1. Chand Baori Stepwell
Located in the village of Abhaneri, near Jaipur, the Chand Baori stepwell is over 1,200 years old. It has 3,500 narrow steps covering 13 storeys and is one of the deepest and largest stepwells in India. Designed to conserve large amounts of water, it’s also a gathering place for locals to cool off and escape the often-intense heat.
Famous as a sacred Hindu pilgrimage site and one of the most ancient towns in India, Pushkar is a place you should not miss. Spend your time wandering through the street-long bazaar, listening to the pilgrims' chants on the banks of the holy Pushkar Lake, then explore the Brahma Temple, where Brahma is believed to have appeared and dropped a lotus flower. These sites are essential for understanding the devotion and significance of Pushkar in the hearts of Hindus.
Udaipur is a beautiful stop also known as the 'city of lakes and palaces'. The City Palace is truly unique, with exquisite architecture and 11 equally stunning yet distinct palaces inside. Often referred to as the 'Venice of the East,' this lake city also boasts a vibrant performing arts scene.
Located a short distance from Chennai, Mamallapuram is home to astonishing rock-carved architecture, including the Temple of the Five Rathas. The Shore Temple, dating back to 700AD, stands as a stunning example of ancient construction and architecture.
5. Ghost City of Fatehpur Sikri
The ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri exudes an air of eerie seclusion. Built during the latter part of the 16th century by Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri served as the short-lived capital of the Mughal Empire. Located 40 kilometres west of Agra, this fortified city is an architectural masterpiece boasting an array of monuments and temples. Due to water shortages, it was abandoned after only 10 years of use but, remarkably, it remains in stunning condition to this day.
The 'blue city,' with its imposing Mehrangarh Fort, is a photographer's paradise. In addition to Mehrangarh Fort, the must-see spots in this city include Jaswant Thada (the royal family tombs) and the Umaid Bhawan Palace. The old city is a cluster of bright blue structures that stretch around the base of the 16th century city wall. A visit to Jodhpur will transport you back in time to medieval India with the scent of incense, vibrant saris and ancient buildings at every turn.
7. Sand Dunes of Jaisalmer
Reminiscent of the Sahara Desert, the Sam Sand Dunes radiate romantic beauty and stunning silhouettes. The best time to visit these dunes is either at sunset or sunrise. A camel or jeep safari in the dunes is an unforgettable experience, transporting you to the bygone era of Maharajahs.
From streets adorned with marigold flowers to bustling markets and spice stalls, India is a colourful and vibrant place, full of culture and contrast. In each direction you turn, you will meet with new awe-inspiring and also eye-opening experiences. It’s time to reach out to your local Travellers Choice agent to start planning your adventure to India.
Everyone knows that the Taj Mahal in Agra is at the top of India's must-see list. However, India has other locations that are just as incredible... well, let's be honest, almost as incredible! India is truly full of astonishing places that have played bridesmaid to the Taj Mahal for centuries. We have compiled a list of some of India's lesser-known gems that you should visit.