Mumbai, the gateway to India, lies along the Arabian Sea. The dynamic city is home to the country's financial center and the colorful Bollywood industry. India is the birthplace of four of the world's most powerful religions, and Mumbai provides unique opportunities to explore India's spiritual side. On Mumbai's Elephanta Island, for instance, visitors find hand-carved caves adorned with exquisite statues devoted to Shiva. Mumbai lodging is plentiful, but slightly more expensive than other cities. For the best cheap India hotel deal, make reservations early and book in the off-season.
From Mumbai, head north to Agra, where romance and magnificent architecture blend into one of the world's most famous landmarks, the Taj Mahal. Agra offers some of the top cheap hotel deals in India. Here, rates for rooms at four- and five-star properties are extremely affordable and easily accessed.
Just north of Agra is busy Delhi, where ornate architecture, gritty streets, and gleaming temples create an exotic, welcoming atmosphere. India's diverse history is evident in several ancient sites, including the 4th century Iron Pillar and Quwwat-ul-Islam, India's oldest mosque. To savor the real sights and flavors of India, visit open-air street market Dilli Haat. There, you'll sample regional foods and browse through local art and crafts. Delhi maintains the largest variety of hotels in India. Prices range broadly depending on the season and the type of India hotels you choose, so be sure to search for India hotel packages that offer lodging at a special discount.
Seasoned hikers and climbers will want to continue the journey north from Delhi to the Himalayas. Abundant mountain trails fill the area and offer challenging treks. Those who simply want to appreciate the beauty of the towering Himalayas can travel to Darjeeling aboard the historic Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Darjeeling offers breathtaking views of the mountains, charming inns, and great India hotel deals.
From centuries-old mosques and spiritual caves to the Taj Mahal and teeming marketplaces, India has a feast for the senses just waiting to be explored.