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What are the Indian symbols and their meaning?

Indian symbols define the history and culture of the country. Each symbol has significance and explains about the Indian culture. A list of National Symbols of India depicts the pride of the country.

When it comes to the national animal’s symbol, it chooses to be a tiger, which symbolizes power. Lotus is the national flower, which is known for its purity. On the other hand, the banyan tree is the national tree, which symbolizes immortality, and the bird is the peacock, which depicts the world about your elegance. Above all, mango is the national fruit, which represents the climatic condition of India. 

The country’s national song and anthem would draw inspiration for the freedom struggle that the country fought to get independence from the British rule. The national emblem where the four lions are standing back to back would represent the power, courage, pride, and confidence. The national game hockey is at its peak, and everyone loves this game in the country. 

How many national symbols of India are there?

The Republic of India has 17 national symbols. These symbols will depict the national identity and culture of India. Whenever people see these symbols, it reminds of India and the meaning of the symbol. There is a lot of pride that is filled in the heart of India by seeing the symbols. It evokes patriotism in everyone’s heart.

The significance of the Indian national symbols includes:

  1. Rich cultural fiber that is in the heart of the country
  2. Sense of pride in the heart of every citizen in the country
  3. Depict the unique qualities of Indian
  4. Delicious India cuisine which is loved by people globally
  5. Preserve the national symbol that passes this from one generation to another generation
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Ancient Indian Symbols

The ancient symbols represent the philosophies, teachings, Hindu gods, and goddesses. The National symbols of India’s images would have some hidden beliefs about the cosmos and mysteries that happened in the past, which may occur in the future. Here is the list of ancient Indian symbols and meanings. 

Kalachakra (Wheel of time)

It is the wheel of time and mostly used in Buddhism to represent the teachings of Buddha. It is the symbol of the creation of the world.

There are a total of eight spokes that you find in the Kalachakra, which would illustrate the direction of time. Each direction has a ruler, and there is a unique quality.

The powerful symbol will promote healing and peace in the world. The beautiful pattern is tough to understand but has a lot of hidden meaning in it. 

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OM

It is the ancient Indian symbols, and their meaning gives the actual reality of the universe. It is the symbol of ancient times used by Hindus. When it was first created, it has three letters, AUM. The sound of this word would spread out to the whole universe.

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It is the mantra for the high power and is the blend of many Syllables in Sanskrit. Everyone will use OM in the prayers and recite loudly. The meaning of the mantra is MA means the soul, and TRA means protection or the lead.

Out of all the Mantras, OM is the critical one. It represents three crucial aspects of Gods, A (The Brahma), U (The Vishnu), and M is (the Shiva). It is the symbol used in Tantra Yoga and Ashtanga yoga

Ganesha

He is the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. It is another ancient symbol which is considered as the Elephant God by Hindus. He is power in every human being and is the God who helps you to get rid of obstacles and drive you towards Dharma.

He is the Lord of schools and scribes and has also fought many demons and negative forces. Ganesha helps you to take a smooth path without any obstacles on your way. Everyone bestows the blessings of this God in every work you do, to attain success. 

Banyan tree

You can find this tree in every temple. It is divine and sacred that lasts longer and is fertile. Devotees worship Braham in this form. The Lord Vishnu is found to be in the bark of the tree. It is also known to be the tree of all the three Gods. 

The Brahma would live in the roots and Shiva in branches. The origins of the tree would grow in different directions, which can survive longer and even for centuries. Many saints are enlightened by sitting under this tree. This tree is immoral in scriptures. 

Sri Chakra

It is the sacred geometry used for devotion, mediation, and worship from thousands of years. Nine interlocking triangles would have a central point. The four upright triangles would depict the masculine side, and the five inverted triangles would represent the feminine, which is Shakti.

These nine interlocking triangles will have 40 small triangles. This is the home for each deity, which has a specific reason for existence.

The Sri Yantra would depict Mount Meru, which is known to be the Cosmic Mountain and is the center of the universe. It is also a place where everything becomes one in the world. 

Swastika

It is one of the ancient symbols in India and is also scared of Hindus. The four directions of the Swastika would represent four points of a compass. It relates to life, peace, and good luck and revolves around the sun and fire.

You can find this symbol in the rock and cave paintings in India. The emblem would also represent purity, stability, honesty, and truth. It is the mark that one would draw on the new homes and new account books.

The merchant mark

The East India Company did not trade much in East Indian but dealt with the Indian sub-continent and China in different commodities such as salt, tea, dye, opium, silk, and cotton. The government has no share in the East Indian Company and has very little control over its business operations.

The London trading in the East Indies has developed a series of symbols to showcase their identity.

They designed the Balemark, which allows one to identify the parcel when it arrives at the port and is sold on the trading floor.

The symbol has been evolving since the 1700s. It is in the heart shape and has the initial letters of the company.

The merchant mark of East India company
The East India Company's Merchant's Mark

The symbol is called the chop, which means stamp. It shows the products of the East Indian Company and is also a symbol of quality. It is one of the famous Indian signs and symbols.

The Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms if East India company

It is another symbol of the East Indian Company, which was designed under the guidance of Queen Elizabeth. It is the symbol of confidence and would represent the royal patronage. 

Garuda

Garuda is the emblem that is chosen by the Gupta rulers. You can find this on the Dhwajas. It also shows that they are the followers of Lord Vishnu.

Besides, Garuda is the chariot of Lord Shiva. Later, Dhwaja has become the royal symbol that is put by the troop while battling.

Garuda symbol of India
Garuda in Buddhist temple in Bagkok
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Dhwajas and Patakas

Dhvaja, roof of Sanga monastery, Lhasa, Tibet.

These are the two symbols used by the Maurya dynasty in 322 BC, which originated from Magadha. The army used these symbols.

The Patakas are used in festoons. The Dhwajas are found on the chariots of the warriors.

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Famous Indian symbols

National bird

Peacock is the national bird of India and is also its pride. The bird is declared the national bird of India in 1963 as it is a part of Indian culture.

The grace and beauty depict what the country is about. Another reason for choosing peacock as the national bird is to witness this bird in many places across India.

On top of it, many people are familiar with this bird. There is no other country that has peacock as their national bird. It met all the requirements and, therefore, is declared as the national bird. 

Peacock symbol in India
Peacock in Hindu mythology
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National animal

Tiger is the Lord of the Jungle, and this showcases the wildlife treasure of the country. It has all the crucial aspects, such as strength and power.

The Bengal tiger is known as the country’s national animal in 1973 to protect tigers in India. Before this, Lion was the national animal of the country. 

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A tiger in the wilds of India

National anthem

Rabindranath Tagore composed the national anthem in the Bengali language on January 24, 1950. However, this song has received a massive backlash from the other non-Hindu communities. Yet, finally, Jana Gana Mana is embraced as the national anthem. 

Lotus, the national flower

The lotus flower has a significant impact on Hindu mythology and is the symbol of the goddess Laxmi. It also represents wealth and prosperity. The best thing is that this flower would grow in the murky water with the long stalk beyond the water, and the flower would be on the top

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Lotus in India
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The lotus is known for its purity, and despite staying in the impure water, it remains pure. It is the symbol of fate, purity, and achievement and is the National flower of India.

National fruit

Mangoes are the national fruit of India. There are many places where this fruit is cultivated across India. Many poets in ancient times described the deliciousness of this fruit in their poetry. Indeed, the Mughal emperor Akbar has planted around 1,000,000 mango trees in the country and near Lakhi Bagh. 

National song

Bankimchandra Chatterjee writes the national song of the country. The writing of the song is inspired by many of the freedom fighters who fought for the country. It has become the national anthem of India, i.e., Vande Mataram.

However, there is a lot of backlashes that are received from the non-Hindu community in India. The communities were in the assumption that Durga Maa in the song would represent the whole nation. Due to this reason, it is made as to the national song rather than the national Anthem.

National flag

The national flag is rectangular and has three colors: deep saffron, white, and green with the Ashoka Chakra, a wheel. The same was announced as the National flag on July 22, 1947, due to the assembly meeting. It is the tricolor flag, which was designed by Pingali Venkayya. It is hoisted on Independence and Republic days. These are also the India holidays.

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National gane

The national game of India is hockey, and is quite popular in the country. It is the national game that is played globally. The game has huge popularity in the country and was played from 1928 to 1956.

This period is the golden era for this game. There is no distinction in the talent, so it is named the country’s national game. India has played hockey 24 times in the Olympics and won all of these games. 

National tree

The Banyan tree, which was already mentioned in this article, is the country’s national tree, and its branches are spread across neatly. Its branches and roots would represent the unity of the country. It is a massive structure and has roots across. 

Another name, i.e., Kalpavriksha, also call it. It is the tree that fulfills all your wishes. The tree has rich medical value and will stay for a longer period.

The tree also gives shelter to many animals and birds. It also represents different religions, castes, and races in the country. 

