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Tourism in India

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Taj Mahal in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, Every year more than three million tourists visit it.

City Palace in Udaipur (also known as the Venice of the East).

The Howrah Bridge in Kolkata illuminated.

The tourism industry of India is economically important and is growing rapidly. The World
Travel & Tourism Council calculated that tourism generated INR6.4 trillion or 6.6% of the
nation's GDP in 2012. It supported 39.5 million jobs, 7.7% of its total employment. The sector is
predicted to grow at an average annual rate of 7.9% from 2013 to 2023.[1] This gives India the
third rank among countries with the fastest growing tourism industries over the next decade.[2]
India has a large medical tourism sector which is expected to grow at an estimated rate of 30%
annually to reach about ₹ 95 billion by 2015.
According to provisional statistics 6.29 million foreign tourists arrived in India in 2011, an
increase of 8.9% from 5.78 million in 2010. This ranks India as the 38th country in the world in
terms of foreign tourist arrivals. Domestic tourist visits to all states and Union Territories
numbered 1,036.35 million in 2012, an increase of 16.5% from 2011.[3] The most represented
countries are the United States (16%) and the United Kingdom (12.6%). In 2011, Maharashtra,
Tamil Nadu and Delhi were the most popular states for foreign tourists. Domestic tourists visited
the states Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu most frequently.[4] Chennai, Delhi,
Mumbai and Agra have been the four most visited cities of India by foreign tourists during the
year 2011. Worldwide, Chennai is ranked 41 by the number of foreign tourists, while Delhi is
ranked at 50, Mumbai at 57 and Agra at 65 and Kolkata at 99.[5]

The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013 ranks India 65th out of 144 countries
overall. The report ranks the price competitiveness of India's tourism sector 20th out of 144
countries. It mentions that India has quite good air transport (ranked 39th), particularly given the
country’s stage of development, and reasonable ground transport infrastructure (ranked 42nd).
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.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8] The Ministry also maintains the
Incredible India campaign.

India's rich history and its cultural and geographical diversity make its international tourism
appeal large and diverse. It presents heritage and cultural tourism along with medical, business,
educational and sports tourism.

 1 Tourism by state

o 1.1 Andhra Pradesh

o 1.2 Arunachal Pradesh

o 1.3 Assam

o 1.4 Bihar

o 1.5 Chandigarh
o 1.6 Chhattisgarh

o 1.7 Delhi

o 1.8 Goa

o 1.9 Gujarat

o 1.10 Haryana

o 1.11 Himachal Pradesh

o 1.12 Jammu and Kashmir

o 1.13 Karnataka

o 1.14 Kerala

o 1.15 Madhya Pradesh

o 1.16 Maharashtra

o 1.17 Manipur

o 1.18 Meghalaya

o 1.19 Mizoram

o 1.20 Odisha

o 1.21 Pondicherry

o 1.22 Punjab

o 1.23 Rajasthan

o 1.24 Sikkim

o 1.25 Tamil Nadu

o 1.26 Telangana

o 1.27 Tripura
o 1.28 Uttarakhand

o 1.29 Uttar Pradesh

o 1.30 West Bengal

 2 Visa policy of India

o 2.1 Visa on arrival

 3 Top 10 States of India in Tourism

 4 Historic monuments

 5 Nature tourism

o 5.1 Wildlife in India

o 5.2 Hill stations

o 5.3 Lakes

o 5.4 Beaches

o 5.5 Adventure tourism

 6 World Heritage Sites

 7 See also

 8 References

 9 Further reading

 10 See also

 11 External links

Tourism by state
Andhra Pradesh

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

A View of Tirumala Venkateswara Temple

Srikalahasti Temple

Rushikonda beach, Visakhapatnam

Rock-cut Buddha Statue at Bojjanakonda, Visakhapatnam district
Ethipothala Water Falls

Palmyra palm trees barrier islands of Pulicat Lake, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh

Belum Caves, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh

Araku Valley, Eastern Ghats, Visakhapatnam

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.[9]

 Mallikarjuna Swamy temple situated at Srisailam in the Nallamala Hills of Kurnool

district,[10] is the abode of lord Mallikarjuna Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga
shrines in India. Lord Rama himself installed the Sahasralinga, while the Pandavas
lodged 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 in Dwaraka
Tirumala of West Godavari District, Annavaram temple in East Godavari and 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 Mallikaruna Temple – One of the Jyothirlingam's situated in Srisilam Town

 Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narashima Temple – Situated at Simhachalam near to Vizag City

 Sri Kalashastiswara Temple – Situated at Srikalahasti Town

 Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple – known as china Tirupathi located at Dwaraka

Tirumala Town

 Sri Amaralingeswara Swami Temple – One of the Pancharama's located at Amaravathi


 Sri Someswara Swami Temple – One of the Pancharama's located at Bhimavaram Town

 Sri Kshira Rama Lingeswara Swami Temple – One of the Pancharama's located at
Palakol town

 Sri Bhimeswara Swami Temple – One of the Pancharama's located at Rama Chandra
Puram Town

 Sri Satyanarayana Swami TempleLocated at Annavaram near Rajahmundry city

 Arasavali Temple – Sun God's temple located 3 km away from Srikakulam almost on the
shore of Bay of Bengal

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

 Rama Lingeswara Swamy Temple – One of the Lord Shiva's temple suituated in
Yanamalakuduru village near Vijayawada, Shiva Rathri is well celebrated in this Temple

Thousand's of oldest temples are situated in Andhra pradesh.


