Choice of vacation destinations in India seem to be infinite; from scenic destinations to historically and culturally soaked sites, from cities bustling with chaos and confusion to destinations offering laid-back and relaxed stays. Amidst this huge list of destinations, there is always a dilemma of choosing a destination that is really worth a visit. Well! Relieving you of this dilemma, here is a list of top 15 destinations that make it to the list of ‘Must-Visit’ destinations in India for all travellers. Let’s now, find out the reasons as to why this is so.
Kashmir – For its captivating natural beauty
One of the most incredible places in India, Kashmir is known for its enthralling beauty and is rightly nicknamed as the ‘Heaven on Earth’. With its Picturesque lakes, striking fruit orchards, verdant meadows surrounded with thick woods of pines and deodars, lush green gardens teeming with vibrant flowers and captivating valleys enclosed with snow-covered peaks of Himalayan and Pir-Panjal ranges – Kashmir seems to have directly made its way out from a picture postcard. From enjoying a heavenly ‘Shikara boat rideon the pristine ‘Dal Lake’ strolling through the beautifully manicured ‘Mughal Gardens’, soaking in the untouched pastoral beauty of ‘Betaab’ and ‘Aru’ valleys, paying your homage to ‘Amarnath ji’ standing amidst the ethereal natural beauty of the tiny hamlet of ‘Chandanwari’, relishing the moment of plucking a fresh walnut at one the ‘Walnut Orchards’, braving the strong currents of River Sind during white water rafting in ‘Sonmarg’ to revelling in the adventure of world’s highest Gondola ride at Gulmarg – the magic of Kashmir with its breath-taking vistas is sure to captivate your heart and soul forever. Make sure to buy some of the traditional Kashmiri handicrafts and handlooms items and do try out few of the state’s world famous ‘Wazwan’ delicacies before returning from a memorable holiday in kashmir
The land of majestic snow-capped mountains, serene alpine glacial lakes, enchanting valleys and ancient colourful Buddhist monasteries, Leh-Ladakh is one of the ‘must-visit’ destinations in India for nature lovers and people seeking peace and serenity away from the busy city lives. Being home to plenty of serene alpine glacial lakes, some of the world’s highest mountain passes and high-altitude scenic trekking trails, Ladakh is also a dream destination for intrepid travellers and adventure freaks across India and different corners of the world. Be it the feeling of extreme spirituality and divinity listening to the chants and hymns of lamas in the ‘Hemis monastory’, the tranquillity of ‘Pangong Lake’ offering an indescribable sense of peace and solitude, an unforgettable adventurous experience of trekking on the frozen ‘Zanskar River’, the fun of a unique sand-dune safari sitting on the back of Bactrian camel discovering the rugged landscapes of ‘Nubra Valley’ or the excitement of spotting a snow leopard in the thick of the ‘Hemis National Park’ – Ladakh has in its store, something for its every tourist. Being part of the colourful ‘Hemis Festival‘ is something which must definitely be on the itineraries of every tourist to the mystic land of Leh-Ladakh.
Delhi the bustling capital of India makes for one of the perfect travel destinations in India. A city of heritage monuments, teeming bazaars and mouth-watering street food reminding you of its rich past from the Mughal era to a city that is today, more cosmopolitan and contemporary with its sprawling boulevards, high-end malls, shopping complexes and luxury hotels & restaurants; Delhi is for sure, a true amalgamation of age old cultures and present day’s modernization. Be it a stroll through the narrow lanes of ‘Chandni chowk’ relishing on its lip-smacking chaats, a real shopping fun in the streets of ‘Sarojini nagar’ or more exotic ‘Delhi Haat’, a heritage walk through the awe-inspiring Mughal architectural masterpieces of ‘Humayun’s Tomb’ and ‘Qutub Minar’, a visit to the 700 years old ‘Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah’, a lovely experience of relishing on some tasty cuisine sitting at a lake side café in the posh ‘Hauz Khas Village’, a memorable time at the lively ‘Kingdom of Dreams’ enjoying a musical Bollywood night, or a picnic time at the iconic ‘India Gate’; the list of ‘must-do things’ in Delhi has no end.
One of the must-visit destinations in India, a trip to Delhi should definitely be on the travel list for all curious travellers, knowledge seekers and gastronomes looking out for a holiday trips in India.
Unarguably, Goa has to be the amongst the first few places to visit in India in your twenties. Young and energetic! Amazing nightlife, a variety of booze, beach shacks and dirt cheap prices – Goa is one of the best holiday destinations in India that makes your trip memorable.
Attractions: Beaches like Vagator, Calangute, Anjuna, Colva, & Benaulim, Fort Aguada, Church of Mae De Deus, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Temple of Bodgeshwar, Dudhsagar Waterfalls, St Xavier’s Church, Grand Island (for watersports), and clubs like Cafe Mambos,Titos, LPK (Love Passion Karma), SinQ, & Club Cubana .
Scared of water? Never swam? Maybe it’s time to beat the fear out of you and dive into the deep sea and overcome the fear of water and depths, ZNMD Style. Trust us, you’d be delighted at the sites underwater and it will keep you coming back for more. For aqua lovers, these famous tourist places in India which feel no less than a paradise!
