mind that Shimla was a retreat destination for Mahatma Gandhi, who frequented a Georgian mansion in Shimla’s suburbs from the mid-1930s to ’40s.

Places of Interest

  • Kalka – Shimla Railway
  • Kinnaur
  • Jakhu Temple

19.) Tirupati

The holy city of Tirupati draws tourists and religious pilgrims alike, who flock to the Ancient Lord Venkateswara Temple, known for its elabourate Dravidian style and gold-plated cupola. Prayers are offered daily at this popular temple, which sits high in the Tirumala hills. Several other temples dot the town, and the lush countryside contains numerous waterfalls. Tirupati is also home to a rare, naturally-occurring pre-Jurassic stone arch that is 25 feet long and 10 feet high, one of only three of these geological features in the world

Places of Interest

  • Tirumala Temple
  • Talakona Waterfall
  • Tirupati Temple

20.) Kashmir

The valley of Kashmir is as rich with history and political controversy as it is with culture and natural phenomena. Sample exquisitely spiced native cuisines and festive teas, then walk off your meal along the rugged trekking routes to the north. Marvel at the famous houseboats of Srinagar and take a spiritual moment to reflect at one of the many pilgrimage sites and religious shrines that dot the region. Of course, native craftsmanship makes for excellent souvenirs—carpets and textiles are an especial shopping must.

Places of Interest

  • Dal Lake
  • Mughal Gardens
  • Jame Mosque

21.) Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal has an endangered animal called the grizzled giant squirrel. To us, that alone is reason to book a trip (“grizzled giant squirrel” might be the best animal name ever). Perched on the woodsy southern crest of the Palani Hills, nearly 7,000 feet above sea level, this popular lakeside resort town is a magnet for nature lovers. Wander the peaceful slopes, keeping an eye out for birds, exotic flowers and, of course, grizzled giant squirrels.

Places of Interest

  • Kodaikanal Lake
  • Coakers Walk
  • Berijam Lake

22.) Kolkata

This former British colonial stronghold boasts evidence of over two millennia of habitation, with ornate, architecturally diverse buildings, ranging from crumbing ruins to Victorian treasures. Home to lively festivals and a vibrant artistic community, clamorous markets and packed temples, this city is crowded and polluted, but ultimately invigorating.

Places of Interest

  • Victoria Memorial Hall
  • Mother House
  • Kalighat Kali Temple

23.) Coorg

The misty hills, lush teakwood and sandalwood forests, and acres of tea and coffee plantations of Kodagu are, in a word, stunning. Also known as Coorg and dubbed “The Scotland of India,” Kodagu is a postcard-perfect region of scattered villages and hamlets, which are the epitome of old-world charm. Kodagu is ideal for outdoor activities such as trekking, angling and white-water rafting, and major festivals like Keil Poldu (worship of weapons), Cauvery Shankaramana (return of the river goddess) and the Huttari (harvest) festival are a huge draw.

Places of Interest

  • Omkareshwara Temple
  • Brahmagiri Hill
  • Iruppu Falls

24.) Rishikesh

The holy city of Rishikesh, in the base of the Himalayas, holds deep cultural and spiritual significance for local Hindus. Sacred rivers and mountains set the scene for yoga and reflective hikes, and rafting here is an absolute must. The Beatles got in touch with their Eastern spiritual side here, writing several songs during a 1968 stint at a local ashram.

Places of Interest

  • Laxman Jhula
  • Swarg Ashram
  • Neelkanth Mahadev

25.) Haridwar

The holy city of Haridwar translates to “Gateway to God,” and the breathtaking city, replete with temples, is a magnet for religious pilgrims from all over the globe. Religious festivals hold even further draw, and tourists can’t helped but be compelled by the city’s aura of intense spirituality. Don’t miss the Har ki Pauri and the Chandi Devi Temple.

Places of Interest

  • Har ki Pauri
  • Chandi Devi Temple
  • Mansa Devi Temple

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