- Sponsored Content -
At a time when the holiday bells are tolling, the perfect way to rediscover yourself is to take a vacation to explore the unexplored places in India.This festive season, travel the lengths and breadths of our country and find joy in the offbeat corners of it. We’ve put together for you the absolute must-see offbeat places in India which are offbeat and travelogues often skip because of the obscure nature of these locales. After all, Columbus wouldn’t be Columbus if he’d stuck to taking the same journey again and again, right?
1. Kurnool, Seemandhra: Historically yours.
History, locales and sunny climes punched into a single place. Who wouldn’t want that for an offbeat vacation? Kurnool is home to a number of temples such as the Peta Anjanyeswami temple, the Venugopalaswami temple, the new Shirdi Sai Baba Temple. Other offbeat tourist attractionsare the Belum caves, Birla mandir, Oravakallu Rock Garden, Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary and the Tomb of Abdul Wahab.
When to visit: November- February, as the summers tend to get very hot and the monsoons are quite wet. The cooler months are a better time to lose yourself in this pretty little unexplored place in Seemandhra.
2. Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh: Explore The Unexplored
A lesser known offbeat place in the crown of the North-East, Ziro is one of those places which boasts of agreeable climate throughout the year. Observe the beautiful green patches and rice fields, feel at home with the Apa Tani tribe and let your camera stretch its legs. All this and more. Enjoy!
Best time to visit: Throughout the year. The weather is pleasant and soothing for an offbeat holiday.
3. Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh: Monastery hopping
Situated at a height of about 3048 meters above sea level, Tawang is a beautiful yet offbeat hill town that houses several monasteries. It is also popular as the birth place of the Dalai Lama. The best time to visit this picturesque offbeat place is in the months of March to September, as the summers are cool, while winters are often snow-clad.
When to visit Tawang: March to September. The summers are cool and pleasant, but the winters can get bitterly cold. The spring is the best time to see the valley in all its shiny glory.
Famous as the “World’s largest fresh water island”, this idyllic river island on the River Brahmaputra is located 20 kilometers away from the city ofJorhat. Referred to as the cultural capital of Assam, Majuli is a beautiful and unexplored place resplendent with several festivals throughout the year. A must visit offbeat place t travel.
Ideal season to visit Majuli: Majuli is probably most beautiful during the monsoon, when the river is swollen and beautiful. October-March is a nice time to visit, with the cool climate makes a trip to Majuli absolutely worthwhile.
5. Manas National Park, Assam: Unity in Diversity
Manas National Park is one of the UNESCO Natural World Heritage sites in Assam. It boasts of an Elephant Reserve, a Tiger Reserve and a biodiversity reserve. Neat and clean, well kept and not crowded like a Mumbai local during peak hours, this tends to a be a great choice for apeaceful holiday place.
The best time to visit Manas National Park are from October to April.
6. Champaner – Pavagadh, Gujarat: Wrapped in history
This is one of those UNESCO World Heritage Sites that will blow your mind away with its historical appeal. It is said that the Pavagadh hills are nothing but a chunk of the Himalayas carried over by Hanuman during Ramayana. A town with historical ruins set in the lap of the Pavagadh hills, this is a surefire offbeat place to visit.
October to February are the best months to visit Champaner Pavagadh. The Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park is open all year and is a delight to visit for its Hindu and Islamic styles of design.
7. Patan, Gujarat: Old world charm
One of the newest addtitions to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, Patan has sprung to popularity in traveler circuits because of its Rani ka Vav. Surrounded by huge walls and a very old world charm, this former capital of medieval Gujarat will make for a lovely offbeat holiday place to travel to.
The weather of Patan is at its most favorable during the months of October to March.
8. Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh: Paharon ki Mallika
Famous as the “Mini switzerland of India”, Khajjiar is a beautiful, sleepy hill town near Dalhousie that’s replete with hills, lakes and meadows, a la Bollywood Ghost Movies. Visitors, apart of reveling in the quiet mystery of this glorious, yet underrated hill town, can also partake of various adventure sports like paragliding, horse-riding, trekking and the like.
Khajjiar can be easily visited throughout the year. However, during the cold months, roads are often sealed off due to heavy snowfall. This may end up being a trip spoiler. However, if you’re an adventurous traveler, carry heavy woolens.
9. Shojha, Himachal Pradesh: The beauty of simplicity
Shojha is a lovely hill village in the lap of the Himalayas, complete with several temples made out of wood and ample photographic opportunities. Gently undulating slopes and the green shade all about makes Shojha a dream holiday place, pristine, untouched and pure.
