5 islands combined make the city of dreams, and then there’s a city which stood strong through ages and boasts of the rich Indian history, or paradise city on earth (yes, there is one!). No, these aren’t just cities but the lifeline of this majestic country.
With a list of over 1609 cities and towns, here’s our pick of the most beautiful cities in India. Yes, they are dirty; yes, they aren’t too safe; yes, they might not please you always; but each city has a distinct flavor and trust me, they are worth being proud of!
27 Of the Most Beautiful Places In India
Believe it or not, in spite of all the pollution that a developing country has to bear, India is home to some of the most beautiful cities in the world, and it could very well be your home! Check out the list below to find out more about the most gorgeous corners of the country:
- Srinagar – Venice of the East
- Jaipur – The Paris of India
- Chandigarh- The City Beautiful
- Mumbai- The City of Dreams
- Kolkata- The City of Joy
- Bangalore- The Garden City of India
- Hyderabad- City of Pearls
- Pondicherry- The French Riviera of the East
- Panaji- The land that never floods
- Delhi- The Dilwali city
- Gangtok – The City At The ‘Side Of The Hill Top’
- Varanasi- The City Of Temples
- Shillong- Scotland Of The East
- Kochi- The Queen of the Arabian Sea
- Mussoorie- Queen of the Mountains
- Mysore- The Heritage City
- Nainital- The Startling City of Lakes
- Shimla- The Queen Of Hills
- Ladakh- Rugged And Surreal Beauty
- Bhubaneswar- The Erstwhile Land Of King Ashoka
- Agra- The Land Blessed By Medieval Mughal Kings
- Udaipur- The Home Of The Kings
- Dehradun- The Quaint Valley In The Hills
- Visakhapatnam- The Coastal City Of The South
- Guwahati- The Gateway Into The Unexplored Paradise
- Darjeeling- Rolling Hills & Vast Tea Gardens
- Chennai- The Detroit Of India
1. Srinagar – Venice of the East
The world knows Kashmir is a heaven on earth. But so is this beautiful city of India – Srinagar. Idyllically located on the banks of the Jhelum, Srinagar is truly a paradise! It derives its nickname due to the fact that the place is dotted prettily colorful gardens, still limpid lakes, and graceful houseboats and shikaras.
Suggested Read: 10 Unbelievably Beautiful Places To Visit In Kashmir
2. Jaipur – The Paris of India
From the land of Rajas, this well known “Pink City” or the “Paris of India” is number two on our list of the most beautiful cities in India. Celebrated for its sheer natural and architectural beauty, Jaipur is applauded for its spectacularly vibrant historical roots.
3. Chandigarh- The City Beautiful
Chandigarh is an example of superb urban planning and new-age architecture. Nestled at the foothills of the Shivalik range, this greenest city of India is a perfect blend of modernity and serenity and warmth.
4. Mumbai- The City of Dreams
Maximum City, Mumbai: where every Indian comes with dreams in his eyes and goes back with rich memories of different hues! The financial capital of India, Mumbai has still retained its Victorian charm as well as its intense regional flavor and is a must on our list of beautiful cities in India. And not to forget the majestic queen’s necklace to add charm to the shores of the island city.
5. Kolkata- The City of Joy
Be it the busy Howrah Bridge on the Hoogli or the majestic Victoria memorial, the serene Belur Math, or the supremely energizing Dakshineshwar temple, Kolkata is bound to mesmerize you. Truly a City of Joy, it’s a beautiful city in India with equally beautiful people and food to match!
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6. Bangalore- The Garden City of India
Greenery is the hallmark of this tech-city. Look around and you’ll find a riot of red-orange and lavender blossoms. Lest you get fooled into believing Bangalore to be a sleepy foliage-lined haven, just take a walk down Brigade road or M G Road to soak in the vibrantly pulsating youthful city!
7. Hyderabad- City of Pearls
Number 7 on our list of most beautiful cities of India is the classic tribute to the Nizami culture that existed in India – Hyderabad. The city boasts of numerous palaces, mosques, tombs, the attire, and cuisine. Standing alongside this old world charm is, Cyberabad which is the epitome of modernism with swish malls, chic showrooms, and “happening” restaurants and pubs.
