35 Things India Is Famous and Known For

Please note that some posts may contain affiliate links. We may earn a commission should you choose to purchase using these links but at absolutely no extra cost to you.

India is a large and important country located in South East Asia. In addition to its size, it is also the second most populated country in the World. India is famous for its colorful culture, flavorful cuisine, and deep traditions.

The country shares borders with several notable countries such as China, Nepal, and Pakistan. It also borders the east part of the Arabian Sea and is south of the Indian Ocean. There are many interesting things in the country that make it uniquely India.

What Is India Famous For?

India is known for its high-energy celebrations, incredible landmarks, and rich history. These are reflected by several monuments constructed in the most famous cities. Many of these structures are religious, such as The Taj Mahal and Jama Masjid. India is also famous for their exotic coasts, especially Goa, where there are long beaches and delicate nature.

History, Culture, And Traditions India Is Known For 

Nag Panchami

India is famous for its variety of festivals, in which there is usually a god, person or animal to be worshipped. In Nag Panchami, people worship snakes.

Every year during the summer season, candy and flowers are offered to the serpent. This falls on the fifth day of ‘Shravan’, which is the month of July or August in the Hindu calendar.

There are two main purposes for this event. The main reason is to celebrate the victory of Krishna over Kaliya, a venomous serpent living in the Yamuna River. Additionally, the festival is believed to protect worshippers against snakes.



Although yoga is a widespread sport that is practiced globally, it originated in India over five thousand years ago. The father of yoga, known as Maharishi Patanjali, was one of the first to introduce it. 

Yoga involves the practice of patience and discipline whilst maintaining numerous positions. Famous poses include the lotus, downward dog, and crane. Whilst it is believed that yoga is slow-paced, the many variations can suit anyone.

Vedic Chanting

India is famous for its devotion to Hinduism, which is the principal religion and has been since 1500 BC. As a result, much of the culture and traditions which are practiced can be traced back to religion.

Vedic chanting is one of the oldest vocal traditions, which comes from Vedic texts. Essentially, these are pieces of literature concerning hymns and protection spells.

The purpose of this chanting is to help memorize important scripture, as well as create a community in which to pray.

Kumbh Mela

Kumbh Mela is a huge pilgrimage in which the population participates. There are four sites: Allahabad, Haridwar, Nashik, and Ujjain. All of these are famous cities of India. This pilgrimage is held for over 12 years and is celebrated every 4 years. 

During the pilgrimage, which can last up to one month, people must bathe in the river which is considered to be sacred. Hence, every city on the pilgrimage is directly next to a river.  This includes the renowned Ganges, Shipra, and Godavari.

Diwali Festival 


Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a popular gathering held annually. Whilst it is primarily a Hindu festival held in India, it can be celebrated by all cultures. Many people visit annually, just to watch the beautiful fireworks and intricately designed lamps.

Over five days, a series of rituals occur. The aim of these is to allow prosperity and good fortune to wash over us. For example, on the first day which is named ‘Dhanteras’, oil lamps are lit after sunset.

The Hola Mohalla Warriors Of Punjab

The Hola Mohalla is a huge festival which India is famous for. In addition to Hinduism, much of the country practices Sikhism. Hence, this festival celebrates a noble Sikh warrior called Nihang. 

For three days, several military practices are held. Although there are many curated battles on display for audiences, there are also other exhibitions. Weapons are showcased, music is played and there are also famous poetry recitals. 

Bollywood Movies 

Bollywood is a division of the movie industry that is dedicated to Mumbai. The name is a unification between Hollywood and Bombay, the former being the old name for Mumbai.

Dadasaheb Phalke is the founder of Bollywood movies. He was a prominent film producer who was responsible for the first ever Indian movie, Raja Harishchandra, about a king and his duties. 

Bollywood movies are known for being for their theatrical dancing and singing, predominantly in the romance genre. 

Traditional Indian Clothing 


Traditional clothing in India is loud and colorful. Famous people from India, such as Priyanka Chopra, are known for proudly wearing vibrant saris, lehengas, and even bridalwear. 

Women’s clothing in particular is incredibly eye-catching. Sari’s, as we mentioned, are elegant and lightweight silk garments which are typically draped over the shoulders or waist.

