Written by Ramaswamy Ganapathy
India is a vast country and it consists of different landscapes, terrains, and climate conditions. Each and every place that you would visit has its influence derived from different ethnicity and culture. Every place has something unique to offer and the experience is always memorable and breathtaking. Let’s go down a concise list of places that you can visit if you are about to travel in India for the first time: (Please note: This list just serves as an outline and provides a general overview of what travel experience in different parts of India can be.)
1. Kashmir & Leh Ladhak: The northern head of India is defined as
heaven on earth. The landscape here is mountainous and snowy. The place is covered with rivers, lakes, mountains, different flowers and trees. This region is placed in the highest altitudes and is closely surrounded by the Himalayas. Travelers usually prefer road trips, trekking, and camping on their trips here.
2. Goa: Also known as the biggest party hub of India. It is situated in the south of Maharashtra and is known for its cheap liquor, music festivals, clubs, pubs and last but not the least its beaches. There are tons of beach activities going on during the seasonal times of the year. Goa is filled with many Indian as well as international tourists around the year.
3. Delhi: Delhi has a lot of history attached to it and it is the capital city of India. A lot of remains from the Mogul dynasty to the British act as an artifact for tourists to see. There are lots of monuments, historical places, forts, and museums spread across the city. Huge markets like Connaught Place and Nehru market turn out to be a tourist attraction to help you go on a shopping spree.
4. Jaipur and the rest of Rajasthan: The city of Jaipur also now known as the ‘pink city’ due to the pink-colored buildings that are present there. The city and surrounding attractions consist of palaces, gardens, and museums from historic times. Most of these structures were built by kings who ruled the kingdoms around the palace. Every structure has its own unique architecture, thus making travel across Rajasthan majestic in its own ways.
5. Sikkim, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh (The northeast belt): Arunachal holds as the northeast frontier of India. The North East belt is the most beautiful and diverse landscape on its own. It has grassy mountains and hill points along with snowy mountains. Assam is known for its famous tea and Sikkim for its eastern Himalayan region. The eastern belt has a lot of wildlife. There are over 15000 species across the land.
6. Kerala: The state of Kerala is part of the southern tip of India. It is a coastal state. There are amazing beaches, rivers, lakes, coconut, palm trees and much more. A tourist can spend his time chilling in a hammock and live in a boathouse. There are water sporting events that include the infamous snake boat race. There is lush greenery everywhere here and climate is certainly warmer and less harsh during winters.
7. Andaman and Nicobar & Lakshadweep Islands: Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep are some union territories that are part of the Indian subcontinent. These Islands are some of the biggest tourist attractions in India. They thrive on tourism as their main source of income. They prove to be great vacation spots and honeymoon destinations. You don’t have to break your bank to travel to Hawaii when you can travel here. You can spend your day scuba diving and boating or maybe look at the flora and fauna around these regions, you also get to look at those rare coral reefs.
8. Mumbai: A peninsula, a financial center, or the city that never sleeps. These words are a few that describe Mumbai. Mumbai has its own culture: a cosmopolitan one, this is the place where movie stars live, and apart from the glamour; the density, hustle, and bustle will slap you in the face. A must visit place with Churchgate having British buildings from the colonial era and Victorian times. The gateway of India and Taj hotels are a few places tourists can visit. A ferry ride from the gateway to Elephanta caves also serves as part of your travel itinerary. (Please do visit the link to know more about the fast food culture in Mumbai: http://www.itssouthasian.com/top-10-street-foods-you-must-try-if-you-come-to-mumbai/)
9. Chandigarh, Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Madya Pradesh: These states encompass the Northern part of India. Chandigarh has tons of gardens, zoos, and museums while Uttarakhand has Haridwar and Rishikesh as their main attractions. UP and MP have major cities like Varanasi, Allahabad, Gwalior, and Bhopal. North India has a very different culture and they also encompass many important Hindu temples and religious grounds. This place will blow you away with events such as Kumbh ka Mela which has a gathering of huge crowds for the festival. River of the Ganges and its tributaries are also worshiped and considered as holy.
10. Manali: You must lastly visit Himachal Pradesh and experience some homestay or cottage living in the mountains of Manali. Trekking and mountaineering. Apart from this, there is boating, visits to the waterfalls, Temples. A road trip to Rothang pass is calling you at Manali and it’s a must-visit spot.
As far as places to visit and things to see are concerned, it is an endless list. I would recommend you to travel and explore all parts of India as each one has something unique to offer.