27 Top Tourist Attractions in India

by Akash Arjun
27 Top Tourist Attractions in India

India is the seventh-largest country in the world and encompasses a wide variety of landscapes, from the snowy peaks of the Himalayas to the lush vegetation of Kerala, and from the holy waters of the Ganges to the scorching dunes of the Thar. Its over a billion people come from over 2,000 distinct cultural backgrounds and communicate using over 200 languages.

27 Top Tourist Attractions in India

27. Hawa Mahal

Hawa Mahal at Sunset

Witness the stunning silhouette of Hawa Mahal as the sun sets, casting a warm glow on this iconic landmark in Jaipur, India. Image source: Shadab Raza/Shutterstock.com

A beautiful five-story building of red sandstone and marble is a sight to see in the middle of Jaipur. The Hawa Mahal, one of the city’s top tourist destinations, serves a special function. It was a spot where the royal women could go to see the goings-on of the city without being seen. The pyramid-shaped palace achieves this effect with its 953 ornately carved windows. The Hawa Mahal, which was built in 1799, is a fantastic illustration of Rajputana style.

26. Havelock Island

Walking Elephant on Tropical Beach

Experience the unique encounter of a walking elephant against the backdrop of a tropical beach on Havelock Island, India. Image source: Tereshchenko Dmitry/Shutterstock.com

Havelock Island is the most popular destination in the Andaman Islands for ecotourists, and with good reason. Havelock Island’s popularity is growing as more and more people learn about its beautiful beaches, laid-back vibe, and excellent snorkeling and scuba diving. Weather and seas are at their finest in the spring and early summer, so plan your trip during that period. One of the best beaches in Asia is Redhanagar Beach.

25. Bandhavgarh National Park

Bengal Tigers in the Jungle

Encounter the raw power and beauty of two Bengal tigers as they relax on the jungle road in Bandhavgarh National Park, India. Image source: GUDKOV ANDREY/Shutterstock.com

Many tourists want to see wild animals in their natural habitats. Bandhavgarh National Park is sure to be a hit with them. Bandhavgarh is one of India’s most visited national parks, and although only around 10% of visitors are likely to encounter a Bengal tiger, the park’s other inhabitants, such as leopards, barking deer, sloth bears, hyenas, Indian bison, and wolves, are all worth the trip. Sunrise and sunset are the best times to watch animals.

24. Dharamsala

Dharamsala, India

Explore the serene town of Dharamsala, nestled in the scenic beauty of the Indian Himalayas. Image source: hecke61/Shutterstock.com

Once the Dalai Lama escaped Tibet in 1959, he made his way to Dharamsala, where he has lived ever since. The Tibetan administration in exile also calls this city home. There are a lot of Tibetans in Dharamsala, so the name makes sense: it denotes a spiritual home or a rest stop for pilgrims. It is possible to attend one of the Dalai Lama’s public teaching sessions if you arrange ahead of time. Tourists to Dharamsala often come for the hiking, but they often stay for the yoga and Indian cooking classes.

23. Pushkar Camel Fair

Decorated Camels at Pushkar Camel Fair

the vibrant atmosphere of the Pushkar Camel Fair as beautifully adorned camels showcase Rajasthan’s rich cultural heritage. Image source: Roberto Agostini/Shutterstock.com

The Pushkar Camel Fair is a great opportunity for tourists to buy a camel as a souvenir of their trip to India. Although camels are the major attraction, more than a thousand other animals are purchased, sold, or exchanged throughout the fair’s two weeks. The fair has evolved throughout the years to serve a wider purpose than merely as a marketplace for farmers to trade cattle. The camel races, sporting activities, carnival attractions, and even the moustache contests have grown into a full-fledged festival in their own right.

22. Ranakpur Temple

Ranakpur Jain Temple in Rajasthan

Discover the intricate beauty of Ranakpur Temple, a stunning Jain temple nestled in the heart of Rajasthan, India. Image source: saiko3p/Shutterstock.com

The art and architecture of the Jain temple Ranakpur Temple are world-famous and have earned it a reputation as one of the most impressive religious buildings in the world. It took more than 50 years to build this temple in the 15th century. Ranakpur Temple is one of the biggest in India, with 29 rooms and 80 domes, but it is most known for its 1,444 pillars. Each dome has a statue of a deity. Intricate carvings decorate the inside.

