Our favorite Indian destinations

posted in: Asia, Cities, Culture, Heritage, India, Nature | 30

Last week, when I posted an article on my favorite place in Rajasthan, I realised that it really was one of my favorite but not the absolute one. I questioned myself – “if there was an absolute favorite that I would have picked in India – which one would it be?

With so much of variety in India – the nature, the heritage and history, it is quite difficult to pick that one place. It was a tough question and while I pondered, I put up the same question to a few fellow bloggers. It is interesting how similar the our reactions were –
“What? One favorite place?”
“Tough to pick one favorite, I have loads”
“I am not sure as I have lots of favorites… let me think and give you one favorite.
Eventually, as I insisted on picking one, here is what each one of us picked. Starting with Abhinav Singh of Abhinav’s Soul Window .
 Abhinav is a Delhi based travel blogger who has traveled to 100 destinations in 20 states of India since 2010. Though he enjoys all genres of travel but passionate about adventure, trekking, rural tourism, spiritual, wildlife and eco- tourism and specializes in budget travel. He picked Varanasi as his favorite destination in India and here is why –
Dev Deepawali Celebrations in Varanasi                                                  Image Credits: Abhinav Singh
“I was born in Varanasi, but I was still an infant when we left it. I had zilch memory of the pious city, regarded as one the oldest and continually habituated city. Until my 27th birthday. I decided to discover and reconnect with my birthplace alone on my birthday. Luckily for me my birthday fell on Dev Deepawali. It’s a festival unique to Varanasi. All the river facing ghats are lit with thousands of mud diyas, the air infused with the scent of incense sticks, and delicate fragrance of marigold and rose petals. It was the day for Maha Aarti. The stage was set and performers hypnotized all with their well synchronized moves rhyming with conch shell sounds and bells. It was a surreal moment. A moment I could not have experienced anywhere but in Varanasi. It filled me with a positive spiritual energy. 5 years have passed and that moment has stayed. No wonder Varanasi is my favorite city. I feel blessed to be born in a city so culturally rich and ancient.”
Next, I checked with Mridula Dwivedi of Travel tales from India on her one favorite place in India.
Mridula or if I may say “Dr. Mridula” is an ex-professor, who quit her job this year to travel and travel blog. She says she does miss the salary but not the work. Her pick in India is Spiti and this is what she says about it –
“My favorite region in India is Spiti, Himachal Pradesh. It is the surreal landscapes that spell magic for me. I have been there thrice but I have still explored very little. It is a difficult to reach region. There is no civilian airport so road is the only way to go. There is more mud, water and stone than tar on the road. I have visited Kaza, Dhankar, Langza, Tabo, Komik, and a few other villages in the area. Homestay is an option in all the villages. And then there is Chandratal, the beautiful high altitude lake where tents are the only accommodation.  It is a must see region for any mountain lover.”
Dhankar Village, Spiti                                                                                                                          Image Credits: Mridula Dwivedi
Interestingly, the next blogger on my list had the same choice – Spiti as her favorite destination.
Richa Gupta of Travel and Stories is yet another travel blogger who quit her corporate job to take it a little slower in life. Her passion for travel has taken her to various destinations where she feels that every part of the travel has given her a new perspective to life. Here is what she replied when I asked her to pick that one destination that was her favorite in India –
“It’s a herculean task to pick a favourite place in a country so vibrant and rich like India. To make my job a tad easier, I would make a pick from places I visited in 2015.
Spiti                                                                                                          Image Credits: Richa Gupta
A week in Spiti Valley was one of my best experiences this year. I visited Spiti just after monsoons at the cusp of high and low season and it turned out just the way I wanted it. Low on tourists and high on pristine beauty. The monsoons had settled the dust and all one could see was endless deep blue sky, indomitable Trans-Himalayan range and clouds being moody every now and then. Initial 3 days were spent in trips to nearby villages and monasteries. But, soon after that I decided to settle-in with a book and lots of ginger-lemon-honey tea in Kaza. I spent the rest of week doing nothing but reading, walking and looking at those mountains!” 
Coming to my fourth blogger – the elusive Arti of My Yatra Diary . 
Arti is a 20 something blogger who is found traveling along with her best friend – her father. She claims that she has inherited a travel gene and that is what keeps her going. She took a while to decide her favorite destination 🙂 and well, this is she came back to me with –
Rishikesh                                                                                                                                                               Image Credits; Arti
This is a town where countless yogis and sages of yore have performed penance and meditation in search of a higher purpose and meaning in life. This is a town where the tranquil banks of the Ganga have provided a solitary soundboard since times immemorial for many a bereaved souls to open their hearts and bandage any wounds. Today, the town… with the calmly flowing River Ganga, the shadows of the mighty Himalayas and ancient stories of legends and lore, is a major spiritual cauldron… where a multitude of faiths and beliefs simmer to open a new doorway to life and living and to experience a sense of peace like never before.” 
Last but not the least on my list was Millie of Millie goes. Carmille – Millie for short, is a backpacker who has traversed 5 of the 7 continents and continues her journey across the world. She has been to India and amongst all the places she has been to, she picks Pushkar as her favorite destination in India.  Check out what she says about it –
Pushkar                                                                                                                                                             Image Credits: Millie
“India is a place that not only borrowed me for a few weeks but has also stolen my heart! They say you either love it or hate it, and man did I love it! One of my favorite destinations was Pushkar, a town on the edge of the Thar desert. Home to the world famous Puskhar Camel Fair, it’s hard to find reasons not to love it here when the festivities start! From camel racing to tug of war with the locals, there’s something for everyone to enjoy here. It’s also a pilgrimage site due to the town being the only place in India with a Brahma temple. Legend says it’s because of a curse laid of the Hindu god by his wife! I can promise you though, this is one place in you in Rajasthan you don’t want to miss out.”
With that, it just leaves me to answer the question that I have posed to everyone – “Which is that one favorite place in India? ” For me, it is Hampi and I suppose this is why I feel that way about Hampi.
It is one place that is so un-discovered, under-rated and rich. Every nook and corner of this lovely town is filled with mystery, secrets and aura. As I went exploring here, I realised how talented and smart our ancestors were – given the amazing architecture that they had and the science that went into building things. 
Vittala Temple, Hampi
Vittala Temple, Hampi