Though Shojha experiences moderate climate throughout the year, the best months to visit are April to June. The natural beauty of the village is at its peak during these months. The autumn months make the Dhauladhar and Himalayas a feast for the eyes from Shojha.
10. Kasol, Himachal Pradesh:
One of the less frequented holiday places of Himachal Pradesh, Kasol is the place to be for an authentic hillside experience. The snow capped Himalayas, the Parvati river, the hippie tourists all together make for a trip worth remembering.
October to May is the best time to visit this flawless hill town. If you enjoy a winter vibe and would like to explore the town while its chilly, go toKasol in January or February.
11. Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh: An unsung song of mystery
This is one of those unexplored places which has something on offer for everyone. Adventure sports, trout fishing, exploration of an under-explored hill town, all punched into one lovely combination called Tirthan Valley. Take your pick on what you wish to do while you’re here and visit accordingly. Oh! Also, there’s the option of doing absolutely nothing and chilling in the pine-studded landscape of Tirthan Valley!
Ideal weather to visit Tirthan Valley: March-June, October-November. For those who wish to do trout fishing in the River Tirthan, the warmer time of the year are preferable.
12. Spiti, Himachal Pradesh: A feast for the eye
Spiti is a delight for travellers. A virgin hill resort with opportunities for adventure sports, it fills visitors with awe at its majestic grandeur. Spiti is a relatively offbeat haven for trekkers and soul seekers, being home to many Buddhist temples and monasteries.
May to October is the best time to visit Spiti. The region receives light to medium rainfall at the time and the rain gives it the blush of a maiden fair, which makes this the best time to visit Spiti. The winters are harsh and many-a-time unbearable and should be avoided.
13. Nubra Valley, Jammu & Kashmir: Strokes of Art
This land of ethereal, timeless beauty, which looks like it has stepped straight out of a book of Advanced Art, is a miracle worth beholding. Nubra Valley lies on the Silk route, about 140 kilometers away from Leh. The rivers Shyok and Nubra course through the valley, giving it a beautiful essence. This is the destination to visit if you’re looking to be mesmerized by the wonders that our country has on offer.
June to October is the ideal period to visit Nubra Valley.
14. Hemis, Jammu & Kashmir: The snow leopard’s home
One of the less talked about places in the Jammu and Kashmir map, Hemis is a beautiful place surrounded by snow capped ranges all around. Pay a visit to the Hemis Gompa or the Hemis National Park, which is home to the snow leopard. Let your camera have some fun here!
May-June is the best time to visit Hemis. Temperatures in winter can fall as low as -30 degrees Centigrade.
Famous for its pristine, unspoilt beaches, relatively offbeat place Gokarna is quickly gaining popularity as a favorite beach resort among youngsters and hippies. Being a temple town primarily, the place is of a slow and relaxed atmosphere, which makes for a very pleasurable holiday.
Gokarna can be comfortably visited all year round, except the rainy season, when the beaches are unkempt and desolate. November to February are the months when Gokarna is most frequented, both by Indian and International tourists.
Halebid is a city famous for its ruins of Hoysala architecture. Its is agog with a lovely bunch of temples and shrines and other delectable pieces of architecture. A city famous for its spiritual appeal, it is home to the Hoysaleswara temple, Belur, Shantaleswara temple, Kedareswara temple and a number of Jain temples.
October to February is the best period to visit Halebid. A trip during Mahashivratri and Diwali can be an equally enchanting experience in Halebid.
17. Shivanasamundram, Karnataka: “a cascade of gifts”
A town situated on the banks of the River Kaveri and known for its Hydel Power Projects, Shivanasamudram is famous for its pristine waterfalls. The most popular ones are Gaganachukki and Shivanasamudra waterfalls. A great offbeat place.
August to February is the ideal time to visit Shivanasamudram. However, the weather is pleasant all year round with the exception of light rain during monsoons.
18. Savandurga, Karnataka: The Climb
A 60 kilometers drive away from Bangalore, Savandurga can prove to be a great weekend haunt for people in the IT city. Visitors can go trekking, rock climbing or camping in what is considered to be one of the largest single rock formations in the whole of Asia.
November to May is a good time to visit this offbeat trekking destination. Both summers and winters are great to visit this spot. Avoid the rains as they may make the rocks too slippery and result in accidents.
19. Shivagange, Karnataka: Some for you, some for me
Shivagange got its spiritually charged name from the hillock which looks like a “Shivalingam”. There’s water bodies right to the top of the hill, which locals believe are from the Holy river Ganga, giving the place its name. Shivangange is a haven for tourists and pilgrims and is called Dakshina Kashi or the Kashi of South India for its ample number of temples. Rock climbing and trekking are a favorite past-time for every visitor here. Shivangange makes for an idiosyncratic holiday for having something for every visitor.