On the other hand, a lehenga is a more formal piece of clothing. It is a skirt that is embroidered and jeweled, worn for weddings and festivals. 



Hinduism is one of the largest religions worldwide. In India, it is the predominant religion, with over three-quarters of the country practicing it. Therefore, many aspects of everyday culture are influenced by Hinduism and its beliefs.

In India, there are several popular festivals during the year. Holi, the festival of colors, Diwali, the festival of lights, and Navratri, the festival of a goddess, are all religious holidays practiced by Hindus. 

Additionally, eating beef in Hinduism is forbidden. Cows are believed to be sacred, and this belief is upheld in India. They are not allowed to be slaughtered, as it is illegal throughout the country.

There are many interesting facts about India and its traditions relating to their devotion to this deep religion.

Cities And Travel Destinations India Is Known For




Mumbai is one of the most famous cities of India, as it is the largest and has the largest population of inhabitants of over 22 million.

Due to its sheer size, Mumbai is well-known for being fast-paced and dynamic. It is rich in cultural aspects such as art, nightlife, and theatre. Additionally, Indian street food is highly-acclaimed and cheap without compromising on flavors.

Despite being an old city, there are many modern Indian landmarks with iconic architecture and scenic views.

New Delhi


New Delhi is known for being the capital city of India; but one of the lesser-known facts about Delhi is that it hasn’t always held that status. Before the city became the capital in 1911, Kolkata was the hub of governance.

Today, New Delhi is often recognized for housing the government of India as well as the supreme court. These are important landmarks that contribute to the effective functioning of the country and some of them are open for visiting.

Furthermore, there are many historical attractions such as India Gate and the Red fort, which are known for their unique architecture.  



In terms of history, India is famous for shifting its capital from Kolkata to New Delhi under British rule in 1911. Prior to this, Kolkata was the capital for almost 140 years, therefore making it one of the most famous cities of India.

Kolkata earnt its nickname ‘The City of Joy’ because of the festivity with is always present. Much emphasis is placed on culture, tradition, and respect, making it an endearing and fun place to visit. There are several notable attractions, mainly temples, museums, and palaces.



Goa is famous for being one of the most peaceful and relaxing cities in India. It is ideal for family vacations, solo trips, or even an adventurous place to visit with friends.

The long coastline of Goa makes it perfect for beach holidays. It is located on the southwest coast of India along the Arabian Sea, allowing for many resorts to be built. The weather is often hot due to the humid climate, and nature is exotic including dramatic palm trees.



Bangalore, called Bengaluru by the locals, is a large and modern city in India.

It is often referred to as the ‘Silicon Valley’ of India due to its extensive use of information technology. This makes it an important research institution and software hub.

In contrast to its modernized reputation, there are many religious sites in Bangalore too. These include Saint Mark’s Cathedral, a Christian holy site, and Jamia Masjid which is sacred to Muslims.



Agra is notable for the most significant landmark in India – the famous Taj Mahal. This is the mausoleum housing the remains of Mumtaz Mahal, which is a must-see Indian attraction. This is not only for religious purposes but also to marvel at the stunning architecture.

Similarly, Agra Fort is a 15th-century fortification where several emperors resided during this period. It is a perfect example of Islamic architecture, lying next to the Yamuna River which is downstream.

Landmarks And Architecture India Is Known For


Taj Mahal


India is known for its dedication to religion. As a result, The Taj Mahal is one of the most important landmarks in the country. It is located in Agra, one of the most famous cities of India.

It is a mausoleum built in the early 17th century, as a tomb for Mumtaz Mahal. The remains of Mumtaz lay here, as ordered by her husband. Out of all of his wives, Mumtaz was his favorite for her intellect and good looks.

The Taj Mahal is characteristically known for its crisp, white exterior. It is an example of Mughal architecture, due to its prominent domes, large hallways, and intricate ornaments.

Golden Temple


Harmandir Sahib, internationally known as the Golden Temple, is a place of worship located in Punjab. In addition to Buddhism, India is famous for its large population of Sikhs. The Golden Temple is a holy building and place of sanctuary for all believers of Sikhism known as a gurdwara.

The Golden Temple is a large, two-level structure. The first floor is found in water, known as the ‘Sarovar.’ Although swimming is not permitted, you are allowed to enter the water.

