The taj mahal

Places to visit in India Beyond Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal – one of the seven wonders of the world, undoubtedly is one of the best things to see in India. Did I just write one of the best…yes, you know why – because there are so many places in India which are just over-shadowed because of the Taj. Don’t mind, I too love Taj, I’ve already been to Taj so many times now and yet never get enough of it. The reality is that India is a diverse, multi-cultured nation, despite this tourists usually prefer Taj and combines it with Jaipur and Delhi at max. Isn’t it unfair to other parts of India with immense beauty receives a cold-shoulder! There are so many places to visit in India beyond just the iconic Taj Mahal (read these tips to know before visiting the Taj)

Related Read – India Travel Tips – Top tips for first-time travel to Delhi!

India Beyond Taj Mahal | Taj mahal India

Suggested Read – The 7 man-made wonders of India.

 

Every time I read a travel blog or a traveller’s bucket list with a mention to India, it just revolves around Taj Mahal. So, today I would like to introduce my readers to places to visit in India beyond the Taj Mahal. On that note, know how much Andra loves India and not only Taj Mahal. Planning your trip also includes what to pack & how much does it cost to travel in India and it can be tricky. Read this guide from Paroma about what to wear in India, a practical guide in the true sense. 

 

Places to visit in India Beyond Taj Mahal

#1 – Places to Visit in India – Kashmir

Kashmir – also known as ‘Paradise on earth‘ which Indians often even compare to Switzerland. At the origin of Indian boundary next to Pakistan stands a state with snowy mountains, greenery all around and beautiful lakes to fall in love with. 

The capital of the state – Srinagar has the largest tulip garden in Asia with a view of dazzling Dal Lake which is frozen to snow in winters, snow studded mountains in Gulmarg and the cold desert in Leh & Ladakh along with gorgeous Monasteries (Read about the biggest & wealthiest Gompa – Hemis Monastery).

 

The Nubra valley with sand dunes is a photographer’s gem. A trip to Kashmir will leave you with a million memories to cherish for lifelong. If you’re interested in Ladakh, read this 3-day itinerary to Sham Valley Trek from Alex. Delhi to Manali and ultimately till Leh is an amazing adventurous road trip. The route takes from Manali, Rohtang pass, Spiti Valley with amazing views till Leh. I recommend taking this road trip for a memorable experience from India. 

#2 – Places to Visit in IndiaKerala

The southern-most state of India is a land of exquisite beaches, lush green hills, tea plantations of Munnar, backwaters and much more. Kerala also has world-renowned Ayurveda centres and monsoon is the recommended time to treat yourself with an Ayurvedic massage. 

Enjoy the majestic waterfalls, click immense pictures of the photogenic paddy fields & take a sip of the fresh coconut water for an everlasting memory. For art lovers, Kerala will present you the famous dance form – Kathakali. I can assure you after a visit to Kerala, you’ll not leave disappointed. Read more about Travel tips for Kerala from Devesh. 

#3 – Places to Visit in IndiaNorth-East India

You might wonder why I have not mentioned a particular state here and rather mentioned entire North-east region. It is because North-East states – a total of 7 states – are jaw dropping beautiful and are now slowly gaining popularity among travellers.

These states offer a variety of places to see that no matter how many days you spend there, you might not be able to cover all of them. Starting from Gangtok, Pelling and many more. Sikkim has immense natural beauty and might even be considered as a perfect Honeymoon destination.

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Shillong in Meghalaya which offers panoramic city views, gorgeous waterfalls, and even artificial lake. Assam, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura & Arunachal Pradesh are the other states having so much to see that we might need a different post for each state to cover.

#4 – Places to Visit in IndiaRajasthan & Gujarat

I know many of you might have heard about Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer in Rajasthan and mainly because of the forts and scenic beauty. But have you heard about Rann of Kutch in Gujarat? Rann of Kutch is in the Thar Desert is a seasonal salt marsh and has gained the title of largest salt deserts of the world. 

