Most Famous Historical Places in India That You Should Visit

List of Most Famous Historical Places in India

The many temples, forts, palaces and monuments in the country make up the historical places of India. These reflect the splendid heritage and culture of the country. The historical places in India depict the stunning craftsmanship on the stone which can be seen in many temples and forts. The Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Humayun's Tomb are famous historical monuments of the Mughal period. Champaner, Dholavira and Nalanda are ancient archaeological sites. Glimpses of colonial architecture can be seen in cities such as Goa, Kolkata and Pondicherry. The Great Living Chola Temples are another example of India's rich history. Konark, Mysore, Orchha, Hyderabad, Bijapur and Lucknow are few other cities that are of historical significance.

Here is the list of 42 Most Famous Historical Places in India That You Should Visit

1. Qutub Minar, Delhi

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At a height of 234 feet, this minaret is the tallest individual tower in the world and is a perfect display of Mughal architectural brilliance. The soaring and brave tower that allures tourists despite being destroyed by ravages of natural apocalypses several times, Qutub Minar is the tallest individual tower in the world and second tallest monument of Delhi. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is located in Mehrauli and its construction was started in 1192 by Qutb Ud-Din-Aibak, founder of Delhi Sultanate. Later, the tower was built by various rulers over the centuries. The sight of this glorious monument takes you back to the rich history of India.

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2. Taj Mahal, Agra

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The Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders of the world and is considered to be the most popular tourist attraction in the country. A symbol of love, the Taj was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his queen Mumtaz. Tagore described the Taj as a "teardrop on the cheek of eternity". The monument attracts a lot of tourist all around the year.

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3. Victoria Memorial, Kolkata

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The Victoria Memorial is a large marble building, which is considered to be the pride of Kolkata. Built between 1906 and 1921, it is dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria. Now, it is a museum and a popular tourist spot under the Ministry of Culture.

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4. Gol Gumbaz, Bijapur

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Gol Gumbaz, also known as Gola Gummata in literal sense means a circular dome. It is the mausoleum of Mohammed Adil Shah, Sultan of Bijapur. The tom is located in Bijapur, Karnataka and was built by architect Yaqut in 1656. It is considered as the structural triumph of Deccan architecture.

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5. India Gate, Delhi

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The All India War Memorial, popularly known as the India Gate, is a war memorial located in New Delhi. It is dedicated to the 82,000 soldiers, both Indian and British, who died during the First World War and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. The Amar Jawan Jyoti is the burning structure, right underneath the archway, which symbolizes the eternal, immortal soldiers of India.

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6. Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar

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Jallianwala Bagh is a place of great historical importance during the Indian struggle for Independence. It is a public garden in Amritsar which houses a memorial of national importance that was established by the government of India in 1951 to commemorate the massacre of peaceful celebrators by British forces on April 13,1919.

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7. Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

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Located in Jodhpur, Mehrangarh Fort is one of the largest forts in the country. It is located at the top of a 410 feet elevated hill and guarded by huge walls. The fort encloses a museum now which exhibits various belongings of the royals. The palace was built by Rao Jodha in 1459.

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8. Gwalior fort, Gwalior

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24 photos

Perched high at the top of a vast rocky massif, Gwalior Fort is a place hard to miss being visible from every nook and corner of the city. Regarded as one of most impregnable fortress of north and central India, the place is a must visit.

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9. Red Fort, Delhi

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The Red Fort was the official seat of Mughal rule and authority from 1648 onwards, when the 5th Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, decided to move the capital of the empire from Agra to Delhi. Constructed using red sandstone, it remains one of the architectural marvels of the Mughal era. In 2007, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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10. Hawa Mahal, Jaipur

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The Hawa Mahal stands at the intersection of the main road in Jaipur, Badi Chaupad. It is regarded as the signature building of Jaipur and was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh.

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11. Victoria Terminus, Mumbai

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Also known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, the Victoria Terminus is the main railway station serving Mumbai. Constructed in the Victorian-Gothic style of architecture, the railway station is a declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. The station is one of the most famous historic landmark symbolizing the pre-independence British Raj in India.

