India is a country with innumerable holiday destinations. Every state has its own beauty and cities to boast of, making it a wonderful experience for travel lovers and globe-trotters alike.
Rajasthan or “The Land of Kings” is known for its rich and bountiful heritage and culture. It is steeped in the annals and histories of kings and their feats, gallantry and glory. Located in the north-western region of India, this state attracts numerous tourists yearly. In this royal state, you will feel like nobility and will be extended undying hospitality. Prominent cities in Rajasthan include Ajmer, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bikaner and Jaisalmer. Rajasthan offers outstanding tourist destinations such as the Thar Desert for its spectacular sunrise and sunset as well as historical venues like Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jaisalmer Fort, Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal, Lake Palace-Udaipur, City Palace-Jaipur and City Palace-Udaipur. Nature lovers can visit Rajasthan’s numerous sanctuaries like Ranthambore National Park, Sariska Tiger Reserve, Jaisamand Sanctuary and Kumbalgarh Sanctuary. To round-out your visit, make sure to indulge in some authentic Rajasthani cuisine and lend your ears to the spellbinding folk music.
Deservingly known as “God’s Own Country”, a little state on the coast of tropical Malabar in the south-west of India, Kerala is “heaven on earth”. Abounding in backwaters, wetlands, mountains and hills alike, Kerala is where you should head for serenity, peace and tranquillity. Riding on houseboats past coconut and palm trees and other lush greenery plus taking cruises in Alleppey, Kuttanad, Kollam and Kochi, is the perfect way to unwind. Some of Kerala’s notable temples and monuments include the Bekal Fort, Edakkal Caves, Guruvayoor Temple and Napier Museum. The exuberant culture exhibits such folk arts as Bharatnatyam, Kathakali and Mohiniyattam. Like Rajasthan, Kerala prides itself on having numerous wildlife reserves like Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Eravikulam National Park, Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary and Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Kerala is also famous for its Ayurveda treatments, and those visitors looking to rejuvenate should include massages on their itinerary.
The seat of Dravidian tradition and culture, Tamil Nadu is famous for its beaches, temples and architectural masterpieces. The kings of yester year laid out elaborate city plans and constructed temples, each one truly a gem in design and beauty, the most famous of them being the shore temple at Mahabalipuram, now a site worthy of world renown. Famous hill stations in this state are Udhagamandalam (Ooty), Kodaikanal, Yercaud and Coonoor. Kanyakumari is famous for its scenic beauty, and is the southernmost tip of India.
India’s “Pearl of the East”, Goa, is most famous for its luxuriant beaches, churches from the colonial era, coconut grooves, ferry rides and catchy folk music. For those looking to lounge away their time, this is the place with gregarious people, food and drink for every palate and is a haven for youngsters and newly-weds. The famous churches are Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral, Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Church of Our Lady of Rosary and Convent of Santa Monica among others.
Capital city of Maharashtra as well as of Indian finance and entertainment, Mumbai is located on the western coast of India. Like the “Big Apple”, Mumbai has its own take on the “rags to riches” story. Home to Bollywood, the hub of Indian entertainment, Mumbai is one of the most cosmopolitan of all major Indian cities. If you are visiting Mumbai, make sure your checklist includes these places: The Gateway of India, the Elephanta Caves, Prince of Wales Museum, Marine Drive, Haji Ali’s Tomb, Victoria Terminus, Film City, Chowpati Beach, Juhu Beach and Shivaji Park.
India’s capital, and one of the oldest cities in the world, Delhi is known for its historical leanings as well as its abundant shopping and food bazaars. Delhi’s famous markets include Sarojini Nagar, Connaught Place, Chandini Chowk, Janpath and important buildings include Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Purana Qila, Humayun’s Tomb, Lotus Temple, India Gate, Jumma Masjid, Rajghat in addition to numerous others.
Also known as the Garden City and Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore has attained the status of a hip and happening metropolis. With the mall culture on the rise, this city, like Mumbai and Delhi, is every shopaholic’s haven – especially the iconic streets like M.G. Road, Brigade Road and Commercial Street. Other tourist attractions in Bangalore are Lal Bagh botanical gardens, Bal Bhavan, the Aquarium, Gandhi Bhavan, Bangalore Palace, lakes such as Ulsoor, Sankey Tank and Hebbal Lake among others, Bannerghata National Park and the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium.
Manali, or the “Switzerland of India”, lies on the Beas River. Beauty personified, the landscape will take your breath away and leave you craving for more. Mountain sports are famous in the Spiti, Lahaul, Leh, Kinnaur and Zaskar regions in the Kashmir Valley. The snow-capped mountains make a beautiful retreat during the summers, and places to visit include the Hadimba Devi Temple, the hot spring at Manikaran and the Vashisth baths known for their medicinal properties.
In an attempt to whet your travel appetites, this article has featured prominent states, cities and famous hill stations to bring a just a small slice of India to you!
Prabu Mani is an electronics engineer. Since 2004, he has been writing for various content development firms in India, including Mobius Knowledge Services, Writing-Counseling.com, and Status InfoTech. Prabu also served as a business development manager for Streta Systems and Technologies as well as Sumeru Software. He also has 3+ years’ experience in providing SEO services for international clients.
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