India is a really colorful and stunning nation with striking juxtapositions where the antique and the contemporary coexist. India, the world's second-most densely populated country and the seventh-largest by total land area, has a history steeped in influences from various faiths and civilizations over the course of many generations.
Wildlife enthusiasts will appreciate India's sun-kissed coastlines, verdant nature reserves, and fascinating animal preserves. At the same time, divine seekers can explore a wide range of sacred sites and spiritual experiences.
Travelers who visit this unique nation will be amazed by the richness of the cultures that coexist harmoniously, the spiritual beliefs and rites, and the immense historical heritage. From Agra's magnificent Taj Mahal to Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid, Mumbai's Gateway of India, and Amritsar's sumptuous Golden Temple, India is a journey of wonder and discovery.
Please read our guide to the best places to visit in this exciting country to get the most out of your trip to India.
Taj Mahal, Agra
The Taj Mahal is undoubtedly the most incredible iconic landmark in India and the finest well-known testament to the transformative force of passion in the history of humankind. The construction of the Mumtaz Mahal, the tomb honoring the favored spouse (which this piece of art bears the name) of Shah Jahan, the emperor, began following her passing in 1631 and continued till 1648, requiring the labor of 20,000 artisans.
The edifice is built almost entirely of white marble that changes color depending on the amount of sunshine or starlight that hits it. It also has numerous Islamic architectural elements like arches, belfries, a cupola, and black calligraphy all around the entry. Moderate sculptures, gemstones, inlaid floral motifs, and jewels, including lazuli, germs, and pearls, adorn the mausoleum's octagonal limestone hall. There, a flute's single sound is amplified seven times by the central dome's resonant echoes. A delicately carved limestone screen surrounds the graves, and the real sepulchers are buried under the ground in the gardens underneath the tombs. Minarets towers stand tall at each end of the square foundation, setting them distinct from the main structure.
The ideal times for visiting are sunrise and nightfall when the illumination changes dramatically and creates a whole new ambiance. You may take a picture of the Taj Mahal and its mirror image in the Yamuna River that will last a lifetime.
Red Fort Complex, New Delhi
Located in New Delhi, the Red Fort, so called for the beautiful red color of the limestone its structure is made of, is in size exceeding two square kilometers and is encircled by a massive ditch. Built in 1648 by Shah Jahan, the fort served as the headquarters of Mughal sovereignty till 1857.
Among the most notable features are the fort's two main doors: the imposing Lahore Gate, which is the fort's primary entryway, and the magnificently adorned Delhi Gate, previously accustomed by the sovereign for ceremonial parades.
Touring Chatta Chowk, an underground market dating back to the 17th century and offering bijouterie, silken clothing, trinkets, and even delicious meals, is a delightful aspect of the trip. You may go on your own to visit the fort if you want. However, field trips are also available and give an exciting perception of Shah's existence over time, such as a look inside the beautiful, white-marbled Hallway dedicated to Public Audiences (Diwan-i-Am), where he welcomed his subjects.
Stay and enjoy the nightly light and sound spectacle depicting the fort's significant moments of its past.
Varanasi, A Sacred City for Hindus
Varanasi is one of the world's earliest cities, with a history that dates back to the eighth century BC. This sacred town is a popular destination for Hindu pilgrims because of its proximity to the holy Ganges River, a significant spiritual reference.
The Kashi Vishwanath Temple, constructed in 1780, is one of the numerous attractions of Varanasi's Ancient Town, which runs along the Ganges. A further attraction is the recent Vishwanath holy place, which consists of seven detached temples you will also enjoy visiting.
Hindus place a high value on taking a ritual wash in the Ganges prior to religious ceremonies. Various "ghats" provide access to the river through staircases, of which b Both Dasashvamedh Ghat and Assi Ghat are among the greatest. Especially sacred is the spot where the Ganges and Asi rivers converge.
Banaras Hindu University, founded in 1917 and renowned for its massive bibliotheca of millions of volumes and even further, and the excellent Bharat Kala Bhavan museum, which has a significant heap of limnings, carvings, lontar, and lore study displays, are other must-sees.
Amer Fort, Jaipur
The walled palace of Amer (sometimes spelled "Amber"), constructed by Maharaja Man Singh I in 1952, has long been Jaipur's capital. This hilltop fort may be reached either by a strenuous ascent or by taking a group ride from the nearby village (don't miss the unique opportunity to ride an elephant).
Visit the goddess of war Shila Devi's Temple, and take beautiful photos of numerous elephants beautifully ornamented in Jaleb Chowk and the central courtyard, which are undoubtedly wonders. Monkeys frequently draw on the balconies and walls of the adjacent Hall of Public Audience (Diwan-i-Am), which is well worth seeing.
Jai Mandir (the Temple of Victory), including its numerous artistic murals, beautiful ceilings, superb panoramas across the castle and the lake beneath, and the Hall of Pleasure (Sukh Niwas), with its plethora of garden plots and a waterway previously used as cooling system, are other incredible attractions to visit here.
Directly overlooking Amber Fort, Jaigarh Fort, constructed in 1726 by Jai Singh, has massive walls, high-raised watchtowers, and the biggest mobile cannon in the world. You should also see the magnificent City Palace, a large complex of courts, parks, and structures, and Jaipur's walled Old City, which has three completely rebuilt gateways and beautiful bazaars.
