[Updated: 19th May 2014] We have made slight modifications in the list as per the changing circumstances. We have also added couple of destinations that we think should be mentioned here.
I have not done a top 10 list for a long time now, and with Summer Holidays on, I thought it was a good time to post this list – The top 10 tourist destinations in India.
India is very very diverse – probably the most diverse of countries that you will find on this earth. We have some of the Coldest places in Kashmir, A place that has highest rainfall in world – Cherrapunji, and also one if the driest places on the Earth – The Thar Desert. Adding to that – More than half of Indian boundary is home to beautiful beaches. And don’t forget that Northern part of India hosts Himalayan Ranges snow capped mountains.
Mix all this with different cultures and hundreds of Languages and Dialects – You have a got a potent mix of diversity. If you really think, I really am amazed that with such diverse people & geographies how do we operate as one single democratic country !
Anyways, I am digressing here. Let me now give you
The Top 10 Tourist Destinations in India
Agra’s Taj Mahal is one of the most famous buildings in the world, the mausoleum of Shah Jahan’s favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is one of the New Seven Wonders of the world, and one of three World Heritage Sites in Agra.
Completed in 1653, the T?j Mahal was built by the Mughal king Sh?h Jah?n as the final resting place for his beloved wife, Mumt?z Mahal. Finished in marble, it is perhaps India’s most fascinating and beautiful monument. This perfectly symmetrical monument took 22 years (1630-1652) of hard labour and 20,000 workers, masons and jewelers to build and is set amidst landscaped gardens.
Jaipur / Udaipur
Jaipur is also popularly known as the Pink City, is the capital of the Indian state of Rajasthan. Jaipur is a very famous tourist and education destination in India.
Lots of people flock to Jaipur to view the various forts and monuments in Jaipur which reflect its glorious past. Tourism is a significant part of Jaipur’s economy. Some of the world’s best hotels are located here.
Forts & Monuments
- Hawa Mahal
- Amber Fort
- Jaigarh Fort
- Nahargarh Fort
- City Palace
- Jantar Mantar
- Jal Mahal
- Rambagh Palace
- Chandra Mahal, The City Palace, Jaipur
- Diwan-e-Aam, City Palace
- Central Museum, (Albert Hall Museum)
Goa is Famous for its pristine beaches, infact 90% of all the tourism in Goa happens only for its beautiful beaches in Coastal Areas. Goa has two main tourist seasons: winter and summer. In the winter time, tourists from abroad (mainly Europe) come to Goa to enjoy the splendid climate. In the summertime (which, in Goa, is the rainy season), tourists from across India come to spend the holidays.
In 2008 there were more than three million tourists reported to have visited Goa, more than half million of whom were from Foreign visitors. Infact, many foreigners have made Goa as there home for its laid-back and relaxed lifestyle !
Kashmir was once called Heaven on Earth, and once of the most beautiful places in the world. However, in last couple of decades, terrorism has faded its charm – A place home to Himalayan Ranges.
The State of Jammu & Kashmir has main three geographical regions known as “The Lesser Himalayas” or the “Jhelum Valley” (Kashmir), “The Inner Himalayas” or “The Indus Valley” (Ladakh & Frontier areas) also called “Trans-Himalayas”, and “The Outer-Himalayas” or “The Southern mountain range” (Jammu). The area of Jammu & Kashmir is 2, 22,236 square kilometers.
Though there are several places of tourist-interest in the town and district, Kanyakumari is especially popular in India for its spectacular and unique sunrise and sunset. The confluence of three ocean bodies – the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea – makes the sunrise and sunset even more special. On balmy, full-moon evenings, one can also see the moon-rise and sunset at the same time – on either side of the horizon.
Kerala, situated on the lush and tropical Malabar Coast, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Named as one of the “ten paradises of the world” and “50 places of a lifetime” by the National Geographic Traveler magazine, Kerala is especially known for its ecotourism initiatives, Beautiful Backwaters and Alternative healing massages.
Delhi, Capital of India has many attractions like mosques, forts and other monuments that represent India’s history. The important places in Old Delhi include the majestic Red Fort. New Delhi on the other hand houses many government buildings and embassies, apart from places of historical interest.
The Qutub Minar, Red Fort and Humayun’s Tomb have been declared World Heritage Sites.
Ajantha & Ellora are 28 – 30 rock-cut cave monuments created during the first century BC and 5th century AD, containing paintings and sculptures considered to be masterpieces of both Buddhist religious art and universal pictorial art.
The caves are located just outside the village of Ajantha / Ellora in Aurangabad district in the Indian state of Maharashtra.
Darjeeling in India owes’ its grandeur to its natural beauty, its clean fresh mountain air and above all, the smiling resilient people for whom it is a home. Known for its natural splendor, Darjeeling’s best gift to its’ visitors is the dawn of a new day. The mountains awaken first with a tentative peeking of the sun.
A steep ride, five kilometers from Ghoom, or an invigorating walk up a steep incline, leads sun worshippers to Tiger Hill. The air is chilly with darkness and damp. To the east, a dull orange sun emerged painting the sky with brilliant strokes of magenta, gold, orange and fuchsia. The snow capped Everest, Kabru, Kanchenjunga, Jannu and other peaks slowly emerge from slumber to start a new day. The sun worshippers gasp at the magnificent sight.
Mysore is a tourism hot spot within the state of Karnataka and also acts as a base for other tourist places in the vicinity of the city. The city receives the maximum number of tourists during the period of the Dasara festival when festivities take place for a period of 10 days. One of the most visited monuments in India, the Ambavilas Palace (also known as Mysore Palace) is the center of the Dasara festivities.
New Additions 
Leh / Ladakh
The Ladakh capital city of Leh lies near the eastern parts of Jammu and Kashmir, on the crossroads of the historic “Silk Route” from Sinkiang to West Asia and to the plains of India. The humbling monasteries of Shey, Hemis, Alchi, Thikse and Lamayuru will nurture your spiritual needs, and the landscape of Leh provides for a number of adventure activities including mountaineering, white-water rafting and trekking along the Markha Valley.
The capital of the state of Sikkim, Gangtok is an attractive tourist destination, reflecting a unique ambience which derives from its happy blend of tradition and modernity. Alongside the deeply felt presence of stupas and monasteries, Gangtok also bustles like any other thriving town. Some of the key places to visit include Rumtek Monastery, Do-Drul Chorten, Enchey Monastery, Tashi View Point and the local bazaar, Lal Bazaar.
Hope you have found this Top Ten Tourist Destinations in India article interesting. If you have any questions, do drop in a comment
What are you waiting for – Go ahead and book your travel tickets right now :)