India is a land of many paradoxes. There are people who strive hard to earn their bread and butter here, and then there are people who have all the luxuries of life. There are cultures which are forward thinking and open to changes, and then there are cultures which strongly hold to their roots. There are places which are rugged and barren, and there are places which are blessed with lush greenery and amazing forests.
And each one of those paradoxes of India is beautiful in its own right. You don’t need to go looking for beauty in India. You come across it while exploring the land. But for those who want to experience some of the most beautiful destinations of the country, here is a list of 100 beautiful places in India that you cannot miss out on.
This beautiful place bears a very striking resemblance to Switzerland’s topography, the well known romanticizing location. Khajjar is located at the foot of Dhauladkar , in the lap of Himalayas and is 2000 meters above sea level.
A beautiful panoramic view of the densely populated forests and the meadows and snowy peaks of Himalayas can be captured. Summer months are the best to visit this place as it wouldn’t be too cold and the hill station would be laden with beautiful flowers which makes it one of the most beautiful places to visit in India.
2. Chandertal Lake
The Chandertal lake is situated between Lahaul and Spiti, the two Himalayan ranges and is at an altitude of 4300 metres above sea level. It is also known as the ‘moon lake’ as it’s the source of river Chandra and the crystal clear waters of chandertal will not miss captivating you in its depth.
A trek to this lake during the summer is exactly what one requires to bask in nature’s glory and its breathtaking in its literal sense too, as you will have to cross some real high mountains to reach there
3. Sar Pass
The Sar pass, a popular tourist destination and a great pace for adventure lovers and treks, gets its name from a small frozen lake that is a part of the Sar pass trek too. When uttermost peace and natural scenic beauty is all you want to accompany you, the 12,500 feet above sea level destination is the place to be. Its quite a risky trekking spot and that ensures that loners definitely get here .
4. Rohtang Pass
‘Pile of corpses’ is how the literal translation is for Rohtang pass, for all the people who lost their lives while crossing the pass and yet in the recent times it has become one of the most popular tourist spot, attracting thousands of people with its captivating beauty.
Rohtang pass happens to be one of the few destinations in India where one can go skiing as it snows for almost all the months of the year. However, it is closed for 6 months every year so be ready to witness swarms of people in the other 6 months waiting to explore this 13,000 feet high destination.
5. Suraj Tal Lake
The Suraj Tal Lake, also known as the lake of the sun god, close to the Baralacha la pass is the third highest lake in India and the 21st highest in the world. Beautifully clad mountain tops, glacier views, the extreme polar region conditions and pin drop silence greets you out here which is probably why you will hardly find any other soul around if you manage to trek to this lake.
Jammu and Kashmir
6. Dal Lake
Dal lake, the iconic destination of the Kashmir valley, also referred to as heaven on earth is one of the bollywood’s favorite shooting sights. The mughal gardens by the lake’s shore go back to jehangir’s reign and the shikaras, houseboats in the lake are the best way to embark upon the nature.
7. Pangong Lake
The Pangong lake is one of the beautiful places visit in India. Spread over an area of about 600 sq. km, the lake is shared by india and china and 60% of it lies in the neighbouring country. The alluring beauty of the lake and its natural scenic views make it seem like a landscape painted. Its enduring to see how the lake changes colors every season due to its salinity.
8. Tsomoriri Lake
Another jewel in the crown of Ladakh is the Tsomoriri Lake. The lake is situated in Changthang Plateau, one of the highest and widest plateaus in the world is a among the must visit places in India . The lake gets its name from the saltiness of it, and the fact that salt was extracted from it till 1959. You can spot some really rare species of birds here during the migratory season such as Black Necked Crane, Brown Headed Gull and Great Crested Grebe. The calmness of the lake is just perfect for meditation.
