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Wildlife conservation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Siberian tiger is a subspecies of tiger that is endangered; three subspecies of tiger are already extinct.

Wildlife conservation is the practice of protecting wild plant and animal species and their habitats.
The goal of wildlife conservation is to ensure that nature will be around for future generations to
enjoy and also to recognize the importance ofwildlife and wilderness for humans and other species
alike.[1] Many nations havegovernment agencies and NGO's dedicated to wildlife conservation, which
help to implement policies designed to protect wildlife. Numerous independent non-profit
organizations also promote various wildlife conservation causes. [2]
According to the National Wildlife Federation, wildlife in the United States gets a majority of their
funding through appropriations from the federal budget, annual federal and state grants, and
financial efforts from programs such as theConservation Reserve Program, Wetlands Reserve
Program and Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program.[3][4] Furthermore, a substantial amount of funding
comes from the state through the sale of hunting/fishing licenses, game tags, stamps, and excise
taxes from the purchase of hunting equipment and ammunition, which collects around $200 million
Wildlife conservation has become an increasingly important practice due to the negative effects of
human activity on wildlife. An endangered species is defined as a population of a living species that
is in the danger of becoming extinct because of several reasons.Some of The reasons can be, that
1. the species have a very low population, or 2. they are threatened by the varying environmental or
prepositional parameters.

1Major dangers to wildlife

2Wildlife conservation as a government involvement

3Non-government involvement

4Active non-government organizations

5See also


7External links

Major dangers to wildlife[edit]

Fewer natural wildlife habitat areas remain each year. Moreover, the habitat that remains has often
been degraded to bear little resemblance to the wild areas which existed in the past.Habitat loss
due to destruction, fragmentation and degradation of habitatis the primary threat to the survival of
wildlife in the United States. When an ecosystem has an ecosystem are some of the ways habitats
can become so degraded that they no longer support native wildlife.

Climate change: Global warming is making hot days hotter, rainfall and flooding
heavier, hurricanes stronger anddroughts more severe. This intensification of weather
and climate extremes will be the most visible impact of global warming in our everyday lives. It is
also causing dangerous changes to the landscape of our world, adding stress to wildlife species
and their habitat. Since many types of plants and animals have specific habitat requirements,
climate change could cause disastrous loss of wildlife species. A slight drop or rise in average
rainfall will translate into large seasonal
changes. Hibernating mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects are harmed and disturbed.
Plants and wildlife are sensitive to moisture change so, they will be harmed by any change in
moisture level. Natural phenomena like floods,earthquakes, volcanoes, lightning, forest fires.[6][7]

Unregulated Hunting and poaching: Unregulated hunting and poaching causes a

major threat to wildlife. Along with this, mismanagement of forest department and forest
guards triggers this problem.

Pollution: Pollutants released into the environment are ingested by a wide variety of
organisms. Pesticides and toxic chemical being widely used, making the environment toxic
to certain plants, insects, and rodents.

Perhaps the largest threat is the extreme growing indifference of the public to wildlife,
conservation and environmental issues in general. [8] Over-exploitation of resources, i.e.,
exploitation of wild populations for food has resulted in population crashes (over-fishing and
over-grazing for example).

Over exploitation is the over use of wildlife and plant species by people for food,
clothing, pets, medicine, sport and many other purposes. People have always depended on
wildlife and plants for food, clothing, medicine, shelter and many other needs. But today we
are taking more than the natural world can supply. The danger is that if we take too many
individuals of a species from their natural environment, the species may no longer be able to
survive. The loss of one species can affect many other species in an ecosystem. The
hunting, trapping, collecting and fishing of wildlife at unsustainable levels is not something
new. The passenger pigeon was hunted to extinction, early in the last century, and overhunting nearly caused the extinction of the American bison and several species of whales.

Deforestation: Humans are continually expanding and developing, leading to an

invasion of wildlife habitats. As humans continue to grow they clear forested land to crewe
more space. This stresses wildlife populations as there are fewer homes and food sources
to survive off of.

Population: The increasing population of human beings is the most major threat to wildlife. More
people on the globe means more consumption of food,water and fuel . Therefore,more waste is
generated. Every major threat to wildlife as seen above, is directly related to increasing population of
human beings. If the population is altered so is the amount of risk to wildlife. The less is the
population, less is the disturbance to wildlife.

Today, the [Endangered Species Act] protects some U.S. species that were in danger from over
exploitation, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora
(CITES) works to prevent the global trade of wildlife. But there are many species that are not
protected from being illegally traded or over-harvested.

Wildlife conservation as a government involvement[edit]

In 1972, the Government of India enacted a law called the Wildlife Conservation Act. Soon after
enactment, a trend emerged whereby policymakers enacted regulations on conservation. State and
non-state actors began to follow a detailed "framework" to work toward successful conservation. The
World Conservation Strategy was developed in 1980 by the "International Union for Conservation of
Nature and Natural Resources" (IUCN) with advice, cooperation and financial assistance of the
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Wildlife Fund and in collaboration
with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco)"[9] The strategy aims to "provide an
intellectual framework and practical guidance for conservation actions." [9] This thorough guidebook
covers everything from the intended "users" of the strategy to its very priorities. It even includes a
map section containing areas that have large seafood consumption and are therefore endangered
by over fishing. The main sections are as follows:

The marking off of a sea turtle nest. Anna Maria, FL. 2012.

The objectives of conservation and requirements for their achievement:

1. Maintenance of essential ecological processes and life-support systems.
2. Preservation of genetic diversity that is flora and fauna.
3. Sustainable utilization of species and ecosystems.

Priorities for national action:

1. A framework for national and sub-national conservation strategies.

2. Policy making and the integration of conservation and development.

3. Environmental planning and rational use allocation.

Priorities for international action:

1. International action: law and assistance.
2. Tropical forests and dry lands.
3. A global programme for the protection of genetic resource areas.

Map sections:
1. Tropical forests
2. Deserts and areas subject to desertification.

Non-government involvement[edit]
As major development agencies became discouraged with the public sector of environmental
conservation in the late 1980s, these agencies began to lean their support towards the private
sector or non-government organizations (NGOs).[10] In a World Bank Discussion Paper it is made
apparent that the explosive emergence of nongovernmental organizations was widely known to
government policy makers. Seeing this rise in NGO support, the U.S. Congress made amendments
to theForeign Assistance Act in 1979 and 1986 earmarking U.S. Agency for International
Development (USAID) funds forbiodiversity.[10] From 1990 moving through recent years
environmental conservation in the NGO sector has become increasingly more focused on the
political and economic impact of USAID given towards the Environment and Natural Resources.
After the terror attacks on the World Trade Centers on September 11, 2001 and the start of former
President Bushs War on Terror, maintaining and improving the quality of the environment and
natural resources became a priority to prevent international tensions according to the Legislation
on Foreign Relations Through 2002[11] and section 117 of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act.
Furthermore, in 2002 U.S. Congress modified the section on endangered species of the previously
amended Foreign Assistance Act.

Active non-government organizations[edit]

Many NGOs exist to actively promote, or be involved with wildlife conservation:

The Nature Conservancy is a US charitable environmental organization that works to

preserve the plants, animals, and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on
Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. [12]

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international non-governmental organization

working on issues regarding the conservation, research and restoration of the environment,
formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the
United States. It is the world's largest independent conservation organization with over 5 million
supporters worldwide, working in more than 90 countries, supporting around 1300[4]
conservation and environmental projects around the world. It is a charity, with approximately
60% of its funding coming from voluntary donations by private individuals. 45% of the fund's
income comes from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. [13]


Wildlife Conservation Society

Audubon Society

Traffic (conservation programme)

Born Free Foundation

WildEarth Guardians

Wildlife of India
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Part of a series on the

Wildlife of India


Protected areas[show]



Related topics[show]



The wildlife in India comprises a mix of species of different types of organisms.[1]Apart from a
handful of the major farm animals such as cows, buffaloes, goats, poultry, and camels, India has an
amazingly wide variety of animals native to the country. It is home to Bengal tigers, Indian
lions, deer, pythons, wolves, foxes, bears, crocodiles,wild dogs, monkeys, snakes, antelope species,
varieties of bison and the Asian elephant. The region's rich and diverse wildlife is preserved in
120+ national parks, 18Bio-reserves and 500+ wildlife sanctuaries across the country. India has
some of the most biodiverse regions of the world and hosts three of the worlds 35 biodiversity
hotspots or treasure-houses that is the Western Ghats, the Eastern Himalayas and Indo-Burma.
Since India is home to a number of rare and threatened animal species, wildlife management in
the country is essential to preserve these species.[3] India is one of the seventeen megadiverse
countries. According to one study, India along with other 16 mega diverse countries is home to about
60-70% of the world's biodiversity.[4]India, lying within the Indomalaya ecozone, is home to about
7.6% of all mammalian, 12.6% of avian, 6.2% of reptilian, and 6.0% of flowering plant species.[5]

A female Indian elephant inNagerhole National Park. India has the largest population of Indian elephants.

Many Indian species are descendants of taxa originating in Gondwana, to which India originally
belonged. Peninsular India's subsequent movement towards, and collision with,
the Laurasian landmass set off a mass exchange of species. However, volcanismand climatic
change 20 million years ago caused the extinction of many endemic Indian forms.[6] Soon thereafter,
mammals entered India from Asia through twozoogeographical passes on either side of the
emerging Himalaya.[7] As a result, among Indian species, only 12.6% of mammals and 4.5% of birds
are endemic, contrasting with 45.8% of reptiles and 55.8% of amphibians.[5] Notable endemics are
the Nilgiri leaf monkey and the brown and carmine Beddome's toad of the Western Ghats. India

contains 172, or 2.9%, of IUCN-designated threatened species.[8] These include theAsian elephant,
the Asiatic lion, the Bengal tiger, the Indian rhinoceros, the mugger crocodile, and the Indian whiterumped vulture, which suffered a near-extinction from ingesting the carrion of diclofenac-treated
In recent decades, human encroachment has posed a threat to India's wildlife; in response, the
system of national parks andprotected areas, first established in 1935, was substantially expanded.
In 1972, India enacted the Wildlife Protection Act andProject Tiger to safeguard crucial habitat;
further federal protections were promulgated in the 1980s. Along with over 515 wildlife sanctuaries,
India now hosts 18 biosphere reserves, 10 of which are part of the World Network of Biosphere
Reserves; 26 wetlands are registered under the Ramsar Convention.
The pipal fig tree, shown on the seals of Mohenjo-daro, shaded Gautama Buddha as he sought
enlightenment. The varied and rich wildlife of India has had a profound impact on the region's
popular culture. The common name for wilderness in India is jungle, which was adopted into the
English language. The word has been also made famous in The Jungle Book byRudyard Kipling.
India's wildlife has been the subject of numerous other tales and fables such as the Panchatantra.



3.1Recent extinctions

4National symbols (animals)

5Biosphere reserves


7Species examples

8See also


10External links

Main article: Fauna of India

The Hanuman langur with newborn. At least seven species of grey langurs are found in India out of which five
are endemic.

One of the world's rarest monkeys,Gee's golden langur typifies the precarious survival of much of India'smega

The Indian rhinoceros in theKaziranga National Park. Kaziranga in Assam, India is home to two-thirds of the
one-horned rhinoceros population.

India is home to several well-known large mammals, including the Asian elephant, Bengal
tiger, Asiatic lion, leopard, sloth bear and Indian rhinoceros. Some other well-known large Indian
mammals are: ungulates such as the rare wild Asian water buffalo, common domestic Asian water
buffalo, gail, gaur, and several species of deer and antelope. Some members of the dog family, such
as the Indian wolf, Bengal fox andgolden jackal, and the dhole or wild dogs are also widely
distributed. However, the dhole, also known as the whistling hunter, is the most endangered top
Indian carnivore, and theHimalayan wolf is now a critically endangeredspecies endemic to India.[citation
It is also home to the striped hyena, macaques, langurand mongoose species.

India has the largest population of tigers in the world

Main article: Flora of India

The Valley of Flowers National Park in Uttarakhand, India.

There are about 17500 taxa of flowering plants from India. The Indian Forest Act, 1927helped to
improve protection of the natural habitat. Many ecoregions, such as the sholaforests, also exhibit
extremely high rates of endemism; overall, 33% of Indian plant species are endemic.[9][10]
India's forest cover ranges from the tropical rainforest of the Andaman Islands, Western Ghats,
and Northeast India to the coniferous forest of the Himalaya. Between these extremes lie the saldominated moist deciduous forest of eastern India; teak-dominateddry deciduous forest of central
and southern India; and the babul-dominated thorn forest of the central Deccan and western
Gangetic plain.[7] Important Indian trees include the medicinal neem, widely used in rural
Indian herbal remedies.


The Indian leopard is found across the Indian subcontinent. Poaching for its skin is a serious threat to the

The need for conservation of wildlife in India is often questioned because of the apparently incorrect
priority in the face of direct poverty of the people. However, Article 48 of the Constitution of India
specifies that, "The state shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard
the forests and wildlife of the country" and Article 51-A states that "it shall be the duty of every citizen
of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife
and to have compassion for living creatures."[11] The committee in the Indian Board for Wildlife, in
their report, defines wildlife as "the entire natural uncultivated flora and fauna of the country" while
theWildlife (protection) Act 1972 defines it as "any animal, bees, butterflies, crustacea, fish, moths
and aquatic or land vegetation which forms part of any habitat." [12]
Despite the various environmental issues faced, the country still has a rich and varied wildlife
compared to Europe.[12] Large and charismatic mammals are important for wildlife tourism in India,
and several national parks and wildlife sanctuaries cater to these needs. Project Tiger, started in
1972, is a major effort to conserve the tiger and its habitats.[13] At the turn of the 20th century, one
estimate of the tiger population in India placed the figure at 40,000, yet an Indian tiger census
conducted in 2008 revealed the existence of only 1,411 tigers. 2010 tiger census revealed that there
are 1700 tigers left in India.[14] As per the latest tiger census (2015), there are around 2226 tigers in
India. By far, there is an overall 30% increase in tiger population. [15] Various pressures in the later
part of the 20th century led to the progressive decline of wilderness resulting in the disturbance of
viable tiger habitats. At the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural
Resources (IUCN) General Assembly meeting in Delhi in 1969, serious concern was voiced about
the threat to several species of wildlife and the shrinkage of wilderness in India. In 1970, a national
ban on tiger hunting was imposed, and in 1972 the Wildlife Protection Act came into force. The
framework was then set up to formulate a project for tiger conservation with an ecologicalapproach.
However, there is not much optimism about this framework's ability to save the peacock, which is the
national bird of India. George Schaller wrote about tiger conservation:[16]

Recent extinctions[edit]

Illustration of a Himalayan quailfrom A. O. Hume's work. Last seen in 1876

The exploitation of land and forest resources by humans along with hunting and trapping for food
and sport has led to the extinction of many species in India in recent times. These species include
mammals such as the Indian/Asiatic cheetah,wild zebu, Indian Javan rhinoceros, and Northern
Sumatran rhinoceros.[17] While some of these large mammal species are confirmed extinct, there
have been many smaller animal and plant species whose status is harder to determine. Many
species have not been seen since their description.

