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Holidays in India that are bound to leave you in awe

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One of the most fascinating countries of the world, India is truly incredible. It has cast its charm on many, and millions of tourists still continue to be mesmerised by its beauty. Here’s a list of 20 places that you must visit when you are planning holidays in India and strike out a few places from your bucket list.

Destinations to spend great holidays in India

1. Araku Valley, Andhra Pradesh

Plan a visit to Araku valley, a hill station in Visakhapatnam district, in the state of Andhra Pradesh if you are interested to explore caves and want to know about different tribes residing there. This is one of the holiday destinations in India which boasts of a vast expanse of coffee plantation and is famous for Borra caves and its tribal museum.

Araku Valley, Andhra Pradesh

Attractions:

Padmapuram Gardens, Katiki Waterfalls, Bhhemunipatnam beach, coffee plantations in Ananthagiri hills

Best time to visit:

June to December when the season is not hot

How to reach:

  • By train – Vishakhapatnam to Araku station via Vskp Krdl Pas (58501) Train
  • By bus – Get regular buses to Pachipenta and Paderu (30-35 kms away)
  • By flight – Nearest airport is Vishakhapatnam (79 kms away)

2. Kanchenjunga National Park, Sikkim

Kanchenjunga National Park, Sikkim

Spread across 850 sq km, it is India’s first mixed world heritage UNESCO site. Go trekking at the popular trails like Yuksom-Tshoka-Dzongri. Make sure you have the permission from State Chief Wildlife Warden to visit the park.

Attractions:

Trekking at the biosphere reserve, sighting of exotic animals like musk deer and snow leopard

Best time to visit:

March to Mid-May, September to Mid-December

How to reach:

  • By train – Nearest train is from Jalpaiguri (120 kms away from Gangtok)
  • By flight – Nearest airport is Bagdogra (122 kms away from Gangtok

3. Gulmarg, Jammu & Kashmir

Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir

One of the most beautiful places in India, Gulmarg is also a skiing hotspot. It has an elevation of 2,650 m and is famous for its cable car, which takes you directly to the hills. Gulmarg is on the list of many family holiday packages in India as your trip to India would be incomplete without visiting this “Meadow of Flowers.”

Attractions:

World class level skiing range, beautiful ice filled mountains

Best time to visit:

  • April to June and
  • People who love skiing can visit this place during December

How to Reach:

  • By air – The nearest airport to Gulmarg is 56 kms away at Srinagar.
  • By bus – Gulmarg is connected to regular bus services from Srinagar, Sonmarg and other neighbouring states
  • By train – Jammu is the nearest railway station located at 290 kms.

Kashmir holiday packages all you to witness heaven on earth

4.  Brahmaputra River, Guwahati

Brahmaputra River, Guwahati

Originating at the Himalayan foothills; it is one of the major rivers of Asia. Known for its beach festival in April, this place will leave you astonished with its natural beauty.

Attractions:

River cruise, Kaziranga national park

Best time to visit:

Full year except the rainy season

How to Reach:

The river is best enjoyed at Kachari Ghat near Guwahati. Getting a bus or auto from Guwahati Station is quite easy.

Must Read: Is North East All About Massages, Momos And Marijuana?

5. Western Ghats

Western Ghats

Locally known as Sahyadri, this mountain range runs along the western coast of the Indian peninsula. Its biodiversity is one of the biggest in the world and is also a UNESCO heritage site. Add a scientific and cultural twist to your holidays in India with a trip to these majestic mountains.

Attractions:

Trekking in the mountains, enjoying nature in the rain forest

Best time to visit:

Year-long but looks stunning just after the monsoons (June to September)

How to reach:

As it is vastly spread, it’s easily accessible from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Goa etc.

6. Mangrove forests of Sunderbans, West Bengal

Mangrove forests of Sunderbans, West Bengal

Image source: indiaheritagesites.wordpress.com

This world heritage site is the world’s largest mangrove forest. It spans coverage across India and Bangladesh. It has plenty of low lying areas spread across the Bay of Bengal. If flora and fauna excite you, make this place a part of your holiday packages in India.

Attractions:

Royal Bengal Tiger, hectares of mangrove forest

Best time to visit:

Between September to March

How to reach:

  • Nearest jetty points from Kolkata: Gadhkali (112 kms), Raidighi (76 kms), Canning (64 kms), Najat (92 kms)
  • By rail – the nearest railway station is Canning (48kms) and Kolkata (112 kms)
  • By air – The nearby Gadhkali jetty is 112 kms from the Kolkata airport

7. Udaipur, Rajasthan

Udaipur, Rajasthan

Formerly the Capital of the Mewar region, it is famous for artificial lakes and royal residences. The famous City Palace is famed for its intricate peacock mosaics – a must-visit when you plan your holidays in India.

Attractions:

Sajjangarh Palace, Lake Pichola, Jaisamand Lake

Best time to visit:

Between September and March

How to reach:

  • By air – Nearest airport is 20 km from Udaipur city centre
  • By road – Buses ply from Jaipur, Delhi, Kota, Ahmadabad etc.
  • By rail – Udaipur railway station connects with major cities via rail

Explore the colors of Rajasthan with Rajasthan holiday packages 

8. Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh

Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh

Also known as Kanha Tiger reserve, it is in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The park’s flora and fauna is widely admired.