 

Gujarat is also known for grand palaces & forts, shrines with intricate architecture, national parks, and quaint beaches. Considering Amitabh Bachchan is endorsing the state, the tourism for the state has boosted exceptionally.

Every state here has a unique feel and a different architecture with breathtaking views. A special mention to few of the other states which are to a level already getting a lot of tourism. Hampi a UNESCO world heritage site and a haven for history lovers should be on your India bucket list.  Goa, the party capital of the country, with its Portuguese influence, the gorgeous beaches, and nearby Islands like Divar Island makes it a perfect stopover in itself! Mumbai is like the Manhattan of the east, with its gorgeous marine drive, skyscrapers & slums, Mumbai has many faces and so is a must-see from India. 

Chennai – with the nation’s longest natural urban beach & even one of the world’s longest beaches, read more about Things to do in ChennaiPondicherry – Love french culture? Gets a dose of the French architecture and tranquil beaches here.

West Bengal with a prime focus on its capital Kolkata, but there’s much more in the state including Darjeeling, Sunderbans National Park, and Siliguri. Himachal Pradesh for the natural beauty of Himalayan mountains and a peek at the summer capital of India ~ Shimla.

Punjab for the largest and most renowned Sikh shrine. Odisha with a history which dates back to King Ashoka and beaches & lakes to experience migratory birds. Thinking of beautiful beaches, only Kerala comes in our minds, but the Havelock Island from the Andaman Islands are a delight from India. 

Although the list is not yet finished these tops the list of places to visit in India. Whenever you plan a trip to India, I highly recommend including some of these places on the itinerary. Read more about some of the underrated Indian destinations that you must visit from Kate. 

Have I convinced you for travelling to these amazing places to visit in India? Check out this Perfect Two Week India Itinerary.

Planning to travel abroad from India? Check out the countries where you don’t need a visa before travelling.

Have you been to India? Did you get a change these places apart from Taj Mahal and Jaipur? Do share your experience with me.

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– The Wanderer

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119 thoughts on “Places to visit in India Beyond Taj Mahal

  1. Purvi K says:

    I must say this is a much needed article. No doubt Taj is an identity but India, as seen in this blog, is really much more than this. Loved the pictures too.

  2. Trevellers says:

    Amazing tips! Before going to India, many people are worried but the country is gorgeous and it is more than just Taj Mahal! Did an interview with Jasmine and she loved India and provided a Taj Mahal hack!

  3. Bangali Backpackers says:

    This is a really interesting list. I’d also add Kerala and the Andaman Islands to it. If only Pakistan and India would reconcile and be friends and opened up all of Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan to travellers…if only. I bet that region is the most scenic in the world.

  4. Tif says:

    Wow! This is beautiful! I always just hear about the Taj Mahal in India and never anything more!! Kerala looks beautiful 😍😍

  5. thetravelguru says:

    I like the title of this post which says everything. India is a very beautiful country and it is not limited to Taj Mahal. Kashmir, Kerala, Goa and there are many places which show the real beauty of India, really great work and keep writing such good posts. If u have some time then check out some more information about India on my blog

  6. wanthida tiwari says:

    I couldn’t have agreed to the introduction of this blog more. yes, Taj Mahal is beautiful but India has more to it. as a fellow Indian residing abroad, I really want people to know that India is not only about the Taj Mahal and curry. I have been to many of the places mentioned in the list and I have never visited a place prettier than Kerala. the people are nice, the food is delicious and the combination of the sunsets on the hills of minbar and then sunrise at Aleppo beach! these sights are something that must be a must for people on their bucket list. not forgetting the vibrant culture of Gujarat! dandier nights are everything! agree?

  7. Joanna says:

    I have been to India 3 times and I have only managed to see a little bit of the North, Rajasthan, and Varanasi. I fell in love with the beautiful colors and traditions from Rajasthan and I have to say that yes, the Taj Mahal is beautiful but there are also other stunning places around. I was amazed by the Jaisalmer fort and by Udaipur. And by far, the cultural and traditional Varanasi fascinated me.

