Category Archives: India

5 of the Oldest Churches in India

Churches and cathedrals in India are spread across the length and breadth of the country. Drawing inspirations from different colonised rulers, these places of worship are among the must visit attractions in the region. For those of you planning a holiday to India, here is a list of some of the most ancient churches in the country.

Churches in India

Santa Cruz Basilica, Kochi

One of the eight Basilicas in the south Indian province of Kerala, Santa Cruz Basilica is a must visit attraction in Kochi. Build originally by the Portuguese in 1558, the basilica is known for its gothic style architecture. The painting of the renowned Italian painter Fr Antonio Moscheni and the seven large canvas paintings including a beautiful reproduction of the ‘Last Supper’ by Leonardo da Vinci are top highlights here. The stained glass windows and paintings on the ceiling, depicting scenes from the life of the Jesus, are the other highlights.

Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa

A classic example of baroque architecture, Basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the most beautiful churches in Goa, India. Constructed in 1605 by a group of travellers, this ancient basilica features the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier along with several paintings and sculptures. Many visit to see the 17th century Florentine sculpture and the ornamented entrance gate.

The Christ Church, Shimla

Located on the famous Mall Road, The Christ Church is the second oldest church in this part of the country. Originally constructed in 1857, this beautiful neo-gothic structure today is one of the most important tourist attractions in Shimla. The five stained glass windows representing the Christian virtues of faith, hope, charity, fortitude, patience and humility are loved by the visitors. The church holds a valuable collection of books, ancient sculptures and paintings.

All Saints Cathedral, Allahabad

Popularly known as ‘Patthar Girja’, All Saints Cathedral is a classic example of traditional architecture and efficient workmanship. Preserving some of the ancient works of glass and marble for over 125 years, the beautiful gothic styled church is home to different plaques mentioning the deaths of different British officials during the colonial period. Every year on All Saints Day (1st November) the church celebrates its anniversary by offering prayers and feast.

Moravian Mission Church, Leh

Moravian Church is one of the most famous churches in India. Constructed using Bohemian design and architecture in 1457, the cathedral is home to ancient pictures and sculptures dating back to the time when Christianity set its grounds in India. The emblem ‘Lamb of God’ surrounded by the flag of victory is a big highlight here.

Top attractions in the Royal City of Mysore, India

Mysore

Also known as the ‘City of Palaces’, Mysore is one of most exciting cities in South India. A former capital of the erstwhile Kingdom of Mysore, the city today is noted for its ancient monuments and royal palaces.

Mysuru Palace

A historical palace built by Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV, Mysore Palace is one must visit tourist attraction in the city. Located in Chamrajpura district, this ancient structure is a classic example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. Within the palace there are numerous unique rooms and over 12 Hindu temples dating back to the early 14th century. The Someshvara Temple, Lakshmiramana Temple, Sri Bhuvaneshwari Temple and Kodi Someshwaraswami Temple are among the popular temples here. Sound and light shows are organized on a daily basis between 7 pm and 7:45 pm.

Keshava Temple, Somanathapura

One of the finest examples of Hoyasala architecture, Keshava Temple is a famous temple in Mysore. Housed inside a high walled enclosure, this popular 12th century construction is known for featuring amazing stone sculptures and paintings depicting scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagavad Gita. Relief carvings, decorative wall mouldings, pierced windows and other stone inscriptions add to the beauty of the temple. Within the temple there are three beautiful shrines of Lord Vishnu.

St. Philomena’s Cathedral

St. Philomena’s Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in India and tallest in Asia. Built in Gothic style with inspirations from Germany’s Cologne Cathedral, the popular church is known for its beautiful stained glass windows and paintings depicting important scenes from the life of the Christ. Wall images and sculptures showcasing the birth of the Christ, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, Resurrection and the Ascension of Christ are all impressive. A holy mass and prayer meetings are held daily at the sanctum sanctorum of the complex.

Namdroling Monastery

Located in Bylakuppe district, Namdroling Monastery is a beautiful site in Mysore. Founded in 1963 by a group of pilgrims, the monastery today is home to over 5000 lamas including both monks and nuns. Constructed using ancient Buddhist architecture style, Namdroling Monastery is home to several Tibetan mythology paintings and numerous gold plated statues of Buddha. The three idols of Buddha in a seated position are major attractions here. Around the festival of Losar (Tibetan New Year), the monastery is packed with visitors and devotees. Don’t miss the Lama dance and other celebrations held here!

