15 Destinations In India That Are Popular Amongst Foreigners!

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Have you ever asked yourself, why is India such a popular tourist destination, especially among foreigners? Or wondered why foreigners always seem eager to visit India?

If yes, then I am sure you have wondered what exactly it is that attracts most people to India.

Well here’s the deal!

The reason behind this fascination, lies in its Diversity. And I am not talking only about geographical diversity, but also diversity of culture, religion and ethnicity.

No matter which part of the world you’re from, you will never feel alienated in India, because India has something unique to offer to each and everyone of its visitors.

Moreover, geographically too, India is one of the most beautiful and culturally rich place you will ever travel to. India gives you infinite options to visit diverse landscapes & destinations, all within the same country.

Listed below are 15 most popular destinations in India, which are commonly visited by both locals as well as foreigners.

1. Khajjiar – A Picturesque Hill Station


Nestled between the snowy mountains, Khajjiar is a small plateau town in Himachal Pradesh known for its lush green meadows and pleasant climate. Owing to its majestic beauty, it is often referred to as the ‘Mini Switzerland of India’, and it is one of the reasons why most foreigners, who have a limited budget and can’t afford to travel to Switzerland, flock this place.

Khajjiar also attracts a lot of adventure seekers with sports options like paragliding, zorbing, horse riding and more. And if you truly want to enjoy & explore this natural paradise, then trekking is the way to go!

Nearby Attraction:
There are two temples Khajji Nag & Golden Devi Temple which are famous for the depiction of Mahabharata and the Golden Dome respectively. Besides this, the Nine Hole Golf Course, Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary and Dhauladhar Mountain Range, are some of the other places in this area that are worth visiting.

Best Time To Visit: April to October

How To Get there:
The nearest Gaggal Airport in Kangra, is about 140Km away from Dalhousie and from Dalhousie, Khajjiar is about 26km away & can be reached through cars or mini vans.

There are plenty of budget and luxury hotels available, which offer limited yet scrumptious cuisines and almost all hotel rooms offer a stunning view of the nearby snow-clad mountains.

Must Visit:
Located about 24kms from Khajjiar, is the Valley of Chamba, which is a scenic town known for its mesmerizing beauty, ancient temples and lakes.

2. India’s Sahara Desert – Thar Desert, Rajasthan

Thar Desert

Peppered with low barren hills and surrounded by saline lakes, the Thar desert in the incredible state of Rajasthan is covered with sand dunes and sandy plains that seem forever in motion.

Popularly known as the Great Indian Desert; Thar is a sanctuary for many endangered animals like Black Buck, Gazelle, Great Indian Bustard etc and boasts of having 11 national parks in the area, with the largest being the Nara Desert Wildlife Sanctuary.

A chance to experience the rich and incredible culture of this region, alongside folk music, dance and exquisite food is the reason why this place is a popular foreign tourist destination in India.

Best Time To Visit: October to March

How To Get there:
The nearest airport at Jodhpur, an attractive tourist destination itself,  is about 285 kms from Jaisalmer. And from Jaisalmer, Thar Desert is approximately 100 km & it takes about 2 hours to reach there.

Thar doesn’t have any luxury accommodations, but there are family-run guest houses nearby, which provide lodging and food at a reasonable rate.

Must Visit:
Jaisalmer, the nearest city from Thar, has one of the world’s largest forts “Sonar Kila” or ‘Golden Fort’, which is a splendid architectural delight, and a must see for all travellers.

3. The Wettest Place on Earth – Mawsynram, Meghalaya


Blessed with an abundant variety of flora & fauna, alongside breathtaking sights of waterfalls, Mawsynram in the north-eastern state of Meghalaya, is a tiny village perched on the Khasi hills. It is one of the most scenic places in India with tall mountain cliffs, rolling green forests alongside hot sulphuric water springs.

But, the real reason why this place is the most popular tourist destination is because of its Rains. Yes, you read that right!

Mawsynram is termed as the wettest place on Earth, with an annual rainfall of about 11872 millimeters, making it one of the most fascinating places in India.

Foreigners who visit this place are awestruck by its spellbinding beauty and the fact that they are able to witness such a natural wonder, is the reason why they keep visiting this place in large numbers.

Nearby Attraction:
The Mawsmai Falls and the Nohalikalai Falls, India’s fourth & fifth largest waterfalls.

Another astonishing attraction that makes this place famous is the “Living Root Bridges” An alternative to wooden bridges, this natural man-made wonder is formed by trainable roots of ancient rubber trees, that grows overtime to form bridges across various rivers.

How To Get there:
If you are travelling here by air then the nearest airport is in Shillong. From there Mawsynram is about 47 kms by car.

There are a few hotels around this place along with small restaurants and convenience stores.

