India is a land of diversity, with its rich culture and history. Tourists flock to India to experience the fascinating landscapes, ancient monuments, and vibrant cities that make it an enchanting country. From the majestic Himalayas in the north to the pristine beaches of Goa in the south, India offers a wealth of unforgettable experiences.
The bustling cities offer an exciting mix of culture and entertainment, while rural villages present a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of urban life. No matter where you go, there will always be something to explore and discover in India. From majestic mountains in the north to towering temples in the south, here are the top 5 tourist places in India to explore on a holiday:
#1 The Taj Mahal, Agra
A symbol of love and devotion, the Taj Mahal is one of India’s most iconic tourist attractions. Located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site in India. The white marble mausoleum was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Its beauty attracts millions of visitors each year from around the world. It is an astounding combination of Indian and Persian styles.
The Taj Mahal is perhaps the most outstanding example of Mughal architecture, an inlay work, the mausoleum is an architectural masterpiece sitting on the banks of River Yamuna. The grounds around the building are also stunningly beautiful. The lush gardens and fountains adding to the romantic atmosphere make it one of the top 5 tourist places in India.
You can take a guided tour of the mausoleum and explore its chambers, including Mumtaz Mahal’s tomb. There is also an art gallery inside, showcasing paintings and artifacts from Mughal times. The grounds offer plenty of photo opportunities with stunning views of the mausoleum reflected in the pool below. You can enjoy watching the sunrise or sunset at the Taj Mahal with your loved ones.
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#2 The Golden Temple, Amritsar
Located in Amritsar, Punjab, the Golden Temple, also known as Sri Harmandir Sahib, is one of India’s most sacred and important Sikh pilgrimage sites. It is also a symbol of national pride and stands as a reminder of India’s rich cultural heritage. Devotees flock to this holy site to witness its majestic architecture and peaceful surroundings.
The Golden Temple is coated in gold, giving it its iconic name. The architecture of the temple includes intricate carvings, stone sculptures, and gilded works that have been added over time to give it its unique look.
At the heart of the temple lies a holy Sarovar, a body of water that is believed to have healing powers. The pool is also used for ritual bathing and for religious ceremonies. It provides an atmosphere of tranquility and is surrounded by four entrances known as the Darwaza, which represent the idea of universal acceptance and inclusiveness. The entire complex is brightly decorated at night, giving it an ethereal ambiance.
Golden Temple also houses one of India’s largest community kitchens. Devotees from all walks of life sit together on the floor for free food cooked and served by volunteers known as the Langar. Eating together in the langar hall is a tradition highlighting the spirit of unity and equality underlying Sikh teachings.
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#3 Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
Situated in Jaipur, Rajasthan, Hawa Mahal is a remarkable five-storey palace with 953 small windows. The grand edifice was built in 1799 and is renowned for its stunning architecture and intricate carvings. It is one of the top 5 must visit tourist places in India.
The monument is an exquisite remnant of the royal Rajput family and their regal lifestyle. Its unique structure is based on Lord Krishna’s crown and the slices of honeycomb, with the windows allowing air to flow freely through it. These windows have latticed screens, which help to keep the interior cool and allow the ladies of the court to observe street festivals and processions without being seen.
Hawa Mahal looks stunning with its red and pink sandstone walls, which are artistically carved with intricate patterns and motifs. The palace is open to visitors throughout the year, and its magnificent architecture makes it an ideal venue for photography.
There are several activities that can be enjoyed at Hawa Mahal, including sightseeing, exploring the palace and its grounds, as well as enjoying some of the street food stalls outside. For a memorable experience, you can take part in guided tours of the palace, which will provide you with insights into the architectural brilliance behind its design.
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#4 Ajanta & Ellora Caves
Located near Aurangabad in Maharashtra, Ajanta & Ellora Caves are considered among the top 5 tourist places in India. These 34 rock-cut caves are some of the oldest Buddhist shrines in India. The intricate carvings and ancient paintings found on the walls make them an awe-inspiring tourist attraction.
The Ajanta Caves were built between 200 BC and 650 AD, while the Ellora Caves were built between 600 and 1000 AD. Many of the sculptures in these caves depict religious images, such as Buddha and Hindu gods.
Visitors can also witness ancient frescoes depicting events from Indian mythology. Despite their age, both sites are well-preserved and a must-see on your trip to India. The carvings and paintings are so detailed that it’s hard to believe that the caves were carved out of a single rock.
The Ajanta and Ellora Caves also host several festivals throughout the year, where tourists can witness traditional Indian music and dance performances. For a more insightful experience, guided tours are also available to provide in-depth knowledge about these incredible historical sites.
Located in Karnataka, Hampi is a breathtakingly beautiful village with several ancient monuments. The ruins of the Vijayanagara Empire make this place a must-visit for all history lovers. The most famous monuments in Hampi include the Virupaksha Temple, Hazara Rama Temple, Elephant Stables, and Vittala Temple Complex. It is ranked among the top 5 tourist places in India.
Hampi is renowned for its unique landscape, majestic temples, and stunning sculptures. Apart from its historical significance, Hampi is known for its breathtaking natural beauty. There are plenty of hills surrounding the village that offer stunning views of the region. You can enjoy a peaceful boat ride across the Tungabhadra River or take a dip in the sacred waters at Anegundi.
Another popular activity here is to go trekking up Anjaneya Hill, which offers amazing panoramic views of the entire valley. It has several hills and rocky outcrops known as boulders that are perfect for trekking and climbing activities.
Hampi also has a rich cultural heritage. It is home to several traditional art forms and festivals like puppet shows, Yakshagana performances, and folk dances. The annual chariot festival held here is one of the most celebrated events in South India.
These are just some of the top 5 tourist places in India that will provide you with an incredible experience. From temples to caves to palaces, each one offers something different that will leave you captivated. So if you are looking for an exciting holiday in India, these five must-see destinations should definitely be on your list.