Trekkers will get the best out of their holiday from October to March, whereas pilgrims can visit all year round.
20. Anthargange, Karnataka: Among the rocks
Anthargange in the Kolar District of Karnataka is famous for a number of volcanic rock formations and caves formed out of these rocks. Set at a distance of 70 kilometers from Bangalore, Anthargange is situated at an altitude of 1712 meters above sea level and is considered the Elysium of trekkers, rock climbers and exploration fanatics. A truly offbeat unexplored beautiful place.
October to March are the best months to visit Anthargange, as the rains make rock climbing comparatively risky.
21. Maravanthe, Karnataka:
A paradise worth driving to! The roads leading upto Maravanthe should definitely be explored for the sheer bliss of the drive (even better if we’re talking about a bike). The sea runs parallel to the roads and is definitely something to do in Maravanthe. It is a virgin beach town whose white sand beaches will facilitate that break that you’ve been wanting to take for so long.
September to March is the perfect time to indulge in water sports in this offbeat beach destination.
A little paradise in Kerala, Varkala is replete with clear, pristine beaches, hills, shrines, lighthouses, et al. The must visit places in this beach abode are the Papanasam Beach, the Varkala Beach, the Kappil Lake and lighthouses in the area. One can treat oneself to a number of adventure sports like paragliding and parasailing in Varkala.
September to April is a good time to visit Varkala.
Set in the lap of the Western Ghats, this offbeat destination is packed with tea plantations, lush green hills, streams and waterfalls. One can attempt mountain climbing at Ponmudi on the Agasthayarkoodam, the highest peak in the area at 1868 feet. Pay a visit to the deer park and enjoy the sunrise to feel at one with nature at Ponmudi.
November to May.
24. Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh : The place where it all began…
Bhimbetka is home to the beginning of the South Asian Stone Age. Bhimbetka was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, and it contains the earliest rock paintings, as old as 30,000 years old, the first proof of human life in the Indian subcontinent.
October to April is the best time to visit Bhimbetka. These offbeat caves are closed during the monsoons.
25. Mandu, Madhya Pradesh: Unlittered by the footsteps of time
Mandu is a city so beautifully dotted with marvelous architectural ruins that it will allow you to be mesmerized by its sheer beauty and historical divinity. Mandu claims to be home to the oldest erected monument of India, and is a shrine to the true love of Prince Baz Bahadur and Rani Roopmati.
October to March.
- Sponsored Content -
26. Bhedaghat, Madhya Pradesh: ‘Gorge’ous.
This one is for the bucket list, folks! Christened the Marble Rocks of Bhedaghat, this is THE place to go to. Indulge yourself with a boatride on a moonlit night on the Narmada river with marble gorges of Bhedaghat towering up to 100 feet on either side, and build a memory for a lifetime.
November to May is the perfect time to visit this gorgeous offbeat destination.
27. Lonar, Maharashtra: Lone Ranger
The quaint little town of Lonar is huddled around the lake which was formed due to a meteorite that hit this spot 52,000 years ago. It is the onlysalt water lake formed in basaltic rock in the world, making it a hot-spot for scientific research. There are a number of temples in Lonar too, which further the beauty and importance of this town.
October to March is the best time to visit this offbeat beauty.
28. Tadoba, Maharashtra: Wildcats!
Tadoba is one of those unexplored places in India that are abundantly blessed with plenty of wildlife- flora and fauna. The main attractions inTadoba are the Tadoba National Park, Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, Tadoba lake, Erai dam, Moharli and Khosla village. Well-protected and preserved well, Tadoba is one of the best kept Tiger Reserves in India.
October to March are the best months to visit this offbeat wildlife sanctuary. The summers are hot and sultry while the monsoons make it difficult for explorers.
29. Bhandardara, Maharashtra: Serenity revisited!
Bhandardara, neatly hidden away in the Sahyadris, is one of those offbeat weekend getaways from Mumbai that’ll help you catch your breath after a gruesome week in the city. The Sahyadris, known for the cool climates and the lush, leafy beauty is just what Bhandardara is like. Come, chill in the little village, sip some cold drinks by the waterfalls and nurse your tired body and soul.
