India has many unexplored gems hidden in nature’s lap. Did you know that the largest cactus garden of Asia is in our very own state of Haryana ? or about Lambasingi – Kashmir of Andhra Pradesh. This Republic Day let’s explore such unique and hidden travel destination from each state. India in true meaning defines “Unity in Diversity”. Let’s take a look at the diverse and offbeat Indian travel destinations.
1. Andhra Pradesh
Lambasingi – A small hamlet located at an altitude of 1025 m above sea level experiences snowfall in the month of December. The temperature goes below as low as –2 °C in December and January. It is known as the “Kashmir of Andhra Pradesh”. It is situated in the Chintapalli Mandal, district of Vishakhapatnam. The village offers a choice of sightseeing destinations like Thajangi Reservoir, gorgeous hill and a heaven for travel and nature photographers. Surrounded by tall trees and the sight of the gushing water makes it perfect for serene vacation. The next is Kothapalli Waterfalls for a magical experience.
Dambuk – Reaching Dambuk, India’s 10th least populous district itself is an adventure. The district lies in Arunachal Pradesh. This is the only place in India that proudly hosts The Orange Festival. It is a 4 day festival comprising of adventurous activities and a various band performances. An unique experience that will blow off your mind. Dambuk is known as Land of Oranges. The place is full of orange orchards. The place remains cut-off from the world during the monsoons. Drink lots of orange juice at the Orange Festival. Best time to visit Dambuk is in the month of December.
Jatinga – This village in Assam is surrounded by serene mountains. It is a lush green and a scenic village. But surprisingly, this place is not famous for this. Instead it is famous for an unique Bird Mystery. Jatinga experiences a strange phenomenon of mass suicidal of migratory birds. These birds descend from the skies after the sunset and crash with trees building or poles and die eventually. These birds become an easy prey for the local villagers. The villagers relish the exotic delicacy. Best time to visit the place is between September to November.
Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary – Watch dolphins in Bihar now. Yes you read that write. One of the least known destination in Bihar. The government of India built the Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary along the river Ganges in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district. Catch a glimpse of the beautiful but endangered Gangetic dolphins. Visit the Bodhi tree and the tomb of Sher Shah Suri. Post October is the best time to visit the dolphin sanctuary.
Madku Dweep – Situated near the calm and serene banks of River of Shivnath in Chhattisgarh. The beauty of this island is spell bounding full of lush greenery. The shape of the island is like an amphibian frog and hence the name Madku. The major attraction is the pre historic stone tools and stone inscriptions. This place is famous for following a religious harmony. All the temples are worshipped equally. Best time to visit this place is in winters.
The Bubble Lake – The Bubble Lake situated in the serene and peaceful village of Netravali. This lake in Goa is famous for its strange phenomenon of rising bubbles at various spots in the lake. One more fascinating phenomenon is that those bubbles respond to certain sounds and rise faster if you clap. Though it is called a lake it looks like a pond with granite steps leading to it. Next time you visit Goa do not miss this bubbling lake. Best time to visit i during the cooler months to witness the lush greenery around.
Narala & Pirotan Island – These islands in Gujarat can be reached at certain times only when the tide is high. This island is uninhabited and does not have a good infrastructure. Star attraction of the island is the colourful corals and look at the mesmerizing and fascinating marine life that is left behind due to low tides. Best practice not to touch or harm the marine life. Nerala island is a part of the Marine National Park in Jamnagar. Only this island is open to visitors. This should be in your bucketlist for 209.
8. Himachal Pradesh
Kalpa – This is one of the offbeat destination in Himachal Pradesh. Trek to Kalpa with your friends and take a look at the breath taking view of the snow capped Himalayas. It is the biggest village of the Kinnaur District. It is surrounded by the plush green pine nut forests. The mountain range looks beautiful in early morning during the sunrise. The numerous apple orchards add to the beauty of this village. It is a town with a history of ancient temples. Best time to visit is between June to October.
