- Currency : Indian rupee (Rs.)
- Population : 1.252 billion
- Time Zone : UTC+05:30
- Area : 3.287 million km2
- Capital : New Delhi
- Official Language : Hindi, English
- Capital’s calling code:+91
Regions in India for Tourism
About North India
Endowed with diverse topography, climatic conditions, and cultural beliefs, North India covers an area of about 1,420,540 sq km. Its dominant geographical features include the Himalayas to its north, the Thar Desert to its west and the Indo-Gangetic plains that span the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The region shares its borders with China, Nepal, Bhutan and Pakistan. It boasts some of the largest glaciers, sub-tropical forests, wildlife reserves and archaeological treasures.
In North India, history blends beautifully with culture and religion. The holiest pilgrimage centres of Hindus, the most sacred Buddhist monasteries, revered Sikh Gurudwaras and Islamic mosques co-exist with complete harmony in the region. The northern part of India is also privileged to be home to the largest mosque in India – Jama Masjid, situated in Delhi and the largest Sikh shrine – The Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab. One of the oldest inhabited cities of the world – Varanasi, also lies in the region on the banks of Ganga river.
In terms of architectural wonders, North India takes pride in being home to one of the wonders of the world – The Taj Mahal in Agra. Also, the Hawa Mahal in Jaipur and City Palace in Udaipur encapsulates the grandeur and royalty that the region enjoyed. For natural wonders and trekking trails, the states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand and Jammu & Kashmir are famous. The hill towns of Shimla, Nainital, Dharamshala and Dalhousie see major influx of tourists. Not to miss, the snow-clad mountains of Kashmir, the world’s highest motorable pass and highest salt water lake in Ladakh.
With a population of 543 million, over two dozen linguistic groups thrive in the northern region. Thus, the variations in Hindi dialects are prominently noticed on crossing regional boundaries. Apart from Hindi, different forms of Rajasthani, Pahadi, Awadhi, Punjabi, Bihari, and Kashmiri languages are spoken in the region.
The diversity of North India adds a dash of colour and vitality to the clothing patterns and culinary circuits. In Punjab and Rajasthan, spicy cuisines and embellished clothing is embraced. However, Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand largely have herb-based curries and sport a rather simple attire. The Union Territories of Delhi and Chandigarh blend western cuisines and attire with traditional culture, displaying a perfect cosmopolitan look.
North India is like a colour palette of an artist, that would beautifully paint the canvas with the green of the farms and valleys, the brown of the mountains and deserts, the white of the snow to the blue of rivers perfectly.
About South India
About West India
The language, culture, and levels of economic development of West India greatly differ from other Indian regions. Comprising the states of Maharashtra, Goa, and Gujarat; it also has union territories of Daman & Diu, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli under its ambit. Spanning over an area of 508,052 Sq Km, the western states offer innumerable destinations to tourists of distinct tastes.
Between its Portuguese past and fishing village feel, world famous beaches and ancient temples, the paddy fields and plantations; Goa has something for everyone. Portuguese left their mark on the language, culture, cuisine, music and heritage of this coastal state. Tourism gave birth to water sports whereas migrants brought alternative ways of life along with beer. While the Goan resident remains laidback and easy, they are also well known for hospitable nature.
Another state boasting a long coastline is Gujarat that seems to project out into the Arabian Sea. Its northern region – Kutch, with its distinct pastoral communities and exquisite crafts, is a salty desert-cum-marshland. The coast cradles the old port-town of Mandvi and constitutes the revered temples of Somnath and Dwarka. Gir National Park in Gujarat is a major tourist hot-spot because Asiatic Lions can only survive here. The most industrialised state in West India, Ahmedabad and Surat are business hubs with a large presence in textiles and petrochemicals.
In West India, Maharashtra is the state that houses the only city for which the word ‘megalopolis’ is used in the country – Mumbai. Known as the maximum city, it is the financial, film and fun capital of India. On its waterfront stands the iconic Gateway of India stone arch. The Chowpatty, Marine Drive, Juhu Beach and Victoria Terminus are other touristy hotspots here. You also find Maratha Forts in Raigad, and the World Heritage frescoes of the rock-cut Ajanta and Ellora caves in Aurangabad, that entice tourists globally. Many beautiful hill stations like Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar, Khandala and Matheran serve as cool green retreats with abundant adventurous trails and thrilling activities in Maharashtra.
Wedged between Maharashtra and Gujarat is Dadra and Nagar Haveli – another union territory which is replete with mesmerising mountain ranges, meandering rivers and lush green forests.
Having a population of over 147 million, the western region boasts distinctive cuisines as well. From bland to fiery hot, you find a range of delicacies. Vada Pav, Pav Bhaji, and Poha are popular street side munchies in Maharashtra. Gujarat is an alcohol-free state with predominantly vegetarian cuisine and its well-known Gujarati thali has a distinct flavour. The party lovers of Gujarat find solace in Daman and Diu, on the beaches of which alcohol flows freely. The real party destination of all of India however is Goa, where beer and wine come in large variations, and seafood is a staple.
