30 Most Offbeat Destinations In India
Bored of the common tourist trails? Are you in a quest to set off to a new place? The offbeat places in India will definitely bestow an amazing experience. Escape the hustle-bustle of city life and coddle in unbelievable experiences. Vacations in these lesser-known offbeat destinations in India are truly stupendous. Avoid crowds, travel amidst untouched natural beauty and extraordinary cultures, and get to experience a surplus of new things.
These days, more and more people are seeking out for destinations off the charted routes. We bring to you a list of top 30 offbeat destinations in India which not only endow with a relaxing getaway but also some treasured memories.
1. Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh
A picturesque little village situated in the Lower Subansiri District in the North-East state of Arunachal Pradesh, Ziro has been on the World Heritage Site atlas since quite a few years due to its perpetual cultural heritage, natural beauty, and its renowned music festival. Despite its small size, this tiny village is acknowledged to have the highest number of schools in Arunachal Pradesh.
2. Mawlynnong, Meghalaya
Mawlynnong is a old-world little village nestled in the immaculate hills of Meghalaya, by the side of the Indo-Bangla border. Apart from the fame in being “Asia’s cleanest village”, this small village also draws vacationers because of the “Living Root Bridge” in the close by Rewai village, which is an exceptional natural formation, and the Sky Walk, which is a 85 feet bamboo structure and provides a bird’s eye vision of the village and a panoramic sight of Bangladesh’s plains.
3. Kuldhara, Rajasthan
Kuldhara is recognized for having been deserted by its locals once upon a time. Legend believes that a powerful minister wished to marry a village girl against her will. So as to save her from this dilemma, the villagers left behind their home and village and vanished overnight. They are also thought to have thrown a curse on the village that the land would be uninhabited for all time to come. It’s held to be haunted too, so visit at your own risk!
4. Lonar Crater, Maharashtra
Are you a enthusiast of science fiction? Do you seek to visit the place where meteorite hit the earth around 50,000 years ago, resulting in changes to the environment? Well, you will have to reach Buldhana of Maharashtra. The crater shaped by the meteorite strike is today a saline lake. This distinctive environment makes it an abode to many fascinating animals and inimitable backdrops.
5. Haflong, Assam
Called as the “Switzerland of the East,” this small town is located in Assam. The hills of Haflong are celebrated for more than 2 lakh types of flowers seen therein. Haflong Lake, positioned in the core of the hill station, is one of the biggest water bodies of Assam. For adrenaline junkies, Haflong also endows with colossal scope for gliding, para gliding and even trekking. This makes it one of the best offbeat places to visit in India.
6. Kasol, Himachal Pradesh
Kasol is a little village established in the heart of the state of Himachal Pradesh. The place is just 5 km from Manikaran, an area famous for hot water springs and many spiritual activities. The hamlets in the Parvati Valley are famous for their production of “Ganja” or marijuana, which is why one will see tourists from across the world here. There are a range of treks available from Kasol such as the Yanker Pass Trek and Sar Pass Trek, among many others, which offer trekkers with hypnotic views of the mountains and valleys.
7. Malana, Himachal Pradesh
When you are looking for an offbeat tour in India, you cannot miss this little ‘Greece of India’. This hermit village of Himachal Pradesh is the big screen offbeat destination. Are you aware of the fact that this utopia does not even have a police station? With no business giants out there, it is all nature and you. Walk through the villages, relish the local culture, participate in rituals, enjoy adventure activities and enjoy the dream of your happy vacation. It is also a fine romantic spot for anyone in quest for an adventure honeymoon.
8. Langza, Himachal Pradesh
Renowned as the ‘Fossil Village’ of Himachal’s Spiti Valley, Langza is peacefully nestled in a bowl shaped place at the crossroads between Tibet and India. Besides having an abundance of prehistoric marine fossils, Langza is also abode to a very tall 1000-year-old Golden Buddha statue that can be sighted from miles away. A place where times seem to pause, Langza’s snow sculpted countryside touches travellers and enthuse them in ways only nature can.
9. Shani Shingnapur, Maharashtra
A destination extraordinary from every other, Shani Shingnapur is a quaint village in Maharashtra that is known for a very unusual feature. The houses of this village don’t have any door as they are believed to be protected by divine powers. There definitely seems to be something to this as the area has a very less crime rate.
10. Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh
If you are in search for a getaway where you can merely sit back and seep in the ethereal splendor of your environs, then Khajjiar is where you ought to be. A background of green pine forests, extensive meadows, old-world chalets and a small stream-fed lake right at the mid of the glade has truly earned this settlement the title of ‘Mini Switzerland of India’.
