1. Valley of Flowers National Park in Uttarakhand
In 1931, three British mountaineers, returning from an expedition, lost their way and stumbled upon a picturesque valley. Decked with carpets of orchids, poppies, primulas, marigold, daisies and anemones, it was a sight to behold. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it saw 10000 visitors in 2016. The 15 km long trek route to the Valley takes you past glaciers, rivers and gorges. July to October is the best time to visit to see the blooming flowers. The nearest airport is in Dehradun.Flights to Valley of Flowers
Read more: Must Do Treks in India
2. Key Monastery in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
This 11th century Tibetan Buddhist monastery stands out in the barren landscapes of Spiti. Built on a hillock, the multi-levelled monastery is a religious training centre for Lamas. It is known for its beautiful murals, Buddhist paintings and ancient weapons Best time to visit is from May to October. In June/ July, the Monastery celebrates a festival with Chaam dances being performed. Chandigarh Airport, 522 km away, is the nearest international airport.Flights to Spiti
Read more: Top 10 road trips in India
3. The Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat
A staggering 5000 square kilometres of the plain barren landscape, the Rann remains submerged under water during rainy season and arid and dry during summers. At sunrise or sunset, the stretch as far as eyes can see is covered in a golden hue. It is also home to the endangered Indian Wild Ass. Another beautiful place to visit near the Rann is the intricately carved five-storeyed Adalaj Stepwell in Ahmedabad. A fine example of Indo-Islamic architecture and design, it was built in 1498 by Queen Rudabai of the Vaghela dynasty. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad is the nearest airport.
Read more: 5 Places to Visit in AhmedabadFlights to Kutch
4. Srinagar and Gulmarg in Jammu and Kashmir
‘If there is Paradise on earth, it is this, it is this, it is this.’ Enjoy a boat ride on Dal Lake in Srinagar at dawn, as you admire the beauty of the majestic Pir Panjal mountains and watch the floating flower markets. Wander in the Mughal gardens – Shalimar and Nishant. The Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden in Srinagar hosts Asia’s largest Tulip Flower Show in April. Gulmarg, 50 km away from Srinagar, is popular as a top skiing destination. Take a ride on the world’s highest operating cable car at Gulmarg. Srinagar has direct flights from Delhi, Mumbai and Chandigarh.
Read more: Top places for snow sports in IndiaFlights to Srinagar
5. The ruins of Hampi, Karnataka
The dazzling Tungabhadra river cut across the bouldered landscape of Hampi – the capital of the great Vijayanagara Empire. The temples, palaces, market ruins lie in the midst of rocky outcrops. The Virupaksha and Vijaya Vitthala temple are famous for their architecture. The lesser-known but equally beautiful Hazara Rama temple has intricate carvings of scenes from the epic Ramayana. Hampi was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1986. More than 5 lakhs visitors arrive at Hampi each year. To reach Hampi, take a flight to Bengaluru or Goa airport.Flights to Hampi
India presents so many options to a traveller, picking up 5, 10 or even 50 top sights is no easy task. It will take months and years to explore the whole India, so while planning any itinerary, pick on a specific region. Each region is India promises a different cultural, historical and gastronomical experience.
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