Travel is one of those indulgences in life that leaves us happier and richer. Be it soaking in sights or earning exquisite experiences, satiating your thrill or discovering your calling, traveling can even be a therapy. There’s perhaps greater joy in dealing with the unknown than with exploring known facets of any place. Which is why you should be totally rooting for unexplored terrains to tread on your next wanderlusting venture. The vast land of diversity that India is, the country has a host of places that remain in relative obscurity even when they are no less amazing than their more famous counterparts. Here are some such names that count among the unexplored places in India and that totally deserve your attention-
Gandikota, Andhra Pradesh
The Grand Canyon of India- that’s what Gandikota is. Yet despite its ample exuberance and breathtaking magnificence- literally on the face of it, this place in Andhra Pradesh remains relatively veiled in oblivion. Though with its picturesque terrains and geographical significance, Gandikota should have easily emerged a winner, yet it remains one of the most unexplored places in India.
Gandikota is in fact a small village sought to be made famous by its spectacular gorge lined by red granite hills. With the river Pennar cutting through the Erramala hills, India’s Grand Canyon is a sight that stands true to its eponymous legacy. What’s more, the beauty and grandness of the entire place is perfectly steeped in the majestic architecture of the Gandikota fort, making it a potential multi- faceted tourist destination. Pristine settings untouched yet by rampant commercialisation and a haven for all lovers of nature and beauty, as well as history and archaeology should be reason enough for you to venture to seemingly foreign locales within India for your next grand trip.
Nighoj Potholes, Ahmednagar (Maharashtra)
There’s no wonder that the Nighoj Potholes are Maharashtra’s best kept secret. It is indeed surprising that a natural wonder as surreal as these hundreds of years old potholes is not a phenomenon raved about. It should be though, given the splendor of its carved rock like structures, painstakingly worn out by the Kukdi river in its reddish- black Basalt rock riverbed.
These geological marvels are a sight that will take you aback with the sheer precision of their sharply carved craters. Even in its tremendous impact, both with the force that created it and the one that it has upon you in its full view, the Nighoj potholes are truly a spectacle to be astonished by. Perhaps what still makes this spot among the most unexplored places in India is that the magnificence of the sight does not strike you unless you get up, close and personal with it.
The largest river island in the world, Majuli in Assam sits pretty encircled by the gushing waters of the mighty Brahmaputra river and has a certain surreality beckoning from within its midst. Of late Majuli has begun to gain prominence for its unique distinction and cultural significance and heritage. Culturally vibrant and naturally boisterous, Majuli is enticing in all its aspects. Yet it is a matter of lament that even with significant richness of pristinity and natural endowments, and peaceful environs and happy vibes, it still is one of the lesser known among unexplored places in India.
Velas, Ratnagiri (Maharashtra)
Flocking off to faraway foreign locales and exotic destinations to revel in the sight of adorable turtle hatchlings just emerging out of egg shells sounds all so enticing and cool. Until you realise that there is a place within India where you can watch just the same, albeit in quaint seclusion. In the Konkan belt of the state of Maharashtra thrives a village that also helps our slow crawling friends thrive in equal abundance. This quaint village that goes by the name Velas guards the endangered species of turtles aggressively enough to host even an annual turtle festival on its coastal sands. Speak of offbeat and get some place so obliging. Now that’s what’s indeed cool!
Chembra Lake, Wayanad (Kerala)
A heart shaped lake nestled in the entices of a path that leads to a peak of enduring magnificence- how mystifying is that?! That’s exactly what the Chembra Lake in Kerala’s Wayanad encompasses in its gorgeous confines- greenery merged with a certain romance, not just in the aura but also in physicality.
And it isn’t just the heart shape of the lake that will have you in with all its captivating beauty. The waters of the lake is believed to possess healing powers and it is said that the heart does not ever dry out. Wit its magical setting in lush, unadulterated greenery, this surely is one spot to rewind all the worries of life and bask instead in an unending pouring of joyful love. Unexplored and somewhat mysterious, sounds so much like a luxurious retreat in nature!
Nubra Valley, Leh (J&K)
We have forever been enticed by the Paradise on Earth that Kashmir is. Yet there isn’t much we know about the many paradises that manifest within this Indian state itself. In the Leh distict of Jammu and Kashmir lies the Nubra valley, another of the unexplored places in India. With its rough desert like conditions, the valley might seem out of place with the snowy landscapes of Ladakh. But once you witness the sand dunes of the valley, you will know the magic is exactly what is encompassed by the breathtaking beauty of Leh- Ladakh in its other wordly settings.
Andretta, Himachal Pradesh
A Himalayan village sitting low on the inclines of the snow covered Dhauladhar peak, Andretta is a, artist’s delight and a curator’s fancy. With its picture perfect landscape, yearnings of the artistic mind is the first thing you would expect out of this hamlet in the hills. And boy, wouldn’t you be fascinated!
Andretta has everything crafty you can conceive of- this connoisseur of arts in India houses the crafts of pottery making and terracotta, art and drama, painting and sculpting, and virtually every other craft that makes it truly distinguished as the village of artists. If a rendezvous with art and culture, peace and tranquility, beauty and charm is your pick for the day, be sure to tread into this very offbeat and unexplored place in India.
Even with its leopard spotting enthralling, Jawai in Rajasthan remains less favoured with travel enthusiasts and the like, making it one of the most unexplored places of India. A premier leopard spotting destination, Jawai boasts of the best of Rajasthani experiences mingled with the adventures of its majestic wildlife. If a luxurious, exotic getaway is on your mind for your next weekend trip, then Jawai will offer it all to have you high on enthusiasm.
