India is a unique land. It has a long history and a mixture of different cultures, religions, cuisines and peoples. Home to more than a billion residents, India is one of the world’s most diverse and colorful countries. Some people might see this land as a chaotic place that is growing but still lacks a world class tourism infrastructure. However, anyone who looks past this will see that India is a truly magical place. Travelers could spend a lifetime on the subcontinent and still not see everything that there is to see.
Yes, India is a land of one million attractions. However, a few of these attractions truly stand out and seeing them is the main reason that many tourists come to the country. Thinking about visiting India? These attractions will convince you that a trip to the subcontinent is definitely worthwhile.
This amazing structure is the most famous attraction in India and one of the most well-known buildings in the entire world. The Taj can be reached from Delhi as part of a day-trip. The best way to do this is through a tour company, since the company will take care of all entry fees and transportation (usually by train). It is also possible to stay in Agra, the town where the Taj is located. You can then arrive early and beat the lines. And there are lines! This is the most popular attraction in South Asia. However, the waiting and wading through the mass of tourists is worth it. Built as a tomb for the wife of an emperor, the Taj is a true
marvel, with majestic domes, glassy pools and a grand atmosphere. Even people who want to avoid the “touristy” attractions usually end up putting the Taj on their itinerary – it is that impressive.
Kochi (formerly known by its colonial name, Cochin) is a city on the southwest coast of India. It is known as a laid-back, diverse, culturally rich place that is the heartland of the Malayalam language and culture. It lacks the noteworthy historical sites that characterize northern India, but a welcoming vibe makes Kochi a great place to spend time. The maze-like collection of streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands elevate Kochi to the top of many Indian itineraries. Known as the Kochi Backwaters, these waterways can be cruised for days on end. Tourists can rent a houseboat for a weekend and explore the idyllic tropical scenery and quiet hidden corners of this watery section of Western India.
Delhi is the heart of India, both politically and culturally (though Mumbai and Kolkata are also important as well). The streets of Delhi are interesting for truly intrepid urban explorers, but the Red Fort will be of interest to any India visitor. This 17th Century structure, built using distinctive red sandstone, contains intricate interior designs and a host of other attractions. One of India’s most bustling markets, Chandi Chowk, is located at the gates of the Red Fort, while gardens, smaller historic buildings and museums are also part of the complex. The fort is an attraction that can take up an entire day and can be the central part of any traveler’s stay in Delhi.
Goa is known as a beach destination. Party-lovers have been coming to the beaches of this part of Western India for decades. However, there is more to this former Portuguese colony than raves and sun-tanning. Amazing beaches are the biggest reason to visit, but a deep sense of history, amazing cuisine and a collection of bungalows and high-end resorts make Goa a truly great place to combine a beach vacation with a taste of authentic Indian culture.
Darjeeling is yet another side of India. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas in West Bengal, this small city is at the heart of India’s tea-growing industry. Pristine scenery and scenic hillside tea plantations make this one of the most beautiful places in all of India. The cool mountain air draws some tourists escaping from the heat of the big cities of India, but Darjeeling is usually uncrowded. Mountain biking, trips on scenic railway lines, hiking and wandering through tea-covered landscapes can give visitors the perfect taste of yet another face of India.