Travelling experience in India is a blend of historical legacy, architecture and royal splendour. JETTT.com invites you to explore the mesmerizing beauty of snow clad Himalayan ranges, serene backwaters and river cruises, desert camps in sand dunes and metropolitan city culture. Before starting any tour, we want you to get handsome amount of knowledge of destinations, and with this thought JETTT.com illustrates most of the famous India tourist destinations.
The capital city of India, is famous for its culture, tradition and for its Mughal, Afghan, Hindu and British architecture. Delhi is the second most widely used entry point into the country, being on the route of most major airlines. It is a medley of momentous past and vivacious present.
Delhi is also famous for shopping, from bustling local markets to malls selling premium products, the city caters to all. Connaught Place is at the heart of downtown Delhi and is the prime shopping area. Apart from CP, Dilli Haat is a treasure house of Indian culture, handicrafts and ethnic cuisine. It is unique bazaar that displays the richness of Indian culture on a permanent basis.
The Rajpath, stretching from India Gate to the Presidential Palace, is among the broad avenues of New Delhi. Facing each other at either end of Lodi Road, lie the constructions marking two ends of the great tradition of Mughal garden tombs: Humayun’s Tomb, its genesis, and Safdarganj’s Tomb, its last gasp. Here too, lie the remains of six cities which preceded Old Delhi, most notably the Qutub Minar and the rambling ruins of Tughlugabad. Akshardham Temple in New Delhi epitomizes 10,000 years of Indian culture in all its breathtaking grandeur and beauty. The other famous tourist places are: Lotus Temple, Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Raj Ghat and ISKCON Temple among others.
Where to eat: Apart from the monuments, mosques and temples, Delhi is a food lover’s delight! From street food roadside dhabas, to fine dining restaurants and international fast food chains, the city offers variety in food according to your taste and wallet. Good places to enjoy Mughlai delicacies are at Karims in Jama Masjid and Nizamuddin, Delhi ka Aangan at the Hyatt Regency, Darbar at the Ashoka Hotel. At a modest budget enjoy a true Mughlai feast at Gulatis at Pandara Road, Angeethi in Asiad Village. Good Thai platters can be enjoyed at Sukothai at the Hauz Khas Village, Mexican Enchiladas, Tacos can be relished at Rodeo in Connaught Place, Chinese at Bercos.
To discover more places to eat around Delhi, visit http://www.zomato.com/ncr/restaurants
Rajasthan is a land of artistic enchantments and is dotted by innumerable tourist destinations. Rajasthan is a host of varied destinations like: Ajmer, Jaipur, Bharatpur, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Mount Abu, Pushkar, Udaipur and many more. Every destination gives you a glimpse of the rich historical and colourful Rajasthan.
Jaipur: Jaipur, the vibrant state capital, is known as the “Pink City” due to its reddish paint applied to its ornate facades and palaces. Jaipur is known for its ancient forts, traditional arts and crafts. Places to visit are The City Palace, Jal Mahal, Jaigarh Fort, Amber Fort, Albert Hall, Laxmi Narayan Temple. The uniqueness in Jaipur are Hot Air Balloon Safari and Bollywood Experience at Raj Mandir.
Where to eat: A host of eateries in Jaipur carry the popular Rajasthani food combination of Daal-Baati-Churma, vegetable dishes like Gatte Ki Sabji, Mangori, Pakodi and Ker Sangri which is best served at Choki Dhaani. Tourists can enjoy the meal sitting on the floor and the place also combines a bazaar with vendors selling their wares, folk dance and music, camel rides all to give the true feel of a Rajasthani village. Another famous eatery is the Lakshmi Mishthaan Bhandar, at Jauhari Bazaar where you can grab Ghewar. For palatial experience, visit Rambagh Palace, Jai Mahal Palace, Swapna Mahal for experience of luxury and grandeur.
To discover more places to eat around Jaipur, visit http://www.zomato.com/jaipur/restaurants
Jodhpur: Jodhpur, the “Blue City”, is centred on a labyrinthine old walled town, whose sky-blue mass of cubic houses is overlooked by India’s most imposing hilltop fort. Places of attraction in Jodhpur are Mehrangarh Fort, Umaid Bhawan Palace. Osian camel safaris and camps, Bishnoi Village Jeep Safari and Vintage car joyride give the unique experiences in Jodhpur.
