India is a land of cultural diversity. Travelling the length and breadth of this beautiful country will expose you to different sights and sounds; each alluring in its own way and deeply rooted in culture and proud heritage. Travelling through India is akin to how distinct pieces come together to form a quilt, beautiful in parts but stunning when experienced as whole. You will be keenly aware of a warm fuzzy feeling of being welcomed and the explosion of color as you travel to different destinations.
India is about one-third the size of the United States and has close to 1600 cities and towns. It is nearly impossible to describe each and every Indian city in the space that is given here among city destinations in India, the objectives can be broadly classified, and often overlapping, into the following categories: historical cities, religious cities, metro cities and cities that are meant to be wholly for fun and sightseeing.
Love of Architecture
Among the historical cities, Allahabad has been the centre for important events mentioned in puranic scriptures and has always been an important centre for learning. Modern day visitor to Allahabad can marvel at the Sangam which is a confluence of three holy rivers and host million pilgrims every year, the Allahabad fort and museum. Taj Mahal, the universally accepted symbol of love, in present in the city of Agra situated on the banks of the River Yamuna is must visit if you are a romantic at heart or if you simply have a penchant for good architecture. Agra is also home to Agra Fort and Fatehpur- Sikri. The city of Hampi situated on the banks of River Tungabhadra amidst the ruin of the once might Vijayanagara Kingdom. Agra and Hampi have both been declared as World Heritage sites by UNESCO.
India traditionally had 4 metro cities. New Delhi, the capital city, is colonial in design. New Delhi is home to the Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Jantar Mantar, India Gate, Qutb Minar to name a few. A visit to Delhi is the dream of every architecture buff in this world. Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is akin to LA and Hollywood. Apart from the stars of 'Bollywood', Mumbai is also colonial in origin and boasts a number of architectural splendours and is also known as nightlife capital of India. If you are a party-animal and want to rub shoulders with the rich and the famous, Mumbai is a must-visit. Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, is rich in colonial architecture, is the hub of arts and is lavish with its highly colourful festivals steeped in heritage. Chennai, as Madras is known these days, was ranked as one of the top ten cities in the world to visit by Lonely Planet. It is truly cosmopolitan and is a beautiful mix of the old world traditions and new world values. Recently other cities have granted metro status, among which Bengaluru and Hyderabad are worth mentioning. According to Mercer's Quality of Living Report - 2015', Hyderabad is ranked as the best city in India.
India is a nation filled with a number of cities of rich religious importance. Among these Varanasi ranks number one. This city is home to approximately 2000 temples and a dip in the Holy Ganges is said to have the power to absolve you from sins. Kanchipuram, located in Tamil Nadu has historically been known as centre for learning. Both Buddhism and Hinduism have flourished in early Kanchipuram and is only second to Varanasi as a destination for religious pilgrimage. The temples in Kanchipuram have been built by various dynasties that ruled the city with the oldest temple being built in 567 CE. Many of these monuments are changed into hotels or resorts in India.
If you just want a holiday, only to relax and destress and not do any sightseeing, there are plenty of choices for that too. Be it the beach front cities such as Goa, Pondicherry or the pristine beaches of the Andaman Islands. Days of lazing around on the beaches only to interrupted by a session of scuba diving or snorkelling or underwater walking and scrumptious sea food. Or if you prefer the cold, hill stations like Nanital, Manali, Shimla, Ooty, Kodaikanal etc. Situated amidst awe-inspiring and gorgeous landscapes are aplenty in India. So what are you waiting for; pack your bags and get ready to immerse yourself in this all-encompassing experience that is India.