While it is a modern metropolis, it also showcases the rich and diverse history of the several cities that existed before Delhi acquired its modern day look. It unfurls a picture rich with culture, architecture, human diversity, monuments, museums, galleries and gardens. People from all parts of India and indeed the world live in Delhi, giving it a rainbow hue.
PLACES TO VISIT : Akshardham Temple, Birla Temple, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Humayun’s Tomb, India Gate, Jama Masjid, Jantar Mantar, Lotus Temple, Mehrauli Archaeological Park, Purana Qila, Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Rashtrapati Bhawan, Rajpath, Raj Ghat, Gurudwara Sisganj, etc. Connaught Place, Chandni Chowk, Dilli Haat, Janpath, State Emporia and Cottage Industries Emporium are good for shopping.
CAPITAL – Delhi (a city state) | WEBSITE – http://delhitourism.nic.in
Known for its robust people and rural agro-based lifestyles, Haryana is dotted with several places of historical and religious interest. Events and festivals include the Surajkund Crafts Fair, The Mango Mela, Lohri, Teej, Gangaur, Baisakhi, Heritage Festival etc.
PLACES TO VISIT : Chandigarh, Ambala, Gurgaon, Hissar, Kurukshetra, Morni Hills, Panipat, Pinjore, Panchkula, Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, Surajkund etc.
CAPITAL – Chandigarh | WEBSITE – http://haryanatourism.gov.in
Known for its apples and snow capped mountains, Himachal Pradesh boasts of some of the busiest hill stations of India. Tibetan Buddhist culture abounds in the ancient monasteries. The state also offers adventure sports. You can pick up wood and metal handicrafts, Himachali jackets, caps and plenty of agri-products. Major festivals include Losar, Pori festival, Minjar, Lavi Fair, Renuka Ji Fair and Kullu Dussehra.
PLACES TO VISIT : Shimla, Chail, Narkanda, Kufri, Chamba, Dalhousie, Dharamsala, Kullu Valley, Kangra, Kinnaur, Lahaul Spiti, Manali, Manikaran, GHNP, Nahan, etc.
CAPITAL – Shimla | WEBSITE – http://himachaltourism.gov.in
The valley is distinctively marked by lakes, streams, luscious fruits, magnificent forests, mighty mountains and lush meadows which make it a paradise on Earth. Jammu is the summer capital of the state and the Ladakh region is known for its barren and beautiful mountains and Buddhist lifestyle. Look for woollens, papier mâché, pashmina shawls, embroidered suits, woodcarving, hand knotted carpets, dry fruits and nuts etc. The major festivals of Kashmir are Losar, Eid, Baisakhi, Shivaratri, Hemis Festival etc.
PLACES TO VISIT : Srinagar (Dal Lake, Jama Masjid, Mughal Gardens, Hazratbal Shrine, Shankaracharya Temple, Tulip Garden), Wular Lake, Kheer Bhawani Temple, Amarnath, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonmarg, Jammu(Vaishno Devi Shrine, Pantnitop), Ladakh (Leh, Hemis, Thiksey and Lamayuru Monastery, Zanskar, Nubra) etc.
CAPITAL – Srinagar (summer), Jammu (winter) | WEBSITE – http://www.jktourism.org
The land of five rivers, Punjab is home to lively and robust people who have an incredible zest for life, good food and celebrations.
PLACES TO VISIT : Amritsar (Golden Temple, Akal Takht, Jallianwala Bagh, Gobindgarh Fort, Wagah Border, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum, Dera Baba Nanak), Anandpur Sahib, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ferozepur, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala (Sheesh Mahal, Moti Mahal, Art Gallery, Qila Mubarak, Chandeliers & Armory Museum), Rupnagar etc.
CAPITAL – Chandigarh | WEBSITE – http://www.punjabtourism.gov.in
Rajasthan is the land of fairy tale palaces, heroism, chivalry, colourful bazaars and vibrant fairs. Look for handicrafts, folk art, miniature paintings, hand embroidered fabrics with mirror work and puppets. The state is known for Nagaur Fair, Gangaur Festival, Teej Festival, Pushkar Fair, Desert Festival etc.
PLACES TO VISIT : Jaipur (Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Amber Fort), Ajmer (Ana Sagar Lake, Dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, Taragarh), Bikaner (Junagarh Fort), Chittaurgarh (Fort and Palace of Rana Kumbha), Jodhpur (Umaid Bhawan Palace, Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada), Jaisalmer (fort, sand dunes), Mount Abu (Dilwara Temples), Udaipur (Pichola Lake & City Palace) and for nature lovers there is the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Ranthambore National Park, and Sariska Tiger Reserve.