Where to eat: Rajasthani people are food lovers and so are Jodhpuries. To savour a variety of local cuisines, visit Uttam Restuarant for rajasthani thalis, Jodhpur Coffee House south Indian snacks, On the Rocks for food options with live folk music and dance, or Umaid Bhavan for an up-market palatial experience.
Jaisalmer:Jaisalmer, built from local sandstone, is termed the “Golden City”. It was founded in 12th century and is covered with sand dunes. The places of visit are Jaisalmer Fort, Jain Temples and The Havelis of Jaisalmer.
Where to eat: Trio is one of the most famous restaurants serving authentic Rajasthani cuisines. Choki Dhani is another place where you can relish Rajasthani food. Other major fast food joints have also been opened in the city.
Udaipur: Udaipur hasn’t gained a colour tag yet, but it could be called the “White City”: coated in decaying lime wash, its waterside palaces and havelis. The City Palace is a jewel in Udaipur’s crown. This palace houses Baari Mahal, Dilkush Mahal and Moti Mahal. The Lake Palace is mesmerizing palace floating on Lake Pichola.
Where to eat:Spicy Rajasthani delicacies can be relished at The Savage Gardens, Jagat Niwas Palace. Taj Lake Palace is famous for its luxurious and dazzling dining.
Bikaner: Bikaner, the desert city is also well worth a stopover for its fine fort, havelis and the unique “rat temple” at nearby Deshnok. Junagarh fort is a formidable structure encircled by a moat and has some beautiful palaces within. Shri Lakshminath Temple is the temple where foundation of Bikaner was laid. Visit Karni Mata temple where thousands of rats are worshipped for a truly unique experience.
Where to eat: Bikaner is famous for its savoury snacks and sweets. The Harasar Haveli is a rooftop restaurant offering variety of Mughlai and Tandoori dishes. The Amber Restuarant is famous for vegetarian thalis.
Another attraction is Rajasthan’s wonderful wildlife sanctuaries. Of these, the popular tiger-sanctuary at Ranthambore is most popular, while the Keoladeo National Park at Bharatpur, on the eastern border of Rajasthan near Agra, is unmatched in South Asia for its incredible avian population.
Rajasthan’s vibrant local costumes are most dazzling during the state’s festivals. Various festivals of Rajasthan in different months are as follows:
Two-day event in Jaisalmer occurs in February.
Brightly painted elephants march through the streets of Jaipur, concluding with an extraordinary elephant-versus-mahout tug of war in the month of March.
The ranas of Udaipur celebrate Holi with traditional dances, the lighting of a sacred fire, and music by the city’s famous bagpipe orchestra mostly in the months of March & April.
This festival is celebrated best in Jaisalmer and Mount Abu. Women pray for their husbands, and unmarried girls wish for good ones.
Pushkar Camel Fair
The world’s largest livestock market and Rajasthan’s most colourful festival celebrated in November.
Rani Sati Mela
Vast crowds gather in Jhunjhunu in the month of August for a day of prayers and dances in memory of a merchant’s widow who committed sati in 1595.
Ruffled by the lower ridges of the Shivalik Range in the far south, cut through by the Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar ranges in the northwest, and dominated by the great Himalayas in the north and east, Himachal Pradesh is India’s most popular hill state.
Himachal Pradesh with its varied hill stations, pilgrimage sites, adventure sports and exotic wildlife constitutes rich heritage and culture of India. The most popular destinations are: Shimla, Manali, Dallhousie, Dharamshala, Kufri, Kullu and many more.
Shimla: Shimla is famous for its colonial style buildings and provides mesmerizing views from Scandal Point, Chadwick Falls and the Viceregal Lodge on Observatory Hill. Also, the old Christ Church, with its beautiful stained glass windows, is one of Shimla’s most prominent landmarks. You can also experience Fishing, Skiing, Golf and Ice Skating at Kufri and Shimla.
Where to eat: Baljees(The Mall), Cecil(The Oberoi), Solitaire Restaurant(The Mall) and many more restaurants are available in and around The Mall.
