India is the second most populated country in the world with approximately 1.2 billion citizens. The country has a rich and storied history that captivates people from around the world. As such, India is steadily growing as a tourist destination. Both citizens and foreign visitors flock to India’s most popular landmarks every year.
Top 10 Things to Do in India
1. The Taj Mahal, Agra
One cannot think of tourist spots in India without considering the Taj Mahal. With nearly 4 million tourists arriving at the Taj Mahal every year, it is considered to be the most visited attractoin in the country. Built between 1632-1653 in honor of Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of the Mogul Emporer Shah Jahan, the Taj Mahal is often listed as one of the Wonders of the World and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
2. The Mahabodhi Temple, Bodh Gaya
Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, was said to have achieved enlightenment at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya. Near the temple is the Mahabodhi Tree.
3. Tomb of Humayun, Nizamuddin East, Delhi
This tomb to the Mugal Emperor Humayun was commissioned in 1562 and was built over the course of eight years. If you are traveling to Delhi, you should consider visiting this tomb, as it has undergone extensive restoration in recent years.
4. The Beaches of Goa
Goa is one of the most visited spots in all of India, accounting for approximately 12 percent of the country’s tourist revenue. The most popular spots to visit in Goa are the many beaches, particularly those in North Goa. Anjuna, Baga, and Calungute draw the largest number of tourists, though beaches in Southern Goa, like those in Varca, are becoming increasingly known for hosting world class resorts.
5. Lotus Temple, New Delhi
Those taking flights to Delhi cannot pass through without paying a visit to the Lotus Temple. Formally called the Baha’i House of Worship, Lotus Temple is given its nickname due to the unusual shape of the building.
6. Mysore Palace, Mysore
The second most visited tourist attraction in India, Mysore welcomes about 2.7 million visitors annually. The palace welcomes the most tourists in September and October during the Mysore Dasara festival. During the festival, the palace is decorated with nearly 100,000 lights to pay homage to the Goddess Durga.
7. Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir
Gulmarg is known for its winter sports. A popular tourist destination between December and March, skiing enthusiasts can choose from one of over 40 hotels in the region.
8. Elephanta Caves, Elephanta Island, Mumbai
Located about six miles from Mumbi, the Elephanta Caves are a group of five Hindu caves and two Buddhist caves that contain intricately carved stone sculptures.
9. Harimandir Sahib, Armritsar, Punjab
The Harimandir Sahib is popularly known as the Golden Temple due to the fact that the upper floors are covered in gold. The construction Harimandir Sahib was completed in 1604, but attacks left it seriously damaged until the time that it was rebuilt in 1764.
10. The Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Tamil Nadu
This steam locomotive railway system passes through 26 miles of land over the course of about nine hours. Tourists can pass over 250 bridges and can enjoy the steepest train track in Asia.
Photo Credit: Trey Ratcliff at Stuck in Customs