Places in India you must visit in the New Year
Travel from northern snow-capped mountains, down through deserts, into jungles and luxuriate on blindingly white beaches in the south. Experience the stark contrasts of luxury and simplicity as you explore iridescent India.
These destinations are not in order of preference – one may want to de-stress on a beach or relax in the mountains before joining the hustle and bustle of city life or vice versa.
The Golden Triangle
Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, a short distance from each other, are the Triangle’s three points. Delhi, the capital, regarded as the heart of the nation, is an ever-changing city, richly endowed with historical monuments giving testament to its cultural and religious diversity.
Agra is home to the “gem” in India’s crown – The beautiful Taj Mahal – built solely of white marble in the 1600s, built between 1631 and 1648 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, the beautiful and captivating Mumtaz Mahal. A perfect symmetrical symbol of deep love and devotion.
Jaipur, the Old City or ‘the pink city’- named for the unique colour of the buildings, is renowned for its beautiful bazaars displaying beautiful arts and crafts. It is also home to the City Palace – still a royal residence. The highlights of these three cities can be seen in just a few days when exploring iridescent India
Bustling cities give way to rural bliss as one departs the Golden Triangle city of Jaipur and enters the Rajasthan province – its name meaning ‘Land of Kings’. Rajasthan is known fondly as the Desert State of India. It hosts India’s largest desert – The Thar Desert. It is steeped in history, littered with ancient forts and sumptuous palaces. Here, one can enjoy the vast peace and openness offered by the desert in the east and the replenishment provided by the West’s verdant landscapes. The only delay you’ll encounter on the road is an elephant traffic-jam.
Some of the best cities to spend time in the Rajasthan province include the blue city of Jodhpur, home to the Mehrangarh Fort. It was built in the mid-1400s, 410m above the city. There are several palaces within its walls, known for their intricate carvings and beautiful courtyards. Then there is Jaisalmer where you can take a camel safari into the desert. Udaipur is a romantic city, richly populated with palaces, set around several artificial lakes.
Pushkar city is situated on the Pushkar Lake – a sacred Hindu site with 52 Ghats (staircases). Ranthambore Fort lies within the Ranthambore National Park, home to the Tiger Reserve and an abundance of flora and fauna.
Lying to the east of Agra is the city of Varanasi – regarded as the spiritual centre of India. Here, you can immerse yourself in India’s rich culture, spirituality and religion while gazing out over the holy Ganges River. You may even witness a Hindu cremation on the river as a loved one is released from death.
Imagine a boat trip along the Ganges at sunrise. When soft magical light baths the river, this is an unforgettable way to travel experiencing the Ganges and its vital role in everyday life.
In complete contrast to the hustle and bustle of the northern cities and the deserts of Rajasthan, Kerala in the far south of India offers a tropical escape. It is one of the most relaxing places to visit in India.
It has a network of backwaters which offer luxurious houseboat cruises. A languid cruise along the rivers gives insight into the centuries-old traditions carried out in local life.
While away a few days by cruising under the palm trees while enjoying the delicious cuisine typical of the south. It also has some of the most beautiful beaches—Varkala Beach is a major Hindu pilgrimage centre with an ancient temple. The beach is broad and sweeping with spectacular views. Kovalam is another beach and is Kerala’s most prominent resort with safe bathing and an array of luxury hotels and restaurants.
The Indian Himalayas
If it is the mountains you prefer, India offers a two-centre holiday opportunity to escape the south’s heat. The Himalayas extend across the entire north Indian border, offering a delightful change of scenery. Aside from the cool air, the spectacular multi-coloured monasteries provide an insight into the serene Tibetan culture. You can also experience the Tibetan plateau’s surreal views – specifically the tea plantations of Darjeeling.
The Dalai Lama has his home in the Himalayan town of Dharamshala. Taken from Sanskrit, Himalaya translates to ‘the abode of snow ‘or for the multitudes of Hindu pilgrims, ‘the abode of God’ and much like the Dalai Lama we can see why!
Suppose if anything, we hope that you take away from reading the above information that the number of destinations India has to offer guarantees that it would take a lifetime to see all this incredible country go once and be sure. In that case, you will return to India for more!
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