No country is probably as diverse as India. It is home to majestic mountain ranges and pristine lakes and mighty rivers, virgin beaches and lush green forests. The food is as diverse as its weather and art as diverse as its cultures. From the jaw-dropping snowbound regions of the north to the bright and cheerful backwaters in the south, from the sandy deserts in the west to the beautiful beaches in the east, India is breathtakingly beautiful, painfully frustrating and delightfully cheerful! So when we were faced with the task of selecting just 51 incredible places to visit in India, you can imagine how daunting it may have been. We present to you this humbling effort:
Ladakh: The place that invites all Royal Enfield bikers has a way of reminding you how there is beauty in barrenness too.
ALSO READ 20 pictures of Ladakh like you’ve never seen before!
2. Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
What can be said about Srinagar that hasn’t already been said? Surrounded by the Dhauladhar range of the lower Himalayas, Srinagar is also home to the beautiful Dal Lake and the spectacular Mughal Gardens, Srinagar has rightly been called heaven on earth!
3. Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir
Whether you want to ski or play a round of golf, Gulmarg offers you both. Welcome to one of Asia’s best skiing destinations that also has the world’s highest golf course. Fancy enough?
4. Amritsar, Punjab
Amritsar is home to the holiest shrine of the Sikhs, the venue of the deadliest massacre in British India and the Wagah border checkpoint. Religion, history, patriotism: Amritsar has it all. Been there yet?
5. Parvati Valley, Himachal Pradesh
If you’ve been there and done Ladakh, Parvati Valley and its neighboring Spiti is where you should be heading to.
6. Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
Of all the places in the world, the Dalai Lama chose Dharamsala to be his home. If that isn’t good enough reason for you to visit it, we really don’t know what is!
7. Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Despite all the overpopulation and commercialisation, Shimla remains an eternal favorite of the middle-class Indian tourist. Visit it and you’ll know why.
8. Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
Named after the great hunter-turned-conservationist, Jim Corbett National Park is home to one of the most endangered animals on the planet: the tiger.
ALSO READ 5 best places to spot tigers in India
9. Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand
A valley so colourful that the bunch of English mountaineers who stumbled upon it back in 1931 must’ve thanked their stars for having lost their way to find the place we now call the Valley of Flowers.
10. Mussoorie, Uttarakhand
Mussoorie is to Uttarkhand what Shimla is to Himachal Pradesh. Visit it!
11. Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
Religion? Check! Yoga? Check! Adventure sports? Double-check! Why are you even looking for reasons to visit Rishikesh!?
12. Haridwar, Uttarakhand
Meandering Ganga and hordes of people taking a dip in its holy waters, Haridwar is the ultimate destination to wash away your sins.
Because come on, how can you visit India and NOT visit its spectacular capital?
ALSO READ 10 historic monuments of Delhi that are a must visit!
14. Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Because, Taj Mahal! Duh!
15. Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Lucknow is all set to take you on a culinary experience you’ve probably never experienced before.
16. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Photo Courtesy: Dianne Nongrum
Mark Twain had this to say of Varanasi: “Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.” We have nothing more to add.
17. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
The erotic sculptures of Khajuraho are a gentle reminder of just how liberal India and varied cultures really were. Visit it to believe it.
18. Yumthang Valley, Sikkim
Yumthang Valley is located at 11,000 ft above sea level and offers stunning views of the Himalayas like this one. Need we go on?
19. Gangtok, Sikkim
Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Home to some of the most colorful monasteries including Rumtek (pictured above) Gangtok very much lives up to the hype of being one of the hottest upcoming tourist destinations in northeast India.
20. Darjeeling, West Bengal
If watching Kanchenjunga while sipping freshly brewed chai from some of the finest tea estates in the world is your thing, say hello to Darjeeling!
21. Kaziranga National Park, Assam
If Kaziranga National Park is good enough for Kate Middleton and Prince William, it’s good enough for you!
22. Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
The drive to Tawang is by all means as beautiful as the destination itself. Which is just one of the many reasons you should visit this piece of heaven on earth.
23. Ziro Valley, Arunachal Pradesh
Picture-postcard villages nestled amidst Arunachal Pradesh’s spectacular mountainscape, Ziro Valley is every bit the utopia it is made out to be.
24. Kohima, Nagaland
Nagaland’s capital may not have a railway station or even a civilian airbase, but what it lacks in connectivity Kohima makes up for it in its culture, traditions, food and lifestyle!