Jaganmohan Palace

Built in traditional Hindu style, Jaganmohan Palace is a must visit site in the city. A former residence of the Wodeyars (Kings of Mysore), this beautiful palace today is a famous art gallery featuring works of prominent artists and painters from across the world. The gallery is home to the largest collection of artefacts in South India. Japanese engravings and paintings depicting scenes from the Hindu epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata are a major attraction here. The painting of a lady holding a white lamp is a big hit with the visitors.

Famous Hill Resorts in South India

Hill stations are among the top tourist attractions in India. While most of them are clustered in North India, there are few lovely ones in the Southern part of the country as well. Majorly spread across the states of Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, these hill stations offer much needed relief from the notoriously hot Indian summers.

Munnar

munnar

Located in the state of Kerala, Munnar is a toy-town hill station. Fondly called the ‘Swiss of South India’, the tiny hill town is home to beautiful tea gardens, lakes, valleys and waterfalls. It has a subtropical climate and offers an exciting range of wildlife, including grizzled giant squirrels, Nilgiri wood-pigeon, elephants, the Nilgiri langurs, and the sambars. Some of the major attractions here include the Tea Museum, Echo Point, Kundala Lake, Anamudi Peak and Attukal Waterfalls.

Ooty

ooty

Also known as ‘Queen of Hill Stations’, Ooty is located in the state of Karnataka and is famous for its thick forests, extensive grasslands and miles of tea gardens. The toy train, known as Nilgiri Mountain Railways running from Mettupalayam to Ooty is loved by families. The Ooty Lake, Botanical Garden, Rose Garden, Wenlock Downs, Pine Forest and Pykara Dam are among the popular attractions here.

Chikmagalur

Located in the foothills of Mullayanagiri range, Chikmagalur is another well-known hill station in the state of Karnataka. It is known for its vast coffee gardens, green forests and soaring mountains. For coffee in India was first cultivated here, it is also known as the coffee land of Karnataka. Hirekolale Lake, Amruthapura, Baba Budangiri, Mulliyangiri, Ayyanakere Lake, Kemmangundi and Manikyadhara Falls are among the noteworthy attractions here.

Coonoor

Located 6000 ft above sea level, Coonoor is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiri Hills after Ooty. Featuring some of the best ravines and valleys, the hill town is famous for its landscapes. Providing a panoramic view of the Nilgiri Hills, Coonoor is visited in large number by tourists from all over the world. Sim’s Park is a must visit attraction here. Lambs Rock, Dolphins Nose, Law’s fall and St. Catherine Falls are the other important sites to visit in Coonoor.

Kodaikanal

kodaikanal

Located in the state of Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal is a beautiful hill town in South India. Established in 1845, the city today is a hub for youngsters and the newlyweds. Kodai Lake, Bryant Park, Bear Shola Falls, Silver Cascade, Pillar Rocks and Coaker’s Walk are some of the popular attractions here. Most tourists visit the city in the summer months of April and June.

Wayanad

Located in the north-eastern end of Kerala, Wayanad is one of the most affordable hill stations in South India. Founded in 1980, the town is home to several waterfalls, dams, lakes and wildlife sanctuaries. Meenmutty Falls, Soochipara Falls, Kanthampara Falls, Pookote Lake, Banasura Sagar Dam and Karappuzha Dam are among the must visit attractions here. The Brahmagiri and Chembra Peak are the perfect spots for hiking and trekking.

Famous Hindu Temples in ‘God’s Own Country’ Kerala, India

kerala

A land full of ancient legends and exciting myths, Kerala, India’s southern state, is home to magnificent Hindu temples. Here is a list of some of the most famous temples in the ‘God’s Own Country’!

Padmanabhaswamy Temple

Located in the city of Thiruvananthapuram (or Trivandrum), Padmanabhaswamy Temple is a beautiful temple. Constructed in the early 8th century, it is known for its Dravidian style architecture. The beautifully crafted idol of Lord Vishnu (one of the principle deities in Hinduism) sheltered by serpents is the most popular attraction at the temple. The Alpashy festival and Panguni festival are the best times to visit the temple. Cultural events and activities are organised regularly here.

Chottanikkara Temple

Located in the tiny Chottanikkara town, Chottanikkara Temple is one of the famous temples in Kerala. Constructed by a group of tribal merchants, the temple is dedicated to Chottanikkara Devi (one of the most worshipped forms of Goddess Laxmi). The temple has some of the ancient idols of the deity along with statues of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. The traditional ‘Guruthi Pooja’, held every evening, is a great spiritual experience for all.

