Things are looking up for Indian cities, at least from the travel and tourism perspective. In the new Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index 2017, six Indian cities made it to the top 100 cities with the most overnight visitor arrivals. The Index is based on visitor volume and spending in 2016. Beyond India, the study suggests that travel and tourism is still seeing strong growth in Asia Pacific destinations, which saw the most visitor spends, more than Europe and America. But let’s quickly get back to India and the six cities that made the list. Here they are. ALSO READ: Street food you should hog on in the top 11 cities of India!
Kapaleeshwarar Temple, Chennai, Photograph courtesy: April Rinne/Creative Commons https://www.flickr.com/photos/aprilrinne/2444493466/sizes/o/
The capital city of Tamil Nadu wasn’t just the top of the pack among Indian cities; it also made it to the top 10 destinations in Asia Pacific. That’s huge, and suggests that there’s more to Chennai than just filter coffee. If this city is not high on your list of travel destinations in India, it should be. Like other Indian cities, it is wild and almost out of control, but its beauty lies in its colorful streets, temples, sights and smells, and its people.
Mumbai at night
Speaking of wild and nearly out of control, Mumbai. This city has a hundred things going against it, and yet it keeps on going, and keeps on giving. The fourth most populous city in the world is a confusing, crumbling, beautiful place to be and a living portrait of the lives of a billion people. And why wouldn’t it be; it’s where everyone comes and brings their dreams.
Birla temple in New Delhi
Loud, powerful and unapologetic about it, Delhi is the city where you’ll find India at its boldest. The boldest monuments, food, people and, often, traffic snarls, happen here. In fact, everything that happens in India happens here in Delhi first. Walk the streets of Chandni Chowk, eat its food, explore the monuments of ancient empires and visit the numerous cafes and pubs of Hauz Khas. CHECK OUT: Delhi Images: Vibrant Delhi Photos like You’ve Never Seen Before
Kolkata city roads
India’s center of literature and second-largest city, Kolkata or Calcutta as it is still fondly pronounced sometimes is a glorious ancient metropolis. It is the birthplace of some of India’s greatest literary, artistic and intellectual talents, and where modern India’s identity was forged by the contributions and sacrifices of countless people. Here, you can find culture and conversations waiting to sweep you in at every corner.
Pune city, Photograph courtesy: Mack Male/Creative Commons
The cultural capital of Maharashtra has its positives over neighboring Mumbai, with which it shares an old, friendly rivalry. It has historically been the seat of the Maratha Empire, and the Shaniwar Wada still stands strong as a symbol of that. History aside, Pune is also the center of academia. Despite its heritage, it is a young city in many ways and is a melting pot of vibrant new ideas and cultures. NOW READ: 8 reasons why Pune is more kickass than any other city in India!
Bangalore – an aerial view
India’s very own Silicon Valley, Bangalore is bursting at its seems with software engineers and startups. And it is suitably modern, despite its infrastructure challenges. But peel away the buildings and look beyond the techies; you’ll find a city with a rich history and culture in close proximity to some of southern India’s most magnificent natural wonders.