Lately I’ve been dreaming about India.
It’s a destination that has always drawn and intimidated me, and when a friend recently returned from an extended visit with tales of heightened senses, flavours, sounds and colours, I am really wanting to plan a visit with her as my guide.
Which means that when Rohit Agarwal contacted me asked if he could do a guest post, I was thrilled and said yes. These are his recommendations to travellers who want something a little bit off the beaten track. I personally had heard of none, and am intrigued by most. As below.
‘For tours and picnics in India many choose the popular destinations, but have you looked to the offbeat places? If no, please do and see how enjoyable your experience is going to be. These are my favourites.
1. Thoseghar Falls
Thoseghar falls are located in a tiny hamlet of the same name 20 km from Satara, Maharashtra. In the tranquil ambience of the forested alpine environs watch a series of pristine plunging cascades. En-route to the waterfalls you can visit the Kas Plateau and witness the heavenly sight of wild blossoms displaying vivid hues.
2. Laitlum Canyons
Laitlum Canyons situated in Shillong, Meghalaya is a must visit site. This one is for those who crave a stunning sight. The vast expanse of soaring lush green grass that sways to the chilly breeze in this serene locale is really mesmerizing. Looking down the progressive mountain ranges from here makes them appear as canyons.
3. Ashvem Beach
If it is Goa beaches that you insist on going to then choose a lesser known one. Ashvem Beach is a peaceful alternate retreat. Enjoy the solitude, walking along the pristine sand listening to the lulling sounds of the azure blue waves accompanied by the rustling of the palm leaves. It is sheer enthralling.
4. Manas National Park
Situated in Assam Manas National Park is a biodiversity reserve where elephants and tigers enjoy their natural habitat provided in the confines of the sanctuary. The compelling view of the natural landscape and the spectacular scenery offered by the alluvial grasslands, forested hills and evergreen forests frequented by these beasts draws you to it and leaves you asking for more.
For those who adore places with a historic appeal Pavagarh-Champaner, studded with forts and bastions is one to go to. Ruins of ancient royalty at Machi, Kalimata Temple, Shiva Temple, Virasat Van garden, Vada Talav, Kabootar Khana, situated at its foothills are must visit spots. It is a sure-fire offbeat destination which will leave you hypnotised to the core.
The semi-arid land of Rajasthan is home to forts, palaces, frescoes and provides an essence of impeccable architecture in Shekahvati. The fascinating artwork here is the combination of the traditional and contemporary.
7. Parvati Valley
Trekkers, backpackers, nature buffs in search of a haven to visit during their vacation will find the village in the Parvati Valley Himachal Pradesh an ideal place to spend some quality time. Lap up the pleasant weather while walking the wooden bridge, view the protected hills and picturesque valley, savour the local fare. Everything is simply heavenly.
Located in Madhya Pradesh, Orchha stands on a gigantic palace fort. Visiting it you will get a sense of the lost splendour of yesteryear. The other points of interest in this hamlet are Jantu Tower, Sikargarh, view points and more. It is home to several temples and tombs, which take you down history lane revealing much of the architecture of that time.
9. Nubra Valley
Kashmir has always been known for its timeless and ethereal beauty. Enjoying this in Nubra Valley, a lesser known part of Kashmir, will be most beguiling. The rivers that course through this valley offer a view that is worth beholding. This is an ideal place to visit for the nature enthusiasts who are always on the lookout for such captivating views.
10. Banasura Sagar Dam
Found among the Western Ghats on the banks of river Kabini, the Banasura Sagar Dam is a must visit offbeat site. The dam has a reservoir which is dotted with a few small islands. The backdrop of the hills offer a very splendid view. A picnic or a visit to this place with loved ones will surely be revitalising.’
Did you have fun unravelling the secrets of these lesser known destinations? I know I did.
Several places have some inbuilt secrets. Avid travellers like Rohit Agarwal can unravel them and know about such places through his blogs on Trans India Travels.