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Top Tourist Attractions in India

India is a lively country full of surprising variations where the old and contemporary worlds collide. India, the world's seventh-largest country by size and second-largest by population, has a rich past that is the product of centuries of many civilizations and faiths making their influence.

There are innumerable tourist attractions in India that include visiting religious places and having spiritual experiences, admiring the sun-kissed beaches, abundant wildlife sanctuaries, and fascinating monuments. Visitors to this exotic nation uncover a bounty of spiritual, cultural, and historical riches that enables them to create beautiful, personal photo galleries and everlasting memories. Travolook brings to you the Top Tourist Attractions which India is famous for within its home turf and worldwide.

Symbol of Love, The Taj Mahal - Agra

Probably, India's most iconic structure, is also the world's most renowned testament to the manifestation of love and proudly stands as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The construction of most exquisite of mausoleums, named after Mumtaz Mahal, Emperor Shah Jahan's beloved wife, started after her death in 1631 and 20,000 artisans worked to finish this masterpiece after 17 long years in 1648. Beautiful white marble was used to make most of this edifice carved with intricate Islamic design, such as arches, minarets, an onion-shaped dome, and black calligraphy inlaid around the entry. The delicately engraved floral designs together with the use of dazzling stones and crystals like as jade, lapis lazuli, diamonds, emeralds etc. made the monument into an unparalleled work of art.  Even Shah Jahan's remains were interred next to the Tomb of Mumtaz to eternalise the love between them. To witness the Taj Mahal in the prime of its beauty, remember to visit it at the time of dawn or dusk when the altered lighting dramatically changes the mood of the place. If possible also make an effort to capture a glimpse of the Mahal’s from the River Yamuna’s far bank.

How to Reach

Nearest Airport is Agra airport that stands only 13km from the monument. Delhi to Agra flights are available at cheap rates. You can take a cab from the airport to reach Taj Mahal.

The Sacred City of Varanasi - Uttar Pradesh

Located along the banks of the Ganges River, in Uttar Pradesh, Varanasi is not just a place, it is an experience. Famous as the most ancient city in the world, Varanasi is a popular tourist attraction for being a famous Hindu pilgrim site where the devotees flock from all across the country to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva. Taking a dip in the Holy River Ganges is said to lead to atonement of their sins by. The whole city has a laid back yet chaotic charm which is been best described by poets, authors and foreigners in their journals who are besotted by the vibes of place. The Benares Gharana form of Hindustani classical music was developed in Varanasi, and many of the Indian writers, musicians, and philosophers have lived here, giving the city a rich cultural fabric. 

Even the renowned Hindu saint and poet Tulsidas wrote the epic Ramcharitmanas in this land. As per the age-old legend, Varanasi is the place at which the first Jyotirlinga, erupted from the Earth's crust. The city has 88 ghats that include stair passages leading to the river, used for bathing and prayer ceremonies. Additionally, the city houses the ancient Kashi Vishwanath temple which is made up of seven different temples today.  The convolution of endless passages, the crowds at the ghats, the prayer aartis in the evening, the delicious food on the streets, the mythological tales attached to the place –all of this makes Varanasi worth visiting.

How to Reach

Varanasi airport is well connected to some of the major cities in India. Delhi to Varanasi and Mumbai to Varanasi flights are available. Foreign tourists can board connecting flights.

The Holy Shrine Harmandir Sahib - Amritsar

Amritsar is the capital of the State of and the spiritual abode of the Sikhism. Located in the heart of the city is the ethereal Golden Temple. There is so much history, spirituality, peace and power attached to this place that lakhs of devotes come flocking different parts of the country and tourists from all across the world to offer heartfelt prayers and witness the spectacular marvel that it is.

Golden temple derives its name from the fact that its entire upper half is made of copper and then covered with gold plating. The gold colour stands out shining beautifully. It is also famous by the name of Harimandir Sahib which means the temple of Hari (God). 