CAPITAL – Jaipur | WEBSITE – http://www.rajasthantourism.gov.in
Uttarakhand has numerous pilgrimage sites and adventure sports opportunities set in the midst of scenic mountains and natural beauty.
PLACES TO VISIT – Dehradun (Surkanda Devi, Jwalaji, Sahastra Dhara), Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Mussoorie (Kempty Falls), Dhanaulti, Rishikesh, Almora, Ranikhet, Bageshwar, Champawat, Chamoli (Auli, Joshimath, Valley of Flowers), Haridwar (Har Ki Pauri, Mansa Devi Temple, Sapt Rishi Ashram), Nainital (Naini Lake, Jim Corbett National Park), Pauri ( Siddhibali Temple, Khirsu, Tara Kund), Rudraprayag, Tehri (Surkanda Devi Temple, Chamba,), Uttarkashi (Govind Wildlife Sanctuary)
CAPITAL – Dehradun | WEBSITE – http://www.gmvnl.com
Irrigated by the Ganga, U.P. has been the melting pot of civilisation for centuries. The state has some of the greatest mythological sites, arts, culture, cuisine, architecture and historical monuments. Famous for exquisite Banarsi embroidery, Lakhnawi Chikan, carpets, rugs, wood and leather works etc. Major events are the Annual Taj Mahotsav in Agra, Lucknow Mahotsav and the Magh & Kumbh Melas held every 12 years in Allahabad.
PLACES TO VISIT : Lucknow (Bada & Chota Imambara, Bhool Bhulaiyya, Rumi Darwaza, Kaiserbagh, Residency, Baradari), Agra (Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Akbar’s Mausoleum, Fatehpur Sikri etc.), Allahabad (Anand Bhawan, All Saints Cathedral, Sangam, Allahabad Fort), Mathura, Vrindavan, Varanasi (Dasaswamedh Ghat, Ram Nagar Fort, Sarnath).
CAPITAL – Lucknow | WEBSITE – http://www.up-tourism.com
CHANDIGARH, India’s first planned city, a rich, green city rightly called ‘The city beautiful’, is the capital of the states of Punjab and Haryana.
PLACES TO VISIT : Capitol Complex, Government Museum and Arts Gallery, Leisure valley, Pinjore Gardens, Rock Garden, Rose Garden, Sukhna Lake etc.
WEBSITE – http://chandigarhtourism.gov.in
The state is covered with nature’s canopy of sal, teak and bamboo trees, and carpeted with lush vegetation. Innumerable monuments, finely carved temples, forts and palaces speak of dynasties and kingdoms of great warriors. It is well known for exotic handicrafts using wood, metal and bamboo, bell metal figurines, jewellery, hand-woven and hand-printed fabrics. The major festivals are Madai, Narayanpur Mela, Bhoramdeo Festival, Goncha festival, Champaran Mela, Bastar Dussera etc.
PLACES TO VISIT – Raipur, Barsur (with several temples), Chirakote (Mendri Ghoomar), Dantewada (Danteshwari Temple), Kanger (Kanger Valley National Park, Kutumsar, Dandak and Kailashgufa caves, Shivani Temple), Kawardha (Palace, Bhoramdeo Jungle Retreat), Malhar (famous for ancient temples), Raigarh (Singhanpur Rock Shelters), Sirpur (Laxman Temple and Gandheswar Temple), Rajim. There are several waterfalls at Tirathgarh, Mandawa and Chitrakote in Jagdalpur.
CAPITAL – Raipur | WEBSITE – http://www.chhattisgarhtourism.net
Famous for its beaches, churches, lush green fields and a distinct lifestyle, Goa is a paradise for holiday makers from across the globe. Owing to its location on the Western Ghats range it also has rich flora and fauna. Goa is known for the Carnival, Ganesh Chaturthi, Shigmo, Feast of St. Francis Xavier, etc.
PLACES TO VISIT : Beaches: North (Anjuna, Arambol, Baga, Calangute and Candolim) Central (Dona Paula, Miramar and Bambolim) South (Bogmalo, Majorda, Betalbatim, Colva, Cavelossim, Benaulim, Palolem, Agonda and Patnem) Forts: Aguada Fort, Terekol Fort, Cabo-de-Rama Fort, Chapora Fort, Fort of Reis Magos and Corjuem Fort Museums: Goa State Museum, Archaeology Museum and Portrait Gallery and Naval Aviation Museum Churches: Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral, Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Reis Magos Church, The Holy Spirit Church and Church of Mary Immaculate Conception Wildlife: Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollen National Park, Cortigao Wildlife Sanctuary, Bondla Forest Waterfalls: Doodhsagar & Arvalem Waterfalls Temples: Mahadevi and Mahalaxmi Temples, Chandreshwar Bhutnath Temple and Shantadurga Temple Mosques: Safa Shouri and Jama Masjid
CAPITAL – Panaji | WEBSITE – http://www.goa-tourism.com
Gujarat is unique in its geological and topographical landscape and is famous for diamond work, textiles, Jamnagar tie & dye work, Kachchh Embroidery with mirror work, the Tarnetar Festival and its vibrant folk dance Garba Ras. Gujarat is also the state where the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi was born and this is where his ashram is located at Sabarmati.