21. Varkala Beach

Varkala Beach in Kerala

Experience the serene beauty of Varkala Beach, a picturesque coastal paradise in the state of Kerala, India. Image source: javarman/Shutterstock.com

Tourists who need a vacation from sight-seeing often go to Varkala Beach. Discovery Channel ranked it as one of the top 10 seasonal beaches in the world due in large part to the quality of its sandy beaches and magnificent cliffs, making it ideal for beachcombing, sunbathing, and swimming.

The locals believe that bathing in the natural springs there would cure any illness and wash away any sins. Janardhana Swami Temple is a temple devoted to Vishnu that is 2,000 years old and is a good option for tourists looking to fit in a little tourism on their trip.

20. Darjeeling

Scenic Village in Darjeeling District

Immerse yourself in the natural splendor of a charming village in Darjeeling district, India. Image source: Jitendra singh shekhawat/Shutterstock.com

The northeast Indian town of Darjeeling is well-known for its tea, its trains, and its stunning natural surroundings. Darjeeling tea is delicate in appearance, with a pale color, a delicate scent, and relaxing properties. In the hills outside of town, the leaves are cultivated. The snowy peaks of the Himalayan foothills can be seen far off in the distance. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railroad, sometimes known as the “toy train,” is a narrow-gauge railway that can transport passengers from the closest airport to the city of Darjeeling in around seven hours.

19. Qutb Minar

Qutub Minar Tower in New Delhi

Behold the grandeur of Qutub Minar Tower, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in New Delhi, India. Image source: Kanisorn Pringthongfoo/Shutterstock.com

It is the second-tallest brick minaret in the world, and it is located at Qutb Minar. The minaret is cut from the marble and red sandstone bricks that make up its 80-meter (270-foot) height. The building process began in 1193 and took four years to complete. An enclosed 379-step spiral stairway climbs up to the summit. At the base of the minaret is Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosqueaa, the first mosque ever constructed in India. The nearby Iron Pillar gets its name since it’s constructed entirely out of corrosion-proof metals.

18. Thikse Monastery

Thikse Monastery in Leh, Ladakh

Discover the spiritual sanctuary of Thikse Monastery, a revered Buddhist monastery located in Leh, Ladakh, India. Image source: mbrand85/Shutterstock.com

Visitors to Tibet may have trouble believing their eyes when they first lay eyes on Thikse Monastery. This Buddhist monastery in Ladakh, India, looks like the Potala Palace in Lhasa, but it really has 12 stories. It is situated at a lofty 3,600 meters above sea level, much like the Tibetan landscapes it was inspired by (11,800 feet). The highest statue in all of Ladakh can be seen at the biggest monastery, a 14-meter (45-foot) tall depiction of Maitreya that is placed in a shrine dedicated to the 1970 visit of the Dalai Lama. Stupas and wall paintings are only two examples of the significant Buddhist art that can be seen in this area.

17. Mysore Palace

Mysore Palace in Karnataka, India

Explore the majestic beauty of Mysore Palace, an architectural gem in the state of Karnataka, India. Image source: saiko3p/Shutterstock.com

The Mysore Palace is India’s second-most visited tourist destination, and with good reason. The Mysore Palace complex consists of seven separate palaces, all of which are stunning in their own right. From 1399 until 1950, the Wodeyar family held sway in Mysore. The present palace was finished in 1912; however, the original palace was constructed in 1399. The new palace combines Muslim, Hindu, Gothic, and Raiput architectural traditions. It is three floors tall and topped with a tower made of ivory and deep pink marble. Each year, the palace plays host to the annual arts and cultural event known as Dashara.

16. Mehrangarh Fort

Jodhpur Cityscape in Rajasthan

Discover the vibrant city of Jodhpur, nestled in the enchanting landscape of Rajasthan, India. Image source: Marcel Toung/Shutterstock.com

The Mehrangarh Fort, one of the biggest in India, is on a hill above Jodhpur, and it is both massive and forbidding in appearance. One of the seven entry gates still has cannonball impressions from when the fort was first constructed as a defense mechanism in the middle of the 15th century. Once within the fortified area, guests will see magnificent palaces adorned with lavish furnishings. There is a wonderful collection of palanquins, instruments, royal cradles, and costumes at the fort’s museum. A historic cannon stands sentry atop the walls, which also provide breathtaking views of Jodhpur below.

