India is home to everything from gorgeous palaces and bustling cities to a diverse and tranquil countryside filled with mountains, lakes, and exotic animals.
The intricacies found in the detailed architecture of India’s palaces and temples are both fascinating and breathtaking, and most of the sites are unlike anything you would encounter in the western world.
From stunning temples to lush tea plantations, here are 27 photos that will inspire you to book a trip to India.
The Assam tea plantations in Northeast India have lush green tea fields that seem to stretch on forever.
The Meenakshi Temple is located in Tamil Nadu and is a beacon of bright blues, yellows, pinks, and greens. The incredibly detailed layers of the temple reach far into the sky.
The Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors) is the best known part of Jaipur's Amber Fort. Paintings and flowers carved from glass cover the palace walls and ceilings, giving the palace its name.
New Delhi's Lotus Temple offers a sharp contrast from India's more traditional temples. There's a simple elegance in its modern appearance.
The street markets in New Delhi sell an exotic and eye-catching array of nuts, fruits, spices, candies, and more.
The gleaming Golden Palace is part of the city of Amritsar, which serves as a spiritual center for Sikhs and used to be the gateway to Punjab for travellers coming from central Asia.
The Victoria Memorial is a monument in the city of Kolkata that was built in honour of the British Empire, which explains the building's more western architecture.
The Buddhist monuments which fill the Ajanta Caves tell stories that date back to the 1st and 2nd centuries B.C.
Udaipur's City Palace is a complex of 11 majestic palaces complete with gardens, gates, courtyards, terraces, and corridors that are situated on the banks of Lake Pichola.
The Ganges River, which flows through the northern plains of India, is considered holy in Hinduism. Every 12 years, millions of Hindus travel to the river in order to bathe in it and wash away their sins.
Varanasi is a city on the banks of the Ganges that's sacred to Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains, who bathe in the river.
Buddhists believe that Bodhgaya, in northeastern India, is where the founder of the faith reached enlightenment. Today it's a spiritual pilgrimage site for Buddhists.
Mumbai's historic railway station, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is a blend of Victorian Gothic and Indian architecture. Originally known as Victoria Terminus Station, the terminal was built in 1878 and served as a hub for merchants.
The Nilgiri Mountain Rail is the steepest rail line in India, stretching from Mettupalayam to Ootacamund (Ooty). The five hour ride offers incredible views of India's countryside.
Humayun's Tomb, which was built for India's second Mughal emperor, looks more like a palace with its dome and detailed walls and archways. The tomb later inspired the construction of the Taj Mahal.
A striking mix of patches of bright green and looming instruments, the Jantar Mantar is an astronomical observation site that was built in the early 1700s in Jaipur. Although there are other astronomical sites in the country from this period, the Jantar Mantar is the most well preserved.
Known by some as the Arc de Triomphe of the East, the Charminar is the centrepiece of the city of Hyderabad.
The Oberoi Udaivilas hotel in Udaipur is regularly named the world's best hotel by top travel publications. Here, guests arrive by private boat and stay in luxury accommodations that are designed to resemble a traditional Indian palace.
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