PLACES TO VISIT : Ahmedabad (Gandhi Ashram, Sidi Sayyed Mosque, KankariaLake, Jhulta Minarets, Akshardham Temple, Hutheesingh Jain Temple, Tomb of Ahmad Shah), Bhavnagar, Champaner (Jami Masjid, Tomb of Sikander Shah, Pavagadh Fort and early temples, Stepwell, Dhanpari Eco Campsite, Jambughoda Wildlife Sanctuary), Dwarka, Junagadh, Jamnagar, Kachchh, Porbandar, Palitana, Rajkot, Surat (Dandi, Old Fort), Somnath, Vadodara (Palace, Dabhoi, Sayaji Baug, Museum, Sursagar Talav) .
CAPITAL – Gandhinagar | WEBSITE – http://www.gujarattourism.com
Madhya Pradesh occupies perhaps the oldest part of the subcontinent – called the Gondwana. Close to Bhopal at Bhimbetka are the prehistoric caves that preserve some fascinating paintings dating back to Neolithic times. Madhya Pradesh offers rich handicrafts made of bamboo and cane, dolls, folk paintings, iron and metal craft, papier mâché, stone carvings etc., and is known for the Bhagoria Haat (Jhabua), Khajuraho Festival of Dances and Tansen Music Festival (Gwalior)
PLACES TO VISIT : Bhopal (Bhojpur, Islam Nagar, Samasgarh, Manua Bhan ki Tekri), Bhimbetka, Gwalior (Fort, Man Mandir Palace, Tansen’s Mausoleum, Jai Vilas Palace, Teli Ka Mandir), Indore (Laal Bagh Palace, Chattris, Bada Ganapati, Kaanch Mandir), Jabalpur (Marble Rocks), Khajuraho, Mandu (Jahaz Mahal, Hindola Mahal, Hathi Mahal, Rewa Kund, Hoshang Shah’s Tomb), Orchha, Pachmarhi, Sanchi Stupa, Rewa, Ujjain, Jain Temples at Badoh. There are wildlife sanctuaries at Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Panna and Shivpuri.
CAPITAL – Bhopal | WEBSITE – http://www.mptourism.com
The scenic beauty of the sprawling Western Ghats, majestic forts, beautiful temples sculpted out of rocks and endless silver beaches will leave you spellbound. It is famous for Paithani and Narayan Peth Sarees, Kolhapuri footwear, and Warli paintings. Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra has been the country’s commercial and film capital and is dotted with heritage architecture and monuments. The state is a major producer of sugar and is known for the famous Alphonso mangoes. Ganesh Chaturthi is a major festival of the state.
PLACES TO VISIT : Mumbai (Crawford Market, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Siddhivinayak Temple, Juhu and Chowpatty Beaches, Elephanta Caves, Kanheri Caves, Marine Drive, Haji Ali & Gateway of India, Sanjay Gandhi National Park), Aurangabad (Ajanta & Ellora Caves, Buddhist Caves, Bibi ka Makbara, Panchakki), Kohlapur (Chhatrapati Sahu Museum, Old Palace, Mahalaxmi Temple), Nanded, Nagpur, Nashik (Trimbakeshwar, Pandaveini Caves, Coin Museum), Pune (Shaniwar Wada, Kelkar Museum, Aga Khan Palace, Pataleshwar Cave Temple), Shirdi etc. In addition, there are several beaches (Mandwa, Kihim, Manori, Dahanu Bordi, Alibaug, Ganpati Phule, Sindhudurg, etc.), forts (Daulatabad, Sinhagad, Murud Janjira, Raigad, Pratapgad, Jaigarh, Shivneri), hill stations (Lonavala, Mahableshwar, Matheran, Panchgani, Khandala etc.) and wildlife (Pench National Park, Bor Wildlife Sanctuary in Wardha, Tadoba Tiger Reserve in Chandrapur) to see.
CAPITAL – Mumbai | WEBSITE – http://www.maharashtratourism.gov.in
DADRA & NAGAR HAVELI is endowed with lush green forests, winding rivers, unimaginable waterfronts and the gentle gurgle of streams. Calm and serene, it offers scenic beauty and monuments.
