Mumbai voted India’s favorite city destination

Mumbai voted India’s favorite city destination. Traditional lighting of Diya during Diwali Festival in Mumbai, India. Source: Snehal Jeevan Pailkar/Shutterstock

INDIA’S most populous city has been crowned favorite city destination in the Readers’ Travel Awards 2017. Beachside favorite Goa and up-and-comer Meghalaya also picked up awards.

The cosmopolitan metropolis of Mumbai was crowned India’s favorite city at the Conde Nast award ceremony in New Delhi on Monday. Known for its British-built colonial buildings, extensive museums and galleries, and its bustling street markets, Mumbai draws almost six million tourists a year.

According to the Global Destination Cities Index (reported by Times of India), Mumbai raked in a whopping US$3.3 billion from visitors who stayed overnight in the city in 2015, making it the fourth most lucrative market in the Asia Pacific for overseas spenders.

The growing number of tourists stopping over in Mumbai has made the city the only Indian entry in the Asia Pacific to figure in the top 10 fast-growing cities by international overnight visitors.

Readers also named popular beachside destination, Goa, as favorite leisure destination in India. And Northeast newbie, Meghalaya, as favorite emerging destination.

Meaning the “abode of clouds” in Sanskrit, Meghalaya may not be on everyone’s bucket list yet, but that’s part of its rugged appeal. Separating the Assam Valley from the plains of Bangladesh, the cool mountain state is home to rocky cliffs, impressive waterfalls and some of Asia’s longest cave systems.

During monsoon season, this little-explored state is the wettest place on Earth, giving it its lush and green landscape. It is also gaining a reputation as an adventure destination not for the faint-hearted.

“The natural geography of the Garo, Khasi and Jaintia hills, whose soft limestone has been whittled into hidden gorges, wormhole caverns and plunging cliffs by millions of years of rainfall,” writes Lonely Planet writer, Joe Bindloss. This makes Meghalaya a prime destination for trekking, caving and canyoning, and tribal encounters.

Other top destinations picked out by readers include France as favorite country, London for overseas city, and Sri Lanka for emerging overseas destinations.