Attractions:

Tigers, jackals and the lush Sal and Bamboo Forests

When to visit:

Mid October to July end

How to reach:

  • By air – nearby airports are Jabalpur (165 kms) and Nagpur (300 kms)
  • By road – nearby cities Raipur and Bilaspur are 250 kms away
  • By rail – the nearest railway stations from park entrance are Gondia (145 kms) and Jabalpur (160 kms)

9. Great Rann of Kutch, Gujarat

Great Rann of Kutch, Gujarat

The stunning beauty of seasonal salt marsh too features prominently on the list of places for Indian holidays. Situated in the Thar Desert of Gujarat, the white landscape is mesmerising.

Attractions:

Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary and ruins of an ancient Hindu valley civilisation

When to visit:

From October to March

How to reach:

  • By air – Regular flights are available from Kutch airport to other cities of India.
  • By rail – The Bhuj Rail route is connected to major cities of India.
  • By road – Private and State buses are available at frequent intervals.

Must Read: Rann Utsav: A Definite Must For Culture Vultures

10. Andaman Coral Reefs

Andaman Coral Reefs

With 560 different Coral species, the Andaman Island can leave you spellbound. You must see it at least once in your life to witness its beauty.

Attractions:

Cellular Jail (colonial prison), Radhanagar beach

When to visit:

From October to May

How to reach:

  • By air – Air connects its capital, Port Blair with Kolkata, Chennai and Vishakhapatnam
  • By water – Regular but less frequent ships from Chennai and Kolkata

Andaman holiday packages promise exotic adventures

11. Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh

Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh

The hill station near Dalhousie resembles Switzerland in topography and offers a blend of green fields, forests and lakes. It is also known for its dense forests and temples and is one of the best places for holidays in India.

Attractions:

Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary and Khajjiar Lake

Best time to visit:

Summers (March to July) are moderate and suitable for zorbing and horse riding, while winters (October to March) are chilly and a boon for snow lovers

How to reach:

  • By bus – Well connected to Chamba, Shimla and Dalhousie (around 24 kms away from Khajjiar)
  • By train – Nearest station is Pathankot (take a cab from there to Khajjiar – 118 kms distance)
  • By flight – Nearest airport is Gaggal Airport in Dharamshala (around 120 kms away from Khajjiar)

Recommended: 25 best places to visit in Himachal Pradesh

12. Coorg, Karnataka

Coorg, Karnataka

The ‘Scotland of East’ beckons adventure lovers with a host of activities around picturesque locales. In your list of things to do in India, soak in the faint scent of coffee, the mist of waterfalls, and serenity of old world cottages at this pristine hill station.

Attractions:

Coffee plantations, the wildlife sanctuaries and adventure water sports around Cauvery River

Best time to visit:

Immediately after the rainy season in September when lush greenery spreads across the hill station

How to reach:

  • By bus – Well connected via KSRTC buses that leave from Bangalore, Mysore, Hassan and Mangalore
  • By train – Nearest station is Mysore (around 120 kms away from Coorg)
  • By flight –
    • Nearest airport is Mangalore International Airport (around 135 kms away from Coorg)
    • The next is at Bangalore (around 250 kms away from Coorg)

Karnataka holiday packages allow you to get closer to nature.

13. Kolkata

Kolkata

Try to visit the city during Durga Puja celebration (around September) to get doused in celebration, colours, and festivities across the metro city. Also, don’t forget to visit the Kolkata Book Fair organised around end of January while on your holidays in India.

Attractions:

Chowringhee, Howrah Bridge, National Library, Mother Teresa’s Nirmal Hriday Pure Heart

Best time to visit:

The autumn weather of October to March

How to reach:

  • By bus – NH 2 and NH 6 connect Kolkata to other cities of India. Esplanade Terminus is the city’s main bus terminus
  • By train – Lot of trains including Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express halt or pass through Howrah or Sealdah junction
  • By flight – Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport is situated at Dumdum (around 17 kms away from the city centre)

14. Meghalaya

Meghalaya

Meaning ‘Abode of Clouds’, Meghalaya is nestled in the majestic Himalayas in North East India. The wettest state of India has Shillong as its capital and is a must-see destination in many India holiday packages.

Attractions:

Kaziranga, Guwahati, Shillong, Cherrapunji

Best time to visit:

October to April

How to reach:

  • By bus – Buses from Guwahati leave for Meghalaya from 6 AM to 6 PM
  • By train – Nearest railway station is Guwahati, Assam (180 kms away from Meghalaya)
  • By flight – Nearest airport is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati, Assam (159 kms away from Meghalaya)

Discover the beauty of Meghalaya with North East holiday packages

15. Pondicherry – Best holidays in India

Pondicherry

Known as the French Riviera of the East, the Union Territory provides an eclectic glimpse of French style architecture, street-ways, and cuisines. It is a centre for spiritualism, yoga, and meditation.

