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AGRA

City of the Taj Mahal

The home of the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world, Agra in Uttar Pradesh is India's most popular tourist destination. Steeped in history, this ancient city is dotted with monuments, architectural wonders and beautifully landscaped gardens, which are remnants of the Mughal reign's majestic legacy.  The city also enjoys a vibrant culinary scene while preserving its exquisite arts and crafts.

City of the Taj Mahal

DELHI

The captivating capital & home to Kitty Su

With old monuments and busy neighbourhoods subtly merging with a vibrant and contemporary cosmopolitan world, Delhi, the capital of India, is a fascinating tourist destination. Poised along the banks of River Yamuna, Delhi, which is almost 1,000 years old, offers a mesmeric mosaic of experiences, both heritage and contemporary. While the former honour the elegant ageing of centuries-old Delhi, the latter reiterate that the capital is the heart of Indian democracy, and can keep pace with the most advanced of the metropolitans of the world.

The captivating capital & home to Kitty Su

JAIPUR

City of Palaces

The city of palaces and forts, interspersed with historical monuments and gardens that testify the grandeur of the Rajput kings, Jaipur is the gateway to the royal heritage of India. Also called Pink City, the capital of Rajasthan, remains suspended in time, with its heritage preserved in the overwhelming Hawa Mahal that gazes down at the bustling streets of Johari Bazaar.

The city of Palaces

JODPHUR

The blue city

With a sea of sapphire-blue painted houses and guarded by the gorgeous Mehrangarh Fort, the city of Jodhpur, the second-largest in Rajasthan, is an architectural marvel. A labyrinth of medieval lanes, interspersed with vibrant markets, criss-cross the city, which enjoys a languid pace of life.

The blue city

JAISALMER

A taste of Arabian nights

And desert adventure.  The fort of Jaisalmer is a breathtaking sight: a massive sandcastle rising from the sandy plains like a mirage from a bygone era. No place better evokes exotic camel-train trade routes and desert mystery. Ninety-nine bastions encircle the fort’s still-inhabited twisting lanes. Inside are shops swaddled in bright embroideries, a royal palace and numerous businesses looking for your tourist rupee. Despite the rampant commercialism, it’s hard not to be enchanted by this desert citadel. Beneath the ramparts, particularly to the north, the narrow streets of the old city conceal magnificent havelis (traditional, ornately decorated residences), all carved from the same golden-honey sandstone as the fort – hence Jaisalmer’s designation as the Golden City.

A taste of Arabian nights

MUMBAI

The City of Dreams

Known to many as the setting of Slumdog Millionaire, Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra, attracts dreamers with sky-high ambitions from every corner of the country. It is a unique place where the past is mixed with the future and history meets modernity, a city that lies at the cross section of business and entertainment and beats to a pulsating rhythm of its own. Located by the Arabian Sea, Mumbai is an amalgamation of heritage and culture and glitz and glamour. So from historic art deco buildings, which are recognised by the UNESCO, to plush new-age homes of the super-rich, Mumbai has it all! 

The city of dreams

KOLKATA

The city of joy

Almost like a colonial matriarch nurturing her heritage roots, the city of Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, holds culture and tradition close to its heart. While it would give any Indian metropolis a run for its money with its grand structures, bustling markets, vibrant culinary scene, exquisite crafts and cultural sites, its historical legacy reigns supreme. Once the capital of British-India, Kolkata's colonial charm blends with its modern culture.

The city of joy

CHENNAI

Cornucopia of cultures

Ancient temples, vibrant arts, natural wonders and a bustling culinary scene make  Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the southern fringes of the country. Located on the Coromandel Coast, this busy metropolis was formerly called Madras. From the resplendent classical dance form of bharatnatyam to the rich flavours of its iconic cuisine and from the lustrous silk sarees traded here to the gorgeous temples and churches, Chennai is the gatekeeper of South Indian art, culture and traditions. The city is also the perfect base from which trips to other locales in Tamil Nadu can take off.

