The places covered here may be the most awe-inspiring region of this tremendous country, and if you plan to visit India only once in your lifetime, this is the place to go, tourist traps and all. With a sprawling population, North-Central India is composed of the states of Uttar Pradesh (Northern Province in English) and Madhya Pradesh (the "Middle" Province). It's fairly easy to move from one place to another as the area is well connected, mainly by plenty of trains.
- Agra and Fatehpur Sikri. Full of squalor and magnificence alike, this is the architectural heart of North-Central India, with over-the-top creations left by the Mughuls, including the Taj Mahal and the abandoned fortress-city of Fatehpur Sikri.
- Khajuraho. In contrast to Agra's chaos, Khajuraho projects extreme calm amid equally impressive temples built by the Chandelas.
- Varanasi and Sarnath. These two cities are, respectively, central to Hinduism and Buddhism. Varanasi is a maze of nameless lanes and corridors, making it well suited to getting blissfully lost amid its constant din. The Ganges flows through this sacred city, which is one reason why thousands of sadhus (holy men) and others flock to it all year round.