Countries of the World
Places to visit in India


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India is the world's largest democracy, and is home to the descendants of the world's oldest civilization, the Indus Valley civilization which is currently situated in the province of Sindh, Pakistan. It is a country showing many contrasting shades in every aspect of life. Right from snake charmers to farmers to high-tech engineers there is oppulence of variations. If in one part rice is staple diet than a few thousand miles away, it might be wheat bread. If there is desert in the west then the world's rainiest place lies in the east. The country has rich natural resources, a civilized history, and now acclimatizing to the growing technology.

To see the places to travel in India, let us break it into 5 regions:

* Himalayan North Mountainous and beautiful, a tourist destination for the adventurous and the spiritual. This region contains some of India's most visited hill-stations and religious places. Also includes the troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir

* The Plains India's Hindi-speaking heartland. The country's capital New Delhi is here. The rivers Ganga and Yamuna flow through this plain. Many of the events that shaped India's history took place in this region.

* Western India miles and miles of the Thar Desert. Home to the the colorful cities of Rajasthan - Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bikaner, Goa, as well as the country's most vibrant and biggest Indian city Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), wonderful beaches and Bollywood (Indian film industry in Bombay)

* Southern India colorful Hindu temples, tropical forests, the backwaters of Kerala, beaches of Karnataka and islands off the mainland make this a lush green region, ideal for a relaxing week or two.

* Eastern India India's mostly rural region, its largest city is Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta), the temple cities of Puri of Lord Jagannath fame and Bhubaneswar are both in Orissa.

* North-Eastern India remote and sensitive, the country's tribal corner, with beautiful landscapes and famous for Tea Gardens. Consists of seven tiny states (by Indian standards, some of them are larger than Switzerland or Austria) popularly nicknamed as The Seven Sisters.



Himalayan North

Touristic cities:

Manali - quiet picturesque town set in mountainous region by day, hosts many a rave at night

Dharamsala - home of the Dalai Lama, popular backpacker hang-out

Shimla - summer capital of former British India, modern India with English architecture

Srinagar - famous for Dal lake, located in the picturesque Himalayas

Haridwar - "hari" = God + "dwar" = Entrance, the holy city with emerging ganges river is also an entry to the "dev bhumi" = place of god i.e. Uttarakhand

Valley of flower - 3 km wide and 8 km long natural valley of flowers, a world heritage.



The Plains

Touristic cities:

New Delhi - Capital of Ancient Bharat (then called "Indraprastha") and Modern India - The political capital of India

Agra - Home of the Taj Mahal.

Amritsar - Contains the Golden temple, the most important peregination center for the Sikh religion

Varanasi - A sacred Hindu city located on the banks of the Ganga.



Western India

Touristic Cities:

Aurangabad a few miles from the famous Ajanta and Ellora caves, a sacred site for Hindus, Jains and Buddhists

Jaipur the Pink City, famous for Rajput architecture

Jodhpur the Sun City, also known as the Blue City

Mumbai or Bombay the financial capital, the hub of Bollywood and London to many an Indian Dick Whittington.

Nashik the city of temples located 180 km from Mumbai

Pushkar home to the country's only Brahma temple, the camel festival in November is an added bonus

Mount Abu - Rajasthan's only hill-station and is home to a group of five Jain Temples.

Kumbhalgarh - a gigantic red fort located in beautiful landscape amongst the rugged Arravali Hills. There is also a nearby wildlife sanctuary by the same name west of the fort on the leeward side. Squirrels, wolves, panthers and birds can be spotted here during the spring months.

Matheran - between Mumbai and Pune is Asia's only pedestrian resort.

Goa - home to miles and miles of beaches. Some of its quaint towns such as Panaji and Madgaon are best explored on foot.


Southern India

Touristic Cities:

Bangalore - The Garden City, Pub City, Silicon Valley of India, Land of Silk, Gold, Sandal, Incense etc.

Chennai/Madras - City of Temples, Home of famous Marina Beach, Automobile Capital of India

Kochi (Cochin) - The Queen of the Arabian Sea

Coimbatore - Manchester of South India

Hyderabad With the formation of Greater Hyderabad it is now the second largest city in India. The city of pearls, was famous for the Golconda diamonds and is now a major IT hub. Home of Charminar, Golconda fort and Salarjung Museum.

Madhurai - City famous for its Meenakshi Amman Temple. It was among the nominees for the new list of 7 wonders of the world for its architecture.

Mysore - Twin city of Bangalore. Famous for the Royal Palace, Brindavan Gardens.

Pondicherry - French Enclave in India. Commonly known as "Peaceful Pondicherry"

Trivandrum - Padmanabhaswami temple. It is the capital of Kerala State.

Kerala backwaters - a must-experience

Ooty - a popular hill station, famous botanical garden, dotabetta, speciality by travelling in palchakra vandi from Mettupaalayam



Eastern India

Touristic Cities:

Darjeeling - Hill station in former British India - famous for its tea

Kolkata (Calcutta) - Known as City of Joy.




North-Eastern India

Touristic Cities:

Agartala - capital city of the North Eastern State of Tripura.


Most popular cities in India for tourists:


Delhi the capital of India for a thousand years and the heart of Northern India.

Bangalore The garden city, once the sleepy home of pensioners now transformed into the city of pubs, technology companies and traffic jams.

Chennai (formerly Madras) main port in Southern India, cradle of Carnatic Music and Bharatanatyam, home of the famous Marina beach, Automobile Capital of India.

Cochin gateway to the sandy beaches and backwaters of south west India.

Jaipur the Pink City is a major exhibit of the Hindu Rajput culture of medeival Northern India.

Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) the cultural capital of India, Kolkata is home to numerous colonial buildings. It is known as The City of Joy.

Mumbai (formerly Bombay) the financial capital of India, "Bollywood" (Indian Film Industry) hub.

Shimla the former summer capital of British India located in the Himalayan foothills with a large legacy of Victorian architecture.

Varanasi considered the most sacred Hindu city, located on the banks of the Ganges, one of the oldest continually inhabited cities of the world.



Most popular destinations in India for tourists:


Ellora/Ajanta spectacular rock-cut cave monasteries and temples, holy place for the Buddhists, Jains and Hindus.

Goa an east-west mix, beaches and syncretic culture

Hampi the awesome ruins of the empire of Vijayanagara

Khajuraho famed for its erotic sculptures

Taj Mahal the incomparable Taj Mahal in Agra

Meenakshi Temple a spectacular Hindhu temple in Madurai

Lake Palace the Lake Palace of Octopussy fame, located in Udaipur

Golden Temple Sikh holy site located in Amritsar


Namaste = "I bow to you" in greeting and parting



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