What to see in India
If you really want to see all the worth visiting places in India, one tourist visa of six months can be argued to be considered enough. There are more tourist destinations in India than can be mentioned in one book. Almost every State in India has over ten major tourist destinations and there are cities which cannot be fully experienced even in one full week. Not to forget that several states of India are bigger than most of the countries in the world and there are twenty-nine states in India.
- The Taj Mahal : It is actually bigger and more majestic than what it looks in the photograph.
- Varanasi : Hindu religious rituals, some harking back to the Vedic age, 5,000 years ago, Varanasi is the oldest living city of the world. Don’t miss the evening Ganga Aarti.
- They may or may not be present in all the tiger reserves but your chances of seeing a tiger are fairly good in Bandhavgarh or Ranthambore tiger reserves.
- Sundarbans: Largest mangrove forest and delta in the world. Home to the famous Royal Bengal tigers and estuarine crocodiles.
- Hill Stations: India is home to some remarkable, scenic and gorgeous hill stations such as Shimla, Mussorie, Darjeeling, Shillong and Ooty.
- Sangla Valley: Considered one of the most beautiful valleys of the world lies in the upper regions of Himachal Pradesh. It is extremely scenic with photogenic landscapes and unforgettable landscapes.
- Considered to be on the top of the world. One of the highest inhabited cities of the world. It gives a different idea of high altitude altogether with unbelievable landscapes.
- It is the capital of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Extremely beautiful city in the midst of the Himalayas with a very beautiful Dal lake in it.
- Capital city of Sikkim. Gangtok is a bewitching hill-station located amidst the multiple-hued mountains of Sikkim.
- Ruled by Portuguese for over 400 years, Goa is a cocktail of Indian and Portuguese culture. Quite a different kind of place altogether, Goa is full of beautiful beaches and flocking tourists.
- Pondicherry was a French colony over two hundred years and has a lot of sighting of French influence throughout its territories. Now tourists often flock there for spiritual ashrams or enjoyable pubs and parties.
- Located in West Bengal, it is home to the famous terracotta temples and a great centre for classical Bishnupur Gharana music. Do not forget to buy a Bankura horse made of terracotta (which is the symbol for Indian handicrafts).
- The Mysore (Mysuru now) is a city in the state of Karnataka. The Mysore has beautiful palaces of erstwhile Wodeyar family, Maharaja’s of Mysore kingdom. There are also Bandipur and Nagarahole national parks nearby. Mysuru is 150 kilometre from the state capital of Karnataka, Bengaluru (Bangalore).
- Tirupati Balaji : If you want to see the material richness of a religious place, visit this temple. It is considered to be the richest temple in the world and one surprising sight to see for a non-Indian. It is located in Andhra Pradesh.
- Related to Buddhism, It was the oldest university of the world later on destroyed completely during the Muslim invasions of India. Sights of Buddhist interest like Pavapuri and Rajgir are in the vicinity.
- Golden Temple. An actual temple plated with gold is one of Sikhism’s holiest shrines. Looks very serene early in the mornings.
- Supposedly the birth place of Kamasutra, Khajuraho is full of temples with erotic sculptures all around them. One of the most interesting and less talked about aspects of Hindu culture.
- In a State full of secluded and ravishing beaches, Kochi is one of the most sought after tourist destination. It is advisable to visit the surrounding beach cities of Kochi. Don’t forget to experience backwaters of Kerala in a house boat.
- Beautiful Island territory of India in the Bay of Bengal, Andaman islands can be considered one of the best island destinations in the world.
- A city located in the middle of desert, Jaisalmer is a place to go for watching the beautiful view of sun lighted virgin deserts of Thar Desert.
- Srirangam is a marvelous and magnificent temple in South of India.
- Serene back waters in God’s own country, Kerala in South India is a must visit. Kumarakom is best described as a cluster of islands in the backdrop of Vembanad Lake housing varied wild life, which makes it an ornithologist’s dreamland.
- Kutch Mandvi Beach. Mandvi is a city and a municipality in the Kutch district in the indian state of Gujarat. It was once a major port of the region and summer retreat for Maharao (king) of the Cutch State.
Hockey (Field hockey). Despite the craze for football and cricket, the national game of India, hockey retains a prominent position in the hearts of many Indians. Although the viewership has dwindled significantly, (as compared to the golden era before cricket came to the fore in the mid 80s), it hasn’t vanished. Especially in North India, some eastern parts like Jharkhand, Odisha and the north-eastern states still have a significant base. The introduction of the Premier Hockey League has recovered its popularity in recent times.
Cricket. India is a cricket-obsessed country and cricket is in the blood of most Indians. It plays a dominant role in world cricket and has been world champion twice in ICC Cricket World Cup. Once in 1983 beating a mighty West Indies in the final and most recently in 2011 defeating Sri Lanka. India also emerged triumphant in the inaugural ICC T20 World Cup in 2007 held in South Africa beating arch-rival Pakistan in a nail-biting final. Popularity of cricket in India is second to no other games therefore seeing kids playing cricket in parks and alleys with rubber balls and makeshift wickets is an extremely common sight. Until 2008, Indian cricket was all about the national team playing against other countries in one-day matches or epic 5 day Test marathons, but the advent of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has, for better or worse, brought fast-paced, commercialized “Twenty20” cricket to the fore, complete with cheerleaders and massive salaries. In international matches, while Australia and South Africa make viable opposition, the biggest rivalry by far is with neighboring Pakistan, and matches between the two sides are often a very charged affair. About half-a dozen Indian stadiums have a capacity of over 45,000 and watching a cricket match can be quite an experience. Eden Gardens cricket stadium in Kolkata is Asia’s highest capacity stadium with over 90,000 seating capacity and is the oldest cricket stadium in the Indian Subcontinent established in 1865 and is comparable to the stadiums of Lords’ in London and the MCG in Melbourne. The atmosphere of most matches is electrifying. Nearly all international matches have sellout crowds, and it is quite normal for fans to bribe officials and make their way in. Starting ticket prices are quite cheap and Pakistan are all-time arch rivals, and cricket matches between the two nations attract up to a billion TV viewers.