India is not just about beaches and hill stations! Rather, there lies a treasure trove of traditions, customs and history at the cultural destinations in India. A cradle to some of the world’s major religions and ethos, the country boasts of unparalleled diversity teeming with Indian heritage.
Here’s a list of must-visit places which you can consider to complete your cultural trip in India. Get ready to explore the culture of India, its traditions, festivals, attractions, etc. offering unmatched experiences.
Attracting culturally inclined travelers, Udaipur wins the hearts with its world-class hospitality, Dotted with scenic lakes, majestic palaces and other remarkable attractions in Rajasthan, the romantic city helps you cherish the royalty of Rajputana era. You will be left spoilt for choice for including Udaipur in your itinerary while planning cultural holidays in India. Come fall in love with the city that casts a spell with folk dance and music, delectable cuisines, festivals and what not!
Fort Kochi, Kerala
Take a step back in the colonial era of the Portuguese. Fort Kochi is a potpourri of customs, traditions and rich culture. There are bustling markets, Jewish town, amicable fishermen and not to forget the Chinese Fishing Nets. For these reasons, this little gem of Kerala is reckoned as one of the favorite cultural destinations in India. Once here, you can’t resist the urge to shop for spices and antiques. Attending enthralling Kalaripayattu – martial arts act or a mesmerizing Kathakali performance can transform your evening into a memorable affair.
Famous as the cultural capital of Karnataka, Mysore lures tourists for a number of reasons. Influence of the Mughal and Vijayanagar Empire is apparent in various museums, palaces and galleries. Standing out amongst the rest is the Mysore Palace which presents a unique spectacle at night while being decked up with thousands of lights. Further, the Mysore Dasara, one of the important cultural festivals in India, lasts for ten days and raises the fun quotient.
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
One of the oldest cities in the country, Varanasi ranks on top of the list of cultural destinations in India. The cultural ebullience featured by this one of seven sacred cities of Hindus is par excellence. Time flies by while walking through ancient temples in Varanasi including one of the twelve Jyotirlingas and lively Ghats. A boat ride on River Ganges during sunrise and the evening Ganga Aarti at the Dashashwamedh Ghat offers an uplifting experience.
The Odissi dance form, one of the oldest of the eight existing Indian classical dance forms, traces back to the temples in Bhubaneshwar. Keeping this in mind, there is no reason left to skip the city from the list of best cultural destinations in India. Innumerable historical temples bless the town with a spiritual aura that allows one to soak-in the divine bliss. Albeit a quaint town, the place boasts of some modern facilities that make the stay here comfortable.
Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
There is no other place which preserves and showcases Indian heritage the way Khajuraho does. The atavistic town has managed to grab the attention of the history buffs, art lovers and photographers alike since ages. Reason being, the very famous Khajuraho Group of Monuments, a UNESCO World Heritage site in India. Though it is a common belief that a number of erotic sculptures adorn the temple. But, the fact is that their count is only 10% of the total sculptures carved in the complex.
Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
Home to splendid monolithic sculptures, Mahabalipuram exudes its own charm. The Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India brings much of the fame for the town. Enjoy the beach environ while you marvel at the cultural diversity of the North and South India. Scenic beauty, historical monuments, tradition and culture are added plus that makes your trip to India memorable. Tamil exhibits and arts can pacify your penchant for Indian history.
Flaunting the title of India’s first UNESCO World Heritage City, Ahmedabad is the melting pot of diverse cultures. Dandiya Raas and Garba during Navratri, one of the popular cultural festivals in India bring life to the city. Amicable people, dressed up in vibrant and traditional attire, dancing to the lively Gujarati tunes present a sight to behold. Besides this, other fiestas are also celebrated alike with the same zeal. Additionally, there are various worth-exploring museums, temples and lakes in the Ahmedabad.
Steeping with a magnificent past, Hampi is nothing less than a world of ruins and rocks. Uncountable temples and monuments highlight the importance of the town as one of the significant historical places in India. Holding the epithet of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city remains thronged with tourists throughout the year. Partaking in a number of activities like bouldering or rock climbing keeps the visitors amused. From music, architecture, art to culture, the city has it all!
Reverberating with the chivalry of the past, Amritsar presents Indian culture and heritage through its temples, Gurudwara, lanes, cuisines etc. The city has greatly influenced the folk ethos and Punjabi literature. One of the best places to visit in Amritsar to admire the Indian culture and selfless devotion is the Golden Temple. Moreover, the Durgiana Temple is another iconic attraction in Amritsar that is a must-visit to soak-in the divine bliss. Jalianwala Bagh, Wagah Border and authentic Punjabi delicacies are not to be missed at any cost.
Although, the Indian culture flourishes at every nook and cranny, yet there are some culturally rich destinations which offer lifetime memories.
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