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Ancient and mysterious India, although it belongs to the countries of the “third world”, still attracts countless guests. And all because it has a unique history and culture, monuments of which have been preserved throughout the country. But the sights of India are not only temples and fortresses. There are still many luxurious parks and reserves where tourists can see rare animals in their natural environment. And rest on quiet Indian beaches will remain in memory for a lifetime. Don't know what to see in India? Especially for you, we have compiled a list of the most popular sights of this country.
What to see in India in the first place
Use the list we have compiled when choosing excursions in India, because the route is not always interesting enough and meets the needs of tourists. Along with detailed descriptions of attractions, we suggest looking at photos to clearly understand where you will visit during your vacation.
1. Taj Mahal (Agra)
Taj Mahal – a monument of eternal love
Sights of India include many different architectural monuments and structures. One of the most famous is the Taj Mahal.
If you still do not know what to visit in India, go to this mysterious and magical place. The historic building reaches 75 meters in height and impresses with its majesty. The mausoleum-mosque is one of the new 7 wonders of the world. It was built in the 17th century by the order of Padishah Shah Jahan to honor the memory of his wife, who died in childbirth.
The domes and walls are made of white marble. On both sides of the mausoleum there are 2 pavilions, one of them is a mosque, and the second is for receiving guests. The Taj Mahal is surrounded by a large beautiful park with a total area of 18 hectares. The park is decorated with fountains, small lakes and canals.
The mausoleum can be accessed through the East, South and West gates. At the entrance, you will have to go through strict control, which consists in the fact that you are only allowed to take water and a camera with you. Inside the building are the actual tombs of the Shah and his wife Mumtaz Mahal, decorated with precious stones.
It is best to visit the mausoleum early in the morning. The only day of the week when the Taj Mahal is closed to visitors is Friday. This day is dedicated to prayers.
Official website: http://www.tajmahal.gov.in
2. Hampi and the ruins of Vijayanagara (Karnataka)
Thinking what to see in India? Without hesitation, go to Hampi village. It is located among the ruins of the former capital of the Vijayanagara empire.
Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as this village has preserved many cultural and architectural monuments. In addition, Hampi is one of the main religious centers of India, thanks to the still functioning Virupaksha temple.
The temple is the epitome of architectural art. The altar is surrounded by a complex of musical columns, which, when tapped, make various sounds. A street leads to the main entrance, also surrounded by relief columns. Even in the temple you can admire the statues of gods and various animals. A distinctive feature of the temple is the presence of a chariot made of stone, which is a copy of the original chariot.
It is worth seeing the Shiva temple, which is located underground. In Hampi, you can admire not only the temples, but also other architectural structures: the Narasimha statue, the royal scales, the Mahanavami Dibba tower.
Hampi is also famous for its religious and entertainment festivals. The largest festival is the Hampi Festival. All kinds of artists, musicians, festive parade, dancing and fireworks – all this happens at the festival. And the largest religious celebration is the Virupaksha Chariot Festival. Here, the main participants are the statues of the god and goddess, as the festival symbolizes their wedding. They are loaded onto a chariot and carried along the main street. All this is accompanied by a bright procession.
The sights of India, especially such as Hampi and the ruins of Vijayanagara, will not leave anyone indifferent – you will want to visit this mysterious country again and again.
3. Red Fort (Agra)
Red Fort in Agra
If you ask a question what to see in India, most people, except for the Taj Mahal, will not name any other sights. In fact, there are still a lot of interesting places, among which is the Red Fort in Agra over the Yamuna River. If you decide to visit the Taj Mahal, then you will be on the way, because the distance between them is only two and a half kilometers.
This fortress is called red because it is made of reddish stone. Erected, or rather, reconstructed in 1565 by decree of Akbar the Great. The building is made in the form of a semicircle, has two entrances – these are the Lahore and Delhi main gates, a 21-meter wall is located around. Inside you can see several Islamic mosques, beautiful gardens and the residence of the rulers.