  8. Gayathri Lakshminarayanan says:

    As a fellow Indian here, I usually get miffed when people think of only Taj Mahal and Mumbai when they talk of India. There are a number of people from other nationals who think so is high that one wouldn’t believe. Your post is what I am gonna send them to the next time hear someone talking to me about that. Bookmarking right away.

  9. loisaltermark says:

    You’re so right – we all think of the Taj Mahal but there’s so much else to see in India. My son visited last year and loved it. Those photos are gorgeous.

  10. James says:

    I agree that India has so much more to see than the Taj mahal, it’s such a huge country. I’ve visited most of the places you’ve mentioned. What I missed though is Kasmir but I hope to visit next year when I will return to India!

  11. jitaditya says:

    India has much more and in fact, one can’t accommodate them in one list. But good that you have made this post because many foreigners visiting India don’t know anything beyond the so called Golden Triangle. It is not their fault but the lack of imagination of the tour operators and authorities who themselves don’t know better.

  12. rovingjo says:

    This has ignited my wanderlust. I never knew that India ws so diverse and so beautiful. I could easily spend a few months exploring all these amazing places. So great that you have introduced another side of India and not focused solely on the Taj.

  13. Ryan Biddulph says:

    I love Kerala Shibani! We visited both Kovalam Beach and Muhamma. Adored each spot. KB especially because the beauty of the jungle, the hills and the beach, along with fab dining spots, the boardwalk, and the treatment centers made for a brilliant 3 week stay.

  14. Ollie says:

    I am still concidering going to India this year, I made me think about it again! Can’t decide what to pick this time, you didn’t make it easier with this list! 😉

  15. Cat says:

    I didn’t know many places in India. Thank you for introducing me to other beautiful destinations within this country. I’d love to visit Kerala if I have a chance to experience Ayurvedic massage!

  16. Abigail Sinsona says:

    I agree with you, Taj Mahal is so popular I think it’s on everyone’s bucket list! But I love that you showed a different side to India as well. It is such a big country that focusing entirely on seeing the Taj Mahal will surprise you with how many other things you can see or do.

  17. Nicole Anderson says:

    Certainly there is no denying how fabulous the Taj Mahal is and it is understandable that so many people are drawn to it’s beauty and the fact that it is one of the wonders of the world. However, I think many people are simply unaware of the size, diversity and degree of beauty the rest of India holds. Hopefully campaigns like ‘Incredible India’ can help address this misconception and highlight that there is just so much that the rest of India has to offer. It is often a slow educative process to bring about awareness that there is so much more. This post is a great example of pointing out that there are so many other beautiful things to see and experience in this amazing country.

  18. Debbie Savage says:

    Visiting India would be a dream come true! I am in love with everything about this place since I was a little girl and would watch movies from India with my grandma in which there was a lot of singing and dancing!

  19. Lifestyle Blog&Club says:

    These are all wonderful places to visit, but most of all I liked the pictures from Kerala, that place looks like heaven for me. And the promise of an Ayurvedic massage is priceless. I can not wait to be there.

  20. Lifestyle Blog&Clubp says:

    These are all wonderful places to visit, but most of all I liked the pictures from Kerala, that place looks like heaven for me. And the promise of an Ayurvedic massage is priceless. I can not wait to be there.

  21. rhiydwi says:

    On my first visit to India I went to Gorakhpur (random but not through choice — I was travelling overland from Nepal), Agra and Mumbai. Aside from Taj Mahal, which was breathtaking in real life, I didn’t fall in love with India.
    I went back twice last year – first in April, when I spent a month in Kerala and truly truly fell in love, and then again from September – December when I went back to Kerala and also hit up Goa, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Mumbai. Now I just can’t wait to go back and see so much more of the country!! Kashmir is high up on my list. I actually wanted to visit on my last trip, but because of the unrest going on at the border my government warned all British citizens to avoid against all but essential travel, so if I were to get caught up in something I would have been left to fend for myself, so to speak. I also want to go back and see more of Rajasthan as I only went to Udaipur, Jaipur and Ajmer, and there’s so much I missed! Then I also want to visit Chennai, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Hyderabad and Varanasi simply because I have friends originating from them so have heard fantastic things!
    Sorry for the monster comment, I just love India and there’s so much of the country I want to visit! I definitely agree with you that there’s so much more to India than Taj Mahal.