11. Mandu, Madhya Pradesh
Sited in the Vindhya ranges at an elevation of around 2,000 feet, Mandu is a ruined city in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh. Considered as one of the best offbeat places to visit in India, Mandu has a long history that goes back to the 12th century. The rulers of different eras have constructed beautiful palaces such as the Jahaz and Hindola Mahals, marvelously built with ornamental canals, baths and pavilions that are today seen as architectural gems of the ancient times.
12. Sandakphu, West Bengal
Translated to connote ‘Height of the Poison Plant’, Sandakphu is considered as the highest peak in West Bengal that stands at about 3636m and cultivate poisonous aconite plants at its peak. After you reach the top, you will be happy to witness stunning views of four of the highest peaks in the world – the Everest, Makalu, Lhotse and Kanchenjunga.
13. Gurez Valley, Jammu & Kashmir
A land that is untouched, a land quite less traveled to, a land of heaven – The ‘Gurez Valley’ is an enthralling valley enclosed by the wonderful snow-capped Himalayas of Northern Kashmir. The valley has changeable landscapes, from a freshwater lake, twisty river to a dense shrubbery. Habba Khatoon, the well-known mountain peak of Gurez, gets tinted in diverse shades as sun rays slink across the mountains.
14. Orchha, Madhya Pradesh
The Betwa River that is surrounded with gigantic boulders has a little village called Orchha on its side that exhibits the regal Mughal Architecture of its time. There are also several palaces and cenotaphs that harmonize the green landscape in which it is settled. Orchha has its own tranquil and calm ways of alluring the traveler in you. A few other attractions you must visit are: PhoolBagh, Ram Raja Temple, Jehangir Mahal, Raja Mahal and Phalki Mahal.
15. Champaner Pavagadh, Gujarat
Taking pride in the rich history, the less-famous UNESCO World Heritage Site of Champaner Pavagadh is situated just 50kms from Vadodara. The archaeological park encloses the historical city of Champaner, and comprises of majestic palaces, ancient mosques, marvelously carved temples, tombs, arches and water tanks that were constructed long ago in the 16th century. A famous Hindu Shrine, Kalika Mata Temple stands tall on the Pavagadh Hill and draws thousands of pilgrims each year.
16. Tadoba, Maharashtra
With plethora of mammals, insects and amphibians flourishing at Tadoba National Park, this lesser known wildlife reserve in Maharashtra is one of the best offbeat places in India. Extensive stretching grasslands, vast wooded areas, marshes, and lakes offer a serene locale for tigers, sloth bears, panthers, hyenas, samba to name a few. Safe from excessive crowd of tourists, this wildlife sanctuary endows with an enchanting safari experience, where you can enjoy hours of jeep safari through the vast reserve.
17. Araku Valley, Andhra Pradesh
At a distance of about 120 km from Vishakhapatnam, Araku Valley has a picturesque view of the Eastern Ghats, green valleys, breathtaking waterfalls and streams that calmly embraces the concrete world on its outskirts. Though hardly ever visited and rare in its charming beauty, a road or rail journey is adequate to hypnotize the nature lover in you!
18. Papi Hills, Telangana
Where in India will you be able to take pleasure in a calm scenic boat voyage across rippling waters and striking green hills? Papi Hills has the response for you. An eye-catching gorge on the Godavari River of Andhra Pradesh, the Papi Hills offer extremely romantic and tranquil boat cruises along the river.The exquisiteness of the hills is captivating, and the sparkling Godavari reflects the sunset sky like no other.
19. Kumarakom, Kerala
Kumarakom is a village that is shaped by a cluster of many islands together. Carrying forward the captivating view of Kerala, Kumarakom is embroidered with coconut groves, water edges and boat rides. It is famous for its enchanting backwaters which provide leisure to tourists and fishing opportunities to the inhabitants. The houseboat experience is another unforgettable attraction.
20. Dhanushkodi, Tamil Nadu
A ghost town with a sky of eeriness, Dhanushkodi rests on the south-eastern tip of Pamban Island in Tamil Nadu. Considered inhabitable by the Government, Dhanushkodi today houses wrecks of a once active town which was totally destroyed by a cyclone in 1964. Reachable only by road, one can roam around at Dhanushlodi only till 5pm, after which the town is closed for visitors. It makes for an ideal day trip, where you can relax by the white sandy beach, and watch out at the ceaseless blue waters of the Bay of Bengal.
21. Chopta, Uttarakhand
The Chopta hills of Uttarakhand hold a huge attraction for tourists who take pleasure in trekking extensively. The hills let a beautiful view of the thrilling world beneath and a sporadic brush with the clouds is a familiar attraction of this place. Chopta Hills are adjoining to a wildlife sanctuary and provide a grandiose view of the snow-capped mountains and the meadows underneath.