June to March. Visit the village in the monsoons and enjoy the trip thoroughly
30. Kamshet, Maharashtra: My dream is to fly, over the rainbow so high
Come to the hills, ease into the idyllic surroundings, and if you’re an adrenaline junkie, paraglide! Kamshet is home to flying and paragliding schools, so make the most of it. Explore the little villages when you are on this particular holiday. The main attractions here are Bhairi caves, Bhedsa caves, Khondeshwar temple, Pavana lake and Shinde wadi hills.
September to April are ideal for a trip to Kamshet. Choose a time with no rains if you’re visiting with a view to paraglide.
31. Tamenglong, Manipur: A subtle kiss from the North-East
Revel in the peace and enjoy some quietude in this beautiful hill town. Not very famous in tourist circuits in India, Tamenglong’s beauty and pristine glory never fail to mesmerize. It is home to oranges and other exotic flora and fauna and any nature lover will find respite inTamenglong.
October to April is a good time to visit Tamenglong. The summers and monsoons here are best avoided.
We have all read our Social Science books in Middle school and know Mawsynram to be the wettest place in India. The Rain God is extremely generous when it comes to showers in Mawsynram. The abundant rainfall makes the place one of the most beautiful places to holiday in, albeitunderrated. The main attraction here is a huge formation of stalagmite, which resembles a ‘Shivling’.
Best time to visit: September to November. however, if you wish to cherish the abundant rains, visit during the monsoon season. However, be sure to carry good monsoon gear along!
Best time to visit: Throughout the year.
34. Mokokchung, Nagaland: Seated in the hills
Mokokchung is one of the biggest urban centres of Nagaland. The main tourist attractions are the District Museum, the Town main park, Unman village and the Ao village. Visitors might also be interested in places like Longkhum, Langpangkong, Mopungchukit and Chuchuyimlang which are situated in the district.
October to June. The sowing and Harvesting festivals are colourful and alluring, so visiting at those times makes for a pleasant experience.
35. Talasari Beach, Odisha: Come, rejuvenate.
This is one of those few beaches in Odisha which are untouched and unspoilt by man or time. Take a two day offbeat trip to Talasari beach,Odisha and relax in the refreshing waters and chill on the virgin beaches.
October to March is the best period to visit Talasari Beach. The summers and monsoons are best avoided for the hot and humid climate thatTalasari faces during these months.
36. Shekhawati, Rajasthan: Blast from the past
Best time to visit: November to March. The summers can get painstakingly hot, so avoid that time for a visit.
Bundi is a town in Rajasthan best known for its old appeal. It has changed names and hands several times in the centuries that are behind us, and what remains is the beautiful essence of the past. Bundi makes for a lovely unorthodox holiday in Rajasthan, different from the likes of Ajmer,Jaipur and Jaisalmer.
October to March have good weather for a trip to Bundi.
38. West- Sikkim, Sikkim: The best of all the Wests!
West Sikkim is the base of Mount Kanchenjunga and is a great retreat for art and nature lovers. Watch the sun rise and set (with or without your camera!), seek comfort in the quietude and chill. Visit the famous, age-old monasteries like Sangachoeling and Pemayansgtse. Another major tourist attraction is the Kchehepalri Lake.
Best time to visit: April to November.
39. North- Sikkim, Sikkim: Walking on clouds
Despite being one of the most uninhabited areas in India, North Sikkim is still one of the most picturesque locales in the country. Pay a visit to the monasteries or the Gurudongmar Lake, which is one of the highest lakes in India. Hiking and trekking are the much sought-after things to do here. A truly offbeat location.
May to September are ideal for a trip to North Sikkim. Monsoons are wet and harsh, while winters are extremely unforgiving. The summers are the best time to visit North Sikkim.
40. Dhanushkodi, Tamil Nadu: The sun, the sea and the sand
Built by Nature after one of the worst storms that Tamil Nadu has ever seen, Dhanushkodi can aptly be called a gift from beyond. Azure sea, white sand beaches and a lazy, idyllic vibe, makes Dhanushkodi one of the most beautiful yet sparsely known beaches in India.
October- February are the best months to visit Dhanushkodi. Summers are mild, but the monsoons see showers as well as storms, so you might want to steer clear of Dhanushkodi at that time.
41. Hogenakkal, Tamil Nadu: “o’er it dashes a waterfall“
Home to what is fondly known as the Niagara Falls of India, Hogenakkal is Utopia in its own stead. The Kaveri river spits several waterfalls circling the rocks in this little village in Tamil Nadu, making it one of the most beautiful waterfalls in India.
Best Time to visit: October- March
42. Papi-Kondalu, Telangana:
Papi-Kondalu, or Papi hills are an example of raw, untouched beauty. They are often compared to Kashmir for their structural hills and virgin beauty. The range also boasts of a wonderful waterfall at Munivaatnam.