Manali: Manali offers a blend of tranquillity and adventure. Located in the Kullu Valley, Manali is a mystic place bordered by cool pine forest and the stormy Beas River, which gives it exceptional energy. Manali is popular with domestic tourists, giving rise to an eclectic mix of honeymooners, holiday-makers, trekkers and traders. Hadimba Devi Temple which is surrounded by a beautiful cedar forest at the foot of the Himalayas is built over a huge rock jutting out of the ground. Rohtang Pass provides a wide breathtaking view of mountains rising far above clouds. Rahala water falls and Rozy Falls look amazing between high hills. Visitors can enjoy hot water baths from natural sulphur springs of Vashisht. Trekking, Paragliding and Rock Climbing are other adventure sports that Manali offers.
Where to eat: The Lazy Dog has an extensive multi-cuisine menu and is one of the favourite hangouts in Manali. Visit RedHouse Cafe for freshly cooked food, live music and entertainment. Bob Dylan’s Cafe is the most popular destination after a day’s sightseeing which serves most delicious cookies and sandwiches. There are also other local eating places ranging from Tibetan food to Dhabas.
Dharamsala and MacLeod Ganj: Dharamshala is the center of the Tibetan exile world in India. Following the 1959 Tibetan uprising there was an influx of Tibetan refugees who followed the 14th Dalai Lama. His presence and the Tibetan population has made Dharamshala a popular destination for Indian and foreign tourists, where people flock to Dharamsala and MacLeod Ganj to undertake Buddhist meditation and philosophy courses, Tibetan cooking classes, Tibetan language courses, and to receive alternative therapies. One of the main attractions of Dharamshala is Triund hill which is one day trek at the upper reaches of McLeodGanj, about 9 km from McLeodGanj. Dip Thekchen Choeling Monastery is the best place to know about Buddhist faith. Norbulingka Institute is famous for producing Tibetan artifacts. Visit Chamunda Devi temple that holds immense reverence for devout Hindus.
Where to eat: For Tibetan cuisine, enjoy at New Memory Cafe, Tibet Kitchen and Mount View. To relish the taste of Indian Food, visit Taste of India, Taraghar Palace. For International Fusion, places like Dream Chasers Alley, Khanna Nirvana are famous.
Dalhousie: Dalhousie is a beautiful tourist spot and a gateway to the ancient Chamba Hill State. Located on the western edge of the Dhauladhar mountain range of the Himalayas, it is surrounded by snow-capped peaks. This hill station is a repository of ancient Hindu culture, art, temples, and handicrafts preserved under the longest-running single dynasty since the mid-6th century. Kalatope Wildlife Sanctuary is located a short drive away from Dalhousie. The best time to visit is in the summer, and the peak tourist season is from May to September.Alla is the major tourist attraction which is a potato field and offers mesmerizing scenic landscape. Other places to visit are Dainkund Peak, Bakrota Hills, Khajjiar, Dalhousie Cantonment.
Where to eat: Garam Sadak serves good Chinese cuisine. There are many Punjabi dhabas at Subhash Chowk. Other good restaurants can be found at Gandhi Chowk and Subhash Chowk.
Kullu: Kullu is a broad open valley formed by the shining Beas river between Manali and Largi. This Silver Valley is famous for its temples, beauty and its majestic hills covered with Pine and Deodar Forest and sprawling Apple Orchards. The “Valley of Gods” is famous hotspot for adventure sports like trekking, river rafting, mountaineering and hiking. The idol of Lord Raghunathji, brought from Ayodhya became the presiding deity of the valley.
Where to eat: Enjoy meals at local dhaabhas and popular snacks like Pakoras, Chhole Bhature and Momos here. Variety of cuisines can be enjoyed in Kullu including Chinese, Continental and Indian as well as delicious sea food. German Bakery is famous for snacks and pastries. The local wine made from barley and red rice, known as ‘Chakti’ and ‘Lugri’, is found in most restaurants in Kullu.
Jammu & Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir has been famous for its natural beauty since time immemorial and has been aptly described as “heaven on earth”. Kashmir boasts of some of the most beautiful flowering meadows and snow-capped peaks. Kashmir valley is famous for its beautiful mountains, Dal Lake, houseboats, sparkling rivers, startling gardens and regal Chinar trees. Jammu’s numerous shrines like Vaishno Devi, Katra, Raghunath Temple and Ranbireshwar Temple attract tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims every year. The major tourist attractions are: Srinagar, known for lakes and houseboats, Gulmarg known for world’s highest golf courses, Pahalgam and Sonmarg. Bhau Fort in Jammu city is the major attraction centre for the tourists visiting the city.