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National Emblem

The capital of Ashoka is made as to the National Emblem of the country. Four lions are standing back to back in a circular manner. The abacus is etched with the Elephant, horse, bull, and a lion. The wheels segregate these all. It stands on the inverted lotus flower that is bloomed. 

national emblem ashoka chakra
Ashoka chakra in India
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National river

The national river of India is Ganga. It is considered the sacred river on the planet, and that is in India by Hindus. Many rituals are performed on the banks of this river. India’s famous cities, such as Allahabad, Varanasi, and Hardiwar, have this river flowing over 2510 km of mountains, valleys, and plains. It is also known as the longest river in the country.

National currency

The India rupee is the national currency of India. The flow of the currency is governed and controlled by the Reserve Bank of India. The symbol of Rupee is derived from the Devanagari consonant. The Rupee got its name after the silver one called rupiya. This is made under the rule of the Sultan Sher Shah Suri in the 16th century, and the Mughal Empire follows the same. 

National Heritage animal

The national heritage animal of India is an Elephant. The Elephant sub-species in the Asian region are listed as an endangered animal by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. You can spot this animal in four different areas of the country.

India animals symbols and meaning -elephant
Elephants in India live in both wildlife and human service

National Aquatic animal

The national aquatic animal is Dolphin that is known as the Ganges River Dolphin. It is found living in the Ganges, Meghna, and Brahmaputra. You can also spot this aqua animal in Sangu and Kamaphuli of India. The Dolphin is blind and would live only in the freshwaters. 

National Reptile

The national reptile of the country is King Cobra, which is of length 18.5 to 18.8 feet. You can find this poisonous snake in the forest areas of Southeast Asia. It feeds on lizards, snakes, and rodents. However, it is considered sacred by Hindus. You can find Indian national symbols images with ease online. 

India religion symbols

Om

OM is the symbol of Hinduism. It is made using the Sanskrit letters, a, u, and m. These all letters come together to make the sound of OM, which is infinite. The music would represent all the three Gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. 

These would, in turn, represent heaven, earth, and the other critical traits. It is the word that is used by many Hindus while offering prayers. They also use this in every task or every task or their journey. It is also an Asian craft.

The Khanda

It is the symbol used by Sikhism. It is known as a coat of arms. Three critical components are used to represent the concept of Sikhism. The double-edged sword in the symbol would represent the divine knowledge that would separate trust from the false. 

The Khanda is in the form of a circle with no beginning and end, symbolizing God. The two curvy swords are known as Kirpans, representing the two concepts of Meeri and Peeri that are introduced by Guru Hargobind. 

The cross

It is the symbol of Christianity, and it indicates salvation. The cross would remind everyone of the resurrection and on which Jesus is nailed. It tells all of the sacrifice made by Jesus.

Allah

It is the symbol in Islam, which visually represents Islam, which is Allah’s sacred name in the Arabic script. Allah is God in Arabic.

Indian cultural symbols

Many sacred symbols have a lot of hidden meaning in India. These symbols took birth from Hindu philosophy, Vedas, and epics. It is also the epitome of Indian culture. The symbols have remained the same for years together. You can find the Indian national symbols pictures online. 

Om

OM is sacred and is the gateway for all religions and scriptures. Everyone would utter the sound Om, which is the sound through which the universe is born. When you chant this word, it gives immense power and quivering sensation from within. It is used in Yoga to reap Yoga benefits

Swastika

It is the religious symbol in India that has four legs bent at the 90-degree angle. It is the auspicious symbol that is used in Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. It is born from the Sanskrit word lucky and auspicious.

Mudra

It is a non-verbal type of communication and a way to express oneself with the figures’ hand gestures and postures. The gestures are widely used in Buddhist sculptures and paintings. These are used by the monks while carrying out the meditation rituals and concentration, and it is considered the force that would evoke the deity.

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Rudraksha Mala

It is the sacred beads that Hindus uses, and the meaning of the word Rudra in Sanskrit is fearsome, and Aksha is teardrops. The trees from which these beads are produced are found in the Himalayan region and the coastal areas. These are in spherical shapes and have many faces.

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Trishul

It is the weapon of Lord Shiva and has three spears. It is a weapon that is made using iron or brass. The outer spears are curvy, and the middle one is sharp and longer than the other two. Trishul is one of the Buddhist symbols.

Lamp

Deepam or oil lamps made of clay or metal will have a cotton wick that is dipped in the oil. The Jain, Hindus, Sikh, and Zoroastrians would light diyas during the festivals and ceremonies. 

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India site symbols

There are many Indian iconic symbols that you find in this majestic country in every nook and cranny. The ancient structure and monuments are India’s pride and depict its strength, battles, and bravery. When you see India through the eye of a foreigner, it makes you feel nostalgic. 

Taj Mahal

It is the historical site symbol of India and is the epitome of love. There is a lot of history behind the construction behind this wonder. The marble structure was constructed way back in 1632 by Shah Jahan for his late wife, Mumtaz. It is the best place to travel to India

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Agra fort

It is another India site symbol that explains the rich history of the Mughal dynasty. It is built with the red sandstone in 1565 by Akbar, and today is one of the prominent tourist and historical places in the country. There are many palaces, mosques, and courts in this fort. You must travel to India to visit this beautiful place with a great history. 

Red fort

It is constructed for around ten years and is one of the Indian site symbols. The construction was done from 1638 to 1648. Shah Jahan also constructs it. The octagonal fort is the place where the President would give a speech on every Independence Day.

Qutub Minar

It is the first Muslim Kingdom in North India and is the best symbol of Indo-Muslim architecture made of red sandstone. There are verses from the Quran on this Minar, and it would be in Arabic and Nagari. You must travel to India to witness the beauty of this place. 

India political party symbols

There are many political parties in India. Each party has a logo that represents their values and origin.

The Indian election symbols and parties’ names would base on their objective criteria. It also helps the voter identify the party to which they can vote on the Electronic voting machine.

All India Trinamool Congress (TMC)
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
Indian election symbols and parties names
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)
India National Congress (INC)
Communist party of India (CPI-M - Marxist)
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)
India parties symbols
Communist Party Of India (CPI)

India flag symbol

Every country has its national flag, which signifies that it is a free country.

Colors of the flag

The national flag has three colors, while the top band of the flag is saffron, which would represent the strength and courage. The middle group is white, representing peace and truth, and the last band has a green color, which would symbolize fertility, auspiciousness, and growth. 

Chakra

The wheel of the law is made in the 3rd century by Mauryan Emperor Ashoka. The Chakra will clearly state that there is life in the movement of the wheel and death resembles stagnation

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India Animal symbols

Cow

It is considered to be sacred, and Hindus worship the cow. This animal is hugely respected in the country and is considered as the Bhoomi, the Hindu goddess. The cow would represent the earth. Many respect these animals for the kind nature and strength. It is one of the Hindu symbols.

Tiger

The Bengal tiger is the national animal of India. It is the most famous and widely found cat species in the country. These can kill animals with their powerful paws and are known for their strength and courage.

Birds

There are different species of birds you can see in India. Many are Indian roller, stunning little birds, which are a part of the roller family. You can also find owls, woodpeckers, and water birds.

Elephants

The elephants in Asian are in different sizes compared to the ones in the African countries. You can spot the elephants in the Corbett national park.

India vegetation symbols

The Indian vegetation has flowers, fruits, and vegetables. When it comes to the flowers, it has religious significance. The popular flowers in India include:

Plumeria

It is the flowering plant that you can find in India and used for worship.

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India Lotus

India’s national flower is grown in the murky water and is also the state flower of many states in India. One can use this flower for ornamental and medicinal purposes. 

national symbols of india lotus
Lotus, India national symbol

Hibiscus

It is the edible flowering plant that is used for worship in the Indian temples. It is grown in different colors.

India Hibiscus symbol
Hibiscus, flower symbol of India
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India fruits symbols

India is the second-largest producer of fruits globally. There are a wide variety of fruits grown in different parts of India. 

Nagpur Orange

These oranges are widely grown in Nagpur and twice every year. The harvesting is done in December.

India fruits symbols
Nagpur Orange

Nanjanagud Banana

It is grown in Karnataka and is known for its aroma and taste.

India fruit symbol
Nanjanagud Banana

Ratnagiri Alphonso mango

India’s national fruit is mango, and it is one of the varieties that is grown in India in various districts of Maharashtra. 

India vegetable symbols

Pumpkin

The pumpkin is the national vegetable of India that is used to prepare savory and sweet dishes. It is suitable for health and heart. The popular dish that is made in India with this vegetable is Petha. 

Brinjal/Baingan

It is the fiber-rich vegetable that is widely had in India, and there are different varieties of dishes prepared with it. It is available in various sizes and colors.

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Brinjal/Baingan - Fiber-rich vegetable

Onion

It is the root vegetable with white layers and will be in white, red, and yellow. People eat it raw or are cooked and made into several dishes.

India symbols and meaning
Indian onion in the market

India warriors

India is known for its courage and strength when it comes to fighting with the enemies. Many great rulers made our head high in front of others. Many kingdoms have ruled different parts of India and introduced the best administrative system, tax system, and other innovative things. It is the Ancient history of India.