PLACES TO VISIT : Dadra Vanganga Lake & Garden, Hirwavan Garden, Piparia, Tribal Museum, Silvassa, Vanvihar Tourist Complex, Chauda.
CAPITAL – Silvassa | WEBSITE – http://dnh.nic.in/tourism.html
DAMAN & DIU, famous for historical monuments, museums and beaches. This Union Territory is scenic and extremely inviting.
PLACES TO VISIT : Daman (forts of Moti and Nani Daman, Jampore Beach, Devka Beach, Mirasol Lake Garden, Pargola Garden, Satya Sagar Udhyan, Daman Ganga Water Park, Kadaiya Lake Garden, Jetty garden, Vaibhav Water World), Diu (Nagoa & Ghoghla Beaches, Jallandhar Shrine, Panikotha).
CAPITAL – DAMAN | WEBSITE – HTTP://WWW.DAMANTOURISM.COM
Ancient India’s centre of power, learning and culture, Bihar is a profusion of historic treasures. It is the birthplace of India’s first greatest empire – the Mauryan Empire as well as one of the world’s greatest pacifist religions, Buddhism. Famous for stone and bead jewellery, hand-painted wall hangings (Madhubani paintings), applique work and stone pottery. The main festivals and events of Bihar are Makar Sankranti, Rajgir Mahotsav, Chhath, Sonepur Fair etc.
PLACES TO VISIT : Patna (Golghar, Martyr’s Memorial Museum, Harmandir Sahib Gurudwara, Patthar Ki Masjid, Agam Kuan, Mahatma Gandhi Setu), Bodhgaya (Mahabodhi Stupa, Vishnupad Temple, Bodhi Tree, Barabar Cave, Karan Chaupa Cave), Nalanda (Nalanda University Archaeological Complex, Hiuen Tsang Memorial Hall) Pawapuri (Jalmandir and Samosharan) Vaishali (Ashokan Pillar, Bawan Pokhar Temple, Buddha Stupa, Abhiskek Pushkarn) Rajgir (Jivakameavan Gardens, Ajatshatru’s Fort, Swarna Bhandar), Bihar Sharif, Munger etc.
The steel city of Jamshedpur and coal city of Dhanbad are the better known towns in one of nature’s most brilliant displays of forests, hills and wildlife. Paitkar paintings, bamboo handicrafts, tribal jewellery and wood carvings are all reflections of Jharkhand’s cultural and natural vibrancy. The main festivals and events are Sarhul, Karma, Tusu, Sohrai, Chhath etc. The state is known for its energetic people and their colorful clothes and handicrafts.
PLACES TO VISIT : Ranchi (Tagore Hill, Rock Garden, Nakshatra Van, Dassam Fall, Sun Temple, Panch Gagh, Hundru Fall), Jamshedpur (Jubilee Park, Dimna Lake & Dam, Hudco Lake, Dalma Wild Life Sanctuary, Tata Steel Zoological Park), Deoghar (22 temples), Parasnath Hills, Hazari Bagh, Maithon etc.
CAPITAL – Ranchi | WEBSITE – http://portal.jharkhandtourism.in
Orissa – a land of serpentine rivers, virgin beaches, mighty waterfalls and blue hills, basks in the Sun of the eastern coast of India. Sambalpuri silk and handicrafts like Ikkat, Patta Chitra, stone carvings, and silver filigree work are some signature attractions. It is also the birthplace of the classical dance form – Odissi. Major festivals include the Kalinga Mahotsava, Konark Dance Festival, Chariot Festival of Lord Jagannath.
PLACES TO VISIT : Bhubaneswar (Rajarani Temple, Dhaulagiri, Lingaraj Temple, Nandankanan, Atri), Cuttack, Jeypore, Puri (Jagannath Temple), Ratnagiri, Sambalpur (Hirakud Reservoir), Pipli, Konark Sun Temple, Chandrabhaga, Chilka Lake (Asia’s largest brackish lake famous for Irrawaddy Dolphins), Berhampur (Taptapani), Kendrapadra (Bhitar Kanika National Park), Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, and the beaches at Gopalpur-on-Sea, Chandipur, Ramchandi, Balighai, Astaranga, Paradeep etc.
CAPITAL – Bhubaneswar | WEBSITE – http://www.orissatourism.gov.in
Well known as the state of Rabindranath Tagore, the Guru who has written
India’s national anthem, the artistic streak of West Bengal does not end at its lyrical music or literature. It finds its undertones extended to everything from the Baluchari or Cotton handloom sarees, conch shell products to precious silks. Kolkata, or ‘the City of Joy’, is synonymous with mouth-watering street food, love for soccer, ‘Baul’ style of folk music, and centuries of Indian heritage blending effortlessly into a cosmopolitan culture. The fragrant mangrove forests of Sundarbans are the habitat of the famous West Bengal tiger. The state comes alive with colours and festivities during Durga Pooja.