Must Visit:
A visit to Mawlynnong, termed as the cleanest village in Asia is a must. It is located about 106kms from Mawsynram.

4. Alappuzha – The Tranquil Backwaters of Kerala

The Tranquil Backwaters

A hotspot for international tourists, Alappuzha is a beautiful backwater town in Kerala famous for its fresh water rivers, houseboats and beautiful beaches. Adorned with lush green landscape & gleaming backwaters, Alappuzha provides visitors with a soothing and serene environment for relaxing, amid exceptional natural beauty.

Termed as the ‘Venice of the East’, Alappuzha is for sure less glamorous than its namesake, but its extraordinary natural allure, coupled with simplicity and calm surroundings, is the reason why most foreigners prefer this place over the
bustling tourist town of Venice.

Best Time To Visit:
The best time to visit this place is September to March, and the famous Snake Boat Races, that are held every year during the festival of Onam is one that you can’t afford to miss.

Nearby Attraction:
The Mannarasala Sri Nagaraja Temple, devoted to the serpent Gods, is a popular attraction along with the Revi Karuna Karan Memorial Museum & Statue Of Karumadikutta, which are both an architectural marvel and a major tourist attraction.

How To Get there:
Kochi is the nearest airport to Alappuzha at a distance of 64km.

There are many resorts and luxury hotels available. But, an overnight stay on one of the houseboats is highly recommended.

Must Visit:
Some 98kms from Alappuzha lies a hill station called Vagamon. Famous for its pleasant climate and tea plantation, it is often referred to as the “Scotland of Asia” and is worth a visit.

5. Eternal Symbol Of Love – Taj Mahal, Agra

Taj Mahal

No trip to India, can ever be completed without visiting this epic monument!

Known throughout the world as the “Symbol of Love”, the majestic aura of the Taj Mahal cannot be described or encompassed in a few words. A magnificent architectural wonder, this white marble monument is a perfect example of the amalgamation of different architectural styles, that were intertwined to create one of the most beautiful & awe-inspiring sculptures of Indian history.

Today, Taj Mahal is India’s most prized historical legacy and as one of the 7 Wonders of the World, it has become the topmost foreign tourist destination in India.

Best Time To Visit: October to March.

How To Get there:
Agra is well connected to most cities across India, reaching here via airplane, train or road, shouldn’t pose as a problem.

There are plenty of accommodation options available, from luxury to budget hotels.

Must Visit:
To make your trip to Agra more memorable, include other attractions such as Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Fort, Mankameshwar Temple etc, to your travel itinerary.

6. Majestic Islands of Andaman and Nicobar

Islands of Andaman and Nicobar

A secluded tropical paradise, the twin islands of Andaman and Nicobar, are well known for their vibrant marine life and beautiful white sand beaches. Referred to as the “Emerald Islands“, this island mainly attracts adventure sports enthusiasts, with water sporting activities like snorkeling, surfing, scuba diving, etc. Besides water sports, you can also enjoy hiking and trekking, as this region is surrounded by thick evergreen forests.

Owing to its alluring environs, lustrous landscape along with crystal clear water, these islands like most of the islands around the world, offer the best view of nature. The only difference is that these islands are secluded and away from the maddening crowd, thus making them one of the most sought after destinations by foreign tourists.

Nearby Attraction:
There are many other attractions in this area, such as the Marina Park and Aquarium, which is run and managed by the Indian Navy & India’s infamous Kaala Paani Jail or Cellular Prison.

Other major attractions are the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Anthropological Museum and Forest Museum.

How To Get there:
The Islands can be reached via air with Port Blair being the nearest airport or through passenger ships that runs from Kolkata, Chennai and Vishakhapatnam.

Best Time To Visit: December to April.

This place has many options such as hotels, resorts and even overnight Island camping.

Must Visit:
Situated about 139kms from the city of Port Blair, lies Barren Island which hosts India’s only active volcano.

7. The Mysore Palace or The Amba Vilas Palace, Karnataka

The Amba Vilas Palace


That’s the word that comes to my mind, when you look at this opulent wonder.

Constructed in a distinct Indo-Saracenic style, the Mysore Palace is a three storey stone structure with a series of delicately curved arches and spectacular marble dome, all of which are gilded in gold. Foreigners who are intrigued about India’s past glory, visit this opulent palace that tells the story of India’s rich heritage.

Best Time To Visit:
The best time to visit this place is during national holidays, especially Dussera or on Sundays when the whole structure is illuminated with thousands of lights.

How To Get there:
The nearest airport is at Bangalore, from there you can reach Mysore by train or if you are travelling by car, Mysore lies about 139kms south-west from Bangalore.

There are many hotels, hostels and resorts available in Mysore.

Nearby Attraction:
The Karanji Lake, the biggest lakes in the state of Karnataka and the Mysore Zoo, home to over 90 species of birds, are other two famous destinations in Mysore.