Previously, Agra, near which the fort is located, was the capital of India, but then Delhi again got this title. Entrance to the territory of the complex is paid. During the reign of the Mughal dynasty, it served as the residence of the padishah. This building is one of the most popular attractions in India, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Unfortunately, the fortress is still partially used by the military, and tourists are not allowed into all its corners.
Official website: http://www.asiagracircle.in/agra-fort .html
4. India Gate (Mumbai)
Gateway of India in Mumbai
The main attraction of the city of Mumbai is the Gateway of India. This is a colossal basalt arch structure, 26 meters high, located on the shores of the Arabian Sea. It was built under the direction of the architect George Wittet in honor of the visit of the English King George the Fifth. Construction began in 1911. Only it took 4 years to strengthen the coastline, and in general the construction lasted 13 years. The Indian authorities almost completely financed the construction of the structure. The architecture of the building is a combination of three styles:
- Hindu; European; Muslim.
The gate is also associated with the declaration of independence of India, when the last British soldiers exited through it.
There are many legends about India Gate. It is said that one should only pass through the Gate with good intentions, otherwise Mumbai will be inhospitable. At the moment, India Gate is considered the most popular place in Mumbai.
5. Periyar National Park (Kerala)
Boating in Periyar Park
The beauty of the Kardamom Mountains, the murmur of the Pambiyar River, the fertile Periyar Lake and countless varieties of exotic plants, the secrets of the animal world. All this in one place – Periyar National Park.
Other attractions in India cannot boast of such popularity. In just one year, almost 4 million tourists arrive here.
Kerala Park received the status of National Park in 1982. Today it occupies almost 350 sq. km. 70% of this territory is covered with evergreen forests. Each visitor has the opportunity to enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of more than 2500 plant species. 350 of them are used for medicinal purposes, and some plants can grow to a height of 40-50 meters.
As for the local fauna, it is represented by more than 62 species of mammals. Of particular interest to tourists is the behavior in the natural environment of tigers, elephants, zebras, bison, mongooses, leopards. In addition to them, many reptiles, birds, amphibians live in the park.
You can enjoy moisture and coolness by going to the center of the park, where Periyar Lake is located.
Official site: http://periyartigerreserve.org
Feel the atmosphere of India in this beautiful video!
6. Mehrangarh (Jodhpur, Rajasthan)
Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur
Looking for something else to see in this amazing country? The grand fortification of Mehrangarh will amaze your imagination.
From the outside, tourists see the high stone walls of the fort, as well as a wide road that descends to the city of Jodhpur. Nearby is a pavilion-memo to the soldier – the defender of the fort.
The history of the attraction begins in the distant XV century. Over time, a city appeared near the foot of the fort. Almost 120 meters Mehrangarh rises above Jodhpur. The very same height of the walls in some places reaches 36 meters. To enter the fort, you need to overcome 7 gates. The most notable of them is the Victory Gate, which was built in 1806.
On the territory of Mehrangarh (total area 0.2 km) there are five luxurious palaces, as well as a unique Indian museum. The latter is especially interesting for tourists because it contains traditional national costumes, as well as musical instruments, furniture, palanquins, miniatures.
You can learn more about the martial art of the Indians by visiting the Armory. Here is a collection of knives, and sabers, and the best armor from different periods of the principality.
Official website: http://www.mehrangarh.org/
7 Akshardham, Delhi
Akshardham Hindu Temple in Delhi
Going on a trip, a person outlines a plan of excursions for himself. What sights of India are worth seeing? A very curious place is the Akshardham Hindu temple, made entirely of marble. It is located in the beautiful city of Delhi across the Yamuna River, and was built not so long ago: it is a little over ten years old.
The temple is a large complex, nearby there are gardens with fountains, artificial ponds and bridges. The architecture of the building is mixed: you can see a tribute to traditions and a modern style in it. It is also unique that all decoration and sculptures are made by hand. The temple is made of pink marble inside, white with gilding – outside.
