India’s Most Beautiful – A Photo Essay

This, clearly, isn’t a bid to take over Taj Mahal’s claim to fame. Still, it’s time to add more to that one miniature of it that you have by your work station. It needs company; doesn’t it? So here are the lesser known, more vibrant shades of India.


Beauties, made alive by camera lens.


Saffron Farms, Pampore

Photo Courtesy – Wikimedia Commons

Did you get the whiff that has just turned all the shades a wee bit dapper, sweeter? Well, that’s the breeze coming from the saffron farms of Pampore, Jammu and Kashmir. These grounds produce world’s best saffron. The one that goes in the making of Saffron Champagne. Farmers here are too happy to show visitors around, as they go about, deftly picking the fragile stalks from the flowers.


Alluring, ain’t it?


Nearest airport – Srinagar

Nearest railway station – Kakapora & Srinagar Railway Station


Lighthouse, Kovalam

Watch the Arabian see bathing in silver blue at Kovalam Lighthouse Beach at night. While the stars overhead contend, fiercely, for the colours, the on and off beam from the lighthouse gives them a tough run. You might as well play the judge.


Nearest airport – Trivandrum International Airport

Nearest railway station – Trivandrum Central


Nageen Lake, Srinagar

Photo courtesy–Akanksha Gupta

Alright. We know you know Dal Lake. But there’s this lesser known mirror of glistening waters, Nageen Lake. The water gives way, slowly, to the dropping sun as it turns a dapper shade of orange. Whiff in a cup of kehwa, as you get a heady high.


Nearest Airport – Srinagar Airport

Nearest Railway Station – Srinagar Railway Station


Guru Rinpoche Statue, Rewalsar


Wikimedia Commons – John Hill

As the mist rises above the waters of Rewlasar Lake, it sweeps over the giant statue of Guru Rinpoche in an entrancing fashion. While the pines, deodar, and sals make for a fabled backdrop, you will but only sigh at nature’s play.


Nearest airport – Bhuntar Airport/Kullu Airport

Nearest railway station – Kiratpur Railway Station (125 km from Mandi)


Chandra Tal Lake, Himachal Pradesh

Christopher L Walker

A campers’ delight, Chandra Tal is tucked far above in the mighty Himalayas. While prayer flags flutter in the wind that rises from the scree trees, a surreal silence takes over. This is one of those places that make you wish, dream and, of course, sigh.


Nearest airport – Bhuntar Airport/Kullu Manali Airport

Nearest railway station – Mukerian Railway Station



Varanasi Ghats, Varanasi


As the first rays of Sun touch the waters at Varanasi, the horizon sees a riot of colours. Bathed in orange, the bathing ghats brim with life as the boatmen ferry across the river. Somewhere in the background, prayer bells start chiming. Surreal – we call it.


Nearest airport – Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, Varanasi

Nearest railway station – Varanasi Cantt Railway Station, Varanasi


Apricot Orchards, Nubra Valley 


More like an oasis in the middle of a hilly desert, the apricot orchards at Nubra are alluring. While the flowers come blooming with the onset of spring, the smells comes wafting across the Himalayan landscapes. A treat for eyes, and, of course, taste buds.


Nearest airport  – Leh Kushok Bakula Rinpoche Airport, Leh

Nearest railway station – Jammu Tawi Railway Station, Jammu


About the author


Shikha Gautam loves to travel, read, plays flute and guitar among other things. Not necessarily in that order! You can contact her on twitter @Shikha Gautam