    I do have certain friends who frequently ask me why do I keep going back when I’ve already seen the Taj, and that they’d only visit for that. And you’re right, there’s so much more and people should really get out there and look!

  22. Suzannah says:

    You’re right. I think people forget just how big India is! The Taj, of course is amazing, but look at all of the other things that can be done in this beautiful country? Kerala looks like a tropical paradise!

  23. thesecretlifeofanactress says:

    Ah I’ve actually been to India, traveled around for almost a month & not see the Taj Mahal! ahah! I really enjoyed Rajasthan and the desert, i met so many lovely people in India. Would love to go back there’s so much to see as you say! 🙂

  24. Jessica Hughes says:

    I’ve never been to India but it is definitely on my list of places I would love to see. I am amazed at the beauty of the cities you have shared here, and I would never have expected to see snow-covered mountains in India like the ones in Kashmir! I would love to visit all of the cities you have featured and now I want to go to India even more.

  25. Culture Trekking says:

    Gorgeous photos, I really like how you covered all the different areas. I think India is so big and broad and so many things to do and see it can get overwhelming. I love the photo of the North East, that looks so interesting. I still think I would want to visit the Taj though – even though I’m not much for tourist traps. Is there much inside to see or is mostly the outside?

  26. leahshoup says:

    Wow, Kashmir looks SO amazing! I honestly didn’t realize that India had so many different types of landscapes. Thanks so much for sharing these other places to visit, I definitely identify with the travelers who’ve only put Taj Mahal on their lists. Now I’ll be adding more 🙂

  27. Jean says:

    Oh wow India has so much beauty. And variety beyond the Taj Mahal. I’ve never been but I’d love to go to Kashmir one day to explore those mountains.

  28. Christie Sultemeier says:

    I LOVE this post!! I always try to do my best to focus my blogposts on more off the beaten path, non-touristy things to do (or at least less touristy things to do) so I really appreciate it. North-East India looks beautiful… I’d love to take pics on that river (is it a river?). Seems like such a wide variety of things to do there! If I make it to India I’m definitely going to check some of these things out – beyond the Taj Mahal 🙂

  29. Yukti says:

    I totally agree with you as India in not only Taj but many more beautiful places. Kerala, Kashmir and North East India has unmatched nature. The temples of India and architectural beauty of Rajasthan shows the India’s rich culture from centuries. Loved your post.

  30. Suzanne says:

    I wish we had more time in India when we visited two years ago. I really wanted to go to Kerala and Ladakh. I guess I’ll have to revisit in the future. Great recommendations by the way!

  31. Lisa says:

    I’ve never been to India, so this is very useful to know about the regions. I like the sound of Kerala and the north-east of the country. Of course, visiting the Taj Mahal is a must, I know it’s busy, but I’d love to see it!

  32. packthepjs says:

    I’ve not yet had the opportunity to visit India. It is a destination we’ve spoken about so many times, but just have’t known where to start in building an itinerary. I love your description if Kashmir … I think I’d like to visit here first!

  33. Bhusha says:

    I really like the title! Belonging to Chennai, I’m from the part of India which most tourists, not just International, but also Indians, ignore! Btw, I’m yet to visit Kashmir, its very high up on my wishlist!

  34. Rachelle Gordon says:

    I love looking at pictures of the Taj Mahal and of course would love to visit it, but I can understand how other places would be overshadowed by it. Kashmir is a region I would very much like to explore. I think it is beautiful and agree that some people compare it to Switzerland!

  35. Lydia Smith says:

    I agree no less with you. With this posts and the beautiful pictures I’ve seen so far, of be doing myself a big disfavoit if I visited India just for Taj Mahal alone. I’m more enlightened and I would consider exploring the beauty of North East states and almost all other places you mentioned. The pictures speak of the beauty and innocence of nature which is unadulterated.

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