Experience the Magnificence, Splendour and Timeless Beauty of India. Great Places in India to Visit in 2021 that Showcase the Beauty and Wonder of This Vast, Complex, and Spiritual Country.

Experience the Magnificence, Splendour and Timeless Beauty of India. Great Places in India to Visit in 2021 that Showcase the Beauty and Wonder of This Vast, Complex, and Spiritual Country.

India is without a doubt one of the finest and most affordable travel destinations in the world. It has something to offer to every traveller, regardless of age and personal preferences. If you are wondering which places to go to in your forthcoming holidays then you have just come to the right place. This BP Guide will take you on a memorable journey through some of the great places you should definitely visit in India along with some truly unusual ones which are surely going to leave you wonder-struck.

India and Its Wonders

India is undoubtedly a land of wonders and mysteries. It is one of the few countries that leaves an everlasting impression on your mind and soul. It is known for its extraordinary culture, vibrant colours and traditions. A trip around India can be a memorable one. Other than the rich traditions and cultures, India is also known for its food. India offers great local cuisine as well as dishes from all around the globe. Some of the dishes like Chicken Tikka, Rogan Josh, Malai Kofta and naan are popular around the globe. You will also find some of the best wildlife here in India. National wildlife parks and sanctuaries give you a chance to see the famous Indian tigers, elephants, rhinos, etc. and enjoy the outdoor adventure.

India is also known for its religion and you can't leave out the holy river Ganga when talking about India. It runs from 2,525 km from the northern Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal. It is called the lifeline of India. The Ganga river serves as a cremation point for the dead as it is believed that if the ashes are dispersed in the Ganga the soul of the dead is transported to heaven directly. It is also famous for its historical and architectural monuments. Just mention the Taj Mahal and you are done, nothing more needs to be said about it.

Travelling around India is not very expensive either. There are tons of different ways by which you can travel depending on your budget. You will find all the 5 and 7-star hotels here as well as the budget hotels and home-stays in almost every city. If you are planning to take a trip around India soon you should check out the places given below to experience India to its fullest.

7 Places to Visit in India

Goa – The Official Party Hub

Goa is one place which should be on the top of your list. It is a dream come true destination for almost every one. The place is full of energy, has an amazing nightlife, tons of booze and that too at an affordable price.

Goa is famous for its numerous beaches, hospitality, carnivals, water sports, etc. It has been a popular holiday destination since colonial times. The British troops and officials used to come here to enjoy the bars, brothels and booze. Since Goa has more than 70 beaches you can always find the best one for the kind of holiday you are looking for. Beaches like Calangute and Candolim in the north, and Colva and Benaulim in the south have great accommodations. If you want to party all night you should visit Anjuna, Vagator and Chapora and if you are on a tight budget but want to have all the fun then hit Palolem in the far south which has thousands of visitors flocking during the peak season. If you want some quite and peace in Goa then you should check out Patnem or Agonda, which have beautiful hut camps and markets. The best places to bring out the hippie in you is the Arambol in the far north. Here you can enjoy great yoga sessions and holistic therapies by the beach and have the time of your life.

Goa is a great place for adventure lovers. You can master some of the most amazing water sports here. Sports like skiing, parasailing, kayaking on the Aguada river, white water rafting on the Mandovi river can be exhilarating adventures. Goa's wildlife is also very popular. You can see panthers, sloth bears and barking deer at the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and the Mollem National Park in their natural habitat. The best time to visit Goa is between November to February.

McLeod Ganj

If you are looking to go to some place different and experience some of the most majestic views in the country then you should visit McLeod Ganj. It is a wonderful suburb in Dharamshala in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. It is also called "Little Lhasa" or "Dhasa" due to the large population of Tibetans there.

Earlier during the British rule, McLeod Ganj was a hill station where the British came and spent their summers and later a cantonment was made here in 1849. In 1852 Dharamshala became the administrative capital of the Kangra district.

Thousands of visitors around the globe visit McLeod Ganj and most of them come here to volunteer with the Tibetan community and learn about Buddhism, meditation and yoga. It is also famous for trekking in the Dhauladhar mountain ranges. The markets here are full of Tibetan handicrafts and it is a great place to just hang out and relax with your family and friends.

McLeod Ganj is one of the most beautiful places in India. You get to view the majestic Dhauladhar ranges and camp under the twinkling stars. There are various places you can visit here and experience the beauty and uniqueness of the place:

  • Tsuglagkhang Complex: This is a holy site for the Buddhist pilgrims. It has a Tsuglagkhang temple, the Namgyal Monastery, a beautiful Tibetan museum, a great bookstore, an elegant cafe and a library.

  • Tsuglagkhang Dalai Lama Temple: This is another great temple to visit here. The main highlight of the temple is the Buddhist prayer wheel where people walk along it and spin the wheels. It is said that spinning these wheels brings good karma and eradicates negative energy.

  • Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts: The Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts is a must see at McLeod Ganj. You get to see excellent music and folk numbers; you can also witness the local folk opera called Lhamo.

  • Shopping: Another great attraction of McLeod Ganj are the shopping spots, You can buy Thangka tapestry paintings, wooden carvings and exquisite handicrafts. The Tibetan mini market is a great place to shop for souvenirs and local knick-knacks for your loved ones. You can also buy great carpets and local sculptures from the Kotwali Bazaar.

  • Triund: If you an adventure lover you can experience a whole lot of trekking and camping at Triund and enjoy the cold weather, steep slopes and oak forests. The best time to visit McLeod Ganj is between September to June.

Chadar – The Frozen River Trek

If you like the cold and the snow then one place to go once in your lifetime is Chadar – The Frozen River Trek. The place has been isolated for centuries but recently it has started attracting people from around the world especially after the video of school children walking around 100 km to study went viral. It is situated in the high in the Himalayan ranges and has peaks as high as 7,000 m which makes it a wonderland.

If you are ready for the vacation of a lifetime you will have to reach Leh by flight, this is where it all begins. The famous Chadar trek is over the frozen river of Zanskar which is at a height of 11,078 feet. When you start walking on this magnificent frozen river you will feel like you are visiting the North Pole. When you trek you don't trek alone, your ration is pulled on the sledges and the tents and other necessary items are carried by porters. The Chadar trek takes you through one of the most uninhabitable regions in the world which makes it one of the best places to see.

The best time to go on the Chadar trek is in January or February when the ice is firm and thick and you can walk on it for miles. The temperature usually goes below -20°C or at times even more. This is one of the most extreme treks you can find in the world. The best thing to see during your trek is the frozen cascading waterfall known as the Naerak. You has to be very careful while trekking here. You need to be aware of the condition of the ice at all times as cracks can cause major accidents. You will fall in love with the beauty and the amazing atmosphere of the place as soon as you land at Leh.

Kashmir

Kashmir also known as the "Heaven on Earth" is another great place to see in India. It is full of beautiful lakes, fruit orchards, meadows and thick pine and deodar forests, not to mention the snow covered peaks of the Himalayan and Pir Panjal ranges. Kashmir is one of the best places to visit with your family or to spend your honeymoon there and make it memorable. You can visit Gulmarg, Srinagar, Pahalgam or Sonmarg and enjoy the breathtaking beauty.

You can enjoy the shikara boat rides on the Dal Lake or take a stroll in the Mughal Gardens. You can also visit Amarnathji and thank God for bringing you to this heaven on Earth. Other than that you can also enjoy:

  • Gondola Ride: Asia's largest and highest and the world's second largest and second highest cable-car project is in Gulmarg. You can see the beauty of the breathtaking mountains while you take this gondola ride with your family.

  • Horse Riding: If you love horseback riding then this is the place to do so. It is one of the most popular things to do in Jammu and Kashmir. Places like Patnitop, Sanasar and Kishtwar are the best tourist places for horse riding.

  • Shikara Ride in Kashmir: You would have definitely seen them in popular Indian movies but now you can actually experience them. A visit to Kashmir is incomplete without a shikara ride on the Dal Lake. You will find the local people moving easily in their shikaras and buying and selling fruits, vegetables, handicrafts, etc. It is simply an out of the world experience.

  • Skiing: If you like adventure on ice then you can try some skiing while in Kashmir.

  • Hot Air Balloon Ride: Another great thing to try is the hot air balloon ride in the valley of Suru and Zanskar. It takes place at a height of 3,000 ft above sea level and can be a life changing moment for you to watch the majestic mountains from the sky.

Rann of Kutch

If you think you have seen it all, think again. You still need to visit the Rann of Kutch. The best time to be here is between November and February or else you may find it under water. Rann of Kutch is the world's largest salt desert which is about 10,000 km wide. It is submerged under water during the monsoon.

The Great Rann of Kutch is to the north of the Tropic of Cancer and is located in the Kutch district of Gujarat between India and Pakistan. The nearest city is Bhuj and it takes about 1.5 hours to reach here from Bhuj. You need to take permits here by showing your Voter ID, Aadhaar Card or passport.

Walking around the Rann of Kutch is one of the most amazing experiences of life. You can take an endless walk on this white sea-salt desert and lose yourself in its beauty. You can also check out the Rann Utsav which starts in November and goes on till the end of February. You will see hundreds of luxury tents at Dhordo along with millions of stalls and small shops from which you can buy some great handicrafts. You can also enjoy camel cart rides, para-motoring, rifle shooting, great spa treatments and wonderful cultural shows during the festival.

Another great place to see here is the Kala Dungar or the black hill, it is the highest point in Kutch and you can see the Pakistani border from here. Rann of Kutch should definitely be one of the places in your list to visit in India if you want to see something different.

