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15 of the Best Cities to Visit in India

8 min read

Why India Should be Your Next Travel Destination

Whether you are a Philomath who loves to learn new and interesting things, a retrophile who enjoys studying ruins, remains, lifestyles and architecture of ancient civilizations or a photophilic who loves capturing the beauty of both nature and people in his/her camera, India is definitely your place to be. It’s cultural and ethnic diversity will undoubtedly quench your thirst for either or all of these things. 

India is a land of many cultures, religions and civilizations so it is natural for anyone out there planning a trip to be confused about which places to visit and where to begin. Well, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Following is a list of some of the best cities to visit in modern India.

The Best Cities to Visit in India

1. Chandigarh

A living and breathing proof of spectacular urban planning and modern architecture. Located at the foothills of Shivalik hills lies the planned city of Chandigarh. Designed by the French architect Le Corbusier. Once you step foot into the territory there are some places which you definitely should not miss out on seeing:

  • The Rock Gardens and Sukhna lake – located 6 minutes apart from each other offer, not just a dazzling scenery but also serves as a perfect example of how environmental conservation can be made beautiful. The rock garden holds thousands of sculptures made up of recycled materials such as glass and plastics. 
  • Elante mall, Sector 17 market and Dhillon plaza – are some of the places where shopaholics can have a very good time.
  • A cable car ride over the timber trials is another thing to enjoy the scenic beauty of Chandigarh.

2. Kumbhalgarh

About 80-100 km away from Udaipur is the perfect place to experience the royals and the ruins. The city is a popular tourist attraction for not just Indians but people from all over the world owing to its historic citadel (The Kumbhalgarh Fort) and the wildlife sanctuary which surrounds it. The fort has nearly 360 Hindu and Jain temples and is protected by a 36 km long wall, often referred to as the Great Wall of India. Definitely check this city out if you are looking to explore and visit the best cities in India.

3. Hrishikesh

The holy city lies in the northern region of India, within the state of Uttarakhand. The city is referred to by many names, though most famously as the Land of God and the Yoga Capital of the world. But apart from the piousness of Ganges and numerous ashrams and temples that line its coast, there are a number of other things to do in the city as well. For instance,

  • Sporty adventures: such as river rafting, body surfing, cliff diving and even bungee jumping.
  • Camping and bonfire by the calming waves of Ganges.
  • Classical music: attend one of those classical music concerts and feed your soul with melody. 
  • A visit to the Vasishta caves and passing the infamous bridge known as Lakshman jhula are just a few things to make your trip memorable.

4. Agra

Now, who doesn’t know about the beauty which Agra holds? Well, a good look at Taj Mahal is definitely worth a trip to this city located along the banks of Yamuna river in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The resting place of Mumtaz Mahal, the favorite wife of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan is not the only tourist attraction in the city. There are a number of UN heritage sites in Agra and various other forts for those of you who love studying the architecture of older times.

5. Rewa

Located in the northeastern part of India in the state of Madhya Pradesh, Rewa has a number of exciting things to offer:

  • White Tiger Safari: the opportunity to see the endangered species of tigers in the wild is not something the zoophile in you would want to miss.
  • The Keoti Falls is yet another Indian wonder. The 98 meters high waterfall is termed as the 24th largest waterfall of the country. 
  • The Rewa fort
  • Purva Falls, Chachai Falls, Bahuti Falls and the Rani Talab are a few of the other water bodies to visit and freshen up your soul with.

6. Udaipur

The city of Lakes is yet another beautiful city in the royal state of Rajasthan India. Udaipur offers a number of breathtaking views and exciting activities to do:

  • A sunset cruise in the Pichola Lake, which contains as many as four islands and the magnificent city palace.
  • Explore the classical heritage at the Bagore ki Haveli
  • A long ropeway ride over the city 
  • Rajasthani Cuisine: Now who doesn’t like a good meal of desi Rajasthani dishes?
  • Shop for traditional artifacts, jewellery and lot more at the Hathi pol Bazaar.
  • Witness the classical beauties in the field of automobiles at the Vintage Car museum Udaipur.