The Golden Temple, Amritsar
The primary center of Sikh's earlier period and customs, Amritsar, was established by Ram Das in 1577. Harmandir Sahib, usually known as the Golden Temple because of its golden adornment, was established in 1604 and remained the primary draw for visitors.
The shrine is considered the most spiritual of India's numerous Sikh sanctuaries and combines Hindu architectural traditions and Islamic style. The sizable golden cupola illustrates a water lily, a signifier of holiness to Sikhs; meanwhile, the subjacent part has such embellishments as beautiful inlay flowery and wildlife designs.
The ethereal aura of the shrine, relentlessly strengthened by the intercessions intoned from the Sikh sacred text and rerun across the edifice, is as impressive to tourists as its magnificent construction.
The site offers visitors the opportunity to taste over 50,000 complimentary dishes accessible to tourists daily, and guests are encouraged to partake in this integral aspect of the journey.
The Gateway of India, Mumbai
The Gateway of India is an architectural wonder located in Mumbai that stands an astonishing 26 meters high and overlooks the Arabian Sea. At its opening in 1924, it was the tallest edifice in the city and was constructed to honor King George V and Queen Mary's visit to the town in 1911.F
Famous for its Indo-Saracenic architecture and made utterly of yellowy basalt, The gate of India saw a less celebratory parade of Brits troops in 1948, after India achieved independence from the British Empire. Now, the massive arch serves as a breathtaking scene for both residents and visitors.
Having High Tea at the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, a beautiful luxurious hotel that has been a popular activity in Mumbai since its opening in 1903, is a great way to round up a trip to the nearby Gateway of India.
The Beaches of Goa
Goa's magnificent western shoreline facing the Arabian Sea has just lately been spotted by visitors from outside, despite its longstanding reputation as India's premier beach vacation spot. Many of the most beautiful resorts in the world are dotted throughout Goa's majestic 60 kilometers of coastline.
If you're searching for tranquility, go to Agonda Beach, whereas Calangute Beach is where the crowds and vendors are. Resorts like Mandrem beach, Morjim beach, and Ashwem beach are popular among the must-do of India for beaches lover because they provide luxurious accommodations, yoga retreats, and spa holidays. Palolem beach is another well-liked shore in Goa, and it has a stunning natural backdrop.
The Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary and the Mollem national park are must-sees if you're in Goa. Beautiful woods provide a habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, tigers, black panthers, leopards, monkeys, and deer; the notorious king cobras of India; and over 200 different kinds of birds.
Divar Island, which can be reached by boat after visiting Old Goa, is also highly recommended. Visit a Goan's typical village, housing the Church of Our Lady of Compassion, known for its unique plaster work, Baroque stucco embellishments, altars, and breathtaking sights of the surrounding landscape.
Jaisalmer, The Golden City in the Desert
The City of Jaisalmer is a magnificent example of ancient Indian design that appears out of the Thar Desert sand ridge. Because its structure is made of gold granite, this beautiful abode bears the name of Golden City. Jaisalmer, formerly a vital stronghold, is now home to beautiful ancient manors, majestic gates, and the intimidating Fort of Jaisalmer. This large twelfth fortress towers high over the city.
The castle has 99 citadels and monumental entrances that open up into its central patio, host to the tall Maharaja's Palace seven-story, as well as shrines and beautiful ancient dwellings. Parts of the castle are accessible to visitors, featuring rooms exquisitely adorned with ceramics from both Italy and China and delicately sculpted stone gates. Construction on the court started around the ancient 1500s and continued till the early 1900s.
Many Jain temples were built between the 12th to 16th eras and featured intricately carved stonework, draft texts, and colorfully adorned domes. Gyan Bhandar, a bibliotheca dating back a thousand years that has been meticulously kept and now houses several 16th-century calligraphies and antiques, should also be on your itinerary.
Mecca Masjid, Hyderabad
Classified among the largest mosques in the world, Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid, among India's oldest mosques, was entirely built over eighty years. Its construction began in 1614 under the rule of Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah.
The stunning mosque's 15 colossal curvatures and columns were carved from unique pieces of black granitic rock brought to the spot by massive bull trains said to have included as many as 1,400 animals.
The emphasis of this magnificent edifice includes the main entrance, a massive courtyard, and a vast constructed lake; its name originates from the bricks over the central gate, transported from Mecca to here. Additionally, there's a chamber dedicated to housing the Prophet Mohammed's hair.
Verses of the Quran adorn several arches and doorways, and the beautiful style of the main hall's dome and crest set this mosque apart. Keep your eyes peeled for the magnificent floral designs and friezes that decorate the archways.
Periyar National Park, Kerala
Established in 1934, Periyar National Park is among Southern India's most visited traveler spots and is based around the lake (built by the British in 1895) that irrigates and gives water to Madurai.
Many free-roaming Indian elephants, wild boars, lion-tailed macaques, otters, and over 20 tigers Bengal lives in this gorgeous park. Darters, kingfishers, hornbills, and storks are just some of the more common bird species that attract birdwatchers, and there are also many fascinating butterfly species to see.
Taking a lake sail or a guided jungle tour are the finest ways to take in the park's breathtaking mountainous beauty. Tourists may encounter elephant herds as well as other wild animals.
There are several spice, tea, and coffee plantations in the area that are worth seeing.
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