Guruvayur Temple

Also referred to as ‘Bhuloka Vaikunta’, Guruvayur Temple is a well-known Krishna temple in Kerala. Situated in the tiny town of Guruvayur, it is particularly acclaimed for its beautiful architecture. The four-armed standing statue of Lord Krishna carrying the conch and the sudarshan chakra is the biggest attraction at the temple. During the celebrations of the Ulsavam and the Malyali New Year, the place comes alive with wonderful decorations and crowd of devotees.

Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple

Situated in the heart of Thiruvananthapuram, Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple is an ancient temple in the southern Indian province. Built by a group of merchants travelling to Kerala, the temple has a total of 32 different sculptures of Lord Ganesh. The main idol of Sri Mahaganapathy, in a seated posture, holds the attention of all visitors.

Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple

Located in the Pathanamthitta district, Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple is one of the ‘Divya Desams’ in the state. Built in traditional Kerala-style architecture, the temple features beautiful idols and sculptures of Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna. Most paintings in the temple depict important events and incidents from the Mahabharata (one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India). The annual Snake Boat Race held annually at the nearby Pamba River is a popular attraction among tourists visiting the shrine.

Nilakkal Mahadeva Temple

Situated in the tiny district of Pathanamthitta, Nilakkal Mahadeva Temple is yet another famous temple and a halting place for the Sabarimala pilgrims. The tall idol of Shiva at the entrance gate is a popular attraction. Every year, hundreds of pilgrims visit the holy shrine during the Sabarimala pilgrimage and at the time of the Thiruvutsavam festival. The traditional rituals and daily prayers performed by the priests at the temple are enjoyed by both locals and tourists.

5 Famous Forts of Rajasthan, India

Located in the western part of India, Rajasthan is one of the most colourful and traditionally rich states in the country.  Flaunting a royal ambience mixed with tradition and culture, it is one of the best places to travel back in time to understand the country’s rich history. For the state was ruled by kings of different clans for many years, Rajasthan is aptly known as the ‘Land of Kings’. And the many forts and palaces here will tell you just that. Here’s a guide to some of the most beautiful forts of Rajasthan.

Amer Fort

Located in the district of Amer near Jaipur, Amer Fort is one famous structure in Rajasthan. The 15th century palace is believed to have been built by Maharaja Man Singh and later on improved by his descendants. The grand fort has 4 beautifully constructed courtyards, private quarters and the official chamber for the royal family. Mughal Gardens, The Tripolia Gate, The Lion Gate and Sheesha Mahal are among the popular attractions found within the structure. Today, the fort is one of the most visited sites in Rajasthan.

Jaisalmer Fort

Jaisalmer-Fort

Situated alongside the barren stretches of Thar Desert, Jaisalmer Fort is one of the largest fully preserved forts in Rajasthan. Built in 11th century by the famous Rajput ruler, Rawal Jaisal, the popular structure is well known for its beauty and architecture. The 4 massive gateways, Raj Mahal, Jain temples and Laxminath temple are the popular attractions of the fort. There are several houses of the nobles and the merchants known as merchant havelis within the fort structure. It is these havelis-turned-museums that allow visitors to travel back in time and understand the rich history of the state.

Ranthambore Fort

Located near the town of Sawai Madhopur, Ranthambore Fort is a prominent attraction in Rajasthan. Constructed in 944 AD by Raja Sajraj Veer Singh Nagil, the fort was built in order to protect the kingdom from the invaders. Known for its design and architecture, the fort features a massive gateway, several courtyards and the king’s chamber. Ranthambore National Park, Bakula, Jain Temples, Raj Bagh Ruins and Surwal Lake are among the popular attractions around the fort. The fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Chittor Fort

Located in the city of Chittorgarh, Chittor Fort is one of the oldest forts in India. This 7th century construction features 7 grand entrance gates namely Pandan Pol, Bhairon Pol, Hanuman Pol, Ganesh Pol, Jodla Pol, Laxman Pol and the largest of the lot, the Ram Pol along with the King’s chamber. Interestingly, the fort is house to several historical monuments including Vijay Stambh, Kirti Stambh, Fatah Prakash palace, Rana Kumbha palace, Gaumukh reservoir and Padmini’s palace. For its beauty and architecture, the fort is a World Heritage Site.