Its most significant characteristic is the beautiful gold leaf dome of the building.

Red Fort


The Red Fort, or Lal Qila, is a massive fort built in the 17th century by Shah Jahan. It was constructed as the palace fort for Shahjahanabad, now known as Old Delhi. This is one of the most significant and famous cities of India at the time, as all governing activities took place there. 

As the name suggests, The Red Fort was built from striking red sandstone, giving the structure its distinct appearance.

Nowadays, it is a collection of museums, making it an easily accessible historical building.

Gateway Of India


The Gateway of India is a relatively new building constructed in Mumbai. It is a stone arch overlooking the Arabian Sea behind it.

The purpose of the construction of this monument was to celebrate King George V. King George V was the first monarch of England to visit India, along with Queen Mary, in 1911. It was finally completed in 1924, opposite the Taj Mahal.

 Hawa Mahal Jaipur 


The Hawa Mahal is a beautiful palace located in Jaipur, one of the largest and most famous cities of India.

The Hawa Mahal is unique because of its pink and red sandstone structure, making it easily visible and standing out from the surrounding buildings. It is famous for its windows, 953 to be exact, which allowed the women inside to view the outside which they were not permitted to visit.  

The palace was built to commemorate Lord Krishna, which is reflected by the curved shape of the building, observed to look like Krishna’s crown.

Jama Masjid


India is famous for its variety of mosques. A well-known mosque is the Jama Masjid, found in New Delhi.

The Jama Masjid is a beautiful structure made of red sandstone and marble. It is a perfect example of Mughal architecture, as it was built in the 17th century when this was the most prominent style. There are domes, gates, and towers, the most significant being minarets. These are the towers in which a muezzin collectively calls Muslims inside to pray.

Kerala Backwaters


The Kerala Backwaters are one of the most scenic natural landmarks of India. Although India is famous for its historical monuments and architecture, they also have many picturesque water bodies and phenomena.

 Essentially, the Kerala Backwaters are a series of lakes parallel to the Arabian Sea. As they are a network of canals and lagoons, there are several which you are can visit. The Alleppey Backwaters are undoubtedly the most popular, which eventually merge with the ocean.

Food India Is Known For



Masala is a blend of spices that can be used in a variety of dishes which India is famous for. Although it is not one particular dish itself, it can be incorporated into appetizers, mains, desserts, and even teas.

Usually, masala culminates in five simple spices: cardamon, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cloves. Other blends can include nutmeg, fennel seeds, and pepper.

The most common dish using this spice blend is inevitably chicken tikka masala. This is a type of curry often served with rice. Similarly, it can be used in soups, like tikka masala soup, or simply as a marinade.



Biryani is a mixed rice and chicken dish popular in South Asian countries. Made from its original recipe it is a relatively mild dish, however, India is famous for using spices to kick it up a notch.

The two main ingredients in biryani are chicken rice. Spices are what give this meal its characteristic taste and smell, of which there are many. This includes cardamon, cinnamon, saffron, coriander, cumin, and many more. The chicken is marinated in this blend, and the rice is added when it is almost cooked.



All of the delicious curry dishes India is famous for would be incomplete without a side of naan.

Naan is a type of leaved flat bread that is commonly oven-baked nowadays. Traditionally, it would be cooked with charcoal in a tandoor oven, however, this is not usually done unless in a restaurant or India itself.

The flavor of naan is sweet yet nutty, and the texture is chewy. This makes it ideal for pairing with rice and curry sauces.



Curry is a broad term for a dish that is made up of a flavourful sauce with meat, usually plated with rice.

Whilst flavors and seasoning vary massively within both the continent and country, there are some classic favorites that everybody will recognize. The main thing which makes Indian curries distinct is their creamy consistency, and use of chicken over beef.

The most popular curry which India is famous for is Goan, made of fish, and Dhansak, made of lamb.



Dosa is a thin, savory pancake that is enjoyed mostly in the southern parts of India. Usually, it is eaten with a zesty filling.

A dosa itself is made up of lentils and rice which are fermented and fried. It comes in a variety of shapes, either rolled like a wrap or split into a half-moon shape.