15. Jim Corbett National Park

Elephants Crossing River in Jim Corbett National Park

Witness the mesmerizing sight of elephants crossing a river in Jim Corbett National Park, India. Image source: ABHILASH VISWA PICASSO/Shutterstock.com

Observing wild animals is a popular pastime. As India’s first national park, Jim Corbett is one of the best places to see the critically endangered Bengal tiger. The park was originally established in 1936, but in 1954 it was renamed after wildlife novelist and activist Jim Corbett. Jungles and forests make it difficult to see tigers, but other animals like elephants, leopards, rhinoceroses, and Himalayan black bears could be spotted by tourists between April and June.

14. Amber Fort

Amber Fort in Jaipur, Rajasthan

Step into the past at Amber Fort, an architectural marvel in the vibrant city of Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. Image source: Olena Tur/Shutterstock.com

The Amber Fort is Jaipur’s top attraction, and for good reason: it’s a work of art. The hilltop structure is a fusion of Hindu and Rajput architectural traditions. The pink and red sandstone and marble building from the late 16th century is a staple of Bollywood sets. The Mirror Palace, where the queen could gaze at the stars as she drifted off to sleep, has become its most recognizable feature. The only means of travel are on foot, in a 4WD vehicle, or with an elephant.

13. Meenakshi Amman Temple

Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu

Discover the divine beauty of Meenakshi Amman Temple, a sacred Hindu temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. Image source: LUC KOHNEN/Shutterstock.com

The Meenakshi Amman Temple is a magnificent Hindu temple that was originally constructed in the sixth century but underwent extensive renovations and expansion in the first century A.D. Possibly the most significant temple in Madurai, a city that dates back 2,500 years and is situated on the banks of the Vaigai River, Both the inside and outside of this temple are covered with intricate carvings, and the building itself has 14 separate towers. The temple has almost 33,000 sculptures and several valuable paintings.

12. Khajuraho

Khajuraho Group of Monuments in Madhya Pradesh

the Khajuraho Group of Monuments, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Madhya Pradesh, India. Image source: Inderkant/Shutterstock.com

Some of the best examples of medieval temple art in India, if not the world, can be found in the Khajuraho group of temples, where beauty and eroticism meet. 25 of the first 85 temples constructed around the 10th century are still standing. The carvings and sculptures, found in the world’s largest collection of Hindu and Jain temples, are symbolic of women’s traditional roles in medieval society. Some of the carvings are sexually graphic since they were made during a period when erotica was popular.

11. Ajanta Caves

Buddha Statue in Ajanta Cave, Maharashtra

Discover the serene ambiance of Ajanta Cave, adorned with a majestic Buddha statue, in Maharashtra, India. Image source: Yongyut Kumsri/Shutterstock.com

As rock-cut cave monuments, the Ajanta Caves can be traced back to the 2nd century B.C. Beautiful Ajanta caves were left unattended in the year 650 AD and were forgotten until 1819, when a British hunting expedition discovered them. Because of their remote location, many of their works of art have survived in remarkably well-preserved condition. The paintings portray scenes ranging from bustling city streets and animal-filled forests to snow-capped highlands and war-torn battlefields. Access to the equally impressive Ajanta and Ellora caves is facilitated by the city of Aurangabad.

10. Kerala backwaters

Backwaters View in Kerala

Immerse yourself in the tranquility of Kerala’s backwaters, a serene and picturesque destination in India. Image source: riyas.net/Shutterstock.com

A series of lagoons and lakes, the Kerala backwaters run parallel to the Arabian Sea coast in the state of Kerala. The backwaters of Kerala are rich in biodiversity and are home to several kinds of crab, frogs, mudskippers, and birds. A huge number of Kettuvallams (traditional rice boats, now transformed into floating hotels) traverse the canals, making houseboat tourism the most popular pastime for visitors to the backwaters today.

9. Lake Palace

Lake Palace Udaipur at Dawn

Witness the enchanting beauty of Lake Palace in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India, as the sun rises. Image source: PeteInPerth/Shutterstock.com

In the 18th century, the city of Udaipur commissioned the construction of the Lake Palace on the shores of Lake Pichola. This formerly modest inn is now a 5-star Taj Hotels, Resorts, and Palaces property. From the pier at the City Palace on the other side of Lake Pichola, visitors can take the hotel’s boat to the Lake Palace. It was in the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy that the palace first gained widespread attention, when it served as the setting for the residence of the film’s title character.