Mehrangarh Fort

Mehrangarh-Fort

Located in Jodhpur, Mehrangarh Fort is one of the largest forts in India. Built in 1460 by Rao Jodha, this fort is known for its intricate carvings and beautiful courtyards. It is believed that the 7 massive gates leading to the fort were constructed by different rulers as a way to celebrate their victory in different parts of the state. On display at the fort museum are Elephant’s Howdahs, palanquins, Mehrangarh treasures, armoury and paintings. The Turban Gallery, a royal preservatory of different styles and designs of turbans used by kings in ancient Rajasthan is one popular attraction within the fort structure.

7 Popular Hill Stations in North India

Hill stations/resorts in India are among the top attractions for tourists in the country. Usually tiny settlements in between the hills or mountain ranges, these resorts are spread across all over the northern states of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, offering a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

himachal

Shimla

Located in the state of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla is one of the oldest hill stations in India. Popularly known as ‘Queen of the Hills’, the tiny resort city is known for its snow covered mountains and beautiful landscape. Featuring a subtropical highland climate, the city is home to numerous alpine trees, including pine, deodar and oak. Some of the city’s major attractions include the Viceroy Temple, Mall Road, Christ Church and the Ridge. Most of the buildings and structures in Shimla have neo-gothic architecture and colonial design of the Europeans. Shimla has the largest natural ice skating rink in South Asia.

McLeodganj

Located in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, McLeodganj is again a famous hill resort in northern India. Popularly known as ‘Little Dhasa’, the town is a great place to enjoy trekking and mountain excursions in the Himalayas. Triund Hill and Dal Lake are two of the popular attractions in the city. The city is home to several Buddhist temples and monasteries and is an apt place for those willing to explore the culture and traditions of the region.

Auli

Situated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, Auli is a well-know hill station, also known as ‘Auli Bugyal’. This tiny hillside town is known for its snow covered mountains and beautiful coniferous trees. Located at an average elevation of 3050 meters above sea level, the resort town is a popular skiing destination in India. Gurso Bugyal, Kwani Bugyal, Trishul Peak and Rudraprayag are among the popular attractions around the town. The valley of Auli is also home to the largest ropeway ride in Asia.

Gulmarg

Located in Baramula district of Jammu and Kashmir, Gulmarg is one of the most beautiful hill resort towns in India. Originally named ‘Gaurimarg’, the popular town is referred to as the ‘heartland of winter sports in India’. Situated at an average altitude of 2,650 meters, the town is best to indulge in mountain trekking, snowboarding and skiing. Gulmarg Golconda, Seven Springs, Strawberry Valley, Apharwat Peak and Ningle Nallah are among the top attractions in the town.

Mussoorie

Located in the Dehradun District of Uttarakhand, Mussoorie is known for its scenic beauty and varied flora and fauna. Situated at an altitude of 1880 meters above sea level, Mussoorie is best to enjoy a quiet, peaceful holiday away from the city’s hustle bustle. Kempty Falls, Lake Mist, Mussoorie Lake, Jharipani Fall and Mossy Fall are among the popular attractions in the city.

Dharamshala

Dharamshala is a much loved hill resort in Himachal Pradesh. Formerly known as Bhagsu, the city was once the Dalai Lama’s residence and headquarters of Central Tibetan Administration. Situated at an elevation of 1457 meters above sea level, Dharamshala is famous for its ancient architecture and beautiful landscape. Although everything in the town is an attraction, Bhagsu’s water fall is among the most talked-about tourist sites.

Dalhousie

Named after Lord Dalhousie, Dalhousie, located in Himachal Pradesh, was established as the summer retreat for the British troops and officials. Situated at an elevation of 1970 meters above sea level, Dalhousie is known for its snow-capped peaks and old world charm. Popular attractions in the city include Karelanu, Bakrota Hills, Kalatop and Kalatop Forest and Dainkund Peak.

Tips To Survive a Holiday to India during summers

Being a tropical country, India bears harsh summers that could dampen the holiday spirit of unprepared travellers who are visiting the country during the summer months. However, with little preparation and knowledge you can turn a trip to India even during peak summers an enjoyable experience. Read on to know how to survive the ‘Great Indian Summers’!

summer

Destination

India is a vast country, which is home to varied landscapes including mountains, hills, valleys, rivers, beaches, jungles and deserts. The country has so many different destinations that it can be travelled throughout the year. Summers here start around April and stay until around September (reaching peak heat around May-June), with each place having its own cycle of dry and humid heat.