9. Kashmir Valley
Kashmir valley is no doubt the most beautiful destinations in india. The heaven on earth tag is always linked to Kashmir for its evergreen landscapes and snow-filled mountains. A visit to Kashmir should definitely include seeing the Shalimar gardens, visit to Dal lake and the shikaras and gulmarg. Mountaineering and river rafting are good adventure activities in Kashmir.
10. Zanskar Valley
Zanskar valley is filled with small hamlets, less population and gorgeous views and with this range you have plenty of chances to start clicking perfect moments which makes it one of the most beautiful places to visit in India. One of the highlights of this is the zanskar river where you could opt for rafting and even go trekking in the months of January and February.
During the winter months, the chadar trek, set up on the frozen river comprises of a journey through frozen waterfalls, small sized caves and an entire white landscape all around you.
11. Khardung La Pass
Khardung La Pass needs no introduction. It is widely, but incorrectly, believed to be the highest motorable pass in the world, located at a little over 17,000 feet above sea level. The pass is about 40 km from the town of Leh, and an important destination for those seeking adventure. Adventure seekers come here for a thrilling mountain biking experience and a road trip.
The views you get from this amazing mountain pass are just breathtaking. The pass also holds strategic importance for India’s defense strategy, for it serves as the route for military supplies and other essentials.
12. Nubra Valley
Located about 150 km from the town of Leh is the Nubra Valley. It is also referred to as the valley of flowers, because it is covered with some really beautiful flowers during the summer months. The beautiful flowers are kind of complemented by the largely rugged terrain of the valley, as is the case with the rest of Ladakh.
A trek through the valley is one of the easier treks in Ladakh, but not any less beautiful. During the summer months, you can spot the local shepherding their sheep with a smile on their face and a lively spirit.
13. Valley of Flowers
The Valley of Flowers is a national park located in the upper reaches of the Himalayas, in the state of Uttarakhand is a must visit place in India. The park is a true paradise for botanists and anybody else who loves the glory of nature. It stands true to its name, with several species of exotic flowers to be seen here.
While for the most part the valley remains covered with snow, during the summer months, it comes alive with a riot of colors which makes it one of the beautiful places in India. Expectedly, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But you need to cover a slightly difficult trek in order to feel the bliss of this national park.
14. Roopkund Lake
The Himalayan region is blessed with several gorgeous high altitude lakes. But the one which catches the maximum attention is the Roopkund Lake, gorgeous, and shrouded in mystery. The lake is situated at a height of about 5,000 meters above sea level in Uttaranchal’s Chamoli District. During the summer season, when the ice melts in the lake, you can see several hundred corpses floating in the lake.
The skeletons of the corpses have been well preserved because f the cold climatic conditions. Scientific evidence suggests that the corpses date back to around 12th century, but nobody knows the real story behind the mass deaths. Roopkund Lake is probably the only place on earth which continues to be beautiful despite the presence of about hundred skeletons.
15. Dodital Lake
A freshwater lake located at a height of little more than 3000 meters above sea level is the Dodital Lake. It is also known as the Dhudital Lake, named after Lord Ganesha and is among the must see places in India. It is believed that the lake is the abode of Lord Ganesha, and standing testimony to that fact is a temple dedicated to Him.
You need to cover a moderate trek from Uttarkashi in order to reach the lake. Don’t worry about the effort though. You will be refreshed at the sight of the lake.
16. Khatling Glacier
Situated the River Bhalingana’s source is the Khatling Glacier, a panoramic site that just takes your breath away. From the glacier, you can see snow capped peaks and several hanging glaciers in the vicinity. But the rewarding sight doesn’t come easy. You need to take a strenuous trek to reach the glacier, passing through dense forests and high mountain passes. The trek to Khatling Glacier could easily take around 2 weeks, but it is worth every effort you make.
17. Ghats in Varanasi
Varanasi is believed to be the oldest civilizations is among the must India. Situated on the banks of River Ganga, the city holds a sacred spot in Hinduism. Every year, lakhs converge on the ghats of Varanasi for performing the last rites of their relatives and dear ones. Despite the seemingly macabre surroundings, the ghats of Varanasi have a certain allure to them. You can feel the spirituality and the calmness that prevails here.
