Top ChoiceHistoric Building in Agra

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

Poet Rabindranath Tagore described it as 'a teardrop on the cheek of eternity'; Rudyard Kipling as 'the embodiment of all things pure'; while its creator, Emperor Shah Jahan, said it made 'the sun and the moon...

Top ChoiceGhat in Varanasi

Manikarnika Ghat

Manikarnika Ghat

Manikarnika Ghat, the main burning ghat, is the most auspicious place for a Hindu to be cremated. Dead bodies are handled by outcasts known as doms, and are carried through the alleyways of the old town to the...

Top ChoiceReligious in Varanasi

Dev Diwali

Leading up to the day each year that the gods are said to descend to Varanasi – 15 days after Diwali – the ghats along the Ganges glow in the flames of thousands of tiny oil lamps, thousands more of which are...

Top ChoiceFort in Agra

Agra Fort

Agra Fort

With the Taj Mahal overshadowing it, one can easily forget that Agra has one of the finest Mughal forts in India. Walking through courtyard after courtyard of this palatial red-sandstone and marble fortress, your...

Top ChoiceHistoric Building in Agra

Itimad-ud-Daulah

Nicknamed the Baby Taj, the exquisite tomb of Mizra Ghiyas Beg should not be missed. This Persian nobleman was Mumtaz Mahal’s grandfather and Emperor Jehangir’s wazir (chief minister). His daughter, Nur Jahan,...

Top ChoiceNorth Indian in Lucknow

Tunday Kababi

This is the cleaner, more tourist-friendly outlet of Lucknow's renowned, 100-year-old, impossible-to-find kebab shop in Chowk, where buffalo-meat kebabs go for ₹20 a plate. Here the prices are higher, but the...

Top ChoiceNorth Indian in Agra

Esphahan

There are only two sittings each evening at Agra's finest restaurant, so booking ahead is essential, especially as non-hotel-guest tables are limited. The exquisite menu is chock-full of unique delicacies, with...

Top ChoicePark in Agra

Mehtab Bagh

Mehtab Bagh

This park, originally built by Emperor Babur as the last in a series of 11 parks on the Yamuna’s east bank (long before the Taj was conceived), fell into disrepair until it was little more than a huge mound of...

Top ChoiceMulticuisine in Varanasi

Brown Bread Bakery

This restaurant's fabulous menu includes more than 40 varieties of European-quality cheese and more than 30 types of bread, cookies and cakes – along with excellent pastas, sandwiches and breakfasts. Sit...

Top ChoiceMughlai in Lucknow

Oudhyana

If you want to savour the flavours of the Nawabs performing at their culinary best, look no further than Oudhyana, where Chef Nagendra Singh gives Lucknow's famous Awadh cuisine its royal due at this signature...

Top ChoiceDhaba in Agra

Mama Chicken

This superstar dhaba (casual eatery) is a must: duelling veg and nonveg glorified street stalls employ 24 cooks during the rush, each of whom handles outdoor tandoors, grills or pots. They whip up outrageously...

Top ChoiceGhat in Varanasi

Dashashwamedh Ghat

Varanasi’s liveliest and most colourful ghat. The name indicates that Brahma sacrificed (medh) 10 (das) horses (aswa) here. In spite of the persistent boat owners, flower sellers, massage practitioners, and touts...

Top ChoiceArts & Crafts in Agra

Subhash Emporium

Some of the pieces on display at this renowned marble shop are simply stunning (ask to see the 26 masterpieces). While it's more expensive than some shops, you definitely get what you pay for: high-quality marble...

Top ChoiceIndian in Varanasi

Darbhanga

Seriously some of the best Indian food we've ever had. The palak chaman (paneer in spinach and spices) is heaven in your mouth and the aloo chaat (fried pieces of parboiled potato mixed with chickpeas and chopped...

Top ChoiceGhat in Varanasi

Assi Ghat

Assi Ghat

The furthest south of the main ghats and one of the biggest, Assi Ghat is particularly important as the River Assi meets the Ganges near here and pilgrims come to worship a Shiva lingam (phallic image of Shiva)...

Top ChoiceModern Indian in Agra

Pinch of Spice

This modern North Indian superstar is the best spot outside five-star hotels to indulge yourself in rich curries and succulent tandoori kebabs. The murg boti masala (chicken tikka swimming in a rich and spicy...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Mathura

Archaeological Museum

This museum, renovated in 2016, houses a superb collection of religious sculptures by the Mathura school, which flourished from the 3rd century BC to the 6th century AD. Good lighting and English text spotlight...

Top ChoiceLassi in Varanasi

Blue Lassi

A tiny yoghurt shop with a big – and well-deserved – reputation for serving up Varanasi's freshest, creamiest, fruit-filled lassis for over 90 years.

Top ChoiceGhat in Varanasi

Harishchandra Ghat

Harishchandra Ghat is a cremation ghat – smaller and secondary in importance to Manikarnika, but one of the oldest ghats in Varanasi.

Top ChoiceIslamic Tomb in Lucknow

Bara Imambara

Bara Imambara

This colossal imambara (Shiite tomb complex) is worth seeing in its own right, but the highly unusual labyrinth of corridors inside its upper floors make a visit here particularly special. The ticket price...