Adult male Indian lion at Gir Forest. Gir forest in India has the only surviving population of Asiatic lions in the

Some species of birds have gone extinct in recent times, including the pink-headed
duck (Rhodonessa caryophyllacea) and the Himalayan quail (Ophrysia superciliosa). A species of
warbler, Acrocephalus orinus, known earlier from a single specimen collected by Allan Octavian
Hume from near Rampur in Himachal Pradesh, was rediscovered after 139 years in Thailand. [18][19]

National symbols (animals)[edit]

National animal: royal Bengal tiger

National heritage animal of India: Elephant

National mammal of India: Hanuman langur

National aquatic animal: Ganges river dolphin[20]

National bird: peacock

Biosphere reserves[edit]

The Sundarbans in Bengal, India

The Indian government has established eighteen biosphere reserves of India which protect larger
areas of natural habitat and often include one or more national parks and/or preserves, along buffer
zones that are open to some economic uses. Protection is granted not only to the flora and fauna of
the protected region, but also to the human communities who inhabit these regions, and their ways
of life.

Valley of flowers National Park,Uttrakhand, India is part of the Nanda Devi Bio-reserve.

The bio-reserves in India are:



Dibru Saikhowa

Dihang Dibang

Great Nicobar

Gulf of Mannar




Nanda Devi

The Nilgiris





Cold Desert

Seshachalam hills


Gulf of Mannar fromRameshwaram, Tamil Nadu, India.

Ten of the eighteen biosphere reserves are a part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves,
based on the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) list.[21]

Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve

Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve

Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve

Nokrek National Park

Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve

Simlipal National Park

Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve

Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve

Nicobar Islands

Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve

The diversity of fungi[22] and their natural beauty occupy a prime place in the biological world and
India has been a cradle for such organisms. Only a fraction of the total fungal wealth of India has
been subjected to scientific scrutiny and mycologists have to unravel this unexplored and hidden
wealth. One-third of fungal diversity of the globe exists in India. The country has an array of 10
diverse biomes including Trans-Himalayan zone, Himalaya, Desert, Semi-Arid zone, Western Ghats,
Deccan Peninsula, Gangetic Plain, North-Eastern India, Coasts and Islands where varied
dominating regimes manifest. This enables the survival of manifold fungal flora in these regions
which include hot spot areas like the Himalayan ranges, Western Ghats, hill stations, mangroves,
sea coasts, fresh water bodies etc. Many fungi have been recorded from these regions and from the
country in general comprising thermophiles, psychrophiles, mesophiles, aquatic forms, marine
forms, plant and animal pathogens, edible fungi and beneficial fungi and so on. The number of fungi
recorded in India exceeds 27,000 species, the largest biotic community after insects. The true fungi
belong to the Kingdom[23] Fungi which has four phyla, 103 orders, 484 families and 4979 genera.
About 205 new genera have been described from India, of which 32% were discovered by C. V.

Subramanian of the University of Madras.[24][25] These features indicate a ten-fold increase in the last
80 years.

Species examples[edit]

Indian elephant

Royal Bengal tiger

Asiatic lions

Himalayan Brown Bear

Sloth bear

Asian Black Bear

Indian leopard

Snow leopard

Clouded leopard

Indian rhinoceros


Yak (Bos grunniens and Bos mutus)

Indian wild ass

Indian wolf

Golden jackal

Indian wild dog (dhole)

Striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena)

Rhesus macaque

Gray langur

Lion-tailed macaque

Red panda

Smooth-coated otter

Indian crested porcupine


Sangai or Thamin

Sambar deer

Nilgai(Boselaphus tragocamelus)


A Nicobar pigeon.

Indian peacock, India's national bird

Brahminy kite

Brown fish-owl

Ring-necked parakeet


Saltwater crocodile

Indian cobra

Wildlife Conservation in India

Wildlife means all the flora and fauna, which are not
domesticated by humans. It includes animals, plants and
microorganisms. Wildlife tours in India is your chance to
explore some of the well known tiger reserves and national
parks sprinkled across different parts of the country.
+ Read More

Yes, Plan My Trip!

Wildlife Conservation in India

Conservation Centers in India

The term Conservation Areas in India refers to the well-demarcated large
geographical entities with an established conservation plan. In India, a
number of conservation plans have been set up for the purpose of
studying, conserving and spreading about the betterment of the highly
endangered species of wildlife.
Read More

NGOs In India
Owing to varying topography, India plays host to a good variety of plants,
land and marine life. The Wildlife Trust of India is a national conservation
dedicated to the effective plan for the conservation of animal species.
Read More

Project Elephant
Launched in February 1992 by the Government of India, Project Elephant
has been designed to combine the programs for the conservation of
elephant and its natural habitat. The project seeks to address the threats
to the survival of elephants in our country.
Read More

Project Tiger
Established in 1973 with 9 Tiger Reserves, Project Tiger covers an area of
16,339 square kilometers, which has dramatically increased upto 37,761
square kilometers in 27 Tiger Reserves.
Read More

Conservation History of Eravikulam Wildlife Sanctuary

One of the top holiday destinations in India, Eravikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
was established in 1978 as a part of the Idukki district of Kerala. The
wildlife sanctuary is known for its stark beauty and unpleasant climate.
Read More

Conservation History of Gir National Park

The conservation history of Gir National Park takes us back to the early
1990s when the population of Asiatic Lions dropped down to 15 due to
slaughter. It deals with the conservation of Asiatic Lions, whose population
had dropped tremendously.
Read More

India - Wildlife

Central India Wildlife Tour

Wildlife and Heritage of Gujarat

Bird Paradise Tour
Sunderbans Jungle Camp
Temple and Tiger Tour
Royal Tiger With Golden Triangle
Wild Adventure Tour
view all





Wildlife Conservation Efforts In India

India has been forerunning activities for the conservation of wildlife since the early
1930s with the establishment of Jim Corbett National Park. Jim Corbett himself saw the
catastrophic reaction man had bestowed upon wildlife and gave up hunting while dedicating
his life towards conservation of wild animals,especially Tigers. Wildlife is essentially
classified into flora and fauna which mean, in a broad sense of speaking plants and animals
India has held a multitude of species within its varying topographies and climates. Some of
the species found in India are extremely rare and even considered endangered given their
declining numbers in the wild. A major step towards restoration of an animal populous
dawned with Project Tiger which was initiated as per the referendum under the Wildlife
Protection Act of 1972. Populations of endangered species have seen drastic improvements
in numbers ever since and efforts are maintained to prevent various harmful activities that
hinder in the growth of wildlife.

Wildlife Conservation Projects in India

1. Project Tiger

Photo by Sbj1976, CC BY-SA 4.0

After the sanction of Wildlife Protection act of 1972, Project Tigerwas initiated to help
repopulate Royal Bengal Tigers in the Indian subcontinent. The first estimate of tiger
population in India was speculated to be between 35,000 to 40,000 before the 20th century.
Man made conditions, poaching and encroaching on wild land led to a harrowing decline in
tiger populations over the century. Save the tiger project helped restore tiger populations
from around 1400 at its lowest to around 2300 in 2015.

2. Project Elephant

Photo by Honza Soukup, CC BY 2.0

In the year 1992, Project Elephant came into being. The Ministry of Environment and
Forests under the Government of India decided upon taking action against the declining
populations and disturbed migration of Asiatic elephants; hence initiating Project Elephant.
The initiative was implemented in sixteen Indian states namely Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra
Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra,
Kerala, Meghalaya, Orissa, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Tripura, West Bengal and
Uttar Pradesh. The primary objective of Project Elephant was to protect Wild elephants
from poaching. Besides helping Elephant populations in India grow, the project also
oversaw clearance of migratory Corridors for free passage of elephants. Project Elephant
also oversees the welfare of domesticated and captivated elephants across Indian states.

3. National Parks And Wildlife Reserves

Photo by JP Bennett, CC BY 2.0

The government of India has allotted vast spaces of green forests for wildlife to flourish in.
Several protected lands are decreed as wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and
biosphere reserves meant for the sole purpose of protecting wildlife against human
interference. There are 103 operational national parks in India as of 2015. The Ministry of
Environment and Forest has taken keen interest in active breeding programs, tracking and
protection against poaching of wildlife in the recent years. Several national parks harbor
exotic species of animals like Asiatic Lions in Gir National Park and Hoolock Gibbon
in Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary and protect them from extinction through concentrated

4. NGOs For Wildlife In India

Several non-governmental bodies have stepped up to the demands of wildlife
conservation in India as well. Activism against poaching, encroachment of forest land and
habitat destruction is a common phenomenon in modern India. There are several volunteer
groups and corporations that take initiative towards maintaining undisturbed environments
for flora and fauna to flourish in. Some of the more renowned NGOs in India include Rhino
Foundation for Nature in Assam, Wildlife Society of Orissa, Friends of Forests in
Maharashtra, Natures Beckon in Assam, North Eastern Society for Preservation of Nature
and Wildlife in West Bengal, Nature Conservation Society of Amravati in Maharashtra, Bali
Nature and Wild Life Conservation Society in West Bengal and The Friends of the Doon in

egal Framework for Wildlife Conservation in India

by Praveen Bhargav

A tiger caught in a trap


The Wildlife (Protection) Act (WLPA), 1972, is an important statute that provides a powerful legal
framework for violations like hunting.

Reworked from Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) Report May 2007* with
inputs from Praveen Bhargav, Wildlife First.
Many people are under the impression that India does not have strong wildlife
conservation laws. On the contrary, we have some of the most stringent legislations to
protect wildlife and habitats. It is imperative that all conservationists familiarize
themselves with these laws, so that they can contribute effectively. It is also vital to
understand which institutions control land in India before any conservation interventions
can be attempted in any landscape. The legal status of the land must first be
ascertained so that one can engage with the correct authorities or agencies.
The Government of India has introduced various types of legislation in response to the
growing destruction of wildlife and forests. These are:

1. The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (Last amended in 2006)

The Wildlife (Protection) Act (WLPA), 1972 is an important statute that provides a
powerful legal framework for:

Prohibition of hunting

Protection and management of wildlife habitats

Establishment of protected areas

Regulation and control of trade in parts and products derived from wildlife

Management of zoos.

The WLPA provides for several categories of Protected Areas/Reserves:

National Parks

Wildlife Sanctuaries

Tiger Reserves

Conservation Reserves

Community Reserves

National parks and Tiger Reserves are by law more strictly protected, allowing virtually
no human activity except that which is in the interest of wildlife conservation. Grazing
and private tenurial rights are disallowed in National Parks but can be allowed in
sanctuaries at the discretion of the Chief Wildlife Warden. The amended WLPA does not
allow for any commercial exploitation of forest produce in both national parks and
wildlife sanctuaries, and local communities can collect forest produce only for their bona
fide needs.
No wild mammal, bird, amphibian, reptile, fish, crustacean, insects, or coelenterates
listed in four Schedules of the WLPA can be hunted either within or outside protected
areas. On conviction, the penalty for hunting is imprisonment for a period ranging from
a minimum of three to a maximum of seven years with fines not less than 10,000
Community reserves and conservation reserves are two new categories of protected
areas that have been included under the WLPA. These two categories provide a greater
role for local communities, stakeholders and civil society as well as the opportunity to
protect many areas of conservation value that cannot be designated under strict
categories such as wildlife sanctuaries or national parks.

The statute prohibits the destruction or diversion of wildlife and its habitat by any
method unless it is for improvement or better management and this is decided by the
state government in consultation with the National and State Boards for Wildlife.
The WLPA contains elaborate procedures for dealing with legal rights in proposed
protected areas and acquisition of any land or interest under this law is deemed as an
acquisition for a public purpose. However, with the enactment of The Scheduled Tribes
and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006,
compliance of various provisions relating to tenurial and community rights must be
Apart from protected area establishment, other important aspects of the WLPA include
procedures for the appointment of state wildlife authorities and wildlife boards, the
regulation of trade in wildlife products and the prevention, detection and punishment of
violations of the WLPA.
The 2006 amendment introduced a new chapter (IV B) for establishment of the National
Tiger Conservation Authority and notification of Tiger Reserves (before this amendment,
Tiger Reserves were not defined under the law, but were merely administrative
designations to enable funding under Project Tiger).
The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) was constituted vide the 2006 amendment to
monitor and control the illegal trade in wildlife products.
The WLPA provides for investigation and prosecution of offences in a court of law by
authorized officers of the forest department and police officers.

2. The Indian Forest Act (1927) and Forest Acts of State Governments
The main objective of the Indian Forest Act (1927) was to secure exclusive state control
over forests to meet the demand for timber. Most of these untitled lands had
traditionally belonged to the forest dwelling communities. The Act defined state
ownership, regulated its use, and appropriated the power to substitute or extinguish
customary rights. The Act facilitates three categories of forests, namely

Reserved forests

Village forests

Protected forests

Reserved forests are the most protected within these categories. No rights can be
acquired in reserved forests except by succession or under a grant or contract with the
government. Felling trees, grazing cattle, removing forest products, quarrying, fishing,
and hunting are punishable with a fine or imprisonment. Although the Indian Forest Act
is a federal act, many states have enacted similar forest acts but with some

3. The Forest Conservation Act (1980)

In order to check rapid deforestation due to forestlands being released by state
governments for agriculture, industry and other development projects (allowed under
the Indian Forest Act) the federal government enacted the Forest Conservation Act in
1980 with an amendment in 1988. The Act made the prior approval of the federal
government necessary for de-reservation of reserved forests, logging and for use of
forestland for non- forest purposes.
This powerful legislation has, to a large extent, curtailed the indiscriminate logging and
release of forestland for non-forestry purposes by state governments. While the federal
government imposed such strict restrictions, it did not simultaneously evolve a
mechanism to compensate state governments for loss of timber logging revenues. This
anomaly coupled with increasing pressure for land due to a burgeoning population has
generated considerable resentment within state governments resulting in growing
pressure to dilute the restrictive provisions of the Act. The Supreme Court of India has
currently imposed a complete ban on the release of forestland for non-forestry activities
without the prior approval of the federal government.

4. The Environment (Protection) Act (1986) The Environment Protection Act is

an important legislation that provides for coordination of activities of the various
regulatory agencies, creation of authorities with adequate powers for environmental
protection, regulation of the discharge of environmental pollutants, handling of
hazardous substances, etc. The Act provided an opportunity to extend legal protection
to non-forest habitats (Ecologically Sensitive Areas) such as grasslands, wetlands and
coastal zones.

5. The Biological Diversity Act (2002) India is a party to the United Nations
Convention on Biological Diversity. The provisions of the Biological Diversity Act are in
addition to and not in derogation of the provisions in any other law relating to forests or

6. National Wildlife Action Plan (2002-2016) replaces the earlier Plan adopted
in 1983 and was introduced in response to the need for a change in priorities given the
increased commercial use of natural resources, continued growth of human and
livestock populations, and changes in consumption patterns.
The Plan most closely represents an actual policy on protection of wildlife. It focuses on
strengthening and enhancing the protected area network, on the conservation of
Endangered wildlife and their habitats, on controlling trade in wildlife products and on
research, education, and training.
The Plan endorses two new protected area categories: conservation reserves,
referring to corridors connecting protected areas, and community reserves, which will
allow greater participation of local communities in protected area management through
traditional or cultural conservation practices. These new categories of protected areas
are likely to bring in corridor areas under protection. The Plan contains various
recommendations to address the needs of local communities living outside protected
areas and outlines the need for voluntary relocation and rehabilitation of villages within
protected areas. The Plan recognizes the need to reduce human-wildlife conflict and
emphasizes the establishment of effective compensation mechanisms. It includes the
restoration of degraded habitats outside protected areas as a key objective.