Jodhpur is beautiful in a paradoxical kind of way. Most of Jodhpur’s terrain is barren and rugged, which makes it a quintessential desert land. It is one of the largest cities of Rajasthan, offering tourists an opportunity for memorable desert safaris. One of the best safaris you can take in Jodhpur is a Bishnoi Village Safari.
It takes you up, close and personal to the lives of the Bishnois, an old clan of the land. If you visit the old part of the city, don’t miss the blue houses, which have earned it the tag of the “The Blue City.”
19. Desert of Jaisalmer
Camel Safari is one of the most memorable and delightful experiences you can have. It gives you an exclusive approach to discover colorful villages in Rajasthan. Travel through the crests and troughs of the naturally formed Sand Dunes on a camel back and experience the essence of life in the Jaisalmer region.Once the night falls, gather around a campfire and enjoy a luxurious treat of cultural performances like lambada dance by the locals.
20. Lake Pichola
One of the highlights of the beautiful city of Udaipur, Rajasthan is Lake Pichola. The lake overlooks the Lake Palace, making for a fantastic setting is a must see place in India. Lake Pichola, like other lakes in Udaipur, were built over dams in order to serve the water and irrigation needs of the people of the city.
The lake serves as the ideal spot for a romantic boat ride with your better half. During the migratory season, you can see some species of birds too by the lake, making it an even more beautiful site.
21. Nuranang Falls
Hidden in the wonders of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh is the magnificent Nuranang Falls. The falls are about 100 meters high, which might not be much when compared to several other waterfalls in the world.
However, when combined with the pristine surroundings, it becomes a must visit when in Arunachal Pradesh. Folklore has it that the falls are named after a girl who helped an Indian soldier during the 1962 Indo-Sino War. Also sometimes referred to as the Bong Bong Falls, they also generate electricity for the district.
22. Sela Pass
Sela Pass is one of the most beautiful places to visit in India. Connecting Tawang district to other parts of the country is the Sela Pass. This mountain pass is about 13,800 feet high and gives you some really scenic views of the surrounding views. With its high elevation, you can almost feel the clouds passing through your hands here.
During the winter months, most of the pass is frozen with snow, with temperatures dropping to well below the zero degree mark. For some gorgeous views and panoramic shot for the lens, head to Sela Pass in Arunachal Pradesh. You will be delighted.
23. Dzukou Valley
Located at an altitude of a little more than 2000 meters above sea level is the gorgeous Dzukou Valley of Nagaland. The valley lies on the border of Manipur and Nagaland, behind the majestic Japfu Peak. During the summer season, the valley is blessed with different species of flowers, the highlight of which is the Dzukou Lilly.
The name of the valley literally translates to “Cold Water”, and refers to the stream of river that flows through the valley. It is a short and slightly challenging trek to the valley, but nevertheless rewarding for the senses. When in this part of the country, the valley is a must-visit.
24. Gurudongmar Lake
Located at an altitude of a little more than 5000 meters above sea level is Gurudongmar Lake. The lake is located in Sikkim, close to the Chinese border and is known for its scenic views. The fresh water lake remains frozen for most part of the year because of jaw dropping temperatures.
But when the ice thaws, it gives way to crystal clear waters that just take your breath away. The rugged terrain around the lake adds to the experience. However, you should be prepared for some hard work if you want to visit this lake, because it involves a sufficiently challenging trek.
25. Goecha La Pass
Another gorgeous mountain pass in the Himalayan region is Goecha La Pass in Sikkim. The pass serves as the base camp for those who wish to climb Mount Kanchenjunga, world’s third highest peak. In order to reach the pass, you need to start trekking from Yuksom. It takes about 7 days to trek to the pass.