22. Lachung, Sikkim
Lachung is a celestial abode nestled in the northern district of Sikkim. Hovering at a height of 9000 ft and bounded by snow-capped peaks, amidst the silver fir and the rhododendrons lies the stunning valley of Lachung. The road to Lachung passes through old-world villages, beautiful spots, and waterfalls. The farthest point towards the China border is Yumesamdong or the ‘Zero Point’ where you can spectacle the rare Himalayan Blue Sheep if you’re fortunate.
23. Kavaratti Island, Lakshadweep
Kavaratti Island is one of the most attractive gems from the Lakshadweep group of islands. Being the capital of Lakshadweep, this place surely must be added in your offbeat tour in India. Karavatti Island is yet another island famous for its amazing sea views and the immaculate white-sand beaches. The beaches are laden with the wavering coconut trees, and once you take a plunge inside the enormous expanse, you can see the plentiful marine life of the island.
24. Dausa, Rajasthan
Did you know, the puzzling step well that was featured as the ‘Pit’ in “The Dark Knight Rises”, is situated in a little village in Rajasthan? That’s Dausa for you, a picturesque traditional village situated near Jaipur with numerous other historical marvels like Bhadrawati Palace and Khawaraoji. It’s one of the top offbeat destinations in India that you can definitely visit with your family.
25. Agumbe in Karnataka
Situated on a plateau on top of Someshwara Ghat, Agumbe is in Shimoga district of Karnataka. This beautiful place in South India is renowned for its trekking trails. Along with waterfalls, the place is filled with ancient temples that date back a number of centuries. If you take a mini walk through the hamlet, you will be able to witness that the whole area is like a scene from the well-known book, ‘The Malgudi Days’.
26. Valley Of Flowers, Uttarakhand
Valley of Flowers is nestled in Chamoli district (near Badrinath) of Uttarakhand, roughly 300 km to the north of Rishikesh. This is a scenic national park, gracing the splendor of Western Himalayas. Valley of flowers was discovered in 1931 and is today a ‘World Heritage Site’ for its wild untamed blooms bounded by white peaks. An ideal place to relax around the innumerable Himalayan waterfalls, streams and paddocks that will allow the beauty of the place to seep in.
27. Tamenglong, Manipur
Tamenglong, Manipur is a marvellous district in Manipur full of natural and cultural diversity. Home to rare orchids, virgin forests, rare species of birds and animals, Tamenglong is also known as the Land of the Hornbill. River Barak and the seven waterfalls, Tharon cave, Zeiladlake and Buning (N-piulong) meadow are some of the tourist places which make Tamenglong tourism significant.
28. Hemis, Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir
Ladakh is by itself offbeat, proffered by adventure junkies. One of the less spoken about places in Ladakh, Hemis is a heavenly place bounded by snow-capped ranges all around. Do make a visit to the Hemis Gompa. The monastery is stunning and one must indeed spend time here. The Hemis National Park, the abode to the snow leopard is awe-inspiring. Hemis makes you forget bustling cities. Make the most of the simple pleasures and spend night star-gazing, you will surely love it.
29. Gokarna, Karnataka
Of the many attractive beach towns, Gokarna is one of the offbeat secret places of India. Famed for its pristine, clean beaches, Gokarna is a temple town principally, with a slow and comfortable atmosphere, which makes for a very interesting holiday. Away from hustle-bustle, the shores of the Karnataka town are soaked in beach bliss. Do pay a visit to the age-old temples. Go for a swim in the waters anytime of the day. The shacks on the beach serve amazing food, cool music and warm people.
30. Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
The picturesque town of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh encompasses the charisma of North East India. Widely known as the birth place of the sixth Dalai Lama, the pictorial town is a holy location of Tibetan Buddhism in India. You must visit the Tawang Monastery and Taktsang Gompa for pure ecstacy. Visit the Sela pass, Bumla Pass, the ethereal Shonga-tser Lake, Nuranang Waterfalls and Pankang Teng Tso Lake. The magnificent Gorichen Peak will rouse adventure spirit in you.
India’s beauty doesn’t lie only in its iconic attractions, but also in the offbeat corners.
India can be truly experienced only by travelling to lesser known places across the length and breadth of the country. The offbeat destinations in India such as, Ziro, Mawlynnong, Kuldhara, Lonar Crater, Haflong, Kasol, Malana, Langza, Shani Shingnapur, Khajjiar, Mandu, Sandakphu, Gurez Valley, Orchha, Champaner Pavagadh, Tadoba, Araku Valley, Papi Hills, Kumarakom, Dhanushkodi, Chopta, Lachung, Kavaratti Island, Dausa, Agumbe, Valley of Flowers, Tamenglong, Hemis, Gokarna and Tawang offer natural beauty and authentic culture. So, if you want to avoid the crowd and escape the hustle-bustle of city life, then take the road less travelled by and discover the hidden gems of India.