Travel means different things to different people. Some people travel to escape their mundane routines and dive into a new experience. Some travel to meet new people and learn about different cultures. Some travel to break out of their comfort zones…and some of us travel for all of the above. One thing, though stays common, every time you step out to travel to a new city, a new country, a new continent… you don’t return as the same person. And that is what I love about travelling.
And while we’re talking about travelling and what it means to you, here’s a list of offbeat places to visit in India..
1. Nubra Valley, Ladakh
Nubra Valley in Jammu & Kashmir is definitely one to visit if you like going off the beaten track. 140 km from Leh is this secluded Nubra Valley located on the Old Silk Route. The magnificent valley has two rivers, Nubra & Shyok flowing right through it. Culturally it has a mix of Buddhism and Islam which makes it an even interesting place to visit. There’s a cluster of monasteries on a hill that is something worth seeing.
But there’s so much more to Nubra other than sightseeing. There’s Hot water springs in Panamik, a ride on the Bactrian camel in the sand dunes between Diskit & Hunder. And the heritage Balti Museum a little beyond Hunder that you must visit.
2. Kaza, Spiti Valley
Imagine being surrounded by snow-covered mountains, shimmering streams, breathtaking scenic landscapes. Who wouldn’t want to visit a place like that, right? Kaza is that & much more! This dreamy paradise on earth is definitely one of the offbeat places that you must add to your bucket list. Camping, visiting Buddhist shrines, walking around the town are some of the things you can in Kaza. It is also one of the coldest places in India, so it stays shut from October to June.
3. Waichin Valley, Malana
A hike up the very popular and much loved Malana in the Himachal is the peaceful Waichin Valley. To get to this secret valley with gorgeous views, you have to hike up about 4 km from Malana. And once you’re there, you can camp under the stars, gaze at the night sky & enjoy the fresh air of the mountains.
4. Kangojodi, Nahan
This magical place surrounded by pine trees is tucked away in the mountains of Himachal. It’s a beautiful place to escape from the cities and be surrounded by nothing but lush green nature. It hasn’t come on the tourist radar yet and sees very few people all through the year. And that makes it just the right kind of offbeat place to visit for some solitude and beauty.
5. Ziro Valley, Arunachal Pradesh
Nestled among Arunachal’s mountains is this gorgeous valley called the Ziro Valley. This lesser-known valley with rice fields, pine forests and the Apa Tani Tribe is something worth seeing. The weather is pleasant throughout the year, which makes Ziro a perfect offbeat place to visit.
6. Kaluk, Sikkim
Hidden away in the West of Sikkim is this beautiful hilly town called Kaluk. It is rich in culture, history, spirituality & more and is a perfect getaway destination. From Kaluk, you can go on a beautiful hike to Rinchenpong, where you get to see candy-like clouds. It’s like a fairytale. The town is calm, blessed with beauty and offers some of the best views of K2.
7. KongThong, Khasi Hills
You know what’s another beautiful offbeat place to visit in India? KongThong. KongThong is this lovely little village in Khasi Hills in Shillong. It’s peaceful and all you really gotta there is let nature take over. Submerge in the beauty of the village.
But other than that there’s another lovely thing about this village. They don’t use words to name a child, but instead, they use a lullaby. Whenever a kid is born, the mother writes a lullaby for the child, just tunes, no words. And somehow, they all understand the melody, and each tune is unique to each person. Isn’t that fascinating?
8. Vattakanal, Kodaikanal
A 7 km drive from the touristy town of Kodaikanal is a quieter hill station called Vattakanal. Vattakanal, translated to English, means ‘circle of forest’. That makes total sense, given how beautifully forests surround the town. This tiny town has some gorgeous views, pleasant air and large dense forests. Away from the crowds, the hill station makes for a perfect offbeat place to visit.
9. Varkala, Kerela
Varkala is a beautiful beach town perched on a majestic cliff in Kerela. With gorgeous views & buzzing cafes, the place is most popular among backpackers. However, its quiet and golden beaches make it a hit if you’re looking to laze around and chill.
10. Agumbe, Karnataka
Agumbe is a lovely location in Karnataka for all adventure seekers. With lush green surroundings and amazing sunset views, it’s the perfect place to escape. You’d like it even more if you enjoy trekking and hiking. You could hike around to nearby villages and make the most of its scenic beauty and pleasant weather.
11. Bhedaghat, Madhya Pradesh
A small but magical town near Jabalpur called Bhedaghat is one to add to your bucket list. They also call it ‘Dhuadar’ for the huge waterfalls in the area. Boating under the moonlit at Bhedaghat makes for an amazing and unforgettable experience. November to March is the perfect time to visit this offbeat place in India.
12. Kaas Plateau, Panchgani
UNESCO Heritage Site Kaas Plateau in Panchgani is a magical place, right out of a fairytale. It blooms with hundreds of flowers that make a bright, lush carpet that is beyond beautiful. The flowers bloom sometime around mid-September, but the place is lovely in the monsoon too.
13. Palu, Maharashtra
Palu is a tiny little spot about 3 hours from Mumbai, which is beyond beautiful. It has greenery that stretches till the eyes can see and waterfalls that make it even better. While you’re there, watching the sun paint the sky is something worth watching.
14. Neil Island, Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Neil islands in the Andamans & Nicobar Islands is one amazing offbeat place to visit in India. Although the entire Andaman island is lovely, this tiny Neil has my heart. It has beaches that are so beautiful and so clean and the kindest people. With its crystal clear beaches and delicious seafood, it’s nothing short of perfection!
15. Munsiyari, Uttarakhand
Munsiyari is another lovely offbeat place to visit in India. Based in the foothills of the Himalayas, this little town is blessed with beautiful views. It is also the base camp for a lot of famous and difficult trekking routes. Even if you aren’t into mountaineering, you must not miss out on visiting this oh-so-gorgeous place.
16. Binsar, Uttarakhand
Located right in the lap of Garhwal Hills is this serene place, Binsar. Its serenity and scenic beauty make it the right choice if you’re looking to find inner peace. It is surrounded by magnificent mountain ranges and is a big hit if you’re a bird lover.
17. Chakrata, Uttarakhand
Chakrata is another hidden gem in Uttarakhand that one must not miss. The landscapes are what we could call picture perfect. You could go on long nature walks and indulge in skiing or rafting. This secret little town will not disappoint you. It’s beautiful and definitely a place to embrace solitude.
India definitely has so much to explore. Each state, each city has places that are untouched and beautiful in their own special ways. Whatever your reasons are to travel, I hope you make the most of it. Travel as much as you can, to all the places that you can. Life is too short and we all gotta start living it.