Top 5 most romantic places in India

Udaipur India romantic city

Udaipur. Photo Credit: Nick Kenrick .. ZedZap.. via Compfight cc

For Valentine’s Day, here are my top 5 most romantic places and hotels in India

THE CALL OF adventure, and especially travel to distant lands, is my idea of romance. I can think of nothing more romantic than waking up to dawn splashed over the Himalayas or sleeping on a Rajashtani sand dune under the glittering night sky. India is also a great destination for the other kind of romance, with the allure of ancient marble palaces, mist swirled hill tops and lazy, humid boat rides casting a spell of enchantment over unwitting lovers. I’ve travelled the length and breadth of India, and these are my picks for top five most romantic places.

Udaipur India romantic city

Udaipur. Photo Credit: Nick Kenrick .. ZedZap.. via Compfight cc

1. Udaipur

Udaipur is widely considered India’s most romantic city, and for good reasons. Set like a jewel in the arid Rajasthani desert, the city winds it’s palaces and terraces around shimmering Lake Pichola. And in the centre rises the Lake Palace Hotel like a mirage. I could fall into a life-long trance on the edge of this lake, and spend my days dreaming, roaming the markets and alleyways and exploring the surrounding Aravali range.

Travel Tip: If you can’t afford the Taj Lake Palace Hotel, stay in a more affordable hotel with lake views, such as the Jagat Niwas Palace or Jaiwana Haveli.

Photo Credit: Nick Kenrick .. ZedZap.. via Compfight cc

Jaisalmer India desert lake romantic city

Jaisalmer. Photo Credit: Nick Kenrick .. ZedZap.. via Compfight cc

Jaisalmer India desert lake romantic city

Jaisalmer. Photo Credit: Nick Kenrick .. ZedZap.. via Compfight cc

2. Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer is a dream in golden hues, a sand castle write large. To walk among her intricately carved havelis, peek into life inside the 11th century fort or sip tea while seeing the Golden City from a distance is to enter a land stopped by time. The overland trade routes used to stop in Jaisalmer, bringing wealth and artistry to the town. Now, tourism is the only real industry, and they do it well. Read 1,001 tales of the Jaisalmer Desert.

Travel Tip: Go on an overnight camel safari to the Thar Desert. There are many operators who can arrange this for you, such as the Fifu Desert Camp, who do a particularly good job.

Photo Credit: Nick Kenrick .. ZedZap.. via Compfight cc

Kerala Backwaters houseboat India romantic

A houseboat on the Backwaters of Kerala

3. The Backwaters, Kerala

There is something hypnotically tranquil about boating on the Backwaters of Kerala, like drifting into a watercolour painting. The boats are graceful and come with everything you need, including staff. There’s literally nothing to do except relax and be one with the gently unfolding scenes of traditional life on the rivers.

Travel Tip: Inspect the boat you rent before agreeing to a price. You can always find boats available in Alleppey, where there are hundreds to choose from.

Photo Credit: iamrawat via Compfight cc

Toy Train, Darjeeling, hill station, India

Toy Train, Darjeeling. Photo Credit: Matt Paish 2013 via Compfight cc

4. Darjeeling

Bliss in a swirl of haze is the name of a book about the Windamere Hotel in Darjeeling and I cannot find a more apt description. I stayed there for three wonderful days so I could watch the sunrise from Tiger Hill on a red-letter birthday, and I was not disappointed. The morning dawned crystal clear and I marvelled at one of the world’s great natural spectacles as the white Himalayan range turned multi-colour hues. But after that, the region was swathed in mist and haze, which lent a dreamy charm to the rambling town.

Travel Tip: Take the Toy Train up from New Jalpaiguri — the roads are skeleton-jarring. Stay at the Raj-era Windamere Hotel, or at least take afternoon tea there. This romantic retreat sits very near the top of Darjeeling, on Observatory Hill, and the views from the terrace, dining room and some of the suites are astounding when the mist clears. But it’s so romantic, you won’t care if the mist clears.

Photo Credit: Matt Paish 2013 via Compfight cc

Himalaya, Shimla, hill station, India

View of Himalaya from Shimla. Photo Credit: swamysk via Compfight cc

5. Shimla

At one time, a very large portion of humanity was ruled from this quaint hill station in Himachal Pradesh, north-east of Delhi, in the foothills of the Himalayas. The British Raj retreated to the cool climes of Shimla in summer when the heat on the plains, where Delhi is located, became unbearable. A pedestrian Mall runs along the ridge through town and it’s lined with cafes and shops, and still retains an aura of British cosiness. It’s a popular spot for Indian honeymooners now, which adds to the air of romance.

Travel Tip: Take tea at the Oberoi Cecil Hotel and, if you can afford it, stay at the Oberoi Wildflower Hall in nearby Mashroba.

