Known for its incredible wealth of diverse culture, tradition, and exuberance for life, India, as a travel destination, is anything but boring. The seventh-largest country with the second-largest population on the earth offers magnificent cities with stunning urban landscapes and a thriving cultural scene. Made up of endless man-made and natural marvels, we’ve hand-picked 10 of the most beautiful cities in India. Each city is distinguished by its own unique culture, cuisine, and scenic beauty that will enchant you to stay just a bit longer on your visit.
Let’s Go On A Tour Of The Most Beautiful Cities In India:
1. The City Of Lakes: Udaipur
Located in Rajasthan, Udaipur is known for its stunning lakes, massive forts, breathtaking temples and immaculately maintained palaces. Protected by the lush Aravali Hills, this elegant city is also popularly known as the ‘city of lakes’. Its beautiful palaces, many of which have been converted to stunning five star and boutique hotels, make Udaipur one of the most sought after wedding destinations in India. You’ll find spectacular gardens and several cozy romantic spots tucked away in the quiet corners of the city. This beautiful Indian city has also been a location for many movies, including the James Bond film ‘Octopussy’ (1983).
2. Visit The Old And The New: Delhi
The capital city of India, Delhi is an astounding cornucopia of history, culture, art, cuisine, commerce and street life. One of the most beautiful cities in India, Delhi offers a mix of history that feels alive in Old Delhi. As the capital of the Mughal empire, the city has some of the world’s most awe-inspiring forts and structures, all of which sit side by side next to modern buildings and bustling streets. As the capital, it is also home to international embassies, and its global culture that has spilt on to the streets accordingly. From Michelin star restaurants to world famous street food, Delhi has a wide range of foods for those with an adventurous palate. It’s also a cultural hub, and home to India’s very exciting theatre scene.
3. The Pub City Of India: Bangalore
The Garden City of India, Bangalore is one of India’s most cosmopolitan cities. Its soothing climate and vibrant local culture draw people from all over the world. Being the major hub of the IT industry in India, the city is also known as the ‘Silicon Valley of India’, making it one of the top cities of India. The capital city of Karnataka, Bangalore is widely popular for its modern outlook, its many gardens, excellent restaurants, quirky cafes, local craft beer culture, and a wide range of pubs.
4. Heaven On Earth: Srinagar
Located in the valley of Kashmir, Srinagar is the northernmost city of India. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations among Indians as well as foreigners. Lying on the banks of the Jhelum River, Srinagar is the largest city and summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. This enchanting city is also popularly known as ‘Venice of the East’ or ‘Paradise on Earth’. Famous for some of the most spectacular lakes in India, don’t forget to visit the largest freshwater lake in Asia, Wular Lake in Srinagar, along with Dal and Anchar Lakes, located in the heart of the city. As one of the most beautiful cities in India, Srinagar will mesmerise you with its charming Mughal gardens, bazaars, collections of soulful Sufi shrines, a fortress, and many historic mosques. It’s known for its natural produce such as apples, walnuts, almonds and saffron, as well as intricately carved furniture, and rich indulgent cuisine that you won’t find anywhere else.
5. The Pink City: Jaipur
The biggest city in Rajasthan and its capital, Jaipur is a perfect blend of tradition and modernity. The city is also popularly known as ‘The Pink City’, due to its stunning pink-coloured sandstone buildings which were painted pink in 1876 to welcome the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria. Jaipur invites you to experience its majestic architecture, royal Rajput influence, and rich art and cultural history. Built-in the eighteenth century by Sawai Jai Singh as India’s first planned city, Jaipur is a hub of life and a treasure-trove of Indian history. It is also the best city in India to organise a wedding.
6. The Cosmopolitan City: Mumbai
One of the most famous cities of India, Mumbai (formerly called Bombay) is the capital of Maharashtra. Mumbai is the ‘city that never sleeps’ and the heart of India’s commerce and home to the country’s Hindi film industry. Hailed as one of India’s largest cities, Mumbai is also a city of extremes—home to some of the world’s most expensive homes sitting alongside Asia’s largest slums. Carrying the tag of India’s financial capital as well, it’s also where the country’s creative media is based. It has its own mix of historic sites and iconic monuments, remnants of British rule as well as examples of the city’s cosmopolitan nature welcoming various communities over centuries.
7. Get A Taste Of The Mughal Era: Agra
Home to one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal, Agra is the capital of Uttar Pradesh. This small but welcoming city also has two more beautiful UNESCO World Heritage sites—the Agra Fort and the Fatehpur Sikri—where you’ll clearly witness the legacy of the Mughal empire. Explore the remnants of the Mughal era scattered around the city in fascinating tombs and mausoleums, along with bustling chowks (marketplaces).
8. Explore History And Ancient Beauty: Varanasi
Varanasi is known as ‘The Spiritual Capital of India’, and is one of the holiest cities in India for Hindus and Jains. It sits on the banks of the river Ganges, considered divine, and is known for the daily rituals that take place on its banks. The first settlements of this famous city in India date back to the 11th century BC, making it one of the oldest inhabited places in the world. Today, it’s home to a varied range of vendors, sadhus, entrepreneurs, priests, pilgrims and families. It’s a wonderful example where life and death are in full view, as well as providing a deep dive into Hindu cultural and spiritual practices.
9. The Cultural And Intellectual Capital Of India: Kolkata
Kolkata, or as it was previously known Calcutta, was once the capital of the British Raj in India. Home to some of the country’s best poets and writers, Kolkata has long been known as India’s cultural capital. This charming city will offer you beautiful art, majestic architecture, and vibrant culture of theatre, literature and food. Due to its past, you can find many remnants of British Raj houses, historic monuments, cultural institutions, and stunning public parks.
Also Read: Have The Best Of Street Food In Kolkata
10. Remnants Of A French Colony: Pondicherry
Located on the south-eastern coast of India, Pondicherry, also called Puducherry, was once a French colony. Today, it’s one of eight union territories of India and one of the most beautiful cities in India to explore. It’s the best city in India to explore a mix of Indian and European culture, having been occupied by the French until the 60s. This has resulted in a unique balance in its architecture, language and cuisine offering tourists glimpses into a lifestyle they will not find anywhere else. One of the most beautiful cities of India, on the streets of Pondicherry, you will find French-style villas, lush beaches and cobblestoned streets, all dotted with cafes, giving the city its special quaint charm.
Which Of These Beautiful Indian Cities Have You Visited Before?
Indian cities have their own quintessential beauty. They are often crowded and chaotic. And very often that’s where their charm lies. The beauty lies in the order within the chaos, the warmth of the people in those bustling crowds, the explosion of colours, sounds and flavours, the unique mix of history and modern global lifestyles.
Exploring the top cities in India will provide a treat for not just your sense of sight, but all senses. There is no doubt that there is beauty in their natural and man-made wonders. From the forts of Jaipur to the heavenly lakes in Srinagar, there’s a massive variety to enjoy. But the true experience of these beautiful Indian cities is in the amalgamation of all of the things that make it uniquely India. These famous cities of India will welcome you with warmth and elegance that will only add more colour. If you’ve visited these most beautiful cities in India, tell us all about your cultural indulgences in the comments below.