India is a heaven to those who love adventure, magnificent landscapes and diversity in nature. With stunning coastlines, bustling city vibes, incredibly hospitable people, amazing cuisine, diverse landscapes and lots to see and do, India is what dreams are made of! There are lots of interesting and beautiful places to visit in India, and it’s a destination that you can travel to 365 days a year, spending weeks or even months. Like Australia, Canada, China and The United States, India is massive and you can see it all in this lifetime. If you are looking for some of the best places to visit in India, look no further. The following destinations, with their unquestionable charm, are hands down the most beautiful places to visit in India for the best Indian experience. Think of it as your Ultimate India Bucket List!

Here is our quick list to help you discover the little piece of paradise that you deserve.

1. Manali – A gift from the Himalayas to the world

Old Manali and Beas River
Old Manali and Beas River

Located in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh and a little over 500 kms away from Delh, Manali is an enthrallingly beautiful hill station in the lap of nature surrounded by forests, hills, rivers and snow clad mountains. Families, group of friends, solo travellers and honeymooners flock to this town from all parts of India to see this picturesque hill station. A number of travelers visit Manali in summers to escape the scorching heat of the plains, whereas the vast majority travel in winters to catch live snowfall. It is also a hub of adventure activities like skiing, paragliding, trekking, mountaineering and rafting. 

Best time to visit – March to June and October to January (winter season)

Major Attractions – Solang Valley, Hadimba Temple, Hampta Pass, Rohtang Pass, Vashisht Springs, Rahalla Falls.  

How to travel – The nearest airport is the Kullu Manali airport situated at Bhuntar. Air India operates regular flights from major cities like Mumbai, Delhi that will help you connect to the airport. The other nearest airport is at Chandigarh but it can take up to 6 to 8 hours from Chandigarh airport to reach Manali. Almost all major airlines have flights operating from Chandigarh to other cities. Best way to reach Manali however is by road with wonderful views of snow capped mountains and green valleys.

2. Rishikesh – Find your true self

Rafting on the Ganges river in Rishikesh, North India
Rafting on the Ganges river in Rishikesh, North India

Located on the Himalayan foothills besides Ganges river, Rishikesh is known for its beautiful banks by the river Ganga, and the surrounding mountains and is widely regarded as the gateway to the spiritual heart of Asia. Tourists come from all over the globe to experience the ‘Yoga capital of the world’. This is the place where the legendary band, The Beatles, resided with their guru. Rishikesh has been a major attraction for travelers, adventurers and pilgrims. Here you could stay, relax, work on your health and even get some spiritual guidance. This lively city is among the holiest places of Hindus. Plan your next vacation in the melody of Himalayas. Visit the land of devotion and a blend of all things bohemian.

Best time to visit – February to mid-May

Major Attractions – Triveni Ghat, Laxman Jhula, Shivpuri, Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, Rajaji National Park, Parmarth Niketan, The Beatles Ashram. 

How to travel – Closest airport is Dehradun, which is about 14 km from Rishikesh. Rishikesh doesn’t have an airport of its own. Alternately, you can take a train to the Rishikesh Railway Station or hire a cab/taxi. 

3. Darjeeling – Tea at the top of the Himalayas

Darjeeling Tea Garden
Darjeeling Tea Garden

Located in the Indian state of West Bengal. Darjeeling is the Queen of India’s hill stations and is known for its tea industry. it is almost completely surrounded by fragrant tea gardens which seem to flow over the layered slopes like emerald swells on a rough sea. Owing to its natural beauty and a number of interesting tourist attractions, the place is a major crowd puller. Be it a tourist, a trekker, a photographer, or an artist – you will find in Darjeeling an experience which will remain etched in memory – forever. Take in the breathtaking view of the snow-clad Kanchenjunga, or simply ride the Himalayan Railway and experience the beauty of the Peace Pagoda.