PLACES TO VISIT : Kolkata (Birla Planetarium, Fort William, Howrah Bridge, Marble Palace, Kalighat, National Library, Nicco Park, Shaheed Minar, Writers Building , Victoria Memorial, Eden Gardens, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Dakshineshwar Temple, Diamond Harbour), Darjeeling (Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Natural History Museum, Toy Train, Japanese Peace Pagoda , Batasia Loop, Buddhist Monasteries, Tiger Hill and tea gardens), Murshidabad (Nawab’s Palace, Katra Mosque, Khushbagh Cemetery, Moti Jheel), Bankura (Bishnupur temple, Mukutmanipur lake), Shantiniketan (Vishwa Bharti University), Sunderbans Delta, Digha, Shankarpur and Bakkhali.
CAPITAL – Kolkata | WEBSITE – http://westbengaltourism.gov.in
THE ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR ISLANDS is an archipelago of more than 572 islands that offer peace, nature and beauty at its very best. The hues spill over into local forms of handicrafts made from corals and seashells.
PLACES TO VISIT : Andaman (Cellular Jail National Memorial, Ross Island, Viper Island, Niel Island, Mayabunder, Long Island, Little Andaman Island) Port Blair (Chidiya Tapu, Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Madhuban), Nicobar (Katchal, Car Nicobar, Great Nicobar).
CAPITAL – PORT BLAIR | WEBSITE – HTTP://TOURISM.ANDAMAN.NIC.IN
EXPERIENCE THE SPIRITUAL MAGNETISM EXUDED BY VARIOUS DESTINATIONS THAT WERE LANDMARKS IN GAUTAMA BUDDHA’S JOURNEY TO TRUTH. IT STARTS WITH BODHGAYA (BIHAR), WHERE PRINCE SIDDHARTHA SAT UNDER THE ‘BODHI TREE’, SAW THE FIRST GLIMPSE OF LIGHT AND ACHIEVED ENLIGHTENMENT. PRIMARY POINTS OF HOMAGE ARE THE MAHABODHI TEMPLE, THE VAJRASAN THRONE DONATED BY KING ASHOKA, THE BODHI TREE, ANIMESHLOCHANA CHAITYA, RATNACHANKRAMANA, RATNAGARAHA, THE AJAPALA NIGRODHA TREE, THE MUCHHALINDA LAKE AND THE RAJYATNA TREE. SARNATH (NEAR VARANASI, UP) WITNESSED THE FIRST EVER SERMON GIVEN BY THE BUDDHA AFTER ACHIEVING ENLIGHTENMENT. THE MAGNIFICENT DHAMEKHA STUPA AT SARNATH WAS ORIGINALLY ERECTED BY KING ASHOKA, AS WAS THE FAMOUS LION CAPITAL PILLAR, NOW A SYMBOL OF THE INDIAN NATION. LORD BUDDHA’S JOURNEY ENDED AT KUSHINAGAR (NEAR GORAKHPUR, UP), WHERE HE ATTAINED MAHAPARINIRVAN IN 543 BC. KUSHINAGAR IS HOME TO THE FAMOUS MUKATANABANDHANA STUPA AND THE RECLINING BUDDHA STATUE THAT DATES BACK TO THE GUPTA PERIOD. OTHER PLACES OF SIGNIFICANCE INCLUDE VAISHALI (NEAR PATNA, BIHAR), RAJGIR AND NALANDA UNIVERSITY (NEAR BODHGAYA, BIHAR) AND SHRAVASTI (150 KMS FROM LUCKNOW, UP).
Located in the Indian peninsula, Andhra Pradesh, the ‘Rice Bowl of India’, is also renowned for its colorful Banjara needle craft, Bidri craft (silver inlay on metal), bronze idols, Budithi brass ware, Pembarthi metal crafts, Durgi stone crafts, Kondapalli toys and Dharmavaram & Mangalagiri sarees. The region’s Kalamkari fabrics are famous for their vivid colours printed with vegetable dyes.