National Forest Policy (1998) The National Forest Policy, 1988, (NFP) is

primarily concerned with the sustainable use and conservation of forests, and further
strengthens the Forest Conservation Act (1980). It marked a significant departure from
earlier forest policies, which gave primacy to meeting government interests and
industrial requirements for forest products at the expense of local subsistence
requirements. The NFP prioritizes the maintenance of ecological balance through the
conservation of biological diversity, soil and water management, increase of tree cover,
efficient use of forest produce, substitution of wood, and ensuring peoples involvement











requirements of rural communities as a major objective. The NFP legitimizes the

customary rights and concessions of communities living in and around forests, stating
that the domestic requirements of the rural poor should take precedence over industrial
and commercial demands for forest products.
As can be seen from this article, India has a strong set of laws, Acts and policies for the
protection of forests and wildlife. It is for citizens to study these carefully and apply
them appropriately while conducting conservation advocacy campaigns.

Wildlife conservation
in India,

safeguarding the
Posted By Dave and Deb 7 Comments India, Meaningful Travel


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Just picture a world drained of wildlife. Your first reaction may

be this is impossible or unimaginable, isnt it?

Tiger resting in a tree Bandhavgarh National Park, India

It is a shocking truth. Several animals and birds are standing on
the verge of destruction because of excessive poaching, illegal
trading, loss of habitat, pollution and deforestation. One of the
biggest challenges that the government, environmentalists and
private organizations are facing in India is to put a full stop on
the killing and trading of animals. The disturbing fact is that the
scientists have predicted if the concrete conservation methods
are not undertaken, then the next generation in India would be
only able to see the animals in their text books or movies.
However, as the famous idiom goes, it is better late than
never, the government of India, forest officials and many
wildlife conservation bodies are leaving no stone unturned to
safeguard the animals from extinction.
Read about Yala National Park in Sri Lanka, a great place
to see Leopards in Asia.


Why it is imperative to protect the wildlife in India? Well, it
cannot be debated that India is a storehouse of many animals
like the mighty Royal Bengal tigers, majestic Asiatic lions, huge
elephants, rare one-horned rhinos and birds. With plenty of
exotic animals to see, it becomes a duty of every citizen of
India besides the government to carve out various ways or
plans to protect wildlife, the integral heritage of India. Let us try
to gauge out certain dangers or reasons responsible for the
decreasing count of animals

The most vital reason largely responsible for the dwindling

wildlife count in India is illegal poaching and trading. Every
year, many innocent animals are killed by the greedy
poachers just to satisfy their lure for money. They slay down
the animals to trade their flesh, teeth, bone and skin in
exchange of for cash, gold and weapons.

In the western market, the demand for the products made

from their skin, fur or bone is very high. The horrifying fact
here is that the money involved in the black marketing of the
products is very high. The desire of making quick money in
short span of time drive poor and needy people to kill the

Many companies discharge harmful chemicals into the

rivers that the animals use for drinking. The deadly chemicals

poison the water that can prove fatal for the existence of
wildlife and most importantly aquatic animals.

A large part of the forest area is cleaned just to set up new

companies or homes. This act leads to loss of habitat for
animals. Sometimes, there have been instances when the
animals wandered into the cities or towns in search for food.
People get frightened after seeing the animals in their region
and kill them.


To arrest the rising threat of wildlife poaching and trading, the
government and various organizations have taken some
noteworthy steps to protect diverse species of animals. Some of
the popular measures taken are mentioned below:

Over the years, the government is making sure that there must
be a wildlife sanctuary or national park in almost every state of
India. Some of the parks or sanctuaries such as the Corbett
National Park, Kanha National Park and Sariska Wildlife
Sanctuary are pretty much big enough to accommodate several
species of animals. To prevent the poachers from entering the
parks, the concerned park authorities have taken several
actions which include fencing the park, regular patrolling and
setting up anti- poaching team undertaken by the forest
It is a hardcore truth that only few numbers of tigers are left in
India. Several tiger conservation efforts have been done to

contain their shrinking numbers and the most popular one is

the Project Tiger rolled out in the year 1973. The main aim
behind starting the project was to set up the tiger reserves in
several parts of the country where they can feel safe from the
poachers and increase their count by way of breeding.

The government is starting many campaigns in various parts to

India to educate the people about the importance of wildlife.
People are also being urged not to purchase the products such
as the clothes, shoes, belts and various other items made from
animal skin or fur. If there is no or low demand for the products,
then eventually the hunting of animals will be contained to
some extent.
The hunting and trading of animals are a growing menace that
needs to be controlled. If the animals are not protected, then it
can have a damaging effect on our earths ecosystem. Harsh
punishments must be given to the poachers for killing the
helpless animals. Every care must be taken to protect these
natural heritages of India so that they do not become a part of
Note from Deb and Dave: Anshul was persistant in getting
us to publish this article and we do believe that poaching and
loss of habitat is a real threat in India and the rest of the world.
We feel that the more we can raise awareness and get the
word out, the more people will stand up and start taking action.
To find out more about how you can help, visit these
The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, Natural Defence
Council, The Sierra Club has a great article breaking
down how money is spent by these organizations and more
at Top 10 Wildlife Conseration Organizations.


Add to bookmark

India has nearly 90,000 types of animals including over 350 mammals,
1,200 bird species and 50,000 plant species.
Many of these are only found on the subcontinent. These include the
Asian elephant, Bengal tiger, Asiatic lion, Indian rhinoceros and several
types of monkey.
There are also antelope, hyenas and jackals, and the increasingly endangered Indian wolf.

Male Asian Elephant

Asiatic lion

Indian rhinoceros

Lion-tailed Macaque

At last count, in 2008, there were only 1,411 Bengal tigers left in the wild. This is mainly because
of the destruction of their natural habitat and an exploding population. Project Tiger is trying to
conserve Indias national animal, which is the fastest mammal on earth.

Bengal Tiger

Each region in India has its own unique animals, birds and plants. In the deserts of Rajasthan
Indian gazelle and Asiatic wild assess roam. Monkeys swing from tree to tree in the tropical
forests. Shaggy yaks, blue sheep and musk deer scramble up the rocky Himalayan Mountains.

Macaque monkey

Himalayan Blue Sheep

Yaks in the Himalayas

Many different types of snake can be found in India. The most famous and feared is the the
King Cobra, it is very large and powerful. The Russell's Viper can also be found in India, it is
extremely poisonous.

Indian King Cobra

Russell's Viper

Did you know the national animal of India is the Tiger, its respected for its power and strength.

But there's only approximately 1000 tigers left in India today.

Pssst... Secret Facts

Click to unlock!

Tourism in India
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Taj Mahal in Agra is a popular destination

Famous Hall of Thousand Pillars at Meenakshi Amman Temple at Madurai

Rani ki vav in Gujarat aUNESCO World Heritage Site

A Vamana temple at Khajurahoa UNESCO World Heritage Site with its sculptural marvels

Kailasa Temple at Ellora aUNESCO World Heritage Site

Bactrian camel ride at Nubra Valley in Ladakh

Trimurti of Elephanta Caves aUNESCO World Heritage Site nearMumbai

Chaturbhuj Temple and other monuments at Orchha

Tourism in India is economically important and is growing rapidly. The World Travel & Tourism
Council calculated that tourism generated 8.31 lakh crore (US$120 billion) or 6.3% of the nation's
GDP in 2015 and supported 37.315 million jobs, 8.7% of its total employment. The sector is
predicted to grow at an average annual rate of 7.5% to18.36 lakh crore (US$270 billion) by 2025
(7.2% of GDP).[1] In October 2015, India's medical tourism sector was estimated to be worth US$3

billion. It is projected to grow to $78 billion by 2020. [2] In 2014, 184,298 foreign patients traveled to
India to seek medical treatment.[3]
About 8.02 million foreign tourists arrived in India in 2015 recording a growth rate of 4.4%, compared
to 7.68 million in 2014 with a growth rate of 10.2% over 2013.[4]Domestic tourist visits to all states
and Union Territories numbered 1,036.35 million in 2012, an increase of 16.5% from 2011.[5] In
2014, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh were the most popular states for tourists.
Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Agrahave been the four most visited cities of India by foreign tourists
during the year 2011. Worldwide, Chennai is ranked 38 by the number of foreign tourists, while
Mumbai is ranked at 50, Delhi at 52 and Agra at 66 and Kolkata at 99.[7]
The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015 ranks India 52nd out of 141 countries overall.
The report ranks the price competitiveness of India's tourism sector 8th out of 141 countries. It
mentions that India has quite good air transport (ranked 35th), particularly given the countrys stage
of development, and reasonable ground transport infrastructure (ranked 50th). The country also
scores high on natural and cultural resources (ranked 12th).[8] Some other aspects of its tourism
infrastructure remain somewhat underdeveloped however. The nation has very few hotel rooms per
capita by international comparison and low ATM penetration.[9] The World Tourism
Organization reported that India's receipts from tourism during 2012 ranked 16th in the world, and
7th among Asian and Pacific countries.[10]
The Ministry of Tourism designs national policies for the development and promotion of tourism. In
the process, the Ministry consults and collaborates with other stakeholders in the sector including
various Central Ministries/agencies, state governments, Union Territories and the representatives of
the private sector. Concerted efforts are being made to promote new forms of tourism such as rural,
cruise, medical and eco-tourism.[11] The Ministry also maintains the Incredible India campaign.

1Visa policy of India


1.1e-Tourist Visa

2.1Foreign tourist arrivals by year

2.2Foreign tourist arrivals by source country

2.3Foreign and domestic tourist visits by State

3World Heritage Sites

4Tourism by state and territory


4.1Andaman and Nicobar Islands

4.2Andhra Pradesh

4.3Arunachal Pradesh









4.12Himachal Pradesh

4.13Jammu and Kashmir




4.17Madhya Pradesh










4.27Tamil Nadu




4.31Uttar Pradesh

4.32West Bengal

5Outline of Tourism in India


7See also


9Further reading

10External links

Visa policy of India[edit]

Main article: Visa policy of India

Visa policy of India

Visa not required
e-Tourist Visa
Visa required

India requires citizens of most countries to have a valid passport and apply for a visa at their local
Indian embassy or consulate, before they travel. They can apply directly by mail or in person, or
through their local travel services company. India has recently implemented an online method for
citizens of 40 countries to apply and receive an e-Tourist Visa.[12]Nationals
of Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal do not require a visa. Citizens of Afghanistan, Argentina,
Bangladesh, DPR Korea, Jamaica, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Nepal, South Africa and Uruguay
are not required to pay a fee when obtaining Indian visa.[13]

A Protected Area Permit (PAP) is required to enter the states of Nagaland and Sikkim and some
parts of the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh,Jammu and
Kashmir, Manipur, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Uttaranchal. A Restricted Area Permit (RAP) is required
to enter theAndaman and Nicobar Islands and parts of Sikkim. Special permits are needed to
enter Lakshadweep Islands.[14]

e-Tourist Visa[edit]
In order to boost tourism numbers,[15] the Indian Government decided to implement a new visa policy,
allowing visitors to obtain a visa on arrival at 16 designated international airports by obtaining an
Electronic Travel Authorisation online before arrival without the need to visit an Indian consulate or
visa centre.[16] As a result of this, 56,477 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa during the month of October,
2015, as compared to 2,705 during the month of October, 2014 marking to a growth of 1987.9%.
During JanuaryOctober, 2015 a total of 2,58,182 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to
21,995 during JanuaryOctober, 2014 registering a growth of 1073.8%. [17]
The facility will be made available to citizens of about 180 countries in several phases. [18] On 27
November 2014, India introduced its visa on arrival enabled by ETA facility for tourists and business
visitors, to citizens of following countries Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Fiji,
Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Luxembourg, Marshall
Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue Island, Norway, Oman,
Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands,
South Korea, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vanuatu and Vietnam.[12] The facility was
extended to China, Macau and Hong Kong on 30 July 2015.[19] The facility was further extended to
citizens of Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Belgium, Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, East Timor,
Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Jamaica, Malta, Malaysia, Mongolia, Monaco, Mozambique, the
Netherlands, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Seychelles, Slovenia, Spain, Saint Lucia, Saint
Vincent and the Grenadines, Surinam, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Turks and Caicos Islands, the
United Kingdom, Uruguay and Venezuela on 15 August 2015.[20]
The visa on arrival requires a tourist to apply online on a secure Government of India website, at
least 4 to 30 days before the date of travel. If approved, the passenger must print and carry the
approved visa with the travel documents. The visa allows holders of Electronic Travel Authorisation
(ETA) to enter and stay anywhere in India for 30 days. The ETA can be obtained twice in a single
calendar year.[12] The visa on arrival facility is expected to be expanded to about 180 countries over
time. In April 2015 the scheme was renamed to e-Tourist Visa in order to avoid confusion. [21]

Foreign tourist arrivals by year[edit]
Foreign tourist arrivals in India (1997-2015)[22]

Foreign exchange earnings from tourism in India (1997-2014)[


Number (millions)

% change


Amount (US$ million)

% change

Amount ( crores)






































































































































Foreign tourist arrivals by source country[edit]

Source countries for foreign tourist arrivals in India in 2014[24]



United States


Share in %






United Kingdom



Sri Lanka
























Total of top 10

Other countries



Grand total



Foreign and domestic tourist visits by State[edit]

Share of top 10 states/UTs of India in number of foreign
tourist visits in 2014[24]


State/Union Territory


Share of top 10 states/UTs of India in number of dom

tourist visits in 2014[22]

Share in %


State/Union Territory


1 Tamil Nadu



1 Tamil Nadu


2 Maharashtra



2 Uttar Pradesh


3 Uttar Pradesh



3 Karnataka


4 Delhi



4 Maharashtra


5 Rajasthan



5 Andhra Pradesh


6 West Bengal



6 Telangana


7 Kerala



7 Madhya Pradesh


8 Bihar



8 West Bengal


9 Karnataka



9 Jharkhand




10 Rajasthan


10 Haryana


Total of top 10 states



Total of top 10 states












World Heritage Sites[edit]

Main article: List of World Heritage Sites in India

Hill Forts of Rajasthan

Taj Mahal
Fatehpur Sikri
Agra Fort
Kaziranga National Park
Manas Wildlife Sanctuary
Sanchi Stupa
Bhimbetka Rockshelters
Bodh Gaya
Humayun's Tomb
Qutub Minar
Red Fort
Churches and Convents of Goa
Keoladeo National Park
Ajanta Caves
Ellora Caves
Elephanta Caves
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
Chola Temples
Mountain Railways-Nilgiri
Mountain Railways-Darjeeling
Mountain Railways-Kalka-Shimla
Great Himalayan National Park
Sun Temple, Konrak
Jantar Mantar, Jaipur
Rani ki vav
Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks
Sundarbans National Park
Western Ghats(Nilgiri)
Western Ghats(Kerala)
Western Ghats(Sahyadri)
Western Ghats(Karnataka)

Location of World Heritage Sites within India (

Tourism by state and territory[edit]

Andaman and Nicobar Islands[edit]
Main article: Tourism in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Havelock Island.

Tourism is the major revenue generating industry in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. According to
official estimates, the flow of tourists in the Andamans was doubled to nearly 300,000 in 2012 from
130,000 in 2008-09. The Andamans is an archipelago of over 570 tropical islands, of which only 36
are inhabited.[25][26] Radhanagar beach at Havelock Island was bestowed with the title of Asias Best
Beach in 2004 by the TIME magazine. It is also listed as worlds 7th most spectacular beach in the
world onTime magazine list.[27][28] Barren Island which is about 135 km (84 mi) north-east of the
territory's capital, Port Blair, is the only confirmed active volcano in South Asia.[29] Historic Cellular
Jail in Port Blair was used by the British to exile political prisoners during the struggle for India's
independence to the remote archipelago. Presently, the jail complex serves as a national memorial

Historic Cellular Jail inPort Blair.