There is a cinema hall in the sanctuary where tourists will be shown an interesting film about religion; a museum where you can see historical exhibits, watch robot actors. Tourists are boated around the pools, telling fascinating stories about India and Hindu gods.
In the evening, the temple is even more transformed: the lights turn on, the fountain show begins. When visiting Akshardham, time passes unnoticed – there are so many amazing and unusual things here that your eyes run wide! Those who decide to bring home the material memories of their visit can buy souvenirs in the shops and shops, which are many in Akshardham.
Official website: http://akshardham.com/
8. Mysore Palace (Mysore)
Many tourists are interested in what to visit in India is really luxurious? Be sure to see the Mysore Palace, another name for the palace is Amba Vilas. The building was built in the 19th century. It was originally the residence of the Maharajas.
The building fascinates with its exterior and interior. The floor inside the palace is lined with mosaics, there are a lot of stained-glass windows and mirrors. The entrance to the palace is through wooden doors decorated with hand carvings. The style of the building can be called unique, because three trends are mixed: Hindu, Muslim, Gothic. The palace consists of high towers, nine arches supported by columns, and marble domes are especially original.
The complex has a beautiful garden. In autumn, tourists can watch an unusual festival in the Mysore Palace, celebrated in honor of the victory of good over evil. The program includes curious parades of elephants, performances by artists. Inside the building you can see doll exhibitions, a marriage hall, a meeting room for the ruler, an armory. The modern Mysore Palace is the fourth reconstruction of buildings that burned down before.
9. Golden Temple Harmandir Sahib (Armitsar)
Harmandir Sahib Golden Temple in Armitsar
Do not know what to see in India so that the tour is remembered for a long time? One obvious option would be the Temple of Harmandir Sahib – the main shrine of the Sikhs. It is popularly called the Golden Temple, because the outer facade is almost completely, except for the lower tier, covered with gilding. The building is located near the lake, the waters of which are considered sacred and healing by the locals. According to their beliefs, there is an elixir of immortality in the reservoir. In ancient times, the shores of this lake were a favorite place for meditation of Hindu sages.
All tourists are allowed into the temple, regardless of their religion and nationality. To show their openness to guests, the architects made four huge entrances on each side of the complex so that as many people as possible would visit this place. The gilded walls are inlaid with precious stones, hand-painted by the great artists of the era. Before entering the temple, the tourist must take off their shoes and perform the rite of foot washing.
Official website: http://sgpc.net/sri-harmandir-sahib/
< h3> 10. Palolem Beach (Goa)
Cozy Palolem Beach
The sights of India are mysterious and beautiful, like the country itself. The famous Palolem beach is located in the southern part of the state of Goa on the coast of the Arabian Sea. The place is considered one of the most beautiful in India, and even the natives call it the “Garden of Eden”.
The beach is surrounded by high headlands and is a bay of natural origin. There are rarely waves here – the sea is almost always calm. The sand on the shore is surprisingly clean, and palm trees bend their leaves to the very shore.
The length of the beach is a little over 3 km. It has everything for a good and comfortable stay:
- sunbeds; umbrellas; cafes and bars; hotels; rent of kayaks, bicycles.
Palolem is literally filled with national flavor. You can often see cows walking right by the water. Huts are located along the coastline – houses with wicker walls.
You can make sightseeing trips around the beach, for example, to Butterfly Island. Tourists are given a lot of opportunities – from the usual vacation with the contemplation of the most beautiful sunsets to an elite trip on a yacht with diving. The developed infrastructure and the presence of wild natural areas attract a large number of tourists from Europe.
Sights of India: what else to visit while in India
Staying in this country gives an extravaganza of completely different emotions, but not a single tourist will forget a trip here, because there are so many stunningly beautiful places and unusual monuments! Guides in India, who can be hired for a very modest fee, will help you learn more about the sights to see.
