North India

North India is bewitching and varied, reflecting the subcontinent’s pluricultural nature. It is the land of Maharajas’ palaces, the ultra-touristy Taj Mahal, the famously sensual temples of Khajuraho and such deeply mystical cities as Varanasi (Benares). It offers sublime natural surroundings in Kashmir, which has rightly been called a paradise on earth.

Official ‘North India’ includes Delhi and the states of Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand. To which we can add the north-western states of Rajasthan and Gujarat and the north-eastern states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Sikkim, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, West Bengal and Odisha.

For practical purposes I have also included the central Indian states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.


Gujarat | Rajasthan | Punjab | Delhi | Uttarakhand | Jammu & Kashmir | Uttar Pradesh | Madhya Pradesh | Chhattisgarh | West Bengal | Odisha |


Rann of KutchGujarat

Gujarat is a state in northwest India. On the north side it shares a border with Pakistan. Although not yet very popular with tourists, the region is not without attractions. There are pilgrimage centres like Palitana, Dwarka, Somnath, Siddhpur and Mount Girnar; there are archaeological sites at Champaner and Patan; and there is the Rann of Kutch, a unique and fascinating salt desert. The Forest of Gir in Gujarat is home to the last surviving Asian lions…

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Dunes de Khuri près de JaisalmerRajasthan

Rajasthan state is in northwest India, on the Pakistan border. This is the India of picture postcards, very popular with tourists and wonderfully colourful, from the pink of Jaipur to the blue of Jodhpur and the gold of Jaisalmer. Bounded by the Thar Desert in the northwest and crossed by the Aravalli hills, this “land of kings” will leave you with sweet memories of romantic palaces, gipsy nights and waking among sand dunes with the first rays of the sun caressing your cheek…

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Humayun's TombDelhi

Delhi, capital of India, pulsating with vibrant life! The great megacity may not appeal at first glance, but the vestiges of its Mughal and British history will work their charm on you…

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Le gange vers Lakshman JhulaUttarakhand

The state of Uttarakhand (the name means “land of the north” in Sanskrit) is famous for its magnificent wooded mountain landscapes. Uttarakhand’s glaciers give rise to two of the seven India’s holy rivers, the Ganges and Yamuna, so this is a land blessed by the gods. Haridwar, Rishikesh and the Char Dhams offer perfect examples of its spiritual magnetism…

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amritsarPunjab

Punjab is the homeland of the Sikhs. Its name means “land of five waters”, referring to the rivers Indus, Sutlej, Beas, Ravi and Ghaggar. It is part of the Indus Valley region where India’s earliest civilisation flourished…

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srinagarJammu & Kashmir

“A paradise on earth” is Kashmir’s slogan, and it is very apt.This state in the far north of India is blessed with flower meadows, tumultuous rivers and grandiose mountains beyond all expectations..

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Le Gange au lever du jourUttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh is a state in north India with Lucknow as its administrative capital. It is the most populous state in India. This region boasts immense artistic wealth. The Taj Mahal, the most frequented of all Indian monuments, is also in Uttar Pradesh. So are Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India, and Mathura, the mythical birthplace of the god Krishna…

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khajurahoMadhya Pradesh

The name of Madhya Pradesh means “central province”. With Bhopal as capital, it is the second largest state in India by area. It was the largest until 2000, when the state of Chhattisgarh was created. Khajuraho with its amazing temples is one of the must-see towns in Mahya Pradesh. For the more mystically inclined, there are also two Jyotir Lingams, or lingams of light, to be visited…

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chitrakoot fallsChhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh in central India was split off from Madhya Pradesh and established as a state in its own right in 2000. Its capital is Raipur, a major steel manufacturing town. Chhattisgarh has so far been spared the mass tourist onslaught, but it is crammed with minor gems. It’s a paradise for nature lovers, with three national parks, a dozen of nature reserves and numerous rivers and waterfalls…

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kolkataWest Bengal

Everyone arriving in Kolkata for the first time totes a bagful of preconceptions, mostly from books or films such as City of Joy. It’s true that, like all of India’s megacities, it has its less attractive sides. But once tamed it reveals an atmosphere that’s all its own. To appreciate its charm, take a stroll around Chowringhee and Market Street or share a moment of adda with local people. The home town of Rabindranath Tagore will surprise you.

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kornakOdisha

Orissa, renamed Odisha in 2011, was once the kingdom of Kalinga. It lies on India’s northeast coast, on the Bay of Bengal. The cultural wealth of the region dates back to ancient times. Three famous sites form a “golden triangle” in southeast Odisha. They are Bhubaneshwar with its temples (the stunning legacy of the Kalinga kingdom), Konark with its unique sun temple, and Puri, one of India’s foremost pilgrimage centres…

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