9 Best Cities to Visit in India

India is a great place of art and historic collaboration and that is reflected in some of the top cities. This is the nation, where some of the world's ancient-most religious monuments are situated and alongside there are many top class historic artistic representations of different dynasties. The Ancient time historical impressions, when races from other parts of the world have not even started creating history, are there in the subcontinent.

Even when the world has started writing their own history, the country surrounded by three water bodies, continued writing her ornamental historic episodes with arts and architectures. Modern great cities of India can even be compared to that with the top cities of the world, but the cities that have their origin encrypted since the ancient times are simply unparalleled.

Here is the short brief about such great cities, which evolved at a different timeframe of Indian history and are still resplendent with their awesome attributes.

best cities to visit in India

1. Hyderabad


Hyderabad has awesome tourist attractions like Golconda fort, Birla mandir, Lumbini park, Snow world, Charminar, Falaknuma palace, Salar Jung museum, Moazzam Jahi Market, KBR park, Shilpa Ramam etc. You can also visit Ramoji Film City and spend an entire day in colorful world. This place is known for Swanky Charminar, IT hub, and Snow World to beat the scorching heat.

Fantastic shopping places like Koti, Abids, Laad bazaar, Begum bazaar, Book bazaar and numerous shopping centers are together an icing on the cake for your already overwhelming list of things city has to offer.

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.

The iconic Charminar monument and ancient mosques like Mecca Masjid loom over the otherwise insignificant streets, as silent witnesses to the city’s rich past. This is also a city of extremes: head west to Cyberabad and you’ll wonder if you’ve suddenly ended up in high-tech Japan. However, if you don’t have too much time, focus on the historic heart of the city and its magnificent architecture.

Choose a day when the sun's not too bright. Be prepared for the climb but once you reach the top of Golconda fort, the view is worth all the huffing and puffing. A little beyond the fort, is taramati baradari, a baradari constructed by Qutb Shah for his favourite courtesan Taramati, hence the name. Before entering the fort area, there lie the tombs of the qutb shah rulers.

The Qutub Shah tombs are a set of around 44 tombs, 7 of which belong to the 7 rulers. If antique coins and locks interest you, do stop by a person who sells ancient coins right outside the gates of the fort. ​Choose to visit birla temple either early mornings or early evening. The view of the sun rising or setting is breath taking. In my opinion, this is one of the best and the most serene places to visit in Hyderabad.

Little do the people of Hyderabad know about Buddha vihara. Situated at the highest point of the Mahendra Hills, this temple is known for two things- serenity and beauty. Although the Shamirpet lake isn't its original size at present, these two lakes are the perfect picnic spots. They form a good place for a family outing.

If you are a bike enthusiast, you would find several Royal Enfield or Harley bikers making their weekends a bike filled one, their destination being the Osman sagar lake. True beauties! A few others at Hyderabad would include the public gardens, the KBR park, the Nehru Zoo, Salary Jung Museum, Sudha Cars museum, the chowmahalla palace, king koti palace, Ramoji Film City, paigah tombs etc.

Have you ever wondered how south Indian delicacies like idli andaround be made interesting with a little of masala touch? Well, visit these places and you would not end with just one visit. Also, you would be surprised to know that Ram ki bandi opens at 3 in the morning and closes at around 6.

Laad Bazar is situated next to the Charminar. Here, you will find shops that sell excellent perfumes, jewellery and garments. Not too far from the Charminar, situated between Laad Bazaar and Moti Chowk is the Perfume Market. As the name suggest, it’s perfumes and more perfumes that you find here-ittar, or regionally produced perfumes that come in beautiful glass vials.

If you are looking for antique items, this is the place to go. From quaint chandeliers to unique crockery, from wooden chests to replicas of monuments, you’d find all the unique and antique items in Antique Market. You can find these shops near Murgi Chowk, close to the Charminar.

2. Agra


Not very far from Mathura this city is, but she remained unexplored till the Mughals empowered the city with Agra Fort and the immensely splendid Taj Mahal. The astounding monument although is the diamond ring to the city, but other jewels are not less here. The best fact is that, very close to this city that is penetrated by Yamuna River, there lies Fatehpur Sikri, another great work of Mughals.

Mixing it all, Agra is something, missing which you will miss everything about Modern India.

