India is one of those places that seems to find its way onto the bucket list of every visitor at some point since it is both deeply traditional and endlessly surprising. They may fantasize about visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra or one of Rajasthan's many royal palaces. Others are drawn to Darjeeling and Rishikesh for their breathtaking scenery or to Goa for its picture-perfect beaches.
India's bustling cities are full of fascinating sights, from temples and markets to colorful avenues. Choosing which attractions to visit is the most difficult part of a trip to India.
Use this guide to the best of India to plan your trip, whether you're a budget traveler or able to splurge.
Millions of visitors flock to Agra every year to see the Taj Mahal at sunrise, and they all have to get up early. Despite India's most recognizable monument, Agra remains the country's premier tourist destination.
Beautiful Mughal structures, such as Itimad-ud-Daulah's Tomb and Akbar's Mausoleum, are scattered around this Uttar Pradesh city. Their intricate inlaid marble carvings are mesmerizing. The Agra Fort, another World Heritage Site, is also accessible to visitors. With so many remarkable structures all in one place, Agra is among India's most visited cities.
There is a lot for visitors to enjoy in New Delhi, despite the city's turmoil and throng. India's vibrant capital city is a wonderful blend of old and new. Visitors can find innumerable places of spiritual and cultural significance scattered around the vast city.
The Qutub Minar is the tallest minaret in India and is one of the most visited landmarks in New Delhi, along with the Lotus Temple, India Gate, and Humayun's Tomb. Take advantage of your time by seeing all these sights and refueling at chai stalls and fancy restaurants.
In search of India's cosmopolitan side? Visit Mumbai, the vibrant coastal city home to affluent businesspeople and some of Bollywood's most popular actors. In this wealthy metropolis, luxury hotels and fine dining establishments are conveniently located near each other. The stunning shoreline and glittering Art Deco structures along the world-famous Marine Drive will make any visitor feel like royalty regardless of their budget.
Mumbai's bustling "Thieves Market" and the Churchgate railway station, from which hundreds of thousands of home-packed lunches are delivered each day to the city's office workers, offer glimpses into the city's more local, real side.
The state of Goa in southern India is a popular tourist destination due to its stunning beaches and plenty of high-end hotels and casinos.
Whether you're looking for cheap eats and drinks with the backpacker population in beach huts, a luxurious tropical retreat in a five-star resort, or outrageous casinos, you'll find it all along its stretches of golden sand along the Arabian Sea.
Goa has many reputable casinos, both on land and on the internet. Most seasoned gamblers enjoy the best perks Goa casinos can offer, although some also wish to stay home and enjoy their games at https://betshah.com/casino/poker.
Goa has its unique taste thanks to the blending Indian and Portuguese cultures. Baroque buildings and cathedrals sit alongside spicy vindaloo curries and seafood meals, all contributing to the destination's fusion vibe.
The "Land of Kings," Rajasthan, is dotted with monuments to its former monarchs. This western state of India, with its dazzling palaces, majestic forts, and vibrant festivals, deserves a starring position in your Indian adventure.
Jaipur, one of Rajasthan's top attractions, is part of the Golden Triangle Tourist Circuit, along with Agra and New Delhi. The city's nickname, "The Paris of India," comes from its signature pink architecture, the opulent City Palace, and the abundance of diamond shops throughout the area.
Jodhpur, known as the "Blue City," gives visitors breathtaking views from the top of the Mehrangarh Fort.
The City Palace Complex in Udaipur is stunning, and the city's flower-lined streets create a magical atmosphere where the royal family still lives. Also, Jaisalmer, with its golden sandstone architecture and traditional havelis (mansions), looks as if it was plucked straight from an Arabian Nights novel. No matter where in this desert state you find yourself, you will be enchanted by Rajasthan.
This town at the foot of the Himalayas on the banks of the Ganges River is a favorite spot for yoga practitioners and pilgrims. Experience the action firsthand, or observe it from one of Rishikesh's two suspension bridges, where you'll likely encounter pushy groups of monkeys.
Many people believe that the holy city of Varanasi in India is the holiest place in the country. Along this section of the Ganges, pilgrims take ritual baths while mourners cremate their dead in public.
On the other hand, visitors can discover their spirituality while taking boat excursions at daybreak, sending floral blessings floating down the river, and watching fire-filled Hindu chanting sessions from the high ghats.
Outside the waterfront, the ancient town's streets wind and turn indefinitely. It is said that no accurate map of Varanasi exists, and after visiting the city for yourself, you can see why.
In Amritsar, known as the "Jewel of Punjab," the magnificent Golden Temple is the city's main attraction. One of the most sacred places for Sikhs, this golden structure is breathtaking when reflected in the vast water surrounding it.
The site also features the largest community kitchen in the world, which provides lentils and curries to over a hundred thousand people every day.
If you're in Amritsar for the Beating Retreat Ceremony, you shouldn't miss the chance to spend a day near the Pakistan border. The border gates between India and Pakistan are opened and closed at dusk in a spectacular ritual that includes goose-stepping guards from the two countries, which have been at odds for decades. In the early hours, locals and tourists alike can be found dancing in the streets to loud Bollywood tunes.
Nothing compares to a day excursion or overnight cruise on a traditional thatched-top houseboat through palm-fringed lagoons and rivers in Alleppey (also known as Alappuzha)—Indian food cooked to order on the water, together with stunning scenery and wildlife.
Set aside some time here when you need a moment of calm amid the mayhem.