India – the land of hidden gems, the epitome of beauty, the bliss of natural trails, and we can go on and on and on when talking about the country’s holiday destinations.
But wait isn’t taking a trip to Ladakh or soaking at the beaches of Goa or hiking the snow-capped mountains of the North or South already clichés? If you agree with this, we have a better plan for you! Keeping aside the mundane why not dig-in to the hidden gems or so to say the offbeat destinations of India. There are still a few overlooked destinations that have high potential in terms of tourism! Some of these are hidden destinations that lay nestled in the lap of gorgeous Northeast and South India, whereas some take you to the extreme North and beyond. And besides satiating your wanderlust, it will be so much cooler to try that perfect adventure that your friends haven’t experienced yet. Some of the Offbeat India destinations that will blow our mind are below. We must explore these once.
Here’s a list of few unexplored places in India that we feel should totally go in your travel bucket list soon.
Kalimpong, West Bengal
If you are a travel buff, you would know that besides the cultural richness, West Bengal is home to some of the most scenic hill stations and valleys. There’s Darjeeling, Gangtok, etc. but hey we are totally going by the offbeat rules and that’s why we present to you Kalimpong. Located in the northern part of the state, the first thing that strikes the traveller is its serene atmosphere. And why not beside its natural beauty, the town is home to multiple monasteries and churches. It’s also well known for its bustling bazaars and traditional handicrafts. It is famous for its orchids and nurseries. Besides who would want to skip a panoramic view of the great Himalayan ranges that lie beyond it. While here, the ‘must visits’ are the three important gompas or monasteries: the Tharpa Choeling Gompa, the Tongsa Gompa, and Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Gompa. Other places to visit in Kalimpong include the Sericulture Research Institute, Dr. Grahams Home and the adjoining chapel (located on the slopes of Deolo Hill), and the Nature Interpretation Center (located on Rinkingpong road).
Tranquebar, Tamil Nadu
A visit to Tranquebar may take you to a different era filled with historical oddity and calmness. Located at the west coast of Tamil Nadu, this place brings an amazing aura. You can spend a lazy afternoon simply gazing at the seashore and fishing boats or take a heritage walk of the town and we can promise you won’t experience a dull moment. Walking along the beaten tracks of Tranquebar will bring you peace and solace. However, this former Danish colony and trading port of Tamil Nadu also has many tourist places with Danish Fort being the prime attraction. You can visit the Van Theylingen House, a Maritime Museum, Zion Church and New Jerusalem Church. Other tourist places in Tranquebar are Fort Dansborg, Masilamani Nathar Temple, Danish Cemetery.
Gurez Valley, Kashmir
Paradise is just an understatement when we mention Kashmir. Don’t you think? I mean it’s so beautiful that at times it all appears surreal, so good to be true kind! And among the many gems of Kashmir, one very offbeat destination that we have picked for you is Gurez Valley (Known as Gorai locally). Gurez is located at a distance of 150Kms from Srinagar, and 85kms from the nearest major town Bandipora. Gurez is situated at an altitude of 8000ft above the sea-level, surrounded by the snow clad high Himalayas and the Kishan Ganga river flows through the valley. Gurez offers a lot more than just the visual bliss and revitalization we seek when we visit a beautiful place. It’s a hamlet which makes you forget the day to day bustling life and serves you reveries of a tranquil life of the past.
The Major attractions of the Gurez valley are Razdan Pass, Dawar, Tulail Valley, Harmukh, Habba Khatoon. Gurez is also home to diverse fauna and wildlife including Himalayan Brown Bear and the Snow Leopard. You can spend your days camping, rock climbing and fishing. And yes, with continuous vigilance and constant patrolling, it is completely safe for tourists.
Phawngpui Blue Mountain National Park, Mizoram
The highest mountain range of the state of Mizoram, Phawngpui and the often considered Blue Mountain is an enthralling offbeat place in Mizoram you have to visit. This mountain range also has a beautiful national park that is located about 270 km from the Mizoram’s capital Aizawl. Now it’s our offbeat pick for a reason. You name an offbeat fauna and you are sure to find one here. Let’s give you an idea: The variety of avian fauna found in the region are Blyth’s Tragopan, Falcon, sunbirds, dark-rumped swift, mountain bamboo partridge, oriental pied hornbill, purple cocoa, striped laughing thrush, grey sibia, black eagle, large-billed crow, kestrel and the state bird Mrs Hume’sPheasant, etc.
The faunal range found in Phawngpui are a mountain goat, sluggish loris, tiger, leopard, leopard cat, serow, goral, Asiatic black bear, stump-tailed macaque, capped langur, clouded leopard, woofing deer, sambar and rhesus macaque and the list goes on. And if you plan to hike, you can enjoy the breathtaking rocky cliffs and densely forested lands. Phawngpui Blue Mountain National Park is certainly an ideal place to visit, along with the state’s many alluring places of tourist interest.