10 best destinations to visit in India

According to TripAdvisor travellers, these are the best places to visit in India .

In the hunt for hidden gems, we often tend to overlook the most popular tourist destinations. Sure, these places are crowded and often overvisited but there is a case to be made to visit, say, Jaipur over Mawlynong. It’s not that one’s better than the other but dissing mainstream tourist destinations is so 2016. With that in mind, here are the ten best destinations in India, according to Tripadvisor travellers.

10. Agra
There’s nothing quite like seeing the Taj Mahal for yourself. Arrive at the gates 30 minutes before the opening time and rush in to see the wonder that is the Taj before the hoards of tourists follow. Be prepared for biting cold in the winters; it’ll be worth the wait.

9. Udaipur
Hugged by the Aravallis and with the tranquil Lake Pichola at its heart, Udaipur is arguably the most romantic city in the country. Palaces, temples and havelis dot this Rajasthani city where royal elegance meets colourful bazaars. 

8. Mumbai
The financial capital of India, Mumbai is every bit the metropolis you expect it to be. The colonial architecture of the city harks back to a simpler (even grander) time but it’s the city’s vibe that immediately draws you in. The local trains, the vada pavs and the chaats are just some of the highlights of Mumbai but no words can describe the sheer madness and passion that this city can evoke.

7. Jaisalmer
The massive sandcastle rises from the desert like a mirage. Jaisalmer Fort with its 99 bastions and a royal palace is at the heart of this town’s economy and also a rare living fort. If history doesn’t interest you, spend a night in the desert camps where locals will tell you the story of the haunted village of Kuldhara located nearby.

6. Bengaluru
The city with a growing nightlife and dining scene and a pleasant climate was among the top ranked destinations in India. Bengaluru has beautiful parks, stunning Victorian-era architecture and a beer scene that can put any Indian city to shame.

5. Kochi
Rounding off the top five list of the most popular destinations in India is Kochi. The city has attracted travellers and traders to its shores for more than six centuries. Synagogues, mosques and Dutch- and Portuguese-era houses blend seamlessly with the crumbling remains of British architecture here in Kochi. The city also serves as a gateway to every major tourist destination within Kerala. Enter the state from here and leave from Thiruvananthapuram (or vice versa) and you’d have pretty much covered all of Kerala.

4. Manali
India’s adventure playground, Manali is as much of a backpacker’s paradise as it is a destination for Indian families and honeymooners. Go trekking, rafting or skiing, or simply spend your days exploring this picturesque town and its surroundings.

3. New Delhi
The capital of the country is also the third most popular tourist destination in India and for good reason. For time immemorial, Delhi has attracted invaders, poets and artists alike. Always at the heart of every major war in the region, Delhi has been the fulcrum of power and culture alike. The many invasions may have left their scars on the city’s psyche but they’ve also left behind their stunning architecture and culture.

2. Goa
What can be said about India’s most favourite beach state that hasn’t already been said. The sunny Goa has been the go-to place for every tourist arriving in India. Its easy vibe is attractive, yes, but so are its numerous beaches.

1. Jaipur
The colourful streets, chaotic markets, stunning palaces and imposing forts are just some of the reasons why this capital of Rajasthan is so alluring. Its hospitality and warmth are unparalleled but so are its palaces and havelis. Jaipur was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. And it ranks number one in the list of the most popular tourist destinations in India.

All photographs: Pixabay.com