Some travel to experience, while others travel to escape. If you belong to the latter category, there’s nothing you value more than some peace and quiet. Not for you are the popular tourist destinations, teeming with noisy tourists and chockfull of shops and other tourist traps. Luckily, India is a huge country and there are always places which are on the verge of breaking out into the mainstream. We’ve found several such destinations that that are off-the-beaten-path escapes.
We’ve all heard of Dharamsala and the other Tibetan settlements in the north, but very few have heard about the small village of Mainpat which is popularly known as the ‘Shimla of Chhatisgarh’, and is home to a significant number of Tibetan religious exiles. Things have been looking up for Mainpat since the development of some basic infrastructure and the place has become a lot more tourist-friendly these days with the introduction of guest houses for travellers, too. Work is on to develop the place further, so it won’t be long until tourists make a beeline for this beautiful village.
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Where should you go in Arunachal Pradesh? Anywhere, really. The sad truth is that this most beautiful of states has remained largely unexplored, even though it has so much to offer the curious tourist. Fortunately, people are waking up to the fact that Paradise exists within the country – of late, several major art and music festivals have been hosted in the state, bringing along with them the usual bandwagon of awestruck travellers. The Orange Music Festival – set amidst the orange orchards of Dambuk – combines music and adventure sports, while the Ziro Festival of Music gives travellers a chance to meet the indigenous Apatani tribe.
Arunachal Pradesh – Paradise in India
Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu
If you’re looking for the sun and sand of Goa, but you really don’t want to put up with the milling crowds that are part of the equation, then Rameshwaram is the place for you. This lesser-explored beach retreat is ideal for kayaking, snorkelling, and all sorts of water sports, which make the most of the gorgeous blue water. Once you’re done with the swimming, take a trip to the nearby ghost town of Dhanushkodi, which was abandoned after a cyclone razed it to the ground in the ‘60s.
Jatayu National Park, Kerala
We’ve placed this one last on this list because it won’t be open to tourists until December 2017, but once we tell you what it’s about, you’ll see why we couldn’t wait to share this future hotspot with you. Located at Chadayamangalam in the Kollam district of Kerala, this rock-themed adventure park will be home to a 200ft-long, 150ft -wide, 70ft-tall sculpture of the mythical bird Jatayu, making it the largest bird sculpture in the world. In addition to this, the park will also feature several adventure sports such as mountain biking, rock climbing, bouldering, zip lining as well as paint ball, laser tag, archery and air-rifle shooting among others. Perfect for a weekend getaway.
The world’s largest bird sculpture at Jatayu National Park
Thosegar Falls, Maharashtra
Okay, so this one isn’t that big a secret to the people of Maharashtra, but it’s surprisingly unheard of by tourists from other parts of the country. Nestled away near the little village of Thosegar, these falls are just 20 km from Satara and a great picnic spot between Mumbai and Pune. At 500 metres in height, estimates place the Thosegar Falls as India’s tallest waterfall, but there’s much more to a trip there than just getting wet in the resulting mist – the surrounding countryside is a pleasure to trek through as well.
We’ve all grown up dreaming about seeing the snow. Now, it turns out, you don’t even have to go high into the mountains to experience this childhood dream. Tucked away in Odisha is the increasingly-popular hill station of Daringbadi, which is known for its annual snowfall. However, if you intend on visiting the place while it’s still relatively unknown you’d best hurry, since it’s poised to become a major tourist destination once they open up the proposed nature camp, which is being developed by the Odisha government to promote eco-tourism in Daringbadi.
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