30 Jun 2011

Top 10 Places to Visit in India – Part 1

India – People across the globe talk about this land of “Unity in Diversity” for many things like travel, food, people, and economy etc. India is a home for more than a billion people, an absolute blend of numerous cultures. From heaps of sacred places, serene temples to spirited festivals, magnificent beaches, frosty & snow laid mountains, lantern-lit villages to superlative cities. Love it or hate it, this incredible country has got everything to leave an impression on you and make your trip a memorable one. No matter where you visit, every place in India has got something unique to offer to its travelers. Since we keep on hopping from place to place, we have put to together some of the best places to visit in India. So grab some popcorn and read on

1. Kashmir-  The Paradise on Earth
Jammu and Kashmir picture
Beautiful Kashmir
After visiting Kashmir, people often struggle to describe it since adjectives like, beautiful and awesome don’t seem to do it any justice. For lack of a better superlative, Kashmir is generally described as Heaven or paradise on Earth.  Kashmir is at the peak of the map of India and is surrounded by the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range. The valley’s beauty is enhanced by the truly spell bounding lakes, fresh water streams, delicious apple orchards, mighty ice capped mountains and lush meadows. Adding some spectacular views, Lush green surroundings, fresh non polluted mountain air and scenic landscapes makes Kashmir one of the best places to visit in India.
Also if you are an adventure junkie, Kashmir has its share of adrenaline pumping activities like Water Rafting, Trekking, Winter Sports, Wetlands, Wildlife, etc.
All in all, Kashmir has something for everyone. So be it Adventure fanatics, spirituality or just holiday revelers, Kashmir is sure to satisfy everyone. So don’t wait and visit this amazing tourist destination or at least put it on your bucket list
2. Ladakh- The Moon land
Picture of Ladakh
Barren but Beautiful Ladakh - Pic by deeptrivia
A close second to Kashmir, there probably is no other place in the world quite like this travel destination. Set high up in the Himalaya’s at 3,000 m (9,800 ft), Ladakh is a plateau in the Indus Valley between the Karakoram mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south. Its altitude ranges from 9000 to 25000 feet.
Ladakh is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and culture. It’s sometimes referred as “Moon land” & “Little Tibet” because of its natural barren beauty landscape and inhabitation by Tibetan people respectively. The main source of water is winter snowfall, this feeds the glaciers from which melt water, carried down by streams, irrigates the fields in summer. 

