TOP 15: Amazing travel attractions Indians love to visit!
TripAdvisor recently unveiled a list of 15 most popular attractions amongst Indian travellers. Take a look at the places we simply love visiting.
Travel website, TripAdvisor, has just released a list of international attractions that are most highly reviewed and rated of their website by Indian travellers. Sure there are some usual suspects like the Eiffel Tower and the Coliseum but some relatively new travel attractions that Indians seem to love visiting and simply cannot get over!
15. Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur
Perhaps the most iconic landmark of South East Asia, the Petronas Twin Towers of Kuala Lumpur are open 6 days a week and offer tours to the skybridge on floor 41/42 and the observation deck on floor 86 in tower 2.
It is compulsory to buy a ticket beforehand to participate the Petronas Towers tour. Tickets can be obtained starting 8:30am every morning. Many people queue up so they can get the early tours or specify the time/day.
Image: Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur
Photographs: Esme Vos/Creative Commons
14. Topkapi Palace, Istanbul
Construction of the Topkapi Palace began in 1459 after Sultan Mehmet II conquered Istanbul in 1453. Of their 624-year-long reign the palace was home to the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years.
It also served as a setting for state celebrations and royal entertainment.
Now, it has become a very popular tourist attraction and is also important in it that it holds important holy relics of the Muslim world, including Muhammad's cloak and sword.
The palace complex itself has four large courtyards and many other smaller buildings including mosques, a hospital, bakeries and even a mint and had to undergo major renovation after an earthquake in 1509 and a fire that damaged portions of it in 1665.
At one point, the palace whose name is translated as Cannon gate Palace once housed over 4,000 people. Interestingly, the gate after which it has been named no longer exists.
Image: Topkapi Palace, Istanbul
Photographs: David Lull/Creative Commons
13. Burj Khalifa, Dubai
The tallest manmade structure in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is clearly a popular tourist attraction amongst Indians. The building itself is surrounded by hotels as well as shopping destinations and many entertainment options.
For stunning views of the city, you can use the observation deck At the Top on the 124th floor. At 452m, it is the third highest observation deck and the second highest outdoor observation deck in the world. The deck features the Behold Telescope through which you can view the landscape around the building in real time as well as look at pictures taken at different times of the day and under varied weather conditions.
Don't also miss the Dubai Fountain in the manmade Burj Khalifa Lake designed by WET Design, the same company that made the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel Lake in Las Vegas.
Image: Burj Khalifa, Dubai
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
12. Colosseum (Colosseo), Rome
The Colosseum of Rome is inarguably one of the finest examples of Roman architecture and engineering that was capable of seating over 50,000 spectators to watch gladiatorial contests as well as theatrical performances.
However the building stopped being used for entertainment purposes in the early medieval era and was used for a variety of purposes including housing, holding workshops as well as a fortress among others.
Today, the Colosseum is partially ruined in part because of devastating earthquakes and stone stealers. It continues however to remain the most popular tourist attraction in Rome and the 12th most popular attraction amongst Indians.
Image: Colosseum (Colosseo), Rome
Photographs: Sebastian Schulz/Creative Commons
11. CentralWorld Plaza, Bangkok
The inexhaustible shoppers that Indians are, we are not remotely surprised the CentralWorld shopping plaza and complex in Bangkok, Thailand didn't figure higher up in this list.
With a total of 495 stores and services 495, a retail floor area of 2,000,000 sq ft the CentralWorld Plaza is the third largest shopping complex in the world.
Image: CentralWorld Plaza, Bangkok
Photographs: Lerdsuwa/Wikimedia Commons
10. Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho), Bangkok
Said to be the birthplace of traditional Thai massage, Wat Pho is believed to have been named after a monastery in India where Buddha had lived. The largest and oldest monasteries in Bangkok covering an area of 80,000 square metres, it is also home to more than a thousand Buddha images besides of course the 160 ft-long image of Buddha.
Image: Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho), Bangkok
Photographs: Gerold Kogler/Creative Commons
9. Temple of the Dawn (Wat Arun), Bangkok
Wat Arun, named after Aruna, the Indian God of Dawn and is one of the most well-known landmarks in Bangkok. The temple itself gets its name because of the radiance with which the first light of the morning reflects off the surface of the temple.
Wat Arun features at number nine in the list of the top 15 travel attractions popular amongst Indians.
Image: Temple of the Dawn (Wat Arun), Bangkok
Photographs: Hans Zwitzer/Creative Commons
8. Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya), Istanbul
Hagia Sophia is a museum in Istanbul that was first an orthodox patriarchal basilica and later a mosque.
