Must See in India
With a wide range of tourism options offering brilliant insights into India and its historical, cultural, religious, architectural and natural heritage, there's no dearth of riveting tourist attractions across length and breadth of India. First-hand observations into the lives of vibrant potpourri of people of different states, languages, religions, and cultural backgrounds serve as a captivating window to the binding factors of diversity in India. Witnessing the enduring essence of the sacred River Ganges and the life that exists around it and the everlasting beauty of Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for many of us.
What can be better than planning a trip to some of the prime and most popular tourism hotspots of the country with dedicated tour experts and guides of Annonline who are well-versed with local highlights and nuances and can show you around in English or your own language. From alluring caves of Ajanta and Ellora and famous Khajuraho Temples to forts and palaces of India, Beaches of Goa to Houseboats of Kerala, Trekking in Himalayas to visit some of the most exquisite temples across the state, we offer you a list of some of the most interesting sights to visit and experiences to witness in the country.
Located near the city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra, Ajanta and Ellora caves are ranked amongst the most outstanding specimens of ancient architecture. The Ajanta and Ellora caves were discovered by John Smith, a British Army Officer, during a hunting expedition in 1819. The caves, set in the Sahyadri hills over the Waghora River, are an oeuvre of handwork and illustrate the chronicles of Buddhism spanning the period between 300 BC and 650 AD. These caves form an inevitable part of cultural tours of India.
Agra had been the capital of Mughals ever since Babur. The foundations of the Agra Fort, also known as the Red Fort of Agra, were laid by Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great in 1665. It took six years to complete this mighty red sandstone giant that was mainly used as military garrison at that time. Jehangir commissioned some minor construction work during his reign and Shah Jahan, the grandson of Akbar and the greatest of builders in Mughal lineage, started using Agra Fort as his palace and court and made several additions to it.
One of the 7 wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal, situated in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India is an embodiment of magnificence and love. It is the best of all the creations of the Mughal architecture. Its immense and immaculate beauty leaves you bowled over. The Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan got this miraculous work of art built in the memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. With over 22000 laborers and about 1000 elephants employed, the construction of Taj Mahal completed in 22 years. The Taj Mahal sphere consists of five major components:
Red Fort was built by the Emperor Shahjahan, after he shifted the Mughal Capital from Agra to Delhi. Earlier known as the ‘Qila-e-Mubarak’, it is now known as Lal Quila or the Delhi Fort. Its construction began in 1638 and completed in 1648 and it got the status of UNSECO World Heritage Site in 2007. The magnificent architecture of the Red Fort is a perfect blend of Persian, Indian and European art form and is one of the most attractive monuments of Delhi.
Khajuraho is a village located in Chhatarpur district in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. It has been a globally famous tourist destination with its architecturally beautiful temples. The Khajuraho group of monuments has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also considered as one of the Seven Wonders of India.
The Qutub Minar, the tallest brick tower in the world is located in Mehrauli in South Delhi. The name of the minaret was kept after Qutubuddin Aibak, the man who initiated its construction. His successor and son-in-law, Iltutmish, later completed it. Inspired by the Minaret of Jam in Afghanistan, it was built in 1193 AD. It is one of the best monuments of the Indo-Islamic Architecture of the Mughal Era..
Konark Sun Temple is situated on the shores of Puri, Orissa, India. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1984. It is also one of the Seven Wonders of India and attracts tourists from all over the world. The Konark temple is widely known not only for its architectural grandeur but also for the intricacy and richness of the sculptures. The entire temple has been built as a Chariot of the Sun God with 24 wheels, each about 10 feet in diameter and having a set of spokes and sophisticated carvings.
Situated 40 km away from Agra (UP), Fatehpur Sikri was the first planned city of the Mughals. It served as the capital of the Mughals from 1571 AD to 1585 AD after which it was deserted due to water scarcity. This city has been declared as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986. It was here that all Mughal institutions such as the ‘Din-i-Ilahi’, ‘Ibadat-Khanah’, Jharokha-Darshan, the doctrine of Sulh-i-Kul, etc. were founded.
One of the prominent Mughal Monuments of New Delhi, Humayun's Tomb was the first building to be constructed during the reign of Akbar. It was built in 1562. Designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyuath and supervised by Haji Begum, the Persian wife of Humayun, it took 10 years to complete the monument. Representing the early era of Islamic architecture, Humayun’s Tomb is heavily influenced by Persian art - especially the mausoleums of Bibi Khanam and Timur situated at Samarqand.
It is believed that Lord Gautam Buddha despondent on not being able to find the reality of life reached Bodh Gaya, denounced asceticism and achieved enlightenment under the Bodhi tree and since then all the major sites related to the Buddha's life including Bodh Gaya became pilgrimages for the Buddhists round the world. It is the most venerated site amongst the Buddhists
Tamil Nadu is best known for generous hospitality and kindness of its people that makes one feel secure and comfortable in the state. Its rich history and ancient linguistic evolution lends it a social, cultural and traditional heritage that is worthy of note. Tamil, the main language of the state, is quite ancient in its origin and is believed to be the source of other Dravidian languages prevalent in South India such as Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, and Thulu.
Situated on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra River, Assam, Kaziranga National Park sprawls over an area of around 430 sq km. It is famous for the One Horned Indian Rhinoceros and other wild lives in the North East India. It is also a safe haven to a number of other wild lives. It is the ideal habitat for the Indian Rhino with its marsh and tall thickets of elephant grass. Due to limitless poaching of this antediluvian survivor, the Kaziranga National Park was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1940.