Best time to visit – April to June

Famous Attractions – Tiger Hill, “Makal-Babu-Ko-Thaan” (Obeservatory Hill), Batasia Loop, Darjeeling Ropeway, Padmaja Naidu Zoological Park, Himalayan Railway (Toy train), Singalila National Park, 

How to travel – The nearest airport to Darjeeling is the Bagdogra Airport, which is about 90 km from this place. It is well connected to all major cities in India. Additionally, the New Jalpaiguri railway station (65 km away) connects this charming hill station to the rest of the country through an extensive network of trains.

4. Agra – The most romantic city in India

Taj Mahal India

Located beautifully on the banks of the River Yamuna, Agra is a delight for history and architecture  lovers. Monuments, forts, tombs etc is what you get to witness when you visit Agra. The sprawling landscaped gardens, and ancient lanes take you back to the glorious period of the Mughal Empire. It attracts over 200 million tourists every year who travel to witness the architectural wonder and one of the seven wonders of the world ‘Taj Mahal’. Apart from its monuments, the city also has some exciting stuff for foodies – including the famous Agra ka Petha and amazing chaat and Lassi. Plan a visit to Agra today and witness the resplendence and beauty of the Taj Mahal and its surrounding area.

Best time to visit – November to March

Famous Attractions – Taj Mahal, Fort Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Itmad-ud-Daulah: (“The Baby Taj”), Jama Masjid, Tomb of Akbar the Great, Mehtab Bagh.

How to travel – The nearest domestic and international airport to Agra is at Delhi, the Indira Gandhi International Airport, which is well-connected with all prime Indian and foreign destinations. To further cover the journey from Delhi Airport to Agra travelers can hire a cab or take a bus or train. 

5. Goa – A blend of Indian and Portuguese cultures, sweetened with sun, sea, sand and seafood

Colorful bungalows on Palolem beach, Goa
Colorful bungalows on Palolem beach, Goa

Serene beaches, delicious seafood and myriad ancient architecture are some of the prime factors that draw visitors to Goa from all across the country and globe alike. Goa is famous for its vibrant nightlife, as it is one of the most happening places for party lovers. And obviously it’s no big surprise. But did you know how beautiful this place is even without those rave parties and the beach festivals? Yes, you read that right! Goa is also a perfect retreat for adventure seekers, sports lovers and those who prefer serenity amidst nature. It is a small state in terms of area and population, yet it is home to several tourist attractions, exotic beaches, exciting water sports and historic sites. Best way to explore Goa is to hire a Bike and roam around in the colorful, peaceful lanes of Goa. You can even explore the actual beauty of Goa by sailing aboard Jalesh Cruises on the blue waters of paradise. 

Best time to visit – October to April

Famous Attractions – Dudhsagar waterfalls, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Fort Aguada, Sahakari Spice Plantation, Dona Paula, Mandovi river, Se Cathedral, Goa Beaches (Baga, Candolim, Anjuna, Calangute etc)

How to travel – The main airport is Dabolim Airport, approximately 26 km away from Panaji (capital city of Goa). All major domestic carriers including AirAsia India, Air India, GoAir, IndiGo, and SpiceJet have regular flights from Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Kolkata, Indore, Chennai and Pune, among others. Alternatively reaching Goa by train is also quite convenient as there are two main railheads serving the state, namely Vasco da Gama and Madgaon and have a good connectivity to Goa from all parts of India.

6. Varanasi – A place of spirituality and life lessons

River Ganges, Varanasi
River Ganges, Varanasi

Located on the banks of the river Ganga, Varanasi is a city that is rich with heritage, culture and is the most scared tourism spot of India. Named after the rivers ‘Varuna’ and ‘Assi’, Varanasi is one of the seven holy cities for Hindus in India and definitely one of the most sought after destinations. Often referred to as Benares or Kashi, Varanasi is said to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, blessed by Lord Shiva. Therefore no Hindu pilgrimage is complete without a visit to this spiritual land. Hindus believe that a dip in the river Ganga will wash away sins, and that dying and being cremated in Varanasi will grant liberation from the cycle of rebirth. It is also celebrated for its silk saris, milk sweets and Hindustani classical music and dance. Undoubtedly a visit to this place creates a natural bonding between the visitor and India’s rich heritage and culture.

