While it is a modern metropolis, it also showcases the rich and diverse history of the several cities that existed before Delhi acquired its modern day look. It unfurls a picture rich with culture, architecture, human diversity, monuments, museums, galleries and gardens. People from all parts of India and indeed the world live in Delhi, giving it a rainbow hue.
PLACES TO VISIT : Akshardham Temple, Birla Temple, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Humayun’s Tomb, India Gate, Jama Masjid, Jantar Mantar, Lotus Temple, Mehrauli Archaeological Park, Purana Qila, Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Rashtrapati Bhawan, Rajpath, Raj Ghat, Gurudwara Sisganj, etc. Connaught Place, Chandni Chowk, Dilli Haat, Janpath, State Emporia and Cottage Industries Emporium are good for shopping.
CAPITAL – Delhi (a city state) | WEBSITE – http://delhitourism.nic.in
Known for its robust people and rural agro-based lifestyles, Haryana is dotted with several places of historical and religious interest. Events and festivals include the Surajkund Crafts Fair, The Mango Mela, Lohri, Teej, Gangaur, Baisakhi, Heritage Festival etc.
PLACES TO VISIT : Chandigarh, Ambala, Gurgaon, Hissar, Kurukshetra, Morni Hills, Panipat, Pinjore, Panchkula, Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, Surajkund etc.
CAPITAL – Chandigarh | WEBSITE – http://haryanatourism.gov.in
Known for its apples and snow capped mountains, Himachal Pradesh boasts of some of the busiest hill stations of India. Tibetan Buddhist culture abounds in the ancient monasteries. The state also offers adventure sports. You can pick up wood and metal handicrafts, Himachali jackets, caps and plenty of agri-products. Major festivals include Losar, Pori festival, Minjar, Lavi Fair, Renuka Ji Fair and Kullu Dussehra.
PLACES TO VISIT : Shimla, Chail, Narkanda, Kufri, Chamba, Dalhousie, Dharamsala, Kullu Valley, Kangra, Kinnaur, Lahaul Spiti, Manali, Manikaran, GHNP, Nahan, etc.
CAPITAL – Shimla | WEBSITE – http://himachaltourism.gov.in
JAMMU & KASHMIR
The valley is distinctively marked by lakes, streams, luscious fruits, magnificent forests, mighty mountains and lush meadows which make it a paradise on Earth. Jammu is the summer capital of the state and the Ladakh region is known for its barren and beautiful mountains and Buddhist lifestyle. Look for woollens, papier mâché, pashmina shawls, embroidered suits, woodcarving, hand knotted carpets, dry fruits and nuts etc. The major festivals of Kashmir are Losar, Eid, Baisakhi, Shivaratri, Hemis Festival etc.
PLACES TO VISIT : Srinagar (Dal Lake, Jama Masjid, Mughal Gardens, Hazratbal Shrine, Shankaracharya Temple, Tulip Garden), Wular Lake, Kheer Bhawani Temple, Amarnath, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonmarg, Jammu(Vaishno Devi Shrine, Pantnitop), Ladakh (Leh, Hemis, Thiksey and Lamayuru Monastery, Zanskar, Nubra) etc.
CAPITAL – Srinagar (summer), Jammu (winter) | WEBSITE – http://www.jktourism.org
The land of five rivers, Punjab is home to lively and robust people who have an incredible zest for life, good food and celebrations.
PLACES TO VISIT : Amritsar (Golden Temple, Akal Takht, Jallianwala Bagh, Gobindgarh Fort, Wagah Border, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum, Dera Baba Nanak), Anandpur Sahib, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ferozepur, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala (Sheesh Mahal, Moti Mahal, Art Gallery, Qila Mubarak, Chandeliers & Armory Museum), Rupnagar etc.
CAPITAL – Chandigarh | WEBSITE – http://www.punjabtourism.gov.in
Rajasthan is the land of fairy tale palaces, heroism, chivalry, colourful bazaars and vibrant fairs. Look for handicrafts, folk art, miniature paintings, hand embroidered fabrics with mirror work and puppets. The state is known for Nagaur Fair, Gangaur Festival, Teej Festival, Pushkar Fair, Desert Festival etc.
PLACES TO VISIT : Jaipur (Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Amber Fort), Ajmer (Ana Sagar Lake, Dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, Taragarh), Bikaner (Junagarh Fort), Chittaurgarh (Fort and Palace of Rana Kumbha), Jodhpur (Umaid Bhawan Palace, Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada), Jaisalmer (fort, sand dunes), Mount Abu (Dilwara Temples), Udaipur (Pichola Lake & City Palace) and for nature lovers there is the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Ranthambore National Park, and Sariska Tiger Reserve.
CAPITAL – Jaipur | WEBSITE – http://www.rajasthantourism.gov.in
Uttarakhand has numerous pilgrimage sites and adventure sports opportunities set in the midst of scenic mountains and natural beauty.
PLACES TO VISIT – Dehradun (Surkanda Devi, Jwalaji, Sahastra Dhara), Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Mussoorie (Kempty Falls), Dhanaulti, Rishikesh, Almora, Ranikhet, Bageshwar, Champawat, Chamoli (Auli, Joshimath, Valley of Flowers), Haridwar (Har Ki Pauri, Mansa Devi Temple, Sapt Rishi Ashram), Nainital (Naini Lake, Jim Corbett National Park), Pauri ( Siddhibali Temple, Khirsu, Tara Kund), Rudraprayag, Tehri (Surkanda Devi Temple, Chamba,), Uttarkashi (Govind Wildlife Sanctuary)
CAPITAL – Dehradun | WEBSITE – http://www.gmvnl.com
Irrigated by the Ganga, U.P. has been the melting pot of civilisation for centuries. The state has some of the greatest mythological sites, arts, culture, cuisine, architecture and historical monuments. Famous for exquisite Banarsi embroidery, Lakhnawi Chikan, carpets, rugs, wood and leather works etc. Major events are the Annual Taj Mahotsav in Agra, Lucknow Mahotsav and the Magh & Kumbh Melas held every 12 years in Allahabad.
PLACES TO VISIT : Lucknow (Bada & Chota Imambara, Bhool Bhulaiyya, Rumi Darwaza, Kaiserbagh, Residency, Baradari), Agra (Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Akbar’s Mausoleum, Fatehpur Sikri etc.), Allahabad (Anand Bhawan, All Saints Cathedral, Sangam, Allahabad Fort), Mathura, Vrindavan, Varanasi (Dasaswamedh Ghat, Ram Nagar Fort, Sarnath).
CAPITAL – Lucknow | WEBSITE – http://www.up-tourism.com
CHANDIGARH, India’s first planned city, a rich, green city rightly called ‘The city beautiful’, is the capital of the states of Punjab and Haryana.
PLACES TO VISIT : Capitol Complex, Government Museum and Arts Gallery, Leisure valley, Pinjore Gardens, Rock Garden, Rose Garden, Sukhna Lake etc.
WEBSITE – http://chandigarhtourism.gov.in