Keoladeo National Park in Bharatput is a pilgrimage for the bird lovers and is a paradise for those interested in the avian world. During the British raj also it was renowned as the best duck shooting reserve. However, in 1956 it was declared a reserve for birds and later graded as the national park of India. It has been listed as the World Heritage site by UNESCO. It is located at an ideal geographical location on the main avian route of North-South India. This national park is quite is quite small in size spread across 29 km but it boasts
The mangrove forests and marshland in the delta region of Sunderbans are a part of the world’s largest mangrove swamp and delta region of three great rivers – Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna. The Sunderbans National Park stretch to an area of about 2,585 sq km area have a very interesting wildlife. It was named after Sundari trees that were once found in abundance here.
Emperor Asoka is widely known for his passionate role in spreading Buddhist teachings in Indian sub-continent and beyond. He built several dome-shaped Stupas all over India to house relics of Lord Buddha. Constructed in third century BC, these stupas had distinctive art and sculpture of Buddhist religious motifs and a polished stone pillar in between. Sanchi is home to most incredible Buddhist architecture such as temples, monasteries, and stupas.
World’s Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple – Akshardham Temple is situated on the banks on river Yamuna in Delhi, close to the proposed site for 2010 Commonwealth games. It creatively conflates the traditional stone art and architecture, Indian culture and societal fiber, ancient values and sapience, and the best of modern media and technology.
The celebrated American writer Mark Twain once wrote, "Banaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together". Banaras or Varanasi is one of the oldest living cities in the world. According to the Hindu belief, Banaras is the centre of the universe.
The City Palace occupies one seventh of the total area of the walled city of Jaipur, the Pink City. Originally built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh of the Kachhwaha clan of Rajputs, many additions by successive rulers were made. The Palace is a concoction of Mughal and Rajasthani style of architecture. The Complex comprises of various structures, gardens, courtyards, etc. There are many marvelous modest palaces and halls in the complex, such as the Maharani Palace, Chandra Mahal, and Badal Mahal. There is also a temple (Shri Govind Temple) and a museum (City Palace Museum) inside. Hawa Mahal also forms an integral part of the palace although it is not inside the complex.
Built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, Hawa Mahal (the Palace of Winds) is one of the finest examples of Rajputana architecture. Located in the Pink City Jaipur, Hawa Mahal is an integral part of the famous City Palace but stands aloof and commands its own identity. The structure incorporates the finest touch of Mughal architecture making it a marvel.
The Himalaya Chain is spread northwest to southeast across Asia. The part of the Himalayan chain, which lies within Indian Territory, is called the ‘Indian Himalayas’. Sikkim is home to many peaks including the world’s third highest, Kanchenjunga. To the west of Sikkim, the range forms a part of Nepal until you reach the border of Kumaun and Garhwal. From here, the Indian Himalayan chain continues through Kinnaur, Spiti, Ladakh and finally to East Karakoram.
unagarh Fort is one of the most imposing forts situated in Bikaner, Rajasthan, India. It is located in the city of Bikaner also known as the “Camel City” or “Camel Country”. This magnificent fort was originally known as Chintamani Fort. It was renamed as “Junagarh Fort” or “Old Fort” in the early 20th century. It is an exception amongst all other forts of Rajasthan because it is not situated on a hilltop.
Kerala, God’s own country, is situated in southern most part of India. Kerala is known for its spectacular beauty and marvelous backwaters. A ride in a houseboat or Kettuvallam is the precise way to enjoy both of these at the same time. A smooth cruise through calm waters of the beautiful rivers lets you enjoy the lush green environment around you sitting in the comfort of a well-set bedroom.
The Lake Palace in Udaipur, Rajasthan is one of the most beautiful palaces in the world. Situated in the midst of Lake Pichola, it is like a white marble castle floating in the blue waters mirroring the sky. The Lake palace was built in 17th century in between the lake on a small landmass of 4 acres. It was initially called Jag Niwas after its initiator Maharana Jagjit Singh II, 62nd successor to the royal dynasty of Mewar. Set against the backdrop of the majestic Aravalli Mountains on one side of the lake, and lofty palaces on the other.
In the capital city of Delhi lies the Baha’i Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, better known as the "Lotus Temple" due to its shape like a half opened Lotus flower built in white marble. It is also known as the Taj Mahal of Modern India due to its architectural excellence for which it has won many awards and international praise. Surrounded by lush lawns and gorgeous gardens, the temple is a symbol of the Baha’i faith, which believes in oneness of all religions and mankind. This faith gives emphasis on prayer and meditation.
The abode of the Royal Woodeyar Dynasty for centuries, Mysore Palace is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Karnataka. The palace was incepted in the 14th century and since then it faced the wrath of time. Natural calamities and wars damaged the Palace time and again. The Palace as we see it in its current arrangement today was reconstructed in 1912 by the 14th Woodeyar King
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Varanasi is the ancient Indian City of Temples and the most important pilgrimage center of Hindus. Varanasi is also known as ‘Kashi’ or Benaras. Older than 3000 years, it is one of the oldest learning centers of the word. Varanasi does not have great architectural structures but it has the greatest number of temples in the world. Varanasi is said to have been the source of the sacred – Ganges. Varanasi is of great significance amongst Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. It is believed among the Hindus that a bath in the sacred Ganga purifies the soul.
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