 Kilash giri – Mountain View along with beach side situated in Vizag City

 Bhimili Beach – Beautiful Beach near to Vizag City

 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

 Bhavani Islands – A unique tourism spot to stay and visit near Vijayawada

 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
spreads 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 (Bull) 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 Vishakapatnam at 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 as burra.

 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 from Bilum, 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

Arunachal Pradesh

Snowfall in Tawang

Arunachal 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

The visitor has a wide variety of options to pick from. There are places of worship and
pilgrimage such as Parasuramkund and 400 years 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 snowclad 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 article: Tourism in Assam

An Indian Rhinoceros grazing at the Kaziranga National Park.

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.

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 article: Tourism in Bihar

Mahabodhi Temple is a UNESCO 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 innumerable ancient 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, Vātsyāyana, Sher Shah Suri
and many other great historical figures.


 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

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

 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 Sri
Thakur 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

Bihar is one of the most sacred places of various religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism,
Sikhism & Islam. Famous Attraction includes Mahabodhi Temple, a Buddhist shrine and
UNESCO World Heritage Site is also situated in Bihar, Barabar Caves the oldest rockcut caves
in India, Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Library .


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'

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.


Lotus Temple
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.[Main] Sir Derp Derpington declared Delhi as
contributing in fields of Architecture, landmarks, wide roads etc.[Main] Delhi has been the
capital of numerous empires that ruled India, making it rich in history. The 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

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.


Main article: Tourism in Goa

Goa is one of the most famous tourist destinations in India. A former colony of Portugal, Goa is
famous for its excellent beaches, Portuguese churches, Hindu temples, 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 complex consists 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.[11] Gujarat offers scenic beauty from Great Rann of Kutch
to the hills of Satpura. Gujarat is the sole home of the pure Asiatic Lions and is considered to be
one of the most important protected areas in Asia. During the Sultanate reign, Hindu
craftsmanship mix with Islamic architecture, giving rise to the Indo-Saracenic 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.


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

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
The Himalayan landscape of Himachal Pradesh is ideal for outdoor activities such as skiing.

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.[12]

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.

Jammu and Kashmir

Main article: Tourism in Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu & Kashmiri is known for its scenic landscape

Tso Moriri Lake, Ladakh

Gulmarg Gondola- The second highest cable car in the world

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.


Main articles: Tourism in Karnataka and Times of India's list of seven Wonders of India

Karnataka has been ranked as fourth most popular destination for tourism among states of India.
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.[14][15] 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,
Belur, 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 at Bijapur, 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 great Tipu 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 of Shimoga
District is second highest waterfalls in Asia. Karnataka has many beaches at 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.[16] 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 Agumbe and Kodachadri in Shimoga District;
Baba Budangiri, Kemmangundi, Kudremukh in Chikkamagaluru District; Biligiriranga Hills in
Chamarajanagar District and Kodagu district (also known as Coorg).[17] 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 blackbuck sanctuary, 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;[18] Adichunchanagiri Wildlife Sanctuary;[19] Arabithittu
Wildlife Sanctuary ;[20] Biligiriranga Swamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary; Bhadra Wildlife
Sanctuary; Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary; Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary; Melukote Temple
Wildlife Sanctuary ;[21] 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

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,[22] Kerala is famous especially for its Eco-
tourism 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

Popular attractions in the state include the beaches at Kovalam, Kappad, Muzhuppilangad,
Cherai and Varkala; the hill stations of Munnar, Thekkady, Nelliampathi, Ponmudi and
Wayanad; forts like the Bekal Fort in Kanhangad and St. Angelo's Fort in Kannur and the
National Parks/ Wildlife sanctuaries at Periyar and Eravikulam. The "backwaters" region—an
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 as Kollam, Kochi, Thrissur, Kozhikode 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.[23] Since then it has become an annual shopping event being conducted in the
December–January 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

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 a UNESCO
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,[24] Bandhavgarh National Park(website), Pench Tiger Reserve

♦Heritage – Khajuraho Temple Group, Orchha, Bhimbetka Rock Shelters Caves[25]

♦Worship – UjjainUjjain,[26][27] Omkareshwar, Maheshwar, Maihar, Sanchi

♦Water Bodies / Lakes/ Dams – Bhojtal "Upper Lake- Bhopal", Gandhi Sagar Dam, Indirasagar
Dam, Pipliyapala,[28] Tawa Reservoir, Bhedaghat


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.[13]
Main article: Tourism in Maharashtra
See also: Tourist Attractions in Mumbai

Maharashtra is the most visited state in India by foreign tourists,[13] with more than 5.1 million
foreign tourists arrivals annually. 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.

The sixth-century paintings at the Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad, Maharashtra

Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus are the three UNESCO World
Heritage sites in Maharashtra and are highly responsible for the development of Tourism in the

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 the
Maratha Empire and the fantastic Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations together contribute for the
Tourism sector of Maharashtra.


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 the floating 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)

 Churachandpur

 Keibul Lamjao National Park

 War cemeteries
 Loktak Lake

 Moreh


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

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


Main article: 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.,[29] Mizoram is a stronghold for Mrs. Hume's Pheasant Syrmaticus
humiae.[30] There is also a rare record of the Wild water buffalo from the state.[31] There have been
several past records of sightings of the Sumatran rhinoceros from Mizoram, and Lushai hills.[32]
A small population of wild elephants can be seen in Ngengpui and Dampa Sanctuaries.[33] 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.[34]

A panorama of Aizawl taken from Zemabawk.


