7 Places You Must Visit in India – Guide to the Best Cities to See

From the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas in the north to a top 10 paradise at Kerala in the south, India has something to offer every traveler. With so many options for tourists, it can be difficult to figure out just where to visit. Looking to get the most of their trip to India? Here are seven places you must include on your India itinerary!

1. Sikkim – The Land of Mystical Monasteries

If you’re dreaming of embarking on a captivating adventure, Sikkim in the northeastern part of India, is a must visit. Although Sikkim is out of the way for many travelers, there are some easy and great ways to find your way to the gem in the northeast. I was able to take advantage of the different Sikkim group tour packages from Mumbai available. Depending on your budget, these tour packages can be a great way to take the stress out of planning. Easy to customize, these tours help you see everything you need to in Sikkim!

Sikkim is a treasure trove of natural beauty and cultural marvels. The state boasts a reputation for its enigmatic monasteries, such as the splendid Rumtek Monastery, adorned with vibrant prayer flags and providing breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains.

An excursion to Sikkim would be incomplete without a visit to the tranquil Tsomgo Lake! At Tsomgo Lake the pristine waters mirror the snow-capped peaks, crafting a mesmerizing scene that will leave you in awe. Overall Sikkim can be a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of other regions in India! Giving you a chance to take in the natural beauty of the area and relax

2. Agra – Home of the Majestic Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal in India

Agra, home to the Taj Mahal is one of the three points of the Golden Triangle in India. With no introduction needed, the Taj Mahal may be the most famous landmark in all of India. It was by far one of the most captivating monuments that I visited while exploring India. 

Pictures don’t do it justice. As you gaze upon the ivory-white marble mausoleum, you’ll be captivated by its intricate details and the love story behind its creation. While walking up to the palace, and around it, you are taken back by just how massive the structure is. Many people often forget that the palace is actually a tomb for Mumtaz Mahal and her husband.

Of course there is more to see while in Agra. Make sure to also visit the Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site that offers a glimpse into the grandeur of the Mughal Empire. These two heritage sites in Agra make a quick visit to the area worthwhile! After you visit them, you can continue west along India’s Golden Triangle route, to Rajasthan and Jaipur.

3. Jaipur – The Pink City

Hawa Mahal Museum in Jaipur

As the capital of the royal state of Rajasthan, Jaipur is a city steeped in history and culture. Known as the Pink City of India, Jaipur is home to magnificent palaces, historic forts, and bustling bazaars. I absolutely loved visiting Jaipur! After spending more than four months in the city, I still couldn’t get enough of it. 

Not only is it rich in culture and heritage, Jaipur has an impressive up-and-coming cafe scene. With new cafes popping up all over the newer part of the city, there is something for everyone in the city! I was really impressed by the creativity and uniqueness of the restaurants around the city. All with their own twist on continental and traditional Rajasthani food, the city was a great place for foodies!

Of course while visiting the city, make sure to check out the City Palace, marvel at the architectural brilliance of the Hawa Mahal, and ascend the formidable Amber Fort to feel like royalty in the old city of India!

4. Darjeeling – The Queen of the Hills

Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, Darjeeling beckons travelers with its lush tea gardens and awe-inspiring panoramic views. As part of North East tour packages from Ahmedabad, a journey on the iconic Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, affectionately known as the “Toy Train,” is a must-do experience. The narrow gauge tracks of the railway offer a delightful way to immerse oneself in the region’s scenic beauty.

Darjeeling is an amazing place to visit, and reminded me a great deal of Nepal. With a vibrant Nepali community, I was reminded of my time spent in Nepal, and the hospitality of the country. With a much slower pace of life then Jaipur or Agra, Darjeeling is a great way to unwind and relax. Just remember that no visit to Darjeeling is complete without indulging in world-famous Darjeeling tea and witnessing the sunrise spectacle at Tiger Hill! Where the sun paints the sky over the snow-capped peaks of Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world.

5. Kerala – The Land of Backwaters and Ayurveda

boat on river in kerala

Kerala, often referred to as “God’s Own Country,” with a coastline that stretches for a whopping 595 kilometers. Known as a tropical paradise the Indian State is renowned for its tranquil backwaters, palm-fringed beaches, and lush greenery.

With a vibrant fishing industry, seafood lovers can rejoice in the fresh saltwater food. Moreover, the beauty of the state led National Geographic Traveler to label this spot as one of the ten paradises in the world!

Additionally, you can enjoy the waters with a houseboat cruise through the backwaters of Alleppey! Which allows you to relax as you glide past picturesque villages and verdant rice paddies. Finally, Kerala is a hub for Ayurvedic treatments, so be sure to indulge in a rejuvenating Ayurvedic massage or spa experience during your visit.

If you’re into sandy beaches (like me!), chill backwaters, and soaking up the tropical vibes, Kerala’s where it’s at!

6. Varanasi – The Spiritual Capital of India

Varanasi, alternatively called Banaras, stands as one of India’s most ancient and holiest cities. Its distinctive character challenges conventional notions of India, offering a unique and unconventional experience for tourists. If you have seen other parts of India, and want to experience something completely different, then Varanasi should be on your trip itinerary!

The city is among the most vibrant and chaotic cities globally. It promises to immerse travelers in its peculiar realm, from bustling narrow lanes to the age-old ghats. The city is situated on the banks of the sacred Ganges River, and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world!

With a long history it’s also one of the most famous pilgrimage sites for Hindus in India and the world. The city’s ghats, or steps leading down to the river, are a hub of spiritual activity, where devotees gather to perform rituals and witness mesmerizing Ganga Aarti ceremonies at dusk. A boat ride along the Ganges during sunrise offers a unique perspective of the city and its ancient traditions.

If you would like to immerse yourself in religion and culture while visiting India, I would strongly recommend checking out Varanasi!

7. Rishikesh – The Yoga Capital of the World

Found in the foothills of the Himalayas and embraced by the Ganges, Rishikesh is a haven for spiritual seekers, yoga buffs, and adventure travelers. It offers a tranquil escape from the hustle of city life! Moreover, Rishikesh provides opportunities for soulful meditation, invigorating yoga sessions, and exhilarating white-water rafting adventures. With its lush hills and crystal-clear waters, Rishikesh creates a perfect backdrop for reconnecting with nature and finding inner peace.

The rolling hills, the pristine flow of the Ganges, and the all-encompassing peaceful vibes got me hooked. Rishikesh, is known as the birthplace of yoga, and gained international fame when the Beatles made a pitstop in the 60s at an Ashram! Nowadays, it’s a global hub where people flock to become yoga instructors, join the annual yoga festival, and deepen their meditation practice under the guidance of gurus.

Even though Rishikesh can get crowded during the peak tourist season in winter, it is difficult to feel anything but calm and excited! With everyone being welcoming, everything surprisingly affordable, and home to adventure activities, Rishikesh is a fun place to visit in India!

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