India is colorful, India is playful. India can be soothing as a serenade and wicked as sea waves during thunderstorm. India is everything you’d want, and a little more than that.
You can choose to watch the cloud approaching you from the balcony of your cozy hotel room in Gangtok or tap your feet to the grooviest jams in the clubs of Goa, or maybe go with the flow as you sail aboard a Kettuvalam in Kerala. Oh! Or perhaps you’d love to run your fingers through immaculate carvings done in the Mughal era.
The finest places to visit in India continue to leave foreign tourists in total awe of country's geographical and cultural beauty. To add, the rich history and mythology are ever-intriguing. If you too are planning to explore the best of India, here are the top 10 places that must feature in your trip itinerary. Focussed on first time visitors to India, this list ensures that the first, in fact every impression, of this incredible country makes you leave with amazing memories; and of course, pulls you back for yet another incredible tour to India. So get best tour packages and explore all these places in India.
1. Agra- The City of Taj Mahal
Agra is embellished by the Mughal marvels like the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Dating back to 1632, Taj Mahal is a symbol of love crafted by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Other than love, Taj Mahal is an epitome of perfect architecture.
Taj Mahal is not all that Agra has. The more you’ll explore the more you’ll fall in love with this city. The gems of erstwhile era – Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri will leave you in utter awe. Witness the immaculate art and let the royal sagas move you.
Top tourist attractions of Agra: Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Jama Masjid (Fatehpur Sikri)
Best time to visit Agra: The best time is during winter months (October-March), as the weather is cold but pleasant. Monsoon (August-October) is also a good time, but don’t forget your umbrellas!
2. Udaipur- Lake City of India
The Lake City of India, Udaipur flaunts a regal charm. This is where you get to experience the blend of a colorful heritage and world class amenities. The glinting lakes, opulent palace hotels, the changing colors of the sky during sunset and melodious chirps make Udaipur a perfect paradise for travelers, regardless of where in the world they’re coming from.
Top attractions of Udaipur: City Palace, Saheliyon ki Bari, Fateh Sagar Lake, Jag Mandir and Lake Palace.
Best time to visit Udaipur: Winter months (September-March) are perfect to explore Udaipur, owing to the pleasant weather.
3. Goa- The beach state adorned with cathedrals
Happening beaches, electrifying nightlife and a heritage worth a thousand glances; Goa is all this and much more. A leading destination for foreigners coming to India, this beach state pleases everyone from a laid back traveler, history-lover, foodie or an adventure junky.
You can try your hands on watersports in Goa (parasailing, kayaking and more), go beach hopping, pub crawl, give it a shot in cruise casinos or go exploring the churches and convents of Goa. No matter what you love to do, Goa seems to never disappoint.
Top attractions of Goa: Dudhsagar Falls, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral, Casino Royale, Candolim Beach, Vegator Beach and the list goes on!
Best time to visit Goa: October to January is the best time to visit Goa, as this is when the weather stays perfect and many fests and carnivals are held. Monsoon also is a great time but you might not be able to indulge in water activities.
4. Delhi- The city with a thousand shades
While on your trip to India, you cannot miss visiting its capital! Especially when it exhibits a thousand colors at the same time. Delhi has its arms wide open for the foodies (try resisting it!), culture vultures, history-enthusiasts, art aficionados, backpackers and luxury travelers. Delhi moves at a fast pace, but clutches to its history with pride.
Top attractions of Delhi: Red Fort, Humayun Temple, Qutub Minar, Akshardham Temple, India Gate and more.
Best time to visit Delhi: Delhi is best visited from October to March. During December and January the nights are very cold, but days are pleasant.
5. Jaipur- The pink ‘capital’ city of Rajasthan
Yet another gem of Rajasthan, Jaipur is the well-deserved capital of the state. Rajasthan is a treasure trove of architectural marvels and cultural paradise, and if we add all of the incredible cities, the list would never end.
Jaipur gives you a glimpse of all of Rajasthan, in terms of food, forts, shops and culture. Being a part of the popular Golden Triangle of India (Delhi, Jaipur and Agra), this city cannot be missed while you’re visiting India for the first time.
Top attractions of Jaipur: Hawa Mahal, Amer Fort, Jantar Mantar and Nahargarh Fort
Best time to visit Jaipur: The best time is during Winter (October-March) and Monsoon (July- September)
6. Alleppey- The best of south
Alleppey, or Alappuzha, is among the most important tourist destinations of India and popular attraction of Kerala mainly because of the backwaters and the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race. This is where the best of Kerala’s backwater experience can be enjoyed. Cruise through the scenic landscapes aboard a Kettuvalam, watch the roaring waves from the beaches and behold the historical structures like Krishnapuram Palace.
Top attractions of Alleppey: Alappuzha Beach, Vembanad Lake and Nehru Trophy Race.
Best time to visit Alleppey: Weather during winters is pleasant. Summers are usually hot and humid. Monsoon is a great time too, but you might not able to enjoy houseboat rides, but relax as you explore the city.
Tip: Alleppey is located in Kerala, and the whole state has a lot to offer. So, if you have time, opt to visit other tourist destinations of Kerala as well, like Munnar, Kumarakom, Kovalam and Varkala. Choose from various Kerala tour packages for the best combination of these attractions.
7. Mumbai- The city of dreams
Mumbai is a major metropolitan city of India and it caters to both budget and luxury travelers. Mumbai’s beaches, nightlife and shopping scenario are bustling and allure travelers from around the world. Being the seat of Bollywood, you can get an insight to many aspects of cinema world, right from the sets to the stars themselves.
Top attractions of Mumbai: Gateway of India, Siddhivinayak Temple, Elephanta Caves, Haji Ali, Aksa Beach and more.
Best time to visit Mumbai: Visit Mumbai during the months of October-February. Rain lovers can make the most of their times during Monsoon (June-September). But owing to heavy showers, water activities are put to hold.
8. Gangtok- A glimpse of northeast
You cannot make your way back home without visiting Northeast India. Though the more you’ll explore, the more you’ll fall for it, if you don’t have much time you can get a glimpse of all of Northeast in Gangtok, and that too with easy availabilities of hotels, shops and other such amenities.
Top attractions of Gangtok: Nathu La, Hanuman Tok, Rumtek Monastery and Namgyal Institute of Tibetology .
Best time to visit Gangtok: Summer (March-June) and Autumn (September- November) are the perfect times for visiting Gangtok. Summers are pleasant and great for exploration. Similarly Autumn is a little cooler but the weather stays refreshing.
9. Varanasi – The Oldest, Holiest City of India
Varanasi, also known as Banaras and Kashi, is called the Spiritual Capital of India. As the holy River Ganga flows through it you’ll hear the tinkling of temple bells and chanting of Hindu hymns right before the sunrise, and even after it sets. For those longing to experience the cultural, colorful side of India, Varanasi is the place to be.
Top attractions of Varanasi: Kashi Vishwanath, Assi Ghat, Ramnagar Fort, Dhamek Stupa, Sarnath Museum and more.
Best time to visit Varanasi: September-March is the best time to visit Varanasi as the weather stays pleasant and many festivals take place during this time.
10. Hampi – A history buff’s delight
For those who love to turn the pages of history, Hampi is a paradise. This temple site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a rugged landscape and many stories yet to be narrated. The ruins belong to Vijayanagara Empire and date way back than 1500 AD.
Top attractions in Hampi: Vittala Temple, Virupaksha Temple and Matanga Hill among many.
Best time to visit Hampi: Winter (November-February) and Monsoon (August-September) are the perfect! The weather stays pleasureable and the exploration becomes more enjoyable.