One view of Ross Island (Andaman).

Narcondam Island aVolcanic Islands.

Rutland Island inAndaman and Nicobar

Andhra Pradesh[edit]
Main article: Tourism in Andhra Pradesh

Amaravati Stupa, an important Buddhist site in South India, the antiquity of Amaravati dates back to 500 BCE.
The stupa was then adorned with limestone reliefs and free standing Buddha figures

A View of Tirumala Venkateswara Temple

Srikalahasti Temple

Rushikonda beach, Visakhapatnam

Rock-cut Buddha Statue at Bojjanakonda, Visakhapatnam district

Ethipothala Water Falls

Belum Caves, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh

Araku Valley, Eastern Ghats, Visakhapatnam

A study in 2014 published by The Economic Times said that undivided Andhra Pradeshhad emerged
as the "most-preferred" tourist destination for domestic travellers with about 20 per cent share in the
total domestic tourist visits across India in 2012. Andhra Pradesh crossed mark of 200 million
tourists in 2012 from 110 million tourists in 2006.[31] The state of Andhra Pradesh comprises like
scenic hills, forests, beaches and temples.
Andhra Pradesh is the home of many religious pilgrim centres:

Tirupati, the abode of Lord Venkateswara, is the second richest and most visited religious
centre (of any faith) in the world.

Srisailam, the abode of Sri Mallikarjuna, is one of twelve Jyothiralingas in India. Amaravathi's
Siva temple is one of the Pancharamams, Vemulavada temple, one of the old abodes of Lord
Shiva, reputed as Dakshina Kashi Benaras of South India.

Kanaka Durga Temple of goddess Durga is situated on the Indrakeeladri Hill in the city
of Vijayawada on the banks of Krishna River. A large number of pilgrims attend the colourful
celebrations of Tepotsavam and for holy dip in the Krishna river during the festival of Dusshera.[32]

Mallikarjuna Swamy temple situated at Srisailam in the Nallamala Hills of Kurnool district,[33] is
the abode of lord Mallikarjuna Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingashrines in India. Lord
Rama himself installed the Sahasralinga, while the Pandavaslodged the Panchapandava lingas
in the temple courtyard. The Vijayanagara Empire built number of monuments, including the
Srisailam and Lepakshi temples.

The five ancient Hindu temples of Lord Shiva, known as Pancharama Kshetras, are located
at Amararama, Draksharama, Somarama, Ksheerarama and Kumararama. Other religious
places include, Srikalahasti temple in Chittoor district, Raghavendra Swami Mutt
in Mantralayam of Kurnool district, Lord Venkateswara temple inDwaraka Tirumala of West
Godavari District, Annavaram temple in East Godavariand Arasavalli Surya temple
in Srikakulam District etc., are also religious places for divine worships in the state.

Famous Buddhist centres:

Amaravathi Guntur District

Nagarjuna Konda Guntur District

Bhattiprolu Guntur District

Ghantasala Krishna District

Sankaram Visakhapatnam District

Bavikonda Visakhapatnam District

Thotlakonda Visakhapatnam District

Ramatheertham Vizianagaram District

Salihundam Srikakulam District

Lingapalem West Godavari District

Others are Pavurallakonda, Chandavaram, Guntupalli, Adurru, Kummarilova, Kotturu Dhanadibbalu,

Karukonda, kapavaram, Nandalur
Pilgrim centres and temples:

Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple The abode of Lord Venkateswara, is the richest and most
visited religious centre (of any faith) in the world situated in Tirupathi City

Kanaka Durga Temple One of the Shakti Peetam's situated in Vijayawada City

Sri Mallikarjuna Temple One of the Jyothirlingam's situated in Srisailam Town

Sri Kalahastishwara Temple Situated at Srikalahasti Town

Srikurmam Temple of Lord Vishnu in Kurma Avataram also near Srikakulam on the Shore
of Bay of Bengal


Araku Valley Known as Andhra Ooty near to Vizag City

Borra Caves caves formed 1 million years ago situated near to Vizag City; belongs to

Thimmamma Marrimanu The world's largest banyan tree, and "Marrimanu" was recorded
as the biggest tree in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1989. Its branches spread over
nearly 5 acres (2.1 ha). Located about 35 km from Kadiri, and 100 km from Anantapur.

Lepakshi this is the largest monolithic Nandi (a bull, the mount of Shiva) in the world,
(length 27 feet, height 15 feet), It is 15 km (9.3 mi) east of Hindupur, and 105 km from
Anantapur, and about 120 km (75 mi) north of Bangalore.

Prakasam Barrage A famous bridge which was constructed by the British Government in
the remembrance of Tanguturi Prakasam, is the best tourist spot to visit in Vijayawada

Kolleru Lake A famous lake situated between Krishna and West Godavari District.

Pulicat Lake is located at the border of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, Pulicat Lake covers
an area of 500 km2. It is a brackish water lagoon, the second largest in India, and is situated
along the coast of Bay of Bengal. The lake encompasses the Pulicat Lake Bird
Sanctuary attracts many migratory birds and also is a feeding and nesting ground for aquatic
and terrestrial birds such as flamigoes, pelicans etc.

The Borra Caves in the Anatagiri Hills of the Eastern Ghats, near Visakhapatnamat an
altitude of about 800 to 1300 metres are famous for million-year-old stalactite and stalagmite
formations. They were discovered by British geologist William King George in 1807. The caves
got the name from a formation inside the caves that looks like the human brain, which in Telugu
language is known asburra.

The Belum Caves in Kurnool District have a length of 3,229 metres (10,594 ft), making them
the second largest natural caves on the Indian subcontinent. The Belum Caves derive their
name fromBilum, the Sanskrit word for caves. The caves have long passages, spacious
chambers, freshwater galleries, and siphons. The caves deepest point is 120 feet (37 m) from
the entrance and is known as Patalganaga.

The golden beaches at Visakhapatnam, the one-million-year-old limestone caves at Borra,

picturesque Araku Valley, hill resorts of Horsley Hills, river Godavari racing through a narrow gorge at
Papi Kondalu, waterfalls at Ettipotala, Kuntala and rich bio-diversity at Talakona, are some of the
natural attractions of the state. Visakhapatnam is home to many tourist attractions such as the INS
Karasura Submarine museum, Yarada Beach, Araku Valley, VUDA Park, Indira Gandhi Zoological
Gardens. The weather in Andhra Pradesh is mostly tropical and the best time to visit is in November
through to January. The monsoon season commences in June and ends in September, so travel
would not be advisable during this period. Rajahmundry is the hub for great Engineering and

Architectural monuments such as Godavari Bridge (Asia's second largest Road cum Railway
Bridge), Papi Hills, Iskon Temple, Tantikonda, Sir Arthur Cotton Museum, Pushkar Ghat, Gowthami
Ghat. A unique festival called Pushkaram will be celebrated along the Godavari river for every
12 years and Rajahmundry attracts 4-5 crore people during the tenure of the festival.

Arunachal Pradesh[edit]
Main article: Tourism in North East India

Tawang Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh

Sela Pass in Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh finds mention in the literature of Kalika Purana and Mahabharata. This place is
supposed to be the Prabhu Mountains of the Puranas. It was here that sage Parashuram washed
away his sin, sage Vyasa meditated, King Bhishmaka founded his kingdom and Lord Krishna
married his consort Rukmini. The widely scattered archaeological remains at different places in
Arunachal bears testimony to its rich cultural heritage. Arunachal Pradesh, a serene land tucked into
the north eastern tip of India, invites you to relax in its picturesque hills and valleys, enjoy its
salubrious climate and meet its simple and hospitable people, with their glorious heritage of arts and
crafts and colourful festivals that reflect their ancient faith in the inexorable power of nature.
The visitor has a wide variety of options to pick from. There are places of worship and pilgrimage
such as the Parasuramkund and the 400-year-old Tawang Monastery, or the sites of archaeological
excavations like Malinithan and Itanagar, the serene beauty of lakes such as Ganga lake or Sela
lake or the numerous variations of scenic beauty of the snow clad silver mountain peaks and lush
green meadows where thousands of species of flora and fauna prosper. In addition, the state
provides abundant scope for angling, boating, rafting, trekking and hiking. Besides, there are a
number of wild life sanctuaries and national parks where rare animals, birds and plants will fascinate
the visitor.
Nature has provided the people with a deep sense of beauty which finds delightful expression in
their songs, dances and crafts. The climate varies from hot and humid to heavy rainfall in the
Shivalik range. It becomes progressively cold as one moves northwards to higher altitudes. Trees of
great size, plentiful climbers and abundance of cane and bamboo make Arunachal evergreen.
Arunachal Pradesh is considered to be the "nature's treasure trove"and home to orchids, known for

their exquisitely beautiful blooms, from one of the dominant taxa with more than six hundred species,
occurring in varying elevations and climatic conditions throughout the state.

Main articles: Tourism in Assam and Tourism in North East India

An Indian rhinoceros grazing at theKaziranga National Park a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Assam is the central state in the North-East Region of India and serves as the gateway to the rest of
the Seven Sister States. Assam boasts of famous wildlife preserves the Kaziranga National Park,
which is home to the great Indian one-horned rhinoceros, the Manas National Park, Dibru-Saikhowa
National Park, Nameri National Park and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary (These first two parks
are UNESCO World Heritage Site); the largest river island Majuli, known for its Vaishnavite Sattras;
historic Sivasagar, famous for the ancient monuments of Ahom Kingdom; the city of eternal
romance, Tezpur and the scenic tea-estates dating back to time of British Raj. The weather is mostly
sub-tropical. Assam experiences the Indian monsoon and has one of the highest forest densities in
India. The winter months (October end half to first half of April) are the best time to visit. The heritage
of Madan Kamdev is same as Khajuraho which is located just 30 km away from Guwahati. Along
with the Madan Kamdev tourist can visit very ancient temple Gopeswar Mandir situated in a
village Deuduar near to Guwahati. Basudev Than is a more than 300 years old Satra in Assam.
Assam has a rich cultural heritage going back to the Ahom Kingdom, which governed the region for
many centuries before the British occupation. Other notable features include the Brahmaputra River,
the mystery of the bird suicides in Jatinga, numerous temples including Kamakhya
Temple of Tantric sect. 'Gurdwara Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur also known as Damdama Sahib at
Dhubri' This famous Gurudwara is situated in the heart of the Dhubri Town on the bank of the
mighty Brahmaputra river in far north-east India. Guru Teg Bahadur the holy Sikh Guru visited this
place in 1505 and met Srimanta Sankardeva (the founder of the Mahapuruxiya Dharma) as the Guru
travelled from Dhaka to Assam, ruins of palaces, etc.Guwahati, the capital city of Assam, boasts
many bazaars, temples, and wildlife sanctuaries. The government took many initiatives to promote
tourism in Assam

Main articles: Tourism in Bihar and Tourism in Patna

Mahabodhi Temple is aUNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bihar is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world with history of 3000 years. The
rich culture and heritage of Bihar is evident from the innumerableancient monuments that are dotted
all over this state in eastern India. This is the place of Aryabhata, Great
Ashoka, Chanakya, Mahavira, Guru Gobind Singh, Chandragupta Maurya, Vtsyyana, Sher Shah
Suri and many other great historical figures.
On an average, 20 million domestic tourists and 1 million foreign tourists visits Bihar annually.[34]

Patna The capital of Bihar, famous for its rich history and royal architecture

Gaya Known for Bodh Gaya the place at which Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment

Muzaffarpur Famous for its education

Kesariya Location of the world's largest Buddhist Stupa

Nalanda Location of one of the world's oldest university

Sasaram Tomb of Sher Shah Suri, the great emperor of medieval India

Sonepur Cattle Fair The Sonepur cattle fair or Sonepur Mela, it is the biggest cattle fair of
Asia and stretches on from fifteen days to one month

Takht Sri Patna Sahib One of the famous Sikh pilgrimage known for the birthplace of Sikh's
Tenth Guru Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib

Statue of Lord Vasupujya, Champapur

Darbhanga It is among the oldest cities of Bihar. Famous for the Maharaja forts and Kali

Munger Home to the only Yoga University in the world, Bihar School of Yoga. Religious
places such as Shakti Peethas.

Deoghar One of the famous Hindu pilgrimage known for the Satsang Ashram of Sri
SriThakur Anukul Chandra situated at Satsang Nagar

Vaishali Lord Mahavir was born on the outskirts of this ancient city, and lived in Vaishali till
he was 22

Champapuri- It is the one of the most sacred places of Jainism. Lord Vasupujya, the 12th
Jain Tirthankara was born in Champapuri and it is the place where all the five kalyanaks of Lord
Vasupujya took place. Location of 31 feet monolitihic statue, the tallest statue of Lord Vasupujya.

Pawapuri - Mahavira, the last of the twenty-four Tirthankara attained Nirvana or moksha
(liberation). He was cremated at Pawapuri. There was a great rush to collect his ashes, with the
result that so much soil was removed from the place of his cremation that a pond was created. [35]


Sukhna Lake inChandigarh

Chandigarh is a city located on the foothills of Himalayas and is the capital of two states
Punjab and Haryana. Chandigarh is also called the The City Beautiful with various tourist attractions
like Nek Chand Rock Garden, Zakir Hussain Rose Garden, Sukhna lake, Open Hand Monument etc.
This place was recorded as the Cleanest city of India by Ministry of Urban

Development, Government of India. A majestic view of the Shivalik Hills including Kasauli is visible
from here.

Chitrakot Waterfalls is the broadest waterfall in India and also referred as 'Niagara Falls of India' are located
in Chhattisgarh

Main article: Tourism in Chhattisgarh
Chhattisgarh is a new state but with an ancient civilisation, which can be felt by visiting the historical
remains in the state. The state is blessed by nature with magnificent water falls, mountains, forests
and wildlife. The Green State of Chhattisgarh has 41.33% of its area under forests and is one of the
richest bio-diversity areas in the country. There are many tourist attractions worth seeing.
Main attractions of Chhattisgarh are Chitrakot Waterfalls, Kutumsar Caves, Ramgarh and Sita
Bengra, Bhoramdeo temple, Sirpur, Rajim, Ratanpur and Malhar. Kakotal is also famous for its
beautiful waterfall.


Qutb Minar in Delhi

Main article: Tourism in Delhi

Delhi is the capital union territory of India. A fine blend of old and new, ancient and modern, Delhi is
a melting pot of cultures and religions.Old Delhi has been the capital of numerousempires that ruled
India, making it rich in history. New Delhi, on the other hand, is a modern city designed by Edwin
Lutyens and Herbert Baker. The different rulers left behind their trademark architectural styles. Delhi
currently has many renowned historic monuments and landmarks such as the Tughlaqabad
fort, Qutub Minar, Purana Quila, Lodhi Gardens, Jama Masjid,Humayun's tomb, Red Fort,
and Safdarjung's Tomb. Modern monuments include Jantar Mantar,India Gate, Rashtrapati
Bhavan, Laxminarayan Temple, Lotus temple and Akshardham Temple.
New Delhi is famous for its British colonial architecture, wide roads, and tree-lined boulevards. Delhi
is home to numerous political landmarks, national museums, Islamic shrines, Hindu temples, green
parks, and trendy malls.

