We asked the Rough Guides team in Delhi to vote for the most beautiful places in India. After much deliberation, here are the results...
10. Chilika Lake, Odisha
Fed by fresh-water rivers and washed by the sea, this biodiversity hotspot is a wintering ground for migratory birds and home to a number of threatened aquatic species, including the Irrawaddy dolphin. A stunning place to start off our list of the most beautiful places in India.
Our Delhi team voted for Madikeri as an excellent base from which to explore the lush national parks, natural beauty and gorgeous coffee plantations that abound in this scenic stretch of the Western Ghats.
8. Mawlynnong, Meghalaya
Described by one of our editors as magical, this village in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya is simply stunning. The surrounding areas are just as unforgettable, with natural bridges made by twisting the roots of rubber trees crossing the rivulets and streams.
7. Kumarakom Backwaters, Kerala
At number seven in the list, Kerala's scenic backwaters, edged with coconut palms, lush green rice paddies and picturesque villages, make for a beautiful escape from hectic city life.
© Nithin Gopal/Shutterstock
6. Mandu, Madhya Pradesh
One of central India’s most atmospheric monuments, this medieval ghost town is set on a scenic plateau still prowled at night by leopards and panthers.
This vast archeological site would have been one of the largest and richest cities of its time. The design, detailing and ornamentation of the best-preserved ruins are astonishing.
© Dmytro Gilitukha/Shutterstock
4. Rann of Kutch, Gujarat
This hot and desolate landscape is reputed to be the largest salt desert in the world. Situated right on the border with Pakistan, its striking white plains call out to many of the more intrepid explorers in our team.
3. Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand
From July to September, when its rolling alpine meadows are carpeted with wildflowers, this sprawling National Park is a bucket list destination for many in the Rough Guides office.
2. Pangong Tso, Ladakh
This icy saline lake, cradled by stark and sombre mountains 4350m above sea level, comes second in our list. We think it epitomises the breathtaking majesty of the high Himalaya.
Quiet lagoons, crystal-clear waters, coral reefs teeming with aquatic life and secluded white-sand beaches... The list goes on. The absolutely spectacular Lashadweep ('100,000 islands' – though there are actually just 36) was a unanimous choice at the top of our list for the most beautiful places in India.
Top image © klempa/Shutterstock