Inspired by Indo-Islamic Mughal and Hindu Rajput architecture, Golden Temple is a stunning sight to behold. Today it is a walled, two-storey courtyard with four entrances. This is the most sacred shrines for those who follow Sikhism and even Hindus who worship the place with complete reverence, as this is the place where the first Guru and founder of Sikhism Sri Guru Nanak Sahib, lived and meditated. The manmade Lake is a sacred pool known as the Amrit Sarovar meaning, ‘Pool of Nectar and its waters are considered pious. After being destroyed by the Mughals several times it was finally rebuilt and laminated with gold foil and finally got its name of ‘The Golden Temple’.

The temple complex has two walls and two-storey courtyard with four entrances that preserve three Jujube trees that are considered sacred for different reasons respectively. There is also a small Gurdwara underneath the tree by the name of Ath Sath Tirath, which means 68 pilgrimages and as per belief bathing in the pool delivers the same result as visiting 68 pilgrimage places in India. 

The Holy Scripture of Guru Granth Sahib also rests here which contains poems, prayers and soul stirring hymns that are chanted day and night to the melodious tunes of flutes and sounds of drums. As the music echoes across the tranquil lake it creates a spell binding aura with devotees strolling around the marble foyer and taking a dip in the holy waters. Huge pilgrims' dormitories and dining halls close to the temple complex are also arranged for everyone to stay and eat free of cost as a sign of service to humanity.

How to Reach

The closest international airport is located in Raja Sansi around 11 km away from Amritsar.  There are regular cheap flights to Amritsar are available from major cities in the country. Cabs and buses run from there till the city. 

The Iconic Golden Fort - Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer, popularly known as the Golden City, has been a focal point of India's illustrious history. The city's architecture is characterised by yellow sandstone, which gives it a golden yellow colour, hence the name. The fort of Jaisalmer is the hub of imperial heritage and one of the few surviving forts as the fort still houses roughly one-fourth of the ancient city's inhabitants. The fort itself comprises the city of Jaisalmer for the majority of its 8 centuries of existence. The earliest dwellings beyond the fort walls are reported to have appeared in the 17th century to accommodate Jaisalmer's expanding population. The disintegrating structure stands atop Trikuta Hill, among large portions of the beautiful Thar Desert. The huge yellow sandstone walls of the fort are a brownish colour during the day, fading to golden honey hues when the sun sets, merging the fort into the golden desert. As a result, it's also known as the Sonar Quila or Golden Fort. Due to its prominent highland location, the expansive towers of its defences can be seen for kilometres around. The fort was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the ‘Hill Forts of Rajasthan’ category. The fort houses gateways, royal palace, handicraft shops, temples and even restaurants that offer a variety of Italian, French, and indigenous cuisines. The Golden fort welcomes tourists with aesthetically appealing views and enables them to immerse themselves in this outstanding masterpiece.

How to Reach

Cheap Flights to Jaisalmer Airport are available. It’s about 12kms from the city centre. 

Historic Red Fort - Delhi

Red Fort is a medieval fort in Old Delhi that functioned as the Mughal Emperors' principal palace. Built by Shah Jahan in 1648 as the centre of Mughal sovereignty, the majestic crescent-shaped Red Fort derives its name from the gorgeous red sandstone used in its construction. It occupies a massive area of more than two square kilometers, all encircled by a wide moat. The fort's two largest gates are the majestic Lahore Gate (main entry gate) and the ornately built Delhi Gate, which was originally utilised by the emperor for formal parades. It draws large amounts of tourists from within the country as well as curious travellers from all over the world. An interesting part about visiting Red Fort is exploring Chatta Chowk, a 17th-century covered market that offers everything from jewellery to silk clothes, souvenirs and culinary items. Guided tours are also available providing an intriguing glimpse into the lifestyle of Shah Jahan, including a  peek into the awe inspiring white marble Hall of Public Audiences (Diwan-i-Am) where he greeted his citizens. While visiting you should not miss the spectacular sound and light show that is conducted every evening to depict significant events in the fort's history.

How to Reach

Indira Gandhi International Airport is based in New Delhi. Tourists can use taxis, and local buses to reach the fort. Metro trains also run in the city and the nearest metro station to the fort is Chandni Chowk from where Red Fort is only 1.5km away. Cheap Flights are available to Delhi like Calcutta to Delhi, Mumbai to Delhi, Bangalore to Delhi, Hyderabad to Delhi.

