When you consider India as a potential trip destination, you’ll quickly find that the sightseeing opportunities within the country are nearly endless.
Being such a big place, there’s something for everyone tucked within this country’s borders.
So, to help make your decision a bit easier, we’ve come up with three of our favorite sights in India that you’d be crazy not to check out.
1. Ajanta and Ellora Caves
Nestled in the state of Maharashtra, the Ajanta and Ellora caves are two unique cave systems that you can visit in one trip.
At the Ellora cave system, there’s a stunningly complicated system of shrines that have been carefully carved out of the rocks. There are 34 of these shrines and each one is estimated to be up to 1,500 years old, dating back to the 5th century.
The Ajanta cave system, which is only two hours away, boasts 29 caves that have been carved from granite cliffs, each one decorated with paintings and murals that represent Buddhist stories and teachings. There are two types of caves in this system, monasteries and sanctuaries. There’s a lot to learn in this cave system, so it’s well worth the drive from Ellora.
Both cave systems are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Darjeeling is a small city located in West Bengal. It’s known by travelers and locals alike for its lush green tea plantations and for being home to the world’s third tallest mountain, the Khangchendzonga.
Beyond the Khangchendzonga, there are gorgeous snow-capped peaks and plenty of mountain biking and extreme hiking trail, so be sure to bring your best pair of running shoes and plenty of water—read more here.
You’ll also find plenty of serene Buddhist monasteries to explore and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, which offers tourists a scenic two-hour train ride from Darjeeling to Ghum—a ride that’s sad to be one of the most beautiful train rides in the world.
In Northeastern India, Meghalaya is the perfect destination for anyone and everyone who enjoys being outdoors in nature. Here, you’ll find an abundance of natural beauty and wonders including waterfalls, dense forests, and crystal-clear lakes and rivers. In addition, there are also a ton of great places to go camping and plenty of opportunities to explore cave systems since there are so many thick forests and sloping hills.
One of the best sights you’ll come across here, however, is the man-made living root bridges. These giant bridges are made up of the roots of living trees and have been standing for over 200 years.
QUICK TIP: If you’d rather be doing something than admiring something, take a trip to Umai Lake where you can spend the day doing water sports like kayaking, water scooting, swimming, and water skiing on the 10km lake.
Alternatively, you could opt to explore the village of Mawlynnog where you can spend time with locals and learn how India’s most eco-friendly village does its part to keep the Earth and air healthy.
India is a place of true wonder. The country has everything from bustling cities to tiny remote towns, treeless beaches to dense forests, and all the outdoor activities that one could ask for! The Ellora and Ajanta caves, Meghalaya, and Darjeeling are only three of India’s most beloved tourist destinations but they are, in our humble opinion, some of the best.
Image by Debashis RC Biswas