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discover hidden myths, taste diverse food and sleep below a sky full of shooting stars and galaxies every night
India is blessed with stunning beauty and a rich culture that give globetrotters massive travel goals. With its diverse and enchanting natural elements like the mighty mountains, the thriving valleys, the long meandering rivers, the lively sea coasts and more, traveling in India is truly an incredible experience. Here are some of the best ways to explore India in all its glory.

1. Cycling through Gurez Valley in Kashmir


Kashmir Valley is rich in history, culture and natural phenomena on one side and is a political controversy on the other side. The spicy taste of the indigenous cuisines, the different types of teas, the trekking, the stays in the barges and the visit of many sacred sanctuaries are things favorable to the tourists. Native textiles and crafts are quite famous and so shopping is good.

This article will explain the beauty of the list of tourist places in Kashmir to visit that also explain the culture and history of these destinations as well as photos that will make your trip happy.

The cycling route of the Gurez Valley is the quietest and one of the best and most adventurous cycling routes in Kashmir. The route has less traffic. It is an incredible journey to enter with the magical and remote Kingdom of Gurez. While pedaling along this route, we visit beautiful lakes (Mansbal and Wular), remote mountain villages and high altitude grasslands such as Tragbal.

Lake Wular is a popular tourist attraction 65 km from Srinagar. Located in the Bandipora district, the lake is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia that delights travelers as they sail across the lake in a shikara or on a boat. And the beauty is impressive; It could not be better for a nature photography enthusiast!

There are the ruins of many fortresses and castles, some built in some rather improbable places! It is a fairly long route, which crosses the Razdan Pass at 3500 m and has the excellent objective of visiting the most remote villages of Gurez. Miles away from well-traveled areas Watlab will unfold before you.

High on a hill stands the sanctuary of a Muslim mystic Baba Shukur Din Sahib. Here, the Wular extends as far as the eye can see, bordered by picturesque villages, terraces and breeze stirred the rice fields in a rampant explosion of color. Watlab is a resting place amidst extensive forests of apple orchards, permission to remain in which has to be requested to the Forest Department Office of the Sopore district headquarters.

Jama Masjid in Nowhatta is one of the most visited mosques in Srinagar, the capital. The mosque was built by Sultan Sikandar in 1400 and was later extended by his son Zain-ul-Abidin. The mosque has 370 wooden pillars and Indo-Saran architecture. Fridays are full of thousands of Muslims on Friday because it is considered the holiest day to worship.

Chashmashahi is the smallest of the three Mughal gardens in Kashmir. The garden is located above the Nehru Memorial Park and its name means Royal Spring. From the garden you can see the beautiful Dal Lake and the surrounding mountains. The gardens also have many terraces and fountains and are built across the center.

Nagin Lake is located east of the Kashmir Valley. It is located at the foot of Zabarwan Mountain and the lake is surrounded by willows and poplars. Shankaracharya Hill is south of the lake and Hari Parbat is to the west. It is famous for water skiing, launches and boating. Lake Naga is one of the most wonderful places in Kashmir to visit.

Dachigam National Park is located about 22 km from Srinagar and covers an area of ​​about 141 square kilometers. The park is famous for its endangered animals, like the red deer. The park is present in a deep valley with steep slopes of wood. The national park is located at an altitude of 1600 m to 4200 m as in the mountainous area. This national park is one of the most famous places in Kashmir for adventures.

Drass is the second coldest place in the world that has inhabitants. It is located at 3,230 meters above sea level and about 60 km from Kargil. It is a small town in the middle of the valley and the path to Ladakh from here is easy as the Zojila pass passes through the place. Tourists enjoy trekking and the Suru Valley is the most famous for that.

Hazratbal is a famous Muslim sanctuary and believes that a lock of hair, kept in the sanctuary, belonged to the prophet Muhammad. It is located to the left of Dal Lake and is one of the most sacred places in Kashmir. The best time to visit this sanctuary is between March and October due to the favorable climate. Hazratbal is one of the ideal and historic places to see in Kashmir, which will give a lot of tranquility.