In 360 the Hagia Sophia was dedicated by the son of Emperor Constantius, son of the city's founder, Emperor Constantine. It was the seat of the bishop of the city and was initially named Megale Ekklesia or The Great Church. The first church structure was destroyed during the riots in 404 after which the second structure was built and dedicated by Emperor Theodosius II in 415. That in turn burned down during the Nika revolt of 532.
The Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque after Constantinople fell to Mehmed II in 1453. It was only in 1934 that the Turkish government secularised the building and converted it into a museum restoring the original mosaics.
Image: Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya), Istanbul
7. Eiffel Tower, Paris
Inarguably the single greatest structure in France, the Eiffel Tower was the most-visited paid monument in the world in 2011. Standing at 1,050 ft it was the tallest manmade structure in the world and continued to remain so for 41 years till the Chrysler Building was constructed in New York City in 1930.
The Eiffel tower gets its named after Gustave Eiffel the engineer whose company designed and constructed it. It has three levels for visitors, of which the third is accessible only by an elevator while the first two house restaurants.
The Eiffel Tower featured at number seven in the list of the most popular travel attractions amongst Indians.
Image: Eiffel Tower, Paris
Photographs: Faraz Memon/Creative Commons
6. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
It may come as a surprise that the largest Hindu temple complex in the world does not exist in India but rather in Cambodia. Angkor Wat continues to remain a prominent religious centre and one that has become synonymous with Cambodia by also appearing on its national flag.
It appears at number six in the list of the most popular travel attractions amongst Indians.
Image: Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Photographs: Pigalle/Creative Commons
5. Central Park, New York City
Perhaps the best-known urban forest after Hyde Park, London, New York's Central Park stands at the centre of Manhattan in New York City and receives about 35 million visitors annually. Opened on an area of 770 acres it was later expanded to 843 acres and continues to remain a model for urban parts across the world including Tokyo's Ueno Park, Youngstown's Mill Creek Park, Vancouver's Stanley Park, and Munich's Englischer Garten.
Image: Central Park, New York City
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera/Rediff.com
4. Church of the Sacred Family (Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia), Barcelona
Designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, the Sagrada Familia is perhaps the only incomplete structure that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In November 2010 it was proclaimed a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI.
Though the construction of Sagrada Familia commenced in 1882 its construction has over the centuries progressed painfully slowly, stopping altogether during the Spanish Civil War, relying only on private donations. The construction was only past its half-way mark in 2010 and is estimated to be completed in 2026 the death centenary of Gaudi.
Image: Church of the Sacred Family (Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia), Barcelona
3. Sydney Opera House, Sydney
Perhaps one of the most iconic buildings of the 20th century, the Sydney Opera House is also one of the busiest performing arts centres in the world. It hosts over 1500 performances each year that are attended by over 1.2 million people. Home to Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Sydney Opera House also has more than seven million tourists visiting it each year visiting the site each year of which over 300,000 take a guided tour.
Image: Sydney Opera House, Sydney
2. Table Mountain, Cape Town Central
The flat-topped mountain overlooking the city of Cape Town in South Africa was the second most popular tourist attraction amongst Indian travellers.
A TripAdvisor review tells you that 'there are many routes to get up the mountain but for the strong at heart climbing up Platteklip Gorge, the most popular tourist route, (starts about 1-2km after the cableway) is quite an achievement. It takes about 1,5hours if you are moderately fit. Do not go up in sneakers, wear a stronger shoe, giving support - it is a very uneven and stoney pathway and don't forget at least a litre of water or more, even if it is only slightly warm when you are at the bottom. Coming down is almost as harsh as going up due to the steepness and size of rocks you clamber over - there is no water on the way up and the restaurant is not round the corner when you arrive at the top'.
Image: Table Mountain, Cape Town Central
Photographs: 333junction/Creative Commons
1. Bellagio Fountains, Las Vegas
The Fountains of Bellagio are musical fountains in front of the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas. Choreographed shows take place every 30 minutes in the afternoons and early evenings and every 15 minutes from 8 pm to midnight.
Minutes before the water show is about to begin, the lights illuminating the hotel tower turn a purple hue or red-white-and-blue depending upon the music that is to be played.
There are occasions when the water shows are cancelled to avoid interfering with a planned event or in the face of powerful winds during which sometimes they run with less power.
The Fountains of Bellagio topped the list of the most popular attractions amongst Indian travellers
Image: Bellagio Fountains, Las Vegas