Where to eat: Most of the restaurants serve Kashmiri, Indian and Continental cuisine. Eateries specializing in Chinese cuisine can be found near Nehru Park. Residency Road and Vir Marg offer fast food options as well as multi-cuisine.
Vaishno Devi: This holiest Hindu Pilgrimage site located around 12 km away from Katra is a divine shrine cave where most of the people visit to change their misfortunes by worshipping goddess. There are three rock cut statues in the 100 feet long cave. The middle one represents Goddess Lakshmi, right statue represents Goddess Kali and left one represents Goddess Saraswati. Other tourist attractions are Bhumika Temple, Darshani Darwaza, Adhkunwari Temple, Kalika Temple, Ram Mandir, Shiva Goompha.
Gulmarg: Gulmarg is the heartland of winter sports in India. The snow-clad mountains, lush green forests and hill resorts make it Asia’s only heli-skiing resort. Gulmarg also attracts outdoor sports fanatics with its world class golfing, trekking, mountain biking, horse riding, water skiing, and fishing. Take a Gondola ride to enjoy the magnificient sights from Kongdori at the top. The Alpathar Lake, about 13 km from Gulmarg, is a scenic alpine lake that remains frozen for first half of the year. There are a few places of religious importance near the resort within a 5 to 20 km radius like Baba Reshi, Haji Murad at Kreeri and Tangmarg.
Where to eat: Gulmarg offers variety of vegetarian and non- vegetarian food. Bakshi’s Green Punjabi Dhaba offers delicious vegetarian food. Global Hotel and Restaurant is another good place for western food.
Srinagar: Surrounded by the great peaks of the Karakoram, Zanskar, and Pir Panjal ranges, Srinagar is the capital of Jammu and Kashmir and the city lies on both the banks of the Jhelum River, which is the lifeline of Srinagar.
Srinagar is well known for its lakes and gardens, specifically Dal Lake and Mughal Gardens. Dal Lake is divided into four causeways and lined with splendid chinars. The waters of the Dal Lake are dotted with small willow covered islands from where Mihrbahri people trade in flowers, fruits and vegetables grown on floating igardens of these small islands. The pleasure garden of the Mughals includes Chasma Shahi (the royal fountains); Pari Mahal (the palace of the fairies); Nishat Bagh (the garden of spring); Sahlimar Bagh; and the Nashim Bagh. Other interesting places to see in Srinagar are Hari Parbat, Shankaracharya Temple, Jamia Masjid and Hazratbal Shrine.
Where to eat: The restaurants along Residency Road and Lal Chowk serve Kashmiri cuisine. Most of the famous restaurants are Ahdoos Restaurant (Kashmiri food), Tafree Restaurant (multi cuisine), and Mughal Darbar (multi cuisine) Restaurant.
Leh: Leh, the capital and center of Ladakh is bound by snow-laden peaks of the Himalayas and numerous monasteries. Various roadside restaurants, cafés, local shops selling curios and several trekking and rafting options add to the charm of Leh.
The most prominent place to see in Leh is the 16th century towering Leh Palace overlooking town’s lanes and markets. Namgyal Tsemo Gompa (Red Gompa) built in the 15th century by Tashi Namgyal. The Leh Mosque, within the Main Bazaar, is a Sunni prayer house built in the 1660’s. Shanti Stupa or Peace Pagoda is a white stupa built by the Peace Sect of Japan in the 80’s. The sides of the stupa depict stories from the life of the Buddha. Leh and Ladakh possess long stone walls with prayers engraved on them, a form of Buddhist ritual worship. These are called Mani Walls.
Where to eat: Leh serves spectrum of dishes including Chinese, Korean, Continental and Tibetan food. Budshah Inn is the place for authentic Kashmiri cuisines. Leh hosts 36-course grand feast called Wazawan. Tibetan cuisine is best served at The Himalaya Cafe. Whereas Dreamland Restaurant is the place to go for Tibetan, Kashmiri, Indian and Italian food.
Uttar Pradesh, the heartland of Hindu religion, is the most charismatic state of India. It is known for its heritage, culture, and is gifted with rich natural wealth. Few of the most famous cities that attract tourist are Agra, Varanasi, Allahabad, Ayodhya, Vrindavan, Mathura, Lucknow, Kushinagar, Chitrakoot.