Nongkhnum River Island, Nongstoin (Meghalaya)
India isn’t home to only the largest river island in the world. The country also boasts of nestling the second largest river island in Asia, the Nongkhnum river island in Megahalaya. Pretty and pristine, it’s a wonder how people even from the north eastern part of the country have not yet discovered this watery promenade of sheer delight. Lush green landscapes serenading the sparkling blue waters under clear blue skies, the bifurcation of the Kynshi river led to the creation of this fresh water island that is a wonder in so many respects. Dotted by dainty natural flora and fauna, Nongkhnum is every inch a traveler’s paradise even in its relative obscurity.
If you are someone seeking respite in some place exclusive then Dras is where you should be. Whether it be the reputation of being the second most inhabited among the coldest places of the world or its obscurity within the majestic landscape of Ladakh that nestles it, Dras is one of those worthy yet unexplored places in India. Dras in fact is so cold that even the conflict zone that this place has been till only some time back could not heat up environs enough to not let us feel the chills. We indeed are mere mortals at nature’s mercy!
At an elevation of 3350 metres, everything about Dras is very cool and calm. The cold environs is perfectly complemented by the sleepy vibe that characterises the town. A tourist spot catapulted to fame by the Kargil War of 1999, Dras very soon gained on its picturesque and locational advantage to emerge as a place that beckoned with its natural abundance.
The snowy white expanse of paradise that Dras is, the place witnesses considerable tourist footfall who brave the intense cold to seek respite from the scorching summer heat that makes life difficult elsewhere in the country. Yet given the amazing amassment of its natural beauty, Dras certainly deserves more.
Kaas valley, Maharashtra
Kaas valley or the valley of flowers is a place in Maharashtra that has been a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2012. It is one of those few places in the Maharashtra region of India that remains unexplored. Home to a mind boggling over eight hundred species of flowers, the valley is a stretch of alluring prettiness in all its many hues.
On the high hills of the Sahyyadri range in Panchgani, the flower valley is a bed of vibrancy. Flowers of all colours and sizes, in different shapes and blossoms dot the valley in all its wilderness. It’s impossible to stand on some spot overseeing the valley and not be mesmerised by the splash of colors and the fragrance of joyous bloom at play. Equally entrancing are the many butterflies that sit daintily on the swaying petals, sucking the nectar out of them or just fluttering along amidst the maze of prettiness. There’s also the equally enchanting Kaas lake nearby, which makes the valley a wholesome expression of beauty.
Maravanthe, Udupi (Karnataka)
One of Karnataka’s most picturesque beaches, there’s more to Maravanthe than just meets the eye. In its beauty, this Karnataka beach and village harbors an identity that is as unique as its distinctive allure. What’s very spectacular about this particular place in the country is the wonderful confluence that comes to life at this paradise of prettiness. The roaring Arabian sea on one side and the calm Souparnika River on the other, the white sandy beaches of the Maravanthe isn’t just any amalgamation of beauty: it’s a treasure trove of wonder as well!
Mechuka, Arunachal Pradesh
A place less known and lesser explored is Mechuka that counts also as one among those destinations that experience snowfall in India. Nestled in Arunachal Pradesh, this untouched Shangri- La indeed is a milky terrain in winters and a lush paradise in summers. Surreal expanses of snow clad mountains render the place a breathtaking appeal, which interestingly has a name that literally translates as medicinal water of snow. Nestled in oblivion even when it is rampant in wonders, Mechuka makes snowfall look prettier than usual.
Malana, Kullu Valley (Himachal Pradesh)
You can already decipher the wondrous beauty Malana is with its striking epithet. Nicknamed the little Greece of India, this is another Himachali hamlet that remains virtually nestled in oblivion even in all its glory. But not just in its breathtaking essence, Malana is very much the Greece of India in also its claim to its inhabitants being the descendants f Alexander The Great. Isn’t it unusual that a place so shrouded in legacy should remain veiled from the greater world view?
Malana’s dive into obscurity though is self imposed. Intensely secretive and passionately guarding its seclusion, Malana had only been a hermit village till not long ago. But even in its modern day spotlight, Malana still retains the crispness of its mountain air and the mystery of its natural abundance. Whether you want to delve into some soul searching or are simply seeking solace in seclusion, this relatively unexplored of the places of India is for sure your calling for the ultimate peace!
Auli in Uttarkhand might be famed as the ski capital of India but this snowy paradise still remains one among the many lesser explored places in India. Offbeat in it being a snow haven in Uttarakhand, Auli deserves a visit if you are someone seeking adventure in every outing. Skiing inclines and panoramic peaks, lofty pinnacles and trekking trails, Auli’s snowy exploits are thrilling and titillating to the senses in equal measure. Auli however has more than just its snowy claim to fame. The skiing spirit also necessitated the creation of one of the world’s highest man made lakes in this pretty hill station.
For those who have been forever enamoured by the ravishing free fall of waterfalls, it’s a pity that you haven’t witnessed the stunning Thoseghar falls yet. What makes the waterfalls nestled within the tiny hamlet of pristinity that Thoseghar is, unique is that it in fact is a series of falls with starkly varying heights!
Sparkling water finding its unabated way into the lush forests below in the most tranquil of environs- that’s exactly where the charm of Thoseghar lies. A view of the cascading waterfalls amidst the calmingly green cliffs is a treat for the senses, soothing in the aesthetics and euphoric in the abundance. There’s really no reason why this spot should have occupied standing in the list of unexplored places in India. Yet unexplored it is, and perhaps it is in this obscurity that the Thoseghar falls still remains so breathtaking in its verdancy.