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Top travel destinations in India

1. Jaisalmer

This far-flung town in western Rajasthan sees a dramatic spike in tourism during the much-awaited Desert Festival in February. Named for Maharawal Jaisal Singh, who founded the princely state, Jaisalmer is known for its stunning fort, Trikoot Garh. Better known as Sonar Kella (Golden Fort) after a Satyajit Ray film of that name, it is a living structure and shelters a quarter of the town’s population. The Thar begins a short distance from the city. Enjoy a desert night safari, hiking across the dunes on camels. If your wallet allows, view the desert from a hot air balloon.
Though winter is the preferred season to visit Rajasthan, a monsoon trip unveils the desert in a different character. As pregnant monsoon clouds descend over the dun landscape, seasonal rivers swell and flash floods transform roads into runnels. The Gadisar Lake fills to capacity and brims with catfish.
Getting there: Jodhpur (300 km) is the nearest airport. There are trains from Delhi (800 km) or Jaipur (570 km). The Palace on Wheels arrives in Jaisalmer on Sundays.
When to go: October to March
Also read:
10 things to do in Jaisalmer 
Jewel of the Thar

What to Read Next

Top travel destinations in India

Mail Today
10 December 2013

It’s contentious to assemble a list of ten destinations from the hundreds that India has to offer. While making this list we did consider the fact that tourism in India had suffered a setback in the first two quarters of 2013, close on the heels of the gang rape of a medical student in Delhi in December 2012, and a June 2006 incident involving the rape of an American tourist in Manali. Many countries issued travel advisories and cautioned women against travelling to India. Though tourism numbers appeared to be unaffected, the rate of growth of tourism revenues showed a year-on-year dip when compared over the past five years. That much said, certain destinations in India continued to hold over others and remained attractive to visitors, both domestic and foreign. Here is our pick of the top 10 Indian destinations in 2013. Have a great holiday. And, yes, feel free to argue.

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