8. Pondicherry- The French Riviera of the East
Experience France right here in India! Once a French colony, Pondicherry to date retains a distinct French nature. Neat roads, French-style homes, beachside cafes, exclusive boutiques, and Pondy’s breathtaking beachfront. And to top it all the Auroville Ashram. You wouldn’t want to leave this place, ever!
9. Panaji- The land that never floods
If Pondicherry is French, Panaji is the Portuguese taste! Hugging the Mandovi River, Panaji is a relaxed quaint city with old restored Portuguese villas, wide tree-lined roads along the river, archaic book and art shops, and numerous seafood eating places and bars. Look across the river and the eye meets a number of resplendent floating casinos and cruises you would be tempted to hop on to.
10. Delhi- The Dilwali city
Everything is ‘King-size’ in this city! The ‘Dilwalon-ki-Dilli’ doesn’t believe in mediocrity. Look anywhere, the roads, the buildings, the monuments, the malls, the Metro and bus network, and even the abundance of eating options. Explore this beautiful city of India, Delhi and there is always something more and exciting to discover!
11. Gangtok – The City At The ‘Side Of The Hill Top’
A unique “city” in the lap of the Shivalik range, Gangtok is undoubtedly one of the most stunning cities in India. It has a strong Tibetan culture and it leaves its clues wherever you look. Enigmatic colorful monasteries, long winding roads, manicured parks and gardens, and the spectacular view of the Kanchenjunga all add up to making Gangtok a magical kingdom in the east.
12. Varanasi- The City Of Temples
The oldest living city on Earth, this city will take you back a few thousand years! A 3000 yr old city, true to its name it has temples every few paces. Steeped in tradition it is culturally rich as can be witnessed by visiting the multitude of “ghats” here.
13. Shillong- Scotland Of The East
At a height of 4908 ft above sea level, Shillong is a multicultural city surrounded by rolling hills. The bygone British influence is still evident in the Shillong buildings and monuments. A walk in the streets of ‘Police Bazaar’ and Barabazar, the Khasi ladies carrying their babies on their backs, the shared cabs, the roadside momos, and the little kids in their colorful blazers make a pretty sight.
14. Kochi- The Queen of the Arabian Sea
Located in God’s Own Country, Kerala, Kochi is a beautiful sea-side city in India, nicely settled between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. Its inclusion in National Geographic Traveler’s ’50 greatest places of a lifetime’ says it all.
15. Mussoorie- Queen of the Mountains
Although many would argue that it’s a hill station, Mussoorie is a city in its own right. The British retreated to this idyllic hill city to beat the heat in the summers. Quiet with meandering roads, busy markets and a mind-blowing view of the Himalayas, this city is for the romantic in you.
16. Mysore- The Heritage City
A beautiful city in South India, Mysore boasts of some mesmerizing monuments including the famous Mysore Palace. There are over 200 monuments here with a heritage tag. It’s a place where tradition and contemporaneity easily walk hand in hand.
17. Nainital- The Startling City of Lakes
Another one on our list of beautiful cities in India is the hill city of Nainital. Unlike Bhopal, the city of Lakes, Nainital boasts of the most picturesque lakes and is believed to have had 60 lakes. The lakes and the view of the Himalayas make a perfect combination, making Nainital one of the loveliest cities at a height.
18. Shimla- The Queen Of Hills
The capital city of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla was the erstwhile summer capital during the colonial period. Surrounded by the mighty Himalayas, offer some of the best views in the city. The city boasts of colonial architecture and a chilled out cafe culture. It is not just another hill station where you just visit to experience the chilly weather but a charming city that is a mix of commercial development and historic footing.
19. Ladakh- Rugged And Surreal Beauty
Perched at the highest point in the country, Ladakh is a Union Territory that is blessed with the most surreal views that you’ll ever see in your lifetime. The rugged mountains, gurgling rivers, and sky blue pools and enchanting Buddhist Gompas make up the essence of Ladakh. The place is often chosen for biking expeditions and extreme adventure activities like rock climbing, rappelling, and grade 4+ rapids water rafting.
20. Bhubaneswar- The Erstwhile Land Of King Ashoka
Aptly nicknamed as the ‘Temple City Of India’, Bhubaneswar is another beautiful city in India that is the thriving capital of Odisha. The settlements in the city date back to the historic era of the reign of King Ashoka, and is today a lovely city that holds on to its glorious past. The city is the center of Buddhist art and architecture of the country and if you are interested in art and culture this place must be on your bucket list.