Konark Sun Temple built by the Eastern 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
Sambalpuri and a variety of festivals. Odisha has kept the religion of Buddhism alive. Research
suggests about evidences of Gautama Buddha's birth in Odisha. Rock-edicts 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.

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 to Lord Jagannatha, was born here in Kenduli Sasan village
near Khurda.

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 has State Museum, Regional Museum of Natural History (having one
of the two eggs of an extict species in the world), Botanical Garden, Jain centres like Udayagiri
and Khandagiri Caves, Pathani Samanta Planetarium, Dhauli White Pagoda where Chandashoka
became Dharmashoka.

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 world
wide attention. The well-known 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 Lord Parshuram is still in meditation, according to Ramayana
and Mahabharata is in Gajapati district.

Cuttack Barabati Fort Majestic Entrance

Rajarani Temple at Bhubaneswar

Shrikhetra Puri Jagannath Temple, abode of Lord of Universe

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


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, Chandbali, Chandaneswar, Panchlingeswar, 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.


The Harmandir Sahib (also known as the Golden Temple) is the gurdwara of worship of Sikhs.
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,
Chandigarh, jalandhar, Patiala, Nabha and Ludhiana. Nabha is known for the combines made
here 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 world’s 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


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.

 Barmer – Barmer and surrounding areas offer perfect picture of typical Rajasthani
 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

 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

 Shekhawati – For traditional Havelis

 Dhosi Hill – Vedic period Hill, Chyvan Rishi Ashram


Kangchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world.

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 is Bagdogra Airport. The popular sightseeing places include
Baba Mandir, Nathula Pass, Rumtek Monastery, Handicraft Shops, Tsangpo Lake, Chardham,
Buddha Park, Ridgepark, Flowershows (Internation 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

Main article: Tourism in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu is the most preferred tourist destination by both Indian and International tourists. It
has got lots of places of historical, cultural and architectural significance. The capital city of
Tamil Nadu is Chennai. Tourism in Tamil Nadu is promoted by Ministry of Tourism by the sate
government with a logo "enchanting tamilnadu-experience yourself". Ttdc promotes tourism in
the sate by arranging various functions and events. Chennai is the largest city of tamilandu and
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 largest beach in the world.

A night view of the beach promenade

. Chennai is also famous for Kabaleeswarar temple at Mylapore and Parthasarathy temple at
Triplicane. Arignar anna zoological park (also known as vandalur zoo) is one of the largest
zoological park in Asia which houses more than 1500 wild species including many endangered
species. Chennai also has a crocodile park and children park.


The state also holds the credit of having maximum number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (5)
in India which includes Great Living Chola Temples and Mahabalipuram. Archaeological sites
with civilisation dating back to 3800 years[35] are found in Tamil Nadu.

Mahabalipuram, tamilnadu, India.

Mahabalipuram sea shore temples were built by rulers of pallava dynasty and depicts remarkable
art and architecture. The carvings depicts rathas, mandapas and the lord Shiva. The temple is
made of monolithic marvels and carved from rocks. The Big temple at thanjavur was a classical
example chola art and architecture. The temple tower is made of a single stone of granite which
was a great piece of work done almost 1000 years ago without the use of modern technology.
Thanjavur is also very famous for its painting and Veena. Sri Meenakshi temple at Madurai is in
the top list of New seven Wonders of the world. Sri Meenakshi temple has a 1000 pillar hall
made of granite and nine temple towers that depicts the various organs of Human in ancient
Hindu mythology. Some more temples of art and cultural significance were

Kamatchi temple – Kanchipram; Arunachaleeswarar temple – Thiruvannamalai; Sri

Ranganathaswamy temple – Srirangam; Sri Andal temple- Srivilliputhur

Bridhadeeswarar temple- Gangaikindacholapuram; Ramanathaswamy temple- Rameswaram;

Natrajar temple- Chidhambaram

A view of Big temple (also known as brihadeeswarar temple) at Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India.

With more than 34000 temples,[36] Tamil Nadu has some great temples like Madurai Meenakshi
Amman Temple, Brihadeeswarar Temple, Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple and Srilakshmi Golden
Temple.[37] All these temples showcase the art and architecture prevailed during the ancient

Meenakshi Amman Temple

Meenakshi amman temple is located at the ancient city of Madurai. The city has a continuous
cultural history of 2500 years. The temple in the present form was re- constructed by the pandyas
of Madurai. The temple has a 1000 pillar hall, 14 towers with remarkable art, architecture and
painting. Thirugnanasambandar the Hindu Saint has mentioned the temple in his songs which go
back to early 7th century. At least 15,000 visitors visit these temple regularly which include both
Indians and Foreigners. The temple is now administered by HR and CE department of Tamil
Nandhi in Gangai Konda Cholapuram Temple

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple

Sri Ranganathaswamy temple is located at Srirangam and is one of the largest functioning Hindu
complexes in the world. The temple has towers in various entrances throughout the city. The
main tower “Rajagopuram” was measuring 270 feet high. The temple attracts millions of Indian
and International visitors monthly. The temple karpakraham was plated with gold. The god and
goddesses renganayaki will be decorated with high end jewelry on important occasions.

