Travelling places in India – The top 10 best
India is blessed with oodles of places to grab your attention, so knowing where are the best travelling places in India Can be of great value to tourists.
With so many choices of environments and historical wonders to choose from it is best to put some real thought into what it is you really want from your time and money. The best piece of advice I can give is to read posts like this and research the pants off whatever it is that appeals to you most.
Of course, any list is a matter of opinion, and it is not set in stone. However, I have spent a very long time travelling in India, and I have seen nearly all of the major sights in the country and that is a very bold statement considering how many there are. It is, however, very true, so I have a pretty good idea of what is likely to stand out in your experience and what is not.
Of course, everyone’s experience is going to be different as no two sets of eyes look at the world the same. On the other hand, it is unlikely that anyone would visit Varanasi and think well this seems regular. It is invariably going to knock your socks off when you arrive as it is so intense.
On the other hand, some of what I say may seem controversial, such as I found the Taj Mahal to be quite underwhelming compared to many of the other show-stopping destinations to be found in this incredible country, but that is just me. I will now list my top 10 travelling places in India to give you something interesting to start your investigations. The descriptions are just snippets to whet your appetite and contain little detail. Just follow the links provided for more information.
The Ellora Caves
The Ellora Caves will be at the top of my list for an excellent reason. The first time I saw these caves it literally and genuinely took my breath away. I just stood in front of the epic Kalesha Temple and thought, what in the world is this place. Upon further inspection, I discovered there were no bricks and no cement involved. It has been crafted from a single piece of rock. Words can’t do this place justice, so head to Maharashtra and come and see this place for yourself.
The Ellora cave has to be one of the worlds most underrated works of art in the ancient world. It took one hundred and fifty years and about seven thousand workers to create this masterpiece. It will take the whole day to be able to take it all in, and that is from dawn to dusk. Even if you are not really into art, you can’t help but be taken back by the grandeur of this place.
Ranthambhore National Park
Ranthambhore national park has to be one of the most iconic travelling places in India. I have been to many National parks in this incredible country over the years, but this one is special and not just because of the tigers. The enigmatic landscapes draw your eyes as much as the wildlife.
Pristine rolling rocky hills stretch off into the distance and are covered in a dry deciduous forest that is almost dripping in biodiversity. The park is punctuated by lakes and crowned by the glorious tenth-century fort. I think it is fair to say any traveller to this part of the world will not leave disappointed.
It is, without a doubt, one of India’s premier national parks and one of the best places in the world to spot wild tigers. There is so much more than just tigers here though. It is also home to many of the most famous animals of the Indian subcontinent, so get ready to live out your jungle book fantasies in this incredible corner of the universe.
Hold on to your hats as Varanasi is one of the most chaotic, intense and disorganised places on the planet. Yet Varanasi is at the very heart of spiritual India. The city houses an estimated 23000 temples of various sizes. Hindus believe that you can achieve moksha if you are cremated in this sacred city. That is a way to break the endless cycle of reincarnation and instead reach Nevada. So this is a very auspicious place to come and finish life’s journey.
Cremations can be observed along some of the towns 88 Ghats (sets of stairs) but not all of them. It can be a traumatising experience for some and at the very least it will be a very humbling experience. For me personally, I found it a time where I reflected on my own mortality.
I could really appreciate that in the west In the west, we are very much shielded from the concept of death. It becomes easy to forget with our busy lifestyles that one day it will all come to a close. But, here in Varanasi, it is all around you, and death is all just a matter of fact mixed in with a bucket load of intense spirituality.
Hampi has it all. Architecture, Landscapes, history, wildlife, and culture. Few places anywhere in the world can offer all of this in the same hit. That is why this enchanting corner of the subcontinent has been drawing in visitors by the truckload for decades and with good reason. N0 matter where you have come from in the world, you will be glad you came.
Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire in the 14th century and once housed about 500,000 citizens. Today the ruins of that great era are spread across the breathtakingly picturesque boulder-strewn landscape.
Now a Unesco world heritage site, the intricately carved temples will leave even the most hardened travellers’ jaw dropped. That coupled with abundant natural diversity, Hampi can’t fail to impress. Allow for several days to take it all in, as the ruins are spread over almost forty Square kilometres with literally hundreds of monuments to explore.
Jodhpur is known worldwide as the blue city and that place with all the monkeys in it. Actually, neither of those statements are true anymore. All those monkeys have been relocated since they were a nuisance, and as you can see from the picture above, it is not especially blue neither. Despite a massive drive to restore the town to its former blueness, every time I come here, that is changing.
However, it is one of India’s most delightful towns to visit and you are unlikely to be sorry you came. In fact, if you come to Rajasthan and not come here it is pretty much a crime. Or at least it should be.
The old town is full of ornately decorated Havelis, temples, historical monuments, courtyards and timeless market places. All of that is interlinked with an intricate web of alleyways and narrow roads that are a lot of fun to get completely lost in. There is even a couple of step-wells that youngsters seem to use as a swimming pool.