Chandragupta Maurya

He is the founder of the Maurya dynasty and is known to be the greatest warrior. Chandragupta Maurya ruled from 340 BC to 298 BC. He is a famous warrior in India. The man successfully conquered many subcontinents in India, except the Tamil regions and the latest state Odisha. He ruled Bengal to Afghanistan to Himalayas and Kashmir and also the Deccan Plateau.

Shivaji

He is the great warrior, and when one thinks of a warrior, the first name strikes for everyone are Shivaji. Shivaji successfully implemented civil rule with the help of the military, and his administration department is well-organized. He is powerful and has defeated many larger kingdoms and powerful enemies. He is the inspiration to the Indian military.

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Maharana Pratap

He is the Mewar Kingdom ruler, who fought many wars and conquered the powerful Kingdoms in the country. Every time Akbar sends people for the diplomatic alliance, he never accepted the suzerainty of Akbar.

Prithvi Raj Chauhan

He is known to be the greatest warrior of India and so the world. He took over the throne at the age of 13 in Ajmer in 1179 after this father’s death in a battle. After knowing Prithvi’s courage and bravery, his grandfather, who was the ruler of Delhi, declared him the King of Ajmer. 

India wedding symbols

Different symbols are used at the wedding, starting from the wedding card to the bride, who will adorn different things after getting married.

Lord Ganesha

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The symbol is printed on the wedding card, which symbolizes happiness and prosperity. God is known to be the head of knowledge, wealth, and education.

He will remove all the obstructions that one would experience on occasion, even on Diwali

Mangal Ghat

The symbol represents purity and sanctity. It has a water pot that is covered with the coconut upside down with mango leaves. It indicates a good omen. 

Doli

The pallbearers would carry the Doli on the shoulders. It indicates harmony and would represent the sacred style of the Indian wedding. 

India wedding symbols
Reminiscences of Imperial Delhi Bridal Dohleh

Jaimala

It is the garland ceremony that is celebrated in the Hindu culture. It gives a grand welcome for the new couple to the new life.

India death symbols

Death is the end of one’s life. There are different traditions followed in every culture. The symbols of death include skull, tombstones, grave, and coffin.

If some family member dies, Christians will use the cross symbol on the grave; it reminds of Jesus’ crucifixion. In Buddhism, the wheel symbol would represent the death and rebirth in the Samsara. You can find the symbols of India pictures of death online. 

India currency symbols

The symbol of the Indian currency is Rupee. It is internationally recognized to carry out the money transactions and holds economic strength. The emblem is the blend of Devanagari Ra and Roman Capital R with two horizontal and vertical stripes representing the national flag and the equal sign. The Indian government embraced this sign on July 15, 2010. Udaya Kumar designs it. 

India currency symbols
Indian Rupee

India sport symbols

Hockey is the national sport of the country. Cricket is another game everyone will play in their streets, ground, and stadiums in the country. More than hockey, people show interest in watching cricket matches.

Indian symbols for peace

From the ancient to the modern times, a white dove is used as a symbol of peace. In India, people will fly the dove to represent that they want peace in the country. The dove symbol is thought to be the symbols for protection and peace

India symbol of peace
India's symbol of peace

Indian Symbols for love

These are the symbols for India used for love. 

Taj Mahal

It is considered as the symbol of Love in India. Shah Jahan constructs it for his beloved wife, Mumtaz. It has gained the privilege of the international emblem of love. It is a glorious monument representing how the king has kept the promise made to the queen for a lifetime. 

India symbol of Love, the Taj Mahal

Jasmine

The aroma produced by these beautiful flowers is considered to be the Hindu symbol of love. It is believed to be originated in the Himalayas and is sacred. Many Hindu goddesses would adorn this garland where the white petals would signify the purity. 

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Cupid

The young boy holding the bow with an arrow is used to pierce the heart of the people so that they fall in deep love. It is used as a symbol of love.

India symbols of good luck

Every culture has a different good luck charm. Few charms are lucky and bring a lot o good fortune for them. There are animals to buttons and coins being used as good luck symbols of India images. 

Sparrow

When a sparrow builds a nest in the home, it gives a sign of good fortune. You do not have to worry about the clutter created by the sparrow as it will bring you a lot of luck.

India symbol of good luck
Sparrow, brings good luck

Elephant

There is a belief that if you spot the Elephant when you are on a journey, it will bring you a lot of success. Many people consider the Elephant to be the Hindu deity, Ganesha. The symbol of the Elephant is intelligence, strength, and solitude.

Shooting star

When you see a shooting star, you can wish for something, and it is going to fulfill for sure. Shooting stars indicate that Gods are paying attention to hear your wishes.

Four Leaf Clovers

The four-leaf clovers are rare to find, and it brings a lot of luck to the people. You can do this Handcrafted mandala in your free time

Laughing Buddha

The laughing is a belief that brings Good luck at home. It also relieves you from the stress in relationships and promotes professional growth. 

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India all state symbols

Andhra Pradesh

  • Blackbuck
  • Indian Roller
  • Neem
  • Water lily

Arunachal Pradesh

  • Mithun
  • Great Hornbill
  • Hollong
  • Foxtail Orchid

Assam

  • Indian One-horned Rhino
  • White-winged Wood Duck
  • Hollong
  • Foxtail Orchid

Bihar

  • Gaur
  • Indian Roller
  • Peepal
  • Kachnar

Chhattisgarh

  • Wild Buffalo
  • Hill Myna
  • Sal
  • Indian Laurel

Delhi

  • Nilgai
  • House sparrow
  • Gulmohar
  • Alfalafa

Goa

  • Gaur
  • Black Crested Bulbul
  • Matti
  • Plumeria Rubra

Gujarat

Asiatic Lion

Greater Flamingo

Banyan

Marigold (Galgota)

Kerala

  • Elephant
  • Great Hornbill
  • Coconut
  • Kanikonna/Golden Shower Tree

Maharashtra

  • Giant Squirrel
  • Green Imperial Pigeon
  • Mango
  • Jarul

Punjab

  • Blackbuck
  • Northern Goshawk
  • Sheesham
  • Gladious

Rajasthan

  • Chinkara
  • Indian Bustard
  • Khejri
  • Rohira

Tamil Nadu

  • NilgiriTahr
  • Emerald Dove
  • Palmyra Palm
  • Kandhal

Telangana

  • Spotted Deer
  • Indian Roller
  • Shami
  • Tanner’s Cassia

West Bengal

  • Fishing cat
  • White-throated King Fisher
  • Devil’s Tree
  • Shephali

Uttar Pradesh

  • Swamp Deer
  • Sarus Crane
  • Ashok
  • Brahm Kamal

Indian alphabet symbols

Devanagari is the alphabet name and is used in Hindi, Sanskrit, and other languages in India. The Devanagari is pronounced as ‘Dave a nuggery.’ It is the most common language from which many other languages have originated. The letters are round and squared over being rectangular. 

Gurumukhi

It is the alphabet that is used by Punjabis. It looks similar to Devanagari, but there are a few letters that would look like mechanical claws.

Assamese and Bengali

These languages will have the letters that would point towards the left and would have squiggles. The Assamese language has a triangle having a second line inside.

Gujarati

The script looks like the free flow of Devanagari but does not have a cross line on the top. The hook would flow like a letter G on the top with an upside-down letter J.

Malayalam

This language has a lot of circles. It is the south Indian language that looks like the Latin alphabet. Many letters would be symmetrical in shape with lots of loops and bumps.

India symbols malayalam
Collage malayalam letters

Kannada

The symbol ಠ is like the letter T. many other letters would have an eyebrow on the top.

Odia

It is the script language with letters like balloons, and some would be in the shape of m.

Tamil

The letters would be in the box shape and have loops. Many letters look like they have a T letter in them.

Telugu

There are echoes on each letter, and there is a curved line right to the curved letter.

Indian symbols tattoo

The most widely tattooed symbols in India include:

  1. Ohm
  2. Sri Yantra
  3. Henna
  4. Lord Shiva
  5. Ganesha
  6. Lotus flower
  7. Hamsa
  8. Mandala 
  9. Unalome
  10. Elephant 
  11. Tribal design
  12. American Indian warrior
  13. Peacock feather
  14. Feathers with birds
  15. Floral 
  16. Feathers
  17. Flag
  18. God 
  19. Gautama Buddha
  20. Trishul of Shiva

A step by step Travel to India guide 

Spiritual, cultural, diverse & colossal- these are the top four words that pop into our minds every time we hear the word ‘India.’ Located in Asia’s southern region, this enchanted land is not just a destination. It is an experience you must soak in at least once in life.

Whether it’s enjoying a scenic view of the hills, going for a trek to the mountains, soaking up the sun at pristine beaches, or even getting to know more about Asia’s history and culture, India will offer you the best of everything.

However, if you’re traveling to India for the first time, we’re sure you must be wondering what Indian culture is all about, what are things to be careful of in India, what are the best places to visit, stay & dine in, how long should you stay in India, etc.

