And yes, difficult to summarize India in a few words, as this vast country offers different facets to explore! Arid landscapes of the far north, carved by the cold Himalayas to the paradisiacal beaches of the Andaman Islands , or the lush jungle of Kerala , you will really have the Tickets to India from USA .It also a country of great historical and cultural richness . The architectural wonders of the Golden Triangle of Rajasthan coexist with Maharajas palaces , Buddhist and Hindu temples and ancient ruins.
In order to help you see a little more clearly, I have prepared this top 30 places of interest and things to do in India.
And at the end of the article, I propose in addition 3 suggestions of itineraries to visit India. Perfect to organize your stay!
1. Ladakh, the Indian Himalayas
Land of extremes and contrasts, Ladakh is nestled in the Upper Indus Valley. Protected by the Himalayan range, the “Great Country” spared by the monsoon, is surprisingly arid.
Treks in high mountains (about 5000m high), are one of the essential activities of the region. Most departures are from Leh, the capital of the province , located at 3500m above sea level.
A former stage of the Silk Road, Leh has a population mainly composed of Tibetans of origin as attested by the superb monasteries found there . I recommend you to visit the most famous, that of Lamayuru.
At 2200 meters above sea level , it’s hard not to feel very small compared to the grandeur of the Himalayas. The state capital of Himachal Pradesh , Shimla, offers you a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of cities. It is for this reason that the British Empire chooses it as the summer capital.
Even today, Shimla’s buildings bear the imprint of both styles.
Victorian architecture and churches rub shoulders with Hindu temples . Combining English charm with the beauty of the Roofs of the World, we understand why everyone calls Shimla ” the queen of mountain resorts”.
To see in Shimla:
- The Road Mall , a long avenue lined with shops
- The Jakhu templeto admire the famous statue at the top
- The Shimla State Museumand its jewelry collection, costumes of the region
As you can see, summer is the perfect time to visit this part of India.
3. Traveling aboard the “Kalka-Shimla Toy Train”
Inaugurated in 1903, the Kalka-Shimla line is composed of 103 tunnels and 700 bridges for only 96 km of track!
As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s a journey to the breathtaking landscapes of the Himalayan mountains . All aboard the most vintage train: a steam train!
With a cruising speed of 30 kilometers per hour , you will take about 5:30 to reach Shimla. You will have plenty of time to enjoy the scenery. By cons I prefer to warn you, the nickname “Toy Train” is not usurped, the cars are really small!
Dharamsala gained fame by becoming the exile of the fourteenth Dalai Lama in 1959. Many Tibetans joined him and settled in McLeod Ganj, in the upper part of the city, giving Dharamsala the nickname ” Little Lhasa “- name of the capital of Tibet.
Here, the Tibetan government in exile founded many monasteries and rebuilt the Tibetan Institute of Medicine and Astrology to perpetuate and preserve their ancestral culture.
As a major pilgrimage site , many tourists flock to discover the praying monks in traditional togas in this city in the heart of the Himalayas.
If you feel in a spiritual mood, you can also walk the path of Kora for a meditative walk. You will see many flags and prayer wheels. The place is very popular with
In the foothills of the Himalayas stands a city well known to lovers of Eastern spirituality: Rishikesh .
The yoga capital of the world is home to many Westerners who come to learn this discipline within Âshrams, hermitages serving as places of formation and pilgrimage.
You can observe the meditating monks on the Ghats on the banks of the Ganges , the sacred river that rises a stone’s throw from Rishikesh.
In March, the city also organizes the International Yoga Festival, which attracts a crowd of visitors who come to discover the principles of yoga under the aegis of the greatest yogis around the world.
6. The Golden Temple of Amritsar
The Golden Temple of Amritsar is the most sacred building of the Sikhs. It attracts many faithful who come to pray, sing and purify themselves in the sacred waters.
As the name suggests, it is completely covered with gold and I must admit that the effect is rather successful.
To visit it, you must imperatively clean your feet in the water before entering and cover your head.
The temple is quite unknown to Western tourists because it is not located on the usual routes of an itinerary in India. If you want to visit it, you will have at least 10 hours by train from Delhi.
7. Fatehpur Sikri
The ancient capital of the Mughal Empire , a UNESCO World Heritage Site , is only 40 km from Agra. The so-called ” City of Victory” was built by Akbar, one of the greatest Mughal rulers.
Only 1 hour drive from Agra, it is a must for a trip to India.
Fatehpur Sikri is a city with cosmopolitan influences , from Jain, Mughal, Persian, Hindu and Turkish cultures. The result is superb red sandstone and white marble buildings, such as the Jama Masjid Mosqueor the Emperor’s concubines.
I also recommend visiting the Panch Mahal, a 5-storey palace and the Skikri Bazaar for the typical Indian ambiance.
8. Admire the Taj Mahal at sunrise
Located in the city of Agra, the Taj Mahal is the most famous monument of India. He is one of the 7 new wonders of the world.
Built by Emperor Shah Jahan in honor of his favorite third wife, the monument is simply grandiose.
Dawn is the perfect time to admire this sublime white marble mausoleum. The sun rises on Esplanade Est, a famous spot for photographers. The crowd is more sparse, the place is quieter and the play of light on the basin and the chiseled stone allow to make the perfect photo
Capital of Rajasthan , Jaipur is distinguished by its pink sandstone architecture which earned it the nickname of “pink city”. The city is part of the golden triangle of India .
You can start the visit by the old fortified city, a pleasant maze where to walk with its craft stalls.
Very beautiful monuments are also to see:
- the City Palaceconsisting of 2 palaces and a museum
- Royal Observatory:This is the largest stone observatory in the world. It is also home to the largest sundial. Built by a maharajah wishing to know the most suitable dates for certain events such as weddings or trips
- the magnificent Palace of the Windswith its 953 windows from which the women watched the street while avoiding the sight of all.
Nestled on a hill in the Rose City, Amber Fort is also worth a visia
10. Take a rickshaw in Old Delhi
It is quite an experience during your stay in India, that of taking a rickshaw in the chaotic Old Delhi .
Your chauffeur makes its way through the winding alleys bordered on both sides by stalls filled with food,vendors chaï and unsuspected temples, all in a cacophony of colors and sounds.
In addition to the Chandni Chowk Bazaar , one of the main attractions of Old Delhi is the Red Fort, Taj Mahal’s little brother. This huge fortress with Mogul architecture is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.