Top 10 Places to Visit in India: Culture, History, Nature
Top 10 Places to Visit in India India is a vast and diverse country, with a rich history, culture and natural beauty. There are so many places to visit in India that it can be hard to choose where to go. To help you plan your trip, here are some of the top 10 places to visit in India.
Varanasi: Varanasi is one of the oldest and holiest cities in India. It is located on the banks of the Ganga River in Uttar Pradesh. Varanasi has a rich history of culture, religion, and learning that spans over 3000 years. It was once the capital of the ancient kingdom of Kashi, which was visited by the Buddha and other sages. Varanasi is also associated with Lord Shiva. It is a sacred pilgrimage site for Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains, who come to bathe in the river, visit the temples, and perform rituals.
Hampi: The ruins of the ancient Vijayanagara Empire, spread over 25 square kilometers, are a articleament to the glory and grandeur of one of the largest and wealthiest kingdoms in Indian history. You can explore the majestic temples, palaces, markets, stables and sculptures that showcase the artistic and architectural excellence of the 14th to 16th centuries.
Places to visit in Hampi
The Vittala Temple: This is the most famous and architecturally stunning temple in Hampi. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, also known as Vittala, a form of Krishna. The temple has a stone chariot that is carved out of a single block of granite and has four wheels that can rotate. The temple also has a musical hall with 56 pillars that produce musical sounds when tapped.
The Hemakuta Hill: This is a rocky hill that overlooks the Hampi Bazaar and the Virupaksha Temple. It has many small shrines and temples that date back to the pre-Vijayanagara period. The hill offers a panoramic view of the Hampi landscape and is a popular spot for watching the sunset.
Khajuraho: The erotic sculptures of Khajuraho are famous for their sensuality and symbolism, depicting various aspects of human life and spirituality. The temples, built by the Chandela dynasty between 950 and 1050 CE, are also remarkable for their intricate design, geometric patterns and exquisite craftsmanshi
Jaipur: The capital of Rajasthan, also known as the Pink City, is a vibrant and colorful destination showcasing the state’s royal heritage and culture. You can visit the stunning palaces, forts, museums and gardens that reflect the Rajput and Mughal influences, as well as enjoy the local cuisine, shopping and entertainment.
Kerala: Kerala, also known as God’s Own Country, is a paradise of greenery, backwaters, beaches and wildlife. You can experience the unique culture and traditions of Kerala, such as Kathakali (dance-drama), Ayurveda (ancient healing system), Onam (harvest festival) and houseboat cruises.
Puri: Puri is a city in the state of Odisha, India. It is famous for its Jagannath Temple, which attracts millions of pilgrims every year. Puri is also known for its rich culture and heritage, which reflects in its art, cuisine, festivals and traditions. Some of the cultural aspects of Puri are:
Cutural Aspects of Puri
Rath Yatra: This is the annual chariot festival of Lord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra and his sister Subhadra. The deities are taken out of the temple and placed on huge wooden chariots, which are pulled by devotees along the streets of Puri. The festival is celebrated with great fervor and devotion by people of all faiths and backgrounds.
Sand Art:Puri is home to some of the finest sand artists in the world, who create amazing sculptures and paintings on the beach using only sand and water. The sand art depicts various themes, such as mythology, history, nature and social issues. The sand artists also participate in international competitions and exhibitions, showcasing their talent and creativity.
Pattachitra:This is a traditional form of painting that originated in Puri. It involves painting on cloth or palm leaf using natural colors and brushes made from animal hair. The paintings depict scenes from Hindu mythology, especially the life of Lord Jagannath. The pattachitra artists also make masks, toys, wall hangings and other handicrafts using the same technique.
Puri Cuisine: Puri has a distinctive cuisine that is influenced by the temple culture and the coastal environment. The food is mostly vegetarian, with rice being the staple. Some of the popular dishes are Dalma (a lentil curry with vegetables), khichdi (a rice dish with lentils and spices), chhena poda (a baked cheese cake), pitha (a sweet or savory cake made from rice flour) and rasagola (a spongy ball of cheese soaked in sugar syrup).
Ladakh: The land of high passes, Ladakh is a mesmerizing destination that offers breathtaking views of the Himalayan mountains, glaciers, lakes and valleys. You can also witness the Tibetan Buddhist culture and heritage of Ladakh, such as monasteries, festivals, cuisine and handicrafts.
Goa: The smallest state in India, Goa is a popular beach destination that attracts tourists from all over the world. You can enjoy the sun, sand and sea at the various beaches, as well as indulge in water sports, nightlife, casinos and seafood. Goa also has a rich colonial history and culture, evident in its churches, forts and architecture.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands: The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a group of islands in the Bay of Bengal that offer a tropical getaway with pristine beaches, coral reefs, mangroves and rainforests.
Manali: If you are looking for a scenic and serene destination in the Himalayas, you might want to consider Manali. Manali is a town in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, India, situated at an altitude of 2050 meters on the banks of the Beas River. Manali is known for its natural beauty, cool climate, and snow-capped mountains. It is also a gateway to the Lahaul and Spiti district and the city of Leh in Ladakh. Manali has a rich cultural heritage and a temple dedicated to the sage Manu, who is believed to have recreated human life after a great flood.
This is part of the culture series. You can read the previous posts in this series here. Remember to subscribe to get notified when the next post is released.