After you’ve seen the sights of India’s beaten-track tourist destinations – the most popular being Agra (home to the Taj Mahal), Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore – what’s next? Or maybe you’re planning your first trip to India and just want to avoid overpopulated tourist areas, and want to know where is best to enjoy beautiful and diverse India without jostling for personal space where ever you go.
We’ve created a list of some more unusual Indian destinations for travelers. Browse our recommendations of some of the most wonderful Indian regions where you can enjoy the country authentically, away from the tourist traps.
Mawlynnong, a small eco-friendly village in North East India, was actually awarded the title of ‘cleanest village in Asia’ in 2003. It is worlds away from the bustling streets of Mumbai, with its waterfalls, jungle and caves. Its best feature is perhaps the ‘Living Roots Bridge’ – a natural bridge constructed of tree roots that you can walk across in the dense forest. Backpacking throughout the state of Meghalaya, where Mawlynnong is located, is recommended to all intrepid travelers.
Gokarna is a scenic coastal town complete with rolling green hills, sand beaches and sparkling waters. The town is dotted with temples and holy sites, and is best seen via rented motorbike. Whiz along narrow tracks and explore ancient ruins at your leisure while enjoying quiet, serene life by the sea. Unlike some of India’s rivers, the ocean is fine for a swim, and the beach shacks provide amazing food and great music from dawn ‘til dusk.
Patan is one of India’s world heritage sites – its history can be traced back to 745 AD, and is home to amazing ancient ruins. Alongside taking in the beautiful Maru-Gurjara style architecture of the ruins, visit the temples and lakes that make Patan a truly charming place to travel. The town is also famous for its Patola sarees, hailed as being some of the world’s finest handmade textiles.
Located on eastern India’s Bay of Bengal, Chennai is worth a visit to view the breath-taking Ashtalakshmi Temple, which features vividly-painted carvings of Indian gods adorning the entire outside of the large temple. This city is on the urban side of Indian life, though nowhere near as populous as New Delhi or Bangalore. It’s also one of the most expensive Indian cities. If you plan to travel Chennai, it may be best to open an Indian bank account to ensure your cash is secure and safe. That way, you can also send funds from home with money transfer to India to top up your travel money – visit Pangea Money Transfer to find out more about their instant transfers.
Beautiful Verkala is situated in the palm-fringed state of Kerala. Enjoy the tropical coast and Arabian seas with a relaxed beach lifestyle, away from the hustle and bustle of the major cities. Here you’ll find rocky red shores where holy rituals regularly take place, as well as water sports, paragliding, yoga and meditation – it’s the perfect paradise getaway.
Home to two sacred rivers, Bhagirathi and Alaknanda, Devprayag is a place with much religious significance. The two rivers form headstreams of the holy River Ganges. Devprayag is a town built on towering rocky cliffs, and features plentiful stunning temples. Visitors can enjoy white-river rafting here, among other water sports, miles of hike tracks and mouth-watering traditional Indian foods.
Nestled among the Himalayan mountains of north-eastern India, Spiti is a cold and snowy desert mountain town in a vast valley. The name “Spiti” actually means “The Middle Land” – named for its location on the cusp of India and Tibet. Explorers who make the trek up to the high altitudes of Spiti will find ancient monasteries housing monks, temples and other sites of religious heritage and meaning. This is the place to come for those seeking solace and serenity far away from the beaten track.