During the scorching summer months, the best bet would be to choose from the many hill resorts in the country. Spend you holidays chilling out at Manali in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, Gulmarg or Srinagar in the state of Jammu & Kashmir or the exotic Leh in Ladakh. The weather at these places is much cooler and pleasant, with picturesque surroundings and amazing views. Visiting national parks is also a good idea as they may be hot but they are lush with greenery and jungle safaris will be fun and relaxing as well. Travellers may avoid beach destinations, northern India and desert destinations. Also, it’s best to avoid road trips during peak summers.

Time Your Outings

Irrespective of where you choose to visit, a summer time trip to India means that you must choose the right time for your activities and outings. It will be a good idea to avoid outdoor activities (under direct sun) between 11am to 4pm. This is the hottest part of the day and it will be clever to use this time to visit indoor attractions including museums, galleries, movie halls, restaurants or shopping centres. Try to visit the attractions that require you to stay out in the open for longer periods early in the mornings or in the evenings.

Wear Light Clothing

Always wear loose and cotton or linen clothes to feel light and fresh. Also, keep yourself fully covered to protect yourself from getting sunburnt. Such clothes will keep you comfortable throughout your journey, even if you have to venture out in open spaces during the afternoon heat. Always keep your head covered with a cotton scarf or a cap to prevent exposure to sunlight. Keep in mind that light colours will keep you cooler and dark colours tend to absorb more heat. Wear a light pair of aerated shoes such as flip-flops or sandals when outdoors.

Protection from Heat

A little common sense and some precautions can help you to enjoy the best of India during summer time. Desert destinations including Rajasthan or North Indian destinations including Delhi or Punjab are places where the risk of getting sun tanned, sunburn or rashes could be highest. So, always put on a good waterproof sunscreen to all exposed body parts. Keep your mouth, nose and ears and most body parts covered to prevent dehydration. You can even use an umbrella, as many locals do for protection against the heat. Always wear sunglasses as this will protect your eyes from sunlight as well as from the dust. Carry a few packets of oral rehydration (ORS) to help you in case of dehydration.

To make things more fun, opt for traditional Ayurvedic therapies and massages, which will have a soothing effect on your skin as well as relax you after a hot day out in the sun. Even if they are a tad bit costlier, you can choose to travel in air-conditioned cars or buses.

Holidays in India 2017 – Upcoming Festivals in February and March

india

India, the land of varied cultures, traditions and beliefs, hosts numerous festivals and events during the spring season (February to April).

indian-fest

For travellers who are arriving in the country in February-March, here are some of the most popular festivals which they can be a part of!

Maha Shivaratri

Maha Shivaratri is a major Hindu festival observed in the honour of Lord Shiva – the Destroyer or Transformer. Merrymaking begins at dawn and continues till late night. Temples are decorated with lights, and devotees offer night long prayers to the lord. Ujjain, one of the largest cities in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, witnesses most popular Maha Shivaratri celebrations.

Date: 25th February

Chapchar Kut

Chapchar Kut, the yearly harvest festival, is celebrated with great pomp and gaiety in Mizoram, a north-eastern Indian state. As part of the custom, natives wear multi-coloured costumes, attractive jewellery and distinctive headgears. There’s a traditional bamboo dance performed by women in which men create rhythmic music by beating bamboos against each other.

Date: 3rd March

Chettikulangara Kumbha Bharani

Hosted by Chettikulangara Devi Temple in Kerala, Chettikulangara Kumbha Bharani is a festival dedicated to Goddess Bhagavathy. The spectacular visuals displayed during the occasion portray the cultural prosperity of the Indian state. In the ceremonial procession, huge statues of Indian mythology and religious characters, such as Bhima, Hanuman, Panchali and Theru can be spotted.

Date: 3rd March

Holi

Holi or Festival of Colours is one of the most popular festivals celebrated in India. It is one of the few Indian festivals that are observed throughout the country with an equal zeal. During the day, people smear each other with coloured powder and water. In large metro cities such as Delhi and Mumbai, special Holi-themed parties are hosted at top hotels and other venues.

Date: 13th March

Parippally Gajamela

Parippally Gajamela is a 10-day annual celebration hosted at Kerala’s Kodimoottil Sree Bhagavathy Temple to pay tribute to Goddess Bhadrakali – the fierce form of the Great Goddess (Devi). Every night, cultural events are organised for the attendees. On the last day of Parippally Gajamela, over 50 elephants, all decorated exquisitely, are led for a ritual procession.

