The Lake Palace in Lake Pichola in the city of Udaipur was built as a royal summer palace in the 18th century. Today it is a luxury 5 Star hotel, operating under the “Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces”. The Lake Palace hotel operates a boat which transports guests to the hotel from a jetty at the City Palace on the east bank of Lake Pichola. The palace became famous in 1983 when it was featured in the James Bond film Octopussy, as the home of titular character.
9. Havelock Island
Ecotourism is encouraged at Havelock Island, the largest island in Ritchie’s Archipelago in the Andaman Islands. Though not as crowded as other islands in Asia, the number of visitors to Havelock Island is on the rise due to its great beaches, casual atmosphere, snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities. The best time to visit is mid-January to mid-May, when the weather is sunny with calmer seas. Redhanagar Beach is considered one of the best beaches in Asia.
Darjeeling is fondly called the ”Queen of the Hills” and is at an altitude of 2134 meters above mean sea level, nestled among the rolling mountains. Darjeeling produces most popular teas in the world and one can admire clear view of the world’s third highest peak, Kanchenjunga from here. Darjeeling hosts some of the most popular hill resorts in India and the sight of sunrise is simply spectacular.
7. Jim Corbet National Park
Everyone loves to see animals in the wild. Jim Corbett National Park, India’s oldest national park, is a good place to see the endangered Bengal tiger. Established in 1936, the park was renamed in 1954 to honor Jim Corbett, author and wildlife conservationist, who helped create this nature reserve. Thick vegetation, including jungles and forest, make it difficult to see the tiger – April to June is best for that, but visitors may see other wildlife, including elephants, leopards and Himalayan black bears.
Agra’s Taj Mahal is one of the most famous buildings in the world, the mausoleum of Shah Jahan’s favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is one of the New Seven Wonders of the world, and one of three World Heritage Sites in Agra. Completed in 1653, the Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal king Shah Jahan as the final resting place for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Finished in marble, it is perhaps India’s most fascinating and beautiful monument. This perfectly symmetrical monument took 22 years (1630-1652) of hard labour and 20,000 workers, masons and jewelers to build and is set amidst landscaped gardens.
Goa is Famous for its pristine beaches, infact 90% of all the tourism in Goa happens only for its beautiful beaches in Coastal Areas. Goa has two main tourist seasons: winter and summer. In the winter time, tourists from abroad (mainly Europe) come to Goa to enjoy the splendid climate. In the summertime (which, in Goa, is the rainy season), tourists from across India come to spend the holidays.
In 2008 there were more than three million tourists reported to have visited Goa, more than half million of whom were from Foreign visitors. Infact, many foreigners have made Goa as there home for its laid-back and relaxed lifestyle.
4. Shimla & Manali
The majestic snow clad mountains, stunningly rich greenery and the beautiful lakes in the land of Shimla greet you to enjoy their timeless beauty. Certain places on earth do boast of places that equal or even surpass the beauty of Shimla. However, Shimla which is one of the most visited tourist spot in Himachal Pradesh holds magic in the air, which is beyond comparison. No wonder it is called the Queen of Hill Stations.
The land so captivated the minds of the British when they ruled India that it was made their summer capital. The influence of British presence is glaringly evident in its buildings. One of the best features of Shimla is that you could visit it any season during a year.
The Ladakh capital city of Leh lies near the eastern parts of Jammu and Kashmir, on the crossroads of the historic “Silk Route” from Sinkiang to West Asia and to the plains of India. The humbling monasteries of Shey, Hemis, Alchi, Thikse and Lamayuru will nurture your spiritual needs, and the landscape of Leh provides for a number of adventure activities including mountaineering, white-water rafting and trekking along the Markha Valley.
The Kerala backwaters are a chain of lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the Arabian Sea coast in the Kerala state. The Kerala backwaters are home to many unique species of aquatic life including crabs, frogs and mudskippers, water birds and animals such as otters and turtles. Today, houseboat tourism is the most popular tourist activity in the backwaters, with several large Kettuvallams (traditional rice boats, now converted into floating hotels)ply the waterway.
1. Jammu & Kashmir
Jammu & Kashmir is unparalleled in terms of scenic beauty. There’s no place as beautiful and vibrant as Kashmir. In summer the snow melts, the hills become green, and flower blossoms fill the parks, gardens and hillsides. In winter the snow adds a new charm. In summer, the great plains of India reel under tormenting heat wave, and Kashmir, a pristine place with cool valleys and snow-peaked mountains, offers an enticing getaway to refresh and be nourished in the lap of nature. Kashmir is easy to access in summer. In winter, most of the roads towards Ladakh are closed because of snow and they remain covered till spring, until the clearing works starts. There are state-run bus services to almost all the major destinations in Kashmir.