Manali

Manali is situated at an elevation of over 2,000 meters and is a very popular hill station in Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the favourite places to visit during the summers. Manali is also one of the most visited places by backpackers and honeymooners. You can see places like the Rohtang Pass, Solang Valley, Hidimba Devi Temple, etc. while you are in Manali.

If you love nature you will love Manali for sure. You will get to see serene cascades, silver birch trees and some of the most beautiful waterfalls here. You can organise a picnic with your family at the Rahala Falls which is about 17 km from Manali and is one of the most romantic places here. There are a number of activities which you can do in Manali like challenging the water rapids from Pirdi and Jhiri, or trekking to the top of the mountains. You can also try parasailing, biking, zorbing or camping under the stars.

While you are in Manali you should also see the hot water bath at Manikaran. It is located in the Parvati Valley which is 45 km from Kullu. It is a popular pilgrimage site for Sikhs and Hindus and it is said that the bath has tremendous healing powers. If you are a wildlife lover then you should think about visiting the Manali Wildlife Sanctuary which is 2 km from Manali. It is spread across 300 hectares of land and is covered with lush green forests and snow capped mountains. It is said to be a heaven for bird watchers. You can also trek at the Chandratal Baralacha which is at an altitude of 4,300 meters and is one of the highest lakes in the Himalayan region. It will surely be an unforgettable moment for you and your family.

Backwaters – Kerala

A trip around India is incomplete without visiting the backwaters of Kerala. These are formed by the brackish lagoons and lakes parallel to the coast of the Arabian Sea. Kerala is also known as "God's Own Country" and is one of the most visited places by travellers from across the world. The most popular place to visit here is Alleppey.

Once you are here you have got to stay on a houseboat, it is an experience you will remember all your life. These houseboats are beautifully crafted; you can stay in them, cook your own food and have a great time with your family and friends.

You can take a long walk in the night on the roads of Alleppey and enjoy the peace and the soothing sound of the backwaters with your partner. Alleppey is also known for its great Ayurvedic massage and spa therapies. There are tons of resorts that offer great spa and massage services. You can lie down, pamper yourself and have a great time here. You will be a new person by the end of the day.

4 Unusual Places to Visit in India

In addition to visiting some of the most beautiful places in India, you can also visit some of the most unusual places here as well. Here is a list of such places which you will find only in India:

Karni Mata Temple

The Karni Mata Temple is 30 km from Bikaner in Rajasthan and is also called the temple of rats. It is a 600 year old temple and around 25,000 black rats live here and are actually worshipped here. They are served with food which is later distributed as prasad in the temple.

The legend says that Karni Mata is an incarnation of Goddess Durga and she asked Yama - the God of Death, to reincarnate the son of a sad storyteller. Yama declined the request and then Karni Mata promised that all male storytellers will reincarnate as rats and will stay in the temple and after they die they will again reincarnate as the members of the Depavats family who are the descendants of Karni Mata.

These rats are known as "Kabbas" or little children and are give grains, milk and coconut to eat. Eating the leftovers of the rats is considered to be sacred. There are a few white rats here as well which are believed to be lucky. You will be amazed to see these rats running around the temple freely and enjoying their meals amidst the devotees. It is one unusual place you should visit at least once.

Magnetic Hill, Ladakh

Another strange place to visit in India is the Magnetic Hill or the Cyclops Hill which is near Leh in Ladakh. The hill road is downhill but the surrounding slopes make it look like it is going upwards and the cars on this hill roll down which seems like it is defying the law of gravity and moving by itself. It is indeed a great experience.

The legend of the hill says that earlier there was a road here which lead to heaven and those who deserved it were pulled right into heaven from here. It is a great place to see once in a lifetime and your kids will love to see the car moving by itself up the hill.

Lucky Restaurant, Ahmedabad

If you like to see spooky places then you should visit Lucky Restaurant in Ahmedabad. It is one of the weirdest places you can see in India. It used to be a graveyard but the owner of the restaurant decided to build a restaurant around these graves without removing them. These graves are cleaned and decorated every day by the staff and guests sit around them and enjoy their meals here without feeling awkward. Eating a meal here can be a once in a lifetime experience for you and your family.

Mass Bird Suicide at Jatinga, Assam

This place is actually scary. It is not a pretty sight to see birds committing suicide right in front of your eyes but over the last 100 years people here have seen millions of birds fly over this place and plunge to die here in Jatinga in Assam. It is called the "Bermuda Triangle" for birds. Many people and experts have come up with different theories as to why this happens but have not yet come to a conclusion. It is a strange place and you might feel bad seeing these birds die here but it is an unusual place to visit for sure.

From our editorial team

Discover India – A Traveller's Delight

To truly comprehend India even a lifetime will not be enough. However, awaken the traveller in you and embark on a journey to start discovering India. We hope this BP Guide would have helped you decide which great Indian destination you would like to explore and discover in your forthcoming holidays. Stay connected with us for more such engaging content.