Panorama of the temple

Abodes of Lord Murugan (Subramanyaswamy)

The six abodes of Subramanyaswamy were situated in Tamil Nadu. They were
Tirupparamkunram, Thiruchendur, Thiruavinankudi, Swamimalai, Thiruthani, and

Bird Sanctuaries
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 sanctuary among others maintained by
the state government. They include Vedanthangal, Pulicate Lake, Vettangudi, Kanjirankulam,
Uthayamarthandapuram, Point Calimere among others [38] <>.

The huge group of birds seen swimming and playing in the irrigation tank.

The state also has squirrel sanctuary, protected areas for tiger, elephant, deer etc. Arignar Anna
Zoological park is the first public zoo in India which attracts millions of tourists worldwide.

Hill stations

Ooty, Kodaikanal and Yercaud are well-known hill stations. These places attract many tourists
due to its climate, lakes, botanical gardens, flora and fauna. Mettupalyam=Ooty hill train is an
UNESCO heritage site.

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site provides a scenic view of hills
throughout its 41 km journey between Mettupalayam and Ooty (7500 FT above ground level).

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is a railway in Tamil Nadu, India, built by the British in 1908,[39]
and was initially operated by the Madras Railway. The railway still relies on its fleet of steam
locomotives.[40] NMR comes under the jurisdiction of the newly formed Salem Division. In July
2005, UNESCO added the Nilgiri Mountain Railway as an extension to the World Heritage Site
of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, the site then became known as "Mountain Railways of
India."[41] After it satisfied the necessary criteria, thus forcing abandonment of the modernisation
plans. For the past several years diesel locomotives have taken over from steam on the section
between Coonoor and Udhagamandalam. Local people and tourists have led a demand for steam
locos to once again haul this section.[40]

Ooty hill station

Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India

Kanyakumari is the southernmost tip of India provides scenic view of sunset and sunshine over
the Indian ocean. Mathur Totti Palam one of the biggest aqueducts, both in height and length, in
Asia. Thiruvalluvar statue of the St Tamil poet, tallest statue of Asia[citation needed] and ancient
wooden palace of Marthandavarma (known as Padmanabapuram palace), Hill stations like
Yercaud, Kodaikanal, Ooty, Valparai, Yelagiri are widely visited. Water Falls like Hogenakkal
Falls and Wildlife sanctuaries are located across the state. Pichavaram the world's second largest
mangrove forest is located in the state.[42]

Medical Tourism
This state is also known for medical tourism and houses some of Asia's largest hospitals. Super
speciality hosptials gives treatments to millions of people worldwide.[43][44]


Main article: Tourism in Telangana

See also: List of tourist attractions in Hyderabad

Telangana,the 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.[45]

 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:

 Bhadrakali Temple – In the city of Warangal

 Ramappa Temple – Near to Warangal City


 Charminar – Centre of the Hyderabad Old City

 Golkonda Fort – Largest and 400 years oldest fort

 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


Golkonda (Telugu: గగోలలలల్కొండ, Urdu: ‫)گولکوندا‬, 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.


The small and beautiful state of Tripura is tucked away on the Northeast India's boundary. To its
north, south and southeast, Tripura has an international boundary with Bangladesh while coming
to its east it shares a common boundary with its neighbouring states of Assam & Mizoram. This
Panoramic tiny State is inhabited by 19 ethenic tribes, Bengali, Tripuri Manipuri etc. community.
Though the 3rd smallest state of India but its unique. Its blessed with scenic beauty, ancient
places, temples, breathing taking verdants hills and bio-diversity treasure trove of wildlife
santuries. The state has a historical past and one can find it across time from the Rajmala
chronicles of kings of Tripura. The state had 185 royal rulers. There is a reference to he rulers of
Bengali helping the Tripura kings in the 14th century as the kings of this state had to face
frequent Mughal invasion with varying success.[46] The belief through once upon a time was that
Tripura's boundary was once extended up to Bay of Bengal that was when rulers spread powers
from the Garo Hillsto Arakhan. With that it's said that Tripura's name has been coined from two
Tripuri words: Tui meaning water and Pra means near. But different people has there way of
thinking, some also believed that the name Tripura derived from presiding deity Tripurasundari.
The deity is famous as one of the 51 Peethas important to Hindu Pilgrimage.
Ujjayanta Palace

Unakoti, the biggest rock sculpture in India

 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 7th-9th century A.D. The site consists of several huge vertical rocks-cut carvings
on a hillside. The site shows strong evidence of Buddhist occupation but also has a
central Shiva head and imposing Ganesha 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 the Archaeological Survey of India. It
was built by Maharaja Govinda Manikya (1660–1676). 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 A.D.
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[47]

 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 15th – 16th century
A.D. 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. Its 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 Manasa- the 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.[48]

 Pilak – a famous place of attraction for its archaeological remains of 8th-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. Its an attractive with scenic beauty. Few temples with
plaques of terracotta and stone images can be found here. Huge sculptures made of stones
of Avalokiteśvara in the 9th century[49] A.D. and Narasimha image of the 12th century
A.D. were found here. Both of there are now preserved in the Museum of Agartala. Even
now one can find many sculptures of Goddess in Pilak as Lord Durga, Lord Ganesha,
Lord Suriya, etc.[50] 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[disambiguation needed] 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. Char-dhams, the four most
sacred and revered Hindu temples: Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri are nestled in
the Himalayas. Haridwar which means Gateway 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 of Devtas, Yakashyas, Kinners, Fairies and
Sages.[51] It has some old hill-stations developed during British era like Mussoorie, Almora,
Dwarahat, Ranikhet and Nainital.

