South India  |  East India  |  Central India  |  West India  |  North India
         North India                                                                                                       

         Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir                                                     Palace on Wheels                  

 

The northern part of India is a dazzling array of cultural heritage, monuments and a living tribute to the rich and varied streams of history, empire and ancient religion. The Himalayan mountain ranges straddle the states of Himachal Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh, guarding the passages between India and China. Some of the most beautiful and scenic locations in India lie in the plains below the Himalayas. Hidden in the lonely wilderness of these wind swept slopes are ancient heritage Hindu temples and Buddhist monasteries.

As you cross the mountain plains and step into the heartland, you are confronted with the serene holiness of the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab and then the majestic grandeur of New Delhi, with its massive Red Fort and monuments like the Jama Masjid and Qutab Minar, testament to the Moghul conquest of India.

On one side of Delhi lies Uttar Pradesh, the epicenter of India’s Hindu culture. The city of Varanasi is one of the most important religious focal points in the world, due to the fact that it lies on the embankments of the Ganges river, whose waters are supposedly holy enough that a dip will wash away all your sins. Varanasi also hosts the Kumbh Mela festival once every 12 years, which around 10 million devotees attend. The city of Agra, home to the Taj Mahal, also lies in Uttar Pradesh. Traveling across the state of Uttar Pradesh, taking in the diversity, the mix of Hindu and Muslim culture and the people, their language and their way of living is a must for anyone who wants to see and feel and get to know the real India.

On the other side of Delhi lies the state of Rajasthan. Entering Rajasthan on the Palace of Wheels train can be a surreal experience, as one feels lost in the mists of time, and you are taken back to the splendor and pomp of the Maharajahs, with their private coaches and desert fortresses. The barren Thar Desert gives way to the wet marshes of the Bharatpur bird sanctuary, with its migrating Siberian Cranes and spotted deer.

With so much to offer, from mausoleums of Muslim Emperors to the home of the Hindu God Ram in Ayodhya, and a luxury train with a bar in the middle of a desert, suffice it to say that North India is a tourist paradise. The states of North India are listed below along with their attractions.
 

Delhi

India’s capital, Delhi, is the nerve center of the power and prestige of the world’s most populous democracy. From the early millenniums BC down to the British imperial empire, the conquest of Delhi has meant absolute control over the whole of India. This has left Delhi with a rich cultural and architectural heritage, which includes the forts and temples of the Hindu Mauryan Empire in 300 BC, the mosques and mausoleums of the Moghul Empire and the majestic administrative buildings and Churches left behind by the British.

Geographically and physically linked to the entire country by road, rail and air, Delhi is the ideal starting point for an exploration of India.  Delhi’s most famous tourist attraction is the Red Fort, or as it is known locally, Lal Quilla. Mixed in with this ancient heritage are modern hangouts, busy markets, clubs and discos, classy restaurants, five star hotels and skyscraper luxury suites catering to the rich and powerful.

  Delhi
 
South India
 

The states in this region are Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, all four of which have their own languages, slightly differing from each other, but vastly different from the language and culture of the Indian heartland in the North and West.                   View more

 
 

East India

 

East India covers a vast and uneven terrain along the Indo-China border. Sloping down from the lower heights of the Himalayan peaks, this area is dotted with dense forests and blessed with differing climate zones,         View more

Central India

The state of Madhya Pradesh, which literally means ‘Central State’, lies at the geographic and cultural center of India. Of all the varied attractions in Madhya Pradesh, man-made or natural, the most famous tourist                  View more

West India
 

Western India stretches along a massive 2236 kilometer long coastline facing the Arabian Sea from the port city of Kandla, Gujarat to Marmagoa, Goa. With a vast and varying geographical and cultural spread,                                 View more

 





















 
 

Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh lies in the fertile foothills of the Himalayan mountains, fed by the melting ice of the Himalayas flowing across UP in the form of the rivers Ganges and the Yamuna. With a population exceeding 166 million and the holy Hindu cities of Varanasi, Mathura, Allahabad, Rishikesh, Haridwar and Ayodhya nesting hand in hand with exemplary Muslim architectural wonders like the Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri in Agra, Uttar Pradesh is a prime example of the concurrent flow and intermingling of cultures and religions found in India.

Besides history, UP also has a lot to offer to tourists in the form of hill station resort towns Mussoorie and Nainital, a wildlife sanctuary called Corbett National Park and mountain climbing and white water rafting in the Himalayan mountain ranges where the Ganges starts churning down into the plains.

In the year 2000, India broke up Uttar Pradesh into two parts, and created another state by the name of Uttarakhand. For purposes of tourism, we consider the above mentioned cities and places as being in one state.


Rajasthan


Rajasthan is a state of contrasts, with a violent, but beautiful past. The forts and monuments still bear the poignant scars of long-forgotten battles between the native and valiant Rajputs, the invading Moghuls and the all conquering British Empire. It is a landscape frozen in time, forgotten in the middle of India’s rush towards modernity, with endless miles of desert and sand dunes baking under the hot sun.

Nature smiles halfway through Rajasthan, with the Aravalli mountain ranges providing relief from the Thar Desert. On the other side of the mountains, colorful fort cities such as Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Bikaner provide a dazzling array of arts, clay artifacts and talented performers entertaining travelers with splendid dance and traditional music.

  Rajasthan


A major attraction is the Palace on Wheels train, which combines the splendor and stately elegance of the Maharajahs of Rajasthan along with modern facilities, such as a bar and dining coaches, with private suites for travelers. The train also takes tourists to the Bharatpur Bird sanctuary, winter home of the migrating Siberian Cranes. The popularity of Rajasthan and the Palace on Wheels train is reflected in the fact that it is booked solid for the next two years, and the Ministry of Tourism in India has been forced to build an additional train to cater to the demand.
 

Punjab  

Punjab

Punjab is known as the Granary of India, on account of the extensive agriculture and wheat output from Punjab. Home to the Sikhs, fierce warriors who live disciplined lives, Punjab also features one of the most impressive tourist destinations in India – The Golden Temple in Amritsar. The name comes from a golden leaf covering the dome of the temple. The city of Chandigarh is a planned city, designed from scratch by Swiss architect Le Corbusier.
 

Himachal Pradesh

Lying on the foothills of the Himalayas, this relatively sparsely populated state is a  very popular summer vacation resort, with snow capped peaks and cool weather, which is generally not available anywhere else in India. In addition to the string of resort towns, Himachal Pradesh also has a mix of Hindu and Buddhist culture and religious heritage sites, such as the Laxmi Narayan temple and Dharamsala, the abode of the Dalai Lama. Mountain climbing and white water rafting are favorites for adventure travelers in Himachal Pradesh.

  Himachal Pradesh
 

Kashmir

 

Jammu & Kashmir

Even closer to the mountain peaks than Himachal Pradesh, this couplet of cities forms a tiny and bitterly divided state high up in the Himalayas. Two decades ago, J & K, accessible only by road, was a tourist hotspot. You had to take a bus which wound round and round the mountains, climbing ever higher. The air at the top is chilled and clear. Tourists are accommodated in boat houses, which float on the pristine lakes, such as Dal lake. It was a picturesque and scenic place, untouched by man’s progress or modernity, until both Pakistan and India laid claim to the frozen heights and snow covered passes.

 

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