8. Virupaksha Temple

Virupaksha Temple at Sunset in Hampi

Enjoy the breathtaking view of Virupaksha Temple from Hemakuta hill during the golden hour in Hampi, Karnataka, India. Image source: Pikoso.kz/Shutterstock.com

Under the Vijayanagara rulers, the Virupaksha Temple in Hampi expanded from a small shrine into a large complex. One of the oldest continuously operating Hindu temples in India, this shrine is said to date back to the 7th century AD.

7. Palolem

Palolem Beach in Southern Goa

Indulge in the tranquil vibes of Palolem Beach, a pristine coastal paradise in Southern Goa, India. Image source: Dan Baciu/Shutterstock.com

The Palolem beach in southern Goa is one of the most beautiful in the state. It is a natural bay with high cliffs on each side, making for a tranquil, picturesque sea with a shallow, gradually sloping floor. Palolem is the place to go if you consider a beach paradise only if it also has a variety of reasonably priced restaurants, comfortable hotels, exciting nightlife, and a large population of individuals who share your views.

6. Kanha National Park

Spotted Deer in Kanha National Park

Encounter a group of majestic spotted deer, also known as chital, in their natural habitat at Kanha National Park, India. Image source: EcoPrint/Shutterstock.com

It is possible to see tigers in India, and the park at Kanha is one of the greatest in the country. Kanha is one of India’s most popular tourist destinations because of its verdant sal and bamboo forests, grassy meadows, and ravines, all of which served as inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s classic novel The Jungle Book.

5. Harmandir Sahib

Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) in Amritsar

Experience the divine serenity of the Sikh gurdwara, Golden Temple, in Amritsar, Punjab, India. Image source: Dmitry Rukhlenko/Shutterstock.com

In addition to being the holiest site for Sikhs, the Harmandir Sahib, or Golden Temple, is one of Amritsar’s top attractions for tourists. In the 16th century, Guru Ramdas ji initiated the temple’s construction. When Maharaja Ranjit Singh built the temple in the nineteenth century, he gilded the higher levels. It’s a beautiful temple, and visitors from all across India go there every year to witness what they’ve only seen on television.

4. Jaisalmer

View of Jaisalmer City and Fort in Rajasthan

Behold the mesmerizing view of Jaisalmer city and its magnificent fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site, in Rajasthan, India. Image source: Elena Odareeva/Shutterstock.com

Jaisalmer, a classic desert town, can be found in the far western region of Rajasthan, not far from the Pakistani border. The Jaisalmer Fort stands tall above the golden sandstone buildings of the “Golden City,” which rises out of the Thar Desert like something out of the Arabian Nights. Even though touts and tour buses have diminished Jaisalmer’s once-romantic reputation, the city is still one of India’s top tourist destinations.

3. Ellora Caves

Kailas Temple in Ellora Caves

Delve into the architectural marvels of Kailas Temple, a masterpiece within the Ellora Caves complex in Maharashtra, India. Image source: Mazur Travel/Shutterstock.com

Ellora Caves is one of the biggest monastery and temple cave systems anywhere in the world. While Ellora is home to 100 caverns, only 34 are accessible to visitors. The Kailasa Temple, located in India, is twice as huge as the Parthenon in Athens and is the site of the world’s largest single monolithic rock excavation. The Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain deities for whom the caverns were built during the seventh and ninth centuries AD are honored there.

2. Varanasi

Ancient Architecture of Varanasi at Sunset

Witness the ethereal beauty of ancient Varanasi city, renowned for its sacred sites and stunning architecture, as the sun sets. Image source: Roop_Dey/Shutterstock.com

Varanasi, one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, is located on the banks of the Ganges and is considered holy by Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains. Varanasi is a reflection of India, showcasing both its finest and worst qualities, and it might be a little intimidating to first-time visitors. One of the most stunning spectacles in the world is the early morning procession of devotees bathing in the Ganges in front of ancient temples.

1. Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal at Sunrise in Agra

Experience the breathtaking beauty of the iconic Taj Mahal as the first rays of the sun bathe it in a golden hue in Agra, India. Image source: R.M. Nunes/Shutterstock.com

Agra is home to the Taj Mahal, an enormous mausoleum made of white marble that was commissioned by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to be constructed in remembrance of his beloved wife. Often referred to as “a teardrop on the face of eternity,” this Mughal masterpiece is a major tourist destination in India. In addition to its iconic white marble dome, the Taj Mahal complex also has several other stunning structures, a number of serene lakes, and huge gardens filled with colorful blossoms.

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