Attractions:

Auroville Ashram, Paradise Beach, and a well-maintained seaside promenade

Best time to visit:

October to March when the weather is pleasant

How to reach:

  • By bus – You get direct buses from major halts such a Chennai, Coimbatore, Bangalore, and Trichy. Once in the city, there are daily buses operated by Pondicherry Tourism Development Corporation
  • By flight – Pondicherry airport can handle small aircraft from Bangalore and Hyderabad. You also get connecting flights from second nearest airport – Chennai

16.Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan

Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan

A 17th century fort with a history of unsolved mystery, be prepared for eerie chills at what is claimed as India’s most haunted place. Include this fort to your itinerary while you are planning your holidays in India, and you sure will have a lot of spooky stories to share when you are back home.

Attractions:

Abhaneri Stepwells

Best time to visit:

All days – 6 AM to 6 PM No one is permitted to remain within the premises after 6 PM because of its spooky environs

How to reach:

  • By bus – Take an RSRTC bus to Dausa and then take a bus to Gola ka Baaz. From there you have to walk up to 15 mins to reach the fort
  • By train – Nearest railhead is Dausa (22 kms away from the fort) and Bandikui (28 kms away from the fort)
  • By flight – Nearest airport is Santander Airport (56 kms away from Bhangarh)

17. Hampi, Karnataka

Hampi, Karnataka

Situated in the southern state of Karnataka, you will find ruins from many temples reigning back to the Vijayanagara Empire. Explore the UNESCO world heritage site and be transported back to a bygone era.

Attractions:

Virupaksha temple, Hampi bazaar, Queen’s bath, Daroji bear sanctuary and Lotus palace

Best time to visit:

The weather is cooler between October and March. Vijay Utsav (Festival of Hampi) is celebrated in November making this the best time to visit

How to reach:

  • By bus – Well connected to Bangalore via KSRTC buses
  • By train – Nearest railhead is Hospet (13 kms away from Hampi)
  • By flight – Nearest airport is Belgaum Airport (270 kms away from Hampi)

18. Mathura, Uttar Pradesh

Mathura, Uttar Pradesh

Bring out your spiritual side on a visit to Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna. Visit Janmabhoomi, Gita Mandir, Vishram ghat, and Government Museum, and awaken yourself spiritually while on your holidays in India.

Attractions:

Opt for a Mathura Vrindavan package for a great experience. Have your travel coincide with Holi for eye-popping bursts of colours, dance, and music along the Mathura ghats

Best time to visit :

The weather is pleasant between November and March

How to reach:

  • By bus – NH2 links Mathura to other parts of the country via UP State Road Transport Corporation
  • By train – Mathura Cantonment and Mathura Junction serve the railway lines of the city
  • By flight – Nearest airport is Kheria Airport, Agra (65 kms away from Mathura)

Must Read: Top Ten Places To Celebrate Holi In India

19. Solang, Himachal Pradesh, best place to enjoy holidays in India

Solang, Himachal Pradesh

Fourteen kilometres northwest of Manali, lies the scenic vistas of Solang. Offering a beautiful view of snow-capped mountains, this place is perfect for skiing and ice-skating.

Attractions:

Don’t forget to sample the different outdoor adventure sports like paragliding and zorbing as these aren’t easily available in other tourist spots in India

Best time to visit:

For snow lovers, December to February will be the best period. For those who want to indulge in outdoor activities after the snow melts away, they can look at April to June as an ideal time

How to reach:

  • By bus – Take the Manali-Leh highway to reach Solang
  • By train – Halt at Joginder Nagar railway station (50 kms away from Solang)
  • By flight – Nearest airport is Bhuntar Airport (49 kms away from Solang)

Must Read: 10 most famous hill stations in Himachal Pradesh

20. Dibru Saikhowa National Park, Assam

Dibru Saikhowa National Park, Assam

The park is known for the rich flora and fauna around its wetlands and moist mixed forest. Be it eight turtle species, Bengal tiger, or Gangetic dolphin; wildlife enthusiasts and jungle fans will have a blast here.

Attractions:

Feast your sights on restricted bird species like White Bellied Heron, spotted billed Pelican, and Marsh Babbler while you are here for your holidays in India.

Best time to visit:

November to April, summers are humid and hot and generally avoided

How to reach: 

The park is located around 12kms north of Tinsukia

  • By bus – NH 37 connects Tinsukia with Dibrugarh town
  • By train – Rajdhani trains from Delhi pass through Tinsukia
  • By flight – Nearest airport is Dibrugarh (40 kms away from Tinsukia)

Take a tour of this country and return home with memories to cherish for a lifetime! India packages offer exciting deals for tourism that will leave you spellbound. So, what are you waiting for? Rejuvenate, reinvent and re-discover the unknown and make the best of your holidays in India.

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Holidays in India That Are Bound To Leave You in Awe - Thomas Cook
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Holidays in India That Are Bound To Leave You in Awe - Thomas Cook
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Here’s a list of 20 places that you must visit when you are planning holidays in India and strike out a few places from your bucket list.
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