8. The Holiest Indian City – Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh


One of the oldest inhabited cities of India, Varanasi or Benaras is situated on the banks of river Ganga or Ganges in Uttar Pradesh and is a culturally rich city, popular for its Ghats, Ancient Temples and Classical music.

Most foreign tourists love the energetic and exuberant vibe of Varanasi, which attracts tourists through its architectural marvels, religious folklore and spiritualism. Early morning boat rides, to one of the Ghats is quiet popular in this area, along with river bathing, yoga and meditation.

Also, one of the most mesmerizing experience that you cannot afford to miss while in Varanasi is the Ganga Aarti. Performed each evening on the banks of the river, Ganga Aarti is a huge & stunning ceremony that is sure to leave you spellbound!

Nearby Attraction:
The Ram Nagar Fort, which is a huge fort on the western bank of the Ganga river. It houses a museum which showcases antique jewellery, vintage cars, war equipment’s, medieval costumes etc.

Best Time To Visit: October to March

Accommodations are available in the form of Guest Houses, Dharamshalas and Budget hotels. The local cuisine of Varanasi is particularly very tasty and delicious.

How To Get there:
A well-connected city, Varanasi can be reached through train, air, bus or car.

Must Visit:
Located 13kms away from Varanasi, Sarnath is a popular Buddhist pilgrimage place. It is believed that Lord Gautam Buddha, after attaining enlightenment, gave his first sermon at Sarnath.

9. Enchanted Mountains of Leh-Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir

Mountains of Leh-Ladakh

Termed as one of the ‘Coldest Deserts in the World’, Leh-Ladakh is a stunning mountain town that lies in the eastern parts of Jammu and Kashmir.

Surrounded by snow-capped mountain ranges, Leh-Ladakh is a surreal land known for its enchanting natural beauty. With clear blue skies, beautiful green valleys, sand dunes and pristine streams; this place is God’s own paradise, waiting to be fully discovered.

Besides the breathtaking landscape, this hilly region is also teeming with exotic flora and fauna. International tourists mostly visit this place for its myriad cultures, ancient ruins and adventure activities.

Nearby Attraction:
Famously known as “Trekkers Paradise“, the Nubra valley and the Zanskar valley in this area are the two prominent attractions along with the Pangong Lake and the Tso Moriri Lake. There are also magnificent ancient Buddhist monasteries around this region, the oldest and the largest being the Lamayuru & Diskit monastery.

Best Time To Visit: June to September.

How To Get there:
Leh-Ladakh, is well connected with several other Indian cities and can be reached by air and train.

There are plenty of hotels in this region, but for an over-all experience, it is best that you book yourself an all-inclusive package tour.

Must Visit:
The Khardung La pass, which is about 40kms from Leh, is the world’s highest motorable road at the height of 18,380 feet.

10. Goa – For Glorious Beaches and Old Churches

Glorious Beaches

What can one say about the most sought after tourist destination of India?

The smallest Indian state, Goa is a fashionable and people friendly place with the major attraction undoubtedly being its pristine beaches and it is also one of the most popular weekend getaway destination.

Apart from the beaches, Goa’s bonhomie culture, night-life, along with affordable accommodation options and water sporting activities, are the reason why this area has heavy influx of foreign tourists throughout the year

Nearby Attraction:
The Arvalam Waterfall and Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, are few places in this region that are famous for trekking, especially during monsoon. Furthermore, there are many magnificent churches and cathedrals, mainly in Old Goa, along with archaeological museums and spice plantations.

There are all types of accommodation that can be found in Goa, from simple homestays and hotels to bed & breakfast style accommodations. But for a memorable experience, a night in one of the beach shacks is highly recommended.

How To Get there:
Travelling to Goa is fairly easy and you can reach there by airplane, train, bus or car.

Must Visit:
The Dudhsagar Falls, situated 60kms from Panaji, is a magical four-tiered waterfall and a must see for all travellers.

11. Splendid Caves of Ajanta & Ellora – Aurangabad , Maharashtra

Caves of Ajanta & Ellora

Take a step back in time!

Boasting a splendid ancient rock-cut architecture, the Caves of Ajanta and Ellora are the world’s greatest historical monuments, dating all the way back to the 2nd century BC.

These Caves are the finest examples of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain temple & monastery architecture in India and have been declared a “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO.

A heaven for archaeologists and historians, foreigners visit this place to see the confluence of three different religions, depicted in an awe-inspiring pictorial masterpiece.

Nearby Attraction:

Besides the caves, another tourist attraction in this area is the Kailasa Temple, which was excavated at Ellora and is the largest monolithic structure in the world.

Best Time To Visit: October to March

How To Get there:
From Mumbai you can reach Aurangabad through train or car.

