A land rich in history, diverse culture and tradition, India finds itself on the forefront when it comes to tourism. In every few kilometers, the language, the art and architecture, even the food and landscape changes. The rich heritage, diverse flora and fauna attract millions of tourist from all across the world to enjoy the serenity as well as participate in the rich culture of India. Today on World Tourism Day we bring you some of the beautiful destinations in India.
Located deep within the walled city, the City Palace Complex was conceived and built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur. A beautiful fusion of Mughal and Rajput architecture, the palace is still home to the last ruling royal family which lives in a private section of the palace. Image Credits: Rajasthan Tourism.
Hawa Mahal, literally the Palace of Winds, was built in 1799 by the poet-king Sawai Pratap Singh as a summer retreat for him and his family. It also served as a place where the ladies of the royal household could observe everyday life without being seen themselves. This unique five-storey structure is a blend of Hindu and Islamic architecture, and the exterior, with its small latticed windows (called jharokhas), resembles the crown of Lord Krishna. The windows also serve as an air-conditioner of sorts, blowing cool air throughout the palace, making it the perfect retreat during summers. Built from pink sandstone, the Hawa Mahal is Jaipur’s iconic landmark and visitors can view its complete magnificence from outside, from across the road. Image Credits: Rajasthan Tourism.
Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is considered to be the largest of the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur. It contains sixteen geometric devices, designed to measure time, track celestial bodies and observe the orbits of the planets around the sun. It also houses the Interpretation Centre that helps the tourists to understand the working principles and chronology of the observatory. Image Credits: Rajasthan Tourism.
Every year, thousands of migratory waterfowl birds such as green sandpiper and cranes visit the park during winter. It was created in the mid 18th century as a small reservoir located 5 km to the southeast of Bharatpur. The construction of the Ajan Bund (dam) and the subsequent flooding of this natural depression led to one of the world’s most fascinating and spectacular bird reserves. The Keoladeo Ghana National Park is considered to be one of the richest bird areas in the world today. Image Credits: Rajasthan Tourism.
Sambhar Lake is one of the largest inland salt lakes and lies just 70 km from Jaipur. It is an incredible landscape, almost resembling the Rann of Kutch, Gujarat. Apart from producing a large percentage of India's salt supply, it is also an incredible place to spot birds including large flocks of flamingos. The views from the Shakambhari Mata Temple are breathtaking at sunset and one can spend hours in solitude. Image Credits: Rajasthan Tourism.
According to Hindu scriptures, the sacred Pushkar Lake is described as ‘Tirtha Raj’, the king of all pilgrimage sites. No pilgrimage is considered to be complete without a dip in the holy Pushkar Lake. Semi-circular in shape and about 8-10 metres deep, Pushkar Lake is surrounded by 52 bathing ghats and over 400 temples and is truly a magnificent sight to behold. Image Credits: Rajasthan Tourism.
Abhaneri 88 km from Jaipur on the Jaipur-Agra road is another attraction of Dausa, it is believed to be established by Raja Chandra. Originally named as Abha Nagri which means the city of brightness due to mispronunciation it is now called as Abhaneri. One of the popular places to visit in Abhaneri is the Chand Baori (stepwell). Built back in the eighth century, it is one of the deepest and largest step wells in India. The phenomenal structure is 19.5 meters in depth and features 1000 narrow steps, spanning 13 storeys. Image Credits: Rajasthan Tourism.
Situated 14 km from Sawai Madhopur, the Ranthambore Park gets its name from the Ranthambore Fort situated within its boundaries. The national park, situated amidst the Aravalis and Vindhya ranges is spread over an area of 392 sq.km of thick forest punctuated with pleasant waterfalls. It is home to the elusive tiger, other animals found here include chinkara, sambhar, chital and over 300 species of birds. Image Credits: Rajasthan Tourism.
While it is difficult to arrive at the exact date the fort was established, legend has it that the construction of the Chittorgarh Fort was initiated by Bhim, a Pandava hero from the mythological epic Mahabharata. The fort houses several magnificent monuments, some unfortunately ravaged by time. Image Credits: Rajasthan Tourism.
Rani Padmini Mahal plays an important role in Rajput history. The structure is built on the banks of a lotus pool and has a pavilion that provides privacy for the women of the royal family. Ala-ud-din Khilji, the then Sultan of Delhi, spotted Queen Padmini’s reflection in the pool and was so besotted by her beauty that he led his forces in a battle to abduct her. Image Credits: Rajasthan Tourism.
Picholi was the name of a village that lent its name to Lake Pichola. The islands of Jagniwas and Jagmandir are housed in this lake. Along the eastern banks of the lake lies the City Palace. A boat ride in the lake around sunset offers a breathtaking view of the Lake and City Palace. Image Credits: Rajasthan Tourism.
The City Palace towers over Lake Pichola. The balconies, cupolas, and towers of the palace give a wonderful view of the lake and the surrounding city. This complex actually consists of four major and several minor palaces that collectively form the magnificent City Palace. The main part of the palace is now preserved as a museum displaying artifacts. Image Credits: Rajasthan Tourism.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir has become a great tourist destination because it has developed and taken care of its uniqueness in a perfect manner. Houseboats in J&K serve as the best medium to fulfill your dream of staying as close to nature as possible. They have made people's fantasy of living on the water come true. Facing the majestic Himalayas and offering the pleasant sounds of rolling waters, these houseboats are the greatest attraction in Kashmir. Image Credits: Jammu & Kashmir Tourism.
Remote villages on the foothills of the Himalayas. Image Credits: Government of Arunachal Pradesh.
Prayer flags are seen near a small tributary of the mighty Brahmaputra river. Image Credits: Government of Arunachal Pradesh.
A local tribal woman in a farm. The northeastern states are mostly populated by indigenous tribes. Image Credits: Government of Arunachal Pradesh.
Kerala has been a safe haven for rare flora and fauna for centuries. From the mystical Nilgiri Tahr to the majestic Asiatic Elephant, Kerala is host to many endemic species. Image Credits: Kerala Tourism.
Kerala has some of the most beautiful and exotic waterfalls in the world. The pristine, sparkling waters gushing from imposing heights makes for a riveting sight. They have some of the most beautiful greenery as a backdrop along with many a rare floral, fauna or avian species. Image Credits: Kerala Tourism.
For the people of Kerala, festivals are precious moments. Celebrated with much joy and splendour, the entire landscape of Kerala changes and there is a constant buzz of merriment at every corner. Thrissur Pooram is celebrated at the Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur every year on the Pooram day. Image Credits: Kerala Tourism.
Pulikali is a local art form where trained artists paint images of a tiger on their body. It is performed on the occasion of Onam, an annual harvest festival in Kerala. Image Credits: Kerala Tourism.
The famous Chinese fishing nets are seen at Fort Kochi. Backwaters are a major tourist attraction in the 'God's Own Country'. Image Credits: Kerala Tourism.