Today is Independence Day in India. The national holiday commemorates the nation’s independence from the UK back in 1947, and to celebrate the occasion we thought we’d give you some travelling inspiration. So here’s a list of 7 Indian cities you have to visit!

7 Indian Cities You Have to Visit

New Delhi

Where best to start than the Indian capital? New Delhi is somewhat of an oxymoron. Yes, it’s certainly chaotic but it’s also a calming city where seeing cows wander the shanty-lined streets is nothing close to a phenomenon as it’s an everyday occurrence. Being the capital, there’s naturally plenty to see here too: The 17th century Red Fort is one of the most appealing with domes and turrets as far as the eye can see; Chandni Chowk is one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi and is perfect if you’re after some haggling; and locals and tourist alike flock to the India Gate, a national monument of India that honours the soldiers who died in World War I and the Third Afghan War.

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Kochi (Cochin)

Known for its palm-lined beaches and network of canals, Kerala is one of India’s real gems and is ideal if you’re looking for avoid the crowds of a Delhi. Kochi would be our pick if you want something with amities. Split into three parts – Fort Kochi, Willington Island and Ernakulam – Kochi possesses one of the finest natural harbours in the world and is known for its scenic beauty, traditional architecture and cultural diversity. It’s home to the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth and you’ll also find a whole load of old churches and temples throughout the city. But really it’s Kerala’s backwaters that set it apart from other city stops in India.

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Jaisalmer

The dramatic and romantic desert fortress of Jaisalmer is as exotic as India gets. Located in Rajasthan’s great Thar Desert, ‘The Golden City’ offers plenty for those history buffs having rose to prominence thanks to its position on camel trade routes. Its 12th-century fort is the real icon in Jaisalmer and the surrounding Desert National Park gives tourists the opportunity to observe wildlife on the rolling dunes and surrounding waterholes, including blackbucks, desert foxes and chinkaras.

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Jaipur

Nicknamed ‘The Pink City’ for its trademark building colours, Jaipur is one for lovers of design and architecture. The capital of Rajasthan state features unrivalled opulence thanks to its history as the home to the royal family. At the centre of its stately street grid stands the beautiful, colonnaded City Palace, complete with gardens, courtyards and museums. Also make sure you head to one of the numerous bazaars in the city, where you can pick up a pair of camel-leather slippers.

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Mumbai (Bombay)

If the crowds of Delhi don’t put you off, the chaos of Mumbai can almost feel charming. Much like the capital, bargain hunting for spices and souvenirs should be high up on your list of things to do as should a stroll on the sands of Chowpatty Beach. We’d also recommend walking to Mani Bhavan, where Mahatma Gandhi once lived. The iconic Gateway of India stone arch at Mumbai Harbour also needs to be seen.

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Udaipur

Famed for its lakes and palaces, we make Udaipur the most romantic city in India. Much like Jaipur, the royal family’s roots are securely steeped in the city, and as such much of the Udaipur City Palace has been converted into a museum. Founded by Maharana Udai Singh II in 1559, the city is set around a series of artificial lakes and is known for its lavish royal residences. But given its regal nature, it’s also surprising how much of a bargain stop Udaipur can be.

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Goa

With vast coastlines stretching along the Arabian Sea, Goa is the perfect way to end your Indian adventure with a relaxing beer, curry then snooze. In Old Goa, the stunning Basilica of Bom Jesus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a perfect example of baroque architecture in the region brought about by Portuguese colonisation. But really, Goa is all its beaches and relaxation.

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