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What to see in India

India Attractions

India offers an astounding diversity of people, landscapes, sights and sounds. Visitors will find a rich tapestry of attractions to enjoy, the scope of which is unmatched anywhere else on earth.

Spiritually inclined tourists make for the temples and ashrams of the north, nestled in beautiful Himalayan cities such as Rishikesh, the birthplace of Yoga. Away from the mountains, Delhi dominates the desert plains. The heaving, ancient capital is a mind-blowing mix of history and humanity.

Delhi is just one of India's incredible collection of cities, which includes Kolkata, the cultural capital, Kochi, the Queen of the Arabian Sea, and Mumbai, a major port city, and home to Bollywood. Varanasi, on the banks of the Ganges, may well be the most fascinating of the lot. This sacred Hindu destination is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities on earth.

Jungles and forests such as the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world, and the stunningly beautiful Sangla valley, are home to endemic flora and fauna. Lucky visitors to some of the national parks may be greeted by a glimpse of the rare, legendary Bengal Tiger.

India's architectural treasures need no introduction. The immortal Taj Mahal is one of the most recognisable monuments in the world. Tourists will also be fascinated by the opulence of Tirupati Balaji, the richest temple in the world, and Golden Temple, one of Sikhism's holiest shrines.

India is synonymous with vibrant, colourful festivals such as Holi, the festival of colours, and Diwali, the festival of lights. The spicy cuisine is superb, enjoyed by millions of people worldwide. Indian music, theatre and film are unique.

The endless list of attractions simply goes on and on in this vast and varied land.

Amber Palace

Situated on the crest of a hill seven miles (11km) north of Jaipur is Amber: capital of the Kuchwaha Rajputs from 1037 to 1728. The city-palace is protected by towering outer walls, and a further wall…

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Delhi is a city of contrasts, where an elephant can overtake a snazzy Italian sports car on the streets, where commanding colonial mansions stand next to overcrowded slums, and where cows are revered…

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Elephanta Caves

Located on Elephanta Island in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Mumbai, the Elephanta Caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an absolute must for visitors to Mumbai. The island can be reached by…

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Fatehpur Sikri

The deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri was the capital of the Mughal Empire between 1570 and 1585. It was built under the personal supervision of the Emperor Akbar. The story goes that the emperor was…

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Goa Beaches

Goa has some amazing beaches, and draws a steady stream of local and international tourists. In the north, Anjuna Beach once played host to hordes of hippies, but is now home to a number of trendy…

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Golden Temple of Amritsar

Considered one of the most beautiful temples in the world and the veritable heart of the Sikh religion, it's no wonder that tourists come from all over the globe to see the Golden Temple of Amritsar.…

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The small, relaxed town of Hampi not only boasts one of the weirdest, most awe-inspiring landscapes in the whole of India, but is also a fascinating historical site. The capital of the once-great Vijayanagar…

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Humayun's Tomb

Humayun's Tomb is one of the best-preserved and most beautiful examples of Mogul architecture in Delhi, and is often seen as a forerunner of the Taj Mahal in Agra. Building on the tomb started in 1564…

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Jain Temples of Ranakpur

Forty miles (60km) north of Udaipur are the Jain Temples of Ranakpur. It is the largest temple complex of its kind in India, and boasts some truly staggering marble work. The main temple was built…

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Kolkata is India's third-largest city, and home to some of the country's holiest temples and finest colonial structures. The 'Cultural Capital of India' is a diverse city with a diverse mixture of…

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Kumbhalgarh Fort

Kumbhalgarh is a massive Mewar fortress built in the 15th century, with seven heavily fortified gateways and a perimeter wall that extends a staggering 22 miles (36km); possibly the second longest…

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Mumbai (formerly Bombay) is India's economic powerhouse, and home to more millionaires than any other city on the Indian subcontinent. The city contains a breathtaking array of High Victorian buildings,…

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Old Goa

Old Goa was the state's capital city until 1843, when it was moved down river to Panaji. Once a byword for splendour, with a population of several hundred thousand, Old Goa was virtually abandoned…

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Palace of the Winds (Hawa Mahal)

The Palace of the Winds is Jaipur's most acclaimed attraction. Built in 1799, it is situated on the edge of the City Palace complex overlooking one of the city's bustling main streets, and was constructed…

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Qutub Minar

The Qutub Minar is a mammoth tower that was built between 1193 and 1369 to symbolise Islamic rule over Delhi, and to commemorate the victory by Qutab-ud-din over the city's last Hindu king. Standing…

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Red Fort

The Red Fort, known locally as Lal Quila, is Delhi's signature attraction, rising high above the clamour of Old Delhi as a reminder of the power and prosperity of the Mogul Empire. The massive…

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Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is one of the world's most recognisable and evocative sights. Set overlooking the River Yamuna, visible from Agra Fort in the West, the Taj was built by Shah Jahan to enshrine the body…

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The Backwaters of Kerala

One of the most memorable experiences for many travellers in Kerala is a boat journey on the state's famous backwaters. The best known of these areas is Kuttanad, situated between the hills in the…

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Varanasi has seen human settlement as far back as the 11th century BC. The 'city of light' is an intense mix of colour, sights, sounds and smells. Among many astonighing sights are the more than 100…

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Victoria Memorial

This astounding marble building is probably the most impressive colonial structure in India. In a city known for several great monuments and buildings, this palace is often considered the primary architectural…

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Our Travel Expert

Philippa was born with the wanderlust gene, and is always looking for the next exciting destination to explore. Nothing makes her happier than travelling the world, and her favourite country, the one she keeps coming back to, is India.

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