Glaciers Wildlife Reserves Adventure Sports

Pindari Glacier, Milam Corbett National Park, Skiing at Mundali, Auli,
Glacier, Gangotri Glacier, Rajaji National Park, Dayara Bagyal and
Bunder Punch Glacier, Asan Conservation Munsiyari. Paragliding at
Khatling Glacier, Reserve, Nanda Devi Yelagiri. Trekking at
Doonagiri Glacier, National Park, Govind Mussoorie, Uttarkashi,
Dokrani Glacier, Kaphini Wildlife Sanctuary, Joshimath, Munsiyari,
Glacier, Ralam Glacier Askot Musk Deer Chaukori, Pauri, Almora,
Sanctuary (Askot), Valley Nainital
of Flowers

Uttar Pradesh

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 the most popular tourist destination in India. Uttar Pradesh is important with its wealth of
historical monuments and religious fervour. Geographically, Uttar Pradesh is very diverse, with
Himalayan foothills in the extreme north and the Gangetic Plain in the centre. It is also home of
India's most visited 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 dances, originated from Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh is at the heart of India, so popular
with another name The Heartland of India. Cuisine of Uttar Pradesh like Awadhi cuisine,
Mughlai cuisine, Kumauni cuisine are very famous in entire India and abroad.

Uttar Pradesh has much to offer. 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 – Taj Mahal and several others historical monuments and gardens

 Allahabad or Prayag -Kumbh Mela-The place where Indian national river Ganges and
Yamuna and Saraswati rivers meet. A mass Hindu pilgrimage in which Hindus 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 by Walter 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 Parinirvana after 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 town’s surroundings, like
Jim Corbett National Park about 24 km, Nainital about 69 km

Uttar Pradesh is the historical heart land of India. Where each part of the state is attached with
ancient history, civilisation, religions and culture.

Must Sees of Kanpur

Central Museum · Jajmau · Moti Jheel · IIT Kanpur · Phool Bagh · Bithoor · Kanpur Memorial Church · Green
Park Stadium · Allen Forest Zoo · Nanarao Park · ISKON Temple · Gora Cemetery · Kanpur University ·
Kanpur Zoo · Christ Church · J K Temple · Glass Temple · Z Square Mall · Bhitargaon Temple · Gandhi Hall ·
Civil Lines Central Church · Kanpur Central · Ganga Barrage · Massacre Ghat.

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

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Victoria Memorial in Kolkata

The famous Durga idol from the Durga Puja

The Royal Bengal Tiger at Sunderbans National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), is the capital of West Bengal has been nicknamed the Cultural
Capital of India, City 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 and Pandua 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 period came 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 like Kalimpong, 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[52] — Sundarbans National
Park, Buxa Tiger Reserve, Gorumara National Park, Neora Valley National Park, Jaldapara
National Park, and Singalila 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 The
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 Worship

Cooch Behar · Darjeeling · Jalpaiguri · Kalimpong · Dakshineswar Kali Temple · Kalighat Temple · Birla
Kurseong · Dooars · Digha · Bishnupur · Malda · Mandir · Belur Math · Tipu Sultan Mosque · Nakhoda
Mayapur · Mukutmanipur · Ajodhya Hills · Masjid · St. Paul's Cathedral · St. John's Church · Parsi
Murshidabad · Siliguri. Fire Temples · Japanese Buddhist Temple · Calcutta
Jain Temple · Tarakeswar · Tarapith · Furfura Sharif

Must Sees of Kolkata

Victoria Memorial · Howrah Bridge · Kumartuli · Indian Botanical Garden · B.B.D. Bagh · Dakshineswar Kali
Temple · Belur Math · Eden Gardens · St. Paul's Cathedral · Maidan · College Street · Jorasanko Thakur Bari ·
Netaji Bhawan · Marble Palace · Missionaries of Charity · National Library of India · Kalighat Temple · Park
Street · South Park Street Cemetery · Birla Planetarium · Science City · Shobhabazar Rajbari · Alipore Zoo ·
Vidyasagar Setu
Visa policy of India
Main article: Visa policy of India

Visa policy of India

Visa not required
Visa available on arrival with or without the Electronic Travel Authorisation
Visa on arrival solely with the Electronic Travel Authorisation
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 pre-approved visa on arrival.[53]

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

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 the
Andaman and Nicobar Islands and parts of Sikkim. Special permits are needed to enter
Lakshadweep Islands.[55]

Visa on arrival

In order to boost tourism numbers,[56] Indian Government decided to implement a new visa
policy, allowing visitors to obtain a visa on arrival at 9 designated international airports by
obtaining an Electronic Travel Authorization online before arrival without the need to visit an
Indian consulate or visa centre.[57]

The facility will be made available to citizens of about 180 countries in several phases.[58] On
November 27, 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.[53]

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
Authorization (ETA) to enter and stay anywhere in India for 30 days. The ETA can be obtained
twice in a single calendar year.[53] The visa on arrival facility is expected to be expanded to about
180 countries over time.

