India Tour An Overview of Types of Tourism

Published: 04th June 2008
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It is boom time for India's Tourism and hospitality sector which offers almost all types of tourism at one destination. The Indian subcontinent is bounded by the majestic Himalayan ranges in the north and edged by a spectacular coastline surrounded by three seas - Arabian Sea in the West, Bay of Bengal in the East and Indian Ocean in the South, India is a vivid kaleidoscope of landscapes, magnificent historical sites and royal cities, golden beaches, misty mountain retreats, colorful people, rich cultures and festivities. The world's leading travel and Tourism Journal, "Conde Nast Traveler", ranked India amongst top 4 preferred holiday destinations in the world! There are number of factors responsible for the growth of Indian tourism at global level. India is a peaceful country without any political disturbance except for few destinations where a tourist is required to get special permission from local authority to enter into that area. The country has a federal structure with elected Governments in States. There are 28 states and 7 Union Territories administered directly by the Central Government. There is healthy competition among all the states to attract the tourists from all over the world for speedy economic growth and employment generation. Not only this Ministry of Tourism and Culture has recently launched a campaign called 'Incredible India!' in order to encourage different types of tourism in India.

Types of Indian Tourism

All types of tourism in India projecting India as the ultimate tourist spot. The reason why India has been doing well in all types of tourism is that India is a multilingual, multicultural and multireligious with tremendous geographical diversity, hospitality, uniqueness and charm. The different types of tourism in India are as follows:

Religious or Pilgrimage Tourism

India is famous for its temples and that is the reason that among the different kinds of tourism in India, pilgrimage tourism is increasing most rapidly. Narayan Sarovar, Sudamas Porbandar, Kabirvad Shuklatirth, Kayavarohan, Bhadrakali, Haridwar, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Varanasi, Gangotri and Yamunotri, Rishikesh, Shamlaji, Bodh Gaya, Ajmer, are important pilgrimage destinations which have kept alive the religious sentiments of the people where lakhs of pilgrims from all over the world make their religious tourism every year.

Archaeological Tourism

There are a number of places of archaeological importance which can be broadly classified as Stone Age, Indus Valley, Neolithic-Chalcolithic, Megalithic-Early Historic and Late Historic periods. Famous archaeological sites of the Stone Age are abound in Peninsular India, more prominently at Pallavaram in Tamil Nadu, Hunsgi in Karnataka, Kuliana in Orissa, Didwana in Rajasthan, and Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh. The sites of Neolithic-Chalcolithic Age are Inamgaon, Walki, Navdatoli, Ahar, Balathal, Gilund, Budhihal, Sangankalur, Maski, Brahmagiri, Utnur, Golbai, Pandu-Rajar-Dhibi, Chirand and Burzoham etc. Famous sites of Indus Valley Civilisation are Indus and Ghaggar river valleys, Kutch and Saurashtra, Dholavira, Kalibangan, Lothal, Surkotda and Rakhigari. Famous sites of Megalithic Phase are Brahmagiri, Maski and Rajan Kalur, Bhagimari, Gadabas etc. Excavations at Kosambi, Saranath, Hastinapura, Vaishali, Rajgir and Bodh Gaya, Chandraketugarh, Sisupalgarh etc. have revealed fortified cities dating back to this period. Famous sites of Buddhist Phase are Sanchi, Saranath, Ajanta, Kaneheri, Amravati, Sanati and Lalitgiri. Sites of Jainism Phase are Khandagiri-Udayagiri, Mathura. Some Islamic Archaeological sites are Delhi, Agra, Lucknow, Hyderabad, northern Karnataka, Aurangabad, and Bhopal.

Heritage Tourism

Heritage tourism of India has always been famous for its rich heritage and ancient cultural diversity with glorious past which attracts millions of tourists each year. India's rich heritage is amply reflected in the various temples, palaces, monuments, and forts that can be found everywhere in the country. The most popular heritage tourist destinations in India are: Taj Mahal in Agra, Mandawa castle in Rajasthan, Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu, Madurai in Tamil Nadu and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. The most famous heritage sites in Delhi are the Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Humayun's Tomb and Tughlaqabad Fort.

