Most of us are often overwhelmed by a sense of wanderlust, especially when the holiday bells are tolling. The fatigue mind longs for an escape from the hectic life and the extremely pervasive cyber world. You begin searching places where you could unplug, revel and go back, a happier person! India has plethora of beautiful travel destinations.
Some are more popular and are a bit more commercialized than the others. That definitely doesn’t mean that the rest have anything less to offer than the mainstream traveler choices. We’ve tried to list out some of the unorthodox holiday destinations in India that are fairly unsaturated by tourists. These places are mentioned in no particular order, except perhaps a twinge of author-subjectivity.
1. Majuli, Assam:
Famous as the ‘World’s largest fresh water island’, Majuli is one of the most surreal places in India. Travelogues often skip this place because of its obscure location. It is connected via boats with the city of Jorhat, located 20 kilometers away from this island.
October-March is a great time to pay this idyllic island a visit, when the cool climate makes your time here, worthwhile.
2. Pangong Lake, Ladakh:
Remember the climax of the film ‘3 Idiots’? That’s right. It was shot right here, on the banks of this surreal place. Located around 50 kilometers from Leh, Pangong Lake is enormous and it shares a boundary with Tibet on the eastern side. Situated at an altitude of 4,350 meters, it is also among the highest lakes in India.
The interesting fact about this lake is that the color of water appears different with different time of the day. This place is also preferred to camp during the night to gaze at the stars, making it the photographers’ paradise. This place should be visited only during the summers (June to September) as the temperatures plummet during the winter.
3. Rann of Kutch, Gujarat:
Famous for its panoramic white salt desert and the Rann Utsav festival, Kutch is the western-most district of Gujarat, bordering Pakistan. The Rann Utsav festival, scheduled from 1st November 2017 to 20th February 2018, provides an amazing array of activities that include folk dances, cultural programs, hot air balloon rides, camping, camel-safari, and tons of other things.
This place is at its magnificent best during full moon nights. Kutch should be strictly avoided during summers because of the soaring high temperatures.
Fun fact: The iconic chariot race sequence in the Telugu film ‘Magadheera’ was shot here.
4. Belum Caves, Andhra Pradesh:
Not many of us know, but Belum Caves are the second largest caves in the Indian Subcontinent and the longest caves in the plains of India (3229 meters). Formed in black limestone, the caves have long passages, spacious chambers, fresh water galleries and siphons. The constant flow of underground water helped forming these caves that have their deepest point at 150ft.
There are deposits of quartz in these caves. The nearest rail-head to reach this place is Tadipatri, located 30 kilometers away. If you feel somewhat like Indian Jones, you know where to go!
5. Athirappilly Falls, Kerala:
Nicknamed ‘The Niagara falls of India’, Athirappilly is the largest waterfall in Kerala. It is situated in the Athirappilly Panchayat, Chalakudy district of Thrissur district, Kerala. Narrow winding roads, small villages and greenery make for a delightful sight as you make your way up here. Daily jungle safari trips are organized by Thrissur district tourism from Chalakudy to Malakappara.
The enthralling sight of the evergreen forest of Sholayar ranges of the Western Ghats are a memory to cherish. Kochi is the nearest airport, about 55 kilometers away.
Fun fact: Director S.S.Rajamouli’s magnum-opus, ‘Bahubali: The beginning’ was shot here. (Sorry! Movie buff! Can’t help it!)
6. Spiti, Himachal Pradesh:
Spiti is an absolute delight for adventure seekers. Its majestic grandeur leaves the visitors awestruck and it is a relatively offbeat haven trekkers and soul seekers, being home to many Buddhist temples and monasteries.
May-October is the ideal time to visit this place. The winters are unbearably harsh and should be avoided.
7. Maravanthe beach, Karnataka:
If you’re on a quest for peace and tranquility, and want to explore pristine and relatively unspoilt beaches in India, Maravanthe should definitely be on your list. Located on one of the best stretches of road, you’ll find the beach on one side and a river on the other, as you drive on from Mangalore towards Karwar, Goa or Mumbai.
One of the cleanest beaches in the country, it can also get pretty dangerous during high tide, so it’s better to be cautious and avoid the area during the monsoons.
8. Dhanushkodi, Tamil Nadu:
‘Ghost town’ or the ‘Lost land’, call it what you will, but Dhanushkodi has this unorthodox charm about it. It is situated in the south-eastern tip of Pamban Island of Tamil Nadu. It’s also only 29 kilometers west of Talaimannar in Sri Lanka.
Being the only land border between India and Sri Lanka, which is also one of the smallest in the world, Dhanushkodi is now left in ruins but beautiful nonetheless.
9. Valley Of Flowers, Uttarakhand:
Snow capped hills, wild flowers, walking among the clouds – all these are here and very real! July-September is the only period when trekking in Valley Of Flowers is allowed. It is said that for one week in July, the hills look splashed with three different colors, owing to the spread of flowers in the valley. Truly mesmerizing, isn’t it?
10. Butterfly beach, Goa:
Of course, no trip to South (technically, west) is ever complete without visiting Goa at least once. This is definitely the most secluded beach in Goa, located at one end of Palolem beach. You would need to take a ferry to reach Butterfly beach from Palolem beach.
You’re sure to fall in love with the golden sands, surrounded by crystal blue water and palm trees. This part of India faces high temperature in summers and also gets a little difficult to reach during monsoons.