PLACES TO VISIT : Hyderabad (Charminar, Golconda Fort, Qutub Shahi Tombs, Taramati Baradari, Mecca Masjid, Salar Jung Museum, Legislative Assembly, Archaeological Museum, Nizam’s Silver Jubilee Museum, Falaknuma Palace, Chow Mohalla, Shilparamam, Osmansagar and Hussainsagar Lakes, Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park), Nagarjunasagar (Nagarjunasagar Dam, Nagarjunakonda, Buddhist Museum, Anupa, Ethipothala Waterfalls), Puttaparthy (Prasanthi Nilayam), Penukonda Fort (Anantpur), Lepakshi, Tirupati (Sri Venkateswara Temple in Tirumala, Padmavathy Temple, Kapilatheertham, Govindaraja Swamy Temple, Chandragiri Fort, Kanipakam, Kalyani Dam, Kailasanathakonda, Nagalapuram and several other temples), Visakhapatnam (Rushikonda, Bhemunipatnam and Ramakrishna Beaches, Dolphin’s Nose, Buddhist Sites, Borra Caves, Submarine Museum), Warangal (Thousand Pillars Temple, Warangal Fort, Ramappa Temple & Lake, Khush Mahal, Pakhal Wildlife Sanctuary and Lake etc.), Sri Kalahasti Srisailam
CAPITAL – Hyderabad | WEBSITE – http://www.aptourism.in
Karnataka or ‘karu nadu’, meaning elevated land, has an antiquity that dates back to the Paleolithic era. Renowned for its art, music and literature, Karnataka has contributed significantly to both forms of Indian classical music, the Carnatic and Hindustani, and it has a rich historical heritage. Look for exquisite Mysore silk sarees, Sandalwood handicrafts (in State emporiums) and Rosewood handicrafts. Bengaluru is one of the most tech-savvy cities in the country and is positioned as the software centre of the world. The Dussera festival at Mysore is a major event
PLACES TO VISIT : Bengaluru (Vidhan Soudha, Tipu’s Palace, Government Museum, Bangalore Palace, Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Indira Gandhi Musical Foundation, Cubbon Park, Bull Temple, Doda Ganesh Temple), Aihole (rock cut temples), Badami (cave temples), Belur (Hoysala Temples), Bijapur (Gol Gumbaz, Ibrahim Rauza), Gulbarga (Chor Gumbaz, Fort, Juma Masjid, Dargah of Khwaja Banda Nawaz etc.), Hampi (King’s Palace, Lotus Mahal, Queen’s Bath etc.), Halebid & Somnathpur (Hoysala Temples), Mysore (Mysore Palace, Rail Museum, St. Philomena’s Church, Chamundi Hills, Srirangapattanam, Shivansamudra Falls, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Brindavan Gardens, zoo), Pattadakal (monuments), Shravanabelagola (Gomateshwara). There are beautiful waterfalls at Jog, Gokak, Unchalli and Magod.
CAPITAL – Bengaluru | WEBSITE – http://www.karnatakatourism.org
Known as ‘God’s Own Country’, Kerala is situated on the lush and tropical Malabar Coast, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Kerala is especially known for its ecotourism initiatives, spices and native performing arts like Koodiyattam, Kathakali, Kaliyattam, Thullal, Theyyam, Chavittunadakam, Mohiniyattam, Padayani and the famous martial art. The Thrissur Pooram and Boat races are major events.
PLACES TO VISIT : Thiruvananthapuram (Akkulam & Veli Tourist Villages, East Fort, Kovalam Beach, Koyikkal & Kuthiramalika Palaces, Natural History Museum, Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Padmanabhapuram Palace, Neyyar & Peppara Wildlife Sanctuaries), Alapuzha (Backwater Cruises, Chakkulathukavu Bhagavathy Temple, Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple, Krishnapuram Palace, Kuttanad, Edathua Church), Ernakulam (Chennamangalam Synagogue, Cherai Beach, Fort, Hill Palace Museum, Kaladi, Kodanad, Jew Town etc.), Idukki (Chinnar, Periyar & Idukki Wildlife Sanctuaries), Munnar, Eravikulam National Park, Kannur (St. Angelo Fort, Thalasseri Fort), Kasaragod (Bekal Fort, Chandragiri), Kollam (Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary, Police Museum, Thangasseri Fort), Kottayam, Kozikhode (Thusharagiri Falls, Peruvannamuzhi Dam), Palakkad (Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Malampuzha Dam), Sabrimala, Thrissur (Guruvayur, Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary), Wayanad (Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Edakkal Caves)
CAPITAL – Thiruvananthapuram | WEBSITE – http://www.keralatourism.org
Enchanting Tamil Nadu – a land of innumerable and incomparable temples of Dravidian architecture, exotic hill stations, serene beaches, multi-religious pilgrimage sites. Look for its renowned arts and crafts such as Tanjore paintings, musical instruments, stone and embellished jewellery, brass and copper metalware, pottery, woodcraft and stone sculpture carvings. Major events and festivals include Pongal (harvest festival), Chithirai Festival, Karthigai Deepam, Chennai Music and Dance Festival, Chennai Sangamam etc.