Best time to visit – October to March

Famous Attraction – Assi Ghat, Dashashwamedh Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Ramnagar Fort and museum, Sarnath, Godowlia market.

How to travel – Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport which is just 25 km from the centre of the city is the closest airport to reach Varanasi. Auto, bus, and cabs are an easy commute from the terminal. Moreover the availability of well-connected trains, air-conditioned and non-air conditioned buses as well as cabs make it a hassle-free ride to the holy city of Varanasi.

7. Kerala – God’s own country

House boat in backwaters near palms at cloudy blue sky in Alappuzha, Kerala
House boat in backwaters near palms at cloudy blue sky in Alappuzha, Kerala

Blessed with abundant natural beauty, the gorgeous Indian state of Kerala has it all: long coastlines, sparkling tea gardens, delectable cuisine, colorful dance forms, coconut trees, sprawling backwaters, houseboats, culture and wildlife. It tops among the most sought after holiday destinations in the country, with something for everyone, from families to honeymooners and solo backpackers to group of friends. It’s no surprise why National Geographic Traveller has Kerala in its list of ’10 paradises on earth’ making it a tourist place that surely cannot be missed. If you want to experience heaven on earth, spend some time in the lap of nature and enjoy its beauty from up close, head to God’s own abode – Kerala.

Best time to travel – September to February

Famous Attractions – Athirappilly Water Falls, Fort Kochi, Thekkady, Vembanad Lake, Periyar River, Edakkal Caves, Bekal Fort. 

How to travel – Kerala has three main airports located at Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode that fly international as well as domestic flights. All the three airports are connected to the major cities in India (Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore etc) and the main international destinations around the world. Alternatively, there are over 200 railway stations in Kerala and most tourist spots are accessible by train as well.

8. Udaipur – A crown jewel of the state of Rajasthan

City Palace, Pichola lake, Udaipur, Rajasthan
City Palace, Pichola lake, Udaipur, Rajasthan

Situated in the heart of Rajasthan, Udaipur is known for its beautiful palaces, dreamy lakes, ancient forts, mysterious havelis, lush green gardens, traditional food and local markets. The city is famous for its historical, cultural and delightful integration together with the essence of true indigenous flavor. Few common titles given to the jewel of Rajasthan, Udaipur are “The Venice of the East”, “The Most Romantic Indian City”, and “The City of Lakes”. Still ruled by a much-respected Maharaja whose magnificent City Palace forms the heart of the city, Udaipur is one of the most impressive cities in Rajasthan.

Best time to travel – September to March

Famous Attractions – SajjanGarh Palace, Bagore Ki Haveli, Udaipur Ropeway, Ambrai Ghat, City Palace, Jagdish Temple, Saheliyon-Ki-Bari, Lake Pichola.

How to travel – The best mode is to travel by flight as the city has three airports located in Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur. Airlines such as Air India, GoAir, SpiceJet, IndiGo, AirAsia India, operate regular flights from all major cities in India. Moreover, Rajasthan also has a good network of rail with direct superfast and also various other express trains from Delhi and Mumbai. 

9. Rann of Kuch – “Rann of Kutch nahin dekha to kuch nahin dekha” 

Rann Utsav, Kutch,Gujarat
Rann Utsav, Kutch,Gujarat

Sunrise or sunset that you will witness at “The White Desert” will arguably be the best that you would ever see. Located in Kutch District of Gujarat, The Great Rann of Kutch, a salt marsh, is a pristine, vast plain that stretches into the horizon. It is a wasteland of thousands of kilometers with no water bodies no trees nothing. it is blessed with one of the most ecologically and culturally abundant landforms. The name “Rann” comes from the Hindi word ran  meaning “desert”. One of the biggest salt deserts in the world, the great Rann of Kutch is known not only for its natural splendor but for what its inhabitants have created – The Rann Utsav. The spectacular sight of boundless white desert under the moonlight presents a stunning creation of nature, unique to the world.