Sonamarg is to be reached by the Sind Valley and it shows a different country atmosphere of Kashmir, which is not very common. It is located at an altitude of 2730 m and its name means the meadow of gold because of its mountainous landscape with its pure sky. The Sindh River runs through the valley and ponies are often hired to visit the site. Sonamarg is one of the most beautiful places of Kashmir to visit.

Shiv Kori is a cave located in a hillock and extending for about a kilometer. The cave is known to have a natural Shiva Lingam and is over 100 years old. Tourists are impressed by the carved Sheshnaag ceiling of the cave. Khana-e-Mola is one of the oldest Muslim shrines in Kashmir. The sanctuary was built by Sultan Sikandar and has been beautifully carved inside. It was made in honor of Muslim preacher Mir Syed Ali Hamdani.

Srinagar is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in India, not to mention Kashmir. During your stay in Srinagar, you can indulge in many activities like trekking, bird watching, boating or water skiing. It is a popular honeymoon destination in India. Although the place can be visited throughout the year, the snowfall that occurs between December and January gives a special serenity and beauty to this beautiful place.

It is one of the most natural and famous tourist spots to visit in Kashmir. If you visit Kashmir during summers and think about places to visit in Kashmir, Leh is the place for you. The high mountains and lakes offer breathtaking views of the picturesque landscapes. The beauty of Leh hypnotizes everyone who visits it. It is also an ideal place for those who love bikepacking, mountain biking and trekking.

Engaging in these activities will give you a lifetime of memories and many stories to tell your grandchildren. However, if you want to go to Leh for mountain biking, summer is your time because after November, many trails are closed due to heavy snow.

Kupwara is also known as the Kashmiri Crown. The beautiful green meadows, mountains and clear streams make Kupwara one of the best places to visit in Kashmir. Due to its picturesque landscape, this place is a must visit if you plan to make a trip to Kashmir. Kupwara illustrates the beauty of Kashmir in many ways. Sheikh Baba Behram, the Lolab Valley and the Qamar Reshi Sahib Shrine are must-see places.

If you have ever been attracted to Sufism and are inclined to it, Kathua is the place for you. Kathua is also known as the city of Sufis. It portrays the beautiful history of Kashmir's past and is one of the most beautiful places in Kashmir. If you are passionate about history, do not miss the Jasrota fort. Kathua offers a serene and peaceful atmosphere to all who visit.

Kargil is a city that can not be easily forgotten. Even today, the mention of Kargil shivers the thorns of all the Indians who lived during the war. This city is a must visit because it occupies a special place in the feelings of every Indian citizen. This is one of Kashmir's tourist sites because of the multitude of emotions it has to offer.

For many, this city revives old memories and makes them proud of their Indian nationality. In Kargil, mountaineering or trekking can be done in the nearby Suru Valley. Other places of interest are Mulbek Gompa, Shergol, Wakha Rgyal.

Located far from the frantic race of the city, Pahalgam will make you forget all your worries and stress during your stay. The coolness is overcrowded in this small town nestled in the mountains. There is a lot of tranquility and serenity for all those who visit. Pahalgam is a great place to relax, meditate and connect with nature.

This small town is very famous for its huge expanse of coniferous forest. The winter season that begins at the end of October is perhaps the best time to visit this city, because the snow gives an extra beauty to the place. Guests of Pahalgam can enjoy various leisure activities such as canoeing and horse riding. Places of interest nearby are Betab and Aru Valley.

Stunning Ways to Experience India

2. Corners of the Himalayas


The pin bhaba pass trek offers an incredible glimpse of the isolated valleys of Spiti, Pin and Kinnaur in the beautiful and little-known region of Himachal Pradesh. From the green valley of Kullu, where you can get there with an inexpensive domestic flight, is the nearest starting point to visit Lahaul and Spiti. Kinnaur guarantees a much more comfortable trip to Kaza, capital of the Spiti Valley, even if you miss the exciting possibilities offered by the Manali route.

If you are in Manali depart towards Khoksar, a traditional caravan pass located at the gates of Lahaul. After a brief stop to visit the town continue the path to cross after the Kunzum La pass. To cross the valley you have to cross a border crossing, Kunzum Pass (at 4,590 m altitude), closed in winter. This is a zone impregnated with the Tibetan culture.