3. Kolkata


This city is the ornament of the modern Indian history, as it remained the capital city of the British, during their rule over India. Calcutta has the oldest hanging bridge of the nation, has the oldest and the biggest museum and Library and zoo and tram depot and metro rail of India.

Moreover, there are some of the symbolic features in Kolkata regarding the late 19th-century revolution across India, where Bengal led the nation with her ornaments in the movements related to literature, religion, science and of course humanity.

4. Bhubaneswar


It actually does not cost much to travel in Odisha, only issue is that of good accomodation and facilities. Anyway outside the standard Bhubaneshwar-Puri-Konark-Chilika circuit, there are some places that are worth a visit, and which do not cost too much.

Odisha is the land of temples engraved with deities, farmers, animals, and common masses. These temples have their own archaeological importance. If you love to visit offbeat places in India, then this is a place that you were looking for this whole time.

Orissa is nestled comfortably in the south eastern part of India and is historically significant with a backdrop of over several centuries to boast of. It is also known as 'Odisha' and houses in its midst, several tourist attractions including the world famous Jagannath Temple, the Sun temple, the Lingaraja temple and most importantly the famous Rock Edits of Ashoka.

Bhubaneswar is the capital of the state of Odisha, in eastern India, until recently known as Orissa. If you are planning to visit Bhubaneswar, then do visit the ancient temples. These temples were mostly built before 12th Century BC. Popularly known as the Temple City of India, Bhubaneswar is world famous for its classic example of heritage, history, and urbanization.

Once you step in Bhubaneswar you will get to know why it is called the Temple City. It has many ancient temples dedicated to Shiva. A Bhubaneswar tour should be in your bucket list if you don’t want to miss out exploring the incredible artwork, wildlife sanctuaries and caves of Odisha.

Some of the key attractions you shouldn’t miss on your Bhubaneswar trip include Dhauli Hills, Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves, Ratnagiri Buddhist Excavations, Bindu Sarovara, Nandan Kanan Zoological Park and Lingaraj Temple among others.

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.

But apart from these places, have a visit to the world famous Konark Temple (if you have not visited earlier). It is located between Puri and Bhubaneswar. You can also chill at the Chandrabhaga Beach or Ramchandi Beach nearby. For nature lovers Jeypore brings a lot of activities. The city is recognized for offering mesmerizing sights of rocky outcrops, picture-perfect cascades, and verdant biosphere reserves.

One of the famous attractions of this place is the forest hills of the southwest. It is home to the tribal people who live in the forest. You can visit their weekly market to meet them. Even if they are tribal people, they are very welcoming by nature.

Koraput-Jeypore-Gupteshwar

Southern part of Odisha is quite an unexplored beauty. You have beautiful valleys, thick forests, hills, lakes waiting to be discovered. Unfortunately poor infrastructure and add to it Naxal issue has meant the region has not really tapped it’s potential. You can catch a bus to Koraput, or even go on a road trip from Vizag, or Vizianagaram. Till Saluru it’s pretty much plain area.

From Salur, you have a very steep ghat road, runs through thick forests. And then you reach Sunki right on the Andhra-Odisha border. From there on to Pottangi, which has the Gali Gabdar waterfalls. From Pottangi en route to Koraput, you pass Sunabeda, lovely route with rolling meadows, valleys and lakes. Koraput is a sleepy small town, very picturesque with hills and all. Has some decent hotels too.

Jagannath Temple here is worth a visit. But the best part is Gupteswar temple, around 90 km from Koraput. The main attraction is the Shiva Linga in a limestone cave. Located near the Kolab river, it involves a trek through a dense forest.

5. Patiala


Patiala is known as the city of forts and gardens. With its intricate and beautiful works of art, the bright colors of the gardens and the beauty of its temples and the royal residence of Qila Mubarak make the city of Punjab very interesting to visit. Qila Mubarak, located in the heart of the city, was the resident of the Patiala royal family before the former Moti Bagh palace.

Baradari gardens are an unmissable attraction for its colorful range of flowers and the royal house, the cricket stadium and an ice rink. Sheesh Mahal is a work of art, famous for its mirror works and the nearby lake enhances its beauty. The Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib and the Gurdwara Moti Bagh Sahib are important religious destinations dedicated to the Sikh Guru Teg Bahadur.

