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iXiGOers Jun 05 2013

Which are the beautiful offbeat places in India?

Ravinder Malik Jun 05 2013
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Bored of visiting the conventional tourist locations? Tired of jostling through the crowd thronging the same holiday destination that you choose after much consideration? Here is a list of locales that have remained concealed from the world's eyes.

Dras Valley, Jammu and Kashmir

The Dras valley begins at the base of the Zojila pass, regarded as the Himalayan gateway to Ladakh and is situated in the legendary Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir. Dras Valley’s inhabitants have been enduring the harsh winters with a fortitude that it has earned them the epithet of being the Guardian’s of Ladakh’s gateway.

In the local language ‘Dras’ means Hell and it earned the name by being the “Second Coldest Colonized Place in Asia” as the temperature can tumble as low as 60 degree Celsius below freezing point. For those who want to explore this winter wonderland the easiest access route is to take a bus or drive down Kashmir.

The ideal time to visit Dras is during the summer months of June and september. It is an ideal vacation spot for hard core trekkers. It is a befitting base for a 3-day long trek to the Suru valley. The trek offers you the breathtaking view of the rustic upland villages dotting both sides of the Umbala pass, which is along the way. Numerous shorter treks and hikes to some of the sparsely inhabited upland villages are also available.

All the travelers should not miss the Dras War Memorial and the accompanying Museum that was established to commemorate the martyrs of the Kargil War. Another suggestion would be to explore the Draupadi Kund, which is famous for being her last ritualistic bathing place before her subsequent death in the Himalayas. Don’t forget to enjoy the local rendition of thukpa, tsampa and skyu which will stave off the chills, if not by the delicious flavors then just by it’s warmth!

Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh

True to it’s name, Spiti Valley is the ‘middle land’ between India and Tibet. It is a desert mountain valley located high in the Himalaya mountains and is unmarred by the tourists who throng nearby locales of Dharamshala, Shimla etc. The valley’s culture draws its inspiration from the Buddhist culture and hence the most famous tourist destinations are the Ki monastery and the Tabo monastery which are said to be the Dalai Lama’s favourite too!

Lahaul and Spiti are separated from the Kullu valley by the Rohtang Pass. Sparse roads connects the two divisions and are frequently cut off in winter and spring due to heavy snow. The valley is generally cut off from the north for about eight months of the year because of heavy snowfalls. Hence the best route is a motorable road from Shimla via the Satluj Valley upto Kaza which remains open from May to October. This is also the time when number of tourists and visitors hits a yearly high and most of the hotels in Spiti remain bustling with guests. One could also approach from Manali via the Rohtang Pass. It is also gaining international recognition for being one of few places adapting to responsible eco-tourism in India.

Champhai, Mizoram

Better known as the ‘Rice bowl of India’, Champai is also a rare location in Mizoram where a vivid chain of green hills encircle the resplendent rice fields and add to the beauty of this place. As it experiences an year round pleasant weather, it is a lucrative travel destination for all those who want to beat this scorching heat!

For those who enjoy nature trails at its best, Champai has a lot to offer in the form of the Murlen National Park and the Lengteng Wildlife Sanctuary. The most unusual fauna which inhabits this region is the Malayan giant squirrel, Hoolock gibbon, Himalayan Black Bear, Rhesus macaque,Serow, Hume's Pheasant, Kallej Pheasant, and dark rumped swift. The Murlen National park attracts a lot of nature buffs because of the morbid curiosity to see an area in the park where not even a single sun’s ray can penetrate, ergo it is also known as the ‘losing area of seven fellow-men’ or ‘land of no return’.

Champhai is also famous for its colourful tribal traditions, orchids and lustrous surroundings, it also has several hamlets that are stippled with monuments and monoliths. The Kungawrhi Puk is one of the chief attractions of this region as its ancient cave is believed to be the entrance to the underworld and has a huge opening by the side of a local hill. For those who are alcohol lovers, locals in Champhai brew their very own delicious wine and beer. Zawlaidi is the top wine brand and apparently the most favored local brew of the state. So, don’t forget to get yourself a bottle of wine when you gaze at the gorgeous sunset framing the Blue mountains.

Thalon Caves, Manipur

The Thalon cave in Manipur were lying undiscovered till the year 1946, till the then Maharaja of Manipur, Budhachandra, uncovered it. These caves provided the first concrete evidence of the Hoabinhian culture in India.Currently it is thronged by anthropologists and archaeologists from all over the world. The caves can be reached after an hour of trekking from the Thalon village which is easily accessible from either the Dimapur railway station or the Imphal airport.

The cave is a part of Manipur tourism festival and the cave expeditions are only open for 3 weeks in which participant from across the globe grab a chance to experience the long dark caves filled with the eerie sounds of the sea. To reach here you will need to travel from Delhi to Imphal by flight, thereon approach the cave by road towards Tamenglong district which is about 3 hours away from Imphal. The cave is located amidst darkness and makes an intriguing visit for those who travel the globe in search of spooky excitement.

Mattur, Karnataka

Mattur or Mathur, a quaint village on the banks of river Tunga, on the outskirts of Shimoga town is slowly gaining nationwide recognition for the usage of Sanskrit for day-to-day communication. It is also unique in its support to nourish Gamaka art, which is an exclusive form of singing and storytelling in Karnataka.

One of the well known tourist attractions are Rama Mandira which is built inside a nice garden with flowing freshwater stream nearby. The Someshwara temple and Lakshmikeshava temple are also very famous. You can also enjoy the breathtaking Jog Falls in Shimoga which is in the vicinity of Mattur. This is the highest waterfall in India and during the monsoons the curiously named jets named Raja, Rani, Rocket, and Roarer fill it in full strength. Some of the arecanut and coconut plantations also offer tours to the travelers; just driving past them gives you a memorable experience.

Pythal Mala, Kerala

White thick mists surround the environs of Pythal Caves like a mystical blanket. This is one of the lesser known hill stations of Kerala, it is a nature lover’s delight. Pythal Mala also offers an exciting 6 km trek to the top of the hill which is an obvious delight to all the avid trekkers. The hill is also being developed to a fully fledged hill resort. A proposal to set up a zoo is also underway. For those who make it to the top of the hill, a watch tower at the top of cliff providing breathtaking views of the regions is an added delight.

The nearest airport is at Calicut (Kozhikode); If you are travelling by train the nearest railway station is at Kannur. We would suggest that you travel to Pythal by road from either Kannur or Payyanur and soak up the beautiful scene of palm trees rushing in a whirl. When en route Pythal Mala you could also make a stop to see the beautiful Kanjirakoli falls. Oh and don’t forget to taste the excellent masala and lemon teas from the numerous stalls dotting the road!

Piram Island

Historically Piram Island has been referred to as a haven for pirates, and this intriguing fact attracts a lot of visitors. It might be a small island situated in the Gulf of Khambhat, but it has great tourism potential. The Island is approachable by a machine boat-about an hour’s sailing from Ghoga Port. It is an ancient island which is rich in marine life, history and archaeological wonders and an exclusive private island that is slowly developing into recurring haunt for those who like privacy even when visiting the beaches.

Nature lovers and avid bird watchers frequent this island as there are more than 50 species of birds are spotted on this island, most of them are migratory and some of them are even endangered species. As it is a closed economic system, Piram has an ideal environment to demonstrate the best practices based on ecotourism and sustainable development. The lighthouse offers tours which is a hit with frequent tourists and recent researches even claim to have found Jurassic age evidences here!

So discover these beautiful out of the box locations this summer and be rewarded with stunning locales, interesting things to do and mouth watering treats that each of this unique place's cuisine has to offer.

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