Take for instance – the exquisite sculptures of Vittala temple. This was not just a beautiful monument but was thoughtfully designed such that the pillars of the Vittala temple functioned as musical instruments for the Royal entertainment.  Each aspect of Hampi filled me with wonder and no matter how many days I am there, I always leave with this feeling that I have not seen it fully and which is probably why this destination keeps calling out to me again and again.
Well, that is it from us – bloggers. Would love to know from you – which is that one destination that is your favorite in India and why? Comment in below and let us know. 🙂
Share the Thrill of Travel

30 Responses

  1. Nice places picked by the travelers.

  2. Thanks Arun…which is your favorite?

  3. nice post…and pics are so lovely…all these places are really gems of india

  4. You guys are one interesting lot. I am sure you must be having a lot of fun traveling everywhere.. 🙂 Nice post.

  5. Lovely fun post! And I love the photo by Abhinav. Fabulous shot!

    So Spiti comes out as a winner here. And I notice nobody mentioned a beach destination here. 🙂

  6. When in Kolkata, ask to be taken to the "launch" and in all certainty you will end up in Babughat from where the ferry service (launch) plies between Kolkata and Howrah. Ask the same question in Mumbai and you are likely to end up at a première of a movie (unless the word "launch" is viewed as a Future Continuous Tense – in which case there may be a reference to a Casting Couch for being launched)!

    Now ask the same question in Sullurpeta and you are very likely to be met with the following responses – no matter to who you ask this question:

    – FLP or SLP?
    – PSVL or GSLV?

    The FLP of course refers to the First Launch Pad and the SLP refers to the Second Launch Pad. PSVL and GSLV are India's best known space taxis carrying satellites for the nation as well as for other nations and placing them in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) or in Geostationary Orbits.