A masala dosa, for example, is filled with a spicy potato mixture. You can also opt for a neer dosa, which is plainer and requires more water. Lastly, ragi dosa is made of finger millet, an aromatic red plant.



Tandoori originates from ‘tandoor’ a type of clay oven fired by charcoal or wood. As a result, tandoori involves cooking meat in this oven.

Popular tandoori meat usually includes chicken, served with pilau rice and naan bread.

India is famous for its spices, and tandoori is no different. A typical tandoori spice is savory and can be adapted to taste spicier. It is marinated in these spices, in addition to yogurt. Yogurt is the ingredient that makes the meat tender and softer.

Gulab Jamun 


In addition to popular main dishes, India is famous for an array of desserts. The most known of these is gulab jamun. The name translates to rose and berry, which is a reference to the syrup they are coated in and their circular shape.

Gulab jamun is a sweet treat made mostly of milk, flour, and butter. The mixture is rolled and fried. Subsequently, they are topped with rose-flavored syrup and served.

Famous People From India

Mahatma Gandhi


Mahatma Gandhi was a civil rights activist who believed in peaceful protesting and showing compassion to achieve goals. In addition to his involvement in politics, he was also a lawyer.

Gandhi was born in Gujarat, one of the most famous western cities in India. He lived shortly in London, before moving to South Africa where he resided for the majority of his life.

Here, Gandhi led many movements intending to free India under British rule. To gain this independence, he famously organized multiple hunger strikes. Eventually, India won its independence in 1947. Gandhi died one year later.

Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa was a famous missionary, who despite being born to Albanian parents, migrated to India and earned her citizenship in 1951.

At the age of 18, Mother Teresa devoted her life to God and became a nun. She decided to move to India to begin her work involving ‘The Missionaries of Charity.’ This meant embarking on her mission to take in sick children and animals and nurse them to health.

Because of her work, Mother Teresa was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, one of the most significant honors a person can receive.

Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi is the prime minister of India since 2014, before being Chief Minister for over ten years.

His policies have revolutionized the country, making him one of the most famous people from India. Examples include 65% more foreign investment into several different sectors, the most significant being railway and military defense.

 He has also implanted new labor laws, by simplifying the existing ones and merging them into four simple regulations.

Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar 

Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was a political leader, economist, and socialist. 

His goal was to create a more equal India, at a time when poverty was rife and there was not much hope for the underprivileged.

Dr. Bhimrao is a famous person from India due to his help in constructing the Constitution of India. This is the set of laws that the parliament creates to safeguard and vindicate the population.

Furthermore, Dr. Ambedkar was the first Minister of Law and Justice in the country.

Aamir Khan

Aamir Khan is a film producer as well as an actor. India is famous for its captivating movie scene, as they are engrossing and full of emotion.

Khan has been involved in acting in film since 1973 when he played a minor role in the movie ‘Yaadon Ki Baaraat.’ Since then, he has taken part in countless movies whereby he has played both other characters and occasionally himself.

In 2007, Khan decided he would like to direct as well as act. The first movie he directed was ‘Taare Zameen Par’ which he also starred in. The movie was about a young boy who excelled in art yet struggled with academia, exploring the theme of dyslexia.

Khan has won multiple awards for his works.

Sardar Patel

Sardar Patel was a political lawyer born in Nadiad.

Patel is famous for being the first Deputy Prime Minister of India, which occurred in 1947. He was in charge for three years. Despite this, he spent the majority of his life campaigning for important changes in India to take place, including its independence.

Known as the ‘Iron Man of India’ for his efforts for the country, Patel convinced 562 states of the British Indian Empire, known as ‘princely states’, to agree to Indian independence. This made him one of the most famous people from India, whose hard work will be remembered forever.

Discovering More Things India Is Known For

These are just some of the endless things that India is famous for. The country has a rich and complex history which makes it such an exciting place.

India is famous for its religious landmarks and Islamic architecture. You will find a good blend of Islamic and Sikh temples, together with Christian cathedrals. In addition to these meaningful constructions, there are also beautiful natural features like beaches and rivers.

On the other hand, India also has lively nightlife in the cities. Streets are filled with delicious street foods, modern theatres, and dazzling traditional clothes. It is truly a crossroad of modern buzz and ancient culture.



Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

More Adventures


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


other stories