21. Agra- The Land Blessed By Medieval Mughal Kings
The home of the epitome of love, Taj Mahal, the seventh wonder of the world, Agra is a place that welcomes an innumerable number of tourists each year. Apart from the Taj, the city is also home to numerous medieval architecture including forts and palaces built by the bountiful Mughal empire. Visit this place to get a glimpse into India’s glorious past.
22. Udaipur- The Home Of The Kings
The erstwhile capital of the Mewar kingdom, Udaipur is lovingly known as the city of lakes. The city gives a glimpse into the royal past of the Rajput kings and their extravagance. The mighty forts and palaces in this place will take you on a joyride into the history of the country.
23. Dehradun- The Quaint Valley In The Hills
Located on the foothills of the Shivalik ranges, in the Garhwal region, Dehradun is a quaint hill town with the charms of the colonial era sprinkled onto the already gorgeous place. The vast terrain surrounding the capital city of Uttarakhand is left to be explored by trekkers and nature lovers. Apart from the scenic beauty, the place is also famous for its acclaimed educational institutions that attract aspirants from across the country.
24. Visakhapatnam- The Coastal City Of The South
The pristine beaches and the scenic landscapes are signatories to Visakhapatnam. Better known today as Vizag, it is a port city and is one of the must-visit places in the southern part of the country. The city is clean and tidy, thanks to the active municipal corporation.
25. Guwahati- The Gateway Into The Unexplored Paradise
Guwahati is famous for being the gateway into the Northeast. The city is dotted with aged old temples and surrounded by scenic landscapes. The place also acts as a great base to explore the great unexplored northeastern part of India. A developing metropolitan city, Guwahati is a delight for tourists as well as city dwellers.
26. Darjeeling- Rolling Hills & Vast Tea Gardens
Snowy peaks, vibrant green hills, and lovely people are some of the things that make Darjeeling one of the most beautiful places in India.It is a magnificent hill resort located in the state of West Bengal and is a favorite among mountain lovers. Make sure to try out the best quality tea is not just the country but the world when you’re here.
27. Chennai- The Detroit Of India
The capital city of Tamil Nadu, Chennai is the fourth largest city in India. It is a huge metropolis located on the coast of the vast Bay of Bengal. Owing to its vast coast, the city boasts of some of the best beaches in India and amazing views of the sea. While the weather may remain a bit too temperate, the city is lovely for its dwellers and tourists too.
Further Read: Best Landscapes In India: Surreal To The Core!
India is a land of rich culture and heritage and the most beautiful cities in India stand as an embodiment of that. So, on your next holiday across India, make sure to get a taste of the place a little better. As it is said, visit a beautiful place and you carry a piece of it back with you. Which beautiful city is going to be the lucky one?
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Frequently Asked Questions About Beautiful Cities In India
A. The best city to live in India depends on the kind of environment a person is looking for. Some metro cities that are good to work and stay in are Hyderabad and Pune. These cities also have amazing places nearby to explore as weekend getaways.
A. If one is looking for a honeymoon destination, then they can plan a trip to Kerala or the Northeast. If it is a family trip, then one can head to Leh Ladakh in the north or explore the vibrant state of Rajasthan. If one is looking for a trip with friends then Goa and Gokarna are two amazing beach destinations in India.
A. Traveling in India is not very expensive. Some of the budget destinations here are Alleppey, Pondicherry, Rishikesh, Kanatal, Gokarna, and more.
A. Some cities that are safe in India for traveling solo are Jaipur, Hyderabad, Mussoorie and Surat.
A. Sikkim and Kerala are two peaceful states in India with a calm and welcoming atmosphere.
A. India is a country known for its diverse culture and with such diversity comes a variety of cuisines. There is no one famous food of India, as different states have their own specialties which are popular here. Rajma Chawal is one popular food item in North India while Dosa is one of the famous foods from the South.
A. Foreigners usually head to beach destinations in India like Goa, Gokarna, Varkala, and Kovalam in the south and mountain destinations like Kasol, and Ladakh in the north.
A. whenever one is traveling to a new city they should be a bit cautious. Pickpockets can be found everywhere, but if one is cautious of their surroundings, then it is safe to travel to different places in India.
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