Kibber is the highest town in the world at 4,300 meters of altitude. We went to Key, one of the most impressive sites we have ever been to. A visit to the Kii Buddhist temple is a must. Another monastery that you could include in your tour if you are interested, would be Tangyud Monastery, at 4,380 meters above sea level next to the town of Komik. It is almost an hour's drive from Kaza.

When you get to Kaza you are in the heart of Spiti. We can observe the residence of the kings of this small principality who still reside on the banks of the river, as well as its market and temples.

Dedicate a day to an excursion to the town of Tabo, known as the Ajanta of Himalayas. The complex of religious buildings in this village contains beautiful murals and stucco sculptures. It is the largest monastery and dependencies of Spiti and one of the oldest, since it is more than 1000 years old. The return trip to Kaza will allow you to enjoy the characteristic landscapes of the region.

Well, if you visit Spiti in winters it gets cooler by many notches, and not just literally. All snowy, white Spiti is nothing less than a dreamland. Add to it the excitement of visiting centuries-old monasteries and frozen lakes. you will be dazzled by the breathtaking beauty of the Spiti Valley, visiting ancient Gompas (Buddhist fortifications), and charming villages perched on the mountainside.

After seeing a spectacular sunrise in front of the impressive peaks of the Himalayas, we left for Nako. We visited the Dhankar monastery. The rest of the day passed without further problems until we arrived in Tabo. Shortly before arriving at Sumdo we had to stop the march because the road was cut due to a detachment. There between the huge scree we stayed almost a couple of hours, seeing what happens and if the mountain was finished falling.

The climb is long but the scenery is incredible and we finally reach the small town of Nako. At dusk we enjoyed a tour of medieval Tibetan village. The most similar to how I imagine it is Upper Mustang, but in miniature, of course.

We reach a police barrier where we have to present a permit for entry into the restricted area (border with Tibet) and register our passage.

Heaps of snow, Kinnaur Kailash standing guard, shooting stars in dozens, Kinnaur's warm smiles, the apple wine of the orchards and the promise of loneliness in its loneliest form. That and more is Kalpa, as close to the heavens as you can get from Earth. Kalpa is a village of tailors, who sew, among others, traditional hats.

From Reckong Peo you can enjoy some incredible views of Kinnaur Kailash. After passing the Bhaba pass, the landscape changes radically, from the lunar and mineral atmosphere of Spiti, to the massive pine forests, composed of sacred cedars.

Chitkul (3440 m) is the last village accessible by road in the Sangla valley, to continue through the long valley to find a glacier, which offers wonderful views. Chitkul is the last inhabited village near the border between India and Tibet, and the road to India ends here. During the winters the place remains covered with snow and most of these people move to the low areas of Himachal.

From here you can travel to Sangla, which was once the capital of Bushahr, where you should visit the Kamru Fort. Chitkul, on the banks of the Baspa River, is the first village of the Baspa Valley. Chitkul is practically the last point of the famous Kinner Kailash Parikrama. After a crossing over the 5,242 m high Charang Pass, it is a long and steep run through slippery hauls to Chitkul.

The Kagyupa temple has a highly valued ancient image of Shakyamuni Buddha, a mandala life wheel and four directional Kings on either side of the door. The potatoes grown in Chitkul are one of the best in the world and are very expensive. The pin bhaba pass trek ends in Kafnu, from where you can take the road of Shimla, summer residence of the British Raj.

4. Mandi between lakes and temples


Mandi, along the Beas River is famous for its eighty-one stone temples. In fact, it is known as the Varanasi of the hills and it is said that the sage Mandva meditated here. In addition, it was the old capital of the principality of Mandi. It is a charming place that retains much of its original character.

It has remains of ancient palaces and remarkable examples of colonial architecture. The most famous temples are those of Bhutnath, Trilokinath, Panchvaktra and Shyamakali. If you arrive in February, you can participate in the Shivratri Fair, with exhibitions, sports and cultural programs.

Nature enthusiasts can head to Lake Prashar, 45 km north of Mandi. Here is a three-story pagoda, dedicated to the wise Prashar. The lake, of beautiful and deep blue waters, is 2730 meters above sea level and is considered a sacred place since it is believed that the wise man meditated on its shores.

