India is wanderlust’s paradise! No other country can provide a traveler such a diverse travel choice like India can. India offers not just places of heritage and culture but also severs those who are looking for a beach holiday, nature trails, adventurous mountain treks, honeymoon escapes, white winter holidays, Eco-tourism you name it, India has it.
So read on to find out the top 25 tourist destinations of India before you book a holiday abroad.
Table of Contents
- 1 1- Leh
- 2 2- Nubra Valley
- 3 3- Nohkalikai Falls
- 4 4- Nandi Hills
- 5 5- Shimla
- 6 6- Hampi
- 7 7- Cochin
- 8 8- Kodaikanal
- 9 9- Yumthang Valley
- 10 10- Tosh Valley
- 11 11- Mandi
- 12 12- Nohkalikai Falls
- 13 13- Nanda Devi
- 14 14- Darjeeling
- 15 15- Munnar
- 16 16- Chittoor
- 17 17- Jaisalmer
- 18 18- Udaipur
- 19 19- Auli
- 20 20- Mizoram
- 21 21- Gulmarg
- 22 22- Lonar Crater Lake
- 23 23- Andaman and Nicobar
- 24 24- Devil’s Canyon
- 25 25- Tulip Garden
Desolation has its beauty- and nothing speak this beauty better than the Land of Monks and Monasteries – Leh, Ladakh. Nestled in state of Jammu and Kashmir, the largest town of Leh is surrounded by three Himalayan rangers of Karakoram, Zanskar and Ladakh.Leh is known as one of the ‘coldest desert’ in the world and offers the perfect adventurous mountain holiday. A road trip is the best way to experience the stunning mountainous terrain, and the best roads to take are the Manali-Leh highway or the Srinagar-Leh highway.
2- Nubra Valley
Of the three tourist divisions of Leh, Nubra is known as the “End of the Road. Situated at a distance of 150 km from the town of Leh and at staggering height of 10,000 feet, Nubra Valley is known for its scenic natural beauty. The valley of the two rivers Siachen and Shyok is known as the “Valley of Flower” which means Nubra in the local language. The valley is home to the silk route and many trading passes like Karakoram and Sasser that connect it to China.
3- Nohkalikai Falls
Named in the local language of Khasi , Nohkalikai falls or the ‘Jump of Ka Likai” cascade down the hill and creates a spectacular view. Situated in the second wettest places in the world Cherrapunji, Nohkalika falls are the tallest plunge water falls in India with the water roaring and falling from a height of 340 meters! The ideal time to experience the full glory of this water falls in during the monsoon months of June to September.The falls are located 5km from the town of Cherrapunji, Assam.
4- Nandi Hills
If you are looking for a quick getaway over the weekend with minimum travel you should head out to Nandi Hills close to Bangalore city. The hills are home to an ancient hill fortress and a temple built honoring Nandi the Bull. The fortress was fortified by the famous Tipu Sultan and spread across a 90 acre area.
For a true Himalayan experience in the twilight you must visit the Queen of the hills –Shimla. The evenings in Shimlaare an epitome of sunset beauty. The town of Narkanda in the Shimla is known as the “Fruit Bowl of India” where you can find the roads lined with fruit vendor offering the choices of fruit like, Apples, Cherries and Pears.If you wish to experience a true orchard feel and see trees bending down with fruit then visit Shimla during December to February.You can experience the “New Year Snowfall” of Shimla for a lovely winter holiday.
If you are looking for a Heritage Holiday in India then the best place to start is none other than the ruins of the Vijayanagar Empire – Hampi. Take a peak into the ancient world of the kings with a trip around the ruins.You can visit the Royal Chariot Enclosure, the Elephant Stable, the Hazar Rama Temple complex with the 1000 inscriptions and cravings telling the story of Ramayana. The other temple of interest is the Vittals Temple which is famous for the Musical Pillars.
A trip to God’s own country Kerala must begin with a visit to the queen of the Arabian Sea – Cochin or Kochi was one of the 1st European colonies in India and boasts of a 400 year history. The city has many ancient architectural master pieces like the Vasco Di Gama’s Home, Kochi Fort, Santa Cruz Basilica, the Jain Temple and the only Jewish Synagogue in India.
Nestled in beautiful hills of Pali of the Eastern Ghats, Kodikanal is known as the Honeymooner’s Haven of Southern India. Kodaikanal and has year round balmy weather making it an ideal destination for a holiday. A visit to Bryant Park near the Kodai Lake will leave you with a beautiful floral experience of Dahlias in myriad of colours. Other places to visit in this beautiful hill town are the Coacker’s Walk, Kurinji Andavari Temple, Bear Shoal Falls and Shembaganur Museum of National History, the Solar Observatory.
9- Yumthang Valley
If you want to do away with your summer blues as visit to the Yumthang Valley is the best thing to do. Located in Sikkim at an elevation of 3500 meters the valley hosts a colorful bouquets of Himalayan flowers. The slopping hills are covered with green trees and dotted with an eclectic mix of flowers in various colors making it an enchanting experience. The valley also houses a variety Himalayan wildlife like the Yak and Red Pandas.
10- Tosh Valley
For an off beaten holiday the village of Tosh situated in the Parvati Valley of Himachal Pradesh is the ideal destination. The valley offers tranquil untouched natural locations which are ideal for campers and backpackers. The village is accessible by a wooden bridge.You can rent a room or a guest house in the village and trek along various natural trails and apple orchards for quite meditative time.
With over 300 old and new temples, the temple town of Mandi is known as Chotti Kashi.The River Beas is dotted with these Shiva temples and make it a great place for pilgrimage. A short drive from the town of Mandi you can find many places to visit like the amazing Prashar Lake, a little known trekking trail Janjehli that is located at a staggering height of 3300 feet from sea level and leads up to the Shikar Mata Peak in the Himalayas. The town offers many unusual trekking trails that are along the untouched locations of the area.