Along the way, you are greeted with some beautiful rhododendrons and other highlights of the region. View of Mount Kanchenjunga from Goecha La Pass is just amazing.
A quaint little island in the state of Assam is Majuli. Once upon a time, the island was spread across an area of about 1,250 square kilometers. However, the raging River Brahmaputra has eroded a large part of the island, and what is left now is a little over 400 square kilometers of area.
Nevertheless, it is one of the most beautiful places in India. Bird watching is a highlight here, and so are the colorful tribes of the region.
27. Loktak Lake
Manipur is home to world’s only floating lake, the Loktak Lake. It is also the largest fresh water lake in this part of the country. The floating mass of vegetation and organic matter give the lake a floating appearance. A part of the lake is home to Keibul Lamjao National Park, which is the habitat for Sangai.
Sangai, or Manipur brow antlered deer is a rare species which is on the brink of extinction. The beauty of the lake itself and the surrounding flora and fauna make this region of Manipur an absolute delight.
Located close to Singalila National Park in West Bengal is Sandakphu, or Sandakfu, the highest peak of the region. You need to endure a moderately difficult trek in order to reach the summit, but you will be rewarded with awesome views of the Kanchendzonga Peak. There is even a small village at the top of the peak where you can find some hostels for a stay. Of course, there is nothing like camping under the starlit sky and enjoying a cool mountain breeze.
29. Darjeeling Tea Gardens
The lush tea gardens of Darjeeling are also among the list of beautiful places in India. Tea gardens of Darjeeling are not only known for their flavorsome tea cultivation, but also for their scenic beauty. Endless stretches of tea plants which tends to vanish with the mist, creates a magical spell on the visitors.
Imagine barren lands where you can push full throttle and have the thrill of your life? That’s Rann of Kutch for you, in Gujarat. Kutch is a shallow wetland, which means it gets submerged during the monsoon season because of rains.
However, during the summer months, the water recedes, giving way to salty land which is barren yet beautiful. The Rann of Kutch is known for road trips in India. It is also known as a habitat for exotic species of birds and animals. There are quite a few wildlife reserves in the region, the most prominent of which is the Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary.
31. Dudhsagar Falls
If you thought Goa is all about sand, beaches and crazy nightlife, think again. There is more to Goa than meets the eye. For those who would like to see the other side of Goa, head to Dudhsagar Falls. The waterfalls are actually tiered falls about 60 km from the capital city of Panaji.
According to popular legend, a princess once lived in the forests nearby the falls. She used to bathe in the pond at the base of the falls. One fine day, during her bathing session, she caught a prince watching her. In order to protect her modesty, she poured a jug of sweet milk in front of her to form as a curtain. It is believed that it is that sweet milk which pours down the falls, hence giving them a milky appearance. While you can believe that story at your peril, the fact remains that it is a gorgeous waterfall which deserves a visit.
The smallest hill station of India, but nevertheless beautiful, is Matheran in Maharashtra. Located in the Western Ghats at an altitude of about 2600 feet above sea level, it is about 90 km from the city of Mumbai. Vehicles are banned in this hill station, and the only way to reach it is via a short train journey.
The absence of vehicles means you are greeted with really fresh mountain air which replenishes your soul. Trek to Panorama Point here and you are greeted with gorgeous, 360 degree views of the surrounding scenery.
33. Malshej Ghat
Nestled in the majestic peaks of the Western Ghats is the Malshej Ghat, a popular weekend getaway for people of Mumbai. It is a place blessed with refreshing greenery and mist covered peaks, especially during the months of August and September. There are some gorgeous waterfalls too to visit here.
The place also serves as a habitat for several varieties of birds such as crakes and flamingos, making it a haven for birdwatchers. When here, try the Naneghat Trek for some scintillating views of the valley.
34.Tea Estate of Coonoor
A gorgeous hill station in Tamil Nadu is that of Coonoor. It is one of the largest hill stations in the Nilgiris, and also serves as a base for those interested in trekking in the Nilgiri Hills.
