The difficult segment of planning any trip is the answer to "where?" As much as one wants to explore the hype about famous tourist places in India, offbeat destinations never cease to amaze. While most travellers stick to the same old touristy buzz, this is the time to create cherished memories on lesser-known tracks. Avoid crowds, explore the raw natural beauty, unusual cultures and get to experience a plethora of newfound discoveries.
For your next vacay list, check out these unexplored havens!
1. Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh
The "land of fairytales" hides within itself orchards, meadows, dense woods, and adventurous routes that ask for a road trip. Kinnaur is recognized for its apples, Chilgoza, handlooms, and handicrafts. The valleys of Kinnaur offer scenic destinations for you to pitch your tents in! Kinnaur exhibits the views of Zanskar Valley, Dhauladar range, Chitkul, with Satluj, Baspa, and Spiti rivers meandering through it. There are 9 trekking trails in Kinnaur, setting in the adrenaline rush. Sangla Valley is a wondrous region for paragliding, angling, and rafting. Also visit the Lipa-Astrang sanctuary, a fortress for nature lovers.
May to October is when you would want to make a trip as it remains snow-clad for 6 months.
2. Mandu, Madhya Pradesh
This citadel witnesses some of the majestic monuments which stand the test of time. Perfect for the history fanatics, Mandu is evidence of the grandeur and regal history of Madhya Pradesh. It is renowned for its famous love story of Baz Bahadur and Roopmati. The town of architectural jewels contains a myriad of places like palaces, forts, rivers, and gateways. Don't forget to relinquish the intriguing stories behind all monuments. Jahaz Mahal, Rani Roopmati Pavilion, Rewa Kund, ruins of Hathi Mahal, Bagh and Lohani caves, Sagar Talab are some of the architectural edifices.
The best time to visit this quaint town is between October-March.
3. Bekal Beach, Kerala
If you enjoy the sun, sand, sea, and swaying palm trees, then this should be on your next trip list! This Bekal Beach holiday will be an unforgettable journey. The glimmering sand will greet you with its alluring backwaters and tranquil landscape. The dusky sand, casuarina orchards, and cottages with thatched roofs offer an unparalleled charm. Ascend to the nearby Bekal Fort and experience the panoramic view of the majestic Arabian Sea. There is also a demarcated play area for the children with slides, swings, jungle gym, and more. Delight in the opportunity of star-gazing, bird-watching, visiting villages, and interacting with the locals. Observe the hard work involved in manufacturing toddy, coir, and unique handicrafts.
The weather remains pleasant all year round, yet September to March is a preferable time to visit this enchanting beach.
4. Shekhawati, Rajasthan
Less explored than other parts of Rajasthan, Shekhawati is home to the brilliance of Rajasthani craftsmanship. The charisma of the past resonates in its many Havelis, forts, and monuments. The cultural bliss and travellers retreat holds some of the enchanting places. Mandawa, Laxmangarh, Sikar, Khetri, Dundlod, Nawalgarh, Char Chowk ki Haveli are some of the many splendid places worth visiting.
The main tourist season extends from October to March.
5. Nubra Valley, Ladakh
Bactrian camel rides, cold desert, and magnificent remote villages await you in Nubra Valley! The tri-armed valley contains picturesque landscapes and breathtaking views. There is nothing better than losing yourself in the cold desert of Hunder Village with the opportunity of camping and riding on the two-humped camel. Turtuk village is where you can enjoy tribal tourism, to learn and understand their culture. It offers the occasion for eco-friendly camping. Panamik village hosts the splendid experience of a hot water spring. It is also ideal for adventure lovers - trekking, mountain cycling, and motorbiking tours.
July to September is an ideal time to plan your trip here.
6. Kutch, Gujarat
Soak in the grandeur of the "white desert of India", filling your cameras with scenic beauty. Kutch is a surreal place with vast expanses of the white salt desert, shimmering moonlight, gorgeous beaches, and much more. This striking place is marked by oasis, palaces, and wildlife sanctuaries, providing a fun-filled holiday. Kutch lies on the Indo-Pak border, so you might be able to catch a few glimpses of the neighbouring country. Kutch is also famous for crafts and embroidery works. Bhuj is an ideal starting point to visit the Rann of Kutch. Do not forget to visit the astounding Mandvi beach on your trip. Dholavira, Kutch Museum, Flamingo Sanctuary, Wildlife Sanctuary, Wild Ass Sanctuary, and Bustard Sanctuary are among other not-to-be-missed spots.
Winters are the best time to visit Kutch, from October to February.
7. Lachung, Sikkim
Away from the chaos of urbanization, engross yourself in soaking the astounding beauty of the most stunning Himalayan villages. Lachung is the epitome of scenic beauty with its gushing waterfalls, fruit orchards, and glacial rivers against the backdrop of the Himalayas. This place will leave you in complete awe in a matter of seconds! Feed your adventure junkie by trekking to "Zero Point", also known as Yumesamdong. Experience the fun of snowboarding, skiing and snow-tubing in Mt. Katao. The majestic charm of the Yumthang Valley will satiate and replenish you. Visit the Bhim Nala Falls, Naga Waterfall and Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary. Set off in some adventure treks or sit and gaze at the variety of birds all over. Take back for yourself some Tibetan handicrafts, hand-woven carpets, blankets and rugs.
However, what makes this place even more adventurous and offbeat is that you need a travel permit to visit here. Lachung is near the Indo-Chinese border, hence requiring the special permit from the District Commissioner's office in Gangtok. Let this not dampen your heart, for it is worth all efforts you will undertake. This beautiful hamlet will etch its mark in your memories forever.
Best time to visit Lachung is March to July, or if you are feeling bold, take a trip during the winter months of October-February.
8. Mawlynnong, Meghalaya
The "cleanest village in Asia" located in the East Khasi Hills is blessed with pristine natural beauty. The road to Mawlynnong itself speaks wonders with its forests, cliffs, valleys, gorges, waterfalls and more. Walk around the quaint village while talking to locals, exploring their culture. Mawlynnong is a euphoric place with lush greenery and cleanliness all over. The hard work of the locals will surely make you feel humble. Not just hotels, but experience the homestays here, which radiates kindness and warmth. Fall in love with its clean paths, wooden huts, treehouses, waterfall and people!
But the major attraction of Mawlynnong is the living root bridge! The living root bridge is one of the wonders of nature along with the effort of the Khasi tribe. No words can ever give justice to this breathtaking construction. These mysterious sturdy bridges are made out of living roots of a rubber tree. They are nature's artwork guided by men. There are many living root bridges around Mawlynnong. The Jingmaham Root Bridge is at a distance of 2 km, while another is a 10 minutes drive from the village at Wahthyllong.
Mawlynnong has a pleasant clime throughout so choose the season, best fitted to you.
Additional: The double-decker living root bridge at Nongriat village, Sohra (Cherrapunji) is worth all the pains of the difficult trek. It is at a distance of 2 hours, 45 minutes from Mawlynnong. Gather all your stamina to overcome this adventurous trek ending with a view that will leave you open-mouthed.
These are some of the best places for you and travel. Visit and share your experiences with us.
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