Cornucopia of cultures

BENGALURU

City of Gardens

A city catering to almost all the creature comforts of a metropolitan, a pleasant year-round weather and a bustling shopping and culinary scene, Bengaluru, the capital of Karnataka, is the perfect destination to mix work with pleasure. Once famous as an ideal city for senior citizens looking for a relaxed life after retirement, today it's popular as the information technology hub of India, drawing young technocrats from across the country. Lush green parks and well laid-out gardens rub shoulders with art galleries, pubs and restaurants, giving the city a unique eclectic energy. From a sleepy cantonment area during the British era to a modern cosmopolitan, Bengaluru has had an interesting journey. Bengaluru is an ideal landing pad for shoppers, who can indulge in both street shopping and high-end retail buys. The heritage highlight of the city are the Mysore sarees, which are made of premium quality silk and sandalwood artefacts, which can be used for home décor.

City of Gardens

VARANASI

City of Lights

One of the oldest living inhabitations of the world, the sacred city of Varanasi or Benaras, nestled on the banks of the holy Ganges river, has been attracting pilgrims for centuries. Celebrated author Mark Twain, who visited India in the last decade of the 19th century, described the city as “older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend.”

The city of lights

GOA

Land of sun, sand & spices

 

The pocket-sized paradise of Goa is a traveller's dream. Sun, sea, sand, spices, spirituality and seafood, along with a balmy weather, call to the soul of trekkers, backpackers, nature lovers and those who simply want to languish in its slow-paced and relaxed vibes. Located by the glistening waters of the Arabian Sea on India’s western coast, the state of Goa is renowned for its breathtaking beaches, rich culture and pristine natural beauty. Formerly a Portuguese colony, Goa offers travellers a chance to experience a unique blend of sandy shores, forests, monuments and delectable cuisine, attracting tourists across age groups.

Land of sun, sand and spices

KERALA

A tropical symphony

For many travellers, Kerala is South India's most serenely beautiful state. This slender coastal strip is defined by its layered landscape: almost 600km of glorious Arabian Sea coast and beaches; a languid network of glistening backwaters; and the spice- and tea-covered hills of the Western Ghats, dotted with fiercely protected wildlife reserves and cool hill stations such as Munnar. Just setting foot on this swathe of soul-soothing, palm-shaded green will slow your subcontinental stride to a blissed-out amble. Kerala is a world away from the frenzy of the rest of India, its long, fascinating backstory illuminated by historically evocative cities like Kochi (Cochin) and Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum).

A tropical symphony

HYDERABAD

A city of Royal Heritage

A vibrant city with the imposing Charminar at its heart, Hyderabad, the capital of Telangana, is a potpourri of history, cuisine and eclectic experiences. While its Old City area is an impressive heritage haven with iconic monuments dotting its narrow lanes, its contemporary counterpart matches pace with its cosmopolitan population. The four-sided archway of Charminar, overlooking a bustling bazaar, is the centrepiece of the city around which the township developed. Located on the banks of the Musi river on the Deccan Plateau, Hyderabad reels you in with its heritage charm, accentuated by a vibrant culinary culture, much of which owes its curation to the erstwhile Nizam rulers.

A city of Royal Heritage

KOCHI

Queen of The Arabian Sea

Named in Lonely’ Planet’s Top 10 Cities for 2020. 

A vibrant potpourri of art, culture, food, carnivals and festivals, Kochi, sprawled along a gorgeous estuary in Kerala, is a fascinating tourist destination. Skirted by the emerald-blue Arabian Sea that laps at its golden sun-kissed beaches, the city remains suspended in time, with its colonial charm merging seamlessly with its artistic aesthetic. Established around Fort Kochi, which is the cultural nerve of the city, Kochi remains in a festive mood throughout the year. It turns into an art wonderland during the four-month-long Kochi Biennale, the largest art exhibition in India, where vibrant colours, striking images and eloquent patterns greet you at every turn. Intriguing boat rides, spiritual Onam, grand Shivaratri celebrations and the opulent Cochin Carnival, draw visitors from far and wide.