Road to ladakh-tso mori
The beautiful road from Ladakh to Tso Mori - Pic by t3rmin4t0r
What makes this tourist destination even more special is that it takes considerable effort to reach it. Sure there is a 45 minute flight but that’s probably as exciting as a trip to your typical shopping mall. To really experience the true essence of Ladakh, we recommend a road trip by car, bike, jeep or bus. Sure the tough mountain roads do take a lot out of you, but nothing quite beats the experience of getting to Ladakh.
Once in Ladakh, make sure you visit the Leh Palace, Tso Mori Lake, and Nubra Valley as well the number of monasteries dotting Ladakh.  The sheer beauty of this place, combined with its amazing culture and the breathtaking journey to get there makes this number 2 on the best places to visit in India
3. Goa- God’s heaven on Earth
Photo of Goa
Another Sunset in Goa- Pic by Arun Katiyar
The common quote “Good things come in small packages” holds true for Goa since in terms of geographical area, Goa is the smallest state in India. However that doesn’t stop it from being the best places to visit in India attracting more than 2 million visitors annually.  With its pretty beaches, awesome seafood, vivid nightlife, picturesque churches and water sports, it’s not hard to figure out why.
And the fun does’nt stop just there. Goa has oodles of activities you can indulge in depending on your choice and taste. If you are a bit on the laidback side, then you can just idle away time on popular beaches like Anjuna Beach and Baga Beach or visit some of the awesome churches. If you are looking for your dose of adrenaline, you can indulge in water sports like paragliding, windsurfing, jet skiing and lots more.  If food and drink makes your day, try out some of the sumptuous seafood (our pick Goan fish curry!) and the famous Fenny (Goan Liquor) at your disposal.In the end, Goa is the kind of place that although is located in India, seems like a different country altogether. With a curious mix of national and international cultures, golden sands, never ending parties and having some of the most awesome beaches in India, Goa keeps on throwing up more and more reasons why it’s worth visiting time and again. This makes it number 3 in our list of the best places to visit in India
4. Kerala- God’s own Country
Photo of Kerala Backwaters
The Calming Kerala Backwaters - Pic by albany_tim
Not including tourist places in south India would not make this list complete. And they don’t come any better than Kerala. Kerala offers a very unique travel experience; it is famous for its natural beauty, amazing white sand beaches, delicious sea food, ayurvedic health resorts, enchanting art forms, magical festivals, cultural monuments and backwaters.
Backwaters which are a chain of lagoons are an integral part of Kerala’s Tourism Scenario and provide a really relaxing experience. Linked by a myriad of manmade and natural canals, they criss cross half of the length of Kerala. The ever popular houseboats navigate this labyrinth giving you amazing views and a sense of calm which rejuvenates your mind and body.  Must visit places along these backwaters include Kumarakom (bird sanctuary), Astamudi Lake (largest fresh water lake) and Kannur-Valiyaparambu (scenic beauty).
Kerala is one of the ten ‘Paradises found’ declared by the National Geographic Traveler, for its varied geography and devastating greenery. It is a land much applauded for the contemporary nature of its cultural ethos, and much appreciated for the soothing, revitalizing bliss that it is. It is a perfect destination for holidays, honeymoon, art, culture, tradition, health care, yoga, ayurveda and meditation.  Kerala is “God’s own country” indeed and is our number 4 for the best places to visit in India.

5. Rajasthan- The Land of Royals
Photo of the Jaipur Palace in Rajasthan
Photo of the Jaipur Palace in Rajasthan - Pic by mckaysavage
The mere mention of Rajasthan conjures up images and visions of the Maharajas, Rajputana, Brave and fearless Rajput warriors, Breathtaking Palaces and Forts along with royal hospitality and splendor.  If there is one place that can transport you into a bygone era, it has to be Rajasthan.
Decked with monuments covered in history, Rajasthan is home to some of the most stunning places you can see. Be it Jaipur the capital, the famous lakes and palace of Udaipur, the barren but beautiful desserts of Bikaner, the blue hued Jaisalmer or the high hill station Mt Abu, Rajasthan’s bag of surprises are never-ending.  Combined with ASI’s amazing preservation work, most of the monuments, forts and palaces of Rajasthan still seem like time capsules where time has stood still.
In case the sheer enormity of places to visit in Rajasthan scares you, just hop on to the Palace on Wheels. Designed with a sharp eye for luxury, the Palace on wheels is a one of a kind train which has superlative interiors, lavish meals, classy wines, and personalized services. Its old world charm combined with modern amenities and excellent comfort are sure to leave you impressed and feeling like a royal Maharaja yourself.
Rajasthan is a place that will give a window to old world charm and a black and white era you must have heard of but never experienced.  It’s also a shopper’s delight with textiles in mirror work, embroidery & prints, semi-precious stones and handicrafts like wooden furniture, carpets and blue pottery. Music and culture aficionados will love the highly cultivated classical music and dance unique to Rajasthan.  With so many wonderful places to visit in Rajasthan, things to do and the lovely old world charm, this is tourist destination that reminds us that the old days weren’t all that bad after all. This makes it our number 5 for the best places to visit in India
Till now we have detailed some awesome places to visit in India which include Kashmir, Ladakh, Goa, Kerala and Rajasthan. Which will be the other 5? Stay tuned till next week for part 2.

Next Page : Top 10 Places to Visit in India – Part 2

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