Perhaps it is only natural that for a country that about 1.4 billion in population and so wide a variety; one should expect its terrain to be filled with a plethora of unique and memorable places that linger forever in our minds.
For those who might be interested in visiting the world’s second most populated country; you should perhaps have more than the country’s diverse population as a reason for wanting to do so.
The beautiful and storied land of India is renowned for its varieties, history, and vast diversity. Despite the recent Coronavirus travails, India remains one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, attracting backpackers, cultural enthusiasts, seekers of spiritual solitude, and just those in search of a good party.
As it is also the birthplace of yoga, it is, therefore, no surprise that many tourists travel across the world to experience a yoga retreat in India. Whatever your feelings are about India, your trip to India is certain to leave you with some of the most unforgettable memories of your life.
Here are my personal ten most memorable places you should visit should you ever visit India; or even as an Indian who wishes to explore their country.
1. Agra’s Taj Mahal
It would be a crime not to visit Agra because it is a stop that no tourist visiting India should ever mix. If you are wondering why; it is because numerous places should interest visitors to Agra. One of such iconic places is the magnificent and very famous Taj Mahal; a UNESCO World Heritage site and an eternal manifestation of love. The Taj Mahal was built by an emperor in memory of his third wife. This remarkable structure boasts intrinsically decorated interiors, peaceful gardens, and several other impressive buildings.
The Agra Fort itself, which is the sister monument of the Taj Mahal, is also a UNESCO-designated heritage site. The imposing fort dates from the year 1000 but was later renovated in the 1500s to be used as a palace. Thirteen kilometers from the Agra Fort you will find another architectural ingenuity in Akbar’s Tomb, an amazing red-ochre sandstone tomb.
Visiting Agra, and of course, the Taj Mahal should be the highlight of any tourist’s visit to India.
2. Varanasi: The Sacred City of Hindus and the Buddhists
If your quest is to feel the essence of Hindu spirituality, then the sacred city of Varanasi would be just the right place to do it. A walk by the ghats along the River Ganges in this Uttar Pradesh city is not an experience that any visitor there is ever going to forget in a hurry.
While this city is very much alive and vibrant, it is also basically about the deep spiritual musings about death and rebirth. At Varanasi, you are given a firsthand experience to see public cremation ceremonies that are carried out at the Ganges during the day, and by night, you have the opportunity to witness the Hindu Aarti ritual. The Aarti ritual is part of puja (worship) where the worshippers offer light to the gods at the different ghats.
A visit to Varanasi is certainly not for the squeaky as devout men known as sadhus, alongside the babas and aghoris spend their days congregating around the ghats. Often distinguished by their swathes of orange clothing, the sadhus are a common sight with the babas who are regarded as the spiritual gurus, and the aghoris who typify the bizarre by covering themselves in cremation ashes and drinking the blood of the dead.
3. Kapaleeshawarar Temple of the Hindus
Boasting of some of the most exquisite Hindu temples and ruins; Chennai and the state of Tamil Nadu authentically lay claim to being one of India’s most spiritual regions. Situated in the Mylapore region in Chennai, formerly known as Madras; it is here that you will find the amazing Hindu Kapaleeshwarar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva with an outstanding rainbow-colored tower (gopuram), with a large pool within its walls.
Add to this wonderful spiritual sight the ever-busy Marina beach, which is the second-longest urban beach in the world, a hectic stretch of land complete with a market and its lighthouse. And close by, at the San Thome Cathedral, those of the Christian faith can attend mass and pay a visit to the tomb of St Thomas, the apostle that resides there.
4. The ‘Blue City of Jodhpur
Jodhpur in Rajasthan is known as the ‘Blue City’ as most of the buildings in the city are painted in a Brahmin blue colour which the residents chose to distinguish themselves as Brahmins.
But the choice of blue as the common colour for painting their buildings isn’t the only interesting piece of history to be found here because it is also home to the Umaid Bhawan Palace, the Jaswant Thada marble building, the beautiful Mandore Gardens; and also home to the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort within which lies the personal collection of riches of Maharaja Gaj Singh II’s, with over 15,000 treasures to see inside the walls of the fort.
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Jul 03, 2021
by Eguaogie Eghosa