    Welcome to Sullurpeta! The gateway to SHAR (Shriharikota Range) which is the only place, in India, from were rockets are launched (some small weather rockets and space baloons are also launched from Thumba near Trivandrum) – almost once every 2
    months. The Satish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC) is located in SHAR which is 17 kilometers from Sullurpeta in Andhra Pradesh (which is a 75 minutes/120 minutes train ride from Chennai – depending on where you take a fast train or a local train)

    Just 7 kilometer from the Satish Dhawan Space Center is the Pulicat Lake from where anyone can have an unhindered view of India's rockets taking off. The Pulicat lake is also a very important place to watch migratory Flamingos.I have been here multiple times and, time permitting, would like like to go there again. The sight of a rocket soaring into space is very thrilling!

    There are multiple options for a desert,beach, hill or a wild life holiday in India. But for watching a rocket while sipping rye, there is no other place in India – or possibly even Asia.

  7. Loved the post, so there were two of us vouching for Spiti! Ami is that you in the first picture? It is an impressive picture.

  8. Good to know about their choices! 🙂

  9. They sure are….places that you want to keep going to.

  10. Thanks a ton…we guys, sure have been bitten by the travel bug…totally love traveling.

  11. 🙂 Both these places are amazing but the challenge here is to pick one…which one would it be – Agra or Jaipur?

  12. 🙂 I was contemplating between Gokarna and Hampi…but then Hampi was a clear winner for me. 😀 But I love beaches too…

  13. Interesting Bharat….I must check this out.

  14. 🙂 I loved pulling it together. It was fun! And yes, that is me 😉 in one of my crazy moods

  15. Yep…which one would be yours Indrani?

  16. Thank you Nisha. No beaches here because its really tough to choose in a country like India. Even if 100 bloggers collaborated on this one, we would have missed something or the other. Blessed and plain lucky to be born an Indian.
    @Ami : Great choice of picture. Thank you!

  17. Great Blog Ami. Happy to see some of my favorite bloggers featured in this post. It's a surprise. Agree with you, Hampi is a personal favorite too, but then we could choose only one!

  18. Lovely, lovely post. I apologise profusely for not being able to participate. Do let me know if you do another one next year.

  19. Really a nice stuff,the images shown are rare one and not found in other webpages. keep sharing such a relevant content. Greatful to find useful content like Top10trend.in.

  20. 🙂 It was fun doing this post. Yes, choosing one was a challenge but we did it alright! Of course, the after thoughts of other places is always there.

  21. Thanks Vincent. Will definitely let you know when I do another one.

  22. Thanks, stay tuned for more content here 🙂

  23. Hey! Hampi happens to be my all time most favorite travel destinations! The calm, quietude you get along the Tungbhadra, the boulders that one gets to climb and the history lessons – Hampi has everything. Hi five! 😀

  24. Hi Five back! 😀 I know what you mean about walking around the Tungabhadra and over the boulders at Anegudi. I really had a great time there. The place always leaves me with a feeling that something is still left to be discovered

  25. Great post, Ami! India is a land of gems indeed. Loved knowing the choices of other bloggers as well. Thanks for including me in the collaboration and hope to see one more soon!! 🙂

  26. Yep Arti…thanks for collaborating on this. Will plan another fun post soon.

  27. I was going to say Hampi myself – it is one of my absolute favourites!
    ~ Charukesi

  28. Thanks Charukesi. Hampi sure tends to captivate its visitors.

  29. shekhar virdi

    That is a great post, people seems like having lots of fun exploring new places , myself had too some experiences to share when i went to rajasthan to personally felt the charm of ancient culture which always attracts me. Rajasthan is culturally rich and folk culture from villages reflects its ancient way of life. The national parks and wildlife sanctuaries amaze me too. I met lots of foreign tourist which came there by INDIA`S leading luxury train the Maharaja Express which is truly one of the finest train of the world.I wish if i can board this train in future, but the fare is too high to afford. Lets see how soon i again get the chance to visit some another beautiful place. I keep in touch with this forum.

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