Top Seven Cultural Destinations of India
India is a melting pot of cultures where every city resonates with a set of traditions. Each city has its own natural treasures, spiritual wonders, colourful festivals and unique architecture, acting as evidences for decades of cultural impacts. No wonder that Indian culture reinvents itself with every step. However, there is no harm in saying that few cities stand-out from the crowd with their extraordinary cultural charm. Together these cityscapes form the Incredible India and that is why have claimed a position in our list of top seven cultural destinations in India.
Ranking on top of our list is one of the oldest living cities in the world- Varanasi. One of the holy seats of Hinduism and an ‘abode of Lord Shiva,’ this city is believed to have moulded the Hindu world. Every corner of this city exudes divinity so much so that people believe that dying here is equal to attaining salvation. Its legendary Ghats embodies this spiritual fervour that comes into full swing during the Ganga Aarti. Visited by thousands of tourists every year, Varanasi’s ancient temples are icons of devotion testifying Hindu myths and culture. The cultural aspect of this city is enhanced by its people who are proponents of art, craft, ancient literature and Vedic philosophy. Hence, giving a sneak peek into what Hindu culture stands for, Varanasi’s cityscape is enchanting for every visitor.
Popularly called as the Venice of the East, Udaipur is a famous tourist destination in Rajasthan. Its majestic palaces and havelis, beautiful temple, art galleries, museums and lakes evoke the typical Rajasthani culture which lures many travellers. The former capital of the princely state of Mewar, Udaipur still retains the typical Rajputana essence in its architectural marvels. Two of these are the famous Lake Palace and City palace which forms the Udaipur’s star attractions. Not only this, the city is home to artisans who are pioneers of traditional handicrafts and fabrics. Add to it the abundance of greenery and beautiful lakes and you have a fascinating city upholding the cultural glories of a bygone era.
With its architectural marvels, natural wonders, bustling bazaars and lip-smacking food delights- Jaipur is a perfect getaway to the typical Rajasthani culture. Be it the City Palace, grand Amber Fort or the famous Hawa Mahal, the city never fails to impress any visitor. Its cultural essence is best depicted by the artistic jewellery, traditional handicrafts and artefacts stocking its vibrant bazaars. Its mesmerising cultural heritage comes alive during the Elephant festival, the Teej and Gangaur fairs. All this paired with the warm hospitality of its people; make Jaipur the cultural hub of India.
Fondly known as the City of Joy, Kolkata has an enriched cultural heritage encapsulated within its landmarks and monuments. Its iconic Victoria Memorial with its colonial architecture reminds of the city’s link with the British East India Company; while the ancient Kalighat temple evokes its deep-rooted faith in religion and spirituality. In addition to this, as a centre of Bengal Renaissance, Kolkata is a hub of literature, theatre, art and poetry. As the birthplace of noble laureates like Rabindranath Tagore and famous filmmakers like Satyajit Ray, Kolkata’s cultural ethos has always found expression in literature and cinema.
The city’s cultural chronicles doesn’t end here. As mecca for food lovers, Kolkata’s famous food hubs astound every foodie with its popular delicacies of Bengali cuisine. All in all, a city with a personality of its own, Kolkata offers a cultural ride that impresses every admirer.
Karnataka’s cultural capital, Mysore city manifests India’s ancestral and royal legacy. Known as the City of Palaces, one of Mysore’s prized possessions is the famous City Palace. A marvellous example of opulence, the building reflects a fusion of Dravidian, European, and Roman architectural influences. Also famous for its temples, one must pay homage at the Chamundeshwari temple devoted to Goddess Durga. Delve into its bustling markets and shop for its famous incense sticks, sandalwood handicrafts and gorgeous silk sarees.
At number six in our list is the ancient town of Bhopal. Dotted with iconic landmarks and markets, Bhopal displays the cultural heritage of the Mughal times. Its popular Taj-Ul-Masjid is recognised as the Asia’s largest mosque that stands erect in a pinkish façade having marble-domed tomb minarets. Explore the nearby market areas and you will discover a part of India that was crafted by the legendary Mughal rulers. If that’s not enough, a short drive of 40 kilometers from the main city will take you to Bhimketka; a historical site preserving old rock shelters and artistic paintings from the past.
Last but not the least in our list is the ancient city of Madurai. The religious ambience of this city crafts its cultural splendour which makes it one of the most visited destinations in Tamil Nadu. If you are an enthusiastic lover of architectural brilliance, then the famous temples of Madurai, like the Meenakshi Sundareshwar Temple, will entice you with their intricate carvings and scriptures. The city also boasts of architectural marvels that are designed on Tamilian architecture with influences of British and Islamic styles. If you want to explore Madurai’s cultural essence in full swing then plan your trips around the festival of Pongal. This is when the city garbs itself with celebrations and welcome the harvest season of Southern India through decorations, songs and performances.
So, get your cultural streaks on and be on board to discover these destinations in the coming year. Give us your views in the comments below!