Red Fort

India Gate

Akshardham Temple

Rashtrapati Bhavan

Lotus Temple



Main article: Tourism in Goa

Goa is one of the most famous tourist destinations in India. A former colony ofPortugal, Goa is
famous for its excellent beaches, Portuguese churches, Hindutemples, and wildlife sanctuaries.
The Basilica of Bom Jesus, Mangueshi Temple,Dudhsagar Falls, and Shantadurga are famous
attractions in Goa. Recently a Wax Museum (Wax World) has also opened in Old Goa housing a
number of wax personalities of Indian history, culture and heritage.
The Goa Carnival is a world famous event, with colourful masks and floats, drums and reverberating
music, and dance performances.

Main article: Tourism in Gujarat

The Palitana temple complexconsists of more than 863 temples located on the Shatrunjaya hills, exquisitely
carved in marble.

Gujarat, the seventh largest state in India, located in the western part of India with a coastline of
1600 km (longest in India). It is the tenth most popular state in the country for tourists with annual
footfall of 18.9 million tourists.[36] Gujarat offers scenic beauty from Great Rann of Kutch to the hills
of Saputara. Gujarat is the sole home of the pure Asiatic lions and is considered to be one of the
most importantprotected areas in Asia. Ancient Dholavira, archaeological site in Kutch
District andLothal,[37] archaeological site in Ahmedabad district contains ruins of ancient Indus Valley
Civilization city, ruins of Dholavira is one of the largest Harappanarchaeological sites.[38]
During the Sultanate reign, Hindu craftsmanship mix with Islamic architecture, giving rise to the IndoSaracenic style. Many structures in the state are built in this fashion. It is also the birthplace
of Mahatma Gandhi & Sardar Vallabhai Patel, the great iconic figures during India's Independence

movement. Gujarat offers many types of tourism like Business Tourism, Archeological & Heritage
Tourism, Cultural Tourism, Religious Tourism, Wildlife Tourism, Medical Tourism and much
more. Amitabh Bachchan is currently the brand ambassador of Gujarat Tourism. Ahmedabad is
considered an ideal hub to cover all the destinations across Gujarat.

Kirti Mandir, Porbandar, birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi

Dwarkadhish Temple inDwarka

Somnath Temple inGujarat

Laxmi Vilas Palace inVadodara

Dholavira, archaeological site contains ruins of an ancient Indus Valley Civilization city

Asiatic lions are found only in Gir Forest National Park

Main article: Tourism in Haryana
The pilgrim places of Haryana are thronged by devotees all over the year, who visit the important
religious places to seek divine blessings and eternal happiness.
The state of Haryana has a long historical and cultural tradition which is manifested in the numerous
religious places which fills the tourist with an intense sense of satisfaction. Some of the notable
"Pilgrim Destinations" of Haryana are:

Lord Krishna and Arjuna

Kurukshetra- The historical place of "Kurukshetra" is the cradle of Hindu civilisation. The fierce battle
field of the holy land of "Kurukhshetra" is a witness to the discourse between the mighty and valiant
ruler "Arjuna" and his divine charioteer "Lord Krishna".
Jyotisar- The ancient place of "Jyotisar" is the nurturing ground of the values and principles that
guide the oldest religion of the world, the "Hindu" religion. The significance of the place lies in the
fact that the holy religious text of the "Hindus", the "Bhagwad Gita" was complied in this sacred place
Thanesar- The sacred place of "Thanesar" has two important religious temples of the "Sthanesvar
Mahadev Temple" and the "Ma Bhadra Kali Temple" that draws several devotees throughout the year
Pehowa- The holy land of "Pehowa" is an important religious place among the Hindus, who pray to
the deceased member of their family and offer "Pind Daan" to release them from the cycle of birth
and rebirth
Khatushyam The holy place from the time of Mahabharata.
Panchkula- The beautiful place of Panchkula offers the tourist with numerous places of religious and
historical importance, including "Morni hills" and "Tikkar Taal".
Dhosi Hill A hill near Narnaul, having Vedic period Rishi, Chaywan's Ashram. Famous for
preparation of Chyawanprash, and other herbal preparations.

Himachal Pradesh[edit]

Main article: Tourism in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh is famous for its Himalayan landscapes and popular hill-stations. Many outdoor
activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking, paragliding, ice-skating, and heli-skiing are popular
tourist attractions in Himachal Pradesh.[39]
Shimla, the state capital, is very popular among tourists. The Kalka-Shimla Railway is a Mountain
railway which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Shimla is also a famous skiing attraction in India.
Other popular hill stations include Manali and Kasauli.
Dharamshala, home of the Dalai Lama, is known for its Tibetan monasteries and Buddhist temples.
Many trekking expeditions also begin here.
The Ridge is a large and open road in Shimla which is centre for most of cultural activities of Shimla.

KalkaShimla Railway is a mounatain railway in Himachal Pradesh.

The Ridge, Shimla

Skiing in Manali

Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh

Jammu and Kashmir[edit]

Main article: Tourism in Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu & Kashmir is known for its scenic landscape

Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state of India. Jammu is noted for its scenic landscape,
ancient temples and mosques, Hindu and Muslim shrines, castles, gardens and forts. The Hindu
holy shrines of Amarnath in Kashmir Valley attracts about .4 million Hindu devotees every
year. Vaishno Devi also attract millions of Hindu devotees every year. Jammu's historic monuments
feature a unique blend of Islamic and Hindu architecture styles.
Tourism forms an integral part of the Kashmiri economy. Often dubbed "Paradise on Earth",
Kashmir's mountainous landscape has attracted tourists for centuries. Notable places are Dal
Lake, Srinagar Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Yeusmarg and Mughal Gardens etc. Kashmir's natural
landscape has made it one of the popular destinations for adventure tourism in South Asia.
In recent years, Ladakh has emerged as a major hub for adventure tourism. This part of Greater
Himalaya called "moon on earth" consists of naked peaks and deep gorges. Leh, the capital, is also
a growing tourist spot.

Tso Moriri Lake, Ladakh

Gulmarg Gondola- The second highest cable car in the world

Main article: Tourism in Jharkhand
Jharkhand is the eastern state of India formed in 2000. It is known for its forest cover and mine
reserves. One of the biggest tourist attraction in Jharkhand is Vaidyanath jyotirlinga situated in
Deoghar district.

Shikarji temple at pararnath (Giridih) is known for its serene beauty.

Denesly covered in forest, the state has many wildlife sanctuaries including Topchanchi wildlife
sanctuary[40] and Palamu wildlife sanctuary.[41]

Main article: Tourism in Karnataka
Karnataka has been ranked as fourth most popular destination for tourism among states of India. [42] It
has the highest number of national protected monuments in India, at 507.
Kannada dynasties like Kadambas, Western
Gangas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Hoysalas, Vijayanagaras and the Kingdom of Mysore ruled from
what is today Karnataka.[43][44] They built great monuments to Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism.
These monuments are preserved
at Badami, Aihole, Pattadakal, Mahakuta, Hampi, Lakshmeshwar, Sudi, Hooli, Mahadeva Temple
(Itagi), Dambal, Lakkundi, Gadag, Hangal, Halasi, Galaganatha, Chaudayyadanapura, Banavasi, Bel
ur, Halebidu, Sringeri,Shravanabelagola, Sannati, Nanjangud, Mysore, Nandi
Hills, Kolar, Mudabidri, Gokarna, Bagali, Kuruvatti and many more. Notable Islamic monuments are
present at Bijapur, Bidar, Gulbarga, Raichur and other part of the state. Gol Gumbaz atBijapur, has
the second largest pre-modern dome in the world after the Byzantine Hagia Sophia. Karnataka has
two World heritage sites, at Hampi and Pattadakal.Bellary one of the historical place, we can see the
forts which were built by the greatTipu Sultan for protection.
Karnataka state has several palaces such as Bangalore Palace, Mysore Palace (also known
as Ambavilas Palace), Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace, Nalknad Palace, Rajendra Vilas, Jaganmohan
Palace, Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion, Lalitha Mahal,Rajendra Vilas, Cheluvamba Mansion, Shivappa
Nayaka Palace and Daria Daulat Bagh. Karnataka is famous for Jog falls ofShimoga District is
second highest waterfalls in Asia. Karnataka has many beaches at Malpe, Kaup,
Marvanthe, Karwar,Gokarna, Murdeshwara, Surathkal. Karnataka is a rock climbers
paradise. Yana in Uttara Kannada, Fort in Chitradurga, Ramnagara
near Bengaluru district, Shivagange in Tumkur district and tekal in Kolar district are a rock climbers
heaven.[45]Utsav Rock Garden in Shiggaon, Uttar Kannada.

Shola Grasslands in Kudremukh, Karnataka.

Hill stations in Karnataka are generally unexplored and more pristine than better known ones in
South India. Major hill stations in the state are Agumbeand Kodachadri in Shimoga District; Baba
Budangiri, Kemmangundi,Kudremukh in Chikkamagaluru District; Biligiriranga
Hills in Chamarajanagar District and Kodagu district (also known as Coorg).[46] Other hilly town and
regions are Mullayanagiri, Pushpagiri(or Kumara Parvatha), Nandi Hills,Chikkaballapur
district, Kundadri, Tadiandamol, Talakaveri, Male Mahadeshwara Hills, Himavad Gopalaswamy
Betta, Ambaragudda, Antara Gange, Savandurga, Kurinja, Yedakumeri, Siddara Betta, Bananthimari
Betta,Skandagiri, Devarayanadurga and Madhugiri.

Wildlife Sanctuaries & National Parks Karnataka has several wildlife sanctuaries and national
parks such as, Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, Dandeli;Ghataprabha Bird Sanctuary; Daroji Sloth Bear
Sanctuary; Peacock sanctuary in Bankapura; Ranebennur blackbucksanctuary, Haveri district; Deva
Raya Wildlife Sanctuary, near Hampi; Attiveri Bird Sanctuary, near Hubli-Dharwad, Uttara
Kannada; Anshi National Park, Uttara Kannada; Magadi Bird Sanctuary, Shirahatti; Bhimgad Wildlife
Sanctuary;[47]Adichunchanagiri Wildlife Sanctuary;[48] Arabithittu Wildlife Sanctuary ;[49] Biligiriranga
Swamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary;Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary; Brahmagiri Wildlife
Sanctuary; Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary; Melukote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary ;[50] in Mandya district;
Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary; Nugu Wildlife Sanctuary; Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary;Sharavathi
Valley Wildlife Sanctuary; Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary; Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary; Talakaveri
Wildlife Sanctuary; Gudavi Bird Sanctuary; Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary; Kaggaladu Heronry;
Kokkare Bellur; Bankapura Peacock Sanctuary and Bonal Bird Sanctuary

Vijayanagara, aUNESCO World Heritage Site

Hampi, a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site

Gol Gumbaz in Bijapur

Mysore Palace

Bangalore Palace


Kerala, nicknamed as "God's own country," is famous for its houseboats.

Main article: Tourism in Kerala

Kerala is a state on the tropical Malabar Coast of south-western India. Nicknamed as one of the "10
paradises of the world" by National Geographic,[51] Kerala is famous especially for its Ecotourism initiatives. Its unique culture and traditions, coupled with its varied demography, has made it
one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Growing at a rate of 13.31%, the tourism
industry significantly contributes to the state's economy. Kerala is known for its tropical backwaters
and pristine beaches such as Kovalam.

Munnar Hillscape

From the green scapes of Idukki to buzzing city of Kochi Kerala has its vivid collection of tourist
spots. Popular attractions in the state include the beaches at Kovalam, Kappad, Muzhuppilangad,
Cherai and Varkala; the hill stations of Munnar, Thekkady,Ramakkalmedu Nelliampathi, Ponmudi
andWayanad; forts like the Bekal Fort inKanhangad and St. Angelo's Fort in Kannurand the National
Parks/ Wildlife sanctuaries at Periyar and Eravikulam. The "backwaters" regionan extensive
network of interlocking rivers, lakes, and canals that centre on Alleppey, Kumarakom, and
Punnamada also see heavy tourist traffic. Heritage sites, such as the Hill Palace, Mattancherry
Palace are also famous. Cities such asQuilon, Cochin, Trichur, Calicut and Trivandrum are popular
centres for shopping and traditional theatrical performance. The Grand Kerala Shopping
Festival (GKSF) claimed to be Asia's largest shopping festival was started in the year 2007. [52]Since
then it has become an annual shopping event being conducted in the DecemberJanuary period.
During this period stores and shops registered under the GKSF offer wide range of discounts, vat
refunds etc. Along with the guaranteed shopping experience, shoppers are provided with gift
coupons for a fixed worth of purchase entering them into weekly and mega lucky draws. As
compared to shopping festivals being held in other countries, this Festival converts the entire state of
Kerala into a giant shopping mall, incorporating not just the big players, but also the small and
medium scale industries. The state's tourism agenda promotes ecologically sustained tourism, which
focuses on the local culture, wilderness adventures, volunteering and personal growth of the local
population. Efforts are taken to minimise the adverse effects of traditional tourism on the natural
environment, and enhance the cultural integrity of local people.

Madhya Pradesh[edit]

The massive Bhedaghat Falls

Main article: Tourism in Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh is called the "Heart of India" because of its location in the centre of the country. It
has been home to the cultural heritage of Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism,Sikhism and Jainism.
Innumerable monuments, exquisitely carved temples, stupas, forts and palaces are dotted all over
the state.
The temples of Khajuraho are world-famous for their erotic sculptures, and are aUNESCO World
Heritage Site. Gwalior is famous for its fort, Jai Vilas Palace, the Tomb of Rani Lakshmibai, Md.
Ghaus & Tansen.
Madhya Pradesh is also known as Tiger State because of the tiger population. Famous national
parks like Kanha National Park, Bandhavgadh, Madhav National Park, Shivpuri, Pench are located
in Madhya Pradesh. Kuno Palpur national park is getting African cheetas and is expected to become
only reserve having four species of big cats (lion, tiger, leopord and cheetah). Spectacular mountain
ranges, meandering rivers and miles and miles of dense forests offering a unique and exciting
panorama of wildlife in sylvan surroundings. Madhya pradesh is very much known for Narmada river,
is the oldest known holiest and worshiped as a river goddess in Hindu religion. Narmada originates
from Amarkantak, a wild reserve is known for its natural beauty, and it is a pilgrimage centre for
Hindus. Another great tourist destination is Bhedaghat Falls in Jabalpur. The river Narmada takes
the form of massive falls here. The place is surrounded by marble of various colours. The sight is a
visual treat in itself. The prime attraction includes boating in the river with amusing commentary by
the rower.