It is an impressive spectacle, with the backdrop of the snow-capped mountains and at the bottom of the valley the river Beas. If you arrive in June, you can participate in the annual Fair held here, and if you want to stay to enjoy a little more, there are several campsites where you can camp.

Another striking lake is the Rewalsar, 25 km from Mandi, famous for its floating islands of reeds that, according to the belief, can be moved by the breeze or by the prayers. Another legend says that in one of them resides the spirit of Guru Rinpoche. The place is considered sacred by Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists, as here the great tantric master Padmasambhava used his enormous power to take flight to Tibet.

Above this lake is the one of Bhayo Kunt, at 1750 meters of altitude, and there are another six lakes of legend, whose stories are associated with the Mahabharata epic. If the idea is to stay, you will find inns, guest houses and rest houses in Rewalsar.

5. Discover Khajjiar the Indian Switzerland


Dalhousie is a hill station full of colonial charm of the British era. The city is named after the 19th century British Governor General Lord Dalhousie. Different levels of altitude of the city with a great variety of vegetation that includes pines, cedars, oaks and rhododendrons in bloom.

Rich in colonial architecture, the city preserves some beautiful churches such as the St. John's church (the oldest built in 1863), St. Francis' Church (built in 1894), St. Andrew's Church in 1903 and St. Patrick's Church in 1909. There are also magnificent views from the Chamba Valley and the mighty Dhauladhar range with its imposing snow covered peaks fill an entire horizon.

Khajjiar is a popular hill station in India, about 26 km from Dalhousie in the Himachal Pradesh region, situated at a height of 6500 feet with a pleasant climate and geographical appearance very similar to Switzerland. Khajjiar offers visitors meadows and dense forests, as well as views of the majestic summits of the Himalayas that make Khajjiar, with the lake Khajjiar and Lake Chamera, a unique place of its kind.

Trekking is the best way to explore Khajjiar and from there, for example, trekking through Chamba, Dalhousie and Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary. With its exotic flora and fauna, the Kalatop wildlife sanctuary is a joy for nature lovers and wildlife photographers. The Khajji Naga temple is the most sacred splendor of Khajjiar. Bharmour is a village located near the Chamba and is also popular with tourists for its temples and history.

6. Sikh hospitality in Amritsar


Amritsar is the city of the turbans and where spirituality is breathed in every corner, besides being one of the main cities of the Punjab state. The main attraction of Amritsar is the Golden Temple. It is a little difficult to explain in words the great beauty of this complex and all the environment that surrounds it. The Golden Temple is just one part of a large complex that houses other rooms. This great complex is known as Harmandir Sahib.

The entrance of white marble is large and majestic, and the sight of the gold at the bottom of the entrance arches is incredible. The gigantic kitchen, known as Guru Ka Langar, feeds between 60,000 and 80,000 people each day. Five minutes from the Golden Temple is Jallianwala Bagh Park. In your walk through the city you can go in search of the different temples that you can also visit, such as the Sri Durgiana Temple or the Mata Temple.

If you have time you can also go up to the Gobindgarh Fort. Better known as Wagah Border, a rather interesting change of guard ceremony takes place on this border.

Stunning Ways to Experience India

7. Modern Punjabi city of Chandigarh


Chandigarh is an exception in India. It may seem like a small and visionary Brasilia, with its modern architecture of the 1950s. The city is divided into identical sectors, crossed by large avenues. In the north, the sector 1 concentrates the Capitol and all its official and administrative buildings. It is worth going up to the terrace of the Secretariat, the headquarters of the governments of the two states, to admire the fantastic views.

On the one hand, the modern city to the south has the first foothills of the Himalayas. Take a tour of the administrative district and visit its large 220-hectare artificial Sukhna Lake, very close to the High Court. In the sector 10, discover 5,000 years of history of North India in the Museum of Evolution of Life.

Let yourself be drunk by the immense Rose Garden, in the sector 16, where more than a thousand varieties are cultivated (ideal between December and February). To do some shopping, nothing better than the spacious commercial center of the sector 17, in front of the bus station.

Ludhiana is another traditional Punjabi city near Chandigarh, famous for its woolen clothes and cotton t-shirts. The month of February hosts the infamous Mach Auto EXPO, which takes place at the Glada Ground. Automotive enthusiasts from around the world come to this expo which is the largest one in India.