But don’t worry.

We know exactly what you feel like. So we’ve put together some of the best tips that will make your stay safe and easy. Not just that, we’ve enlisted everything you should know about India before boarding your plane. Keep reading to find out.

Understanding of Indian Geography

The geography of India is diverse. From snow-capped mountains to hills, plateaus, plains, deserts, and beaches, India has a coastline of about 7000KMS. The country’s western region comprises sandy deserts, whereas the eastern border consists of the Himalayan range.

travel to India from USA
India landscape in Himachal Pradesh (North India)

The highest point of India is the Kangchenjunga and is located in the northernmost part of the country. India is bordered by Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. Its capital is New Delhi, which is neither a state nor a union territory.

How to plan your trip to India

Since you’re traveling to India for the first time, it’s wise to spend some time planning. This will definitely take some stress out and help you have a safe and organized trip. Keeping these travel to India tips in mind can surely help:

  • Decide where you want to go first. Knowing which areas you would like to cover will make half your job easy for this. Get hold of a good ‘travel to India guide book’ that will provide you with information about each area.
  • Know when you want to go. Since India is known to be a hot and humid country, the weather can differ in places. However, the tourist season has always been from October to February as the weather is always the coolest. However, if you want to visit during the summer season, you can head to northern areas like Kashmir, Leh, and Ladakh.
  • Recommended to hire a car and a driver. If you’re going to be in India for a while, know whether you’re going to hire a car and driver. Due to sad road conditions in India, it is frequently advised to get a driver to reach your destination safe and sound.

Best tips for first-timers in India

1. Don't have high expectations

India is very different compared to countries around the world. So be well prepared to experience a massive cultural shock. Don’t have too many expectations because you can be let down sometimes. However, India can also exceed your expectations, but it’s up to who you are and what your preferences are.

So make sure that you aren’t spending time thinking too much. Instead, try to experience the Indian culture as much as you can.

2. Have a budget planned in mind

Yes, India is a cheap country compared to western tourist destinations worldwide, but still,  you can easily find expensive (and costly) hotels, restaurants, and services. However, cheap does not mean free.

Make sure you know what kind of hotel you want to stay in, how much daily transport will cost you, what kind of food you will be eating etc.

This will make things a lot simpler and easier for you. You will be able to shop, take some souvenirs back home and have a great time too.

3. Be ready to experience some noise

Several parts of India can be noisy and crowded, especially if you are in a city or a town. So, if you want to stay far away from the clamor and noise of the city life, make sure to head towards the hills,  beaches or other touristy spots, outside of the big cities.

4. Watches your hands and feet

Feet are not considered clean in India. Therefore, when you touch something with your feet, always apologize. Also, make sure you’re not passing objects with your left hand. It is considered poor mannerisms if you are unsure of what’s happening around you, especially if it’s a custom. Check what others are doing and imitate that.

5. Stay safe

In order to stay safe in India, make sure you are not carrying a lot of cash everywhere.

Pickpocketing is quite a common thing in crowded areas, so make sure you aren’t loaded with cash. Also, avoid walking down the dark streets all by yourself.

6. Stay healthy

To stay healthy throughout the trip to India, you must adhere to several rules and not deviate from them in any wayת if you want to avoid all kinds of intestinal parasites or severe stomach upset. I traveled for a month in India (and in other countries) with my small children. We kept these rules and stayed healthy throughout the trip:

  1. Disinfect your hands with alcohol before and after eating
  2. Disinfect your hands with alcohol before and after using the toilet
  3. Drinking water only from closed bottles !!!
  4. Most of the time, vegan diets, sometimes vegetarian (pizzas). In any case, NO meat and NO eggs (your body can survive it easily…)
  5. We eat at every restaurant but always only served dishes regularly without any wisecracks with dishes that no one invites.

Apart from India’s usual health issues, covid 19 is added as the situation is dynamic both in terms of infection waves and in terms of vaccinations. It is important to be up to date about the condition of the corona spread and, in any case, to use the familiar contraceptives: face masks, hand washing, keeping distance, etc.

  1. Click HERE to find the most updated Covid 19 status in India. 
  2. Click HERE  to learn the most updated Covid 19 guidelines in India. 
  3. Click HERE to learn what are the best ways for Covid 19 prevention. 

Estimated costs

Flights

If you’re hoping to travel to India from the USA, Australia, or Canada, your flight can cost you $400-$450 per person. However, if you’re going from Europe, the flights can be as cheap as 350 dollars.

Check here to check flights from New York to New Delhi or click the banner for general flights search and comparison.

Hotels

Staying at a good hotel in India can cost you somewhere between $20 – $75. When you travel from the US to India, Canada or Australia you can find a comfortable and clean place to stay within the range of $20-$30. Staying at expensive villas, resorts and palaces can cost you more.

Transport

You can travel by bus, auto (with a private driver), or taxis during your India stay. Local trains are also available in some areas, but taxis and autos would be the best option if this is your first time. The fares vary from one place to the other.

It costs Rs 25 ($0.36) for every 2km in some areas, after which it is 8Rs ($0.12) for every km. You might have to pay Rs 50 ($0.72) for the first 2km in other areas. Make sure you’ve done your bit of research.

For example, one of the most popular destinations in India, Himachal Pradesh, a beautiful country in northern India, at the foot of the Himalayas.

If you travel among the main destinations of Himachal Pradesh, you can travel between 2000 and 3000 kilometers on a trip of several weeks. That’s how we traveled as a family with kids. Of course, there is also a different type of trip, with a long stay in several specific places.

Food

A meal at a great restaurant can cost you between Rs 500-1200 ($7.26 – $17.43) for two people. However, if you want to maintain a budget, you can definitely find cheap and healthy options. For example, a plate of sandwiches at a local restaurant does not cost more than 80rs.

A fresh glass of fruit juice along with it will cost you 20. That reduces your meal price to Rs 100 only. If you can scour the location from before, it will be easy for you to save some money.

What is the best time to visit?

Ideally, you can visit India between October to March because the weather is quite pleasant and cool during this time of the year.

However, avoid making a trip between May to August because it gets unbearably hot and rainy during these months. But if you are really keen to visit between April to June, stick to hill stations like Shimla, Kashmir, Manali, and Kasol.

Safety in India

Although most cities in India are safe, it is advisable not to take your safety for granted. Always check your government’s travel advisory warnings to ensure you know how to be cautious during your trip here.

Avoid taking drinks from people you don’t know. Don’t walk in empty hallways or roads late into the night. It is always better to travel with more than one person when you are outside, especially if you’re a woman traveling solo.

Click here to read our detailed article about India’s safety for foreigners.

How to get a visa to India

You can always apply for a tourist visa to travel to India. In this, you will be allowed to stay in the country for a maximum of 180 days. Make sure to check the visa, see the number of days it’s valid, the issue date of the visa, etc.

To get your visa, you can visit Indianvisaonline.com, apply online through email, enter your information with a digital photo, select an appointment date, pay the fee, print out the application, gather relevant information, fill in the information that is requested and then wait for your results.

Interesting facts about India

The land of saints and snake charmers, India had formed over 100 million years ago. It collided with the Himalayas 50 million years ago and was formed as a separate area within the Asian continent. It has more than one billion people today with different cultures, ethnicities, and religions & definitely stands out compared to every other country in the world. Here are some great facts and achievements India boasts of:

Varanasi- the oldest place in India

Varanasi is one of the oldest places in India and across the world. It is situated on the banks of the river Ganga and is about 3000 years old.

visa for travel to india
View of Varanasi

Hindu mythology also states that Lord Shiva founded this city more than 5000 years ago. It is currently one of the most visited places amongst Indians & tourists for its grand aarti ceremony on the ghats, grand temples, beautiful silk sarees, and ornaments. For more information about Hindu Gods, click here.

Lonar Lake in Maharashtra

Lonar Lake in Maharashtra was formed by a meteor over 52,00 years ago. It is 4 hours away from Ahmedabad and is quite an astronomical marvel.

Shani Shingnapur

Shani Shingnapur attracts over 40,000 devotees each year due to its houses made without doors and locks. The inhabitants here believe that God is the guardian of their village, and He will keep them safe and secure. Shani Shingnapur is located in Maharashtra and is one of the rarest places on earth.

Karni Mata Temple

The Karna Mata Temple in India is the most strange attraction you’d ever find. It is infested with hundreds of rats who pilgrims consider as their ancestors. The temple stays crowded very often as thousands of people come here for prayers.

Magnetic Hill

The magnetic hill in India is known for being anti-gravitational. It has a yellow notice board that tells you to keep your keep on neutral gear on the spot that has been marked with white paint. This will leave you in awe as your car goes upwards without you doing anything to do. Magnetic Hill is located in Ladakh and is a place you must visit.

India main festivals

Diwali

A prominent Hindu festival celebrated worldwide with great pomp and energy, Diwali is a festival of lights, firecrackers, Ashok leaves, candles, and clay lamps. On this occasion, people participate in pujas at home, burst crackers, share sweets with friends and family.

