10 Most Popular Tourist Attractions In India
There are a lot of places around the world worth visiting for many reasons. What attracts visitors to India’s tourist places though is its tremendous diversity. It is the seventh-largest country in the world, ranging from the high mountains of the Himalayas to the tropical greenery of Kerala and the sacred Ganges to the sands of the Thar Desert. Its 1.25 billion inhabitants are divided into two thousand ethnicities and speak more than 200 different languages.
India, therefore, has always had a variety of cultures, landscapes, monuments and places to explore. From ancient ruins, fascinating religious structures, exotic cities, and diverse landscapes, India has a myriad of tourist destinations that never cease to amaze and attract tourists.
We are excited to share our list of most popular tourist destinations in India. These destinations are one of the most popular tourist destinations and definitely a must-visit in India. We thank you for your interest in our compilation and welcome you to share your favorites in the comments section.
1. Taj Mahal, Agra
Described by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore as “the tear-drop on the cheek of time”, The Taj Mahal, was built from 1632 to 1653 by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
It is one of the most magnificent structures in Mughal architecture throughout the ever-changing extent of their empire in the Indian subcontinent. In addition to a white marble mausoleum of ivory, the Taj Mahal also boasts of many beautiful buildings, lakes, ornamental plants and shrubs.
The Taj Mahal was selected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 as it is the “The Jewel of Muslim Art in India and one of the most universally admired masterpieces in the world.” It found a proud mention in the list of New7Wonders of the World (2000–2007) initiative in 2007.
2. Jaipur, Rajasthan
Jaipur, also known as the ‘Pink City’ or ‘Paris of India’, is the capital of the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was ruled by the Rajput kingdoms for many centuries and was founded in 1727 by Maharaj Jai Singh II, who ruled Jaipur State from 1699–1744. In the beginning, Amber, which is 11 km away, was his capital. Jaipur, Delhi, and Agra together are parts of the ‘Golden Triangle’, one of India’s most popular tourist circuits. The Walled City of Jaipur, Amber Fort and Jantar Mantar are UNESCO World Heritage Sites because of their unique architectural legacy.
Maharaja Ram Singh of Jaipur painted the whole city pink for the reception of Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria, as a sign of hospitality in 1876. On arrival, Lord Albert exclaimed Jaipur to be a ‘Pink City’, and hence the name.
There are many magnificent forts, palaces, temples and museums in Jaipur. It is home to numerous popular markets like Bapu Bazaar, Tripolia Bazaar and Johari Bazaar where one can shop for local handicrafts and trinkets.
Jaipur is also known for its local cuisine. The most popular dishes are Gewar, Pyaaz Kachori, and Dal Bati Churma.
One of the largest cities in India, Jaipur has all the modern features including some of the most attractive hotels and resorts in the world.
3. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Dating back to the 11th century B.C., the city of Varanasi is regarded as the spiritual capital of India. As per age-old Hindu traditions, taking bath and performing final rites on the banks of the holy river, Ganga, is considered auspicious.
There are about 2,000 temples in Varanasi, including Kashi Vishwanath, the “Golden Temple,” dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Bharat Mata Mandir, the Dhanvantri Temple, the Durga Temple, the Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple, the Shri Vishwanath Temple on the BHU campus and the Tulsi Manas Temple, etc.
Some of the other prominent places of interest In Varanasi are the Aghor Peeth, the Alamgir Mosque, the Ashoka Pillar, the Bharat Kala Bhavan (Art Museum), the Central University for Tibetan Studies, the Jantar Mantar, the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith and the Ramnagar Fort, etc.
4. Lake Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan
Also known as the ‘City of Lakes’, Udaipur is the crown of the state of Rajasthan. Surrounded by picturesque Aravalli hills in all directions, mesmerizing temples and breath-taking architecture, the city is simply beautiful.
An artificial freshwater lake by name, Lake Pichola, helps in fulfilling the requirement of drinking water in the city. City Palace, overlooking Lake Pichola, is a monumental palace complex of 11 palaces, courtyards and gardens, famed for its intricate peacock mosaics. It was built over nearly 400 years, with contributions from several rulers of the Mewar dynasty.
Several historical monuments like the Lake Palace, Jag Mandir, Jagdish Temple, Monsoon Palace and Neemach Mata temple are all in the vicinity of the palace complex. And though the entire city’s architecture is flattering, the Lake Palace hotel is something that offers the city a visual definition.
The Lake Palace built as a royal summer palace in the 18th century is today a luxury 5 Star hotel, operating under the “Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces”. The hotel operates a boat that transports guests to the hotel from a jetty at the City Palace on the east bank of Lake Pichola. The palace became famous in 1983 when it was screened as the lead actor’s home in the James Bond film Octopussy.
5. Palolem Beach, Goa
One of the most developed and beautiful beaches of Goa, Palolem Beach is known for its serene beauty and almost white sands. Cossetted within lofty highlands on either side, this beach is adorned with tranquil surroundings as the mile-long shoreline is lined with palm trees and colorful wooden shacks to relax along with spending some time in the water. One can make use of the ferry rides that take visitors to witness dolphins and the elusive Butterfly and Honeymoon Beaches.
The families mostly stick to the northern end of the beach. The backpackers and solo tourists occupy the central and southern part of the beach known for Silent Discos at Neptune Point where partygoers wear headphones.
