Main Photo Source: Raghu Nayyar
If you are visiting India for the first time you have probably heard of the most popular India tourist route called The Golden Triangle. The route is remarkably popular because it features the capital of Delhi, the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra, and the beautiful pink city of Jaipur. The Golden Triangle quickly crosses off many of the major India bucket-list items off in a short amount of time.
But, India is such a huge and fascinating country. Only traversing the Golden Triangle, never visiting other cities in India would be a shame. There are so many excellent cities and attractions to see outside of this one route. Below I'll detail three lesser-known cities in India and why you should pay them a visit.
Most travelers know very little about Pune but I promise that is about to change, this cultured city is quickly turning into a must-see destination. First off, a Pune to Delhi flight is incredibly reasonable. Considering that Delhi is most likely your international gateway to India it makes Pune an obvious choice for an off the beaten track-yet still affordable-adventure. Second, Pune has numerous tourist attractions that are downright stunning. Don't miss Aga Khan Palace a striking palace first built in 1892, Shaniwar Wada an old fortification that was an architectural marvel in its time, and a day trip to Tikona Fort. Finally, Pune has excellent weather year-round. The best months to visit Pune would be during January, February, July, August, and September but keep in mind the rainy season lasts from June to September.
Udaipur is another fantastic city in the state of Rajasthan. Udaipur's close proximity to Jaipur makes it an excellent addition to anyone traveling India's Golden Triangle. The city of Udaipur was built surrounding the sprawling Lake Pichola and has been nicknamed the 'Venice of the East.' A few of the historic palaces have been converted into luxury hotels making it a perfect getaway for honeymooners and couples visiting India. Rajasthani culture is also what you think of when you imagine India. Spending a few extra days in this region is highly encouraged and I beg you to add a Dharohar dance show to your itinerary. You won't regret it.
For my last pick, I'm mixing it up by heading extremely south to Mysore India on the Arabian Sea coastline. Mysore is the cultural capital of the India state Karnataka and has a long and interesting history. The city holds a ridiculous number of palaces and has come to be known as 'City of Palaces.' Nowadays though, Mysore is renowned for the many Yoga centers in the city, this is because Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga was created here. While in Mysore head to the suburb of Gokulam for the best yoga schools including the famous S.K. Pattabhi Jois’ Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute.
India is a huge country with many many more cities to explore than just the ones listed here. It is safe to say you will have a great time no matter where you choose to go.