Best Time to visit: October to March
The National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary, one hour away from Agra is home to several exotic animals like the Gharial, Red crowned turtles, Gangetic Dolphins, Indian skimmers, etc. The sanctuary is set alongside the beautiful, clean Chambal river and is a birdwatchers’ and nature lovers’ haven.
November to May is the ideal season for a trip to National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary.
44. Devprayag, Uttarakhand: Sacred Confluence
Touched by the confluence of the rivers Alakananda and Bhagirathi, Devprayag is a favorite Hindu pilgrimage town. Nestled in the lap of the Himalayas, this is a dream place for travelers all over.
The winters tend to get extremely cold, but appropriate clothing is all that’s required. The summers are cool and better than the rest of the country.
45. Madhyamaheshwar, Uttarakhand: Kailash away from Kailash
Madhyamaheshwar is one of those unexplored places whose presence on the spiritual map cannot be ignored. Set at an altitude of 3265 meters above sea level, the whole village gathers around to pray at the Madhyamaheshwar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
46. Naukuchiatal, Uttarakhand: A pretty Tal that isn’t Nainital!
A nine-cornered lake set at some distance from the picturesque Nainital, this one is an equally beautiful hill retreat, if not more. The lake stretches for 1 kilometer and is home to a beautiful village. If you’re looking for a place to find some peace and quiet, skip Nainital for this one.
April to June, September to November. The hill town is best avoided in the season of heavy rainfall and winter because of excessive snow. It can do well to serve as peaceful summer retreat away from the blistering heat of the cities.
47. Chopta, Uttarakhand: Less is more
Watch the slopes of Chopta undulate gently and smell the grass of its meadows and relax in its idyllic vibe. Chopta, a small village inUttarakhand is perfect for those who need to catch their breath after a haranguing run in urban life. Partake in some adventure sports, or trek or just open a picnic basket in the beautiful meadows, perfection is the keyword here. Unwind, take a break!
March to June is the best time to visit Chopta. Watch the little hill animals come out of hibernation and plants blossom again in the spring. Off-season travelling in Chopta is discouraged because of a rugged terrain and unfriendly weather.
48. Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand: Mystically yours
Snow capped hills, wild flowers, walking among the clouds – is there any other formula for a better holiday? We think not! Enjoy the feel of being in one of the most relaxed and beautiful, yet unexplored tourist places of India. Valley of Flowers is a must do offbeat place.
July to September are the only months when trekking in Valley of Flowers is allowed. It is said that for one week in July, the hills look splashed with three different colors, owing to to the spread of flowers on the valley. Mesmerising, don’t you think?
49. Kalimpong, West Bengal: A Kindgom in the Clouds
An offbeat hill station in West Bengal that hasn’t been explored a lot by too many people outside the East. Tibetan monasteries and crafts and churches make it a lovely retreat for the summer and winters. Make sure to shop for orchids in the elaborate flower markets of Kalimpong.
March to June, September to December are the best months to visit this offbeat paradise, Kalimpong.
50. Shantiniketan, West Bengal: Peace Retreat.
Shantiniketan is that break to unwind which you’ve been eyeing forever. Chill, away from the hustle and bustle of city life and the extremely pervasive cyberworld. Unplug, meditate, and go back a happier person! Famous for housing Rabindranath Tagore’s home and his vision in the shape of a University, this little offbeat town in the Birbhum district of West Bengal is a lovely place to feel better about yourself.
Late August to March. The “Posh-mela”, which is held around Spring, is a major attraction in this otherwise quiet town. Holi is a beautiful time to visit too, when Shantiniketan comes alive with colors and kite-playing.
51. Bishnupur, West Bengal: Come, find yourself.
Bishnupur is one beautiful place in Bankura district of West Bengal that everyone should explore front and back. To all those who find peace and happiness in quiet and quaint old towns, I beckon you to explore this little villagey-town. Stay for 5 or 6 days and walk around and get to know it’s special terracotta temples as old as time and as precious as gems. Connoisseurs of art, come and buy terracotta figurines, Baluchari sarees and other neat handicrafts that Bishnupur specializes in.
October to March is a good time to visit this offbeat place. Revel in the Sankranti mela that specializes in local handicrafts and is staged at the time of Makar Sankranti (Mid-January). On winter mornings, enjoy several glasses of date-syrup (khajoor ras) harvested by the local farmers. However, you have to be an early bird for this one, as the syrup is harvested from date trees as early as 4 A.M, much before dawn!
- Sponsored Content -