11. Virupaksha Temple in honor of Shiva (Hampi village, Karnataka)
Virupaksha Temple – a place of pilgrimage in Hampi
What to see in India, except for the beaches in Goa? There may be many answers. One of them is the Virupaksha temple – a pearl of architectural art. It is located in the small village of Hampi, Karnataka.
According to many experts, the temple is the oldest in the whole country and is located on the ruins of the ancient city of Vijayanagara. The temple is dedicated to the god Shiva, who is called Virupakshi here.
The main entrance to the Shiva shrine is located in the western tower. From it you can get into the first courtyard, and then into the second. The path through another tower leads to the temple elephant Lakshmi. Also on the territory of the temple you can see an old well, a hall with about 100 columns, Ranga Mandala – one of the last buildings of the temple.
The special construction of the temple allows the Tungabhadra River to flow as a channel through the local kitchen and outer courtyard. The sanctuary is an active temple, where pilgrims come from all over the country. Festivals dedicated to Shiva and his wife Pampa are often held in the vicinity, using an ancient chariot from the temple.
India's sights in the village of Hampi, including the Virupaksha temple, are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
12. Kei Gompa Tibetan Monastery (Spiti and Lahul District)
Tibetan monastery Kei Gompa in India
The sights of India attract tourists with their spiritual content, purity and tranquility. The monastery-fortress of Key Gompa in Tibet is one of such places.
Key Gompa is located in the valley of Himachal Pradesh, in fact, in the center of the Himalayas at an altitude of more than 4 thousand meters above sea level. The Buddhist monastery was founded in the 11th century. The Dalai Lama himself attended the millennium.
In the cold season, numerous monks find shelter here, and almost 300 lamas receive education all year round. There are several rooms for tourists, where everyone can get an overnight stay. Local guides consider the Tibetan monastery the most interesting in terms of spiritual enlightenment. Among other things, it can offer visitors a variety of collections of sculptural groups, weapons, musical instruments. On the territory of the monastery there is an extensive collection of ancient manuscripts and books of famous Buddhist lamas.
At the beginning of summer, the inhabitants of the monastery organize a festival with many ritual dances and the burning of a demonic spirit. Almost all the walls of the fortress consist of paintings and frescoes, which gives the building a unique beauty.
13. Qutub Minar (New Delhi)
Qutb Brick Tower Minar in New Delhi
What other interesting sights of India exist? In fact, there are a lot of them. One of the most visited places is the Qutub Minar tower, which translates as “tower of victory”. It has been under construction for almost 200 years. Therefore, the architecture of the complex is mixed, as architects and builders changed quite often.
This is the highest minaret in the world. The tower originally belonged to the first Islamic ruler of India. It was made in the form of a cone of five tiers, and red-yellow sandstone was used as the building material. The appearance of the building is very elegant – this effect is created thanks to the skillful carvings made by excellent craftsmen, as well as marble decoration, which makes this hard stone look soft and pliable.
On the territory of the complex there is a tomb, a gate, a minaret and a column of pure iron about seven meters high. Despite the years and bad weather, this iron column has not rusted so far. It remains to be seen how the builders of this column were able to obtain chemically pure iron. A tourist sign is also associated with it: if you stand with your back to a pillar, hug it and make a cherished wish, it will surely come true.
Official website: http://www.delhitourism.gov .in
14. Jesus Basilica in Old Goa (Panaji)
Basilica of Jesus in Old Goa in Panaji
Many tourists visiting this beautiful country are wondering what to visit in India related to other religions besides Hinduism and Buddhism. One church, called the Basilica of Jesus, is curious. The building was built in the Baroque style. On the territory of the church are the relics of the patron of Goa.
The construction of the temple was completed in 1605. The appearance combines three currents: Ionic, Corinthian, Doric. Inside, as expected, the sacred altar, choirs, sacristy. In the backyard there are two chapels and a bell tower. One of the chapels, in which the relics are located, is decorated with wood carvings, made very skillfully and with great diligence. On it you can also see paintings depicting the patron saint of the city. The tomb itself, where the remains lie, is made of colored marble. Once a decade, the relics can be worshiped – they are exhibited for free visiting. The relics are believed to have great healing power.