Diwali - Festival of lights

The festival is generally celebrated in October and is the biggest occasion in cities like Delhi and Mumbai. To travel there, all you have to do is take a flight to the capital city. Make sure you have some ethnic clothes to wear.

Durga Puja

Definitely known for its dances, drama, cultural songs, street food, and beautiful looking pandals, Durga Puja is another beautiful occasion celebrated exclusively in Kolkata (the east side of India) during September and October.

This is that time of the year where Bengalis from across the world come together for some pandal hopping, great feasts, and to spend time with friends and family. Kolkata happens to be extremely crowded during this time of the year, and the flight tickets are always rising. Therefore, if you plan to visit Kolkata for this occasion, make sure to get your flight tickets booked a few months before.

Ganesh Chaturthi

A 10-day festival, celebrated mostly in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, Ganesh Chaturthi is organized during the month of September. This festival consists of Ganesh pujas that are carried out in homes along with an immersion ceremony that gathers thousands of people together.

tips for travel to india
Lord Ganesh, one of the most beloved Indian gods

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated to mark the importance of Lord Ganesh’s birthday, because of which, cultural activities such as dancing, theatre, and singing are carried out in full swing. To enjoy the festival, make sure to visit the city of Mumbai.

Onam

A national festival in India celebrated by people of all communities in Kerala, Onam is celebrated on the 1st of September. It marks the homecoming of King Mahabali, who was known for being one of the greatest and most legendary rulers of his time.

During this festival, people decorate their homes with floral designs, prepare a big meal of 13 dishes, wear ethnic clothes, and attend cultural events such as snake boat races, clap dances, and processions. To enjoy the holiday, you can visit the capital city of Kochi in September.

You can get a direct flight from the city of Delhi or any other part of India. However, if you’re traveling here directly, you can take a flight to Dubai and then take a connecting flight to Kochi.

Holi

If you really want to know what Indian festivals are about, you must experience Holi. Generally celebrated in March, Holi gathers in open areas and applies color to each other. They also carry water guns and water-filled balloons to make the celebration a lot more exciting.

Although Holi is celebrated across the country, you can get the best feel of it by visiting a few North Indian states. Delhi and some cities in Punjab love to celebrate Holi together.

Best places to visit during your trip to India

A prominent part of East Asian cultures, India boasts of several touristy spots, locations and landscapes you should consider during your time here. Here are some of the best ones so far:

1. Shimla

Located in the Himalayas foothills, at Himachal Pradesh (check out our article about: Travel to Himachal Pradesh), Shimla is popularly known for its picturesque mountains, balmy weather, Victorian architecture & scrumptious cuisine. An ideal spot for honeymoons and family vacations during summer, it’s is a prime destination for those who want to enjoy the beauty of nature & explore historical locations such as Gorton Castle, Kennedy Cottage, and more.

travel to india tips
Tired peddler in Shimla, North India
travel to india guide
Searching for something, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
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Shimla view
Little shops in Shimla market

The best times to visit Shimla include March-June as the weather is always between 15-30 degrees or between October to February if you want to enjoy ice-skating.

2. Shimla

One of the most adventurous travel destinations in North India, Manali is a great place to enjoy outdoor sports. From Rohtang Pass to Beas River and Solang Valley, here’s where you can enjoy snow sport activities, rafting, long drives, and a whole lot more.

Manali also offers you picturesque nature parks, serene mountains, waterfalls, and temples where you can sit back and relax.

travel to india blog
Manali scene

3. Dharamshala

Mcleod Ganj - Dharamsala - India (6)
At the center of Mcleod Ganj, part of Dharamsala area
At the center of Mcleod Ganj, part of Dharamsala area
At the entrance to the Dalai Lama's house
Mcleod Ganj - Dharamsala - India
Mcleod Ganj street view
Mcleod Ganj - Dharamsala - India
Street at Mcleod Ganj

Dharamshala also has several monasteries that make it the most scenic destination in India. It attracts thousands of people every year and is a must-visit if you want to visit the picturesque St John Church, Dal Lake, etc.

4. Parvati Valley

Known for its hot springs, glorious views, immense greenery, and touristy spots, Parvati Valley is one destination you cannot afford to miss out on during your trip to India.

The valley offers cheap accommodation, the best music, and international food. On your trip here, don’t forget to Kasol. It is a small town around 30 km from Bhuntar. It is surrounded by forests, camping tents and fresh air you can enjoy if you’re looking for a small weekend getaway. Kasol is also known as Little Israel due to thousands of Israeli tourists who come here for hiking and short trips.

20 minutes drive after Kasol, you will find one of the Sikh holy sites in northern India, Manikaran. The site is located on the Parbati river bank. There is hot water that comes from the ground, and, in the best Sikh tradition, there is a free Indian meal (Thali plate). Apart from the site, there is a small street with lots of food stalls and souvenirs.

Manikaran - Parvati valley - India (5)
A river crosses Manikaran
Manikaran - Parvati valley - India
Inside Manikaran
Market street in Manikaran
Manikaran, Sikh pilgrimage site
Manikaran - Parvati valley - India
Nandi the bull, at Manikaran
Manikraran view

5. Leh - Ladakh

When it comes to serene lakes, the highest mountain passes, Buddhist and Tibetian monasteries, Leh Ladakh definitely makes your trip to India a memorable one. You can go rafting at the famous Zanskar river, enjoy some tranquility and peace at the Pangong Tso Lake,  trek at Khardungla Pass, or go mountaineering at Kargil.

Ladakh altitude ranges between 3,000 meters above sea level in the valleys between the mountains and up to 6,500 meters in the peaks.

This is something you must consider before you go to Ladakh because of the risk of altitude sickness. A significant risk starts from 3000 meters, especially when you move quickly (by car or flight) from a normal altitude to 3000 meters or more.

Note: Not recommended for travel with kids

The best time to visit Leh Ladakh is between April To June as it’s peak season, and several tourists are seen during this time of the year. The weather is also calm and relaxing, unlike August to Mid September, where you can be prone to landslides.

Ladakh - North India
The dramatic view of Ladakh
Pangkok lake - Ladakh - North India
Yaks resting near Pangong lake
Ladakh - North India
Three little Buddhist monks in Ladakh

6. New Delhi

The capital of India, filled with history and culture, New Delhi, is beautiful beyond words. At the historic Red Fort, Jama Masjid, and Akshardham Temple, you can find some of the world’s most astonishing monuments here.

New Delhi is also a great place if you’re looking to enjoy the beauty of nature. The Lodhi Gardens & Gandhi Smriti, for example, are some of the best places to visit. For great food and socializing, you can head to Hauz Khas and Chandni Chowk, where you can encounter India’s busiest street market. From jewelry, clothing, and fabric, you can find everything under one roof.

Besides, do not miss the Main Bazaar and Chandni Chowk. Chandni Chowk is a huge market, very crowded, filled with endless stalls, small and large shops, of all kinds and types. You can buy here anything which is India authentic, fabrics, dishes, spices and more.

If you are traveling with children, do not leave their hands for even a second. There is no point in walking around in the market with a stroller; you will not be able to move with it.

New Delhi Gandi's house
A statue of Gandhi and his wife just where and how they used to sit, at Gandhi's house in New Delhi
New Delhi - Chandni chowk
A peddler with his merchandise at Chandni Chowk
New Delhi government area
New Delhi Gandi's house
New Delhi Gandi's house
Standing in line before entering the home of Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi
Local transportation near Chandni Chowk
New Delhi India gate
New Delhi - Main Bazar
Top view from a restaurant on Main Bazaar in Delhi
New Delhi - India gate
India Gate in New Delhi
New Delhi - Main Bazar
Local businesswoman watching her stall ןמ Delhi Bazaar
New Delhi government area
New Delhi government area, pay attention below the car 🙂
Main bazar New Delhi
Main bazar area

7. Rishikesh

After the Beatles visited Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram back in the 60s, Rishikesh became a popular hub for yogis and travelers from around the world. With exquisite valleys, dark and dense forests, and the fast-flowing Ganges River, Rishikesh is a magnet for those seeking peace and tranquility.

If you enjoy sports, trekking, backpacking, and rafting centers are also available for your pleasure. You can also visit exotic temples, book private walking tours, and a lot more to enjoy your time here.

Rishikesh travel - India
Lakshman Jhula, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
Rishikesh, view from the river

8. Amritsar

Home to the famous Golden Temple, Jallianwala Bagh, and Wagah Border, Amritsar is an important landmark in India filled with cultural heritage, religious destinations, and of course, glorious cuisine that will melt your taste buds.

If you’re visiting the northern portion of India, do visit this multicultural during the weekends. The local markets here are filled with amazing stores where you can get hold of traditional North Indian wear and Dhabas to enjoy kulfis, lassis, and a lot more.

Travel to Amritsar India
Golden temple, Amritsar
Travel to Amritsar India
Closer view of the Golden temple

9. Hampi

One of India’s most beautiful historical destinations, Hampi in Karnataka, used to the capital of Vijayanagar, the same place where India’s biggest Hindu empires existed.