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12. Mysore Palace, Mysore

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The former residence of the royal family of Mysore, the Mysore Palace is an extremely breath-taking example of the Indo-Sarcenic style of architecture. It was built in the year 1912 for the 24th Ruler of the Wodeyar Dynasty, and is till date one of the biggest palaces in the country. It's one of the most popular and well known tourist attractions in India.

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13. Humayun's Tomb, Delhi

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Apart from being known for its stunning architecture, this is the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site declared in 1993, and has undergone widespread restoration work since then. The tomb was custom-built by Humayun's son Akbar during 1569-70, and is also the first structure to have made the use of red sandstone at a massive scale.

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14. Charminar, Hyderabad

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Charminar is the most important landmark in the city of Hyderabad. The monument was erected when Quli Qutb Shah shifted his capital from Golcondo to Hyderabad. The monument got its name from its structure as it consists of four minarets. The monument looks amazing during night when it is illuminated.

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15. Amber Fort, Jaipur, Jaipur

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Amber Fort, situated 11 kms from Jaipur, is a fort built with great artistic taste. Cradled on the top of a hill forming a beautiful reflection in Maotha Lake, it is popularly known as Amer Fort.

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16. Golkonda Fort, Hyderabad

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Golconda Fort is a massive fortress whose ruins stand proudly even today displaying the glory of its rich past and some untold sagas of the city's history. The place oozing charm is a must visit.

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17. Fatehpur Sikri, Agra

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A city, predominantly made of red sand stone, Fatehpur Sikri was once the capital of Mughal Emperor Akbar. It is now a UNESCO world heritage site and a famous tourist attraction. The city offers a fine example of Akbar's architectural finesse.

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18. Sun Temple, Konark

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Dedicated to Lord Surya, this 13th century temple is an architectural marvel and the quintessential example of Oriyan form of architecture. It is believed that the temple was constructed by king Narasimhadeva I of Eastern Ganga Dynasty. The shape of the temple is of a massive chariot with sumptuously engraved stone wheels, pillars and walls. A major part of the structure at present is in ruins. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

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19. Agra Fort, Agra

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Also known as Lal Qila, Fort Rouge or Red Fort of Agra, the Agra Fort is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is situated at a distance of about 2.5km northwest of the famous Taj Mahal. The construction of the massive fort of red sandstone by the banks of Yamuna river was started by emperor Akbar.

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20. Jantar Mantar, Jaipur

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Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is the largest stone astronomical observatory in the World. It is located just next to the city palace of Jaipur in Rajasthan. Built during the period between 1727 and 1733, the Jantar Mantar is still in a running condition and it stands as a witness regarding the wisdom of former age.

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21. Gateway of India, Mumbai

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One of the most distinguished monument in Mumbai, The Gateway of India was built in 1924. Now it has become a popular tourist hub in the city. Located at Apollo Bunder Waterfront, the monument overlooks the Arabian Sea in the most beautiful way.

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22. Bara Imambara, Lucknow

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The Bara Imambara of Lucknow is one of the most famous monuments of the city. Also known as Asfi Imambara, after the name of the Nawab of Lucknow who got it constructed, it is an important place of worship for the Muslims who come here every year to celebrate the religious festival of Muharram. The Imambara is specially known for its incredible maze, known as Bhul Bhulaiya locally, which is located in the upper floor of the monument.

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23. Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara

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The term Maharaja Palace actually refers to a series of palaces in Vadodara, Gujarat, India, constructed since the Gaekwad a prominent Maratha family started ruling the Baroda State. The first one was a building known as the Sarkar Wada. This building, not really a palace, was given up for the Nazarbaug Palace built in old classical style. (br) After this the Lakshmi Vilas Palace, an extravagant building of the Indo-Saracenic school, was built by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III in the year 1890.

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24. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh - The Architectural Masterpiece

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Known For : Light and sound show | Kandariya Mahadev Temple | Lakshman Temple

Khajuraho is known around the world for its stunning temples adorned by erotic and sensuous carvings. Khajuraho is a brilliant example of Indian architecture and its culture back in the medieval period. The architecture of these Hindu and Jain temples depict the innocent form of love, the carvings on the walls display passion in the most erotic yet aesthetic ways.