Best time to travel – October to February

Famous Attractions – Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary, Dholavira, Kutch Museum, Kutch Bustard Sanctuary, Aiana Mahal, Mandvi Beach, Swaminarayan Temple.

How to reach – The nearest airport to Great Rann of Kutch is Kandla (IXY). However, the best way to travel to Bhuj by train. Trains such as Kutch Express and Sayaji Nagri Express operate daily from Mumbai via Surat, Ahmedabad and Gandhidham to Bhuj and Ala Hazrat Express operates daily from Delhi via Jaipur, Ajmer and Palanpur to Bhuj. You can even hire a private vehicle to cover the journey. 

10. Kashmir – Paradise on Earth

Sonamarg, Jammu and Kashmir
Sonamarg, Jammu and Kashmir

Kashmir is one of the most beautiful places on Earth; so much so that it is often called ‘Paradise on Earth’. The snow-clad mountains, picturesque valleys, pristine lakes, snow-clad mountains, exquisite gardens and flowers, stunning plantations showcase the beauty of this place. The Dal lake of Kashmir is well known all over the world for its “Shikara” boat ride. There is also plenty of scope for indulging in adventure activities like trekking, camping, water-sports and a lot more activities. Whether you are looking to spend some quality in an ‘out of the fairy tale’ surroundings, or maybe searching for some adrenaline rush, our Kashmir tour package has it all!

Best time to travel – March to August 

Famous Attractions – Dal Lake, Vaishno Devi Temple, Betab Lake, Bahu Fort, Pari Mahal, Nishat Bagh, Shankaracharya Temple, Nagin Lake, Shalimar Garden.

How to reach – Tourists can reach Kashmir by air, train, and bus. The town is well-connected to all the major airports.

11. Cherrapunji – The wettest place on the planet

Nohkalikai Falls
Nohkalikai Falls

Situated in the East Khasi Hills district in the Indian state of Meghalaya, Cherrapunji is known as the second wettest place on Earth and receives the highest rainfall in India (throughout the year). Cherrapunji, more commonly known as Sohra locally, is located near some of northeast India’s most precious natural wonders, including spectacular waterfalls, mysterious caves, deep valleys, and the glorious living root bridges. Cherrapunji, which means ‘the land of oranges’, is at an elevation of 4290 ft. One can see the plains of Bangladesh from the cliffs of Cherrapunji. This place is also famous for its live bridges, a result of bio-engineering practised by the locals. The bridges can bear 50 people at a time and are spectacular to watch. Some of the famous activites in Cherrapunji are river canyoning from Nongthymmai to Mynteng steel rope bridge, rock climbing and camping. 

Best time to travel – October to May

Famous Attractions – Double Decker Living Root Bridge, Mawsmai Caves, Nohkalikai Falls, Dainthlen Falls

How to reach – Shillong (Umroi) airport is the nearest domestic airport to Cherrapunji, whereas Guwahati is the nearest international airport. There are frequent flights from all major parts of India such as Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata to Guwahati. Also, Guwahati railway station acts as the nearest railhead to Cherrapunji and is well connected to all parts of India with regular connections. Although, the station is located about 180 kilometres from Cherrapunji, buses or taxis can be availed from the railway station. 

12. Andaman Islands – Hotspot for beach lovers

Ross Island, Andaman
Ross Island, Andaman

The islands, which make up one of India’s seven union territories, are a remote archipelago in the Bay of Bengal, about halfway between Thailand and India. It consists of about 572 islands out of which only around 36 islands are inhabited, whereas the rest are either too small, come under forest reserve or used by Indian military as their base. Out of 36, only 9 islands in the Andaman Islands are open for tourists (Nicobar Islands are inaccessible to tourists). Its emerald chain of islands, tropical evergreen forests, sun kissed silver sandy beaches, transparent blue waters are adobe of nature’s rare flora and fauna and offer a lifetime experience. Andaman is a place perfect for exploring marine life with lots of beaches and also suitable for adventuring with activities like trekking, snorkeling, swimming, and even scuba diving. The islands are a favorite tourist destination among honeymooners and offer one of the most out-of-world, exquisite vacation experiences in India. Non-Indian nationals need special permit to visit Andaman Islands.