Lachman Jhoola connects the Sheesh Mahal with the Banasar Ghar and is a beautiful suspension bridge built on a small artificial lake. It is a replica of the famous Lakshman Jhoola in Rishikesh. The tree-lined parks in front of the villa feature exquisite marble statues, including a 1903 sculpture of Queen Victoria.

6. 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.

7. Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh


Allahabad, also known by it's ancient name Prayag is one of the oldest cities in India. 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. The most popular tourist attractions in Allahabad are as follows:

Triveni Sangam: The Triveni Sangam is the point of confluence of three rivers namely Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati (a mythical river which is supposed to have dried up thousands of year ago) located in Allahabad. The point of confluence is regarded as one of the holiest places in Hinduism.

Old Naini Bridge: The Old Naini Bridge is a double-decked steel-truss bridge located in Allahabad. It is one of the longest and oldest bridges in India. The bridge runs across the Yamuna river connecting the city of Allahabad to the neighbouring area of Naini. It is used as roadway and railway simultaneously.

New Yamuna Bridge: The New Yamuna Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge located in Allahabad. It was constructed in 2004 in order to minimize the traffic over the Old Naini Bridge. The bridge runs across the Yamuna river connecting the city of Allahabad to the neighbouring area of Naini.

Allahabad Fort: Allahabad Fort is a fort located in Allahabad. The fort was built by the 3rd Mughal emperor Akbar in 1583. The fort stands on the banks of river Yamuna. It is the largest fort ever built by Akbar. Most of the fort is occupied by the Indian Army and a limited area is open for tourists.

Khusro Bagh: Khusrau Bagh is a large walled burial complex and a garden located in Allahabad. Situated over 40 acres and shaped as a quadrangle it includes the tombs of 4th Mughal emperor Jahangir's wife Shah Begum, Jahangir’s eldest son Khusrau Mirza and Jahangir's daughter Nithar Begum.

Allahabad Museum: The Allahabad Museum is a national-level museum located in Allahabad. It is situated inside Chandrashekhar Azad Park. It was originally established in 1931 under the control of Allahabad Municipality as a natural museum. The museum uses solar energy and has become first museum in India to become self-reliant in power generation.

Anand Bhavan: Anand Bhavan is a historic house museum located in Allahabad. It was constructed by Indian political leader Motilal Nehru in the 1930s to serve as the residence of the Nehru family. The mansion once stood witness to the lives of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. Anand Bhavan was donated to Indian government by Indira Gandhi and converted into a museum.

Jawahar Planetarium: The Jawahar Planetarium named after Jawaharlal Nehru is a planetarium located inside Anand Bhawan. It has a capacity to seat 80 people.

Chandrashekhar Azad Park: Chandrashekhar Azad Park is a public park in Allahabad. It is also known by it's former name Alfred Park and Company Bagh. It was built in 1870 to mark Prince Alfred's (Queen Victoria's son) visit to Allahabad. With an area of 133 acres, it is the largest park in Allahabad.

Hathi Park: Hathi Park also known as Sumitra Nandan Park is a public park situated opposite to Chandrashekhar Azad Park in Allahabad. A huge stone elephant slider is the main attraction of the park. The park also has a small zoo. It is the most famous children’s park in Allahabad.

8. Jaipur, Rajasthan


The capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur, is referred to as the Pink City for the trademark colour of buildings in this city. Jaipur is home to historic forts and palaces. Couples can opt for a romantic stroll down the city centre and soak in the Rajasthani folk culture. From fabrics to carpets, one can find various types of handicrafts in the Tibbati market.

Jaipur is also known for its extreme weather conditions. So, couples can consider this city among the best honeymoon places during the winter months.

9. Rishikesh, Uttarakhand


Rishikesh is definitely the Holy Grail for solo travellers in India. While the charming valleys and lush greenery weaves magic for the wandering soul in you, Rishikesh is also popular as the Adventure Capital and Yoga Capital of India. A female friendly destination in Uttarakhand, solo travellers must indulge in adventure activities like white-water rafting, rappelling fox flying and camping.

Even if you come alone, you will leave Rishikesh with lots of memories for lifetime of friends that you make during your trip. Solo travellers can also join some yoga and meditation sessions that the ashrams impart amidst the scenic backdrop of the Himalayas. Rishikesh is easily accessible by road and trains from all major cities.

Mind it that the above mentioned top cities of India are only the top most – there are lots more to be explored about India, exploring which can cost a full life.
Kalyan Panja

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