Best Time : July to March

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25. Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Maharashtra - The World Heritage Caves

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Known For : Ajanta Caves | Kailasanatha and other temples, Ellora | Grishneshwar Temple, Ellora

Ajanta and Ellora caves are considered to be one of the most important tourist destinations in the world owing to the magnificent paintings of Ajanta and well-carved sculptures of Ellora. The rock-cut caves containing carvings are the finest example of Indian paintings and sculpture.

Best Time : June to March

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26. The Great Living Chola Temples, Tamil Nadu

History is alluring. It teaches us about the culture, people, traditions of an era gone by. In the history of the southern parts of the country, the Chola Empire ruled for centuries. They gifted a major chunk of history to us to devour on by building some of the most magnificent temples of all times. These temples were constructed between 11th- and 12th-century. The three temples built by the Chola kingdom are a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and are labelled as, "Great Living Chola Temples". These are - The Brihadesvara Temple (Thanjavur), Brihadisvara Temple (Gangaikondacholisvaram) and Airavatesvara Temple (Darasuram).

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27. Hampi, Karnataka - The abode of bygone ruins, rusty colors and fascinating landscape

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Known For : Virupaksha Temple | Vithala Temple | Elephant Stables

Hampi, the city of ruins, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated in the shadowed depth of hills and valleys in the state of Karnataka, this place is a historical delight for travellers. Surrounded by 500 ancient monuments, beautiful temples, bustling street markets, bastions, treasury building and captivating remains of Vijayanagar Empire, Hampi is a backpacker's delight. Hampi is an open museum with 100+ locations to explore and a favourite way to see the city from the perspective of its history.

Best Time : October to March

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28. Cellular Jail, Andaman Nicobar-islands

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The Cellular Jail aka Kala Pani word is derived from Sanskrit words 'Kal' which means Time or Death and 'Pani' which means Water. The Jail was a colonial prison in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. The prison was used by the British especially to exile political prisoners to the remote archipelago. Many notable dissidents such as Batukeshwar Dutt and Veer Savarkar were convicted and jailed here during Indian independence struggle. Today, the construction serves as a national memorial monument.

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29. Chittorgarh, Rajasthan - City of Pride and Honor

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Known For : Chittorgarh Fort | Vijay Stambh | Maha Sati

A depository of ancient monuments, an extremely rich heritage, and an immortal folklore boasting of its majestic glory, every building in Chittorgarh still reverberates with the history of its sacrifice and heroism. The capital of the erstwhile kingdom of Mewar, Chittorgarh is a land of forts, citadels, ruins, and evergreen stories. Situated in the South Eastern corner of Rajasthan, Chittorgarh stands at the helm of Chattari Rajput pride, and is remembered in the pages of history for its glorious battles, especially the siege of Alauddin Khilji. Once known for its grandeur and opulence, today, Chittorgarh has left its tales of bravery and betrayal far behind to catch up to commercialization, but those stories of splendour and magnificence will never be forgotten.

Best Time : October to March

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30. Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram

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The Shore Temple lies in front of the Bay of Bengal, hence it is known by the name mentioned. Dating back to the 8th century AD, the structured temple is made out of granite chunks. The temple was constructed in such a way that it would overlook the Bay of Bengal at a Southern Chennai village called Mahabalipuram. The village was a busy port during the reign of Narasimhavarman II of the Pallava dynasty.

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31. Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh - The land of the Stupas

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Known For : Sanchi Stupa | The Great Bowl | Ashok Pillar

A symbol of the vast heritage present throughout the culturally rich India, the Buddhist monuments of Sanchi are one of the oldest stone structures in India. Designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO, the Great Stupa was installed in the 3rd century BC by Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty. The sculptures and monuments present at the site are a fine example of the development of Buddhist art and architecture. The stupa sits atop a hill in Sanchi, surrounded by lush gardens, providing visitors peace and serenity at this grand tribute to the peaceful religion of Buddhism.

Best Time : July to March

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32. Rani ki Vav, Patan

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Rani ka Vav or 'Queen's Stepwell' is a unique step well located in the small town of Gujarat called Patan. Located on the banks of River Saraswati, it is not only a distinctive form of water resource and storage system but also represents a unique craftsmanship.

