10 Places in India to Discover the “Great Indian Experience”

10 Places in India to Discover the “Great Indian Experience”

It’s hard to sum up India, but if we have to choose a few destinations for the best cultural immersions, these would be it.

India is a vast country with its landmass spreading from the mighty and almost insurmountable Himalayas in the north to the seemingly endless Indian Ocean in the south. If you are visiting India on a short trip, it is almost impossible to see all there is. But then again, no amount of time is reasonable enough to explore every bit of this country. The diversity of people, traditions, architecture, and food can only be experienced once you come here and try to live in the cultural embrace of India.

If you can only visit India for a short duration, which places would you choose to experience the most vibrant aspects of the country and its culture? Though it does not cover everything by any means, here is a list of ten places that would sum up theGreat Indian Experience for you:

1. Delhi

places in India

Image credit: breic

The capital city is one that should definitely be on your ‘must-visit’ list. Walk down the winding streets of the crowded bazaars and breathe in the vibrant atmosphere, take a stroll in the majestic Mughal Gardens of ages ago and experience the history that has shaped the India of today, see the India Gate and the Rashtrapati Bhawan and feel how the patriotism that lies at the roots of these monuments is still thriving in the hearts of a billion Indians. Once you are done exploring Delhi in the day, don’t forget to grab some lip-smacking street food in this city. To find out more about Delhi and its tourist attractions, read this.

2. Varanasi

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Very few cities in the country can duplicate the experience that Varanasi has to offer. Varanasi or Banaras, as it is popularly known among the locals, is famous for its Ghats, and the Maha Kumbh Mela. The city flaunts a 5000-year-old culture and presence. Its location on the bank of the holy Ganges makes it one of the most visited places for those on a spiritual tour of the country. If you are looking for peace and salvation, ‘moksha’ as it is called in Hinduism, Varanasi is your go-to place. Often called a gateway to salvation, this city has a prominent place in Hindu mythology. Don’t forget to take a dip in the holy Ganges and wash away your sins like the believers do! If you want to plan your next vacation to Varanasi, read this before you go.

3.  Agra

places in India

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Famous for the stunning symbol of love, Agra has more to offer to the tourists than just the Taj Mahal. A home to world heritage sites, Agra also features the red sandstone fortress known as Agra Fort which is an important historical landmark. The streets of Agra will take you back to the time of the Mughals while still making sure your footing on reality is never let loose with its bustling streets and squares. Taste the cuisine and talk to the locals and you will understand what the hype is all about.

4. Ladakh

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Whether you have decided to trek on frozen peaks, ride your motorcycle as you backpack through the stunning valleys, or go on a guided tour to the city of Leh, Ladakh offers something that everyone can cherish. A look at the awe-inspiring lakes in this region is bound to make your heart soar and your spirit fly. Though this area features a cold desert with little vegetation, you would be glad if you choose to make this one-of-a-kind trip.

5.  Mysuru

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Mysuru, or Mysore as it was previously known as, is a captivating city. Its charm and royalty will never fail to fascinate even the most seasoned traveller. With the intricately designed Mysore Palace, the tree-lined streets and boulevards, and the long stretches of lanes selling incense, Mysuru has a very distinct identity. Taste the famous Mysore Pak, a sweet prepared with ghee, and then visit the various tourist attractions while on your trip to Mysore.

6. Shillong

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The capital city of the north-eastern state of Meghalaya, there are many popular tourist spots in Shillong. Enveloped by enthralling green hills and valleys, this city will provide you with a sense of calm and friendliness as the locals are very amicable and welcoming. Wards Lake, Elephant Falls, Sweet Falls, Rhino Heritage Museum, and Lady Hydari Park are some spots you have to visit in order to experience the beauty that this city is so famous for. A little farther from the city, you should also visit the ‘root bridges’ that have been built by the local Khasi tribes.

7. Jaisalmer

places in India

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Situated in the western state of Rajasthan near the Thar Desert, Jaisalmer is as exotic as it gets. The mere name of this city brings to mind the hordes of colours and the foreign sounds. This city itself is golden and undoubtedly looks stunning against the desert sands. Visit during the Jaisalmer Desert Festival, which provides a variety of activities for tourists, to experience the best of the city’s culture. For more places to visit in Jaisalmer, read this.  

8. Goa

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Beaches, parties, and the exotic Goan cuisine, Goa has all that you can ask for. Perhaps one of the most popular destinations among foreign as well as local tourists, Goa is one of the most laid-back places in the country. Come to Goa to soak in the sand and the surf, the delicious food and drinks, along with the beautiful Portuguese architecture, among many other attractions.

9. Srinagar

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It is often said that Kashmir is the paradise on earth, and there is no way we will contradict this statement! Srinagar embodies Kashmir’s charm to the fullest. Lying on the bank of the Jhelum River, Srinagar has a number of sights you shouldn’t miss. The scenic Himalayan and Pir-Panjal mountain ranges surround this region and the valley has a number of forests and snow-clad peaks that will mesmerise you and make you want to visit again and again.

10. Kerala

places in India

Image credit: Kerala Tourism

The southern state of Kerala definitely deserves a visit. With natural beauty endowed in excess upon this region, you would hardly want to close your eyes here. Thick forests cover up the land and near the coast lie the scenic backwaters that appear so often in tourist brochures and postcards. Visit Kerala and enjoy the rich Malabar culture, traditions, and cuisine. Among the must-visits in Kerala are coffee and spice plantations, beaches, and backwaters.

Planning a trip to India can be rather tiresome and bewildering and we hope this list will make the process simpler. Did we miss out on your favourite destinations? Let us know in the comments section below!

Also read: My 10-Day India Itinerary: Delhi, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Jaipur & Agra

About Author

Rohit Agarwal
Rohit Agarwal

A traveller and voyager at heart, Rohit’s travel stories are shared on TransIndiaTravels.com to show his love for the most underexplored places of India.

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