However, for those not interested in trekking, the highlight of the hill station is its many tea estate. When here, stay in a tea estate and you will have some really delightful experiences. Most of the tea estates here belong to the British times, which give you a taste of the colonial past. The period furniture, the greenery and the tranquility all make for a wonderful holiday experience.
35. Hogenakkal Falls
Gorgeous falls located on River Kaveri in Tamil Nadu are the Hogenakkal Falls. The waterfalls are sometimes called the “Niagara Falls of India”, because the sheer volume and beauty. About 180 km away from the city of Bangalore, the falls are a popular weekend getaway for people who are looking for an opportunity to trek.
During the dry season, you can take a boat ride as the falls are not too strong to cause any danger. However, if you want to see the fall in all their glory, pay a visit around the monsoon season. They are a sight to behold.
A beautiful hill station located at the base of Mulayanagiri Range in Karnataka is Chikmagalur. The hill station is sometimes referred to as “coffee land of Karnataka” because of its several coffee plantations. Located close to the city of Bangalore, it is a popular weekend getaway for the people of India’s Silicon Valley. The highlight of Chikmagalur is the Mahatma Gandhi Park, previously known as Ratnagiri Bore. It is known for its scenic vistas.
37. Kudremukh Shola Grasslands
A famous peak of Chikmagalur district of Karnataka is the Kudremukh peak. The name literally translates to “Horse Face” and refers to a particular section of the peak which looks like the face of a horse. The peak and the surrounding region are known for its shoal grasslands, which are a sight unto themselves. The dense shoal grasslands are home to plenty of wildlife, with animals such as Malabar civet, sloth bear and spotted bear regularly being seen here.
38. Nandi Hills
A small hill station about 60 km from Bangalore is Nandi Hills. Compared to other famous hill stations of Karnataka, Nandi Hills is a little less frequented, which adds to the charm of the place. It is known for its trekking opportunities and houses the ruins of a fort atop a hill. You could take plantation walks in the verdant greenery or even go paragliding here. However, the best way to experience Nandi Hills is to just sit back, relax, and watch time go by. If you are looking for rejuvenation, Nandi Hills is the ideal place to be in.
39. Jog Falls
One of the highest waterfalls of India are the Jog Falls in Karnataka. The falls constitute four separate waterfalls, viz. Raja Fall, the Roarer, the Rocket, and Rani Fall. It is an amazing experience just to stand there and look at water coming down at full force from a height. The surrounding greenery makes the falls one of the most beautiful in India.
The best time to visit the falls is somewhere around the monsoon period. Do not make the mistake if visiting the falls during the summer months. All you will be greeted with is a small stream of river falling down a cliff.
40. Araku Valley
A pristine tourist spot in Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh is Araku Valley. Located at a height of about 3000 feet above sea level, the valley is known for Sunkarimetta Forest Reserve and Anantagiri, both of which are biodiversity hot spots.
It is also known for its coffee plantations, which together with the biodiversity hot spots, give the valley a beautiful green cover. While in the valley, do not miss a chance to interact with the local tribes, which gives you an insight into their eclectic culture. Relatively untouched by commercialization, the valley makes for a relaxing vacation in the hills.
41. Belum Caves
They are the longest in India and the second largest in the country, well known for their stalagmite formations. The caves were discovered way back in 1884 by a British named Robert Foote. The caves have several passages and chambers to explore, making it a mystical experience. Even if you are not too much into cave exploration, the natural formations in these caves will leave you speechless. Head to these caves in Andhra Pradesh for an eclectic adventure experience.
Kerala is known as “God’s Own Country” for its beautiful natural treasure. One of the best places to experience the natural beauty of Kerala is Allepey and is among the must visit places in India. Stay in a houseboat and take a tour of the backwaters of the Alleppey for a romantic experience. While taking the cruise, do not forget to visit the quaint villages which are located by the backwaters. A trip to a local toddy shop completes this amazing experience in the lap of Mother Nature.
