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Some say travelling to India is a spiritual experience for others, and it’s a pilgrimage and, for many, another tourist destination. India is true to all these things and so much more, which is why it ends up on every bucket list.

The country is deeply traditional but has some surprising treasures one would not expect. We look at the top five places to visit should you make it to India. There is no way you would be bored in this magical country.

India is famous for great things, such as its historical monuments, spicy food and Sachin Tendulkar. So whether you are living it up in luxurious hotels or backpacking, stop at these places.

Agra

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Be honest when you read India, your mind said Taj Mahal right? The monument is synonymous with India. The monument is situated in Agra and is usually first on any tourist itinerary. The beautiful architecture of the magnificent building is inspirational on its own.

The story of how the fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj in memory of his favourite wife is a timeless love story one never gets tired of hearing.

Also in Agra are must-see monuments like Itimad-ud-Daulah’s tomb and Akbar’s Mausoleum with its beautiful marble designs. The city is also home to a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Agra Fort. The Agra Fort was built between 1565 and 1573 for Mughal Emperor Akbar. It was also known as ‘Fort Rogue’ or ‘Qila-i-Akbari. The locals call it the walled city.

Jahangir Mahal is another beautiful building built by a Mughal for his wife. The palace has a huge bowl carved out of rock aptly called ‘Hauz-i-Jahangiri. The bowl was used to keep rose water for the queen.

Rajasthan

The direct translation of Rajasthan is ‘Land of Kings’ this state is undeniably majestic and overflows with memories of the great kings and queens who once dwelled there. There is no shortage of palaces and forts that one can visit. The cities are colour coordinated; yes, you read right. Jodhpur is the blue city, Jhalawar is purple, and Udaipur is white.

The Blue City Jodhpur hosts the Mehrangarh Fort on its hilltop, and Udaipur has the City Palace Complex, which still houses the royal family. Jaisalmer looks like a scene straight out of Aladdin, with its sandstone structures and Havelis (mansions).

Rajasthan is the place to go for a history lesson on the country. It has the oldest mountain range in India, Aravalli Range. Kalibangan is the world’s earliest attested ploughed field, and it is all in Rajasthan.

You can take a ride on the luxury Palace on wheels train between the cities in the state, while doing that you can check out 10bet India for the best sportsbook and slots. You can see for yourself why 10CRIC is the best website in India for cricket betting and other sports betting.

Rishikesh

Though less famous than its counterparts on this list, this town is worth visiting, especially if you seek spiritual awareness. Made famous in the 60s by the Beatles, Rishikesh is on the foothills of the Himalayas and the banks of the holy Ganges River.

It’s an ideal place for yoga and pilgrimages, or if you want a quiet place to calm your mind and practice mindfulness. You can take long walks on the two suspension bridges. Just be careful of the monkeys who believe they are guardians of the bridge.

Rishikesh also appeals to the adventure seekers with its giant swing, which covers a distance of 1.5km when you pendulum above the river. There is also the Flying Fox which is basically ziplining, and you slide between two valleys at incredible speeds, all while hanging from a rope horizontally.

Delhi

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The great thing about the city of Delhi is that it has something for everyone. It is rich in history and has an abundance of monuments and heritage sites. Akshardham has some of the most incredible architecture, and if you arrive before sunset, you can experience the temple lit up.

For the foodies, the bazaars are teeming with spices, and the fragrance of street food is enough to make anyone ravenous. The food lane in Chandni Chowk market sells some of the tastiest parathas with different fillings, from potatoes to cheese and raisins.

At the same time, there are high-end malls for a unique shopping experience and luxury hotels and restaurants. There are kids zones to keep the children entertained, or you can take a tour on the Hop On Hop Off bus.

There are even some really cool clubs for the party people to check out.

Sikkim

This beautiful place is in the North-East of the Himalayas and hosts the world’s third-highest mountain, Kanchenjunga ( 8586m). This gem is ideal for sports lovers and adrenaline junkies. There are scenic trails and a majestic mountain range perfect for bungee jumping.

You can go river rafting in the Teesta River or spelunking at North Lha-RiNying; you can even mountain bike on the trails. Sikkim is also home to some of the oldest monasteries, which also offer meditation sessions. Other top attractions include Lachung, Pelling and Yuksom.

Some areas are prone to landslides in the province, so it’s best to avoid Sikkim in monsoons.

Plan A Trip

India is a beautiful cultural destination, full of colour and flavours that stay with you always, especially the tea. So if you ever visit, make sure you leave Mumbai or whatever city your hotel is in and take the less travelled path into the villages.

An important piece of advice we would give you is to pack comfortable walking shoes and walk around the markets and temples. The best way to enjoy India is in the small towns and villages. So hire a car or rickshaw and take a dirt road to a different adventure.

To sum it up, when in India make sure you eat, visit as many heritage sites, get on some adventures and did we mention the food in the food markets. Oh, and find a Mughal to dedicate an extravagant building to you.

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