For accommodation, you will find few boutique & budget hotels around this area.

Must Visit:
A four-hours drive from the Caves, lies Lonar Lake, which is the earth’s only hyper-velocity impact crater, formed by a crashed meteor some thousand years ago.

12. Magnificent Rock Island – Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu


Located about 500 meters from the mainland, in the middle of the Indian Ocean and built on two adjacent rocks, are three of the most important architectural monuments of India.

Popularly known as the “Rock Island” of Kanyakumari, this small island is home to the famous Vivekananda Rock Memorial, the Sri Pada Mandapam and the popular Statue of Thiruvalluvar.

The Rock Island is one of the places in Kanyakumari, that is visited by millions of tourists each year and besides the rich heritage of Kanyakumari, foreigners are attracted to this place for its ayurvedic retreats and wellness centers.

How To Get there:
Travelling by train from Mumbai to Kanyakumari is the best option. But if you are planning to travel by air, then the nearest airport to KanyaKumari is Trivandrum International Airport. From Trivandrum, Kanyakumari is 67kms away and can be reached through car or local buses.

Best Time To Visit: October to May.

There are plenty of hotels available at reasonable rates.

Must Visit:
Located about 11kms from Kanyakumari, is the temple town Suchindrum, which is famous for its Dravidian style temples that are a splendid architectural wonder.

13. The Striking Sculptural Wonders Of Khajuraho Temples, Madhya Pradesh

Khajuraho Temples

Located in the Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho is a small village famously known for its erotic wall carving temples.

Known to many as the “City of Exotic Temples”, these group of monuments with its bold carvings, attract tourists from all over the globe, making it a popular international tourist destination in India

Best Time To Visit:
The best time to visit Khajuraho, is during its annual Spring Dance Festival in the month of February, wherein, you will get a chance to see various Indian Classical Dance performances, with the striking temple of Khajuraho acting as a backdrop.

How To Get there: You can reach Khajuraho by train or air.

For accommodation, there are plenty of budget and luxurious hotels available.

Must Visit:
The Raneh Waterfall located about 22kms from Khajuraho, is a fascinating waterfall, known for its myriad colour canyon and wildlife.

14. An Intriguing Terrain Of Ancient Ruins – Golconda Fort, Hyderabad

Golkonda Fort

A massive fortress, this fort has eight imposing gateways and 87 bastions as tall as 60 feet, surmounted by cannons, rendering it the title of “The Unconquerable Fort”.

Even though, today, this architectural wonder lies in ruins, it is still one of the greatest monuments of India and attracts a good number of foreign tourists, who visit here to see the birthplace of the world’s most famous gems, including the Kohinoor Diamond, the Hope Diamond and the Nassak Diamond, which were once stored in the vault of the Golconda Fort.

Best Time To Visit: September to March

For accommodation, you will find few high-end resorts and budget hotels around this region, along with some restaurants.

How To Get there:
You can reach Hyderabad through air or train. The fort is situated about 11kms from Hyderabad city and be can reached by car.

Must Visit:
An hour’s drive from the Fort, lies the Hussain Sagar Lake, which is home to one of the world’s tallest monolithic statues of the Buddha. Built in the middle of the lake, this huge statue stands on what is popularly known as the ‘Rock of Gibraltar’.

15. The Tallest Brick Minaret – Qutub Minar, Delhi

Qutub Minar

Constructed in the early 12th century AD, Qutab Minar was built by Qutab-ud-din Aibak, to commemorate the beginning of Mughal era in India. One of the tallest minarets at 234 feet, it is done in Indo–Islamic style architecture and is one of the oldest monuments in Delhi.

A five storey tower, Qutab Minar is made from red sandstone and marble, with each storey marked by a projected balcony. Apart from the intricately carved designs, this tower is also covered with the verses from the holy Quran, along with numerous other inscriptions.

As a symbol of the majestic Mughal era, today this monument is listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO and its one of the reasons why many foreigners throng to Delhi to visit this masterpiece.

How To Get there:
Reaching the capital of India, Delhi, from any part of the world is easy and can be reached through air or train.

Best Time To Visit: October to March

For accommodation, there are numerous options available.

Must Visit:
There are quiet a number of stunning monuments in Delhi, known for its historical significance. Some of them are the Red Fort, the Lodi Gardens, the India Gate, Jama Masjid etc.

Taking a trip to these places with your family or friends, is something that you must consider doing, at least once in your lifetime. Even though some of these places have taken the beatings of time, losing most of their natural splendour, their importance and magnificence can never be dimmed.

To sum it up, Travelling to any one of this place is like an all-in-one tour package, comprising of adventurous destinations, soothing environs, incredible landscapes, culminating into awe-inspiring experience that creates unforgettable memories!