India

India is administratively divided into 28 states and 7 union ter...ritories. The states are broadly demarcated on linguistic lines. They vary in size; the larger ones are bigger and more diverse than some countries of Europe. The union territories are smaller than the states—sometimes they are just one city—and they have much less autonomy.

Himalayan North (Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand) :
Mountainous and beautiful, a tourist destination for the adventurous and the spiritual. This region contains some of India's most visited hill-stations and religious places. Includes the exquisitely scenic states.

The Plains (Bihar, Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh) :
The country's capital Delhi is here. The river Ganga and Yamuna flows through this plain. Many of the events that shaped India's history took place in this region.

Western India (Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan) :
Miles and miles of the Thar Desert. Home to the colorful palaces, forts and cities of Rajasthan, the country's most vibrant and biggest city Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), wonderful beaches and pristine forests of Goa and Bollywood (Indian film industry in Bombay).

Southern India (Andaman and Nicobar, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu) :
A strong bastion of indigenous culture, South India features famous and historical temples, tropical forests, backwaters in Kerala, equally great coastal line and country side infused with rich heritage in Andhra Pradesh, beautiful hill stations in Tamil Nadu, beaches and cosmopolitan cities in Pondicherry, Karnataka and the wonderful lush island groups of Andaman & Nicobar (on the east) and Lakshadweep on the west.

Eastern India (Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Sikkim, West Bengal) :
India's mostly rural region, its largest city is Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta), the temple cities of Puri of Lord Jagannath fame and Bhubaneswar are both in Orissa.

North-Eastern India (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura) :
remote and sensitive, the country's tribal corner, with beautiful landscapes and famous for Tea Gardens. Consists of seven tiny states (by Indian standards, some of them are larger than Switzerland or Austria) popularly nicknamed as the Seven Sisters.

TOP TOURIST DETINATIONS OF INDIA :

* Delhi — the capital of India for a thousand years and the heart of Northern India. City of famous Red Fort and India Gate.

* Bangalore (now Bengaluru) — The garden city, once the sleepy home of pensioners now transformed into the city of pubs, technology and companies.

* Chennai (formerly Madras) — main port in Southern India, cradle of Carnatic Music and Bharatanatyam, home of the famous Marina beach, Automobile Capital of India and a fast emerging IT hub.

* Jaipur — the Pink City is a major exhibit of the Hindu Rajput culture of medeival Northern India. Well known for Hawa Mahal and various forts built by Rajput rulers.

* Agra — the incomparable marble tomb Taj Mahal in Agra

* Varanasi — considered the most sacred Hindu city, located on the banks of the Ganges, one of the oldest continually inhabited cities of the world.

* Khajuraho — famed for its erotic sculptures

* Udaipur — the Lake Palace of Octopussy fame, located in Udaipur, city of lakes.

* Goa — an east-west mix, beaches and syncretic culture.

* Shimla — the former summer capital of British India located in the Himalayan foothills with a large legacy of Victorian architecture.

* Kochi (formerly Cochin) — Historically, a centre of international trade, now the gateway to the sandy beaches and backwaters of Kerala.

* Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) — the cultural capital of India, Kolkata is home to numerous colonial buildings. It is known as The City of Joy.

* Mumbai (formerly Bombay) — the financial capital of India, "Bollywood" (Indian Hindi Film Industry) hub.

* Bodh Gaya — the place where the Buddha Sakyamuni attained enlightenment.

* Ellora/Ajanta — spectacular rock-cut cave monasteries and temples, holy place for the Buddhists, Jains and Hindus.

* Golden Temple — Sikh holy site located in Amritsar

* Hampi — the awesome ruins of the empire of Vijayanagara

* Meenakshi Temple — a spectacular Hindu temple in Madurai
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