Places of attraction are,

Wildlife Kanha National Park,[53] Bandhavgarh National Park(website), Pench Tiger Reserve
Heritage Khajuraho Temple Group, Orchha, Bhimbetka Rock Shelters Caves[54]
Worship UjjainUjjain,[55][56] Omkareshwar, Maheshwar, Maihar, Sanchi
Water Bodies / Lakes/ Dams Bhojtal "Upper Lake- Bhopal", Gandhi Sagar Dam, Indirasagar Dam,
Pipliyapala,[57] Tawa Reservoir, Bhedaghat

Sanchi Stupa

Orchha Palace

Gwalior Fort in Gwaliorcity

Khajuraho Group of Monuments

Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site

Ancient temples ofAmarkantak

Marble Cliffs near the city of Jabalpur

Bandhavgarh National Park have highest known density of the tiger population


Mumbai is the most popular cosmopolitan city in India, famous for its architecture, shopping, gastronomy,
and Bollywood. Maharashtra accounts for largest foreign tourists arrivals in India. [42]

Main article: Tourism in Maharashtra

See also: Tourist Attractions in Mumbai
See also: Tourism in Marathwada and Tourist attractions in Aurangabad, Maharashtra

Maharashtra is one of the most visited state in India by foreign tourists, [42] with over 4.3 million foreign
tourist arrivals in 2014. Maharashtra boasts of a large number of popular and revered religious
venues that are heavily frequented by locals as well as out-of-state visitors. Aurangabad is the
tourism capital of Maharashtra.[58][59]

The 6th-century paintings at theAjanta Caves in Aurangabad, Maharashtra

Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves, Elephanta Caves and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus are the
four UNESCO World Heritage sites in Maharashtra and are highly responsible for the development
of Tourism in the state.[60]
Mumbai is the most popular cosmopolitan city in India, and a great place to experience modern
India. Mumbai is famous for Bollywood, the world's largest film industry. In addition, Mumbai is
famous for its clubs, shopping, and upscale gastronomy. The city is known for its architecture, from
the ancient Elephanta Caves, to the Islamic Haji Ali Mosque, to the colonial architecture of Bombay
High Court and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. Maharashtra also has numerous adventure tourism
destinations, including paragliding, rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking,snorkelling, and scuba diving.
Maharashtra also has several pristine national parks and reserves, some of the best ones are
Tadoba with excellent accommodation and safari experiences besides little known by amazing
wildlife destinations like Koyna, Nagzira (very small with incredible sightings), Melghat (disturbed
with massive mining truck movement), Dajipur, Radhanagari and of course the only national park
within metropolis city limits in the world Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The Bibi Ka
Maqbara at Aurangabad the Mahalakshmi temple at Kolhapur, the cities of Nashik,Trimbak famous
for religious importance and the city of Pune the seat of theMaratha Empire and the
fantastic Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations together contribute for the Tourism sector of Maharashtra.
Mangi Tungi in Nashik is a very important pilgrimage of the Jain community. The 108 ft tall Statue of
Ahimsa at Mangi Tungi, the tallest Jain Statue in the world is attracting Jain devotees from around
the world. This statue holds the Guinness world record for the tallest Jain Idol. [61]

Main article: Tourism in North East India

Loktak lake

Manipur as the name suggest is a land of jewels. Its rich culture excels in every aspects as in martial
arts, dance, theatre and sculpture. The charm of the place is the greenery with the moderate climate
making it a tourists' heaven. The beautiful and seasonal Shirui lily at Ukhrul district, sangai (brow
antlered deer) and thefloating islands at Loktak Lake are few of the rare things found in
Manipur. Polo, which can be called a royal game, also originated from Manipur. Some of the main
tourist attractions are:

Imphal (Capital)


Keibul Lamjao National Park

War cemeteries

Loktak Lake


Main article: Tourism in North East India

Nohkalikai Falls

Meghalaya has some of the thickest surviving forests in the country. Therefore, constitutes one of
the most important ecotourism circuits in the country today. The Meghalayan subtropical forests
support a vast variety of flora and fauna. Meghalaya has 2 national parks and 3 wildlife sanctuaries.
Meghalaya, also offers many adventure tourism opportunities in the form of mountaineering, rock
climbing, trekking and hiking, water sports etc. The state offers several trekking routes some of
which also afford an opportunity to encounter some rare animals such as the slow loris, assorted

deer and bear. The Umiam Lake has a water sports complex with facilities such as rowboats,
paddleboats, sailing boats, cruise-boats, water-scooters and speedboats.
Cherrapunjee is one of the most popular tourist spots in North East of India. It lies to the south of the
capital Shillong. The town is very well known and needs little publicity. A rather scenic, 50 kilometre
long road, connects Cherrapunjee with Shillong.
The popular waterfalls in the state are the Elephant Falls, Shadthum Falls, Weinia falls, Bishop Falls,
Nohkalikai Falls,Langshiang Falls and Sweet Falls. The hot springs at Jakrem near Mawsynram are
believed to have curative and medicinal properties. It is a very good place to visit.

Main article: Tourism in North East India
See also: Tourism in Mizoram
Mizoram is considered by many as a beautiful place due to its dramatic landscape and pleasant
climate. The state is rich in bird diversity, which has the potential to make it a
major birdwatching destination.[62] Mizoram is a stronghold for Mrs. Hume's pheasant (Syrmaticus
humiae).[63] There is also a rare record of the wild water buffalo from the state.[64] There have been
several past records of sightings of the Sumatran rhinoceros from Mizoram, and Lushai hills.[65] A
small population of wild elephants can be seen in Ngengpui and Dampa Sanctuaries.[66] Other
interesting sites are Mizo Poets' Square also known as Mizo Hlakungpui Mual in Mizo and the
Great Megaliths locally known as 'Kawtchhuah Ropui'. Pu Ziona, who lives in Baktawng near Aizawl,
also has lot of visitors due to his fame as having the largest Family in the World. [67]

A panorama of Aizawl taken from Zemabawk.


Konark Sun Temple built by theEastern Ganga dynasty is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Chilka Lake

Main article: Tourism in Odisha

Odisha has been a preferred destination from ancient days for people who have an interest in
spirituality, religion, culture, art and natural beauty. Ancient and medieval architecture, pristine sea
beaches, the classical dance Odissi and ethnic dance forms
like Chhau, Ghumura and Sambalpuriand a variety of festivals. Odisha has kept the religion
of Buddhism alive. Research suggests about evidences of Gautama Buddha's birth in Odisha. Rockedicts that have challenged time stand huge and over-powering by the banks of the Daya River. The
torch of Buddhism is still ablaze in the sublime triangle at Udayagiri, Lalitgiri as well as Ratnagiri, on
the banks of river Birupa. Precious fragments of a glorious past come alive in the shape of stupas,
rock-cut caves, rock-edicts, excavated monasteries, viharas, chaityas and sacred relics in caskets
and the Rock-edicts of Ashoka.

Shrikhetra Puri Jagannath Temple, abode of Lord of Universe

Odisha is famous for the world famous Jagannath Temple (Puri), UNESCO World Heritage
Site Konark Sun Temple and The Leaning Temple of Huma. Out of total 4 Chausathi Yogini temples
all over India, 2 are in Odisha, in Hirapur and Ranipur Jharial. Famous Oriya Sanskrit
Poet Jayadeva, who wrote famous Gita Govinda, a poem of divine love between
Lord Krishna and Radha with other Gopis, dedicated toLord Jagannatha, was born here in Kenduli
Sasan village near Khurda.

Rajarani Temple at Bhubaneswar

Rajarani Temple(name derived from the sandstone in which it is made), is an architectural marvel
like Khajuraho located in Bhubaneswar (The Temple City of India), containing more than 500 ancient
temples. Lord Lingaraja Temple (a 12th-century AD temple), Kedaragauri Temple, Ananta Vasudeva
Temple, Brahmeswara Temple are some of the many magnificent Temples in the capital.
Bhubaneswar hasState Museum, Regional Museum of Natural History (having one of the two eggs
of an extinct species in the world), Botanical Garden, Jain centres like Udayagiri and Khandagiri
Caves, Pathani Samanta Planetarium, Dhauli White Pagoda where Chandashoka became
Odisha is the home for various tribal communities who have contributed uniquely to the multicultural
and multilingual character of the state. Their handicrafts, different dance forms, jungle products and
their unique life style blended with their healing practices have got worldwide attention. The wellknown Ratha-Yatra of Lord Jagannath in Puri and Sitalsasthi Carnival of Lord Shiva in Sambalpur
are must see for anyone who want to see a glimpse of the art and culture of Odisha at one place.
The Indian Revolutionary saying "Give me Blood, I will give you Freedom", Netaji Subhas Chandra
Bose was born in Cuttack, whose House (Janakinath Bhavan) is now a museum, well equipped to
provide details of his life-history. The medieval capital, Cuttack has a treasure to share with you,
the Barabati fort (witnessing Gangas, Marathas and British), the silver filigree works, Katak Chandi
Temple, Barabati Stadium, Qadam-I-Rasul and Dhabaleswar temple (having longest rope-bridge in
India succeeded by Lakshman Jhula in Rishikesh). Eastern Ghats' highest peak, Mahendragiri,
where LordParshuram is still in meditation, according to Ramayana and Mahabharata is in Gajapati

Cuttack Barabati Fort Majestic Entrance

Sites/Cities/Places of Interest :
1. Bhubaneswar Lingaraj Temple, Rajarani Temple, Dhauligiri, Khandagiri and
Udaygiri, Nandankanan Zoological Park.
2. Cuttack Barabati Fort, Katak Chandi Temple, Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udaygiri,Dhabaleswar Temple.
3. Puri Jagannath Temple, Chilika Lake, Konark Temple and Beach.
4. Sambalpur Samaleswari Temple, Hirakud Dam.
5. Berhampur Gopalpur-on-Sea, Taptapani, Taratarini.
6. Bhitarkanika Sanctuary
7. Similipal Biosphere Reserve
8. Dhenkanal Kapilas, Saptasajya
9. Balasore Chandipur-on-sea, Chandabali, Chandaneswar, Panchalingeshwar, Aradi (Lord


Main article: Tourism in Pondicherry

The Matrimandir, a golden metallic sphere in Auroville, Pondicherry

The Union Territory of Puducherry comprises four coastal regions viz. Pondicherry, Karaikal, Mahe
and Yanam. Pondicherry is the Capital of this Union Territory and one of the most popular tourist
destinations in South India. Pondicherry has been described by National Geographic as "a glowing
highlight of subcontinental sojourn". The city has many beautiful colonial buildings, churches,
temples, and statues, which, combined with the systematic town planning and the well-planned
French-style avenues, still preserve much of the colonial ambiance.


Panorama of Harminder Sahib Gurudwara or Golden Temple

Moti Bagh Palace in Patiala

Main article: Tourism in Punjab

The state of Punjab is renowned for its cuisine, culture and history. Punjab has a vast public
transportation and communication network. Some of the main cities in Punjab
are Amritsar, Jalandhar, Patiala, Pathankot and Ludhiana. Nabha is famous as a manufacturing hub
of combine harvesters and other manufacturing units, while Patiala is known for the historical
forts. Punjab also has a rich Sikh religious history. Tourism in Punjab is principally suited for the
tourists interested in culture, ancient civilisation, spirituality and epic history. Some of the villages in
Punjab are also a must see for the person who wants to see the true Punjab, with their beautiful
traditional Indian homes, farms and temples, this is a must see for any visitor that goes to India.
Lonely Planet Bluelist 2008 has voted the Harmandir Sahib as one of the worlds best spiritual sites
with over 100,000 pilgrims and tourists visiting on a daily basis. Since Amritsar is a big tourist spot, a
lot of five star hotels are getting attracted to open up properties here. Hotel Ista has become very
popular with nonresident Indian (NRI) community. New properties by Radisson and Taj are coming
up in this city
Another main tourist destination is religious and historic city of Sri Anandpur Sahib where large
number of tourists come to see the Virasat-e-Khalsa (Khalsa Heritage Memorial Complex) and also
take part in Hola Mohalla festival. Kila Raipur Sports Festival is also popular tourist attraction in Kila
Raipur near Ludhiana.[68][69][70] Shahpur kandi fort, Ranjit sagar lake and Muktsar Temple also popular
attractions in Pathankot.


Umaid Bhawan Palace, Rajasthan

Chandramahal in City Palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan, built by Kachwaha Rajputs.

Main article: Tourism in Rajasthan

Rajasthan, literally meaning "Land of the Kings", is one of the most attractive tourist destinations
in Western India. The vast sand dunes of the Thar Desert attract millions of tourists from around the
globe every year.


Jaipur The capital of Rajasthan, famous for its rich history and royal architecture

Jodhpur Fortress-city at the edge of the Thar Desert, famous for its blue homes and

Udaipur Known as the "Venice" of India

Jaisalmer Famous for its golden fortress (one of the largest living fort), its magnificent
palaces (Havelis), lake, fossil park, desert sand dune safaris-camps, desert national parks, Jain
temples. The city is known as Golden City.

Ajmer Holy city, popular for shrine of Sufi Saikhllnt Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti

Barmer Barmer and surrounding areas offer perfect picture of typical Rajasthani villages

Bikaner Famous for its medieval history as a trade route outpost

Mount Abu Is a popular hill station, the highest peak in the Aravalli Range of
Rajasthan, Guru Shikhar is located here

Ranakpur Large Jain Temple complex, with around 1444 pillars and exquisite marble

Pushkar It has the first and one of the very Brahma temples in the world

Keoladeo National Park A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Nathdwara This town near Udaipur hosts the famous temple of Shrinathji

Sawai Madhopur Famous for Ranthambore National Park and historic Ranthambore Fort

Shekhawati For traditional Havelis

Dhosi Hill Vedic period Hill, Chyvan Rishi Ashram

Chittorgarh Chittorgarh Fort, Vijay Stambh, Kalika Mata Mandir, Kirti Stambh,Rana
Kumbha's Palace, Rani Padmini's Palace and temple of renowned devotee of Lord Krishna,
Meera (Meera Temple).[71]

Hawa Mahal in Jaipur

Mehrangarh Fort inJodhpur

Jag Mandir Palace inUdaipur

Jaisalmer Fort aUNESCO World Heritage Site in Jaisalmer

Ranthambore Fort aUNESCO World Heritage Site in Ranthambore National Park famous for tigers

Kumbhalgarh a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site inRajsamand District

Laxmi Niwas Palace inBikaner

Thar Desert nearJaisalmer

Main article: Tourism in North East India

Kangchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world.

Gurudongmar Lake, Sikkim

Originally known as Suk-Heem, which in the local language means "peaceful home".Sikkim was an
independent kingdom till the year 1974, when it became a part of the Republic of India. The capital
of Sikkim is Gangtok, located approximately 105 kilometres from New Jalpaiguri, the nearest railway
station to Sikkim. Although,Pakyong Airport is under construction in East Sikkim, the nearest airport
to Sikkim isBagdogra Airport. The popular sightseeing places include Baba Mandir, Nathula Pass,
Rumtek Monastery, Handicraft Shops, Tsangpo Lake, Chardham, Buddha Park, Ridgepark,
Flowershows (International Flowershows) Samduptse, Tashi View point Tashiding, Pelling, Yuksom,

Rabdentse, Tibrtology, Ropeway. Mt.Kangchenjunga which is famous for its scenic beauty. Sikkim is
considered as the land of orchids, mystic cultures and colourful traditions. Sikkim is well known
among trekkers and adventure lovers.

Tamil Nadu[edit]

Brihadeeswarar Temple atThanjavur

A chariot carved at Airavatesvara Temple in Darasuram

The Nilgiri Mountain Railwayprovides a scenic view of Nilgiri hills

Main article: Tourism in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu was the most visited tourist destination by both Indian and International tourists in 2014
with over 320 million domestic visits and 4.6 million foreign visits. It has places of historical, cultural
and architectural significance. Tourism in Tamil Nadu is promoted by Ministry of Tourism by the state
government with a logoenchanting Tamil Nadu. TTDC promotes tourism in the state by arranging
various functions and events. The capital city of Tamil Nadu -Chennai- is the only place in India to be
listed in "52 places to go around the world" by "The New York Times".Marina beach in Chennai is the
second longest beach in the world and Chennai is home to numerous historic temples and parks.
Chennai is also nicknamed as theGateway of South India.

