India is a huge country with many beautiful sights. Everyone knows the Taj Mahal, but the country has dozens of other attractions to offer that give a unique insight into the history and culture of India. Here you can read about the 10 most beautiful sights of the country, so that you can be well prepared for your trip. Before you leave, don‘t forget to apply for the Indian visa.
Discover diverse India with a visa
With a tourist visa for India, you can travel to the country as often as you like for a year. However, a continuous stay may not exceed 90 days. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this time was temporarily reduced to 30 days, but still the visa offers enough time to explore the diversity of India. In this article you can read about the 10 most beautiful sights of India, so that you can optimally plan your trip to this amazing country.
1. The Red Fort in Delhi
In the capital city, New Delhi, you will find The Red Fort. This is the most iconic building in the city and was built around the same time as the Taj Mahal, namely in 1638. This historical monument is a good example of the architecture during the Mogul dynasty in India, which shows many Islamic influences. The Red Fort in Delhi still plays an important role in modern Indian society, as it is here that the Prime Minister of the country delivers a speech every year on 15 August, commemorating the day when India gained independence from the British Empire.
2. The holy city of Varanasi
Varanasi is situated on the Ganges and for many Hindus is a holy city. For believers, this is a pilgrimage destination, where they can wash off their sins in the holy water of the Ganges. In Hinduism, the city is especially associated with liberation from the eternal cycle of birth and death, which is experienced as enlightenment. It is a busy, colourful and vibrant city, where you can visit various temples and religious ceremonies, take a boat trip or simply experience the unique energy of the city.
3. Palaces and forts of Jaipur
Jaipur is an extraordinary city that was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2019. The city was designed in the 18th century according to a chessboard pattern and has retained this style to this day. The architecture of the buildings is harmonised and there are many beautiful monuments, squares and markets to admire. The most famous sights in this ancient trading city are the City Palace, the Fort Ajmer and the Hawa Mahal.
4. The caves of Ajanta
The village of Ajanta is one of the oldest national monuments in India. Ajanta is especially known for its beautiful caves, which have been used by monks since 300 BC. There are very beautiful works of art and sculptures carved into the rock that have been well preserved. The caves used to be part of a Buddhist monastery and some were used as prayer rooms by the monks. Today, they display the artistic art of the sculptors and painters of that era. The Ajanta caves are a unique artefact of early Buddhist culture in India that cannot be experienced in a similar way anywhere else in the world.
5. The ruins of Hampi
From the 14th century, Hampi was the magnificent capital of the Hindu Vijayana Empire. By 1500, Hampi was one of the largest cities in the world, with several temples, markets and other magnificent monuments. It is one of the most impressive remnants of medieval Hindu culture and well worth a visit.
6. The Sun Temple of Konarak
The Sun Temple of Konarak was built in the 13th century in the east of the country, on the Bay of Bengal. The temple is remote from most of the country‘s other attractions, but with a 90-day visa (currently only 30 days) to visit India, you have plenty of time to see this temple as well. The Sun Temple contains several references to the day-and-night cycle and the seasons. It is still a destination for many Hindu pilgrims, who celebrate the Chandrabhaga Mela festival here in February.
Udaipur is a tourist attraction in the north-west of India. The city is known as the Venice of India and is surrounded by lakes and hills. Visitors can visit a number of beautiful palaces, temples and even an observatory here. This small city by Indian standards offers travellers a little peace and romance after the hustle and bustle of the big cities.
8. The Golden Temple
In the north of India, in the city of Amritsar, stands the Golden Temple. This temple is a holy place for believing Sikhs. The gold-coloured building is situated by a small lake, where believers use the holy water to wash themselves. After visiting the Golden Temple, visitors can visit the Jalianwala Bagh, a famous garden on the other side of the temple.
The temple of Bada Bagh is an impressive monument in the desert near Jaisalmer.
9. The Golden City
The ‘Golden City‘ of Jaisalmer is located far in the west of the country, close to the border with Pakistan in the middle of the Thar desert. This fortified city from the Middle Ages was established to protect the province of Rajasthan and the rest of India from invaders. The Jaisalmer Fort is particularly impressive perched on a hill. Travellers can also visit the surrounding desert or the temple Bada Bagh from this city.
10. The Taj Mahal
Even though the Taj Mahal is known to almost everyone, it should not be missing from the list of India‘s most beautiful sights. It is perhaps the nicest building in India and not without reason one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. Completed in 1648, the Taj Mahal was built as a mausoleum for the favourite wife of Shah Jahan, the Grand Mogul of the Indian Mogul Empire of that time. The architecture is unique to the era, recognisable by the domes, minarets and decorations on the walls. Today, the building is known primarily as a symbol of the power of love.
Apply for the Indian visa
You will need a visa to travel to India. Instead of a physical visa, you can choose to apply for an Indian E-visa. The e-visa is easier to apply for than the physical visa, for which you often have to visit the embassy. The e-visa is usually the better choice for tourist travel to India and can be applied for online within minutes.