Agra: Agra was the chosen city of the Mughal emperors during the early years. It was here that the founder of the dynasty, Babur, laid out the first formal Persian garden on the banks of the River Yamuna. Here, Akbar, his grandson, raised the towering ramparts of the great Red Fort. Within its walls, Jehangir built rose-red palaces, courts and gardens. Shahjahan embellished it with marbled mosques, palaces and pavillions of gem-inlaid white marble. Agra is globally renowned as the city of the Taj Mahal, a monument of love and imagination, that represents India to the world. There are many other monuments like Agra Fort, Itmad-ud-daula, Fatehpur Sikri that attract tourist from all over the world.
Where to eat: The most popular cuisine in Agra is Mughlai. Most of the good restaurants are in Sadar Bazaar and Cantonment areas. There are lot of inexpensive eating places in Taj Ganj, around Taj Mahal. Agra offers variety of options for night owls. The Downtown Club, The Tequila Mansingh Palace, the roof top Mughal Bar in Hotel Clarks Shiraz, The Downing Street Bar in Hotel Howard Park Plaza.
Allahabad: Allahabad is the sacred city of Uttar Pradesh where three holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati meet known as Triveni Sangam. It is here at the Sangam that Hindus gather for holy dip especially during Kumbha Mela, held every 12 years. Other attractions are the Allahabad Fort that stands at the eastern bank of Yamuna. Mankameshwar temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. To the south of the Allahabad’s main railway station lie the Mughal gardens known as Khusrau Bagh. Allahabad Museum displays ancient sculptures, magnificient paintings, artistic works and collection of photographs.
Where to eat: Allahabad is not famous much for restaurants but particularly popular are El Chino for multicuisine, Shahenshah for Mughlai, Jade Garden for Chinese.
Ayodhya: This holy city is believed to be the birth place of Lord Rama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. This city has a history which is celebrated by the Hindu religion as Diwali. At Ayodhya several religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism have grown and prospered simultaneously. Many tourist attractions like Hanumangarh temple, Jain shrine, Kanak Bhawan, Janmasthan and various other temples.
Mathura and Vrindavan: Vrindavan situated in the district of Mathura is an important pilgrimage site for Hindus. Vrindavan is synonymous with the innocent mirth and childlike playfulness of Shri Krishna. Krishna was raised in the cow herding village of Gokul by his foster parents. Vrindavan, the dusty little town known is known for the temples, big and small, famous and remote all over the place. Some important tourist attractions are: Krishna Janam Bhoomi – the birthplace of Lord Krishna, Govindaji temple, Vishram ghat, Iskcon temple, Banke Bihari temple, Radha Raman temple. Krishna Janmashtmi is celebrated in this sacred city with vigor and enthusiasm.
Where to eat: Mathura and Vrindavan is famous for its chaat and Mathura Peda. There and other tasty local delicacies available outside Banke Bihari Temple and Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi.
Lucknow: The capital city of Uttar Pradesh, is associated with legendary hospitality, culture and mannerism, and world known cuisine. It is majorly known for its work in the field of poetry, music and dance. The major tourist attractions are: Bara Imambara, Chota Imambara, The Residency, Rumi Darwaza, Sikandar Bagh and Clock Tower. The place is famous for shopping Lucknow chikankari work over pure cotton cloths, zardozi and jewellery. Lucknow is a city of Nawabs, Tehzeeb and Kebabs.
Where to eat: Oudhyana gives Lucknow’s famous Awadh cuisine. Tunday Kebabi is a 100 year old kebab shop that serves up delicious plates of mutton biryani, kebabs and tandoori chicken. Moti Mahal restaurant serves delicious vegetarian food.
To discover more places to eat around Delhi, visit http://www.zomato.com/lucknow/restaurants
Varanasi: It is situated on the banks of River Ganges and known as the oldest city of the world. It is often referred to as “the city of temples”. The pilgrims visit Varanasi as it is believed to have the power of washing away all of one’s sins. The most interesting part of the city is its ghats. The holy city has been a symbol of spiritualism, thinking and religion for thousands of years. It is not just important for Hindus, but has links with Buddhism and Jainism as well. It was at Sarnath close by, that Buddha preached his first sermon and Lord Mahavir also revealed his Jain Philosophy at Kashi – nearby.