Attractions: Cellular Jail National Memorial, Radhanagar Beach, Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex in Port Blair, Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Chidiya Tapu, and watersports like scuba-diving, snorkeling, & parasailing
A city immersed in a splendid Mughal charm, Agra needs no introduction. Home to the eternal symbol of love, the iconic ‘Taj Mahal‘, Agra finds one of the top most places on the world heritage map. Having to its acclaim of being the only city in the world glittering with three world heritage sites, Agra definitely makes it to the list of popular Indian travel destinations. With its three gems, the impressive Taj Mahal, magnificent Agra Fortand splendid Fatehpur Sikri; the city lures thousands of tourists including historians and art lovers from all across India and the world. From savouring on the city’s authentic and traditional Mughlai flavours, shopping in the lively markets teeming with marble handicrafts adorned with fine inlay carvings and fine leather items, watching the epic of the timeless love between Shah Jahan and his beloved, Noor Jahan coming to life at the ‘Kalakriti Cultural & Convention Center’ to soaking your spirits in the enthralling fiesta of the ‘Taj Mahotsav‘, there is much more to do in the historic city of Agra than just exploring its monuments. For a more closer and adventurous face off with this cultural city, get on an off the beaten path journey and explore the narrow alleyways of the old city, ancient temples or visit the renowned poet, Mirza Ghalib’s birthplace.
India is a land of cultures, religions and spirituality, therefore, an Indian exploration remains incomplete without a trip to the holy city of Varanasi. Also known as the city of ‘Moksha’, the place holds a great religious significance for Hindus. Situated on the banks of sacred river Ganga, the city is believed to be more than 5000 years old. Bustling with enchanting ancient temples and holy Ghats crowded with people performing various rituals and prayers, Varanasi makes for an ultimate spiritual travel destinations India. From paying homage to Lord Shiva in the famous ‘Kashi Vishwanath Temple’, taking a dip in holy waters of river Ganga absolving your sins, revelling in the spiritual aura of the divine Ganga Aarti during evenings on the ‘Dasaswamedha Ghat’, taking a walk along the Ghats watching life flow by, exploring the chaotic and colourful streets teeming with life to gorging on its delicious ‘Benaras ki Chaat’ or indulging in a unique shopping experience of musical instruments and world-renowned ‘Benarasi Silk Sarees’; Varanasi is indeed an incredible place to visit in India.
Coorg simply cannot be skipped from the list of best places to visit in India. A quick getaway for many from Bangalore, this mesmerizing hill station in Karnataka is breathtakingly beautiful. It’s one of the top 10 places to visit in India and a visit here sure would heal you and energize you!
Attractions: Abbey Falls, Nalknad Palace, Barapole River, Brahmagiri Peak, Iruppu Falls, Namdroling Monastery, Nagarhole National Park, Microlight flight at Chelavara, ziplining, and angling in River Kaveri .
The idyllic hill station Munnar – famous for its tea estates, exotic lush greenery and craggy peaks, is located in the Western Ghats, in the state of Kerala. It serves as the commercial centre for some of the world’s largest tea estates. In addition, Munnar has many protected areas which are home to endemic and highly endangered species like the Nilgiri Thar and the Neelakurinji.
One of the biggest tea-plantation area of South India, Munnar is one of the most beautiful and popular hill-stations of Kerala. Situated on the banks of three rivers- Madupetti, Nallathanni and Periavaru, Munnar is also blessed with natural view-points apart from the tea-plantations. Munnar is divided into Old Munnar, where the tourist information office is, and Munnar, where the bus station and most guest houses are located. The Eravikulam National Park, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and tea plantations are its major attractions.
The most famous resort town nestled amidst the snow-capped mountains, Manali is the popular gem in the heart of Himachal Pradesh. A mesmerizing combination of nature, peace, and adventure, Manali is one of the best holiday destinations in India for all travelers.
Attractions: Bhrigu Lake, Rohtang Pass, Solang Valley, Hidimba Devi Temple, Manu Temple, Great Himalayan National Park, Jogini Falls, and Tibetan Monastery.
Jaw-dropping locales, mesmerising sunrises, the untouched beauty of the hills, the old-world charm of the past, and the welcoming smiles of the local people all add up to make Darjeeling one of the most beautiful hill stations in Eastern part of India. Spread over a steep mountain ridge, nestled amidst acres of lush green tea plantations, Darjeeling stands at the height of 2,050 meters above sea level, thus boasting of cool climes all year round. This scenic hill station is the perfect getaway for a romantic honeymoon and is just around 700 kilometres away from Kolkata.
A respite from the hot and humid summers of India, Darjeeling is a popular tourist destination in North-East India. Providing a heady mixture of splendid tea gardens on rolling mountain slopes, meandering toy train rides through the picturesque city, and delectable traditional Tibetan cuisine, Darjeeling works wonders to cater to the gorgeous panorama of the Himalayas.
