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10 Must-Visit Cities in India for a Cultural Immersion

If there is one word to describe India, it would be ‘diverse’. Be it the geographical landscape, culture, language, religion, dressing style, or even food, India has variety in all aspects of life. The country is the perfect example of tradition meeting modernity. Indians have been able to preserve their traditions and culture while embracing the modern way of life.

This is a country where religious places and shopping malls are equally crowded. You will see all these and more when you travel to the cities of India. With an India tourist visa, you can travel the length and breadth of the country. Although India is not just about its cities, these are the perfect places to begin exploring the country. Here we take you through the best cities to visit in India.

1. Delhi


The capital city of India, Delhi consists of a plethora of things, including historical buildings, temples, rich culture, unique architecture, delicious food, and bustling marketplaces. Some of the attractions you must checkout in Delhi are Red Fort, India Gate, Akshardham, Rashtrapati Bhavam, Humayun’s Tomb, Lotus Temple, Qutub Minar, and National Museum. Do explore both old Delhi and New Delhi to understand the essence of the city.

2. Agra

taj mahal

Located a few hours’ drive from Delhi, Agra is one of the cities in India that has the greatest number of architectural monuments. The star attraction of Agra is undoubtedly the Taj Mahal, which is also one of the seven wonders of the world. Considered as a symbol of love, this white structure was commissioned by Emperor Jahangir in the loving memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Apart from the Taj Mahal, Agra has many other renowned architectural structures, including Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Fort, Bulund Darwaza, Jama Mahal, and the Tomb of Salim Chisti.

3. Mumbai

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Located in the Indian state of Maharashtra, Mumbai is considered the financial capital of the country. Known as the “city that never sleeps”, Mumbai is a city of extremes. Poverty and luxury exist together in this city. For sightseeing, you must head to the southern side of the city to see its most popular monuments, some of which erected during the British reign. The Gateway of India, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Elephanta Caves, Kanheri Caves, Marine Drive, etc., are some of the best places to visit in Mumbai. Apart from all this, the street food of Mumbai is something to die for.

4. Jaipur

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The capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur was once the land of royalty. Even today, you can see the grandeur and charm of the past through its numerous forts and palaces. A trip to Rajasthan will not be complete without a visit to Amber Palace, Jal Mahal Palace, Nahargarh Fort, City Palace, and Hawa Mahal. Apart from this, Jaipur is rich in culture, which is evident through its numerous colorful festivals and events. To make your trip to Jaipur truly memorable, stay at one of the palace-turned-hotels to enjoy a royal experience. Jantar Mantar, Albert Hall Museum, and Jaigarh Fort are a few other places to visit here.

5. Bengaluru

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Located in the South Indian state of Karnataka, Bengaluru truly embodies the image of modern India. A tech hub city, Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) is home to some of the largest IT companies in the world, making the city a highly cosmopolitan one with people from all over India living and working there. But this does not mean Bangalore is only about the modern, metro life. In fact, it is home to several botanical gardens, museums, and temples. Bengaluru Palace, Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Cubbon Park, Bannerghatta National Park, etc., are a few unmissable attractions in Bengaluru.

6. Hyderabad

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Hyderabad is not as popular as the other more touristic cities in India. But that does not make it any less spectacular. Home to finest luxury, interesting architecture, delicious cuisine and an exciting shopping scene, Hyderabad is an Indian city worth-visiting. A few places one must visit in Hyderabad are Charminar, Golconda Fort, Ramoji Film City, NTR Gardens, and Taj Falaknuma Palace. And how can we forget the Hyderabadi Biriyani? A perfect blend of a variety of spices and flavors, the Hyderabadi biriyani is a dish fit for the royals.

7. Varanasi

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A visit to Varanasi (Kashi) will give you a break from the cosmopolitan cities of India. Located on the banks of River Ganga, Varanasi is the spiritual center of India. The main attractions of this holy city are the temples (more than 2300) and the ghats (around 80). While taking a dip in the holy water of Ganga is considered auspicious, you must also not miss the mesmerizing Ganga aarti that happens here every evening. Although it is a great idea to explore Varanasi without a plan, some places you must visit here are Dashashwamedh Ghat, Varun Ghat, Assi Ghat, Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Sarnath, and Ramnagar Fort.

8. Srinagar

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Srinagar, located amidst the Kashmir Valley, is the true embodiment of heaven on earth. Flanked by the Himalayan Mountain range, Srinagar is endowed with some of the most beautiful landscapes, including dense forests, grasslands, lakes, streams, and meadows. Whichever way you look, you will get to see some enchanting views. While you are not floating on Dal Lake taking in the enchanting surroundings, you can also visit Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, Shalimar Bagh Mughal Garden, Shah Kashmir Arts Emporium, Nigeen Lake, Dachigam National Park, and Hari Parbat Fort.

9. Kolkata

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Rich in history and culture, Kolkata is a bustling city in the eastern state of West Bengal. As the city was the seat of power during the British Raj, the architecture of Kolkata is heavily influenced by the colonial period. Some of the places of interest in this city are Victoria Memorial, Indian Museum, Eden Gardens, Howrah Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and James Prinsep Ghat. Apart from its incredible architecture, Kolkata is known for its vibrant markets, literary superiority, and delicious street food. One of the highlights of visiting Kolkata is going on a tram ride.

10. Chennai

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Known as the cultural capital of South India, Chennai is the hub of classical music, dance, and art. When you are not exploring the cultural centers of Music Academy and Kalakshetra Foundation, you can visit the numerous beautiful beaches and oldest temples in the city. If you are a nature lover, do include a visit to Guindy National Park in your itinerary. Marina Beach, Government Museum Chennai, Santhome Cathedral Basilica, and Kapaleeshwarar Temple are few of the places you must check out in this city.

The Indian cities are as diverse as the country itself. Ancient monuments, colonial architecture, and ultra-modern buildings and structures all co-exist in most of the cities in India. You will also find a unique cosmopolitan culture in every city, as people from different parts of the country move to various cities for work. Touring the numerous cities of the country will familiarize you with the essence of new-age India.

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