The diversity of India - its rich culture, long history, unique customs and even its own subcontinent - makes it truly one of the world's great experiences for any traveler.
Indian music, dance, cinema and food - along with ancient religions and philosophies - come readily to mind, but the vast country also offers striking colorful scenes of everyday life.
Numerous fairs and festivals, chores and practices embedded in daily life have evolved over many centuries, now blending with influences assimilated from the outside.
India has tourist attractions of an infinite variety from stunning architecture to swathes of verdant forests.
General categories of tourist destinations include:
India has 22 sites on the World Cultural Heritage list and five on the Natural Heritage list.
The most famous among them are the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Qutub Minar in Delhi, Ajanta and Ellora Caves in Maharashtra, the Mahabodhi Temple at Gaya in Bihar and the famous mountain railways of Darjeeling in West Bengal and Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu.
The hill stations all across India are where people escape the heat of summer.
Hill stations include those in the Himalayan range, as well as in the south, the western Ghats and even in central India.
Thousands of sun-seeking tourists visit India every year for some of the greatest variety of beaches in the world.
Placid backwaters and lagoons, bays and rough seas rimmed by lava rock, marine estuaries with fish, crashing surf, powdery golden sand or palm fringed shores - incredible India has them all.
The west coast with the Arabian Sea and the east coast on the Bay of Bengal offer many striking vistas to the traveler.
The coasts of India have their own seafood cuisine, relaxing spas, diving and water sports and enchanting places to stay for a holiday.
Home to one of the world's oldest civilizations and a succession of ruling dynasties across its length and breadth, India has many fine examples of palace architecture.
The Palaces of Rajasthan and central India are some of the most outstanding, each depicting a story and exuding a charm of its own.
Religion and philosophy are a central part of the daily life of the average Indian. Many tourist sites in India have spiritual and religious dimensions, especially during auspicious festivals.
The sacred cities of Hindu pilgrimage all across India, the Buddhist monasteries, famous churches, the temples known as gurudwaras and revered mosques illustrate both the religious and secular fabric of the country - Indians of diverse beliefs coexist, and have done so for centuries.
India is rapidly emerging as a global healthcare destination. There is an increasing demand from tourists who wish to experience the magic of its ancient healthcare system Ayurveda and wellness centers, hi-tech healing, spas and yoga.
Blessed with snow-clad peaks, beautiful valleys, meandering rivers, thick forests rich in wildlife, long coastlines and magical moonscapes, India offers lots of adventure - including white water rafting and kayaking, angling, trekking and rock climbing, paragliding and skydiving, camel and elephant safaris, skiing, bungee jumping and car rallies.
With world-class convention centers, airports that compete with the best in the world and the famous Indian hospitality, India is emerging as an important destination for meetings, incentive packages, conferences and exhibition facilities.
"This is but a snapshot of the wealth of tourist potential waiting to be explored," according to a statement from the Indian Embassy in China.
"It is said that one lifetime is not enough to see half of India. What attracts tourists to India is not only the beautiful places to see but also the warm hospitality of the Indian people and the Indian way of life, which is a rich mixture of many diverse elements."
"Indian people believe in sharing happiness and joy and treating a guest well is a time-honored tradition.
"The beauty of India can be compared to a garden of flowers of many colors and shades, all of which, while retaining their own identity, lend harmony and beauty to the entire garden of India.
"Come and explore Incredible India."