Best time to travel – October to May

Famous Attractions – Havelock Island, Neil Island, Cellular Jail National Memorial, Radhanagar Beach, Corbyn’s Cove Beach – Port Blair, Ross and Smith Beach, Baratang Island.

How to reach – The airport is located in Port Blair. There are both direct and connecting flights from all major parts of India such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore detc. If you love adventure,  you can reach Andaman and Nicobar Islands through the three sea routes of Chennai, Kolkata and Vishakapatnam.

13. Leh Ladakh – The land of high passes

Pangong Lake, Leh Ladakh
Pangong Lake, Leh Ladakh

Leh Ladakh is one of the most awesome places on the planet and draws multitudes of visitors from across the country and the world, who are eager to experience its inimitable culture and breathtaking mountainous landscape. This semi-autonomous kingdom is India`s most remote and least populated region; a mixture of snow-capped peaks, green valleys, glassy lakes and Buddhist monasteries. It is magical in all the spheres it covers, from nature, geography, surroundings to the modest cultures that it cultivates. A bike trip to Leh Ladakh is a dream of every biker as once in their life they want to ride on an endless dirt road, surrounded by most beautiful mountains.

Best time to travel – May to August

Famous Attractions – Nubra Valley, Thiksay Monastery, Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace, Magnetic Hill, Namgyal Tsemo, Stock Monastery.

How to reach – The easiest way to travel to Ladakh is by air. The nearest airport is Kushok Bakula Rimpochee airport located in Leh. There are flights from Delhi, Chandigarh, Srinagar and other major destinations to Leh. Travelling by bike to Ladakh is something that is eagerly looked forward to by adventure enthusiasts. There are two different routes that lead to Ladakh – one from Srinagar and the other from Manali: Srinagar to Leh and Manali to Leh.

14. Coorg – Emblem of pure paradisaical beauty

Dubare Elephant Camp, Coorg
Dubare Elephant Camp, Coorg

Nestled in the lap of mighty Western Ghats in the State of Karnataka, India, Coorg (also known as Kodagu) is a popular hill station in India and stands 1452 meters above sea level. This enchantingly beautiful place is popularly called as the ‘Scotland of India’ and also ‘Kashmir of South’ for its sheer natural beauty. The number of landscapes, misty mountains, austere sights, dense tropical forests, cascading waterfalls, tea, coffee and spice plantations and the vast collection of flora and fauna offer an amazing experience to its visitors. Moreover, Coorg is the ‘Coffee Bowl’ of the country as it accounts for nearly 40 per cent of the country’s total coffee production. With picturesque hills and lush greenery all around, a trip to this coffee growing region is always memorable.

Best time to travel – October to April

Famous Attractions – Abbey Falls and Iruppu Falls, Raja’s Seat, Madikeri Fort, Coffee Plantations, Dubare Elephant Camp, Brahmagiri Peak.

How to reach – The nearest domestic airport is the Mangalore International Airport. Located 160 kms away from Coorg, Mangalore Airport is well connected to the major cities of India such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. There are plenty of flights flying to and fro from these cities and offer a lot of options in term of flight timings and fares. There is no railway station at Coorg. Mysore Railway Station is the nearest railway located about 107 kms from Coorg.

15. Ooty – Queen of hill stations

Ooty Village
Ooty Village

Nestled in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu, Ooty (also called Udhagamandalam) is one of the most popular tourist destinations of South India that rests at 7350 feet above sea level. Complete with spectacular valleys, winding roads, mesmerizing landscapes, and a chilly, soothing climate, it offers a perfect vacation experience. The scenic beauty of lofty mountains, lakes, waterfalls, lush green tea-gardens and huge grasslands make Ooty a paradise on earth. It is a veritable gold mine for birdwatchers. Be it honeymooners, families or adventure travelers, Ooty touches everyone’s heart and imagination. Due to its strategic location, tourists visiting Ooty can also plan tours to places like Coonoor, Mysore, Coimbatore, Coorg and Bangalore – all reachable by short drives.