Top 10 States of India in Tourism

Share of top 10 states/UTs of India in number of foreign tourist visits in 2011 (provisional)
Rank State/Union Territory Number Share in %
1 Maharashtra 4,815,421 24.7
2 Tamil Nadu 3,373,870 17.3
3 Delhi 2,159,925 11.1
4 Uttar Pradesh 1,887,095 9.7
5 Rajasthan 1,351,974 6.9
6 West Bengal 1,213,270 6.2
7 Bihar 972,487 5.0
8 Kerala 732,985 3.8
9 Karnataka 574,005 2.9
10 Himachal Pradesh 484,518 2.5
Total of top 10 states 17,565,550 90.1
Others 1,929,329 9.9
Total 19,494,879 100
Share of top 10 states/UTs of India in number of domestic tourist visits in 2011 (provisional)[4]
Rank State/Union Territory Number Share in %
1 Uttar Pradesh 155,430,364 18.3
2 Andhra Pradesh 153,119,816 18.0
3 Tamil Nadu 137,512,991 16.2
4 Karnataka 84,107,390 9.9
5 Maharashtra 55,333,467 6.5
6 Madhya Pradesh 44,119,820 5.2
7 Rajasthan 27,137,323 3.2
8 Uttarakhand 25,946,254 3.0
9 West Bengal 22,256,968 2.6
10 Gujarat 21,017,478 2.5
Total of top 10 states 725,981,871 85.3
Others 124,874,769 14.7
Total 850,856,640 100

Historic monuments
 The Taj Mahal is one of India's best-known sites and one of the best architectural
achievements in India, located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. It was built between 1631 and
1653 by Emperor Shah Jahan in honour of his wife, Arjumand Banu, more popularly
known as Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal serves as her tomb.

 Fatehpur Sikri It was the first planned city of the Mughals and also the first one
designed in Mughal architecture, an amalgamation of Indian architecture, Persian and
Islamic architecture and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986

 Varanasi The ghats of one of the oldest city of the world

 The Mahabodhi Temple is a 2000-year-old temple dedicated to Gautam Buddha in

Bodh Gaya, Bihar. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 The Nalanda is located in the Indian State of Bihar, was a Buddhist centre of learning
from 427 C.E to 1197 C.E partly under the Pala Empire.[59][60] It has been called "one of
the first great universities in recorded history."[60]

According to historical studies the University of Nalanda was established 450 C.E under the
patronage of the Gupta emperors, notably Kumaragupta.[59]

The Victoria Memorial in Kolkata is built in memory of Queen Victoria by the British.

 The Brihadishwara Temple in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu built by the Cholas. The temple
is one of India's most prized architectural sites.
 The Airavateswara temple is located in the town of Darasuram, near Kumbakonam,
Tamil Nadu

 The Shore Temple, along with the collection of other monuments in Mahabalipuram,
Tamil Nadu have been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites

 The Harmandir Sahib is one of the most respected gurudwara in India and the most
sacred place for Sikhs. The gurudwara is located in Amritsar, Punjab, India.

 The Bahá'í temple in Delhi, was completed in 1986 and serves as the Mother Temple of
the Indian Subcontinent. It has won numerous architectural awards and been featured in
hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. (It is also known as the Lotus Temple.)

 The Hawa Mahal in Jaipur also known as Palace of Winds

 The Taj Mahal Palace is an icon of Mumbai

 The Victoria Memorial in Kolkata, built during the British Raj

 The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai, built for Queen Victoria

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) in Mumbai is a train station
built in Gothic architecture in honour of Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria.

Nature tourism
India has geographical diversity, which resulted in varieties of nature tourism.

 Water falls in Western Ghats & Himalayas including Jog falls (highest in India)

 Western Ghats

 Hill Stations
 Lakes

 Wildlife reserves

 Deserts

India has the largest wild population of tigers in the world.

Wildlife in India

The wild population of the endangered Asiatic lions is restricted to the Gir Forest National Park
in western India.
Main article: Fauna of India

India is home to several well-known large mammals including the Asian Elephant, Bengal Tiger,
Asiatic Lion, Leopard and Indian Rhinoceros, often engrained culturally and religiously often
being associated with deities. Some other well-known large Indian mammals are ungulates such
as the domestic Asian Water buffalo, wild Asian Water buffalo, Nilgai, Gaur and several species
of deer and antelope. Some members of the dog family such as the Indian Wolf, Bengal Fox,
Golden Jackal and the Dhole or Wild Dogs are also widely distributed. It is also home to the
Striped Hyaena, Macaques, Langurs and Mongoose species.

India also has a large variety of protected wildlife. The country's protected forest consists of 75
National parks of India and 421 sanctuaries, of which 19 fall under the purview of Project Tiger.
Its climatic and geographic diversity makes it the home of over 350 mammals and 1200 bird
species, many of which are unique to the subcontinent.

Some well known national wildlife sanctuaries include Bharatpur, Raiganj, Corbett, Kanha,
Kaziranga, Periyar, Ranthambore, Manas and Sariska.
The world's largest mangrove forest Sundarbans is located in southern West Bengal. The
Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park, Sundarbans and Keoladeo National Park are
UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Hill stations

A summer view of Khajjiar, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh.

One of the finest hill-stations in India.

