If you happen to live in a place in India that is a popular tourist destination, you know the ugly consequences attached with it. 

While the tourists bring in money, they also end up disrupting local lives and resources. 

Dwarka Express

Here’s a list of places that are facing a big ecological price by being a tourist destination.

1. Shimla

Latest and an unfortunate example of this is Shimla. The city is experiencing acute water shortage. A high influx of people has led to an acute water shortage. Locals now have to stand in queues for hours to get a single bucket of drinking water. 

Moreover, water is allegedly being diverted to VIP hotels. 

Indian Express

The situation is so bad that people are sharing this message on social media so that fewer tourists visit the city this summer. 

2. Varanasi

Regarded as the spiritual capital of India, Varanasi, the city of ghats, is suffocating under the layers of plastic. Offerings of flowers and diyas to the Ganga as a gesture of reverence is actually polluting the river, so much so that you can’t even take a dip in it, let alone using it for drinking purposes.

According to a research conducted in 2016, air quality in the city is ‘most toxic in the country’. 

Ganga Action

3. Mussoorie

The Queen of Hills is unfortunately not treated as one. There are plastic wrappers everywhere you look. The city produces as much as 25-30 metric tonnes of waste every day which is not disposed of properly. 

Water shortage is also staring the city straight in the face. Next Shimla in making? Maybe. 

India Hikes

4. Nainital

The famous Naini lake which is the main tourist attraction of the city is highly polluted now and has shrunk drastically, thanks to all the tourist activity. Additionally, rapid construction has led to instability on hill slopes. 

The condition is so bad that while the water reached ‘zero level’ only two times before 2000 (in 1923 and 1980), since 2000 it has reached that level than 15 times.


5. Goa

The ‘Vegas of India’ is beyond polluted due to mass tourism. With around 5 million tourists visiting the state from all over the world, and littering absentmindedly, it’s no surprise that it has turned into a dump yard. 

The Goan beaches are so dirty that National Geographic ranked them among the worst in the world, a few years ago.

Navhind Times

6. Agra

Agra, the home to one of the seven wonders of the world, Taj Mahal, is also unfortunately facing the brunt of being a popular tourist destination. The monument has turned yellow over the years and one of the many reasons behind it, is too many tourists and too many vehicles that bring them to Agra. 

From 40,000 vehicles in 1985 to more than a million now, Agra’s air quality is getting worse with each passing day.

Meri News

7. Triund

Triund is facing the problem of tourists coming to trek and leaving waste on the top of the hills, without caring to pick it up and taking it with them. 

A popular campsite, about 9 kilometres from Bhagsunag, hosts over 100,000 tourists every year, who produce an enormous amount of waste that can only be brought down on mules.


8. Jaipur

The Pink City is not in the pink of health, at all. If the WHO report is anything to go by, Jaipur is the most polluted city in Rajasthan due to vehicular traffic. You can also find heaps of waste in most parts of the city and the tourists and locals are equally accountable for it. 

The situation is so bad that on the 15th of August, the government is launching a door-to-door garbage collection facility to make the city clean.


9. McLeodganj

The hill station, after gaining immense popularity in recent years, has started attracting many tourists and is losing its charm to pollution. Tourists who carry plastic products, throw them on the trekking trails and now you can find heaps of mess wherever you turn your head. 


10. Srinagar

Due to ever-increasing number of tourists, Srinagar has made its way to become the tenth most polluted city in the the world

The tourism activity has resulted in large quantities of solid waste generated in the city, which was once said to be ‘heaven on earth’.

Greater Kashmir

11. Kasol 

The city with breathtaking views is considered to be an ideal place to get high. The tourists, though, are irresponsible and throw cigarette butts, packets of chips and other waste on the streets.

Additionally, people play loud music while partying, which disrupts the quiet lives of locals and scares the wildlife

Walking Wanderer

12. Darjeeling

Darjeeling has become one of the most polluted hill stations in India. In a bid to keep people coming to the town, authorities took to bad urbanisation practices and that led to further degradation of the land in the area.

According to a study, the Darjeeling air air is more unsafe that that of Kolkata, the city which frequently features as one of India’s most polluted ones.


Tourism is supposed to boost the economy of these cities but it looks like it is them who are paying the price.