7. Jagdalpur

Moving towards the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh you’ll come across the city which houses as many as 6 huge waterfalls. Jagdalpur is one of the best cities to visit in India if the sound of falling water calms you down. Some of the must-visit places of the city are:

  • Tirathgarh, Chitrakote, Chitradhara and Mandra waterfalls are candies for the eye and food for the peaceful soul. 
  • The Kanger valley National park: hosts a number of worth seeing sites such as the kotumsar limestone cave which is one of the most biologically explored caves of India. 
  • Bastar palace and the anthropological museum: explore the lifestyle and culture of the Bastar tribes by witnessing their music, dresses and weapons of choice.

8. Pune

The cultural capital of Maharashtra offers a number of colorful and attractive tourist destinations. Some of which are:

  • The Pune Okayama friendship garden: spread over an area of more than 10 acres, the garden is one of the largest and most well-maintained gardens of the city.
  • Visapur Fort: one of the highest hill forts of the state is a popular place for trekking and hiking.
  • The Hong Kong lane, Fashion street, Tulsi Bag, Bajirao road and Juna Bazaar are some of the best places to stop by and shop for garments, jewellery and a lot more. 
  • The Sinhagad Fort is a recommended trek. You will surely come back with a stomach full of tasty Indian food and a suitcase full of cherishable memories. 

9. Chennai

Located on the Bay of Bengal, Chennai is the capital of the Indian state Tamil Nadu. The city once served as the East India company’s trading outpost and the weapons garrison of the British empire. Some of the must-visit places of Chennai are:

  • Fort Saint George.
  • The government museum offers visitors to see the ancient bronze statues in person. 
  • Chennai lighthouse: climb the lighthouse to get the perfect bird eyes view of the spectacular city and its beach. 
  • Witness the sunset at India’s longest urban beach, the Marina Beach.
  • Ponnusamy Hotel on Jaganathan Road in Nungambakkam: eat away at the infamous hotel that offers a 50-course meal on a single platter(he bahubali thali).

10. Mumbai

The financial center and the largest city in India, formerly known as Bombay is the capital of Maharashtra. A day out exploring the diversity of the city or famously known as ‘Mumbai darshan’ is a must to do when in India. Mumbai hosts:

  • The gateway of India, the stone arch built by the British.
  • The well-preserved Buddhist heritage, the Kanheri caves are a treat for anyone interested in ancient history. 
  • The red-carpet wax museum: India’s first wax museum which offers authentic feels of red-carpet events. 
  • A walk down the Mumbai beach with the infamous bada pauv in your hand is a perfect way to end a memorable day in Mumbai.

11. Manali

Nested in the snow-clad ranges of the Himalayas, the resort town of Manali is a popular destination for tourists and trekkers. Some of the things that would get your adrenaline flowing are:

  • Paragliding in the Solang valley.
  • Sit in the lap of nature and experience some tranquillity by paying a visit to the Hidimba Devi Temple.

12. Pondicherry

The union territory serves as the preserver of French heritage in India. Be it the meditation center at Auroville Ashram that allows people from all races, casts, colors and creeds to sit together and ponder over different spiritual matters Or the Rock beach, The old lighthouse or therapeutic shopping experience at Pondy bazaar. Everything about this place speaks of intercultural beauty and life.

13. Darjeeling

Another territory located at the foothills of the Himalayas in west Bengal is Darjeeling. While in Darjeeling, tour the tree gardens and take a short ride on the UNESCO world heritage i.e. the Himalayan mountain railway toy train. Witness rugs being woven and the tree being processed by participating in factory tours. Enjoy the view and sip some tea.

14. Shimla

The capital of Himachal Pradesh is a popular tourist site owing to its numerous services. Shimla house Asia’s only open ice-skating rink. You may take a walk amidst nature in the Pine forest or climb to the top of Jakhu Temple. Take a quick peek at the history of wars by visiting the Military Museum at Annandale and end the day by watching a beautiful sunset at Scandal point.

15. Goa

Last but not the least, to conclude the list of the best cities to visit in India, you must experience the nightlife of Goa, indulge in the widest variety of watersports, swim with the aquatic life and enjoy the bird’s eye’s view of the town while sitting in a hot air balloon at Assolda Ground, Goa.

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Written by Spencer K.

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