PLACES TO VISIT : Chennai (Fort St. George, Marina Beach, Elliot Beach etc.), Chidambaram (Nataraja Temple, Ayappan Temple), Coimbatore (Siruvani Falls, Velliangiri Hills etc.), Cuddalore (Lignite Mines, Port Novo, Bhuvanagiri), Dharmapuri (Hogenakkal Falls), Erode (Kodiveri Dam), Kanchipuram (Kailasanathar Temple, Ekambareswarar Temple and several others), Kanyakumari (Southern-most tip of India), Kodaikanal (Lake, Bryant’s Park, and scenic beauty), Krishnagiri (Krishnagiri Dam), Madurai (Meenakshi Temple, Thirumalai Nayak Mahal etc.), Mamallapuram (Rock cut cave temples), Nagapattinam (Nagore, Velankanni Church, excavations at Poompuhar etc.), Namakkal (Kolli Hills), Pudukkottai, Rameswaram (Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple), Salem (Mettur Dam), Sivagangai, Thanjavur (Sri Brahadeeswarar Temple, Palace etc.), Theni, Thiruchirapalli (Rock Fort etc.), Tirunelveli, Thiruvannamalai (Ramana Ashram etc.), Thuthu Kudi, Udhagamandalam (Heritage Train, Ooty Lake), Velankanni (Shrine of Our Lady of Health), Vellore (Sripuram Golden Mahalaxmi Temple near Vellore, Fort, Museum etc.), Virudunagar, Yercaud (Killiyur Falls, Lake).
CAPITAL – Chennai | WEBSITE – http://www.tamilnadutourism.org
LAKSHADWEEP is a group of islands 200 to 300 km off the coast of Kerala in the Arabian Sea. It is known for adventure sports such as Scuba diving, pedal boating, Kayaking, Canoeing and Snorkeling.
PLACES TO VISIT : Marine museum, Light House and many others.
CAPITAL – Kavaratti | WEBSITE – http://lakshadweeptourism.nic.in
PUDUCHERRY – Known as French Riviera of the East, it has some beautiful beaches and a spectacular coastline drive from Chennai.
PLACES TO VISIT : Auroville, Aurobindo Ashram, Arikamedu Archaeological excavation, Manakula Vinayagar Temple, Sri Gokilambal Thirukameswara Temple and many others.
WEBSITE – HTTP://TOURISM.PONDICHERRY.GOV.IN
Arunachal Pradesh offers picturesque peaks and scenic rivers. Beautiful Buddhist monasteries and almost impenetrable deciduous forests add to the mysticism possessed by this ‘Land of Dawn Lit Mountains’. It also provides excellent opportunities for adventure sports like camping and rafting. While here you can enjoy a sip of the local drink ‘Apong’ or be a part of events like Losar and Saka Dawa.
PLACES TO VISIT : Itanagar (Itafort, Ganga Lake, Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum, Buddhist Temple), Tawang (Buddhist monastery, Nuranang Waterfalls, Sela Pass, Sangetser Lake), Tezu (Parshuram Kund), Bhismak Nagar (archaeological ruins), Akashiganga, Namdapha (national park), Bomdila (crafts centre), Ziro (fish-cum-paddy culture)
CAPITAL – Itanagar | WEBSITE – http://www.arunachaltourism.com
A hot-spot for wild life tourism with over 25 national parks and sanctuaries. Assam is home to the Indian Rhinoceros, Tiger and lush green tropical rainforests. It spans the fertile plains of the mighty Brahmaputra. Fine silks, woven mats, cane and bamboo furniture, and world-class tea are some added attractions. Local events and festivals include Bihu, Baishagu, Ambubachi Mela etc.
PLACES TO VISIT : Guwahati (Kamakhya Temple, Nabagraha Temple, Umananda Temple, Madan Kamdev Ruins, museum, zoo), Sivasagar, Majuli (Vaishnav Temples), Tezpur and wildlife sanctuaries in Kaziranga, Manas, Orang, Nameri and Pobitora.
CAPITAL – Dispur | WEBSITE – http://www.assamtourism.org
Manipur’s rich culture excels in martial arts, dance (the Ras Leela) and theatre. Apart from breathtakingly beautiful orchids and Sangai, the state is famous for its hand-woven textiles, local pottery and Manipuri dolls. One can savour the Kabok cuisine and enjoy the festivities during Yaoshang, Cheiraoba (New Year), Heikru Hitongba (boat race festival), Ningol Chakouba, KUT (festival of Kuki-Chin-Mizo) etc.