The Basilica of Jesus is a masterpiece of architecture, popular with tourists. Christians pilgrimage here, but also representatives of other religions do not pass by this place.
15. Ellora caves: temples in the rocks (Maharashtra, Aurangabad)
Stone temples of Ellora
It is interesting for any tourist to explore the historical places of India, even if he came here just to lie on the beach. These trips will cost you little, but there are many impressions from visiting.
One of the most incredible places in this country is a complex of 34 temples. They were all built before the 10th century AD. What is unique is that the temples are not of one culture, but of several: Hindu, Jain, Buddhist. The earliest caves of Ellora are Buddhist. They are the largest and most fascinating. The facade of the temples is made in a solemn style. Their complete opposite are Hindu. The outer walls are covered with images of sacred episodes, which were carved in several stages. There are seventeen such caves in total. They occupy the entire central part of Ellora.
The youngest temples in the rock are Jain. They can be reached via an asphalt road. The architectural tradition in which these caves are made can be called strict asceticism. The decoration of the Jain temples is very skillfully thought out.
Tourists are only allowed to take photos while here. Nothing can be taken or taken out of the territory of the complex – this is strictly monitored by security guards. And not in vain, because the caves of Ellora are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
16. City of Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)
View from the Ganges River to the ritual embankment in the sacred city of Varanasi Ken Wieland
Sights of the city of Varanasi Penyulap
You can explore the sights of Ancient India, starting with the oldest “living” city on earth – Varanasi. This is one of the sacred places for Hindus, a city of great pilgrimage. Being a contemporary of Luxor and Babylon, the city distinguished itself from its contemporaries by its incredible resistance to the influence of time. A number of sanctuaries have been preserved here, most of which were repeatedly ruined, but each time they were restored. The dream of every believing Hindu is to end his life here, interrupt the series of reincarnations and thereby break the notorious wheel of Samsara.
17. Lotus Temple (New Delhi)
Night illumination of the petals of the Lotus Temple in New Delhi Vandelizer
India in the 20th century was distinguished by a huge number of extraordinary buildings, including the Lotus Temple, built in 1986. The unusual shape of its roof is made in the shape of a lotus for a reason – this flower for Hindus is a symbol of chastity, purity and strength. In total, the temple has 27 giant “petals” covered with marble, and around there are nine pools, creating a semblance of a bud floating in the water. The interior decoration fully meets the requirements of the Holy Scripture – there are no objects of worship, sculptures and paintings. On the territory of the temple there is a museum dedicated to the religion of Baha'i.
18. National Museum of India (New Delhi)
Front view of New Delhi National Museum in India Miya.m
Exposition of one of the halls of the National Museum of India in New Delhi Daderot
In the center of New Delhi is the most extensive museum in India – the National Museum. It has a unique collection of amazing archaeological finds, historical artifacts and art objects. Now the two floors of the museum house more than 200 thousand exhibits of both Indian and foreign origin.
Official website: http://www.national
19 Chhatrapati Shivaji Station (Mumbai)
Facade of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Station building in the Indian city of Mumbai Nicke L
Historic Victoria Terminus Railway Station (Chhatrapati Shivaji) at night Shaileshsonare
A kind of gateway to the city of Mumbai is its railway station, which receives tourists and guests of the city. The Chhatrapati Shivaji building, built at the end of the 19th century, attracts with its unusually beautiful architecture and is a landmark of the city in itself. With its monumentality, the building personifies technological progress, one of the symbols of which in the 19th century was railways. The building was designed by the British architect Stevens, so its design was based on the neo-Gothic style, with the interweaving of Indo-Saracenic motifs traditional for India. The interior of the station delights its visitors with the same richness and pomp.
Official website: https://cr.indianrailways.
