17 Best AQI Cities in India for 2024

In a world grappling with pollution, finding cities with good air quality can be akin to discovering hidden gems. India, known for its rich cultural heritage and bustling urban centers, also boasts some cities where the air is noticeably cleaner and healthier. This article highlights ten Indian cities that stand out for their commendable Air Quality Index (AQI) ratings, offering not just a respite from pollution but also a healthier living environment.

These cities are not just travel destinations; they are beacons of hope in the fight against air pollution. They exemplify how urban and semi-urban centers can achieve a harmonious balance between development and environmental preservation. For those in India seeking a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively, these cities offer a welcoming embrace.

One thing quite noticeable in our list is the fact that the majority of these cities are either coastal or hilly areas. Very few metro cities made it to our list due to their poor AQI in India right now.

So here is the list of best cities with the AQI (Air Quality Index)

1. Kullu, Himachal Pradesh (11.7 µg/m³ PM 2.5)

kullu AQI
Kullu: A breath of mountain air

Nestled in the lap of the Himalayas, Kullu is more than just a tourist paradise. With a yearly average AQI of 11.7 µg/m³, it’s a haven for those seeking clean air. The city’s low pollution levels can be attributed to its remote location and the abundance of natural greenery.

2. Chikkaballapur, Karnataka (12.9 µg/m³ PM 2.5)

Chikkaballapur AQI
Chikkaballapur: A quiet clean escape

Located in Karnataka, Chikkaballapur’s air quality, at a yearly average of 12.9 µg/m³, is a testament to its lesser industrial activity and more sustainable living practices. Its proximity to Bangalore makes it an ideal retreat for those seeking a pollution-free environment.

3. Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu (15.6 µg/m³)

Kodaikanal AQI
Kodaikanal: The princess of hill stations

Kodaikanal is not just about picturesque landscapes and cool climates. With an AQI of a yearly average of 15.6 µg/m³, it’s also about breathing in purity. The city’s stringent pollution control measures play a vital role in maintaining its air quality.

4 Aizawl, Mizoram (22.2 µg/m³)

Aizawl: Clean air in the hills

The capital of Mizoram, Aizawl, with an AQI of 22.2 µg/m³ yearly average, demonstrates how urban centers can maintain clean air. Its hilly terrain and lesser industrial activity help keep the air quality in check. The most common type of pollutant is PM10 in Aizawl.

5. Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu (23.1 µg/m³)

Coimbatore AQI
Coimbatore: The urban green haven

Known for its textile industry, Coimbatore also shines in terms of air quality, with an AQI of 23.1 µg/m³ yearly average. The city’s efforts in balancing industrial growth with environmental consciousness are commendable.

6. Ooty, Tamil Nadu (23.3 µg/m³)

Ooty: The queen of hills

Ootacamund, or Ooty, is famous for its tea estates and serene beauty. Its AQI stands at 23.3 µg/m³ yearly average, making it a great choice for those seeking both natural beauty and clean air.

7. Palmaner, Andhra Pradesh (23.8 µg/m³)

Palmaner AQI
Palmaner: The unexplored clean-air town

Palmaner in Andhra Pradesh, with an AQI of 23.8 µg/m³ yearly average, rounds up our list. Its commitment to maintaining its natural environment makes it a worthy mention.

8. Chennai, Tamil Nadu (36.8 µg/m³)

Chennai AQI
Chennai: The coastal metropolis

Chennai, with its blend of urban development and coastal charm, records a yearly average AQI of 36.8 µg/m³. Predominant pollutants like CO and PM10 are closely monitored, reflecting the city’s ongoing efforts to balance growth with environmental sustainability.

9. Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh (38.5 µg/m³)

Tirupathi Andhra Pradesh AQI
Tirupati: The pilgrim’s retreat

Tirupati, renowned for its spiritual significance, also stands out for its air quality, with a yearly average AQI of 38.5 µg/m³. The city’s air is primarily affected by CO and NO2, pollutants often associated with urban activities and vehicular emissions.

10. Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala (31.8 µg/m³)

Thiruvananthapuram Kerala AQI
Thiruvananthapuram: The capital’s clean breeze

Kerala’s capital, Thiruvananthapuram, boasts a yearly average AQI of 31.8 µg/m³ with CO as the main pollutant. The city’s comprehensive approach to pollution control reflects in its relatively cleaner air.

11. Silchar, Assam (34.8 µg/m³)

Silchar Assam AQI
Silchar: The serene gateway

Silchar in Assam, known for its tranquil landscapes, presents an AQI of 34.8 µg/m³, with NO2 being the significant pollutant. The city’s efforts to maintain its natural beauty contribute to its air quality.

12. Puducherry (48.3 µg/m³)

Puducherry AQI
Puducherry: The french riviera of the east

Puducherry’s unique blend of French colonial heritage and Indian culture is complemented by its AQI of 48.3 µg/m³. The city primarily grapples with CO levels, balancing tourism and urban living with environmental concerns.

13. Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu (42.8 µg/m³)

Ramanathapuram Tamil Nadu AQI
Ramanathapuram: The Coastal Calm

In Tamil Nadu, Ramanathapuram’s AQI of 42.8 µg/m³ with PM10 as the main pollutant, shows how coastal cities are navigating the challenges of air quality management.

14. Mysuru, Karnataka (47.2 µg/m³)

Mysuru Karnataka AQI
Mysuru: The cultural capital’s clear skies

Mysuru, known for its rich heritage, records a yearly average AQI of 47.2 µg/m³. The city’s air is predominantly affected by PM10, underscoring its ongoing battle with particulate matter.

15. Chittorgarh: (48.9 µg/m³)

Chittorgarh AQI
Chittorgarh: The fortress city’s fresh air

Chittorgarh in Rajasthan, famous for its monumental fort, maintains an AQI of 48.9 µg/m³. PM10 is the major pollutant, with the city taking strides in preserving its historic charm while managing air quality.

16. Gandhinagar, Gujarat (49.2 µg/m³)

Gandhinagar AQI
Gandhinagar: The green capital’s endeavor

Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat, records an AQI of 49.2 µg/m³. Its main pollutants, PM10 and PM2.5, are a focus of the city’s environmental policies, reflecting its commitment to green urban planning.

17. Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh (50 µg/m³)

Anantapur AQI
Anantapur: The Emerging Urban Center

Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh, with an AQI of 50 µg/m³, is tackling the challenges of PM10 pollution. The city’s efforts to improve air quality are crucial as it evolves as an urban hub.

References: https://cpcb.nic.in/AQI_Bulletin.php

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