The towns crowning glory and its most noticeable landmark are the whopping Mehrangarh Fort. It is perched imposingly over the whole city, and you can see it from a mile off, literally! Come here and you are sure to be amazed.
Havelock Island is a picture-perfect island with miles of beautiful beaches to explore. The fertile forests that cover the interior are both stunning and packed with wildlife. The clear turquoise waters have been alluring tourists for years and blessed with beautiful sunsets. It can feel like you have died and gone to heaven. But, one thing is for sure you won’t be in a rush to leave this tropical paradise in a hurry.
It can feel like you have travelled to the ends of the earth to reach here and for a good reason. You would have travelled at least 620 miles from the nearest airport on the mainland. After that, it’s a ferry ride from the capital to the fertile shores of Havelock Island. When you do finally arrive you won’t be sorry you came.
Like all the rest of the Islands in the archipelago, Havelock is the tip of a submerged mountain that sticks out of the Andaman sea. The mountain chain itself runs from Myanmar to Sumatra, but only the peaks of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are visible.
Sasan Gir National Park
Sasan Gir national park is one of a kind, literally! The whole world’s population of Asiatic Lions live in this one national park and that numbers around 700. As well as the stars of the show that people fly from around the world to see you can also find 38 species of mammals, 300 species of birds, 37 species of reptiles and more than 2,000 species of Insects.
All this incredible diversity is set in a low thorny acacia forest. The local Siddi people will further baffle your orientation as they are clearly of African descent. In fact, you could be forgiven for thinking this is Africa.
Aside from the Lions, this national park has one of the most significant collections of carnivores in Asia. The 38 species of mammals include the Striped Hyena, Honey Badger, Indian Leopards, ruddy mongoose, and some rare animals such as the Rusty Spotted Jungle Cat. The birdlife is both apparent and out of this world.
There are so many species to feast your eyes on here. Some of my personal favourites are the Indian Pitta, Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher, Indian roller and any of the six species of vultures found inside the park. Sasan Gir is simply a must for any nature lover.
Udaipur boasts outstanding beauty and elegance. Even in a country with so many incredible things to see, this town still stands out in the crowd and that’s saying something here. This vibrant city is bursting with colour and a place where I have found myself entranced by all its splendour for days on end.
Known to be a romantic city, I would undoubtedly agree. The old part of Udaipur is centred around lake Pichola and hemmed in by the Aravalli mountain range. It could not possibly be a more idyllic spot to kick back and relax. The narrow streets seem to branch off in every direction, and beautiful Havelis dot the city. It is an excellent place to do your souvenir shopping with artists selling Rajasthan unique form of artwork on every street. There is almost too much to choose from, so shop around for the very best deals.
Jaisalmer is tucked away in the far west of the country is one of Asia’s most extraordinary sights. Here you will find a town that looks like lots of sandcastles that have been built around one enormous sandcastle that dominates the skyline from the rock it clings so tightly to. What’s even more surreal is the intricate carvings that adorn so much of the town. Quite frankly, if this place does not impress you, I don’t know what will.
Jaisalmer fort began construction by the Hindu Rajputs in 1156 AD, and astonishingly their descendants still live in the fort today, as around 3000 people still call this place home. Walking up the steep ramparts into this ancient masterpiece will surely blow you away. The labyrinth of tiny streets branch off in every direction, and every time you turn the corner, each road is as beautiful as the last.
There is a distinct feel of timelessness here as you see the local people go around their normal lives in what looks like a museum. This has to be one of the most spectacular destinations in the whole country.
The Spiti Valley
The Spiti Valley is blessed with some of Indias most beautiful countryside and well endowed with some impressive wildlife. This makes it an outdoor enthusiasts playground. If that is not enough, several incredibly impressive gompas dot the dramatic landscape, and there is a timeless culture that still flourishes in these hills. The reasons are numerous, and it is overwhelmingly unlikely you will leave disappointed.
The Valley is composed mostly of high altitude desert and is hemmed in by serrated snowy peaks that tower over on either side. The murky Spiti river cuts through the valley floor, allowing life to take a foothold in this otherwise unforgiving place. Small whitewashed villages huddle to the mountainside, and the friendly local people farm their barley crop.
In the summertime, the emerald green fields offer endless photographic opportunities against the stark moon-like landscape. With its smattering of gompas, some over 1000 years old, it can feel like stepping into another time.
In summary of my top 10 travelling places in India.
Well, that was a long post and tough to write since I had to pick only ten sights in such an incredible country. If any of them appealed to you, I would suggest you follow the links provided as they are attached to much more detailed posts. You can also check out Incredible India. It is a government tourist website, and it is packed full of information and inspiration for travellers.
This post was designed to whet your appetite simply, and I think it has done that properly, so there is no point in making this longer than it needs to be. If you have any questions, you know what to do. With that said, I hope you have enjoyed my post, and I shall see you in the next one.
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