India’s a beautiful country, we all know that. A country rich in diversity, home to some of the most exquisite places in the world. From the beaches of Goa to the French remnants at Pondicherry, from the palaces and deserts in Rajasthan to the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, from the many forts in Maharashtra to the pristine beauty of Kashmir, there isn’t much that India doesn’t have. But for each of these well-known, tourist ridden spots, there are 5 other hidden gems throughout the land. Places of exquisite beauty, untouched by shouting tourists, screaming salesmen trying to swindle said tourists, and resorts and restaurants which cater to the bulk of people vacationing there. Nay, these hidden places are for the wanderers and the nomads, for those who choose to go on the path less travelled and escape into virgin lands untouched by bellowing crowds.
Here are a few of these for the discerning traveller:
The Seven Sisters
The seven states which form the north eastern boundary of India are fondly known as the Seven Sisters. Recently, they have become a somewhat popular destination for travel among the denizens of the nation, however, even today only a part of this gorgeous destination remains explored, and it has numerous rivers, monasteries, rolling green hills turning into mountains, lakes of the clearest water and curving rivers which flow through the entirety of the region, blessing it with water throughout the year.
Enter the North East and get prepare to get lost in a land where time stands still, a land far from urban culture, one where nature still reigns supreme.
The deep sea region of Lakshadweep – also known as Laccadives – is the perfect location aficionados of adventure, water sports and diving along the many spectacular coral reefs there. Scuba diving and snorkelling are among the many experiences you can have there. Being far from the Indian mainland, the culture of the people there is quite different from what you’re used to in the country proper. Sink into it and experience another side of India.
One warning though – beware of the cannibals…Na, I’m just joking. There aren’t any cannibals there – at least not that we know of yet. *Cue ominous music*.
Drass, located in Jamm & Kashmir is the coldest inhabited place in India and the second coldest inhabited place in the world, so if you are one of those folks who abhor the heat and love being cloaked in warm clothes while sipping hot chocolate in chilly weather, this is the place for you.
Barren Island is a minor Island near Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar region. However, its claim to fame is that it has the only live volcano in all of South Asia. Those who love a little adventure and excitement would find this an a splendid offbeat travel destination. Just remember to have a backup plan in case of an eruption.
Found in Ladakh, there are many who plan treks to try and conquer this frozen river every year. A test of endurance, skill and determination, this is a must for those seeking adventure.
Image Courtesy : Pradeep Kumbhashi – Flickr
While most of the folks travel to Goa or Kerala for their vacations, you can choose your travel destinations wisely into these unmolested lands and find an entirely new world out there. Just remember to pack safely in case of emergencies, lest the adventure turn into a debacle. Prepare well and you’ll certainly have the time of your life, these are some places whose beauty has to be seen in person and experienced, mere Instagram filters won’t do any justice to them!