There is a reason the city is known as the ‘Queen of the Himalayas’. The lush green slopes dotted with women plucking tea leaves is a sight as mesmerising as no other. There are over 86 tea estates in Darjeeling that are responsible for producing the worldwide famous ‘Darjeeling Tea’. Have a cup of locally brewed chai at the tea estate, or get down amidst the plantations to pluck a few tea leaves yourself, you are free to take your pick!
A previous summer capital of India under the British Raj, Darjeeling has come off age as one of the most sought after hill stations in India. Famous for its beautiful tea plantations and the quality of Darjeeling tea, Darjeeling is a delight for all kind of tourists. The toy train established back in 1881, still runs in this part and is also one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Beautiful colonial architecture including mansions and churches dot this little beautiful town. Filled with people from Tibet, Nepal, nearby Indian states and the Gorkhas, Darjeeling is brimming with cultural diversity. The third highest peak in the world and the highest in India, the Kanchenjunga peak is clearly visible from here and you can enjoy a panoramic view of the peak. Some of Darjeeling’s most popular attractions include monasteries, botanical gardens, a zoo, and the Darjeeling-Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway cable car which happens to be the longest Asian cable car. Darjeeling is a wonderful place to walk around and explore the tea estates, villages, and markets.
Also known as the ‘Land of Golden Sand’, Jaisalmer in Rajasthan is a beautiful city known for its rich cultural heritage and stories of bravery and chivalry of the great Rajput rulers. An exotic city set amidst endless stretches of golden Thar Desert, Jaisalmer spells a magnetic pull at travellers sitting in different corners of the world. Be it the magnificence of the ‘Sonar Quila’ or the ‘Jaisalmer Fort’ beaming in its full glory, the magical charisma of the ancient ‘Salim ji ki Haveli’, ‘Nathmal ji ki Haveli’ and ‘Patwon-ki-Haveli’ reminding us of the royal grandeur of erstwhile wealthy Rajput merchants, an enthralling experience of ‘Sand Dune Bashing’, a rustic charm of a ‘Camel Safari’ exploring infinite stretches of golden sand or an unforgettable culinary experience of authentic Rajasthani cuisine; Jaisalmer impresses its every visitor with an extensive range of cultural offerings.
The annual ‘Jaisalmer Desert Festival‘ is a visual treat to eyes and it makes much sense to plan for a holiday trip to Jaisalmer during this festival. Folk dances, cultural musical performances, campfires under open starlit sky, enthralling camel shows, local haats selling exquisite jewellery and handicrafts; exuberance and vivaciousness of this gala event can be seen at every nook and corner of the city. One of the most colourful and vibrant places, Jaisalmer, for sure is one of the most striking places to visit in India.
Udaipur is called the Venice of the East, but the different Rajasthani hues of the city surely make it stand out. The City of Lakes has to be in your list of best places to travel in India. Even though Udaipur boasts of having some of the most gracious luxury heritage hotels, it will embrace you with all the warmth even if you’re looking for budget stays. Boating, trekking, sightseeing are just some activities you may indulge in your visit to the city.
Extremely alluring, pleasantly boisterous and wreathed in clouds – Gangtok, the capital city of the Sikkim can also give you a spectacular view of Mt. Kanchenjunga, at a distant skyline. The pristine hill station nestled in mountains and clouds is also a base for a whole lot of trekkers to the Himalayan mountain ranges. The mesmerising prismatic beauty and the beautiful winding hill roads are even more breathtaking if seen from a bird’s eye view in a cable car.
The name meaning hill-top, Gangtok can be safely said to be one of the most beautiful hill stations in the country. With everything in just the right amount from a blend of cultural identities to urbanisation, Gangtok is a breathing and dynamic bit of paradise of the northeast. It has an amazing view of mount Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain peak in the world. Also like everything around it, Gangtok is abundant in natural beauty and has various natural attractions such as the Tsomgo Lake, Ban Jhakri falls, Tashi viewpoint and more. Other places to visit include the Enchey Monastery, Ganesh Tok, Do Drul Chorten Rumtek Monastery, etc. Also, river Teesta is one of the best spots for white water rafting in North East India.
The Skiing Capital of India, Auli is one of the most beautiful places to travel in India even if you’re not into skiing. This is the land of beautiful sunsets, and captivating views of the Himalayas, which you will never have enough of! If you’re not visiting Auli in winters for skiing, step foot here any time during the year, and you’ll witness the charm of every season at its best at one of the best places in India.
Attractions: Kuari Pass Trek, Vishnuprayag, Kalpeshwar, Sri Hemkunt Sahib, Gorson Bugyal, Pangarchulla Peak, and more.
Valley Of flower
The Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand is carpeted with over 300 flower species, making it among paradisiacal places to travel in India. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located at an altitude of 3,858 meters above the sea level. Today, this heavenly hideout is in the bucket list of avid travelers, and trekkers too; owing to its treacherous yet fascinating route. The Valley of Flowers trek is taken by both beginners and professionals and is awaited through the year.
Attractions: Govindghat, the National Park, Hemkund Sahib, Nanda Devi National Park, and Pushpawati River.