So before you go booking your tickets for Venice or Ko Phi Phi Nom, check out this list of the top 25 travel destinations in India:
1. Leh, Jammu & Kashmir
This mountain town in Ladakh is quickly rising to the top of must-visit lists. Not surprising when you consider the sheer natural beauty of the place.
The towering Himalayas supply a dramatic backdrop and plenty of opportunity for adrenaline junkies to get their fix.
Rock climbing, white-water rafting and skiing are all on offer, and if you’re looking for something a little tamer, short trekking jaunts can be arranged.
For a glimpse into the town’s culture and rich history, visit the Shey Palace and the many Buddhist monasteries.
Getting there: Travelling to Leh can be quite an effort. There are flights out of Delhi, Jammu, Srinagar and Chandigarh. So if you are coming in from any other part of the country or abroad, you will need to land at one of these to travel on.
The other route is by road along the Manali-Leh highway or the Srinagar-Leh road. Both are closed off from November to May due to harsh winter conditions. Buses and taxis ply these route and should be easy enough to book.
2. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
One of most significant religious centres of Hinduism, Varasani needs to visited to be believed. Bustling with devotees, sadhus, tourists and locals, the place is teeming with sights that are uniquely Indian.
The temples and ghats (steps leading to the Ganga) with thousands of devotees performing religious rituals and dotted with Hindu priests performing rites is quite a sight to behold.
The Vishwanath Temple, Sarnath Deer Park and the Ram Nagar Fort are worth a visit. Also the Panchganaga, Dasaswamedh and Kedar ghats offer a great slice of Varanasi life.
Getting there: Being the religious and tourist hub that it is, Varanasi is well connected to most major Indian cities by rail, the end point being either the Varanasi Juction or the Mughal Sarai Junction. You can also fly into Varanasi airport, that is about 25 km from the city centre.
3. Manali, Himachal Pradesh
One of India’s prettiest hill stations, Manali has long been a honeymooner’s paradise. But the little town nestled in the mighty Himalayas offers plenty of entertainment for adventure seekers.
The Beas river has whitewater rafting and there’s skiing, trekking, paragliding and zorbing to be done all along the hilly terrain nearby.
Rohtang Pass has mesmerising views of the great mountains, the Vashisht hot water springs has bathhouses for visitors to soak in the bubbling water and then there are large and small waterfalls at short drives all around Manali. So make sure you pack your outdoor gear.
Getting there: By road, the easiest way is to hop into a bust or taxi at Delhi (about 550 km away).
The town does not have an airport or railhead, the closest being the Bhuntar Airport (50 km away) with flights coming in from Delhi and some from Chandigarh, and the railheads at Ambala Cantonment or Chandigarh roughly about 250 km away, trains starting from Delhi.