West India is a magnificent kaleidoscope of cultures where distinct religions, traditions, and lifestyles mingle to thrive and prosper.
About East India
The ruling ground of many ancient empires, East India has a strong ethnic culture and religious roots. Comprising the easternmost cities namely Odisha, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand. It spans over a total area of about 418,323 Sq Km wherein the bulk of the region is either near the Bay of Bengal or on the Indo-Gangetic plains.
Kolkata, known as the Cultural Capital of India, is the largest city of East Indian region. Located in the state of West Bengal, it boasts 19th-century architectural marvels such as Victoria Memorial and Howrah Bridge. The narrow alleyways and markets blend well with the ancient temples, science centers, and educational institutions giving Kolkata a metropolitan character. West Bengal is also famous for its beautiful hill stations – Darjeeling, Siliguri, and Kalimpong. The tea gardens and toy train bring an old-world charm to Darjeeling, whereas Siliguri has wildlife sanctuaries and rivers for a perfect getaway. Adventure thirsty tourists are often seen trekking the trails of Kalimpong or enjoying rafting in its cold river waters.
In East India, Odisha is a state that displays innate architectural prowess. The Sun Temple in Konark and the ancient Jagannath Temple in Puri are fine examples of it. Various unspoiled beaches and caves are also found here. Bihar and Jharkhand, though underrated, have many tourist attractions. Bodhgaya is the birthplace of Buddhism whereas Rajgir is known for its hot water springs. In Ranchi, you find numerous picturesque waterfalls. Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh is a small town surrounded by beautiful high altitude lakes. In this state, various wildlife reserves thrive as well.
With a population of over 226 million, Bengali is a dominant language in West Bengal and most parts of East India. Bhojpuri is spoken in Bihar and Jharkhand whereas Odia is the local language of Odisha. Also, in terms of food, each state of Eastern India has its rich delicacies soaked in traditional herbs and spices. Bengali fish and Rasagola lure you in Kolkata while Chhena Gaja and Rasmalai are lip-smacking dishes of Odisha. The Tibetan food in Darjeeling and Arunachal Pradesh is infused with local herbs lending it a distinct flavour.
Adding to the vibrant culture of East India are various dance, music and art forms. From Sambalpuri dance to Rabindra Sangeet and Madhubani paintings, the creative diaspora of the region has left its mesmerizing effect on people worldwide.
About Central India
About North East India
The ‘North-East’ is a collective name for the easternmost part of India comprising the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Manipur. Obscured from the greater world by dense forests and formidable mountains, North-East India shares its borders with Bhutan, Myanmar, Tibet, and Bangladesh. It spreads over an area of over 262,230 Sq Km, and holds immense beauty as most of its hill towns are still untravelled.
Assam is the most developed and accessible state in this relatively isolated region. It lies just south of the Eastern Himalaya with Brahmaputra River making it rich with paddy fields. Tea plantations proliferate around towns like Jorhat. North-East India’s biggest city, Guwahati, is the best hub for journeys into other North-Eastern states like Arunachal Pradesh or Meghalaya. Majuli in Assam, one of the largest riverine islands in the world, is a centre of unique Vaishnava traditions while Kaziranga National Park is home to the endangered one-horned Rhinos.
In North-East, the tiny mountainous state of Sikkim seems close to heaven. Lepchas, Bhutias, and Nepalis live here, close to one of the highest peaks in the world – Kangchendzonga. At Sikkim, you find stunning lakes like Tsomgo and Gurudongmar. Charming Gangtok and the adventurous Nathu La pass at the China border draw tourists from afar. Another touristy attraction in the region is Manipur. It is a pretty oval valley surrounded by low hills. Its capital, Imphal, stands out for its feisty women weavers, potters and traders. Loktak Lake, the largest lake of North-East lies here, hosting floating islands and Sangai deer. Moirang, Bishnupur, and Ukhrul are other touristy places.
The people of North-East India have historically had close ethnic and cultural bonds with Tibet, Bhutan, and Myanmar. Thus, you see the prevalence of Tibeto-Burmese languages in many towns. Assamese, Nagamese, Nefamese, Manipuri, Nepali, Tripuri, Khasi, and Sylheti are popular languages here amongst an astounding 220 languages spoken in the region. Apart from its exciting mélange of cultures, North-East has some distinctive culinary treats to offer. From the pork chops of Nagaland to wild red rice of Mizoram and Tenga fish of Assam, the diversity in flavours can overpower your senses. Not to miss, the Jadoh and Tungtap of Meghalaya that makes an impeccable food combination.