It is filled with historical monuments, mind-blowing architecture, and beautiful landscapes. The ruins of Hampi go all the way back to the 14th century and stretches over 25 kilometers. Spending an entire day here will definitely be worth your while. However, do remember to pick up the cash elsewhere since this place has no arms.

Hampi archeological monument
Hampi tourism - India
Virupaksha temple, Hampi
Hampi view - India
View on Hampi
Hampi India

10. Pondicherry

Literally, the best place to visit in October, Pondicherry is a small French town flung with tourists, refreshing green teas, picturesque villas, and French architecture.

The seas here are warm and inviting, and the weather is balmy and pleasant. You can go to the Pondicherry Museum, Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and Bharathi Park on your visit here. You can also enjoy the local food at Le Cafe, go boating at Paradise beach, or simply spend some time alone at the Rock beach.

Pondicherry French colony tourism in india
Tiruvalluvar Nagar, Pondicherry
Pondicherry tourism in India
Matrimandir (in Auroville) - for Yoga and meditation
Pondicherry Beach

11. Coorg

Coorg is a popular destination among honeymooners, travelers, and nature lovers, one of the most enchanting destinations in India. It offers enthralling views, picturesque mountains, and clouds that make the sky look so perfect.

You should definitely visit Abbey Falls, Irupu Falls, Nisargadhama Island, and Madikeri Fort on your trip here. If you like jungle safaris or trekking, do head to Nagarhole National Park, Pushpagiri Peak, and Mandalpatti.

Coorg destinations
Coorg, Scotland of India
Coorg best time to visit
Waterfall in Coorg destination
Coorg images
Coorg foggy landscape

12. Munnar

Munnar is an ideal place to visit if you’re looking for peaceful weather and green rolling mountains. It is one of the best places to visit in South India with your family, where you can enjoy the perfect weather and lush surroundings.

The weather is generally between 33-22 degrees C. Some of the ideal places to visit here include Anamudi, Pothamedu viewpoint, and Mattupetty Dam. The tea plantations to are beautiful to look at.

Travel to Munnar Kerala India
Tea plantation in Munnar
Munnar Kerala
A lot of green in Munnar
Munnar India
View of Munnar, Kerala

13. Alleppey (Alappuzha)

Alleppy is known for its backwaters and magnificent beaches. Alleppy in Kerala offers you a delightful experience. With its shimmering waters, long canals, and coconut trees, this place has houseboats, lighthouses built on the coast, and lush green paddy fields that look exotic from a distance.

Some of the best places to visit here include the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Pathiramanal Island, Arthunkal Church, Krishna Temple, and Krishnapuram Palace.

Check here Alleppey (Alappuzha) weather.

Travel to Alleppey backwater
Water everywhere, Alleppey, Kerala
Alleppey beach
Kerala backwater tour
Resting near the river
Alleppey Kerala
Beautiful view of Alleppey, Kerala

14. Madurai

Madurai is also known as the cultural capital of Tamil Nadu due to its cultural heritage and various historical sites.

The Madurai Meenakshi Temple, Koodal Alagar Temple & Thirumalai Nayak Temple are a few prime destinations you must visit on your trip here. Not to forget the temple festivals that light up the city occasionally.

Check here Madurai weather.

Madurai tourism - Tamil Nadu
Indian culture in Madurai
Madurai temple
Madurai Meenakshi temple
Madurai weather
Nandi, the gate-guardian deity of Kailasa (Mountain) and the abode of Lord Shiva

15. Kovalam

A famous beach destination located in Kerala, Kovalam is famous for its magnificent views, pristine beaches, balmy weather, and a grove of coconut trees that make the surroundings so beautiful and pleasant. Initially, Kovalam was a beach, but after independence, it gained popularity and became a place for parties, vacations, and entertainment.

The Lighthouse beach, Vizhinjam Mosque, and Kurumkal hillock are some of the best places you can visit here; also, if you enjoy peace and tranquility, head over to Eve’s Beach. They offer herbal body massages, cultural programs, kayaking, surfing, and a lot more.

Kovalam beach, Kerala
Kovalam -Keralal - India
Kovalam beach - Black & White view
Kovalam tourism - India

16. Nandi Hills

Nothing can be more fascinating In India than the lovely Nandi Hills. A popular destination for weekend getaways, Nandi Hills is a great choice for cool and refreshing holidays.

Perfect for the summer season, you can come here for some paragliding, biking, shopping, and cycling. Some of the best touristy spots here include Tipu’s Drop and Nandi Temple.

Nandi Hills - Bengaluru - India
Nandi hills landscape
Nandi hills weather
Another view angle of Nandi Hills

17. Gokarna

If you thought Goa’s the best places for beaches, temples, and greenery in India, Gokarna in Karnataka would take you by surprise. Whether it’s the peace and relaxation you’re looking for or having a good time with friends, Gokarna will take care of all your needs. Some of the best beaches here are Om beach.

Yana and Gokarna Beach. You can take the banana boat ride or go boating & trekking whenever you feel like it. The best time to visit Gokarna during the winter season as the weather here is relaxing and balmy.

Gokarna hotels
Street view, Gokarna
Gokarna beach
Gokarna beach
Gokarna tourism
A public baths in the center of Gokarna

18. Kodaikanal

If you’re looking to run away from the summer’s heat in July, Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu would be the perfect destination for you. Filled with green forests, stunning trains, gorgeous lakes, exotic flora and fauna, endless museums and temples, Kodaikanal is perfect for quiet holidays and honeymoons.

Although trekking and boating are common activities here, you can also visit popular tourist spots like Kodai Lake, Berijam Lake, Thalaiyar Falls, Devil’s Kitchen, and more.

Kodaikanal weather
Kodaikanal view
Kodaikanal tourism
Kodaikanal landscape
Kodaikanakl lake tourism
Kodaikanal lake

19. Mysore

One of India’s cleanest cities, generally populated between October to March due to its balmy weather, Mysore is the perfect destination to explore India’s culture and history.

The Mysore Palace, Karanji Lake, Lalitha Mahal, and St. Philomena Church are some of the best destinations. Apart from that, Mysore also has monuments, museums and brilliant sites with brilliant architecture you can enjoy

Mysore tourist places
Mysore tourist places
Kingdom of Mysore
Kingdom of Mysore
Mysore palace
Mysore palace

20. Ooty

Filled with splendid green valleys, hills and gurgling streams, and lovely looking tea gardens, Ooty has been a popular tourist destination since the colonial days. It has also been regarded as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO & attracts thousands of tourists every year.

On your trip here, you can expect dense forests, lofty mountains, grasslands, and lots more. The best time to visit Ooty is between Jan to May since most of the tea festivals are organized during this time. The weather is also quite balmy and relaxing.

Ooty lake
Ooty lake
Ooty tourist places
Ooty view
Ooty images
Ooty landscape

21. Pelling

Pelling is a perfect family destination in Sikkim, Pelling offers panoramic views of mountains such as Frey, Kanchenjunga, Kabru North and so much more. This place is where you can experience a healthy mix of Tibetan and Nepalese culture and cuisine. Not to forget the monasteries, rock gardens and lakes that make Pelling so special.

Pelling hotels
Places to stay in Pelling
Kanchenjunga waterfalls - Pelling
Kanchenjunga waterfalls, Pelling
Pelling - Sikim
Kangchenjunga mountain, Pelling, Sikkim

22. Haflong

Definitely one of the best hill stations in the state of Assam, Haflong is filled with hillocks and streams that are crystal clear and majestic to look at.

Haflong Lake is also a prime destination for tourists, where you can enjoy scenic views or simply go boating. Other places to visit in Haflong include Panimur Waterfall, Presbyterian Church, temples and more.

Haflong hill station
Haflong, one of the best hill stations in the state of Assam

23. Shillong

Shillong is a mesmerizing town located in the North East of India. It is also known for its cultural events, music festivals, scenic views, waterfalls, and much more. Boating at Wards Lake is one of the best experiences you can have in Shillong. Apart from that, you can also visit touristy spots such as Shillong Peak, David Scott Trail, Cherrapunji, and Lumpongdeng Island.

Shillong tourist places
Shillong photos
Shillong hotels

24. Mon

The Mon district of Nagaland is known for its tribal ornaments, unique eateries, exotic landmarks, festivals and cozy cottages. Longwa Village, however, is the star attraction of Mon, as it has skull exhibits you will not find elsewhere. Apart from that, Mon also has lovely destinations to visit such as Shangnyu, Chui and Naginimora.

Mon Nagaland festivals
Mon Nagaland tourism

25. Tawang

The smallest district in Arunachal Pradesh, Tawang is a gorgeous place that looks nothing less than paradise. This exotic land is just 2,700 meters long and has several mesmerizing locations such as Pakang Teng Tso lake, Bap Teng Kang waterfalls, Shonga Tser lake and Jaswant Indo-China border that is just 40 kms away from Tawang. The place also has high-altitude mountain passes that are known across the world.