PLACES TO VISIT : Imphal (Ima Market, Sri Govindaji Temple, Lagthabal’s Palace, zoo, war cemeteries, museum), Thoubal, Bishnupur (Keibul Lamjao National Park, INA Memorial, Loktak lake, Loukoipat Ecological Park, Leimaram Falls), Churachandpur, Tamenglong (Tharon Cave, Zeilad Lake, Bunung Meadow, known for Orange Festival), Chandel (Yangoupokpi-Lokchao Wildlife Sanctuary), Ukhrul.
CAPITAL – Imphal | WEBSITE – http://manipur.nic.in
With its enchanting hill stations and picturesque landscaping, Meghalaya which means ‘Abode of the Clouds’, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The festivals of the state include Shad Suk Mynsiem, Behdeinkhlam, Nongkrem Dance Festival, Wangala Dance.
PLACES TO VISIT : Shillong (Ward’s Lake, Shillong Peak, Elephant Falls, Sohpetbneng Peak, Butterfly Museum, Umiam Lake), Sohra, Mawkdok, Nohkalikai Waterfalls, the Grand Canyon of Cherrapunjee, Mawsmai Cave, Nohsngithiang and Dainthlen Waterfalls, Mawphlang, Ranikor, Tura, Balpakram National Park etc.
CAPITAL – Shillong | WEBSITE – http://megtourism.gov.in
The poetic juxtaposition of mountains, valleys, rivers and lakes seems to be the inspiration behind Mizoram’s beautiful music and dance. Even the traditional handloom shawls, hats and bags live up to its exotic reputation. The state is known for its dances like Cheraw or the Bamboo Dance while the events and festivals include Chapchar Kut, Thalfavang Kut and Anthurium festival.
PLACES TO VISIT : Aizawl (Bara Bazar, Luangmual Handicrafts Centre, State Museum, Durtlang Hill, Mini Zoo, Bung, Paikhai), lakes at Tamdil, Rungdil, Rengdil and Palak, Vantawng (Waterfall), Kolasib, Chaphai, Lunglei, Dampa Tiger Reserve, Phawngpui Blue Mountain National Park and wildlife sanctuaries in Ngenpui, Tawi, Thorangtlang.
CAPITAL – Aizawl | WEBSITE – http://mizotourism.nic.in
Nagaland lies nestled amongst the three mountain ranges of Naga, Patkai and Barail that rise from the Brahmaputra Valley. Unique crafts like colourful woven shawls, mats, bamboo works, decorative spears and tribal song and dance distinguish the various tribes. It has a rich tribal culture with 16 major tribes. The major events of the state are Sekrenyi, Moatsu, Tuluni, Tsukheny, Hornbill Festival, etc.
PLACES TO VISIT : Kohima (World War II Cemetary, Kohima Cathedral, museum, Naga Heritage Village, Intaki Wildlife Sanctuary), Dimapur (medieval ruins of the Kachari Kingdom, Diezephe Craft Village), Kiphire (Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary, caves), Longleng, Mokokchung (lakes & springs), Mon, Peren, Phek (Shilloi Lake, waterfalls, caves), Tuensang, Wokha, Zunheboto (Ghosho Bird Sanctuary).
CAPITAL – Kohima | WEBSITE – http://tourismnagaland.com
Infused with ancient history and Buddhist mysticism, Sikkim’s mountains are a paradise for trekkers and adventurers. Trekking trails lead to hidden lakes and ancient monasteries. The state has some of the world’s wildest rafting spots.
PLACES TO VISIT : East Sikkim (Gangtok – White Hall, Do Drul Chorten, Ridge Garden, Rumtek, Fambong La Wildlife Sanctuary, Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary, Tsomgo Lake, Nathula Pass), North Sikkim (Singba Rhododendron Sanctuary, Kanchendzonga National Park, Chungthang, Yumthang, Gurudongmar Lake), South Sikkim (Tendong Hill, Namchi), West Sikkim (Rabdentse Ruins, Pelling, Yuksom).
CAPITAL – Gangtok | WEBSITE – http://www.sikkimtourism.travel
Tripura has a long historic past. It is delicately beautiful with a legacy of fine palaces, Hindu and Buddhist monuments, protected forests and offers numerous cultural experiences. One can also enjoy festivals and events such as Kharchi, Orange Festival, etc.
PLACES TO VISIT : Agartala (Ujjayanta Palace, State Museum, Tribal Museum, Uma Maheswar Temple, Jagannath Temple, Benuban Bihar, Gedu Mian Mosque, Malanch Niwas, Rabindra Kanan, Fourteen Goddess Temple, Portuguese Church), Unakoti, Pilak, Udaipur, Tripurasundari Temple, Neermahal, Jampui Hill, Bhavaneswari Temple, Sepahijala, Kamalasagar, Deotamura, Dumboor Lake.
CAPITAL – AGARTALA | WEBSITE – HTTP://WWW.TRIPURATOURISM.IN