The latest in engineering machinery, automotive tools and parts, hand tools and machine tools and much more are exhibited at this event. During one of the largest business conferences in India, this is also the ideal time to enjoy the traditional city and culture of Punjab during the month of February.

8. City of the Nawabs: Lucknow


To begin with, Lucknow is a big, stifling capital of Uttar Pradesh. The arts, painting, music and dance, flourished under the generous patronage of the last Nawabs of Awadh. Take your time to visit the monuments, especially the Bara Imambara with its three-dimensional labyrinth known as Bhul bhulaiya, Chota imambara, Kaiserbagh palace, the Chattar manzil and the Residency.

The buildings of the three sides of the quadrangle Qaisarbagh once provided rooms for the ladies of the harem of Wajid Ali Shah, the last ruler of the Awadh kingdom. In the center rises the white Baradari, a large white stone building that was previously paved with silver. This historic palace is considered one of the beautiful royal buildings of India.

9. Kumbh Mela in Allahabad


Among the four cities, the place where this pilgrimage is most important is in Prayagraj, the city where the most sacred river Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati converge. Kumbh Mela is considered the largest pilgrimage in the world and in 2018 was named Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. An event that brings together more than 100 million people who come to the banks of the river to bathe.

In Allahabad, people go by boat to the point of union of the three sacred rivers. It is a pilgrimage that takes place four times every twelve years.

10. City of Joy: Kolkata


Known as the City of Joy, Kolkata is known for being the city with a soul! A hub of culture, birthplace of famous Bengali sweets like Rasgulla and Sandesh – Kolkata with its tram lines running across the old city in the north and the modernity in the south is a bundle of joy.

The weather around February is pleasantly cold with moderately sunny mornings and cozy cool nights. Take a walk around the historic parts of the city, go on food tours and photography tours in Kolkata and discover what part of the city gives you are the most joy.

While this is in no way an exhaustive list, but these are some of the best places to travel in February for those who love the cold winter breeze. February is here, so get packing and to explore your favorite winter destinations!

11. Diamond Triangle of Odisha


Bhubaneswar is the capital of the state of Odisha, in eastern India, until recently known as Orissa. About 100 kms from Bhubaneswar is the ancient Buddhist Centers of Lalitagiri and Ratnagiri, which together with the site of Udaygiri form what is known as the diamond triangle of Odisha.

On a day trip from Bhubaneswar, visit the ancient Buddhist sites of Lalitagiri and Ratnagiri, dating from the 1st century BC to the 12th century AD to see the stone coffin containing the relics of the Buddha in Lalitagiri, standing statues of the Buddha and sculptures of the Gandhara School of Architecture.

Drive to Chilika Lake and then to Gopalpur along the sea. One of the longest dam in the world in the largest artificial lake of Asia, Hirakud Dam is in the solitary majesty through the great river Mahanadi.

Drive to Konark, where the Sun Temple that is on the beach of the Bay of Bengal is an architectural marvel. Puri, the popular beach, is one of the four char dhams in India. It is very famous for the Jagannath Temple, which contributed with the word juggernaut to the English language. The temple is famous for the Ratha Yatra that is held annually.

Spend the day in the artisan village of Raghurajpur near the lace that specializes in paintings of Patachitra, an art form belonging to Batik using bright colors painted on palm leaves. Continue towards Bhubaneshwar and stop at Dhauli Stupa where Ashoka of Kalinga dynasty embraced the teachings of Buddha.

Stunning Ways to Experience India

12. Cruise in Papikondalu, Andhra Pradesh


The trip to Papikondalu or Papi Hills, a picturesque region in the Eastern Ghats, traversed by the Godavari River, is an unforgettable experience. The best way to get to see these hills covered with deciduous tropical forests is by taking a seven-hour cruise along the Godavari River, one of the largest in India and the largest in southern India, from Kunavaram to the confluence with the Sabari river, where its waters turn brown and turbid.

According to legend, Rama and Sita lived in Papikondalu and therefore it is a sacred place. In a summit called Perantalapalli there is a temple dedicated to Shiva, venerated by resident tribes whose rituals, if one visits the place, must be strictly followed. Here you can stop the boat and enjoy the nature, before the exuberance of the vegetation dotted by waterfalls.