Photo Credit: swamysk via Compfight cc

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21 Responses to Top 5 most romantic places in India

  1. Narayan Roy February 11, 2014 at 8:42 am #

    It must have been extremely difficult to handpick 05 most romantic places in India as each destination has its own magic! Destinations like Jaipur, Kashmir, Agra (home of the magnificent Taj Mahal !), Goa….will surely add to the confusion if one has to chose just 5 top romantic places in India. Picking Top 55 destinations would have been comparatively easy !!!

  2. Mariellen Ward February 11, 2014 at 9:04 am #

    Yes, India has a LOT of very beautiful, dreamy romantic places …. But I chose based on my personal experiences and tastes.
    Mariellen Ward recently posted..My travel wish list in India, South AsiaMy Profile

  3. Renuka February 11, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    Thanks Mariellen, for this list! I’m glad I have been to 4 out 5. 🙂 Thanks for the overnight desert safari info and Udaipur accommodation tip. I have been to the desert safari, but I will do it again – an overnight one.
    Renuka recently posted..Solo Travel In India – How To Choose Your DestinationMy Profile

    • Mariellen Ward February 11, 2014 at 9:22 am #

      It HAS to be an overnight safari Renuka!!! The most magical night of my life was spent walking the sand dunes under an incredible night sky, filled with millions of glittering stars.
      Mariellen Ward recently posted..My travel wish list in India, South AsiaMy Profile

  4. Sandesh H R February 11, 2014 at 9:50 am #

    Awesome Picks, As mentioned by #Narayan Rao, tough to pick, Shimla is known as one of the best romantic places to be in.
    Sandesh H R recently posted..FREE WordPress Popup PluginsMy Profile

  5. Neha February 11, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    Hey, thats a great list. Too late to make it to any of them 🙁

  6. Thomas 4rm Kochi February 11, 2014 at 11:01 am #

    Yes wonderful pick for a romantic holiday. These places have a charm which lulls one into the mood even if it is not February. 🙂
    Thank you for the informative post and awesome pictures.

  7. Listice February 11, 2014 at 11:10 pm #

    I am living in Chandigarh so Shimla is the nearest destination to me. And yes, this city is made for couples. Shimla is very romantic place and if any planning for V-holidays then s/he can think about any of these 5 romantic places. These destinations are awesome.
    Listice recently posted..Top 10 Android Mobile AppsMy Profile

  8. James February 14, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

    People typically associate India with a crush of people, noise and chaos. Thanks for the reminder that India has a romantic side too!
    James recently posted..My time in Bolivia, by Helene CooperMy Profile

  9. AlainSojourner February 15, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

    Ok, this post make me really want to go to India soonest. :))
    AlainSojourner recently posted..Tarsiers – One of the Smallest Monkeys in the WorldMy Profile

  10. Rachit Aggarwal February 20, 2014 at 2:35 am #

    I must say that this is really a very great compilation.

    I can understand that it is really back breaking to choose top 5 destinations but I must say that the list you shared is really a great compilation and string enough to give anyone a flavour of India.

  11. Kebhari March 11, 2014 at 3:38 am #

    Interesting post about India. India is a must see tourist spot in world. We can get everything here. It’s a heaven in simple. Find more tourism place in world on kebhari.com. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Shipra April 7, 2014 at 6:23 am #

    Beautiful pics & post. Thanks for sharing.
    Shipra recently posted..Himachal Hill Resorts hopeful of White New Year EveMy Profile

  13. Tushar July 31, 2014 at 10:44 pm #

    View of Himalaya from Shimla is a good picture almost. Thanks for sharing.

  14. J.Renault September 8, 2014 at 8:23 am #

    Himalaya is one of my most favorite place for its wonderful view and its climate.

  15. ishan September 12, 2014 at 1:13 am #

    Amazing places, sounds like more traditional……

  16. ritesh purohit November 8, 2014 at 2:47 am #

    hello mam
    i am form jaisalmer and thanks to that my city is your top 5 city list , yes jaisalmer is one of the bast romantic city in world for me not bocz i live here but it is .

  17. Ruchi February 2, 2015 at 3:40 am #

    There’re are many other romantic places too in India. Ladakh, Auli, Nepal, Dalhousie, Bali, etc.

    Do read my story on Ladakh, Nepal, Dalhousie at http://pixelsorcery.blogspot.in/ 🙂
    Ruchi recently posted..Pattern | UKMy Profile

  18. Pankaj Kumar February 14, 2015 at 12:27 am #

    One of te addition can be Ananda in the Himalays that is Palace of Maharaja of Tihri Garhwal Palace at Narendra Nagar at Rishikesh. website : http://www.anandaspa.com and Even Taj Ram Bagh Palace.

  19. Neha jain July 6, 2015 at 4:19 am #

    Would just like say that Darjeeling is the best place to visit. If some one comes to India must visit Darjeeling hill station and Jawhar hill station.

  20. Aarav Agrawal September 13, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

    Hey Mariellen,

    This is a great compilation. I must admit, the way you have written and explained about these places is amazing, just by reading a couple of description, I could totally feel the place. Brilliantly written Mariellen. Keep up the good work and let some more list like this come our way. Thanks a lot.

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