Leaving out Munnar from the list of beautiful places in India is a cardinal sin. This hill station of Kerala is a nature lover’s delight. You are greeted with a vast expanse of tea and cardamom plantations here, rich forest cover and plenty of opportunities for trekking.
At an altitude of about 6000 feet above sea level, Munnar is all about gorgeous valleys, majestic hills and pristine surroundings. There are resorts here which date back to colonial times. They add to the charm of the place (as if it needed it!).
Located about 70 km from the city of Cochin is Athirapally in Kerala, a gorgeous location, like most of the rest of Kerala. The region is a fantastic riparian region in Kerala. A riparian region refers to the area between land and a river stream. Athirapally is known for its rich wildlife and boasts of some rare species of flora and fauna.
It is also well known for Athirapally Waterfalls. You can take a trek to the waterfalls and be amazed at the beauty of it. If you love nature, you will love to spend your entire life in Athirapally.
Wayanad is a stunning hill station located in the north-eastern part of gorgeous Kerala. The hill station is characterized by several tea and coffee plantations, making it ideal for a relaxing holiday. The best way to experience the beauty of Wayanad is to stay in a homestay and enjoy the hospitality of local people.
With its low population, verdant greenery, and several beautiful trekking trails, it energizes your body from the inside out. Also known as the “Land of Paddy Fields”, it is epitome of what Kerala stands for- green, tranquil and relaxing.
46. Varkala Beach
For those who love to idle by the sea with a book in hand and nothing else to do, head to Varkala Beach in Kerala. It is a beautiful secluded beach where you can while away your time looking at the crashing waves.
The beach is also considered holy. It is believed that a dip in the waters here will absolve you of all the sins. For the ultimate decadent pleasure, book yourself a relaxing Ayurveda massage at the beach. It is the most blissful experience you will ever have.
47. Sunset at Cochin
Cochin is very unlike the rest of Kerala, and yet, very similar to it. It is known for its colonial past, which is still evident today in the cobbled streets and the quaint cafes of the city. There are more than a few highlights of Cochin. There are the Chinese Fishing Nets, which are a different kind of experience.
There is the beautiful sunset by the harbor which makes for a really romantic experience. And there is also the sunset cruise you can take, alone or with your special someone. Just roam the streets of Cochin and are in for a delightful surprise.
48. Agatti Island
It is not only mainland which has some beautiful places in India. If you are prepared to venture off from the mainland, you can expect some delightful experiences, such as those in Agatti Island in Lakshadweep Islands. The island is one of the rare few in Lakshadweep which are open to tourists. It is a coral island, and you can expect some really pristine natural beauty here and is among the must see places in India. The best way to experience Agatti is to hire a bicycle and roam the streets.
Andaman and Nicobar
49. Havelock Island
Havelock Island is one of the largest islands of Andaman and Nicobar, spread across an area of about 113.93 square kilometers. A trip to Havelock Island makes for a fantastic eco-tour, with its lush greenery and azure waters. There are quite a few fantastic diving and snorkeling sites in Havelock, which make it a great place for avid divers.
But even if you are not much into snorkeling and diving, try snorkeling with Rajan, the elephant here. Rajan is an expert in underwater swimming, and if you have even been afraid of going underwater, you can always pick a few tips for him.
50. Golden Temple
If you thought only nature constitutes beautiful places in India, the Golden Temple in Amritsar could make you eat your words. The upper floors of this religious landmark for the Sikhs are actually made of gold, which gives the temple its name. Even after the hostile attacks during the times of Sikh terrorism, the temple hasn’t lost any of its charm. You can feel the prevailing calm here. For those interested in architecture, the Golden Temple offers loads. It is the confluence of Hindu, Muslim and European architectural principles, making it a masterpiece in its own right.
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