Top 20 Iconic Tourist Sites in India For Incredible Tourism

Tourism industry is a very important part of the nation’s GDP and also one of the major revenue generating industry in various states and union territories of India. Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Goa, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu are some of the most most visited tourist states of India by both Indian and International tourist. Image source – pixabay

1. Taj Mahal (Uttar Pradesh)

Taj Mahal is the symbol of India’s rich history, a masterpieces of the world’s heritage and a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. The white marble mausoleum on the bank of the Yamuna river is India’s most visited tourist attractions, also a winner of the New7Wonders of the World.

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Varanasi, Banaras or Kashi is the holiest of the 7 sacred cities of India, on the banks of the river Ganga and an important religious tourist place in Uttar Pradesh along with Ayodhya, Sangam at Prayagraj, Mathura, Vrindavan, Sarnath and Kushinagar.

2. Fatehpur Sikri (Uttar Pradesh)

Fatehpur Sikri is located near Agra city and one of the top rated tourist attractions in Uttar Pradesh also part of the Uttar Pradesh Heritage Arc, famous for Buland Darwaza,Tomb of Salim Chishti and Panch Mahal.

3. Ajanta Caves (Maharashtra)

Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad district are masterpieces of Buddhist art, known for paintings and gesture of rock-cut sculptures. The caves along with the Ellora temples and monuments are one of the major tourist attractions of Aurangabad, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

4. Ellora Monuments (Maharashtra)

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Ellora Caves and monuments are major tourist attraction in Maharashtra along with the nearby Ajanta Caves, particularly notable for Kailasa cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and also considered as one of the most remarkable cave temple in India.

5. Humayun’s Tomb (Delhi)

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Humayun’s Tomb was the first garden tomb on the Indian subcontinent, declared UNESCO World Heritage Site and second most visited monument in Delhi and the complex also house several monuments, tomb and garden.

6. Qutab Minar (Delhi)

Qutb Minar in the Mehrauli area of Delhi is surrounded by Qutb complex housing several historically monuments and buildings. The Qutb Minar complex is also listed as India’s most visited monument in 2006, home to some 40 monuments in the Mehrauli Archaeological Park.

7. Red Fort (Delhi)

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Red Fort is a prime destination of tourism in Delhi, the largest monument in Delhi and also attracts thousands of visitors every year. The historic fort is the most popular tourist destinations in India also appears on the back of the 500 note of the Indian rupee.

8. Colva Beach (Goa)

Colva Beach of Goa with around 2.4 km long stretch of coastline is a famous tourist destination in South Goa. The coastal village of Colva attracts huge crowds of tourists on weekends and one of the most happening beach in south Goa.

9. Amer Fort (Rajasthan)

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Amer Fort of Rajasthan is part of the six Hill Forts of Rajasthan and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located high on a hill near the Jaipur city. The fort is known for its architectural style, red sandstone marble and a principal tourist attraction in Jaipur.

10. Somnath Temple (Gujarat)

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Somnath Temple near Veraval is the first Shiva temple among the twelve jyotirlinga shrines in India, also an important tourist spot in Gujarat state along with Dwarka. The new temple of Somnath is built in the Chaulukya style on the western coast of Gujarat.

11. Dholavira (Gujarat)

Dholavira village of Gujarat contains ruins of Indus Valley Civilization, also one of the known five largest Harappan sites. The site along with Lothal were discovered by Archaeological Survey of India and a popular tourist attractions in Kutch district.

Champaner Pavagadh Archaeological Park around the historical city of Champaner is also a popular tourist place in Gujarat along with heritage city of Ahmedabad.

12. Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh)

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Khajuraho is the most popular tourist destinations in Madhya Pradesh, famous for big Hindu temples of nagara-style and erotic sculptures. The Khajuraho group of monuments are located within Vindhya mountain range in central India, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

13. Hampi (Karnataka)

Hampi is the most visited UNESCO World Heritage Site in Karnataka, known for ruins of Vijayanagara temple spread over 4,100 hectares and housing the Virupaksha Temple. The temple town of Karnataka on the banks of the Tungabhadra river house thousands of stone carvings, images and inscriptions.

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Pattadakal monuments along with Badami and Aihole are also part of the UNESCO World Heritage site and reflect a fusion of Indian architectural styles of both Dravida style and the Nagara style.

14. Mysore Palace (Karnataka)

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Mysore Palace is the second most most famous tourist attractions in India, after the Taj Mahal. The three story stone Palace is also one of the historical seven palaces of Mysore, with very attractive deep pink marble domes.

15. Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu)

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Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal is a tourism center in Tamil Nadu along with Kanchipuram and a declared UNESCO world heritage site. The ancient historic town of Mahabalipuram is famous for giant open-air rock reliefs, Shore Temple of Lord Shiva, famous Descent of the Ganges and most visited place in South India.

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Brihadisvara Temple of Thanjavur, Meenakshi Temple of Madurai and Airavatesvara Temple of Tamil Nadu are also very popular and large Hindu temples, part of the Great Living Chola Temples and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

16. Kaziranga National Park (Assam)

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Kaziranga National Park of Assam is listed as one of the top five most visited national parks in India, home to highest density of Bengal tigers, breeding populations of Indian rhinoceros and also notable for wild water buffalo population.

Manas National Park and Kaziranga National Park are not only an important bird area but also contains breeding populations of multiple species of large wild cats, two of the largest snakes, seven species of vultures, rare primate species like golden langur, capped langur and the only ape found in India, the hoolock gibbon.

17. Kumarakom (Kerala)

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Kumarakom tourism destination of Kerala is popular for its backwater tourism in the Vembanad Lake, water bird sanctuary, located near the city of Kottayam. The backwater tourist destination is declared as a special tourism zone by state with several luxury houseboat resorts as well as first destination in Kerala to implement responsible tourism in India.

18. Mahabodhi Temple (Bihar)

Mahabodhi Buddhist temple in Bodh Gaya is part of the Buddhist tourist circuit, related to the life of Gautama Buddha along with Kushinagar, Lumbini and Sarnath. The Mahabodhi Temple complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an important pilgrimage site for Hindus and Buddhist.

19. Konark Sun Temple (Odisha)

Konark Sun Temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Surya and a classic example of Kalinga style of Odisha architecture. The temple is an important landmark of Odisha state along with Jagannath Temple of Puri, Lingaraja Temple of Bhubaneswar and Rajarani Temple.

20. Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve (West Bengal)

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Sundarbans National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, densely covered by mangrove forest and the delta is home to India’s only population of swamp tiger, salt water crocodile,Irrawaddy dolphins and variety of birds and reptile species.

@TIME 100 – Statue of Unity

Recently Statue of Unity in Gujarat is part of the TIME 100 greatest places to visit in 2019 list, visited by over 1.9 million visitors in nine months and is the world’s tallest statue at 182 metres (597 ft). Image Source – Time.

India International Kite Festival

The Statue of Unity on a river island of Narmada stands at 597 ft. facing Sardar Sarovar Dam is a symbol of national unity, surrounded by artificial lake, exhibition area, memorial garden and a museum.