Best time to visit – March to June

Famous Attractions – Botanical Gardens, Ooty Lake, Kalhatti Falls, Doddabetta Peak, Rose garden, Fernhill Royal Palace, Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Avalanche Lake, Emerald Lake, Deer Park.

How to travel – Coimbatore airport, which is 88 km away is the nearest domestic airport to Ooty. This airport has direct flights from metro cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, etc. Alternatively, the nearest railway station is Mettupalyam, 40 km from Ooty. There are trains from Chennai, Coimbatore, Mysore and Bangalore connecting Mettupalyam.

16. Auli – Haven for skiing lovers

Skiing season in Auli, Uttarakhand
Skiing season in Auli, Uttarakhand

Located in the Chamoli district of the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand, Auli is a famous Ski resort destination and is at an elevation of 2500 -3050 feet above the sea level. If there’s one place in India that is ideal for an impeccable skiing experience, it is Auli. Against the backdrop of snow-covered peaks of Himalayas, the coniferous forests and oak trees provide splendid views. Auli is a hidden gem for the adventure seekers. It is the kind of place where pleasure and adventure, wild beauty and slopes of snow field, nature’s beauty in its best form comes alive. Popular activities include skiing, trekking as well as nature walks in the surrounding areas. The hill station has Asia’s longest cable car spanning over 4km – called the Joshimath-Auli Gondola.

Best time to visit – November to March

Famous Attractions – Gurso Bugyal, Chenab Lake, Trishul Peak, Kwani Bugyal, Chattrakund, Joshimath, Narsingh Temple.

How to travel – The nearest domestic Airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is about 279 km from Auli, whereas Delhi is the nearest international airport. Major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore operate daily flights to the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun. Alternatively, the nearest railhead is Raiwala near Rishikesh (250 km approx); from here one can take a bus/tourist cars early morning to reach Auli Joshimath/Auli by evening.

17. Kasol – Mini Israel of the Himalayas

River side camp in Kasol
River side camp in Kasol

Spread along the banks of the Parvati river, Kasol, also known as Stoners Paradise, is a remote village in Himachal Pradesh and a blessing for adventure buffs, trekkers and backpackers. This is the place where Rudyard Kipling said only God deserves to live. Many are attracted to Kasol due to its scenic valley, untouched hills, snow clad Himalayas, low population, beautiful climate throughout the year and wild charas, a hand-made hashish made from the cannabis that is plentiful to the area. It is called mini Israel due to the numerous Israeli tourists and Hebrew cafes all around. In fact, it’s a major getaway destination not only for Indians, but also popular amongst foreigners from Israel, UK and Germany. Hence the name Little Amsterdam as it is flanked by hippies from everywhere. Trekking, camping and bike ride through the narrow mountain roads, Kasol offers it all for the ones who need to embrace the nature as it is.

Best time to visit – March to May

Famous Attractions – Parvati River, Kheer Ganga Peak, Tosh Village, Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara, Tirthan Valley, Malana Village, Bhuntar Town.

How to reach – There is no direct flight or rail connectivity to Kasol. The nearest airport to Kasol is located in Bhunter in Kullu district, which is 31 kilometres away and is connected to three cities Delhi, Pathankot and Shimla. Alternatively, Kasol is easily accessable via excellent road facility. You can opt for self-drive or hire a cab. Delhi sets the base for people coming from long distances. The NH-3 is the main road leading to this village towards Manali.

There you have it! This is our list of the most beautiful and trip-worthy places to visit in India. India is like a perfect mix of the very best of the entire world in one place. At the same time, it’s like no other place on Earth…

Go for it! India is truly one of the most beautiful destinations you’ll ever visit!

Thinking of a trip already? Choose from our India tour packages and experience your moments of joy and adrenaline. Akbar Travels helps make your journey the experience you’ve always wanted.

If you know some more beautiful places to visit in India, feel free to share in the comment section!

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