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Top 10 places William and Kate should visit in India

November 13, 2015
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willkate © Photo: Getty Images

With the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge embarking on a tour of India in spring 2016, we take a look at 10 of the most beautiful, spiritual and famous places that the royal couple mustn't miss...

taj mahal © Photo: iStock

Taj Mahal, AgraStanding majestically on the banks of the River Yamuna, India's national treasure is a symbol of love and romance. The Taj Mahal's pure white marble, exquisite ornamentation and precious gemstones make it one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the world. However, once you find out the love story behind its construction its beauty is given a new light. Its name was inspired by Mumtaz Mahal, Shah Jahan’s beloved wife who died during childbirth of their 14th child, and the monument is a tomb that contains her body today.

Golden Temple © Photo: iStock

The Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab The legendary Golden Temple is the spiritual capital of the Sikhs and gained its name, meaning "Holy Pool of Nectar", from the body of water around the Golden Temple. Pilgrims come from across the world to bathe in the sacred waters and the number of visitors it attracts rivals that of the Taj Mahal. Travellers should try to catch it at night, when it’s beautifully lit up and its imposing gold dome illuminated.

delhi © Photo: iStock

DelhiMost first-time travellers to India usually land in India's magical, if chaotic, capital city. Acclimatise by visiting Delhi's top attractions, including spellbinding mosques, forts, and monuments left over from the Mughal rulers that once occupied the city – a city tour is a great way to discover the capital’s gems. Many of these are set in beautiful landscaped gardens that are perfect for relaxing. The crumbling old city of Old Delhi is also a fascinating place to explore.

Hampi © Photo: iStock

Hampi, KarnatakaOne of the greatest Hindu kingdoms in India’s history, the World Heritage Site of Hampi is renowned for its captivating ruins, intriguingly intermingled with large boulders that rear up all over the undulating terrain.

goa © Photo: iStock

GoaEast meets West in India's top beach destination, Goa. Visitors come from all over the world to India's smallest state with the promise of parties and lazy days at the beach. However, there's more to Goa than just sun, sand and cocktails. The state also offers an eclectic blend of history, nature, culture, and adventure activities.

Ajanta and Ellora Caves © Photo: iStock

Ajanta and Ellora Caves, MaharashtraNo doubt India's most popular and widely recognised caves, the Ajanta Ellora caves are carved into hillside rock quite in the middle of nowhere, near Aurangabad, in northern Maharashtra. These magnificent caves, including paintings and sculptures, are simply awe-inspiring.

Jaipur © Photo: iStock

JaipurDecorated with glorious stucco buildings that line Jaipur's wide streets, it's easy to see why the capital of India's Rajasthan state is known as "The Pink City." Visitors should explore City Palace, Hawa Mahal, and Amber and Jaigarh forts. Shopping in one of the bazaars is also not to be missed.

Kerala © Photo: iStock

KeralaOne of the most popular attractions in India, a trip in a houseboat along the palm-fringed Kerala backwaters is tranquil and relaxing and a world away from the hustle and bustle of India's city hubs. The lush green landscape of southern India, diverse wildlife, and houses and villages that line the backwaters make a journey along these waterways seem like a journey through another world.

Udaipur © Photo: iStock

UdaipurFamed as the most romantic spot in India, the famed city of lakes and palaces is a must-visit for the ability to immerse yourself in regal splendor and would make the perfect pit-stop for William and Kate in their 2016 royal tour.

Varanasi © Photo: iStock

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh This mystical holy city is considered the spiritual capital of India and one of Hinduism's seven holy cities. Pilgrims come to the ghats lining the River Ganges here to wash away a lifetime of sins in the sacred waters or to cremate their loved ones.

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