9. Jammu & Kashmir
Magnetic Hill – It is a hill situated 30 kms from Leh situated on the Leh-Kargil Highway. This stretch of the road defies the phenomenon of gravity. Sindhu river flows on the east of the Magnetic Hill making it a perfect picture location. The lies in the barren land is advised to carry your own food while visiting the hill. The best time to visit the place is in the months of July, August and September. There are a lot of theories believed behind this phenomenon. Visit the magnetic hill this year t know about the local theories.
Netarhat – A beautiful hill station Jharkhand, known as the Queen of Chotanagpur. It is surrounded by tranquil green forest and scenic landscapes. It has a cool and pleasant weather throughout the year. Visit the Sadni Falls, Magnolia Sunset Point, Netarhat Hiils and Upper and Lower Ghari Falls. A good weekend getaway from the hustle bustle of the city.
Gokarna – Want to see phytalanktons on a beach ? Visit Gokarna today. Gokarna is a town on Arabian Sea. The town is famous for its beaches like Om beach, Kudle Beach and Gokarna Beach. Visit the Paradise beach in the month of December and experience the stunning bioluminescent phenomenon at Nirvan Beach as well. Waves splash the shore with electric bluish light. Once in lifetime experience.
Edakkal Caves, Waynad – Trek upto a cliff that overlooks the stunning western ghats and open into a cave. The cave has carvings as old as 3000 years old. The cave is located in Wayanad. This place boasts stone age carvings and the only place in India that has stone age carvings. Located 1200 meters above sea level. Famous for its historic pictorial paintings, this place is a must visit.
13. Madhya Pradesh
Karondi Village – Visit the centre of India next time you visit Madhya Pradesh. This small village is the zero mile in India. The co-ordinates of centre point are 23*30’48” N and 80*19’53″E. One of the unique spots in Madhya Pradesh with a geographical significance. The place is marked with a small monument of replica of the Ashoka’s four head lion pillar. Less developed and lesser known but worth a visit. Visit in the month of December for the best experience.
Kaas Plateau – The flowery carpet on the Kaas Plateau has a splendid view. Visit this incredible place in Maharashtra in the months August and September. It is one of the UNSCO’s heritage sites. It has its own micro climate. In the latter half of the monsoon this place is full of colourful blossomed flowers. The endless carpet of the flowers and lo of butterflies around the Kaas Plateau will sweep you off your feet.
15. Manipur –
Ima Bazar – The 500 year old bazar run by only women in India. It is believed to be Asia’s largest all women market. The word Ima means Mother. It comprises of 5000 women manning their stall and selling their products. It offers a variety of traditional handicrafts to local produce. Relish the dried fish and famous Morok Chili. This place represents the ethos of Manipur and women empowerment in Manipal.
Siju Caves – These spectacular limestone caves are the third longest in India. This cave is famous for Dobakkol or bat cave with impressive stalagmites. There are magnificent limestone formations inside the course. It has one of the finest river passages to be found in the world. Only 1/4th of these caves in Meghalaya receive sunlight making it cold and dark throughout the year. Sometimes during the winters the temperature goes down to zero degrees. You can visit the spot at anytime of the year.
Phawngpui – The highest peak in Mizoram lies on the Myanmar border. It is also known as the “House of Gods” as its surroundings are covered by orchids and other flora and fauna. The green blanket of the hills will refresh your eyes. It is also famously known as the Blue Mountains as well. It oversees green landscapes and magnificent cliffs. Trek on this beautiful for the best experience. The best time to visit this place is between the months of November to April.
Khonoma – This is the only ever green village of India in Nagaland. This place is characterized by rich forests and lush greenery. Get lost in this beautiful gem of India. If you are lucky then you can spot Blyth’s tragopan, the endangered bird of the state. Ideal destination for nature lovers and nature photographer’s. This place is easily accessible and the best time to visit is monsoons and winters.
