There is a monotony in treading the path often travelled. On the contrary, the surprises that await one who ventures to places undiscovered are rewarding in themselves. Any itinerary to any place, especially India, usually contains “famous” destinations which are overrun by hordes of tourists. While that in no way dwindles their allure, they do instill a desire to explore places that are offbeat and find no mention in a traveler’s diary.
India, with its territorial enormity, is blessed generously with destinations that still remain unexplored. Going on a trip to these destinations blesses one with unique experiences. On your next trip, step away from the usual and embark on a journey of adventure and uncertainty. This blog brings you the 15 unexplored destinations in India that you must visit.
The dreamy beauty of Kausani overshadows that of every other hill-station in the Himalayas. Its claim to fame rests on its scenic splendor and the mesmeric 300km wide views of the Himalayas provided by it. Perched at a height of 1890m above sea level, it is the birthplace of the eminent poet Sumitra Nandan Pant.
When to visit: September to May
Things to do: Visit the Anasakti Ashram, and come across Mahatma Gandhi’s “charkha” (spinning well), and other memorabilia associated with his everyday life. Appreciate the fabulous collection of high quality shawls designed by the local weavers at the Kumaon Shawl Emporium. Pay a visit to Pant Museum, named after Sumitra Nandan Pant. Discover important documents and articles related to his everyday life.
Chopta is a silent valley where tranquility and pure bliss reside. This is the place to unwind and relax from the hullabaloo of urban life. Roll on its meadows, quench your thirst for exciting treks or get your share of adventure. If none of those activities strike a chord, just sit idly by and admire the heavenly scenery surrounding you. If you plan your holiday in Uttarakhand, this is one place which you should visit!
When to visit: March-May, July-September.
Things to do: Go trekking to Deori Tal, a famous lake, or to the Tungnath Temple, one of the highest temples of Lord Shiva. Go for a picnic one any of the idyllic spots around Chopta.
Loktak Lake – Manipur
Loktak Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the country, is one of the lesser known destinations in India. Situated in the valley of Imphal, it is home to all the rivers and rivulets that run in Manipur. The lake is home to several floating islands that sustain fishermen’s villages. It’s a pleasure to sail on a boat on the pristine waters of this lake and watch the sky gradually wear crimson.
When to visit: One can visit this lake throughout the year.
Things to do: Try your hand at photography – the views here are mesmeric. Take a boat ride and witness the lifestyle of local fishermen. Relish the taste of mouthwatering fresh lake fishes like Major Carp and Grass Carp.\
Tawang – Arunachal Pradesh
Tawang, perched at a height of 3500m above sea level, possesses a rich historical past besides being blessed by nature’s bounty. Being the birthplace of the Dalai Lama, this place is blessed with several monasteries. Several beautiful glacial lakes with crystal blue waters can also be found here. The celebration of “Losar” and “Torgya,” two major festivals, enlivens the entire area.
When to visit: March to September
Things to do: Visit the astoundingly beautiful lakes like Sangetser Lake, Banggachang Lake etc. Visit the Tawang Monastery and pay your respects at the Tawang War Memorial. For a memorable picnic, head to PT Tso Lake.
Mawsynram – Meghalaya
In Mawsynram, it rains and rains, and then rains some more! A small village in the Khasi Hills of Meghalaya, it receives an annual rainfall of 11,872 mm, making it the wettest place on earth. This place endears itself to its visitors due to its sliding slopes, rolling green mountains and deafening waterfalls.
When to visit: September to November
Things to do: Visit the famous waterfalls like Mawsmai Falls, Nohalikalai Falls etc. Go to Mawlyngbna, famous for its natural geyser and rich fossils. Any visit to Mawsynram is incomplete without a visit to Mawjymbuin Cave, which is famous for its incredible stalagmites.
If you plan your tour to Northeast India, be sure to include Majuli on the list! This amazing river island on the River Brahmaputra is eminent for being the “world’s largest freshwater island.” It is also referred to as the “cultural capital of Assam,” perhaps due to the several satras (Vaishnavite monasteries) that its home to.
When to visit: October-March
Things to do: Visit several satras like Kamalabari Satra, Dakhinpat Satra, Auniati Satra etc., which are treasure houses of art, culture and literature. Enjoy the scenic views around, or head for a picnic to Tengapania.
Gurez Valley, Kashmir
Gurez Valley, seated at about 2400m above sea level, is the ultimate adventure destination to the north of Kashmir. This place thrills a visitor with its fascinating history, mightily flowing rivers and adventurous opportunities. The traditional log wood houses lend it an appearance akin to East European countryside.