20. Hawa Mahal Palace (Jaipur)
Pink Sandstone Palace of the Winds in Jaipur Marcin Białek
India pleases the eye of guests with a variety of chic palaces. This is the floating palace of Jel Mahal, and the mirrored Shesh Mahal, and the residence of the Maharajas, the Mysore Palace, and the magnificent marble masterpiece of the Taj Mahal. Attention deserves another palace creation that glorified the city of Jaipur – Hawa Mahal, or the Palace of the Winds. This building got its second name due to the unique system of windows that create natural ventilation in the room. This allows those inside to enjoy the coolness even in the most intense heat. The building was built of pink sandstone in the shape of Krishna's crown at the very end of the 18th century.
Official website: http://www.hawa-mahal
21. Pikola Lake Palace (Udaipur)
Udaipur Pichola Lake White Marble Hotel user:Flicka
The Lily Pond of the Lake Palace at Lake Pichola in Udaipur Taj Hotels
In the vicinity of Lake Pichola, magnificent places are spread, saturated with greenery and impressive with an unusual landscape. It was here, in one of the cities of this area, that the residence of King Singh II was located – the Lake Palace, the largest palace complex in the state of Rajasthan. It was built in the 18th century, in the 80s of the 20th century it gained particular popularity due to the shooting of the James Bond film taking place here, and today it has turned into a luxurious five-star hotel. Within its walls there is something to impress even the most sophisticated visitors – the walls are built of precious white marble, 83 chic rooms are made in the national style, and vacationers can even use the services of hereditary butlers working here.
22. Goa (south- West India)
Tropical beach in Goa against the backdrop of palm trees
For those who still choose what to see in India, Goa will become a place of relaxed rest, endless holiday, freedom and entertainment. This city is definitely worth a visit to dilute the cognitive travel program with notes of serenity. Beaches are the first thing worth visiting to have a good rest and enjoy Indian nature. Among other things, you can taste the national color by visiting the Fontaines quarter with the houses of the Portuguese colonizers, the market in the coastal town of Anjun, the authentic fair in Arpora, spice plantations with a developed tourist infrastructure.
23. Holi Festival of Colors
Holi Celebration at Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork Steven Gerner
One of the brightest and most enchanting events in India is the beloved national holiday Holi, which is a symbol of the onset of spring and the rebirth of life. The roots of this festival go back centuries – there is a belief that in ancient times there lived a woman named Holika, who was burned for disobedience to the ruler. During the burning, the nephew covered her with a colored veil, which God himself sent to him in response to prayer requests for the salvation of his aunt. Since then, a tradition has arisen to paint each other with colors, which has grown into a large-scale holiday. The whole festival is an extravaganza of colors, tons of colored powder and flowers hung everywhere, as well as a grandiose bonfire as a sign of seeing off the outgoing winter.
24. Bollywood (Mumbai)
Bollywood Songs and Dances Skip
Fans of Indian cinema will also find sights of India of interest to them, and first of all, this is Bollywood – the generalized name of the Mumbai film industry, derived from the name of the American Hollywood district and the location of Indian film studios, the city of Bombay. Hundreds of series, films, commercials, entertainment shows and other TV programs are filmed in these studios every year. Bollywood pavilions are open to visitors – you can visit the set, get acquainted with the life of actors behind the scenes and feel this indescribable atmosphere, among the scenery, surrounded by dressing rooms and in the light of spotlights.
25. Ganges River (Uttarakhand)
The confluence of the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers that form the Ganges Keerthi msrit
Ablution in the sacred waters of the Ganges Bluerasberry
One of the largest rivers on the planet originates in the glaciers of the Western Himalayas, absorbing crystal clearness their melt waters. For Hindus, the river is sacred – it is believed that it embodies the power of the goddess Ganges, who patronizes the sources of all earthly reservoirs. On the banks of the river there are many species of fauna, numerous species of fish, reptiles and tropical insects. Where the Ganges originates, and for the first tens of kilometers there are rapids where rafting is common. It is believed that every Hindu at least once in his life should plunge into the waters of the Great River.