Main article: List of Indian hill stations

Several hill stations served as summer capitals of Indian provinces, princely states, or, in the case
of Shimla, of British India itself. Since Indian Independence, the role of these hill stations as
summer capitals has largely ended, but many hill stations remain popular summer resorts. Most
famous hill stations are:

 Mount Abu, Rajasthan

 Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh

 Gulmarg, Srinagar and Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir

 Shillong in Meghalaya

 Darjeeling in West Bengal

 Shimla, Kullu in Himachal Pradesh

 Nainital in Uttarakhand

 Gangtok in Sikkim
 Mussoorie in Uttarakhand

 Manali in Himachal Pradesh

 Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh

 Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra

 Haflong in Assam

 Araku, Andhra Pradesh

 Munnar in Kerala

 Ooty, Yercaud and Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu

 Jampui Hills in Tripura

 Khajiyar in Himachal Pradesh

 Coorg in Karnataka

In addition to the bustling hill stations and summer capitals of yore, there are several serene and
peaceful nature retreats and places of interest to visit for a nature lover. These range from the
stunning moonscapes of Leh and Ladhak, to small, exclusive nature retreats such as Dunagiri,
Binsar, Mukteshwar in the Himalayas, to rolling vistas of Western Ghats to numerous private
retreats in the rolling hills of Kerala.


View of Lake Tsongmo, Sikkim

Main article: List of lakes in India

 Avalanche Lake
 Dal Lake

 Emerald Lake

 Chandra Taal

 Nainital Lake

 Sheshnag Lake

 Suraj Tal

 Tso Moriri

 Tsongmo Lake

 Pangong Tso

 Prashar lake

 Rewalsar lake

 Bhojtal

 Loktak lake


Main article: List of beaches in India

Elephants and camel rides are common on Indian beaches. Shown here is Havelock Island, part
of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

India offers a wide range of tropical beaches with silver/golden sand to coral beaches of
Lakshadweep. States like Kerala and Goa have exploited the potential of beaches to the fullest.
However, there are a lot many unexploited beaches in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat,
Maharastra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. These states have very high potential to develop them as
future destinations for prospective tourists. Some of the famous tourist beaches are:

 Beaches of Vizag, Andhra Pradesh

 Beaches of Puri, Odisha

 Beaches of Digha, West Bengal

 Beaches of Goa

 Kovalam Beach, Kerala

 Marina Beach, Chennai

 Elliot's Beach, Chennai

 City Beach, Pondicherry

 Beaches of Mahabalipuram

 Beaches in Mumbai

 Beaches of Diu

 Beaches of Midnapore, West Bengal

 Beaches of Andaman and Nicobar Islands

 Beaches of Lakshadweep Islands

Adventure tourism
Skiing in Manali, Himachal Pradesh

Due to its diverse geography and a myriad of cultures, coupled with the popularity of adventure
sports adventure tourism in India has become quite popular. Backpacking, or light travel, is a
popular way to explore India. Many of those who have previously visit will describe the visit as
not having been a holiday but an adventure.[61]

 River rafting and kayaking in Himalayas

 Mountain climbing in Himalayas

 Rock climbing in Madhya Pradesh

 Skiing in Auli and Gulmarg

 Boat racing in Bhopal

 Paragliding in Maharashtra

World Heritage Sites

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


Red Fort


Churches and Convents of Goa




Elephanta Caves

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

Chola Temples


Mountain Railways-Nilgiri

Mountain Railways-Darjeeling

Mountain Railways-Kalka-Shimla

Great Himalayan National Park


Sun Temple, Konârak

Jantar Mantar, Jaipur

Rani ki vav

Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers N.P.

Sundarbans N.P.

Western Ghats (Nilgiri)

Western Ghats (Kerala)

Western Ghats (Sahyadri)

Western Ghats (Karnataka)

Location of World Heritage Sites within India (

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See also
 Incredible India

 List of Geographical Indications in India

 List of Indian hill stations

 Medical tourism in India

 Luxury Trains in India

 Times of India's list of seven Wonders of India

 NDTV's Seven Wonders of India


 "India: How does Travel & Tourism compare to other sectors?". World Travel and Tourism
Council. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  "Travel & Tourism 2013". World Travel and Tourism Council. Retrieved 8 November
  "India’s Domestic Tourists increase by 16% crossing 1 Billion Mark". IANS. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  "India Tourism Statistics at a Glance". Market Research Division, Ministry of Tourism,
Government of India. 23 July 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  "Top 100 Cities Destination Ranking". Euromonitor International. 21 January 2013.
Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  "WEF Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index". World Economic Forum. 2013.
Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  "Rank in Tourism" (Press release). Press Information Bureau, Government of India. 7
February 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  "Annual Report 2009–10". Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. 6 April 2010.
Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  "Kanaka Durga Temple". Retrieved 2014-04-09.
  "Srisailam Temple". Srisaila Devasthanam Administration. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  India's top 10 tourist destinations – Business. (19 July 2011).
Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  "Activities". Himachal Tourism. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
  "Andhra Pradesh top tourist destination: Tourism Ministry". The Financial Express. 18
July 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  "History". Retrieved 16 February 2009.
  "Handbook of surya nagar hisar, History". Retrieved 16 February 2009.
  "Karnataka Tourism, Official Website, Department of Tourism".
Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  "Top Hill Stations in Karnataka". Silicon India Travel. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
Retrieved 28 November 2008.
  Adichunchanagiri Wildlife Sanctuary
  Arabithittu Wildlife Sanctuary
 