You can also extend the trip and spend the night in the Kolluru village, on the banks of the river, in authentic bamboo huts. At night, sit around a campfire while the fishermen clean the catch of the day. Next day, walk through the hills and visit the tribal village. Do not be surprised if everything seems different with the new day. They say that the stars and the river Godavari have worked at night to awaken the poet in you!

Papikondalu is also one of the most recognized places in the Eastern Ghats as a habitat for big cats, wild boar, deer and a treasure for birds.

Do not forget to enter the Borra caves, which are one million years old, with splendid stalagmites and stalactites. The city is surrounded by ancient Buddhist centers, most of them recently discovered. The list includes places such as Thotlakonda, Bavikonda, Sankaram, Pavuralakonda and Gopalapatnam. Nagarjunasagar has a rich and interesting past.

Tirumala and Tirupati receive millions of visitors every day. The temple of Venkateswara, on the hill of Tirumala, is one of the most important places of worship in India. There are another eleven in different states of India, among which include Puttaparthi. When you are in Andhra Pradesh, be sure to attend a classic Kuchipudi dance show.

Of the best places for a summer getaway in South India is Anantagiri, one of the corners of greatest natural beauty 5 km from Vikarabad city of Rangareddy. The Anantagiri hills, in the Telangana region has magnificent views of the coast. The landscape is completed with wonderful waterfalls, cliffs and an unsurpassed nature.

Ananthagiri Temple is located in this forested area. There is a small village near Ananthagiri called Alampally and much smaller village near Alampally called Nalapur.

13. Rock Climbing in Bhuvanagiri, Telengana


Bhongir Fort is located in Bhongir, Bhongiri or Bhuvanagiri in Nalgonda district in Telangana. This fortress is based on a unique rock formation perched on a hill. More than 500 meters high and extending over an area of ​​40 acres, the fort was considered practically impregnable by the invading armies. It is located on National Highway 202 about 48 km from the state capital, Hyderabad and built in the 12th century by the western ruler of Chalukya Tribhuvanamalla-Vikramaditya.

It has a unique egg-shaped construction with two access points protected by huge rocks. A moat that surrounds the fortress, a large underground chamber, trapdoors, an armory, stables, ponds, wells offer a fascinating insight. The view from the top of the surrounding countryside is simply stunning.

Surrounded by mountains and lush green forests, Adilabad is sanctified by the rumination of blessed souls like Ved Vyas. It is a place where you can see the waterfalls that sprout rivers, invigorating and interesting fauna, encourage the nerves.

The main attraction of Hyderabad is Charminar, built in 1591 in the center of the old perimeter of the city. The majestic Haveli Purani, the palace acquired by the second Nizam, has now become a museum with a fascinating collection. The museum exhibits gifts and souvenirs presented to the past Nizam. A 1930 Rolls Royce, Packard and a Jaguar Mark V are some of the antique cars shown here.

In the middle of Lake Hussain Sagar, located in the center of the city, stands a gigantic Buddha statue. From Hyderabad, you can visit Fort Golkonda. In the vicinity, one kilometer from the Banjara Darwaza of Fort Golkonda, are the tombs of the legendary Qutb Shah.

A place worth visiting is the Salargunj Museum, which houses one of the largest collections of antiquities in the world. Do not miss the temple of the thousand columns, the Warangal Fort, the temple and the Ramappa lake; Kush Mahal, Pakhal Lake as well as wildlife reserve, Tadwai, Bhadrakali Temple, Khazipet Dargha, Fatima Churches, Kolanupaka, Pembarti, Eturungaram, Cheriyal.

Stunning Ways to Experience India

14. Markets of Mumbai


The city that never sleeps is quite hot all year long, but February brings pleasant breezes from the sea with moderate temperatures throughout the day. This is the peak season to enjoy walks around the city. You can explore the rich colonial past of the city around its suburbs.

Walk around the busy markets, visit the happening cafes and stay out late at nights at the swanky pubs of Mumbai and for sure see the famous Mumbai beach town in its winter glory.

If you are thinking of exploring India during your next vacation, make sure you take a peek at various forms of culture and the vivid natural beauty. Take your time and travel your heart out in this beautiful land.
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Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author