India has to be one of the world’s most romantic destinations. Its beguiling mix of ancient forts, pretty palaces, shimmering lakes and gorgeous beaches is bound to get many a traveller feeling the love. If you’re looking for a special place to spend time with a special someone, here are the most romantic places in India.
1. Udaipur, Rajasthan
With its sumptuous pink-hued palaces overlooking a series of placid lakes, Udaipur is probably India’s most immediately romantic city. While the lakefront has been overtaken by hotels, head to the labyrinthine backstreets to find the true heart of the city and experience the Udaipur of old, as you wind past traditional havelis and historic bazaars. Alternatively, approach the romantic Taj Lake Palace from the water and admire its irresistible old-time allure.
2. Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu
Sunsets don’t get much more romantic than this: journey to Kanyakumari on the southernmost tip of India at Chitra Pournami, or full moon, to see the sun setting in tandem with the moon rising. Almost entirely surrounded by water, Kanyakumari is where the Bay of Bengal meets the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. It’s also a popular pilgrimage site, and the 3000-year-old Bhaghavathy Amman temple, perched on the sea shore, is well worth a visit.
3. The Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Observe Mughal architecture at its most magnificent; surely the biggest, boldest romantic symbol on the planet, the Taj Mahal was designed to house the body of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s favourite wife, Muntaz Mahal. Created from precious materials and semiprecious stones from around the world, it took more than 20 years and about 20,000 men to build. It’s ostentatious and extravagant, but there’s no doubting that this wonder of the world is utterly spectacular.
4. Kumarakom, Kerala
For a quintessentially Keralan experience, spend some time cruising the enchanting backwaters of Kumarakom on a traditional houseboat. Bordered by lush, green banks, the setting is nothing short of magical. Enjoy the sounds of water lulling your boat lazily to a coconut tree-lined shore, evoking a sense of old-fashioned romance, as you enjoy the best of Keralan cuisine.
5. Manali, Himachel Pradesh
High in the Himalayan mountains, picturesque, snow-topped Manali is a magnificent stop for a romantic retreat. Revel in your adventurous side with activities such as paragliding, skiing or mountaineering, making the most of the crisp mountain air. Or, take in the delightful views down the Solang Valley from the cosy warmth of a riverside cottage.
6. The Jaisalmer desert, Rajasthan
What could be more romantic than a night under the stars in the spectacular Indian desert? Jaisalmer offers just that. While a camel trek itself may not make you fuzzy-hearted, as the sun sets and the sky fills with shooting stars, the mysterious desert is sure to enchant you. Spend the night in a luxury tent and relax into the isolated, peaceful surroundings.
7. Kodagu (Coorg), Karnataka
Kodagu may be known as the Scotland of India, but as clouds of mist unfurl above the verdant, green, swirls of coffee plantations, it reveals itself as far more exotic. Breathe in the scent of fresh coffee and spices and luxuriate in Coorg’s laid-back way of life as you explore its sleepy plantations. There are also plenty of opportunities for amorous strolls due to the area’s rich birdlife and atmospheric teak and sandalwood forests.
8. Puducherry, Tamil Nadu
Escape from the hectic pace of modern-day Chennai in Puducherry (also sometimes Pondicherry or just Pondy). With its crumbling colonial villas and colourful leafy streets, the influences of French rule are clear to see in the French quarter. And, known as “Little Paris”, it certainly espouses some of the City of Love’s romantic charm. Take a stroll along the beach promenade for panoramic views out over the Bay of Bengal.