The air quality is a big issue in India, and it really is dangerous for your health, especially when you are exposed to bad-quality air for too long. But the thing is, in India, many places rank top in the worst AQI (Air Quality Index) ranking in the world, which means millions of people in India are exposed to the worst possible air quality on the planet. And if that’s the reason why you are searching for the top 10 best AQI cities in India, then keep on reading. Maybe you wanna breathe properly while traveling, or you just wanna settle down in a different part of the country where the air is much cleaner. Well, that’s why we are introducing to you these top 10 cities, so yeah, here we go.
List of Top AQI Cities In India
1. Aizawl, Mizoram (8 μg/m3)
Aizawl, right in Northeast India’s heart, isn’t just Mizoram’s capital, it’s a breath of fresh air, quite literally! This city’s all about stunning views and a deep-rooted cultural vibe. Aizawl is this city perched up in Mizoram’s hills, offering this cool mix of the new and the traditional Mizo way of life. It’s surrounded by these amazing green hills and valleys, and guess what? That’s why the air’s so darn clean here! The air quality index (AQI) is pretty awesome, mainly because of its spot on the map and not much of the city bustle and industrial smoke you see elsewhere.
2. Kilkunda, Tamil Nadu (14 μg/m3)
Ever heard of Kilkunda in Tamil Nadu? It’s this hidden gem with some seriously good air, having an AQI of just 14 μg/m3. You see, places like Kilkunda, tucked away in Tamil Nadu, get to enjoy cleaner air. Why? Well, there’s less factory stuff and city crowding than in the bigger towns. Tamil Nadu’s all about stunning coastlines and green landscapes, and that’s a big win for air quality. Kilkunda, like other small towns here, probably gets a helping hand from nature for having the freshest and cleanest air in the country. The state’s big on looking after the environment and keeping things sustainable, especially in the quieter spots. Plus, the recent weather’s been playing nice, with just enough rain to keep things fresh, helping places like Kilkunda breathe easier.
3. Sopur, Jammu and Kashmir (18 μg/m3)
Heading up north, Sopur in Jammu and Kashmir is this peaceful spot with a view. The city’s got an AQI of 18 μg/m3, which means the air’s clean and crisp, which is like a real Jammu and Kashmir trademark. So, what’s the secret? A bunch of stuff, actually. Sopur’s got this prime location and the weather’s just right, a bit of rain, a bit of snow, all working together to knock down pollution. It’s nestled in the Kashmir Valley, ringed by mountains that keep the good air in.
4. Handwara, Jammu and Kashmir (22 μg/m3)
If you are in search of places in India where the air is the cleanest and freshest, then you gotta check out Handwara in the Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir. It’s this amazing place known for its super clean air, having an AQI of just 22 μg/m3. So why’s the air so great there? Well, it’s all about where it’s at and the weather it gets. Handwara sits in this awesome valley, surrounded by green forests and mountains that really help keep the air fresh. The town’s weather is pretty cool too, it gets a bit of rain and snow, especially from those western disturbances coming over from the Mediterranean Sea. This rain and snow do a great job of getting rid of dust and other stuff in the air, making it even cleaner.
5. Darjeeling, West Bengal (22 μg/m3)
Next up, Darjeeling in West Bengal, famous for its stunning views, old-school architecture, and, of course, that world-class tea. Sitting pretty in the lower Himalayas at about 2,000 meters up, Darjeeling’s got this chill climate that’s perfect for keeping the air quality incredibly high, also at an AQI of 22 μg/m3. What makes its air so good? A bunch of things, really. Its high-up location and all those tea gardens around it play a big part in keeping the air clean. The weather’s pretty cool, with cold winters and mild summers, which cuts down on needing stuff like air conditioners or heaters that can mess with air quality. During the monsoon, Darjeeling gets a good amount of rain which helps settle the dust and other particles.
6. Kulgam, Jammu and Kashmir (22 μg/m3)
And then there’s Kulgam in the southern part of Jammu and Kashmir. It’s known for its peaceful scenery and pretty decent air quality, with an AQI of 22 μg/m3 as of December 2023. What’s behind its good air? A few things, its location for starters. Kulgam’s more on the rural side and not too industrial, which means less pollution. The area’s full of green valleys and plenty of nature, which is great for keeping the air clean. And what about the dense forests and farmlands? They’re like nature’s own air filters. Like most of Jammu and Kashmir, Kulgam’s weather varies with the altitude.
7. Rajouri, Jammu and Kashmir (23 μg/m3)
Now, just like some other cities in Jammu and Kashmir, the air quality is incredibly good in Rajouri because of similar factors like where it’s located, the kind of weather it gets, and not having too much industrial stuff going on. Rajouri is mostly rural, with loads of lush green forests and farmlands, which are more like nature’s own air purifiers, right? Plus, it’s nestled at the foot of the Pir Panjal range, and those mountains are like a giant shield against air pollution. The climate there is pretty neat too, with chilly winters with a bit of snow and not-too-hot summers. This weather, especially the rain and snow, does a great job settling down dust and other bits in the air, making it cleaner.
8. Kohima, Nagaland (24 μg/m3)
You see, Kohima is actually the capital of Nagaland, and having the cleanest air in the state, Kohima is setting up bars for the other capital cities in the country. But unlike other capital cities in the country, you see, Kohima doesn’t have a huge population, and in our opinion, that could be a big reason why the air is so clean out here. Another big reason for having clean and fresh air in Kohima is definitely the weather, like, it is pretty chill all year, with lots of rain in the monsoon season. That too helps with keeping the air clean, pretty much every month of the year.
9. Kullu, Himachal Pradesh (25 μg/m3)
Next up, we’ve got Kullu in Himachal Pradesh on the list. This place is a stunner, no kidding, and it’s got the air to match, with an AQI of 25 μg/m3. What makes Kullu’s air so great? Again, it’s all about location, weather, and local lifestyles. Tucked in the Kullu Valley and surrounded by the big, beautiful Himalayas, Kullu’s got this cool, clean air thing going on. High up in the mountains means fresher air, right? And yeah, the weather conditions help settle down any dust and particles, making the air even better. And the people here? Just like in Kohima, they’re tight with nature and big on living sustainably, which only adds to Kullu’s clean and green rep.
10. Belur, Karnataka (25 μg/m3)
Last on our list, but definitely not the least, is Belur in Karnataka. Famous for its history and, you guessed it, fantastic air quality with an AQI of 25 μg/m3, which is pretty much in the good zone of the AQI all year around. Belur is a calm and beautiful place in Karnataka’s Hassan district, known for its historic vibes and cool buildings, like the famous Chennakeshava Temple. It’s away from the big, busy industrial areas, so the air’s way cleaner. Around Belur, it’s mostly rural vibes and farming, which means lots of clean air. The weather? It’s pretty balanced with just the right amount of rain throughout the year. This regular rainfall keeps the dust down and the air quality up.
There you have it. Remember though, this list is based on the AQI data from December 2023, so in the future, the list can change a bit, but since the cities included in this list are in the much greener and elevated part of the country, that’s why you won’t see much difference in the air quality of these cities.