India, officially the Republic of India is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country (with over 1.2 billion people), and the most populous democracy in the world. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast. It shares land borders with Pakistan to the west;[f] China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Myanmar (Burma) and Bangladesh to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives. India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.
The Indian subcontinent was home to the urban Indus Valley Civilisation of the 3rd millennium BCE. In the following millennium, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism began to be composed. Social stratification, based on caste, emerged in the first millennium BCE, and Buddhism and Jainism arose. Early political consolidations took place under the Maurya and Gupta empires; the later peninsular Middle Kingdoms influenced cultures as far as Southeast Asia. In the medieval era, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam arrived, and Sikhism emerged, all adding to the region’s diverse culture. Much of the north fell to the Delhi sultanate; the south was united under the Vijayanagara Empire. The economy expanded in the 17th century in the Mughal Empire. In the mid-18th century, the subcontinent came under British East India Company rule, and in the mid-19th under British crown rule. A nationalist movement emerged in the late 19th century, which later, under Mahatma Gandhi, was noted for nonviolent resistance and led to India’s independence in 1947.
- The Taj Mahal : It is actually bigger and more majestic than what it looks in the photograph.
- Varanasi : Hindu religious rituals, some harking back to the Vedic age, 5,000 years ago, Varanasi is the oldest living city of the world. Don’t miss the evening Ganga Aarti.
- Tigers : They may or may not be present in all the tiger reserves but your chances of seeing a tiger are fairly good in Bandhavgarh or Ranthambore tiger reserves.
- Sundarbans: Largest mangrove forest and delta in the world. Home to the famous Royal Bengal tigers and estuarine crocodiles.
- Hill Stations: India is home to some remarkable, scenic and gorgeous hill stations such as Shimla, Mussorie, Darjeeling, Shillong and Ooty.
- Sangla Valley : Considered one of the most beautiful valleys of the world lies in the upper regions of Himachal Pradesh. It is extremely scenic with photogenic landscapes and unforgettable landscapes.
- Leh : Considered to be on the top of the world. One of the highest inhabited cities of the world. It gives a different idea of high altitude altogether with unbelievable landscapes.
- Srinagar : It is the capital of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Extremely beautiful city in the midst of the Himalayas with a very beautiful Dal lake in it.
- Gangtok : Capital city of Sikkim. Gangtok is a bewitching hill-station located amidst the multiple-hued mountains of Sikkim.
- Goa : Ruled by Portuguese for over 400 years, Goa is a cocktail of Indian and Portuguese culture. Quite a different kind of place altogether, Goa is full of beautiful beaches and flocking tourists.
- Pondicherry : Pondicherry was a French colony over two hundred years and has a lot of sighting of French influence throughout it’s territories. Now tourists often flock there for spiritual ashrams or enjoyable pubs and parties.
- Bishnupur : Located in West Bengal, it is home to the famous terracotta temples and a great centre for classical Bishnupur Gharana music. Do not forget to buy a Bankura horse made of terracota(which is the symbol for Indian handicrafts).
- Mysore : The Mysore (Mysuru now) is a city in the state of Karnataka. The Mysore has beautiful palaces of erstwhile Wodeyar family, Maharaja’s of Mysore kingdom. There are also Bandipur and Nagarahole national parks near by. Mysuru is 150 kilometre from the state capital of Karnataka, Bengaluru (Bangalore).
- Tirupati Balaji: If you want to see the material richness of a religious place, visit this temple. It is considered to be the richest temple in the world and one surprising sight to see for a non Indian. It is located in Andhra Pradesh.
- Nalanda : Related to Buddhism, It was the oldest university of the world later on destroyed completely during the Muslim invasions of India. Sights of Buddhist interest like Pavapuri and Rajgir are in the vicinity.
- Golden Temple : An actual temple plated with gold is one of Sikhism’s holiest shrines. Looks very serene early in the mornings.
- Khajuraho : Supposedly the birth place of Kamasutra, Khajuraho is full of temples with erotic sculptures all around them. One of the most interesting and less talked about aspects of Hindu culture.
- Kochi : In a State full of secluded and ravishing beaches, Kochi is one of the most sought after tourist destination. It is advisable to visit the surrounding beach cities of Kochi. Don’t forget to experience backwaters of Kerala in a house boat.
- Andamans : Beautiful Island territory of India in the Bay of Bengal, Andaman islands can be considered one of the best island destinations in the world.
- Jaisalmer : A city located in the middle of desert, Jaisalmer is a place to go for watching the beautiful view of sun lighted virgin deserts of Thar Desert.
- Srirangam: Srirangam is a marvellous and magnificient temple in South of India.
- Kumarakom: Serene back waters in God’s own country, Kerala in South India is a must visit. Kumarakom is best described as a cluster of islands in the backdrop of Vembanad Lake housing varied wild life, which makes it an ornithologist’s dreamland.
- Kutch Mandvi Beach: Mandvi is a city and a municipality in the Kutch district in the indian state of Gujarat. It was once a major port of the region and summer retreat for Maharao (king) of the Cutch State.
These are other trips.