Date: 5th March

Shigmo Festival

Goa’s Shigmo Festival is colourful spring celebration marked by musical and dance performances. Street folk performances are organised which attempt to reveal the typical Goan life. Participants wear bright-coloured clothes, wave flags and play musical instruments as they enjoy the festive atmosphere.

Date: 24th March – 7th April

A Quick Tour of Chennai’s Fantastic Architectural Wonders

India has modern cities, historical towns, spectacular landscapes, and what not! Chennai, also called as the ‘Gateway to South India’, is a cultural, economic and educational centre of this enigmatic country. The destination is well known for its touristy nature and has magnificent monuments that shed light upon historical and interesting stories of the past. We have mentioned some of these time-honoured structures below.

chennai

Fort St. George

Opened to the public in 1948, the Fort St- George is considered to be the first establishment of the British in India. Built as a trading post, it later served as the origin of the modern Indian Army. Fort St. George is split into two sections: St. Mary’s Church and the Fort Museum. Post independence, the Archaeological Survey of India has declared Fort St. George as a protected structure.

Ripon Building

Ripon Building, built in 1913, is the seat of Chennai Corporation (Madras Corporation). It is painted in white as a symbol of Indo-Saracenic architecture. This royal building is rectangular in shape with a 43 metre tower and a 2.5 metre clock. This clock has a mechanical key system, which is checked daily. Beyond that, four bells form an essential part of the monument. Entry is restricted though.

Anna Memorial

Also called the ‘Anna Samadhi’, the Anna Memorial was made to pay tribute to the great Dravidian leader Arinzar Annadurai and ex- Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, C. N. Annadurai who was cremated here in 1969. Children can entertain themselves at the fabulous parks and aquariums here.

Thousand Lights Mosque

The Thousand Lights Mosque is a revered place of worship for Shias. It has derived its name from the 1000 lights, which illuminated the assembly hall. Regarded as one of the largest in the nation, this monument has been erected in medieval architectural style. It displays multiple domes and spearing minarets, which are roughly 64 metres tall. It witnesses a huge crowd during the yearly Muharram festival.

Valluvar Kottam

Valluvar Kottam is dedicated to the renowned Tamil poet, philosopher, and saint, Thiruvalluvar, who wrote the Thirukkural over 2,000 years ago. Some of them are inscribed in the front hall corridors. The main auditorium situated within the temple can accommodate 4000 people. Visitors are allowed to click photographs.

A Glimpse into some Famous and Not so Famous Places in India

India has a plethora of travel destinations and all you travel enthusiasts probably know about the country’s famous tourist hotspots. But, a lot more still remains to be discovered by way of offbeat destinations. So, we decided to give you a quick glimpse into some of the well known as well as wonderful offbeat places in India.

Bhimbetka Rock Shelters, Madhya Pradesh

The place where it all began, Bhimbetka, located 45 km southeast of Bhopal, is an ancient Palaeolithic site and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. With a width of 3 km, the site has 700 rock shelters and 400 cave paintings. The aarliest rock paintings at the shelter are around 30,000 years old. If you plan to visit the site, the rock paintings and engravings will surely leave you wonderstruck.

Champaner – Pavagadh, Gujarat

champaner

Situated 47 km from Vadodara, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Champaner is a fine offbeat destination in India. The ruins at this age old site date from the 8th to the 6th century and include agricultural buildings, religious structures, and fortress. Presently, Champaner Pavagadh reflects harmonious coexistence between the Hindus and the Muslims. The site is a window to Gujarat’s glorious past.

Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh

Perched at a height of 1600 metres above sea level, Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh is a popular riverside retreat blessed with the wealth of nature’s treasures. This popular offbeat destination lures adventure enthusiasts and thrill seekers as well. The beautiful valley has a riverside retreat, cloud kissing mountains, the serene Serolsar Lake, and a hidden waterfall. Dig out the deep secrets and popular mysteries attached to this ancient valley on your next holiday.

Shekhawati, Rajasthan

A true picture of Rajasthan with those havelis, forts, and other structures, Shekhawati is a lovely destination for those visiting India to experience its rich heritage and culture. Located in Northern Rajasthan, this popular site is most famous for its painted havelis and other architectural delights. Most of the structures here were constructed by Marwari merchants from the 17th to the 19th century.

Devprayag, Uttarakhand

 The town of Devprayag marks the confluence of two holy rivers, which combine to form the Ganges. It is a revered Hindu pilgrim destination in India. Nestled in the lap of the Himalayas, this is a dream place for casual tourists and saints alike. The beauty of nature and religious vibe of the place touch a chord with one and all.