Queen of the Arabian Sea

UDAIPUR

Venice of the East

Popularly known as the City of Lakes, serene Udaipur is the crowning jewel of royal Rajasthan. With shimmering lakes visible from almost every rooftop, fairytale palaces, sprawling havelis, revered temples and narrow lanes weaving through colourful markets as ancient as the city's history, Udaipur's charm is unmatched.Founded by Maharaja Udai Singh II in 1559, the city served as the capital of the kingdom of Mewar after Mughal emperor Akbar besieged its earlier power-centre Chittorgarh. Udaipur is also referred to as the Venice of the East, a title it has earned for being dotted with numerous lakes (seven to be precise)! Nestled in the mighty Aravalli range, surrounded by dense forests and craggy hills, and magical sunrises and sunsets turning its lakes into pools of gold, Udaipur is one of the most picturesque destinations in the country. Colonel James Tod of the East India Company, who was also a scholar, aptly described the city as “the most romantic place in the Indian sub-continent”.

Venice of the east

SRINAGAR

City of Gardens

Paradise on Earth

Picturesque and enchanting, Srinagar is cradled high in the lofty green Himalayas and hailed all over the world for its incredible natural beauty. Surrounded by mountain peaks, lush green valleys, glistening lakes, temples and spectacular Mughal-era gardens, the city has inspired poets through centuries. The summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar, is situated in the heart of the Kashmir Valley with the Nagin and the Dal Lake adding to its beauty.

City of Gardens

LEH-LADAKH

A dramatic cold desert

 

A surreal landscape surrounded by the sky-piercing peaks of the snow-capped Himalayan, Zanskar and Karakoram ranges, and adorned with crystal waters of the Shyok, Zanskar and Indus rivers, Leh, in Jammu and Kashmir, is the main city in the Ladakh region, one of the coldest deserts in the world. Perched at a height of over 11,000 ft above sea level, the city of Leh is a haven of adventure sports. Its rugged terrain and gushing rivers provide ripe opportunities for activities like trekking, river rafting, camping, mountain climbing and biking. As the winter months approach, the city is enveloped in a blanket of snow, making it a paradisiacal setting for winter sports. The renowned Chadar Trek starts from the village of Chilling, 66 km away, and mostly covers the frozen area of River Zanskar. Throughout the adventure, trekkers are walking on precarious icy formations, staying in caves filled with stalactites and stalagmites and encountering other snowy landscape.

Leh is surrounded by three gorgeous high-altitude lakes, Tso Moriri, Tso Kar and Pangong Tso that look like sapphires embedded in the ground. A natural wonder that leaves tourists in awe is the Magnetic Hill on the outskirts of the city. It is said to defy gravity as it tends to pull vehicles upwards. Leh is a prominent Buddhist centre and is dotted with several important monasteries.

dramatic cold desert

RISHIKESH

Yoga capital of the world

Nestled in the Himalayan foothills, and made famous by The Beatles, Rishikesh is one of the most sacred cities in northern India. Located in the state of Uttarakhand, Rishikesh is the hub of sages, yoga practitioners and pilgrims, who throng the ghats (stepped banks of a river) and temples. In recent times, it has also become a centre point of adventure sports, offering activities like white water rafting, bungee jumping, canoeing and others. Ever since the Beatles arrived at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram here in the 1960s, looking for peace and inspiration for their music, Rishikesh has been a favourite destination for soul-seeking. Often called the yoga capital of the world, the tranquil forested slopes on the city’s outskirts are dotted with ashrams (places of spirituality and meditation), yoga institutes and luxurious spa resorts. The city sees a flurry of activity during February-March, as it plays host to dignitaries and yoga enthusiasts who come to take part in the International Yoga Week, organised by the State Tourism Department. Rishikesh is also noted for Ayurveda, and is home to several institutes offering education in the same. It is also known for its yoga schools, some of which are highly esteemed.

Yoga capital of the world

HAMPI

Romancing the ruins

 

Covered in New York Times Top Destinations for 2019.  A legendary lost city that was once the powerhouse of an ancient kingdom and an auspicious temple town standing on the banks of the mighty Tungabhadra river, history and mythology come to life in Hampi, Karnataka. A queen's bath, a spectacular Lotus Palace, a royal stable or a temple, which is said to have been the place where the wedding of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati took place, this UNESCO World Heritage site reveals a facet of history at every turn.