When to visit: May-October
Things to do: Enjoy angling, trout fishing and water rafting at Kishan-Ganga River. Go trekking on the various routes from Gurez and Tilel, or try your hand at rock climbing. If none of these fascinate you, simply go for a stroll and absorb the breathtaking scenery around you.
Velas Beach, Maharashtra
Velas Beach is famous for its Olive Ridley Turtles who come here to lay their eggs. Apart from the wonderful views provided by the beach, visitors are attracted to this beach during the Turtle Festival organized every year during the period of February to March. A particularly attractive sight here is the Olive Ridley turtle hatchlings emerging from the sand and commencing their voyage to the Arabian Sea.
When to visit: February-April
Things to do: Attend the Turtle Festival held every year from February to March. Enjoy the beautiful scenery all around. Explore the nearby areas like Bankot, Kelshi, Dapoli, Diveagar, Guhagar etc.
Chembra Peak, Western Ghats
Chembra Peak is comfortably nestled 2100m above sea level on the southern part of Wayanad. Besides being the highest peak here, it provides ideal conditions for trekking. This is a place where the clouds hug mountain peaks and the cool air reinvigorates you all the time.
When to visit: One can visit it throughout the year
Things to do: Go trekking all the way to Chembra Peak. Spend some time at the mysterious lake at the top of the lake which is believed to have never dried up. Absorb the wonderful surroundings.
Looking for a perfect getaway for the weekend? Head to Kanatal. Located in the picturesque settings of the Garhwal Himalayas, this tiny hamlet is perched at an elevation of 8500ft above sea level. During the winter season, this place is dressed in snow. Besides this, camping is a highly favored activity here. However, it’s the quietude of this place which endears itself to visitors.
When to visit: April-June
Things to do: Once can stroll around the village and visit the apple orchards. Adventure lovers can explore the dense Kodia Jungle located 1km from Kanatal. Tehri Dam, which lies in close proximity, should also be visited.
Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh
Ziro, located in the headquarters of Lower Subansiri district, is one of the lesser known destinations in India. Its incredible landscape of rivulets and beautiful lush green forest makes it a place worth visiting. The paddy-cum-pisciculture practiced here is quite unique and fascinating. The vast stretches of green and the clouds floating lazily above lend this place a dreamy aura.
When to visit: One can visit this place throughout the year.
Things to do: Simply sit back and enjoy the mesmeric surroundings around you. Visit the terrace paddy fields where the unique system of poly-culture and water management is practiced by the people. Meet the Apatani tribe and learn about their customs, lifestyle etc.
Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh
Khajjiar, a small town located near Dalhousie, is often referred to as the “mini-Switzerland of India.” Located at an altitude of 6500ft, its natural beauty and picturesque landscape create a lasting impression on its visitors. The nine-hole golf course, located amidst lush greenery, receives its share of golf enthusiasts. If you plan your honeymoon in India, then this is where you should head to!
When to visit: April-March
Things to do: Admire the breathtaking beauty around you. Get your share of adventure by engaging in various sports like horse riding, trekking, paragliding etc. Visit the wonderful temples scattered throughout the region.
Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh
Perhaps no other place arouses as much curiosity as the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh. Declared a World Heritage Site in 2003, it traces the earliest forms of life on the Indian subcontinent. More than 500 rock shelters and caves consisting of a large number of paintings can be found here. Some of the oldest paintings date back to the ancient period.
When to visit: October-March
Things to do: Explore these fascinating caves and the paintings in them, which use amazing vegetable colors. Visit the temple of Bhojpur nearby.
Nubra Valley, Jammu & Kashmir
Nubra Valley lies approximately 150km north of Leh, on the Silk Route. The beauty enveloping this place verges on the unreal. Everything here seems untouched. The Shyok and Nubra rivers coursing through the valley further enhance its surreal beauty, along with the various monasteries spread throughout the region. The Bactrian camels found here are a particular delight.
When to visit: June-October
Things to do: Take a safari on one of the two-humped Bactrian camels. Visit the various monasteries or buy Kashmiri or Tibetan artefacts, Pashmina shawls and woolen socks in Diksit. All along the way, admire and appreciate the beauty of this region.
Open beaches, undiscovered coves, jagged cliffs and serene temples make the sleepy town of Gokarna one of the major tourist attractions in India. The five beaches found here offer astonishing views of the Arabian Sea besides being havens of tranquility. Here, one has the option of going for an action-packed beach holiday or whiling away time in complete solitude.
When to visit: This place can be visited throughout the year.
Things to do: Explore the various beaches like Kudle Beach, Paradise Beach etc., or go on a fishing trip. Take boat rides to spot the dolphins off the coast. And if none of those things appeal to you, just sit back, relax and enjoy a pleasurable holiday against a slow and relaxed atmosphere.