Chandipur Beach – Have you ever witnessed a sea playing hide and seek with you ? Experience this mind blowing experience at Chandipur Beach of Orissa. You will witness the sea vanishing in front of your own eyes. With the high tide the waves come back. This occurs twice a day. Walk for kilometres on the sea bed of this shoreline. It is home to the rare Horse shoe crab. These crabs are often spotted on the beach. Visit this place in December for the best experience.
Harike Wetlands – The largest wetlands of North India lies in Punjab, situated on the meeting point of River Sutlej and Beas. The destination is a prominent place for bird watching. More 360 species of migratory birds visit the spot. Plan a train along the highlands, take special permission for the trail. November to February is the best time to visit Punjab.
Tonk- This unexplored and hidden game lies near Jaipur i Rajasthan. Witness the beautiful cross culture style of baoris and havelis. You can find the oldest havelis of Rajasthan in Tonk. Visit the sunheri haveli, the main attraction of the town. Have a look at the rare collection of Arabic and Persian books adorned in gold, emerald, pearls and rubies. Jama Masjid, one of the largest in India is also found in Tonk.
Dzongu – It is a region which is bounded by Chu River and Teesta River in its North Sikkim. Only village in India officially reserved for local Lepcha community. Get a mesmerizing view of colourful flowers and rhododendrons. Visit the scenic cinnamon fields for an unique experience. Visit the Teesta river by crossing the Bamboo bridge. Best place to visit Sikkim is during winter months.
23. Tamil Nadu
Dhanuskodi – Also known as the Ghost City is located 620 kms from Bangalore. It is the closest point on the Indian coast closest to Sri Lanka. Visit the most virgin beach of India. the drive from Rameswaram to Dhanuskodi is adventurous. You will have to hire a 4X4 jeep for offroading. View the endless blue waters of the sea planked on both the sides of the road. Witness 2 different views on different sides of the road. See the Indian Ocean – calm and blue while on the right side you can see the Bay of Bengal – chirpy and green. Best time to visit is monsoon and winter.
Pokhal Lake – The most beautiful manmade lake of India. The lake is surrounded by the Pakhal Wildlife Sanctuary that is popular among tourists for tiger, leopard and bear spotting. A large number of other animals including panthers and cobras can also be seen. The lake is also popular among tourists as a place to chill and camp at times.
Unakoti – Bounded by the meandering Manu River. This region is home to one of the most spectacular heritage site – The Giant Bas relief sculpture of Unakoti. It is also known as Lost Hill Faces. The Archaeological Survey of India is yet to carry out detailed research work in Unakoti, though according to some archaeologists, there may be bas-reliefs and sculptures in the forested hills that are yet to be discovered. Pack your bags now.
Roopkund Lake – Located along a popular route for trekkers in the Himalayas, Roopkund Lake is also often referred to as the ‘Skeleton Lake’. Its base is covered with hundreds of skeletons of both humans and horses. This eerie sight is definitely not for the faint hearted. Drenched in snow, Roopkund will be frozen most of the time. When the snow melts, one can see the skeletons inside the water. It is developing as an ecotourist spot. Best time to visit the mystery lake is in the month of October.
27. Uttar Pradesh
Bara Imambara – It is a historical structure that dates back to the 18th-century. One of the fascinating features of this ancient structure is its architecture, which is a blend of European and Arabic styles. The roof of one of the halls of the wonder situated in Lucknow hangs upright without any support. No pillars or beam at all. There is also a storied maze in the main hall, a baoli, a mosque and verdant gardens. Best to time visit in the months of October, November and December.
28. West Bengal
Tajpur – The exotic, serene and calm beach of Tajpur provides an escape from the pandemonium of the city life. Located in the district of East Midnapore. The beach is infested with the tiny red crabs that gives the beach a crimson effect. Enjoy the local fish cooked by the locals. Visit during the December for a comfortable experience
Visit the Barren island in Andaman & Nicobar Islands to witness the only active volcano is South East Asia.