  "Kerala Tourism: Paradises in the world". The Hindu. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  "Shopping festival begins". The Hindu. 2 December 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
 
 
 
 
 
  Choudhury, A.U. (2008) A pocket guide to the birds of Mizoram. Gibbon Books & The
Rhino Foundation for Nature in North East India, Guwahati, India. 122pp. [Supported by
Oriental Bird Club, UK]
  Choudhury, A.U. (2002). Survey of Mrs Hume's pheasant in North East India. Technical
Report No. 5. The Rhino Foundation for Nature in NE India, Guwahati, India. 30pp. [Final
report to the Oriental Bird Club, UK]
  Choudhury, A.U. (2010). The vanishing herds: wild water buffalo. Gibbon Books & The
Rhino Foundation for Nature in NE India, Guwahati, India. 184pp. [Supported by CEPF &
Taiwan Forestry Bureau]
  Choudhury, A.U. (1997) The status of the Sumatran rhinoceros in north-eastern India.
Oryx 31(2):151–152
  Choudhury, A.U. (2001) The wild elephant Elephas maximus in Mizoram. J. Bombay nat.
Hist. Soc. 98(3): 439–441
  "The worlds biggest family Ziona Chan 39 wives 94 children 33 grandchildren". Daily
Mail (London). 19 February 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  "Skeletons dating back 3,800 years throw light on evolution". The Times of India. 1
January 2006. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  "Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh build temple ties to boost tourism". The Times of India. 10
August 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  "Tiruchy Tourism – A land of tradition". Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  . [1], Tamil Nadu Forest Department. Retrieved on 12 September 2014.
  "Mountain Railways of India". UNESCO. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  Indian Hill Railways: The Nilgiri Mountain Railway (TV). BBC. 21 February 2010.
Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  NMR added as a World Heritage Site
  "pitchavaram". Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  "Tamil Nadu- A Healthcare Paradise – Express Healthcare".
Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  "All News – The Network: Cisco's Technology News Site".
Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  Hyderabad ranked 2nd best place in world to see in 2015: Magazine
  information about tripura
  Tripura Tourism
  Tourism of Tripura/Boxanagar
  Tripura a Place of Satiety
  Gods and Goddess in Pilak
  "Uttaranchal Tourism, Uttarakhand India Tourism, Uttaranchal Travel, Tourism in
Uttaranchal, Adventure Trekking Tour Uttaranchal India, Trekking Wildlife Hill Station Tour
Packages Uttaranchal India". Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  "West Bengal". Directory of Wildlife Protected Areas in India. Wildlife Institute of India.
Archived from the original on 20 December 2004. Retrieved 26 October 2006.
  Tourist Visa on Arrival Government of India (2014)
  [2]
  "Visa Information – India". Timatic. IATA. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  India announces new visa rules to boost tourism numbers
  India to extend visa-on-arrival to tourists from 180 countries
  India to Extend Visa-On-Arrival Facility to 180 Countries
  Altekar, Anant Sadashiv (1965). Education in Ancient India, Sixth, Varanasi: Nand
Kishore & Bros.
  "Really Old School," Garten, Jeffrey E. The New York Times, 9 December 2006.

1.  "Adventures in India". The Indian Backpacker. Retrieved 10 January 2013.

Further reading
 Bradnock, Roma (2004). Footprint India Footprint Travel Guides, Bath, UK. ISBN 1-

 DeBruyn, Pippa; Bain, Keith; Venkatraman, Niloufer (2010). Frommer's India.

 "India in One, Two or Three Weeks". The New York Times. 23 March 2012.

See also
 Visa policy of India

External links

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for India.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tourism in India.

 India travel and tourism at DMOZ

 Ministry of Tourism, India

 Visa on Arrival, Government of India

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Tourism in India
By state
 Andhra Pradesh

 Assam

 Bihar

o Patna

 Delhi

 Goa

 Jammu and Kashmir

o Ladakh

 Karnataka

o Bangalore

o Mysore

 Kerala

o Thiruvanathapuram

o Kochi

o Thrissur

 Madhya Pradesh

 Maharashtra
o Mumbai

o Aurangabad

 Mizoram

 Odisha

o Kosal

 Puducherry

 Punjab

 Rajasthan

o Jaipur

 Telangana

o Hyderabad

 Tamil Nadu

o Chennai

o Coimbatore

 Uttar Pradesh

o Allahabad

 Uttarakhand

 West Bengal

o Kolkata

 Beaches

 Hill stations
 Islands

 Lakes

 Medical tourism

 Skiing

 Tourist trains

 Waterfalls

 Wildlife

o National parks

o Protected areas

 World Heritage Sites

 India TDC

 Andhra Pradesh TDC

 Bihar STDC

 Delhi TTDC

 Haryana TCL


 Karnataka TDC

 Kerala TDC

 Madhya Pradesh TDC

 Maharashtra TDC

 Odisha TDC
 Rajasthan TDC

 Tamil Nadu TDC

 Telangana TDC

 Aihole

 Badami

 Bijapur

 Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram

 Hampi

 Incredible India
See also
 Kerala backwaters

 Palaces in Rajasthan

 Pattadakal

 Taj Mahal

 Tourist attractions in West Bengal

 Visa policy of India

 Category

 Commons


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Economy of India

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Tourism in Asia

 Tourism in India

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 This page was last modified on 4 January 2015 at 16:38.