The state has three UNESCO World Heritage Sites which include the Great Living Chola
Temples and Mahabalipuram. Archaeological sites with civilisation dating back to 3800 years[72] have
been discovered in Tamil Nadu. UNESCO World Heritage Sites Mahabalipuram sea shore
temples were built by rulers of Pallava dynasty and depicts remarkable art and architecture.
The Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavurwas built in 1010 A.D.[73] Other major temples
include Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple, Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple and Arunachaleswara
Temple.[74] All these temples showcase Dravidian architecture which prevailed during the ancient
period. The six abodes of Lord Murugan are situated in Tamil Nadu.
Sanctuaries and National parks
The Western Ghats is one of the eight hottest biodiversity hotspots in the world and
a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[75][76][77] The mangrove forests of Pichavaram are the second largest in
the world[78] and the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve covers an area of 10,500 km of ocean,
islands and the adjoining coastline including coral reefs, salt marshes, mangroves and is home
to Endangered aquatic species including dolphins, dugongs, whales and sea cucumbers.[79][80] The
wetlands attract numerous migratory birds from Europe and America. The state government has
established 13 bird sanctuaries to protect the birds from poaching and hunting. The state also has
various bird sanctuaries including 13 established bird sanctuaries [81]The state is home to one of the
largest populations of endangered Indian elephantand Bengal Tiger.[82] The region is home to onethird of the tiger population and more than half of the elephant population of India. [83][84] There are
4 Project Tigerreserves and 4 Project Elephant reserves in the state which
include Anamalai,Mudumalai, Sathyamangalam and Kalakkad-Mundanthurai.[85][86] Other threatened
and endangered species found in the region include Grizzled giant squirrel,[87] Grey slender loris,
Sloth bear,[89] Nilgiri tahr,[90] Nilgiri langur,[91] Lion-tailed macaque,[92] and Indian leopard.
Kanyakumari is the southernmost tip of mainland India provides scenic view of sunset and
sunshine over the Indian ocean. Water Falls like Hogenakkal Falls and Wildlife sanctuaries are
located across the state.
Hill stations
Ooty, Kodaikanal and Yercaud are well-known hill stations. The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is a
mountain railway built in 1908,[94] and operated by a fleet of steam locomotives.[95] In July
2005, UNESCO added the Nilgiri Mountain Railway as an extension to the World Heritage
Site Mountain Railways of India.[95][96]
Medical Tourism
The state is a popular destination for medical tourism and the cities
of Chennai and Coimbatore house some of Asia's premier hospitals.[97][98]

Main article: Tourism in Telangana
See also: List of tourist attractions in Hyderabad

Charminar, Hyderabad, India

Golkonda, Hyderabad, India

Birla Mandir, Hyderabad, India

Chowmahalla Palace,Hyderabad, India

Telangana,a state with rich historic and cultural heritage is one of the most frequented tourist places
in South India.Also known as The City of Pearls, Hyderabad is today one of the most developed
cities in the country and a modern hub of information technology, ITES, and biotechnology.
Hyderabad is known for its rich history, culture and architecture representing its unique character as
a meeting point for North and South India, and also its multilingual culture.

Hyderabad ranked second best place in the world that one should see in 2015 which is published in
the annual guide of 'Traveler' magazine of National Geographic.[99]

Birla Mandir, Hyderabad is a white marble Hindu temple of Lord Venkateshwara on the
Naubath Pahad in Hyderabad.

The Ramappa Temple and Thousand Pillar Temple in Warangal are famous for their temple
carvings of the Kakatiya dynasty.

Sammakka Saralamma Jatara is held every second year in Medaram.

Gnana Saraswati Temple, Basar is one of the famous Saraswati Temples in India.

Sri Rajarajeshwara Temple One of the famous and most visited Lord Shiva temple located
in Vemulawada

Vemulavada temple is built by Chalukya Kings between AD 750 and 975.

Yadagirigutta, the abode of an avatara of Vishnu, Sri Lakshmi Narasimha.

Famous Buddhist centres:

Nelakondapalli Khammam District

Dhulikatta Karimnagar District

Phanigiri Nalgonda District

Pilgrim centres and temples:

Bhadrachalam Temple In Khammam district

Ramappa Temple Near to Warangal City

Yadagirigutta Nalgonda District

Thousand Pillar Temple Hanamakonda city in Warangal District

Kuchadri sri venkateshwara swamy temple in Kuchanpally, Medak District[100] [101]


Charminar Centre of the Hyderabad Old City

Golkonda Fort Largest and 400 years oldest fort

Chowmahalla Palace It was the official residence of the Nizams of Hyderabad.

Ramoji Film City Largest Film City in the world situated in Hyderabad City

Warangal Fort Oldest fort built by Kakatiya before 13th century reflects the culture of
Telugu people

Thousand Pillar Temple - Built by King Rudra Deva in 1163 AD. The Thousand Pillar Temple
is a specimen of the Kakatiyan style of architecture of the 12th century.

Surendrapuri A unique Mythological Awareness Centre near Yadagirigutta, 60 km from


Salar Jung Museum It is one of the three National Museums of India,[102] situated in
Hyderabad City.

Golkonda (Telugu: , Urdu: ), a ruined city of south-central India and capital of the
medieval kingdom of Golkonda (c. 1364 1512), is situated 11 km west of Hyderabad.

Thousand Pillar Temple,Hanamakonda city in Warangal District, India

Ramappa Temple,Warangal, India

Kakatiya Kala Thoranamat Warangal Fort inWarangal

Main article: Tourism in North East India

Ujjayanta Palace

Unakoti, a rock sculpture in Tripura

Ujjayanta Palace The gleaming white Ujjayanta Palace located in the capital city
of Agartala evokes the age of Tripura Maharajas. It is a unique experience to witness living
history and royal splendour within the boundaries of the Palace. Constructed by the king of
Tripura Maharja Radha Kishor Manikya during the late 19th century and finished off in 1901. The
Indo-Saracenic building is set up in large Mughal-style garden with two man-made lakes on its
both sides. The palace is of two-storied mansion and has three domes, each 86 feet high,
stunning tile floor, curved wooden ceiling and wonderful crafted door. Floodlights and light and
sound fountain has been set up in the palace.

Unakoti means one less than a crore. Located about 186 km from Agartala, Unokoti is an
important site of archaeological wonder. It is a Shaiva pilgrimage attraction and dates back to
the 7th to 9th centuries AD. The site consists of several huge vertical rock-cut carvings on a
hillside. The site shows strong evidence of Buddhist occupation but also has a
central Shiva head and imposingGanesha figures having a height of 30 feet. The rocky walls
also have a carved images of Hindu pantheon like Durga and Vishnu. The unakoti rock-cut
carving have the distinction of being the largest bas-relief sculpture in India.

Bhubaneshwari Temple Another temple of eminence of Tripura is this temple. located

55 km from Agartala on the eastern fringe of Udaipur town by the bank of bank of river Gomati.
The temple is now under the control of theArchaeological Survey of India. It was built
by Maharaja Govinda Manikya(16601676). The temple is immortalised in Rabindranath
Tagore's famous play known as Bisarjan and Rajarshi. Maharaja Govinda also features an

important character in Tagore's play. While approaching Bhubaneshwari Temple one can find the
ruins of the palace of the Maharaja. Down below the temple the river Gomati flows.

Gunabati Group of Temples From its name it reveals that it was built in the name of her
Highness Maharani Gunabati (wife of Maharaja Govinda Manikya), in 1668 AD. The two other
tempel also bears contemporary look but there actual history is still unveiled. Architecture of
these temples resembles other contemporary temples of Tripura except the top most parts are
without Stupa. Core-Chambers are marked by a presence of pitcher circular core chamber and
its vestibule which was large with Stupa like crown is beautifully crafted like lotus [103]

Chabimura A famous panel of rock carving on the steep mountain walls on the banks
of Gomati. There are huge images carved of Shiva, Vishnu, Kartika, Mahisasurmardini Durga
and other Gods and goddesses. These images date back to the 15th or 16th century. Chabimura
is 30 km away from Udaipur. It is situated in Amarpur subdivision. Devatamura means God's
peak and it a full range between Udaipur and Amarpur Subdivision. It is famous for a lot of idols
of gods and goddess. These beautiful images are carved with a lot of dexterity on the rocky
faces of Devtamura which is steep at 90-degree. The hill ranges are covered with thick jungles
and one cab reach this adobe of gods only after trekking through these jungles.

Boxanagar Recently after denudation of a nature forest area, ruins of a brick built building
emerged in the northwestern part of Sonamura Sub-Division on the edge of the border with
Bangalasesh. The local people initially attribute the remains to the ancient temple of Manasathe goddess of snake. Attention was drawn to the Archaeological Survey of India and they took
over the site. There an idol of Lord Buddha was discovered and it was confirmed that once upon
a time it was a Buddhist Temple i.e. a Monastery. More than excavation of the site will unearth
the hidden story.[104]

Pilak a famous place of attraction for its archaeological remains from the 8th and 9th
centuries. Pilak is situated at a distance of 144 km from Agartala. The place is a treasure house
of Buddhist and Sculpture in the Hindu Sculptures. There runs a hilly rivulet near the place which
is known as Pilak stream. It is attractive with scenic beauty. Few temples with plaques of
terracotta and stone images can be found here. Huge sculptures made of stones
of Avalokitevara in the 9th century[105] and Narasimha image of the 12th century were found
here. Both of there are now preserved in theMuseum of Agartala. Even now one can find many
sculptures of Goddess in Pilak as Lord Durga, Lord Ganesha, LordSuriya, etc.[106] There is image
of a God holding a lotus which is of 10 feet high. There are terracotta images of Kinnars. Two
bronze statue of Buddhas were discovered in Rishyamukh near Pilak. All these lead to establish
that the place was once under the rule of Buddhist kings followed by Hindu rulein subsequent
years. Pilak, the treasure-trove of archaeological riches has close association with Mynamoti
and Paharpur in Bangladesh. It is believed that the area has more hidden treasures and as such
recently further excavation drive has been taken up by Archaeological Survey of India. Tourist
may find it delighted to explore the history of this lovely destination.


The Valley of Flowers and Nanda Devi National Parks are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Uttarakhand, the 27th state of the Republic of India, is called "the abode of the Gods" or referred as
the "Heaven on Earth". It contains glaciers, snow-clad mountains, valley of flowers, skiing slopes
and dense forests, and many shrines and places of pilgrimage. Chota Char Dhams, the minor
pilgrimage of the four most sacred and revered Hindu
temples: Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotriare nestled in the Himalayas, of
which Badrinath is part of Char Dham, major pilgrimage of four highly sacred Hindu temples.[107]
Haridwar which meansGateway to God is the only place on the plains.
It holds the watershed for Gangetic River System spanning 300 km from Satluj in the west to Kali
river in the east. Nanda Devi (25640 Ft) is the second highest peak in India
after Kanchenjunga (28160 Ft). Dunagiri, Neelkanth, Chaukhamba, Panchachuli, Trisul are other
peaks above 23000 Ft. It is considered the abode ofDevtas, Yakashyas, Kinners, Fairies and Sages.
It has some old hill-stations developed during British era
like Mussoorie,Almora, Dwarahat, Ranikhet and Nainital.

Wildlife Reserves

Pindari Glacier, Milam Corbett National Park, Rajaji

National Park, Asan
Glacier, Bunder Punch
Glacier, Khatling
Reserve, Nanda Devi
National Park, Govind
Glacier, Dokrani
Wildlife Sanctuary, Askot
Glacier, Kaphini
Musk Deer
Glacier, Ralam Glacier Sanctuary (Askot), Valley of

Adventure Sports
Skiing at Mundali, Auli, Dayara Bagyal and Munsiyari. Paragliding at Yelagiri.
at Mussoorie, Uttarkashi,Joshimath, Munsiyari, Chaukori,Pauri, Almora, Nainital

The most sacred Hindu temple, Badrinath Temple.

Kedarnath Temple inKedarnath town.



Ganga river at Haridwar.

Nainital is a popular Hill station in India.

Nanda Devi peak inNanda Devi National Parka UNESCO World Heritage Site

Jim Corbett National Park the oldest national park in India, famous forTigers

Uttar Pradesh[edit]
Main article: Tourism in Uttar Pradesh

Fatehpur Sikri

Situated in the northern part of India, border with the capital of India New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh is one
of the most popular tourist destination in India. Uttar Pradesh is important with its wealth of historical
monuments and religious fervour. It is the home of Taj Mahal, and Hinduism's holiest city, Varanasi.
The most populous state of the Indian Union also has a rich cultural heritage. Kathak one of the
eight forms of Indian classical dance, originated from Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh is known as The
Heartland of India. Cuisine of Uttar Pradesh like Awadhi cuisine, Mughlai cuisine, Kumauni
cuisine are very famous in entire India and abroad.
Places of interest in include:

Varanasi-The origin of Hinduism and world's one of the oldest cities. Also known as City of
temples it is Most popular holy place of lord Shiva devotees. Some of the finest Textiles are
produced here.

A view of the Ghat of Varanasi from the River Ganges

Agra Home to three World Heritage Sites i.e. Taj Mahal, Agra Fort & Fatehpur Sikri. Agra
boast of several others historical monuments and gardens. Tomb of I'timd-ud-Daulah, Tomb of
Akbar the Great to name a few.

Allahabad or Prayag -Kumbh Mela-The place where Indian national

river Gangesand Yamuna and Saraswati rivers meet. A mass Hindu pilgrimage in
whichHindus gather at the Ganges river. Akbar forts. One of the most popular religious centres
of ancient and modern India for Hinduism. Uttar Pradesh's administrative and education capital.

Kumbh Mela at Allahabad

Bithoor-This is the historical capital of Uttar Pradesh from where the Hindu god Brahma
created the universe. It is situated about 10 km from Kanpur.

Main Ghat of Bithoor

Kanpur Uttar Pradesh's important Industrial town and largest city of the state. It is the most
cosmopolitan city of the state. Has several historical places like-Bithoor and Allen Forest Zoo. It
is the second largest metropolitan city of North India with various Historical and British
Architectural buildings. The Kanpur Memoria Church or All Souls Memorial Church of Gothic
architecture was built byWalter Granville on memory of those who died in Siege of Cawnpore.

Lucknow-The capital of Uttar Pradesh. Most planned city of Uttar Pradesh. It has Several
historical places Mughal, British and modern architecture. The cuisine and chikan dresses of
Lucknow is famous worldwide.

Mathura-The birthplace of Lord Krishna of Hinduism and Neminath of Jainism

Ayodhya-The birthplace of Lord Rama of Hinduism

Jhansi-Historical place. City was centre of Rani Lakshmibai's battlefield against British

Sarnath-Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma, the Buddha as one of the four places of
pilgrimage which his devout followers should visit. The birthplace of Shreyansanath, the eleventh
Jain Tirthankar of the Jainism.

Kushinagar- It is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site, where Gautama Buddha is believed

to have attained Parinirvanaafter his death

Chunar-It's the centre of clay art. Chunar has a 6th-century fort constructed
by Chandragupta Vikramaditya. The fort itself had through rulers like Humayun, Sher Shah
Suri and was gateway of Mauryan empire. It has beautiful waterfalls and natural spots.

Fatehpur Sikri-Historical place for Mughal Empire's palaces and forts

Meerut-The historical place of the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 or the First War of Indian
Independence. Indian Historical place from Mahabharata period of ancient India to Modern
India's one of the fastest growing city of Uttar Pradesh.

Mirzapur Division-The hub of world's finest carpet Industries, and very popular tourist
destination for its natural beauties and one of the fastest growing region of Uttar Pradesh. It
consists of vindhyachal shaktipeeth.

