India is a South Asian country where tourism has been booming especially over the past few years.
The number of foreign tourist arrivals to India during July 2017 amounted to 788,000.
Tourism in India reached a peak of 1176000 tourists in December of 2017.
4 of the most popular destinations in India are Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Mumbai.
Top attractions in India:
Located in Agra, this incredible mausoleum is considered by many people to be India’s most enchanting building.
It took 22 years to build Taj Mahal by 20,000 workmen based on the order of Emperor Shan Jahan who named this place after his favorite wife; Mumtaz Mahal.
This is the reason why Taj Mahal is considered to be a proof of love as it was built by the Emperor in the memory of his beloved wife.
Taj Mahal is constructed of white marble decorated with floral patterns and precious stones such as diamonds and mother of pearl.
This mausoleum includes many elements of Islamic design and it is surrounded by other buildings, gardens and pools.
This is known as The Golden Temple and it is considered to be the most sacred place in India for the followers of the Sikhism religion.
However, it attracts people from different faiths as it was built in a blend of Hindu and Islamic styles.
The temple was given this names because of its huge golden dome which was built in copper overlaid with gold foil.4
Prayers continuously chanted from the Sikh holy book provides Harmandir Sahib with a spiritual atmosphere which seems to impress its visitors.
3-The Holy City of Varanasi
Nearly 2.5 million people come each year to Varanasi which is located on the banks of the most sacred Indian river; the Ganges River.
Bathing in this river is extremely important to Hindus as it is considered by them as a religious symbol.
Throughout Varanasi, there are many locations known as Ghats where you can find stairways that lead to the water where the faithful bathe before prayer.
This city includes more than 100 Ghats and the most famous ones are Dasashvamedh Ghat and Assi Ghat.
One of the most appealing attractions in Varanasi is Bharat Kala Bhavan museum where unique collections of sculptures, miniature paintings and history exhibits are displayed.
Banaras Hindu University is another place you should visit in this city as you can find a huge library inside with more than a million books.
4-The Gateway of India:
This 28 meters tall gateway is one of the most popular attractions in Mumbai.
It was built by the British in the time when they ruled India in order to celebrate the arrival of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911.
This gateway is known as the Taj Mahal of Mumbai and it was built using Hindu and Muslim architectural styles.
One of the impressive facts about this landmark that it was designed to be noticed at the first glance by any visitor approaching the city by boat.
5-The Ellora Caves
This incredible site extends over a distance of more than 2 km and it includes 34 temples and monasteries that were built between the 5th and 10th centuries.
There are almost 100 caves, but only 34 of them are open to the public.
One of the unique facts about Ellora caves is that some of the temples belong to the Jain faith and others to the Buddhist and Hindu, which shows the acceptance of all religions during this period in India.
Palolem is one of the most beautiful beaches in Goa which is a state in western India.
It is well known for its clear waters, warm weather throughout the year and the bamboo huts stretching across the beach.
If you are looking for more activities to do, Kayaking or fishing in a boat are two good options. You can also go dolphin spotting or go shopping in Palolem’s market which sells clothes, jewelry and souvenirs.
The fact that this beach offers a wide selection of cheap restaurants, affordable hotels or huts by the beach for accommodation and an entertaining nightlife makes it a popular destination for tourists visiting India.
Located parallel to the coast of the Arabian Sea is Kerala Backwaters which consists of chain of lakes, lagoons and canals and it is considered to be one of the most famous tourist destinations not only in India, but in the world too.
There is a city located in Kerala called Alappuzha which is known as the Venice of the East where you can enjoy a once in a lifetime experience in its houseboat cruises.
However, houseboat cruises can be somehow expensive, so if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to explore the surrounding nature, there are public and tourist ferries.
9-Amer (Amber) Fort:
This fort is made up of an extensive palace complex which is a must-see destination in Jaipur, India.
Amer Fort which was built from yellow and pink sandstone and white marble consists of four sections where each one of them has a different gate and courtyard.
The main gate is called Suraj pol “The Sun Gate” as it witnesses the sunrise every morning due to the fact that it faces east.
The first courtyard is where soldiers used to celebrate their victory and the fourth courtyard is called the Zenana where queens and mistresses lived.
Inside the palace, you can find rooms decorated with semi-precious jewels
One interesting fact about visiting this fort is that there are elephants available to transport tourists up the ridge in the main entrance courtyard.
10-The Red Fort:
Located in the capital of India; New Delhi, The Red Fort was given this name due to its construction using red sandstone.
The main attractions in this fort is its two gates which are Lahore Gate and Delhi Gate.
If you are visiting The Red Fort, make sure to pass by the Chatta Chowk which is a covered bazaar that sells jewelry, silk garments, food, souvenirs and so much more.
This is one of the largest mosques in the world as it can take up to 10,000 worshipers.
Mecca Masjid took almost 80 years to be built and it includes many mesmerizing features such as its main gateway, a huge man-made pond and inscriptions from the Quran located above some arches, doors and on the roof of the main hall.
12-Periyar National Park:
This park is located on the banks of a large articial lake and it includes many animal species such as Indian elephants, tigers, leopards, deer and unique species of birds.
If you are an animal lover or simply looking for adventure, Periyar Park should be on the top of your list as it offers a variety of thrilling activities such as guided jungle walk and camp, bamboo rafting or taking a boat tour that lasts 45 minutes to an hour.
Qutb Minar is the highest tower in India with a height of 72.5 m and its construction started in 1192 to be used by the Mu’azzin to give calls for prayer.
The history of Qutb Minar is revealed by the inscriptions found on it in Arabic and Nagari characters.
There are a number of monuments and mosques surrounding Qutb Minar including Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the Tomb of Imam Zamin and the Iron Pillar of Delhi.
If you are visiting Mumbai, it is the center of Bollywood film industry and there are various tours if you are interested.
The first option is the official Tour of Film City which visits different locations in Film City in a two hour guided bus tour, however one of the drawbacks is that you are not allowed to get off the bus.
There are other tours available such as the Dream Tour which goes behind the scenes in various studios.
Eventually, the Live Show Tour which takes you on the set where you might be able to see some of the Indian actors.
If you are planning your trip to India, you should certainly consider those 14 attractions, but there is so much more to India than this.
Some people are interested in visiting India in March as the Holi Festival takes place during this month. Holi is known as the festival of colors where people throw colored powders and water balloons at each other and light bonfires.
One of the reasons why India satisfies all tourists is that it provides everything you are looking for whether it is relaxation, adventure, nature, history, art, tasty food or an overall unique experience.