One of the most enchanting countries on earth, millions of people have fallen under the spell of India. This fascinating sub-continent might cover a lot of ground, but it’s bursting at the seams with beautiful things to see and do. These six highlights of India offer a glimpse into the best it has to offer.
1. The Taj Mahal
Without doubt the most recognisable landmark in India – and the world, for that matter – the Taj Mahal is a must-see if you’re visiting the country. The monument was originally built at the request of an emperor who wanted a memorial for his wife.
There are many different ways you can see the Taj Mahal, and these are not just limited to seeing it through the front gates with and admission charge. Consider taking a boat trip on the surrounding Yamuna River to see the legendary palace from an alternative perspective.
One of the most colourful and deeply spiritual places in India, Varanasi has been intoxicating travellers for years and years. Pilgrims come here to bathe in the Ganges, covering the banks of the river in crowds and colorful clothing.
‘Chaotic’ doesn’t really go to accurate lengths to describe Varanasi – the city heaves and an almost constant river of people flow through its streets. This is iconic India and should without doubt go on your itinerary – worth a flight to India alone.
Goa is one of the most beautiful beach destinations in India. The area was a Portuguese colony up until the 1960s so it has a slightly different feel to other parts of India – the food, architecture, and atmosphere all have their own special Goan twist.
Come here for dreamy, pristine beaches and ultra laid-back vibes. This is the perfect place in which to escape from the hectic side of India, and just lie back on the sands to enjoy the sunshine.
4. Mumbai and Delhi
Heady, frantic, and exotic, a trip to India would be incomplete without a visit to at least one of its big cities – Delhi or Mumbai. With staggering populations of 9.8 million and nearly 12 million respectively, it’s no surprise that these cities are heaving, but (for the most part) therein lies the charm.
Visit bustling markets, palaces and forts, shopping streets, and monuments. Mumbai and Delhi are the epicentres of modern India, and two of the unmissable highlights of India.
5. The Golden Temple
Best seen shimmering in early morning light, Amritsar’s Golden Temple – otherwise known as the Harmandir Sahib – is one of the most mesmerising sights in India. This is a Sikh temple, where visitors and worshippers wander around in barefoot and where friendly locals will come and tell you about Sikhism.
The temple itself sits on a pool of water that’s surrounding by bright whites buildings. As temples and monuments go, the Golden Temple is one of the world’s most spectacular.
6. Dharamsala and McLeod Ganj
The far northern regions of India offer yet another façade on this incredible sub-continent. Small towns McLeod Ganj and Dharamsala sit on the fringes of the Himalaya, a place where fog rolls in from over the hills and monks walk down the streets.
This is the seat of the Dalai Lama, offering a fascinating place to learn more about Buddhism. There is a distinct Tibetan presence up in this region as many have found exile here. Prayer flags are strung up between buildings everywhere and the mountainous air is cool and crisp.
What would you add to these highlights of India?