India is not a land for the faint-hearted. Its diversity can be dizzying, and whether it’s the harsh deserts or soothing hills, each place you visit in the country promises a unique experience. Some of the best to visit in India can also be the most intimidating, if you’re traveling for the first time. But rest assured that once you fall in love with the country, you would never want to leave. Here is our pick for three incredible destinations that you must visit in India.
The first thing that pops into your head when you think of Khajuraho is the Kama Sutra, isn’t it? Rightly so, since the sandstone temples in this little town in Madhya Pradesh are a glorious tribute to Vatsyayana’s treatise on erotica. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Khajuraho has been described by many as poetry in stone, and has been bestowed with a variety of generous adjectives to detail its beauty. But little justice can be done by mere words. The temples are divided into three groups based on their location – the Western, Eastern and Southern groups. The intricate sculptures depict ‘divinity in sexuality’, and provide a glimpse into the facets of Hinduism. Khajuraho hosts the Festival of Dances, an annual extravaganza celebrating Indian classical dance.
Andaman & Nicobar Islands
On the fringes of the country, and in fact closer to Thailand, are the tropical Andaman & Nicobar Islands with their virgin beaches and coral formations. Once a penitentiary colony for the British, the islands now offer a tranquil escape from the mundane. Most travelers prefer to keep Havelock Island as base, and island-hop from there on ferries. Snorkeling and Scuba Diving are popular activities, so unleash the water-baby in you. Access is easier than ever with flights to Port Blair operating from the metros in India. It is one of the best places to visit in India in December, when the Andaman holiday season is in full swing. However, we do recommend the second half of December when the northeast monsoon has abated.
You will never see bluer skies over browner hills. The harsh, steely quality of the cold desert will overwhelm you as soon as you set foot into Ladakh. The warm hospitality of Ladakhis is a stark contrast to this steeliness. Visit the beautiful Buddhist stupas, and say hello to the snow leopard at Hemis National Park. The region offers some of the most memorable trekking routes for avid travelers, and is also a biker’s paradise. The thrill of riding a bike on the Khardung La, the world’s highest motorable road is something you must experience. Once at the top, sip some hot yak butter tea and indulge in delicately flavored momos. Ladakh is one of the best places to visit in India in December and around.
It is a near-impossible task to pick out a few places as ‘top’ destinations in a country like India, but we’ve chosen a few of our favorites. We do hope you enjoy them as much as we did!
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