12- Nohkalikai Falls
Named in the local language of Khasi, Nohkalikai falls or the ‘Jump of Ka Likai” cascade down the hill and creates a spectacular view. Situated in the second wettest places in the world Cherrapunji, Nohkalika falls are the tallest plunge water falls in India with the water roaring and falling from a height of 340 meters! The ideal time to experience the full glory of this water falls in during the monsoon months of June to September. The falls are located 5km from the town of Cherrapunji, Assam.
13- Nanda Devi
If you are a nature lover and want to experience nature in all its beauty and charm then a visit to the Nanda Devi National Park is the place for you. Located in Uttarakhand it is home to some of the best deciduous forests in the world and is teaming with wildlife. The Nanda Devi ranges which are the second highest range in India are a trekker’s paradise and have some of the most difficult trek trails in the world.
Situated at an altitude of 6700 feet above sea level is the picture perfect hill station of Darjeeling. One can see the sprawling Tea Estates that run miles and miles and produce some of the best teas of the world. Darjeeling hosts many tourist attraction like the “Toy Train”, the St.Andrew’s Church and of course spectacular views of the Mount Everest, Tiger Hill and the Kanchen Junga Ranges.
For a peaceful and relaxing vacation head out to the hill station of Munnar in Kerala. Munnar which is 6000 feet above sea level is famous for its tea plantation, spice gardens, wild life sanctuaries and valleys. Munnar is perfect summer get away with its cool climate and fresh air.
A lesser known tourist destination in the southern part of India is the small town of Chittoor. The town offers many tourist places that have not been discovered like ancients forts namely Chandragiri fort, Gurramkonda fort, Boyakonda Gangamma. It is also home to the Horsley hills which is known for its pleasant climate and panoramic views of the Western Ghats of India.
For a heritage holiday a visit theGolden City of Jaisalmer is a must. The city houses many palaces, forts, and havelis, like Patwon-ki-Haveli and Nathmalji-ki-Haveli. The city is also hosts a unique Desert National Park where you can experience a Camel ride in the sand dunes, or visit the Akal Wood Fossil Park to discover the Jurassic age.
For those looking to get a glimpse of the grandeur and lifestyle of the Maharajas a visit to the Land of Forts and Palaces Udaipur, Rajasthan is the best option. The majestic city has numerous stunning palaces, lovely lakes and elaborate forts. The unconquered Kumbhalgarh Fort which stretches a magnificent 36 km on the Aravali mountain range and a must see. The Udaipur City Palace has some exquisite gardens, grand chambers and opulent halls. The elegantly maintained gardens of Saheliyon ki Badi has alluring fountains.
Another Honeymooner’s paradise that is on the off beaten track is the winter wonderland Auli in Uttarakhand. If you want to experience snow first hand then Auli is the place for you. Auli offers all the snow related aspects of a holiday from snow clad mountains, snowy vistas, serene scenic meadows and peaks covered in snow. Most importantly it has great winter sports, like skiing, snowboarding and, sledding. Head out to Auli for that “perfect white winter experience” you always wanted without leaving the country!
If you are a nature lover and have a soft spot for unending hills, valleys, and the mountains then your ideal destination would be the state of Mizoram. Also known as the “Land of the Blue Mountains” Mizo offer almost 21 peaks to visit. The trip to the town of the capital city Aizwal in the twisting and winding ghat road is an experience in itself. The state has one of the biggest bamboo forest that blooms every 75 years!
If you love hill stations and want to experience it firsthand then visit the hill station of Gulmarg in the state of J&K. Close to the town of Gulmarg is the Khilanmarg Valley of flowers which offers a peek into beautiful Himalayan flowers in various hues. If you want an ideal spot for a family picnic then head out to the mountain stream of Ningli Nallah. You can also visit the Alpather Lake, and Sonmarg City when you visit Gulmarg.
22- Lonar Crater Lake
If you are looking for a truly out of the world experience then the best place to visit is the Lonar Crater Lake in Maharashtra. This ancient lake was created nearly 50,000 years ago when a meteor hit the earth creating a1.83 km radius crater and later formed the lake.The saline soda lake is the third largest Crater Lake in the world and home to plenty of wildlife and migratory birds.
23- Andaman and Nicobar
If you are looking for a white sandy beaches, crystal clear blue waters and Caribbean like beach experience at half the cost then head out the island of Andaman and Nicobar. The island group now offers great water sports, snorkeling, game fishing, trekking. A trip to the island and you can experience marine life like never before in the jolly buoy which allows you to walk in the sea and have fish swimming all around you. You can also take a unique night cruise from the Port Blair Harbor.
24- Devil’s Canyon
If you are a dare devil and an adventure junky then you should head out the Devil’s Canyon in Goa. The Canyon is a scenic spot where dense jungle in located on a river gorge near the town of Molem. Gushing foaming waters rip through the rocky river creating tumultuous waters that are very dangerous for anyone who wants to take a dip.The unique feature of the river is where the water cuts the rocks in two pieces and unique wildlife.
25- Tulip Garden
If you ever wanted to experience the Netherlands’ Tulip garden right here in India then all you need to do is make a trip to Siraj Bagh in J&K. Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha’s love moments amidst blushing tulip fields was not just the figment of Yash Chopra’s imagination come to life, but the beauty of Asia’s largest tulip garden the – Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden. This sprawling Mughal garden is situated on the banks of the Dal Lake at the foot hills of the Zabarwan Mountain in Srinagar. This garden is the largest Tulip garden in Asia and is in full bloom during the first two weeks of April making it the best time to visit. The 90 acre garden in full bloom has nearly 1.3 million Tulips and is like a walk through a rainbow.