Tawang tourism
Tawang tourism
Tawang landscape
Tawang monastery

26. Darjeeling

A beautiful cluster of villages filled with mountains, hills, and lush green valleys, Darjeeling is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Being one of India’s oldest hill stations, it stays densely populated throughout the year, especially during the summer season. The best places to visit here include a rock garden, tiger hill, botanical garden, Shruberry park, and Himalayan Zoo.

If you’re looking for fancy eateries, the Cake Lady, Bony’s Snack and Bar, Glenary’s, Beni’s Cafe, and Keventers will definitely put a smile on your place.

Darjeeling photos
The beautiful landscape of Darjeeling
Darjeeling tourism
The local train station at Darjeeling

27. Mumbai

Popularly known to us as the city of dreams, Mumbai is a mixture of culture and two extremes. On one side, you’d find the most affluent people living the most luxurious lives, and on the other side includes local areas, slums, bazaars, and more.

If you’re planning a trip here, don’t forget to visit the iconic Film City, the ever-trendy Fashion Street and Colaba where you can try some cheap shopping. Mumbai also has the best local food joints, restaurants, and hotels where you can enjoy Maharashtrian cuisine and foods from across the world. The best time to visit Mumbai would be winter as the city is humid throughout the year.

Here are some of the must-see places any tourist in Mumbai should visit: Dhobi Ghat – the biggest laundry in the world, Gate of India – a huge monument near the beach, Mumbai beach – watch the sunset with hundreds and thousands of local Indians who love to sit on the rocks and enjoy the beautiful calm sight.

Mumbai beach
Mumbai beach
Mumbai Dhobi Ghat visit
Dhobi Ghat laundry
Dhobi Ghat, the largest laundry in the world
Mumbai hotels - Taj Mahal hotel
Mumbai Taj Mahal hotel
Mumbai hotels
Mumbai's streets
Mumbai India
Mumbai crowded streets
Mumbai market
Mumbai tourism
Mumbai tourism
Mumbai's market
Mumbai travel
Mumbai weather
Mumbai - gateway of India
Gate of India
Mumbai market
Mumbai tourism
Mumbai travel

28. Mahabaleshwar

If you’re keen on exploring more hill stations, do head to Mahabaleshwar. Around 247 km away from Mumbai, this place is flooded with trekking and sightseeing opportunities. From Bombay Point to Holy Cross Church and Arthur’s Seat, you can experience the best of nature without having to shell out too much.

Plus, there’s a beautiful lake called Vienna Lake nearby where you can go boating or even horse riding nearby. The best time to visit Mahabaleshwar would be the end of the year as the weather is quite balmy and relaxing during this time.

Mahabaleshwar images
Mahabaleshwar elephant
Mahabaleshwar travel
Mahabaleshwar landscape

29. Daman

A holiday in Gujarat would be a waste unless you have visited Daman and Diu. Daman is known for its beautiful beaches, serene viewpoints and pristine waters, Daman is where you can spend some quiet time with your loved times.

It has several monuments such as Church of our old lady of the sea, St Jerome fort and Jain temple along with beaches like Jampore Beach and Devka beach that is quite a favorite among tourists.

Devka beach at Daman
Devka Beach, Daman, Gujarat

30. Diu

Another getaway in West India would be Diu. Located in Gujarat, this one has utterly gorgeous looking beach destinations that take you miles away from the chaos of city life and brings you closer to the serenity and beauty of nature.

St Paul’s Church, Ghogla Beach, Jalandhar Beach, and Nagoa beach are the best places to visit here. You can also expect to meet heartwarming people who will bring peace to your heart with their hospitality.

Diu Fort

31. Goa

Definitely, the best travel destination that offers you a great combination of parties, adventures, beach life, and cultural heritage, Goa, will make your trip to India unforgettable.

Whether it’s enjoying the breathtaking waterfalls, soaking up the sun at the beach, grabbing a few drinks at the bar, or visiting the remains of Portuguese architecture, you can do almost anything here and have a great time. Goa generally stays crowded during Christmas and New Year, although you can visit the state between July-March.

Goa beach
Goa beaches
Goa guest houses
Travel Goa India
Goa tourism
Goa tourism
Goa tour

32. Bhuj

Located in the Kutch district of Gujarat, Bhuj is where the epic tale Mahabharata was formed. From beautiful monuments to magnificent temples and palaces, this place will take you by surprise.

The Rann Utsav here happens to be a major attraction. It is organized annually and has the maximum number of tourists around this time. Apart from that, Bhuj is also known for its fancy handicrafts, saris, leatherwork, and textiles.

Bhuj tourism
Bhuj, known for its fancy handicrafts, saris
Bhuj city photo
Bhuj, where the story of epic tale Mahabharata was formed

33. Panchgani

Another hill station known for its gorgeous landscapes, lush green forests, caves, peaks, and serenity, Panchgani has located on the river Krishna banks.

A perfect place for weekend getaways, this gorgeous place of visit boasts touristy spots like Rajpuri Caves, Sydney Point, Devil’s Kitchen, and Table Land. If you have indescribable beauty and peace on your mind, Panchgani will not disappoint.

Panchgani sightseeing
Panchgani gorgeous landscape
Panchgani images
Panchgani, a perfect place for a weekend

34. Jaipur

The capital of Rajasthan, also known as the Pink City was founded in the year 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh. Definitely one of the most popular locations in Rajasthan and India, this place has the best connectivity, brilliant city planning and heritage monuments you may have not seen elsewhere.

Jaipur is also perfect for its desert safaris, Rajasthani crafts, gems and textiles. Some of the best attractions here include Amber Fort, City Palace, Birla Mandir and Jantar Mantar Observatory.

Travel Jaipur India
Little cute local monkey
Jaipur hotels
Amber Fort and Palace
Jaipur pink city
Jaipur shopping
Jaipur market
Jaipur tourism
Hawa Mahal Palace of the Winds
City palace Jaipur
Like in the very old days

35. Udaipur

If you love visiting pretty places, lakes, and historical locations, Udaipur in Rajasthan would be the perfect destination for you. Known as the Venice of the East, this place is filled with rich traditions, landscapes that will blow your mind, and colorful winters.

It also has several tourist attractions such as City Palace, Jagdish Temple, and Lake Palace you cannot miss out on. Also, make sure to head to Sagar Lake, Lake Pichola, and Monsoon Palace. We’re sure you’re going to love every minute spent in Udaipur.

Udaipur - Lake Phicola
Udaipur palace
Udaipur Rajasthan
Udaipur lake palace
Travel Udaipur Palace

Best travel packages

If you’re on a budget and would like to avoid trouble at all costs, you can go for the best travel to India packages. Several travel agencies like takemetour.com give you the opportunity to tour India and the entire world within a limited budget.

You will also have the chance to experience different cuisines, stay at great hotels, enjoy scenic views, try a whole bunch of adventure sports and recreational activities.

Suggested routes for most effective time usage

While traveling to India, always make sure you’re touring one area at a time. For example, if you’re touring the northern region, make sure to visit the hill stations, cities, and popular tourist spots on that route before you travel elsewhere. If the locations are very far off, you can take a flight.

However, if they are not too far and can be covered overnight, you can choose the AC train and AC buses that make traveling safe, fun, and a lot easier. If you want to travel the easy way, here are some routes we would suggest to you:

The historical route

The historical route: If you want to visit the most popular historical locations in India and don’t have much time, you can visit Delhi, Jaipur and Agra.

Start off with Delhi, and then move on to Agra where you can visit the Agra Fort, Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri. Finally, you can visit Jaipur, Jodhpur and the Amber Fort for some shopping spree, delicious food, cultural events and of course, a good time.

The religious route

If you want to see the religious side of India, visit the Golden Temple, Amritsar, then head to Khajuraho to see the carved edifices that have been making headlines for ages, the Sun Temple and other exquisite Jain temples located in Gujarat and Rajasthan. The temples in Hampi, Tiruchirapalli, Madurai are also quite popular.

Waterways and beaches

The best beaches in India are found down South. Start off with Goa where you can visit exotic beaches like Palolem, Vagator and Calangute Beach. Later, you can head to Gokarna that is filled with pristine beaches and crystal clear waters.

Next, you can visit Kerala where you’d find several golden sand and black sand beaches. And last, the serene backwaters in Kerala where you can enjoy the quiet waters and some breathtaking nature.

Best tips before traveling to India

Stay cool

If you want to have a good time in India and reduce the chances of being cheated or overcharged, you have to remain calm no matter what the situation is. If something bad happens, take a deep breath, think about it logically, and then move on.

Don’t stress too much about losing money. Instead, focus on not wasting time on the current situation and look forward to all the good stuff that’s lying ahead of you.

Slow down

India is definitely a very crowded country and its possible for you to burn out quickly. So, if you really want to avoid that, try to concentrate on a few places one at a time instead of covering all places at the same time. We know there are loads of places that you want to see but spending a few days in one spot will not make you feel like you’re in a rush. Even the crowd won’t bother you too much

Eat healthily

Eating Indian food can become quite a task for travelers, especially if they’re from Europe or the West. Therefore, you should always be careful to avoid ice cream, tap water, fruits you haven’t peeled yourself or salads that have been left open for a while. Also, avoid mega spicy street foods when out on the streets. Stick to eating at proper restaurants and you’d be good to go.