Varanasi is also renowned for silk weaving where finest types of silk woven fabrics are prepared. Main sights are
Jantar Mantar, Sarnath Museum, Ramnagar Fort, Ghats and Temples. For entertainment in evening, visit the Clarks Cultural Centre where program begins with Ganga aarti followed by dance and music performances.
Where to eat: Nadesar Palace is a heaven of peace where dining is an indulgent experience.Ganga Fuji restaurant serves multi-cuisine food. El Parador serves Mexican and Continental cuisine and offers dining at roof-top. Varanasi’s lassi is not to be missed and that is best served at Shiv Prasad Lassi Bhandar.
Kushinagar: Kushinagar is an ancient city and is named after sacred death-place of Lord Buddha. Mahaparinirvana Stupa is the place where Lord Buddha attained nirvana. Ramabhar Stupa is the cremation place of Lord Buddha. The holy waters of Hiranyawati River flows at the back of Ramabhar Stupa. Wattthai Temple is built in Thai Buddhist architectural style. A beautiful Ashta Dhatu (eight metal) statue of Lord Buddha which was brought from Japan, can be seen at Japanese temple.
Sarnath: Sarnath is one of the three holiest sites for Buddhists in India. The town has a cluster of monasteries, stupas and Ashoka column. Dhamekh Stupa is the largest structure where Buddha delivered his first sermon. The Dharmarajika stupa, Mulagandha Kuti Vihara, Shreyanshnath temple are other popular sites in Sarnath.
Where to eat: Friend’s Corner Tibetan Restaurant is famous for momos and Tibetan dumpling. Experience the spicy food at Highway Inn restaurant and south Indian food at Green Hut. Modern Reception Centre, Anand Restaurant, Rangoli Garden, Open Restaurant are few other good options in Sarnath.
Uttrakhand has long been called “Land of the gods” as the state has some of the holiest Hindu shrines, and for more than a thousand years, pilgrims have been visiting the region in the hopes of salvation and purification from sin. Uttrakhand is a place of natural beauty, divinity and meditation.
Rishikesh: Located at the foothills of Himalayas in Northern India, Rishikesh is nicknamed as “the world capital of Yoga”. This is the place where the Beatles met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and began their quest for spiritual salvation. Rishikesh is a popular spot for white water rafting enthusiasts. It is also a centre for hiking, backpacking and bungee jumping.
Laxman Jhoola and Triveni Ghat are other popular sites to be visited. Haridwar, an hour to south of Rishikesh, is loacated at a point where Ganges emerges from Himalayas. The most important place in Haridwar is “Har ki Pauri” ghat where every evening, thousands of pilgrims gather to offer prayers to river Ganges and float Diyas and incense on the river, commemorating their deceased ancestors. Haridwar is one of the four sites where the great Kumbh Mela takes place every 12 years.
Where to eat: The food at Haridwar and Rishikesh is simple and reasonable. The range includes North Indian and South Indian thalis, with some restaurants also opening early for breakfast.
Apart from larger restaurants, smaller eateries including the famous ‘Chotiwala’ serve inexpensive tasty food.
Dehradun: Dehradun is in the Doon Valley on the foothills of the Himalayas nestled between two of India’s mightiest rivers — the Ganges on the east and the Yamuna on the west. This hill station is a world full of adventure, spiritualism and tranquillity, amidst the Shivalik ranges, Dehradun is an entry point for all the trekkers and mountaineers on to their journey into the Garhwal Himalayas. Places for sightseeing are Tiger Falls, Sahastradhara with its sulphur springs, Forest Research Institute.
Where to eat: The best place for a good meal is at the Hotel President at Astley Hall. Kumar Sweets is famous for mango shakes and Ellora cannot be missed for its bakery varieties. Countdown at Astley Hall area serves scrumptious Chinese and Indian meal.
Nainitaal: Nainital is a perfect getaway from the plains of northern India and has been named after the legendary Naini Lake. Known for its salubrious climate and scenic beauty, the Nainital town is a popular health resort and attracts tourists around the year. The exquisiteness of the Nainital Lake is magnified during the night when its sparkling waters flirt with the numerous lights hanging on its edges, and lend it a magnificent aura. The water activities like yachting, boating and paddling makes it enticing during the day. Few of the places to visit are Temple of Naini Devi, The Church of St. John and The Secretariat. Visit the vantage point of Snow View for the mesmerizing Himalayan peaks. Dorothy’s Seat offers panoramic city view.
