Be a traveller of your own kind, ditch the touristy India this time. The country borrows its uniqueness from the varied geographical features that have been formed over tens of thousands of years. What adds to the charm of these places is the rich history they come from.
When planning a trip, watch out for these unusual, offbeat places that can give you experiences to cherish for a lifetime.
Lonar Crater Lake, Maharashtra
Measuring 1.8 kilometres in diameter and 150 metres in depth, this crater lake was apparently formed 50,000 years ago when an asteroid hit the region, which is now famously called the Deccan Plateau. It is a popular destination among trekking enthusiasts and is located 150 kilometres away from Aurangabad.
Image credit: Vivek Ganesan
Gandikota canyon, Andhra Pradesh
While your American dreams brew a little longer, soak in the goodness that Gandikota canyon (Andhra Pradesh) has to offer. It’s an unending stretch of red granite rocks that guides the Pennar river. What’s fascinating about the canyon? A downhill trek that will lead you to the river bed.
Tsomgo Lake, Sikkim
If you are someone who enjoys living on the edge, a bike ride to this glacial water body is recommended. If not feeling adventurous, you could hire a car. Located at an altitude of 12,400 ft, Tsomgo lake attracts most visitors during winter season as it freezes over offering an interesting contrast with its surrounding mountains. Myth has it, old monks used to forecast the future based on the color the lake would change into.
Image credit: Indrajit Das
St. Mary’s Islands, Udupi, Karnataka
What makes one of these islands unique is its distinctive geological formation. The columnar basalt rocks sit on the shores of the beach firmly; it is said that they were formed millions of years ago when molten lava flowed into water.
Image credit: Man on Mission
Loktak Lake, Manipur
Tucked away in North East India, this one of its kind floating lake is home to 233 species of aquatic plants, over 100 species of birds, and 425 species of animals. Also, it has the honour of being the world’s only floating National Park.
Image credit: Sudiptorana
Barren Island, Andaman
India’s only active volcano, located at the Barren Islands, about 140 kilometre North East of Port Blair, has been spewing smoke since January this year. It’s highly recommended for thrill seekers as the island offers opportunity to scuba-dive and is also secluded, so you can have some alone time if you like. And don’t be psyched, the volcano last erupted in 1787.
Image credits: Arijay Prasad
Living Root Bridges, Meghalaya
Meghalaya is hit with excessive rain every year and therefore, the bamboo bridges cannot withstand the raging weather. Roughly 180 years ago, the Khasis built a solution around this and made the roots of rubber trees to pass through the hollows of Areca nut palm. Fancy, isn’t it?
Magnetic Hill, Leh
Bikers, gear up. Also known as the gravity hill, these hills’ surrounding slopes make it look like the vehicles on the road are rolling uphill instead of going downhill.
Krishna’s butterball, Mahabalipuram
A 250 tonne-heavy rock that stands balanced on a slope should be a good enough reason to get yourself tickets to this place. What’s more fascinating is that a part of the rock has weathered over the years and it now stands on a less than 4-feet-wide base.
Frozen river, Chadar trek
The trek on the frozen Zanskar river in Leh is risky, but is satisfying for any thrill-seeker. In the dead of the winter, the river freezes over and lets adventurists walk all over it. Temperatures almost drop to -35 C once you enter the Zanskar gorge.
Marble Rocks, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh
The Narmada river has carved a stunning 3-kilometre-long gorge that makes for any visitor’s delight. The rocks are as hard as a soap stone and therefore easy to carve. Shah Rukh Khan’s Asoka was briefly shot here.
Adventure mode on yet?