Introduction The States of North India refer to a set of states like Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal which are situated in the non-peninsular region of the Republic of India. Because of the strategic location, North India plays a significant role in shaping the course of India’s historical and cultural evolution since the time of human settlement on the Indo-Gangetic Plain whose fertile soils and perennial rivers diverted the early human being for their permanent settlement. It is in north India where the great religions of the world – Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism – were born and spread to all the parts of India and the world. The great Himalayas are situated in north India which separates the Indian sub-continent from the rest of Asia. Since the ancient time, the north India was the centre of conflict among the different powers like Mauryan, Gupta, Mughals, British and many others to control the entire subcontinent of India.
Tourist Attractions of North India
It is because of this diversity and intermixing of different cultures and religions, the region has become more dynamic and centre of attractions for its States like Rajasthan known as the “Desert Jewel of India”; Uttar Pradesh which is famous as “one of the most ancient and diverse states of India”; Punjab is known as the “granary of India”; Delhi the capital of India is an epitome of the whole history of Indo-Islamic culture; Uttaranchal is known for its healthy and wholesome tourist destination of India; Himachal Pradesh is regarded as the place of “nature at its best”; Jammu & Kashmir is blessed as “the paradise on earth”. The other attractions of North India are wildlife tour, forts and monuments, adventure tourism of north India, fairs and festivals, pilgrimage centres of north India, Ayurveda & meditation, north India train travel, airports and hotels of north India.
Religious Tourism of North India
North India has attracted the tourists from all over the world for its religious tourism of all faiths and Yatras – the holy pilgrimage tour to Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri combinedly known as Chardham, Kailash Mansarovar and many other sacred places. Some of the famous places of religious tourismare Vaishno Devi Yatra to Jammu & Kashmir which is devoted to Mata Vaishno Devi; Golden Temple of Punjab which is devoted to Sri Harmandir Sahib; Mathura and Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh are devoted to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu respectively; Char Dham is devoted to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Ganga & Yamuna; Buddhist pilgrimage centres at Bodh Gaya in Bihar, Sarnath and Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh, Spiti, Lahaul and Dharmashala in Himachal Pradesh, and Leh Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir make north India the prime attractions of pilgrimage tourism.
World Heritage Sites of North India
India is considered by the peoples of the world as mosaic of different beliefs, faiths, doctrines and cultures since the time immemorial. It is here on this subcontinent of Mother India the visitors like Aryans, Greeks, Romans, Phoenicians, Arabs, Afghans, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and British visited and with the passage of time they assimilate the very culture of India and became one with the distinction of without losing the peculiarity of their own culture. It was this peculiarity that makes Indian art and culture so vibrant which is still reflected in the forms of historical monuments and other architectures. India has near about 27 World Heritage Sites in her credit, out of
which 12 sites are located in North India. All these historical monuments of north India are the source of attractions especially of the international tourists. Among them, Taj Mahalof Agra is credited with one of the Seven Wonders of the World, built by Shah Johan in memory of his consort Mumtaz Mahal! Other World Heritage Sites of north India are Agra Fort a reflection of distinct Mughal style of art and architecture, Fatehpur Sikri, Humayun’s Tomb, Khajuraho, Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Delhi, Keoladeo National Park, Nanda Devi & Valley of Flowers, Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, Sanchi, Champaner etc.