Top 9 Great Attractions in India

Image of the Taj MahalWith its rich history and diverse culture, there truly is so much to see in India. Around every corner, in every town, you can take home memories and enjoy experiences you simply cannot get anywhere else in the world. Of course India is home to some of the greatest, most breathtaking sites on the planet. Hereís our list of a few of these places that you should have on your must-see sightseeing list.

Taj Mahal, Agra: What more can be said? The Taj Mahal is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and the most recognized symbol in all of India. This white marble monument was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1653 A.D. as a tribute to the beauty of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. And that beauty is plain to see. The Taj Mahal is also a World Heritage Site with its breathtaking gardens and prayer house.

Red Fort, New Delhi: The Red Fort in Delhi was built by Emperor Shah Jahan between 1638 and 1648 A.D. This famous red stone monument sprawls over an area of two kilometers. It originally had 14 gates, but now only the Delhi Gate and Lahore Gate draw attention. The Red Fort flaunts impressive architecture in the royal baths, and Mughal structures like the Diwan-i-Aam, Diwan-i-Khas and Moti Masjid among others. The popular sound and light show attracts tourists every evening.

Qutab Minar, Delhi: Qutab Minar means Victory Pillar. It is a 72.5 feet high tower built by Mughal emperors Qutab-ud-din Aibak, Iltutmish and Feroz Shah Tughlaq. The Afghan style of architecture makes the Qutab Minar very imposing. The structure flaunts verses from the Holy Qoran in Arabic and inscriptions in Kupee. The structure houses the Alai Darwaza - the main entrance, Quwwat-Ul-Islam Mosque and the iron pillar Alai Minar.

Khajuraho Temples, Madhya Pradesh: The temple complex is situated in Bundelkhand, Madhya Pradesh - heart of India. The temples are known for erotic sculptures made immortal in stone by the Chandela rulers between the 9th and 10th century AD. All of the surviving 22 temples are now divided into three categories. The finest temples include the Kandariya Mahadeo Temple, Vishwanath Temple, Lakshamana Temple and the Parsvanath Temple.

Elephanta Caves, Mumbai: The Silhara kings gave Mumbai something to boast about in the Elephanta Caves. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was built between 810 AD and 1260 AD. The Elephanta caves are home to impressive sculptures. The temple of Lord Shiva that sprawls over an area of 60,000 ft is beautiful, with a main chamber and a number of subsidiary shrines.

Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Maharashtra: Situated in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, the Ajanta and Ellora Caves were discovered by a British Army Officer in 1819. The cave shrines are cut out of rock and amazing specimens of ancient Indian art. The architectural heritage built around the cave shrines is spell-binding. While Ellora flaunts 34 Hindu, Buddhist and Jain caves carved between 350 AD and 700 AD; Ajanta boasts of 29 Buddhist caves carved from 200 BC to 650 AD.

Kerala Backwaters: The backwaters of Kerala are a gift of nature to this land that is also nicknamed ĎGodís own landí. The inland lakes are connected by canals. Some of the more famous ones are Alappuzha, Kuttanad, Kottayam and Kollam. In fact, the best way to explore exotic Kerala is to take a house boat cruise or íkettuvallamí.

Beaches of Goa: Small things do come in big packages, and thatís Goa. Depsite being one of the smallest states in India, Goa remains a top destination for its pristine waters and warms sands throughout the year. The 131 km long coastline includes popular beach destinations like Miramar, Calangute, Anjuna, Baga, Majorda, Colva and Palolem. If fun in the sun is your taste, Goa may very well be your place!

Kaziranga National Park, Assam: Kaziranga is a World Heritage Site, famous for the one horned rhino. Situated on the banks of the Bhrahmaputra, Kaziranga sprawls over an area of 480 sq. kms. The site also flaunts lush tea gardens and lots and lots of tall elephant grass. The park is the natural habitat of wild buffalos, deer, wild elephants and more than 450 species of birds.

Again, these are just some of the attractions to see in India. So budget your time wisely and because there is so much to see, make sure you have a proper plan in place before you arrive.