India’s Top 4 Tourist Attractions and Locations
India, as diverse as it is expansive, attracts millions of international tourists and also enjoys a thriving domestic market. The country’s history, landscape, and multiculturism guarantee the traveler an abundance of locations to visit. It caters for architecture aficionados, hikers and wilderness enthusiasts, seekers of enlightenment, foodies, shoppers, and starry-eyed honeymooners.
Being such an immense country it may be difficult to mentally find your bearings when it comes to locating all the favorite tourist haunts. That’s why this list not only focuses on popular tourist regions – it also gives details as to whereabouts in India the attractions are located.
#1 Land-Based Casinos In India – Gateways to Other Attractions
Visiting India’s casino resorts is not only a super way to indulge in a spot of speculation, but the location of the resorts also allows you to visit other popular attractions. Despite strict laws against gambling, there are still a few casinos that are operating in India with the prior permission of the government. Casinos are permitted in just 3 areas – the states of Sikkim and Goa, and the union territory of Daman and Diu.
Sikkim is home to several casinos including Casino Mahjong and Casino Delton Denzong, both of which are found in the city of Gangtok and set on exclusive 5-star resorts. In between having fun on the slots and table games you can explore this north-east region of India and take in the beauty of the Himalayas, the tranquillity of Buddhist monasteries or the charm of the many picturesque villages dotted along the area.
Goa,India’s smallest state is situated on the west coast on the Arabian Sea. The state has the most land-based casinos, four of which are based on large cruise ships splendidly floating on the Mondovi River. Some of the best betting experiences can be enjoyed at Big Daddy, Casino Pride, Casino Palms, Casino Carnival, and Strike Casino. As well as being packed with slots and table games such as Blackjack, Roulette, Poker, Teen Patti and Baccarat, these luxurious resorts offer the finest of dining, music, spa facilities and 5-star accommodation.
Of course, Goa is not only famous for its casinos but is also renowned for its beach culture and laid back vibe. Other highlights which make this tiny state a top tourist attraction are the Carnival, festivals and parties, dolphin spotting, water sports, the Dudhsagar Waterfalls and the more.
#2 India’s Golden Triangle – Three Spectacular Cities
Northern India is packed with awesome tourist attractions and the Golden Triangle circuit route connects 3 of its most famous cities – Delhi, Jaipur and Agra.
Delhi is India’s vibrant capital city which mixes the old with the new and is famous for its bazaars, crafts, museums as well as its walking and rickshaw tours. The city has many architectural treasures including the Red Fort, an impressive red sandstone building that was commissioned in 1638 to house the Mughal Emperors. Humayun’s Tomb was built around 1570 in the Mughal architecture style to house the Mughal Emperor Humayun. The style of this spectacular garden-tomb is a precursor to the renowned Taj Mahal.
Jaipur the capital of the state of Rajasthan, is situated approximately 280 km (180 miles) south-west of Delhi. As well as bazaars and traditional crafts, Jaipur – or the Pink City – is best known for the lavish Royal City Palace complex which was constructed in the 1720s. Part of the palace is still occupied by the royal family and tourists can visit the gardens, museums and courtyards. Nearby the Jantar Mantar, dating from the same period houses a collection of astronomical instruments and features the world’s largest stone sun-dial.
Agrain the state of Uttar Pradesh is approximately 238 km (148 miles) east of Jaipur and it’s here you will find one of India’s most famous landmarks, the Taj Mahal. This tomb is one of the best examples of Mughal architecture and was completed in 1648. This sight-to-behold is built mainly of white marble and decorated with precious and semi-precious stones. Other attractions in Agra include the Red Fort and the Agra Bear Rescue Centre.
#3 India’s National Parks – For A Bit of Wildlife
There are over one hundred protected national parks in India for nature lovers to relish where you can spot the likes of tigers, elephants, one-horned rhinos or river dolphins – all chilling in their natural habits of forests, grasslands, rivers and mountains.
Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is located in south-western India in the state of Kerala. With an artificial lake as its centerpiece, this park is ideal for visitors to see herds of elephants, primates such as the lion-tailed macaque, and the common langur, wild pigs, sambar, birds, reptiles (watch out for the phytons), and butterflies. There are an estimated 40 tigers in the park, majestically lurking somewhere in the tropical evergreen, semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests.
Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary is situated near the city of Belgaum in the state of Karnataka in southern India. The sanctuary is built around a 17th-century fort and the woodlands, grasslands and sub-tropical forests are home to sloth bears, leopards, tigers, elephants, chitals, and other creatures. The threatened Wroughton’s free-tailed bat can be found hanging around the Barapede caves.
#4 Mumbai – Formally Known as Bombay
This is India’s largest and most populous city and is situated on the west coast in Maharashtra state. Here you can shop till you drop, if you’re lucky, into the arms of a rich person as this city is awash with millionaires. If that fails, you can always take a tour of Bollywood and maybe catch the eye of a movie star.
As well as movie stars, other attractions in this cosmopolitan city include:
The Elephanta Caves on Elephanta Island just off Mumbai Harbour are a series of basalt caves dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and are a wonderful example of Hindu iconography. There are also several Buddhist monuments on the island that date to the 2nd century BC.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, formally called the Victoria Station, is one of the city’s best-known landmarks. This railway station, completed in 1887 and still in use today, is a glorious mix of Victorian Gothic and Indian architecture.
The Gateway of India is a 26m high arch-monument constructed of yellow basalt. Adjacent to the Arabian Sea, the gateway was used as an entrance to the city for VIP colonial types. Ironically, it was through the other side of the gate the British soldiers marched on their way out in 1948 after India won its independence.
There are so many awesome attractions in India it’s doubtful that it’s possible to see them all, but the ones you do experience, like religious motifs, will be etched on your mind forever.