Where to eat: Restaurants in Nainital serve all kinds of cuisines. Enjoy the Punjabi food at Sher-e-Punjab and Moti Mahal. Relish the fast food at Flattis and Embassy restaurants whereas the momos at roadside joints.
Mussoorie: Nestled in the Dehradun district in North India, Mussoorie is situated in the foothills of Garhwal Himalayan ranges. The lush green hills and the majestic view of Shivalik ranges and Doon valley attract hundreds of tourists every year. Apart from scenic beauty, it has also gained importance. Several places of tourist interest are The Mall that extends from Cloud’s End to Rockville. Childer’s Lodge is the highest point in the area that offers great views of snow peaks. From the second highest peak of Mussoorie, Gun Hills offers exhilarating view of Himalayan ranges and of the town. Kempty Falls are a must to visit in Mussoorie.
Madhya Pradesh situated at the centre of India is known as “Heart of India”. This state is known for its religious hubs of Hinduism, Jainism and Islam, Buddhism, impregnable forts, exquisitely carved Jain temples and palaces, which remind the golden era of the royal Kings and Maharajahs. Madhya Pradesh is not only known for its architectural and living heritage but is also renowned for natural attractions like wildlife parks and sanctuaries, national reserve park, pilgrimage, hill stations and beautiful landscape.
Bhopal: Bhopal, also known as the ‘city of lakes’, has woody forests, breathtaking landscapes and splendid hills. The city attracts travellers from all over the world for its art, custom and traditions. Taj ul Masjid, the ‘crown of mosques’ is reputed to be one of the largest in India. Not far away is the elegant Sadar Manzil, the hall of public audience of the Nawabs of Bhopal. Upper Lake is a natural attraction and the beauty of the serene lake brings together people to spend some time at peace here. The sunrise and sunset at the place is quite superb. Overlooking the Upper Lake at Shamla Hills is present a very interesting Tribal Habitat Museum also called the Museum of Man. This museum is an open air exhibition of contemporary, life-size, tribal dwellings from all over India and ancient rock shelters. In this area of Shamla Hills, a unique institute designed by the architect Charles Correa, Bharat Bhawan, is constructed which is devoted to the preservation of performing arts and traditional folk culture. Birla Mandir, a famous Laxmi Narayan temple, is situated at the highest point of Bhopal, from where one can have a panoramic view of the city.Bhopal is also a good base for nearby excursions like Bhojpur(famous for 2.3m maha lingam at 11th century Shiva temple), Sanchi(site of oldest Buddha stupa in the world) and , Bhimbhetka(renowned for pre-historic Stone Age Rock shelters and cave paintings).
Where to eat: Bhopal is known for char-grilled kebabs, fresh nans and breads, steaming plates of biryani and rich curries that are best found in the inner city chowk with its lanes and bylanes. The rest of the city offers regular restaurants serving a medley of tandoori, South Indian, Chinese and continental dishes.
Indore: Indore, the ‘Commercial Capital of Madhya Pradesh’, is the largest city in the state and is known for its cuisine, Maheshwari and Chanderi saris. It is the only city in India to have both Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). There are various tourist destinations of historical importance. Central Museum is a striking building that boasts of some of the finest collection of Parmar sculptures from Hinglajgarh. Chhattris, are the cenotaphs built in the memory of the Holkar rulers. Rajwada, is a seven storied structure, and is a seamless blend of Maratha, Mughal and French architecture. Kanch Mandir, is a temple made of glass and mirrors and patterned ceramic tiles. The temple boasts of more than 50 murals depicting Jain stories. Lal Bagh Palace on the outskirts of the city gives the visitor an out of the world experience with its lavish decorations in the style of Versailles Palace, Italian marble columns, grand chandeliers, rich Persian carpets, Belgium stained glass windows, and Greek mythological reliefs. Omkareshwar, town at a distance of 77kms from Indore, is of the holiest Hindu sites due to the presence of Jyotirlingam.