Ghaziabad: Historical places from ancient India to modern India and India's fastest growing
Industrial city. See Buddh International Circuit

Noida and Greater Noida: IT, electronics and education hub of Northern India. India's biggest
city with a planned and high-tech residential area.

Gorakhpur: The city was home to Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Jain and Sikh saints. The
birthplace of Paramhansa Yogananda, great Hindu emperor Chandragupta Maurya.

Jaunpur:Historical city was founded by the Sultan of Delhi Feroz Shah Tughlaq and named
in memory of his father,Muhammad bin Tughluq as Jaunpur Sultanate. Mughals, Lodis and
Islamic ruler's Forts and ancient history of India.

Dudhwa National Park Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Birds Sanctuary, Frog Temple at Oyal,
Surat Bhawan Palace, elephant rides

Rehar:Several major tourist attractions can be mentioned in the towns surroundings, like Jim
Corbett National Parkabout 24 km, Nainital about 69 km

West Bengal[edit]
Main articles: Tourism in West Bengal and Tourist attractions in West Bengal
See also: Places of interest in Kolkata

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, aUNESCO World Heritage Site

Victoria Memorial in Kolkata

The famous Durga idol from the Durga Puja

The royal Bengal tiger atSunderbans National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), is the capital of West Bengal has been nicknamed theCity of
Palaces, City of Joy, etc. This comes from the numerous palatial mansions built all over the city.
Unlike many north Indian cities, whose construction stresses minimalism, the layout of much of the|
right| architectural variety in Kolkata owes its origins to European styles and tastes imported by the
British as it was the capital of British India from 1772 to 1911 and, to a much lesser extent, the
Portuguese and French. The buildings were designed and inspired by the tastes of the English
gentleman around and the aspiring Bengali Babu (literally, a nouveau riche Bengali who aspired to
cultivation of English etiquette, manners and custom, as such practices were favourable to monetary
gains from the British). Today, many of these structures are in various stages of decay. Some of the
major buildings of this period are well maintained and several buildings have been declared as
heritage structures. Long known as the "Cultural Capital of India" for its vibrant culture which has led
India from the forefront from the 18th century onwards in all fronts ranging from culture to arts,
literature to sciences, sports to politics, theatre to films. Home to the famous Bengal
Renaissance which boasts of a host of luminaries like Raja Rammohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra
Vidyasagar, Ramakrishna, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, Acharya
Jagadish Chandra Bose,Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda, Khudiram, Chittaranjan Das, Sri
Aurobindo, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Bagha Jatin, Bidhan Chandra Roy, and countless others.
The city has lost much of its glory now but has never lost its effervescence. West Bengal is also
known for the famous The Sunderbans.
From historical point of view, the story of West Bengal begins from Gour andPandua situated close
to the present district town of Malda. The twin medieval cities had been sacked at least once by
changing powers in the 15th century. However, ruins from the period still remain, and several
architectural specimens still retain the glory and shin of those times. The Hindu architecture
of Bishnupurin terracotta and laterite sandstone are renowned world over. Towards the British
colonial periodcame the architecture of Murshidabad and Coochbehar. Darjeeling is a famous
Himalayan city in the state of West Bengal. Darjeeling tea is world famous because of its attractive
smell. Other than Darjeeling there are notable hill stations likeKalimpong, Lava, Lolegaon, Rishop,
etc. There are some wonderful trek routes also, like Sandakfu, Falut etc. Beside hill stations West

Bengal has some beautiful sea beaches also, like Digha, Shankarpur, Mandarmoni, Bakkhali etc.
West Bengal is home to six national parks[110] Sundarbans National Park, Buxa Tiger
Reserve,Gorumara National Park, Neora Valley National Park, Jaldapara National Park, andSingalila
National Park. Extant wildlife include Indian rhinoceroses, Indian elephants,
deer, bison, leopards, gaur, and crocodiles, as well as many bird species. Migratory birds come to
the state during the winter. The high-altitude forests of Singalila National Park shelter barking
deer, red panda, chinkara, takin, serow, pangolin, minivet and kalij pheasants. Additionally, the
Sundarbans are noted for a reserve project conserving the endangered royal Bengal tiger, although
the forest hosts many other endangered species, such as the Gangetic dolphin,
river terrapin and estuarine crocodile.
Notable sites of West Bengal

Places of Worshi

Dakshineswar Kali
Behar Darjeeling Jalpaiguri Kalimpong Kurseong Dooars Digha Bishnupur Malda Mayapur Mukutmanip Temple Kalighat Temple
ur Ajodhya Hills Murshidabad Siliguri.
Mandir Belur Math Tipu
Mosque Nakhoda Masji
Paul's Cathedral St. Jo
Church Parsi Fire
Temples Japanese Bud
Temple Calcutta Jai
Temple Tarakeswar Tarap
ura Sharif

Must Sees of Kolkata

Victoria Memorial Howrah Bridge Kumartuli Indian Botanical Garden B.B.D. Bagh Dakshineswar Kali Temple Belur Math Eden Garden
Cathedral Maidan College Street Jorasanko Thakur Bari Netaji Bhawan Marble Palace Missionaries of Charity National Library of India
Temple Park Street South Park Street Cemetery Birla Planetarium Science City Shobhabazar Rajbari Alipore Zoo Vidyasagar Se

Outline of Tourism in India[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has
media related to Tourism in

List of World Heritage Sites in India

List of national parks of India

List of lakes of India

List of waterfalls in India

List of State Protected Monuments in India

List of beaches in India

Incredible India

List of Geographical Indications in India

Medical tourism in India

List of botanical gardens in India

List of hill stations in India

List of gates in India

List of zoos in India

List of protected areas of India

List of aquaria in India

List of forts in India

List of forests in India

Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India

Hindu pilgrimage sites in India

List of mosques in India

List of rock-cut temples in India

Wildlife sanctuaries of India

List of rivers of India

List of mountains in India

List of ecoregions in India

Coral reefs in India

List of stadiums in India


Houseboat in Keralabackwaters

Kandolim beach in Goa

Munshi Ghat in Varanasi

A view of Udaipur's City Palace with Lake Pichola

Rann Utsav at Rann of Kutch

Tourist Destinations and Development of Tourism in India

Carole Simm, Demand Media

Mumbai is one of India's top city destinations.

India is a land of contrasts, with pristine beaches, mountains and fertile valleys, rainforest and
desert. It caters to almost every conceivable type of vacation, including nature and eco-tourism,
adventure tourism, beach tourism and cultural tourism. Tourism development is planned and
implemented by central and regional government agencies, although issues such as inadequate
infrastructure, poor hygiene and tourist harassment have hampered efforts.
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Tourism Development in India

Tourism was recognized as a potential instrument for economic development during the 1950s.
Tourism development was taken up by the government with a series of five-year plans, and in 1966,
the India Tourism Development Corporation ( was set up to promote India as a
tourism destination. Tourism development gathered momentum during the 1980s, with the
formulation of a National Policy on Tourism and the creation of the Tourism Finance Corporation
( to fund tourism projects. In 1988 the government produced a comprehensive plan for
achieving sustainable growth in tourism, which was followed up by a National Action Plan for Tourism
in 1992.

Tourism Development Agencies

The India Tourism Development Corporation continues to be a leading force in tourism development.
It not only plays a marketing and consultancy role, but also provides training for tourism and
hospitality workers and manages tour companies, hotels, transportation systems, duty-free shops
and restaurants. The Ministry of Tourism also works in conjunction with agencies such as the Indian

Institute of Tourism & Travel Management (, the National Institute of Watersports
( and the Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering (

Tourist Destinations - Northern India

Indias capital, Delhi, on the River Ganges, has numerous cultural attractions, top class shopping
and international cuisine. The so-called Golden Triangle is also located in this province, and
includes the city of Jaipur and historic Agra, home of the Taj Mahal. Cities in Rajasthan include
Jodhpur and Udaipur, while Amritsar and Chandigarh lie in the Punjab. Northern India is bordered by
the Himalayan Mountains, which provide a center for adventure tourism, with activities such as
trekking, mountaineering, rafting and paddling.

Tourist Destinations - Southern India

Chennai is one of the largest and most historic cities in southern India, offering dozens of palaces,
temples and forts. Bangalore is renowned for its mild climate and beautiful royal palaces, while
Hyderabad is a city of domes and minarets, interspersed with colorful bazaars. The state of Kerala,
along the southwestern seaboard, offers idyllic, unspoiled beaches, quaint ports and resort towns
such as Kovalam. The coastal backwaters are a good area for cruising and wildlife watching, and the
coral islands of Lakshadweep, near Kochi, are a top location for diving and snorkeling.

Tourist Destinations - Western India

Mumbais cultural attractions include monuments and museums, colonial forts and hill stations, but
downtown Mumbai also offers excellent shopping and dining. The Arabian Sea coastline is
characterized by picturesque fishing villages surrounded by coconut groves, with a few developed
beach resorts such as Goa, Manori and Madh Island. Western India is also renowned for its cave
systems, the most prominent including the Ellora and Ajanti Caves, which contain ancient carvings
and rock paintings.

Tourist Destinations - Eastern India

Eastern India lies along the Bay of Bengal, and Kolkata is its largest city. West Bengals attractions
include imperial palaces, forts, temples, bazaars, museums and a historic miniature train, and this
area is also the countrys leading golf destination. The district of Assam, best known for its tea
plantations, has numerous wildlife preserves, housing endangered species such as the Asian
elephant, Bengal tiger and Indian rhino. Kaziranga ( and Manas
( National Parks are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Beach destinations
include the Andaman Islands.


Atul Sinha *

Tourism development in India has passed through many phases. At Government level the
development of tourist facilities was taken up in a planned manner in 1956 coinciding with the
Second Five Year Plan. The approach has evolved from isolated planning of single unit facilities
in the Second and Third Five Year Plans. The Sixth Plan marked the beginning of a new era
when tourism began to be considered a major instrument for social integration and economic

But it was only after the 80s that tourism activity gained momentum. The
Government took several significant steps. A National Policy on tourism was
announced in 1982. Later in 1988, the National Committee on Tourism formulated a
comprehensive plan for achieving a sustainable growth in tourism. In 1992, a National
Action Plan was prepared and in 1996 the National Strategy for Promotion of Tourism
was drafted. In 1997, a draft new tourism policy in tune with the economic policies of
the Government and the trends in tourism development was published for public
debate. The draft policy is now under revision. The proposed policy recognises the
roles of Central and State governments, public sector undertakings and the private
sector in the development of tourism. The need for involvement of Panchayati Raj
institutions, local bodies, non-governmental organisations and the local youth in the
creation of tourism facilities has also been recognised.
The other major development that took place were the setting up of the India
Tourism Development Corporation in 1966 to promote India as a tourist destination
and the Tourism Finance Corporation in 1989 to finance tourism projects. Altogether,
21 Government-run Hotel Management and Catering Technology Institutes and 14
Food Craft Institutes were also established for imparting specialised training in
hoteliering and catering.
Tourist Attractions
India is a country known for its lavish treatment to all visitors, no matter where they
come from. Its visitor-friendly traditions, varied life styles and cultural heritage and
colourful fairs and festivals held abiding attractions for the tourists. The other
attractions include beautiful beaches, forests and wild life and landscapes for ecotourism, snow, river and mountain peaks for adventure tourism, technological parks
and science museums for science tourism; centres of pilgrimage for spiritual tourism;
heritage trains and hotels for heritage tourism. Yoga, ayurveda and natural health
resorts also attract tourists.

The Indian handicrafts particularly, jewellery, carpets, leather goods, ivory and
brass work are the main shopping items of foreign tourists. The estimates available
through surveys indicate that nearly forty per cent of the tourist expenditure on
shopping is spent on such items.
Domestic tourism is as old as the Indian society. According to available statistics,
domestic tourism has grown substantially during the last one decade. It increased to
167 million in 1998 from just 64 million in 1990, thus registering a compound annual
growth of 12.8 per cent.
The growth of inbound tourism since Independence has been quite impressive. It
was just around 17 thousand in 1951. From this level it rose to 2.36 million in 1998.
Tourism receipts on the other hand have grown at a phenomenal rate of 17 per cent to
Rs.11,540 crore in 1998 from Rs.7.7 crore in 1951.
Economic Impact
Tourism has emerged as an instrument of employment generation, poverty
alleviation and sustainable human development. During 1998-99, employment
generation through tourism was estimated at 14.79 million.
Foreign exchange earnings from the tourism sector during 1998-99 were estimated
at Rs.12,011 crore. Tourism has thus become the second largest net foreign exchange
earner for the country.
Tourism also contributed Rs.24,241 crore during 1998-99 towards the countrys
Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Thrust Areas
In order to speed up the development of tourism in the country several thrust areas
have been identified for accomplishment during the Ninth Five Year Plan (19972002). The important ones are development of infrastructure, products, trekking,
winter sports, wildlife and beach resorts and streamlining of facilitation procedures at
airports, human resource development and facilitating private sector participation in
the growth of infrastructure.

The organisations involved in the development of tourism in India are the Ministry
of Tourism with its 21 field offices within the country and 18 abroad, Indian Institute
of Tourism and Travel Management, National Council for Hotel Management and
Catering Technology, India Tourism Development Corporation, Indian Institute of
Skiing and Mountaineering and the National Institute of Water Sports.
Boosting Tourism
Some of the recent initiatives taken by the Government to boost tourism include
grant of export house status to the tourism sector and incentives for promoting private
investment in the form of Income Tax exemptions, interest subsidy and reduced
import duty. The hotel and tourism-related industry has been declared a high priority
industry for foreign investment which entails automatic approval of direct investment
up to 51 per cent of foreign equity and allowing 100 per cent non-resident Indian
investment and simplifying rules regarding the grant of approval to travel agents, tour
operators and tourist transport operators.
During the Golden Jubilee celebrations of India as a Republic, the Ministry of Tourism made
special efforts to publicise the tourism potential of India. The first-ever Indian Tourism Day was
celebrated on January 25, 1998. Bauddha Mahotsav was organised from 24th October to
8th November 1998. The Year 1999 was celebrated as Explore India Millennium Year by
presenting a spectacular tableau on the cultural heritage of India at the Republic Day Parade and
organising India Tourism Expo in New Delhi and Khajuraho. The Wong La Millennium was held
from April 1999 to January 2001. A special calendar of events has been formulated for
highlighting contributions to Millennium events by various places in all the States. An official
website of the Ministry of Tourism has also been created for facilitating dissemination of
information on tourism.

The major constraint in the expansion of international tourist traffic to India is nonavailability of adequate infrastructure including adequate air seat capacity,
accessibility to tourist destinations, accommodation and trained manpower in
sufficient number.

Poor visitor experience, particularly, due to inadequate infrastructural facilities,

poor hygienic conditions and incidents of touting and harassment of tourists in some
places are factors that contribute to poor visitor experience.
To sum up, Indian tourism has vast potential for generating employment and
earning large sums of foreign exchange besides giving a fillip to the countrys overall
economic and social development. Much has been achieved by way of increasing air
seat capacity, increasing trains and railway connectivity to important tourist
destinations, four-laning of roads connecting important tourist centres and increasing
availability of accommodation by adding heritage hotels to the hotel industry and
encouraging paying guest accommodation. But much more remains to be done. Since
tourism is a multi-dimensional activity, and basically a service industry, it would be
necessary that all wings of the Central and State governments, private sector and
voluntary organisations become active partners in the endeavour to attain sustainable
growth in tourism if India is to become a world player in the tourist industry.