25. Cherrapunji, Meghalaya
Home to the tallest waterfalls and the living root bridges, Cherrapunji is as unique as it is beautiful.
26. Kolkata, West Bengal
The teeming metropolis of Kolkata is called the City of Joy for good reason. Visit it to discover why.
27. Sunderbans, West Bengal
Home to the largest population of the Royal Bengal Tiger, The Sunderbans are also the largest halophytic mangroves in the world. Which is why we’re going to stop talking and you’re going to plan your visit there.
28. Puri, Odisha
Quiet yet beautiful, Puri is one of the most underrated destinations of India. Don’t forget your surfboard because Puri also happens to be one of the best (and least exploited) places to surf in the country!
29. Hyderabad, Telangana
The city where the old jostles for space with the new and the flavors of the Mughlai cuisine of the north blend delectably with the spicy Chettinad food of the south, Hyderabad is a melting pot like no other!
30. Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh
Home to one of the richest temple trusts of the world, no trip to Andhra Pradesh can ever be complete without paying respects to the Ventakeshwara Swamy Tirumala Temple in Tirupati.
31. Araku Valley, Andhra Pradesh
Breathtaking views of the Eastern Ghats and an all-year-round pleasant climate Araku Valley is that hill station you’ve probably never heard of.
32. Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
Ever wondered why Kodaikanal is called the Princess of Hill Stations? Find out for yourself and chances are you won’t be disappointed.
Pondicherry is to the east coast what Goa is to the west… only classier.
34. Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu
If religion isn’t your motivation to travel to Rameswaram, visit it to pay your respects to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, who hailed from this small town.
35. Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Hugged by the Nilgiri mountain range, Ooty is as famous for its tea plantations as it is for its natural beauty. And don’t let anyone tell you just how commercialized it has become.
36. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Virgin beaches, azure blue waters, adventure sports options… Andaman and Nicobar Islands have everything youd want from an international beach vacation — all at local Indian rates!
37. Munnar, Kerala
Munnar is to Kerala what Ooty is to Tamil Nadu. Home to hundreds of acres of tea plantations, Munnar is also home to a wide array of wildlife species. And if that doesn’t inspire you to travel, these breathtaking photos of Munnar most definitely will!
38. Alappuzha, Kerala
Backwaters, backwaters, backwaters! Need we say more?
39. Athirapally Falls, Kerala
It may not be the tallest waterfall of India but by virtue of being the largest in Kerala, Athirapally has earned the sobriquet of ‘Niagara of India’.
40. Lakshadweep Islands
Coral reefs and crystal clear waters and endless stretches of beaches make Lakshadweep one of the most inviting places in India.
41. Hampi, Karnataka
The capital of the Vijayanagara Empire for several centuries, Hampi remains a marvel even centuries after it was abandoned.
42. Mysore, Karnataka
We’ll leave you with this photo of the Mysore Palace. Because every once in a while, the picture should do the talking.
43. Coorg, Karnataka
The idyllic hill station Karnataka insists on sticking its thumb to the country of tea drinkers by producing some of the best coffee beans in the world. Thank you, Coorg!
44. Gokarna, Karnataka
Gokarna has everything that Goa has minus the crowds. Still wondering why it should be on your list?
The answer to all of life’s problems, Goa is everything you’ve read and heard about it and more. How can any list of places to visit in India ever be complete without it?
46. Mumbai, Maharashtra
The city that never sleeps, the city that embraces everyone that arrives at its doorsteps, the city that we call home… Mumbai is the city where dreams do indeed come true!
47. Rann of Kutch, Gujarat
Photographs Gujarat Tourism/Facebook
If you can appreciate the beauty in Ladakh’s barrenness, the Rann of Kutch takes it a notch higher.
48. Jodhpur, Rajasthan
There are forts and then there is Mehrangarh. That is all you need to know about Jodhpur.
49. Jaipur, Rajasthan
The beauty of Jaipur is as much in its architecture as it is in its culture… both of which owe their roots to Sawai Jai Singh II and his family that continues to command respect even to this day!
50. Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
Once an important city along the ancient trade route connecting India to Egypt, Arabia and Persia, Jaisalmer retains much of its past glory making it a must-visit.
51. Udaipur, Rajasthan
And we wind up this list by doffing our hat to the beautiful city of lakes. Nestled in the arms of the Aravali Hills, Udaipur, with its shimmering lakes and majestic palaces, lives up to its reputation of being one of the most romantic destinations in the world.