Romancing the ruins

PONDICHERRY

French riviera of the East

Puducherry (the official name was changed from Pondicherry in 2006) not only fascinates you, it makes you fall in love - with its colonial structures, seafront promenades, spiritual havens, tree-lined boulevards, unexplored and pristine beaches, and enchanting backwaters. It is also known for textiles, silk and traditional doll-making as well as high quality pottery, handmade paper, leather and aromatics. And of course, the never-to-be-forgotten French connection.

French riviera of the East

KHAJURAHO

Where stones come to life

If stones could speak, the Khajuraho temples would create melodies! Situated in Madhya Pradesh and cradled by the Vindhya mountain range, the heritage town of Khajuraho is famed for being home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site listed temple complex that features Hindu and Jain houses of worship. These temples are famous for their stunning intricate sculptures depicting different aspects of life: spirituality, love, friendship, sports, royalty and most significantly, awe-inspiring art. Based on their geographical location, the temples are categorised into three groups: Eastern, Western and Southern. Believed to have been built in a relatively short period of time spanning over 100 years, i.e. between 950-1050 AD, the complex boasts 22 temple structures that remain from the initial group of 85. Forgotten for centuries, they were rediscovered in the 1850s and restored.

Where stones come to life

AMRITSAR

Sikhism’s holy city

A bustling city with an indomitable spirit, Amritsar holds one of the holiest of Sikh ethos at its heart - the Golden Temple. Covered in 400 kg of gold and surrounded by a serene sarovar (pond), one is immediately swamped by the humbling sight of the glistening structure, which is also home to one of the biggest community kitchens (langar) in the country that serves about 20,000 people a day.

Sikhism's holy city

DARJEELING

Queen of the Hills

Sprawled over a steep mountain ridge and dotted with unending stretches of emerald green tea plantations, the quaint hill station of Darjeeling, in West Bengal, is a popular travel destination. The most in-demand attraction here is the majestic Kanchenjunga or Khangchendzonga, the third-highest peak in the world. Tourists flock to nearby peaks to watch glorious sunrises and sunsets over Kanchenjunga. Darjeeling boasts remnants of colonial-era architecture that exude a charm of their own. One of the best ways to explore the city is by riding in the 140-year-old Darjeeling Himalayan Railway that meanders through some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes in and around the hill station.

The blue city

Queen of the hills

MUNNAR

Hills of Paradise

 

A lush carpet of rolling green, interrupted by low rises of mountains of the gorgeous Western Ghats, Munnar, in Kerala, is dotted with huge emerald plantations and pristine waterfalls. No matter where you go in Munnar, a mixed scent of tea, coffee and cardamom will follow you everywhere. With a bountiful of natural treasures, Munnar leaves one rapt with its spectacular and awe-inspiring views. Such is the beauty of the myriad shades of green of the landscape that Munnar is often called the Kashmir of South India.

Hills of paradise

PERIYAR

A kingdom of the wilderness

The reserve has majestic tigers roaming its grounds among the greens. Consider yourself lucky if you can catch sight of one relaxing and lazing about. The tigers with their grandeur and physique will leave you awestruck. Periyar is one of the 27 tiger reserves in India. It is also the oldest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala, along with being renowned for having the largest protected area. The tiger reserve spans 192,001 acre of land and is blessed with a picturesque landscape home to various flora and fauna. The sanctuary also has boating facilities at its scenic lake. Travellers can see herds of elephants and grazing deer here with the sweet sound of birds chirping in the trees. The sanctuary is about 110 km away from Munnar.

A kingdom of the wildness

RANAKPUR

The most spectacular of the Jain temples

 

On the western slopes of the Aravalli Hills, 75km northwest of Udaipur, and 12km west of Kumbhalgarh as the crow flies (but 50km by road, via Saira), the village of Ranakpur hosts one of India’s biggest and most important Jain temple complexes.

The most spectacular of the Jain temples

RAJPIPLA

Home of Manvendra Singh Gohil

Rajpipla is a city and a municipality in the Narmada district in the Indian state of Gujarat and it was the capital of the former Kingdom of Rajpipla.

Home of Manavendra Singh Gohil