Dress code

During your stay in India, it is important to be mindful of your dress code. India is a land of extremes and contrasts. In some cities, you can wear whatever you like and feel absolutely safe and comfortable, while there are other cities where you have to make sure you’re well covered. It’s wise to do some research before heading anywhere.

Transportation in India

Trains

To travel from one part of the country, you can always choose to go by train. However, we would advise you to pick AC first-class over choices such as sleeper, AC second class, and unreserved trains as they will not provide you with necessities such as food or even a clean toilet seat. Trains are generally very crowded and not the best option if you’re not used to city life. But if you must pick one, look for the best options available before traveling.

Planning a trip to India
Local train, not everyone sitting inside...

Buses

Buses are used in India 90% of the time for traveling. There are different types of buses, whether you’re looking to cover a short distance or long.

They also offer more comfort as compared to trains and are also quite affordable. If you’re looking to go for an overnight journey, buses would be ideal. They only cost you 10 dollars and will make sure to drop you at your wanted destination safe and sound.

Auto Rickshaws

Auto rickshaws are generally used within the city. Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore are some of the most popular cities where people travel using an auto rickshaw.

The first 2 km cost you around 50rs ($0.73), after which it will cost you 8rs per km. If you are traveling after midnight, an extra 25% can also be charged. Travelling in an auto, overall, can be a wonderful experience. It is safe, comfortable and preferred by most.

Traveling to India checklist

Taxis

Catching a taxi in India is quite easy. The prices aren’t always unreasonable, but they are safe and can drop you to your desired location. Cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, and Ahmedabad have taxis most of the time. The fare starts at Rs 25 in cities like Kolkata, whereas in Goa, it can go up to Rs 100 (~$1.5).

Travel India blog

Private car plus driver

Another very recommended option, especially for family trips with children or a group of four friends who wants comfort, is to hire a car and driver for the trip duration. We were a family with two parents and two small boys (since we had another little girl), so a trip by train or bus was not relevant.

Since we planned to travel in Himachal Pradesh, we rented the car and the driver in Shimla (the main hill station in Himachal Pradesh), and so we traveled about three weeks in large parts of Himachal Pradesh. The vehicle was very comfortable; the driver was nice and friendly towards the kids, so the missile experience just got stronger. Cost of service, about $ 100 per day (including different fees and gas)

On the edge of the cliff, this is how it looks like in Himachal Pradesh roads most of the time

Best local food

Indian cuisine is huge, full of spices, flavors, and odors. It is mainly a paradise for vegans and vegetarians because it is naturally vegan cuisine. We published a great article about Indian cuisine, and you are invited to read it to get to know it in depth. The recommendations in the following paragraphs are really only in a nutshell.

To taste the best local and street food in India, here are some of the cities and places you can try.

Delhi food

When it comes to street food, there are literally no words to describe the beauty of Delhi. From Chole Bature to Aloo Parathas to Pani Puris to Nahari and Haleem during Ramadan, Delhi is bustling with delicious food in every corner. On your trip here, try the Kulchas sold at local stores, the succulent hot momos & the famous Dahi Puris and Daulat Ki Chaats that make this entire city special.

Inidan food
Delicious Thali dish

Mumbai food

Mumbai is definitely every foodie’s paradise. Head here for a short trip, and you will fall in love with their Bombil fries, Modaks, Faloodas, sandwiches, Sev Puris, Vada Pavs, Pav Bhajis, and of course, their delectable spread of seafood.

Samosa, it should be the appetizer but two of this can make you full...

Kolkata food

Cheap, delicious, and mouth water food can definitely be found in the city of Calcutta. If you’re craving Tibetan food, head to the famous Tiretti Bazaar or visit Chinatown and Tangra for Chinese food. You can also head to Vivekananda Park for delicious rolls, mutton and fish cutlets, and some divine Puchkas. Golpark and Dhakuria also offer some great joints.

Travel to India visa
Dal Bhat and Chana Masala, tasty and health

Goa food

Goa offers you the best seafood you will not find anywhere else. From the delectable prawns, tuna and salmon to the lobsters and pork curries, Goa boasts on having the finest Konkani cuisine in India. On your visit here, do try their Bebinka, Pork Vindaloo and other seafood specialties.

Best hotels

Not only does India boasts of its beautiful landscapes, bright culture, diversity, and brilliant cuisine, but also its beautiful properties, villas, cottages and hotels. If you’re planning a visit soon, you can consider some of the most famous and luxurious places to stay on the list given below. For bookings, you can visit booking.com

The Leela Palace, Udaipur

On your visit to Udaipur in Rajasthan, you must stay for a day or two at the Leela Palace. Overlooking the city palace and Lake Pichola, this hotel offers the best lodging experience and an incredible experience for those visiting India for the first time.

Visiting the Leela Palace also gets you closer to some of the city’s biggest attractions and gives you a fine taste of Rajasthani culture and cuisine at the same time.

The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra

While traveling to Delhi and Agra, you can spend a day or two at the Oberoi Amarvilas. Known for its elegant and comfortable rooms, this place is just 600 m from the Tal Mahal and definitely the best luxurious hotel you can spend a few days at.

Guests have the opportunity to enjoy yoga classes, spa treatments, and a delicious array of cuisines from around the world. There are several other recreational activities you can relish throughout the day.

Wildflower Hall, Shimla

Wildflower Hall in Shimla is definitely an ideal hotel to stay in during your trip to Shimla. From the iconic setting to the exotic cuisine and state of the art facilities, you will find almost everything here. Wildflower also organizes recreational activities such as trekking, ice skating, mountain biking, and adventure thrills you can participate in. And if you like to spend some time alone, feel free to take a walk through the lush green cedar woods.

The Tamara, Coorg

If you’re heading down south, do spend some time at the picture-perfect location called Coorg. The Tamara here happens to be the best place to stay in. Here, you will get easy access to all the touristy spots.

Besides that, you can also enjoy some of the world-class facilities offered like bars, restaurants, gardens, and coffee shops. The hotel has 30 rooms overall and is equipped with all modern amenities to make sure your holiday here is a remarkable one.

Orange County Resort, Kabini

Another beautiful place to stay in India is Orange Country Resort, located at Kabini. Beautifully nestled between several acres of tea and spice plantations, this place is the perfect option for those who want to enjoy modern facilities, scrumptious cuisine, and state of the art facilities. The resort has the most picturesque balconies and seating area where you can grab a cup of tea, read a book, and enjoy the cool breeze.

Travel insurance

There is no doubt that you understand the importance of travel insurance for you and those who travel with you, whether it is a family member, spouse, children, or close friend.

But that’s not enough. You must understand that travel insurance should be done by a professional, international, and well-known company that insurances are its area of expertise.
Therefore, we recommend that you choose World Nomads Travel Insurance  (affiliate link). 

How to pack for India?

If you’re wondering how you should pack for your trip to India, here are some tips that can help:

Men's Packing Bag

To make sure you’re completed sorted for your vacation, make sure to carry the following:

  1. Jeans- You will need them for diners, cafes, bars, etc.
  2. T-shirts- carry enough of them so that you have a new one to wear an alternate day.
  3. Tank tops- Carry 2-3 tank tops to stay cool.
  4. Comfy pants for hiking and yoga
  5. Wear sweaters, coats, or sweatshirt if you’re visiting a colder region
  6. A pair of sandals
  7. A pair of boots
  8. A few pair of shoes
  9. A hat and sunglasses
  10. Tennis shoes and socks

Women’s Packing Bag

For women, we’d recommend you to take the following with you on your trip:

  1. Comfy pants/trousers

This will make you feel comfortable the entire day, regardless of whether you are walking or hiking

  1. Jeans

You might have to visit new places and look presentable. So make sure you’re carrying a few pairs.

  1. 3. Leggings & kurta

Carry a few pairs of leggings or yoga pants as well. Make sure you have Indian kurtas to match with them. Women wear them very often.

  1. Long skirts and dresses

Keeping a few long skirts and dresses ready will help you walk around at ease, visit temples & more.

  1. Swimsuit

If you’re traveling to Goa or Kerala, a nice swimsuit will definitely do wonders. Make sure you have a few pairs.

How to pack for kids?

If you’re traveling with kids, remember that less is always more. Don’t take toys because kids will play with almost anything, including seashells and sand they find on beaches. Make sure you take only what you need. This includes clothes, baby bottles, diapers, and other essentials. For more advice on India, you can check out travel to India blogs available online.

The truth is, traveling to India can be slightly challenging as compared to other countries. But if you keep our tips, suggestions, and ideas in mind, be assured that your trip will be a beautiful one.

Related questions

Is it safe to travel to India?

Contrary to popular opinion, India is quite safe to travel to. However, you must be well aware of the location before you visiti