Where to eat: There are many multi-cuisine restaurants in the city, which serve Indian, Chinese and international cuisine. Local food items like Poha Jalebi are very popular among the visitors. Chokhi Dhani and Nakhrali Dhani are Rajasthani heritage resorts that serve traditional Rajasthani delicacies in typical village style. The rustic Rajasthani spirit fills the environment with colours of joy along with camel rides, horse rides, bullock-cart rides, puppet shows etc.
To discover more places to eat around Delhi, visit http://www.zomato.com/indore/restaurants
Pachmarhi: Pachmarhi with its thick cover of greenery, waterfalls, ancient caves and temples is known as the “Queen of Satpura Ranges”. Dhoopgarh is the highest point in the Satpura range and is known for sunset view. The Satpura National Park is home to exotic bird and animal species. Jatashankar and Mahadeo Caves are mountain caves with fresh water dripping from them. B-Hill and B Falls and Silver Falls are simply mesmerizing. Pachmarhi with its richness in forests, medicinal plants and herbs form a rich biosphere.
Where to eat: Pachmarhi offers a variety in terms of street food. Chunmun Cottage near B Fall is one of the best places that serve Continental, Chinese and Indian food delicacies. Most hotels have in-house restaurants that serve Indian and Chinese cuisines. Kolkata Food Centre serves Bengali cuisine. China Bowl, Open Garden Restaurant, Pizza Cafe Chino, are some of the other restaurants in Pachmarhi.
Kanha National Park: Kanha National Park is a national park and a Tiger Reserve in the Mandla and Balaghat districts. Porcupines, jackals, sloth bear, jungle cat, macaque, bison and a stunning spectrum of birds inhabit Kanha, and make a trip to the sanctuary a thrilling experience for any wildlife enthusiast. Explore the tribal culture of the state at The Kanha Museum which is located near the entrance of Kisli Gateis. Sonf Meadows, Kanha Meadows, Shravan Tal, Lapsi Kabar, Dasharatha Machan, Shravan Chita are the other places to visit within the park.
Khajuraho: A historical city in the Chhatarpur district, Khahuraho is known for the appealing temples and the architecture. The temples stand on high masonry platforms, and have three sections – the ‘ardhamandapa’ or the entrance, ‘mandapa’ or assembly hall and ‘garbha griha’ or the sanctum sanctorum. The carvings and decorations in these temples depict variety of moods of human life. The largest and the most magnificent temple, is the Kandariya Mahadeo Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Other temples to be visited in Khajuraho are Chausath Yogini, Chitragupta, Vishwanath, Lakshmana, Matangeshwara, Devi Jagadamba, Parvati, Lakshmi and Varaha temples, Parsvanath temple and Chaturbhuj temple.
Where to eat: Khajuraho mainly caters to tourist trade and few experts have opened cafes like La Dolce Vita, La Terraza, and their places serve a variety of authentic European food. Khajuraho is also famous for Indian sweets like cashew burfi, jalebi, lavang lata, kusli, khurma, moong dal ka halwa.
Omkareshwar: Omkareshar is one of the 12 jyotirlings of Lord Shiva, in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh. Cradled between the Vindhya hills to the north and Satpura hills to the south, the island appears in the form of sacred Hindu symbol ‘Om’.
According to Hindu beliefs, the Shivling at Omakreshwar is made of two parts. One half is called Omkareshwar and the other Mamaleshwar. The Omkareshwar temple is the main temple and is also called Omkar Mandhata temple. Pilgrims start their parikrama or circumambulation from the ghats of the Omkareshwar temple and ends at the cave of Guru Govindpada. Pilgrims also take a dip in Narmada River to wash away their sins and get blessed. Number of visitors increase during the festival of Mahashivratri.
Other 11 jyotirlings in India are Somnath and Nageswar in Gujarat, Mallikarjun at Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh, Kedarnath in Himalayas, Mahakaleswar at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, Bhimashankar, Grishneshwar and Trimbakeshwar in Maharashtra, Viswanath at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Vaidyanath at Deogarh and Rameshwar in Tamil Nadu.
Where to eat: There are few eating options in Omkareshwar. Restuarants in Omkareshwar are multi-cuisine in nature. Most of the restaurant only offers vegetarian food. Bhojanalayas near the temple serve food items like puri-sabzi, samosa, pakodas, etc.