6. Kashmir, J&K
Kashmir, famous as the “Paradise on Earth” is one of the most beautiful destinations in India because of its scenic splendor, lush green mountainous views, snow-clad peaks, amazing waterfalls, plentiful wildlife, flower gardens, exquisite monuments, hospitable people and local handicrafts.
Among the popular tourist places are amazing Dal Lake that has popular houseboats, beautiful Nagin Lake popularly known as ‘Jewel in the ring’, Gulmarg that has the world’s highest green golf course, Shree Amarnath Cave Temple which is situated in a narrow gorge at the farther end of Lidder Valley, Shankracharya Temple at the top of the Shankaracharya Hill or Sulaiman Hill in the Zabarwan Mountain, Srinagar City which lies in the Kashmir Valley on the banks of Jhelum River, mesmerising hill station Sonmarg in Gandderbal district, Pari Mahal or palace of fairies which is a seven-terraced garden on top of Zabarwan mountain range and Pahalgam which is popular tourist destination and hill station in Anantnag district.
The mountain ranges as well as the gushing rivers of the Kashmir valley provide abundant opportunities for adventure sports like Fishing, Golf, Mountaineering, Skiing, Trekking, River Rafting, Paragliding, Aero Sports, Backpacking, Canoe trips, Camping, and Kayaking, etc.
7. Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu
The coastal town of Kanyakumari, formerly known as Cape Comorin, is a fusion of the three largest bodies of water in the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. It is the only place in India where you can see both, the solace of the sunrise and the breath-taking sunset.
Surrounded by beaches along the mountains, adorned with paddy fields and coconut trees, there are beautiful views of the valleys and plains along the sea and the mountains in Kanyakumari. Apart from the Kanyakumari beach, Thirparappu falls, Courtallam Falls and Olakaruvi falls are also popular spots for people to relax and enjoy the waterfalls.
Kanyakumari is famous for its monuments and buildings. Vivekananda Rock Memorial is one of the finest monuments in the city. It is a large structure surrounded by sea from all sides, so you can reach the monument only by boat/ferry ride. It was built by the Ramakrishna Mission and is dedicated to the great philosopher Swami Vivekananda who meditated here.
Kanyakumari also houses a statue of the holy poet Thiruvalluvar, one of the finest Tamil poets in India. The statue, which stands at 133 feet, is the largest in the Asian subcontinent and is the result of the hard work of more than 500 artisans.
Kanyakumari Temple, also known as the Bhagwati Amman Temple or the Kumari Amman Temple is one of the most important Hindu temples in India. The temple is dedicated to the virgin goddess, Kanya Devi and is mentioned in almost every ancient Hindu scripture.
Other historical places you can visit in Kanyakumari are the Padmanabhapuram Palace, Vattakottai Fort and the Gandhi Memorial.
8. Kerala backwaters
The Kerala Backwaters are a series of lakes and ponds located parallel to the shore of the Arabian Sea. Many aquatic species like crabs, frogs, mudskippers, otters, and tortoises are found here. Traveling along the waterfront in houseboats called Kettuvallams is one of the most popular tourist activities.
Alleppey or Alappuzha is the most famous canal network in Kerala and is about 60 km south of Kochi. It is home to vast green fields and paddy fields, coconut plantations and beautiful islands.
One of Kerala’s largest freshwater ponds, the Vembanad lake, is home to Kumarakom Backwaters, Kottayam and one can enjoy watching birds like Kingfisher and Darters, here. This is the perfect place to walk in a quiet town and have a romantic candle dinner, while the sun comes to a halt in the background.
Kuttanad, Allapuzha is a rich producer of rice for the state of Kerala and lies between land and the sea. The sight of rich cornfields is simply beautiful. One can relish the delicious authentic seafood and fascinating local culture, here. This place is famous for boat racing during Onam.
8 hands or channel of Lake Ashtamudi, as its name suggests is the gateway to the famous backwaters of Kerala. The road from Kollam to Alappuzha is considered as one of the best in the backwaters. The lush greenery and exotic biodiversity keep one entertained forever.
The capital city of India, Delhi is one of the most visited places in the country and is a cosmopolitan city with a historic old Delhi and the modern New Delhi. A lot of tourists visit Delhi to explore historical monuments such as the Rashtrapati Bhawan, India Gate, Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb and Purana Qila, etc.
Delhi is home to numerous places of worship like including Akshardham Temple, ISKON Temple, and Lotus Temple, Dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin, etc.
Delhi is a shopper’s paradise with some colorful bazaars and upscale markets such as Chandni Chowk, Connaught Place, Greater Kailash, and Dilli Haat, etc. People in Delhi enjoy their food and there are available a lot of options in various cuisines on every corner of every street.
10. Ajanta & Ellora Caves, Aurangabad, Maharashtra
Ajanta and Ellora caves, one of the finest examples of ancient rock-cut caves are adorned with beautiful sculptures, paintings and frescoes. These caves are an amalgamation of Buddhist, Jain and Hindu monuments and are designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Kailash Temple, which is the single largest monolithic structure in the world, is one of the most famous sites in the entire Ajanta and Ellora Caves. The caves, carved out of rocks, are magnificent examples of ancient Indian architecture and sculpture.