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AFAR Guide to India

Brimming with regional diversity, you can dodge florescent dye at Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, one day and practice yoga in the Himalayas the next. A blend of distinct historical influences, from regional Medieval kingdoms to 18th century European outposts, the cultural differences are as vast as its geographic diversity. Travelers in India find themselves on journey of the senses.
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Dharmapuri, Forest Colony, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282001, India
The Taj Mahal is referred to as "the jewel of Muslim art in India,” by UNESCO in its listing on the World Heritage Site registry. The Mughal ruler Shah Jahan  had the truly magnificent white marble...
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Thar Desert, Rajasthan
So long as you don't mind a little bit of sand in your knickers, a night in the Thar Desert under a star lit sky is an experience unlike anything you've experienced in your entire life. We rode out into the desert on ill-tempered camels, bouncing...
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Azad Nagar, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400005, India
Every morning, the Sassoon docks in the Colaba district of Mumbai fill with locals, young and old, who load baskets, bowls, and crates with all manner of Arabian sea life. I stood mesmerized watching women in beautiful bright saris balance heavy...
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11, Sido Kanhu Dahar, Maidan, Esplanade, Chowringhee North, Bow Barracks, Kolkata, West Bengal 700069, India
Sugarcane juice is a popular drink on the streets of India. It's the perfect thirst quencher on a hot day. When I was in Calcutta I was mesmerized as I watched vendors, like the one above, extract juice by pushing raw sugar cane through a...
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Agra Fort, Rakabganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282003, India
Dating back to 1080, the Agra Fort still holds much of its original splendor.
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B1/163, Nagwa Rd, opp. River Ganga, Assi ghat, Shivala, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221005, India
Varanasi is a city of beautiful chaos. Located on the banks of the Ganges River, it's one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, and also one of the holiest. The river is the pulse of the city and it's worth setting your alarm...
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Babaji Ka Modh, Goner Rd, Jagdish Colony, Prem Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302031, India
Situated on 32 acres of land on the outskirts of Jaipur—but still a quick drive from the city’s historic forts and palaces—this massive hotel mixes traditional Rajasthani style with modern amenities. Although there are a number...
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I happened upon this moment at a night market in Jaipur, India, which has some of the best shopping for beaded crafts, jewelry, ceramics, carpets and textiles. This jewelry stand in Johari Bazaar was crowded with women interested in the necklaces,...
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Tarn Taran Sahib, Punjab 143401, India
Sikhs and non-Sikhs go to Amritsar for one reason – to see the Golden Temple (Hamandir Sahib) so, that is what I did on my most recent trip to India. Except, I went on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday which is a national holiday in India and because of...
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Raja Katra, Jorasanko, Kolkata, West Bengal 700007, India
While traveling around India I learned to expect the unexpected. Every turn delivered a surprise. When I was in Calcutta, a traffic jam forced my guide and I to abandon our tax ride to the Marble Palace. As we stumbled out the cab door we found...
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Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001, India
Facing the Arabian Sea and the Gateway of India monument, the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel blends Moorish, Florentine, and Indian architecture. The historic palace wing reopened in 2010 with 243 new rooms and 42 suites, including one that houses the...
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New art spaces abound across South Mumbai, notably in the districts of Fort and Kala Ghoda, which hosts the Kala Ghoda arts festival in February. The Chemould Prescott Road gallery focuses on well-known contemporary Indian artists, including the...
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Narchyang, Nepal

In the mountain village of Koto, Nepal, there is a path that branches off the legendary 150-mile Annapurna Circuit and passes—ceremoniously, tantalizingly—through a large stone gate. This trail is off-limits, a nearby sign reads,...

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Kaccha Bagh Area, Old Delhi, New Delhi, Delhi 110006, India
Rickshaw rides are common in Chandni Chowk, the vast and crowded market in the Old Delhi quarter, but book a comprehensive rickshaw tour for an immersive experience that lasts longer than 15 minutes. Witness the architectural marvels,...
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Jama Masjid Rd, Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi 110006, India
Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque, was commissioned by Shah Jahan, the same emperor who built the iconic Taj Mahal for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Completed in 1656, the courtyard of Jama Masjid can accommodate 25,000...
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Netaji Subhash Marg, Lal Qila, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi 110006, India
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Red Fort, located in New Delhi, is a treasure trove of cultural history. You can spend hours wandering among the various buildings, learning much about the history of India. Tucked away within the walls...
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Hauz Khas, New Delhi, Delhi, India
Yes, Hauz Khas Village is perhaps most known for its artsy vibe, boutique shops, and trendy restaurants. But before it became a lively commercial district, Hauz Kaus was (and remains) a 13th-century historical complex with a mosque,...