Wildlife Tourism

India has a rich forest cover which has some beautiful and exotic species of wildlife - some of which that are even endangered and very rare. Some of the famous cultural tourism of India wildlife tourist attractions are Bandhavgarh National Park, Corbett National Park, Pench National Park, Ranthambore National Park, Kanha National Park, Bandipur Wildlife Park, Gir Wildlife Park, Dudhwa Wildlife Park, Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary, Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Panna Wildlife Park, Sunderbans Wildlife Park,Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary etc.

Coastal and Beach Tourism

Beaches in India provide the most perfect destination of sun, sand, sea and surf that is too hard to resist for any beach lover and water sport adventurer. Almost in every parts of this subcontinent, one can enjoy the beach holidays. Some of the famous beaches of India are Anjuna Beach, Bogmalo Beach, Benaulim Beach, Calangute Beach, Chapora Beach, Colva Beach, Cavelossim Beach, Candolim Beach, Dona Paula Beach, Majorda Beach, Palolem Beach, Vagator Beach, Varca Beach, Velsao Beach all in Goa; Mahabalipuram Beach in Tamil Nadu; Ganapatipule Beach in Maharashtra; Kovalam Beach in Kerala; Ahmedpur Mandvi Beach, Porbandar Beach in Gujarat; Puri Beach and Gopalpur-on-Sea Beach in Orissa; Digha Beach in West Bengal; Andaman and Nicobar Beaches, Daman and Diu Beaches and Lakshadweep Beaches.

Cultural Tourism

India is known for its rich cultural heritage and an element of mysticism, which is why tourists come to India to experience it for themselves. One can see the influence of various cultures in dance, music, festivities, architecture, traditional customs, food, and languages. This richness in culture goes a long way in projecting India as the ultimate cultural tourism destination. The most popular cultural tourism of India are Rajasthan culture, Punjab culture, Uttaranchal culture, Uttar Pradesh culture, Himachal Pradesh culture, Jammu and Kashmir culture, Haryana culture, Kerala culture, Tamilnadu culture,Karnataka culture, Andhra Pradesh culture, Assam culture, Orissa culture, West Bengal culture, Bihar culture, Arunachal culture, Jharkhand culture, Sikkim culture, Tripura culture, Manipur culture, Meghalaya culture, Goa culture, Maharashtra culture, Gujarat culture, Madhya Pradesh culture and Chhattisgarh culture. The various fairs and festivals are the Pushkar fair, Taj Mahotsav and Suraj Kund mela that tourists can visit in India.

Adventure Tourism

As a kind of tourism, Adventure Tourism in India is endless because the country has a rich diversity in terms of climate and topography. The various kinds of adventure tourism in India are: Rock climbing, Skiing, Camel safari, Para gliding, Mountaineering, Rafting in white water and Trekking. The various places in India where tourists can go for adventure tourism are Badami, Kanheri Caves, Manori Rocks, Kabbal for rock climbing. The places for skiing are Manali, Shimla, Nainital and Mussoorie. The places for whitewater rafting in India are Ganga, Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers.

Ayurveda and Meditation Tourism

Ayurveda and Meditation originated in India some 6000 years ago is the natural way of cure for body, mind and soul. Today, Ayurveda and Meditation has become the first preference of every person all over the world for not only for its curing capacity but also for it does not have any side effects, if taken under proper guidance. Tourists can visit both North India as well as South India for Meditation and Ayurvedic treatment. North India's prestigious institutes of Ayurveda and Meditation are set amidst the natural surroundings, giving its visitors enough space to breath in the natural atmosphere. Kerala in South India has innumerable place for Ayurveda and Meditation treatment centres.


Among the types of tourism in India, ecotourism entails the sustainable preservation of a naturally endowed area or region while making sure not to damage the ecological balance. Places such as Kerala, Lakshadweep Islands, the Himalayan Region, north-east India, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands are some destinations in India where tourists can participate in ecotourism-related activities. The major national parks in India for ecotourism are: Corbett National Park in Uttar Pradesh, Bandhavgarh National Park and Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh, Gir National Park and Sanctuary in Gujarat, Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan etc.

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