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33. Elephanta Caves, Mumbai

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An UNESCO World Heritage Site, Elephanta Caves is a specimen of rock cut art and architecture from the times of medieval India. It is an island and is located at a distance of 11km from the city of Mumbai. It also provides an amazing view of the Mumbai skyline.

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34. Golden Temple, Amritsar

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Also called Sri Harmandir Sahib or Swarna Mandir, the shrine was designed by Guru Arjan Sahib and its foundation laid by Muslim saint Hazrat Mian Mir ji of Lahore on 1st December, 1588.

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35. Nalanda University, Bihar

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Known For : Nalanda University | Hiuen Tsang Memorial Hall | The Great Stupa

The most popular Mahavihara of the ancient times, a significant Buddhist seat of academic excellence and a modest pilgrim center, all wrapped in a wisp of spirituality, Nalanda continues to be an equally enriching location in the present. It offers vibrant substance of spirituality, history, culture, architecture, and tourism.

Best Time : October to March

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36. Champaner-Pavagadh, Gujarat

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Known For : Kalika Mata Temple | Fort of Pavagadh and the ruined Hindu and Jain Temples | Jain temples

Being included in the elite list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites across the globe, this marvellous archaeological park set in the heart of the city of Champaner and amidst the Pavagadh hills is one of the most sought after places in Gujarat.

Best Time : October to February

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37. Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan - A little marvel by the foot of Aravali

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Known For : Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary | Kumbhalgarh Fort | Badal Mahal

Famous for its gigantic snake-like fortress, Kumbalgarh town is yet another feather in Rajasthan?s royal cap. The historic town is renowned for its majestic monuments, extravagant palaces, an array of temples and flamboyant chattris. The Kumbhalgarh fort is the second most important fort of Rajasthan and is a truly magnificent sight. The charming location of the fort at the foothills of pebbly Aravalli hills increases the overall appeal of the place.

Best Time : October to March

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38. Churches and Convents of Old Goa

The advent of Portuguese marks the beginning of christianity in India. As a way of evangelisation, there were several convents and churches that were built in Goa which are a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India.

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39. Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh - The Exotic Rock Shelters

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Known For : The Rock Caves | Hoshangabad | Bhojpur

The Bhimbetka rock shelters are an archaeological site, exhibiting the earliest traces of human life on the Indian subcontinent, and thus the beginning of the South Asian Stone Age. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 2003.

Best Time : October to April

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40. Orchha, Madhya Pradesh - The Hidden Treasure

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Known For : Jehangir Mahal, Orchha Fort | Ram Raja Temple | Raja Mahal, Orchha Fort

Known for its grand palaces, intricately carved temples and striking forts, situated on banks of river Betwa Orchha is a city with a lot of historical significance and a photographers' paradise.

Best Time : July to March

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41. Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai

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This is a historic Hindu temple located on the southern bank of the Vaigai River, Madurai, Tamil Nadu. It is primarily dedicated to Parvati, known as Meenakshi, and her spouse, Shiva. That makes this temple different than the others is the fact that both God and Goddess are worshipped together. According to the mythology, Lord Shiva visited Madurai to marry Parvati and it has been the sacred abode of Goddess Parvarti since her birth. The wonderful architecture of the place is amongst the seven wonders of the world and the construction is highly minute with great art pieces incorporated in the walls and pillars of the temple.

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42. Halebid, Karnataka

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Known For : Belur | Hoysaleswara Temple | Yagachi Dam

Formerly known as Dwarasamudra, Halebid (or Halebidu) is located in the Hassan district of Karnataka state.  Halebid is q city with a glorious past adorned with a strikingly beautiful collection of temples, shrines and sculptures. It is also known as the Gem of Indian architecture owing to its sterling Hoysala architecture, its magnificent temple complexes and some stunning Jain sites. Once the regal capital of Hoysala empire, the city is in ruins now. But it still attracts tourists in droves, thanks to its rich heritage, striking art and architecture.

Best Time : October to March

View hotels starting from ₹ 1,300

Read More 8 Halebid Attractions

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