The Impressive Gateway of India - Mumbai

The renowned Gateway of India stands at an amazing height of 26 meters overlooking the Arabian Sea, is one of the prime tourist attractions in India and while people are in Mumbai they usually don’t miss visiting this place. It was built to commemorate King-Emperor George V's landing in India, who was the first British monarch to do so. Following its completion, the Gateway served as a figurative official gateway to India for prominent colonial officers. It is a historical landmark since it is from here that the last set of British troops left India in 1948.  The intricate craftsmanship on the arch with the motifs is stunning. The spectacular seaside view of the Gateway offers special sunset boat rides and ferries for the tourists. Sunsets and monsoons make it particularly beautiful because of the magnificent colours reflected in the sea and the gushing high-tide waves respectively. Illuminated at night, the huge archway makes for a striking backdrop.

How to Reach

Flights can be booked till Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, Mumbai which is about 19 kms from the Gateway of India. Cabs are available from there. Flights are available to Mumbai from all major cities of the country.1

Magnificent Mysore Palace - Mysore

Mysore's huge city is a treat to visit, with its diverse mix of excellent old British buildings, royal Indian palaces, and rich, well-kept gardens. While the city's famed silk and sandalwood bazaars are equally appreciated, the major attraction remains the most beautiful, Mysore Palace.

Also known as the Amba Vilas, it is a palace edifice that recounts numerous stories about India's varied and fascinating past. This palace was formerly the royal residence of Mysore's powerful Wodeyar monarchs, who ruled for seven centuries.  The Wodeyars' mansion, built and refurbished over five centuries, is a veritable collection of ancient artefacts. Due to its various renovations, the building features a combination of Hindu, Mughal, Rajput, and Gothic influences. This beautiful three-story palace possesses features such as its exquisite square towers and domes; the many ornamental ceilings and columns in Durbar Hall; and the splendid Wedding Atrium, with its glossy floor tiles, dazzling stained glass, artworks, and jewellery displays. It's also where the magnificent Golden Throne is shown on important occasions. Each Sunday and on holidays, the palace is lit by almost 90,000 lights in a spell-binding light show. Mysore Palace is among India's most visited structures and attracts millions from all over the world.

How to Reach

Mysore's nearest major airport is the new Bangalore International Airport, which is around 170 kilometers away. Bangalore is well-connected to all of India's main cities. Taxis are available to take you to Mysore. Flights from Delhi to Bangalore, Mumbai to Bangalore are available.

Spectacular Mahabodhi Temple - Bodhgaya

Bodhgaya, is regarded as the world's holiest Buddhist shrine and receives thousands of tourists every year, all driven to participate in prayer ceremonies and with the Buddhist monks.

The beautiful Mahabodhi Temple also referred to as ‘Great Awakening Temple’ is one of four sacred locations associated with the life of Lord Buddha and especially to the enlightenment. Mahabodhi is erected exactly near the place where Buddha attained Enlightenment and developed his life philosophy. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this temple was built in the sixth century and has been repaired several times since. It is capped with a stunning pyramidal dome and holds a huge glittering figure of Buddha where senior monks come together to meditate. This temple boasts a 180-foot-tall ‘Shikhara tower’ with pretty and intricate designs carved on its exterior. The temple also has a yellow sandstone Buddha statue inside a glass enclosure. The great 50m high Mahabodhi Temple of the 5th-6th century is of enormous importance since it is one of the first temple buildings in the Indian subcontinent. It is one of the few examples of the Indian people's aesthetic brilliance in creating fully developed brick temples during that time period. The Temple is one of the few remaining examples of early brick constructions in India, has had a profound impact on architectural evolution over the years. Buddhists and tourists from around the world hold this temple in great reverence and it sees millions of them visiting the shrine to offer their prayers every year.

How to Reach

Gaya Airport stands at a distance of 17kms from Bodhgaya. Cheap Flights are available to Patna like Delhi to Patna.

These classic examples of ancient India attract a fan base of tourists from different parts of the world and lend an International appeal to the country.

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