A Definitive List Of India's Top 10 Tourist Destinations, According To Flickr

06/02/2015 8:17 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST
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Mlenny Photography via Getty Images

If you’ve ever wondered what the most visited tourist destinations in India are, here's a highly conclusive list, derived from a dataset that’s nearly 11 years old. Data scientists at Flickr have provided us with a definitive list of the top 10 tourist hotspots in India, by crunching geotag data of all the photographs ever taken in India and uploaded on the site.

EXIF metadata is uploaded with every photo on Flickr, which allows all kinds of data analysis. We previously reported on the most popular cameras of 2014, but what's more interesting is what users click.

Flickr has one of the largest repositories of geotagged photos on our planet. Just their Creative Commons dataset has over 48 million photographs that cover 249 different territories, including countries and islands around the world. According to the latest reported stats, Flickr has a user base of over 92 million users, who upload over a million photos every day.

The top 10 list spans a wide range of terrain, from religious sites, caves, hill stations, backwaters, deserts to luxury hotels. A quick note on the findings — the numbers you’re seeing next to each location are percentages. So for example, out of all of the photos that were taken at the 10 destinations, 40.8% of those were taken at the Taj Mahal, and so on.

  • Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh — 40.8%
    Getty Images
    Built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of Mumtaz Mahal, this mid-sixteenth century monument took 22 years to complete. The Taj Mahal receives over 3 million visitors every year, and is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
  • Jaisalmer, Rajasthan — 20.1%
    bijendra via Getty Images
    Named after Maharawal Jaisal Singh, a Rajput king who founded the city in 1156 AD, Jaisalmer was a part of the silk route that connected India to the Middle East and Western Asia. It’s nicknamed ‘The Golden City’ due to the yellow sandstone used in the architecture of the city’s most famous landmarks.
  • Malabar Coast, Kerala — 16.4%
    helovi via Getty Images
    Fed by 38 rivers and spanning 900 kilometres of waterways, the Kerala's house boats cruises through its backwaters have earned it the sobriquet 'Venice of the east'.
  • Darjeeling, West Bengal — 10.3%
    Jane Sweeney via Getty Images
    Renowned for its tea and its toy trains, the town once served as a summer retreat for the British in India. Nestled in the Himalayan range, Darjeeling provides a view of Mount Kanchenjunga, and Mount Everest, the world’s third-highest and highest peaks.
  • Palolem Beach, Goa
    Getty Images
    Located in Cancona, South Goa, Palolem is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Goa. The waters are shallow and ideal for swimming. The ‘Money stone’ built by American conceptual artist Jacek Tylicki is a popular destination.
  • Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan – 2.7%
    Jelle Drok, Flickr
    Located at the center of Lake Pichola, in Udaipur, this luxury hotel renovated a former palace belonging to the royal family of Mewar. The Taj Lake Palace is said to offer splendid sunrise views.
  • Virupaksha Temple, Hampi, Karnataka – 2.3%
    Dimos_istock via Getty Images
    Located in Hampi, the Virupaksha temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple has its its origins in the 7th century AD and is located within the ruins of the city of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire.
  • Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab – 2.1%
    Iryna Rasko via Getty Images
    The Harmandir Sahib, which translates to the House of God is a central place of worship for the Sikhs. The temple houses the Guru Granth Sahib, the holiest text of Sikhism, and runs one of the largest free kitchens in the world.
  • Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh – 1.1%
    Wolfgang Kaehler via Getty Images
    Stretching over an area of 940 km², it's the largest national park in Central India. Tourists flock to the park to catch a glimpse of the wildlife here, which includes the Royal Bengal Tiger and the Hard Ground Barasingha.
  • Ajanta Caves, Aurangabad, Maharashtra — 0.7%
    CRSHELARE via Getty Images
    Comprising of 30 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments which date back to 2nd century BC, the caves include paintings and sculptures of the Buddha and depictions of the Jataka tales.

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