With 29 states and 7 union territories, India is a very vast country which has plenty of options for one to discover the nation. Due to its vastness, it is not a cakewalk to explore this beautiful land at one go. While there are plenty of places which are extremely popular, there are some which are on the way to becoming popular and then there are the hidden treasures which are not known to many.
Well, there are regions which are known for their historical or geographical significance and many more factors that attract visitors; for example, Shimla is one place where people go to for the climatic conditions and for a holiday along with the family.
For those soul-seeking individuals, there is Dharamsala, Dhanuskodi, Gaya, Hampi and many more to avail. And for those who want to disconnect themselves from the rest of the world there are even more. To add to this list we bring 10 such destinations which one needs to visit before they transform themselves into tourist hotspots. Hence, start packing and get going.
1. Urakam, Kerala
The serene hamlet is located about 10 km away from the town of Thrissur, which is known as the cultural capital of the state. Thrissur is home to a large number of ancient temples, beaches, palaces, the famed Pooram, the Kerala Kalamandalam and much more.
Urakam is a hamlet which is well known for the abode of Durga Devi and is a fine example of a true Kerala village, with its green paddy fields; it is the perfect place for a rejuvenating experience, away from the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan city.
2. Mainpat, Chhattisgarh
One must have come across the Buddhist monasteries at Dharamsala, Sikkim, Ladakh or Bylakuppe down south in Karnataka. However, many are unaware of a Tibetan settlement which is located in central India; after the Chinese invasion of Tibet in the 1960s, a group of Tibetan refugees who were involved in the roadworks at Sitapur arrived at Mainpat, to make it their home.
At present, approximately 3000 acres of land allotted by the Government Of India is divided into seven camps which serve as the home to 2000 odd refugees. The major attraction here is the Thakpo Shedupling Monastery which was built in the year 1970, which houses ancient thangkas, murals and numerous waterfalls and viewpoints of the beautiful valley.
3. Jawai, Rajasthan
Drive for about an hour from the World Heritage Site of Kumbhalgarh Fort; Jawai is home to one of the largest reservoirs of Rajasthan which is the abode of flamingo, geese, crane and a pantheon of various other migratory birds. But the main attractions of this place are the leopards and a camp, which is located within the leopard country.
Make yourself comfortable at some of luxurious tents here, which also have private decks that offer panoramic views of the wilderness and the landscape filled with granite formation, scrubs and riverbeds. One can also opt to go on a ride in the customised jeeps along with the experts to track the majestic big cats along with sloth bears, Indian wolves and various other species who live in harmony alongside the homes of the Rabari herdsmen.
4. Poppalwadi, Goa
Looking for something very different to do in Goa? Well, then head straight to Poppalwadi, which is located on the Karnataka-Goa border. The place creates magic in its visitors with closeness to nature and a sense of total disconnection from the outer world.
Poppalwadi is a small hamlet which offers no proper connectivity via phones or for that matter even roads and removes the cliched image of Goa which is associated with beaches, parties and much more. This hamlet would redefine all of this with a mystical charm that is yet to be found by a normal tourist.
PC: Offical Site
5. Majuli, Assam
Majuli is considered as one of the largest riverine islands in the world. The isolation and the peaceful atmosphere of the place drew the attention of the Vaishnava saint Srimanta Sankardev, who established the first monastic centre at Belguri.
Over the years, the Brahmaputra river shrunk the 1200 sq km island to its present day size of 460 sq km. Due its delicate environment and unique cultural landscape, Majuli is preparing herself to be part of the World Heritage title by UNESCO.
PC: Udit Kapoor
6. Neduncheri, Tamil Nadu
Neduncheri, is a hamlet which is located at a distance of 20 km from the temple of Chidambaram. As you step into the village, it would give you a sense of time travel which takes you back to the times of the Chola Empire, who were the masterminds behind the majestic temples and Thanajavur.
The laid back village is the perfect escapade for those who are keen to know more about the Cholas and to have an experience of how living in a remote village tends to rejuvenate you with its fresh air and remove the pollutants of a tiring city life.
7. Damro, Arunachal Pradesh
Damro is home to the longest hanging bridge of Arunachal Pradesh which sways gently over the Yamne river. The place is also the abode of the Adi Padam tribe, who are well known for their war and defense skills. They fiercely guard their cultural and oral radiations along with their democratic society.
8. Hankon, Karnataka
A diversion of 12 km from Karwar towards Dandeli on SH 95 takes you through agricultural fields, a bunch of railway gates, the village of Asnoti and finally the riverside hamlet of Hankon. Once here, head to one of the eco adventure camps which are setup on banks of the river Kali and offer a large number of water sports, ranging from kayaking, rafting, rappelling and much more.
9. Parule and Bhogwe, Maharashtra
Parule was home to the Konkani settlement which was built around a temple dedicated to the sun god, where it is said that the rays of the setting sun would touch the idol before vanishing away into the horizon. A renovation of the temple eclipsed this phenomenon but the charm of the region still remains intact.
Head out for a nature walk in the morning to the shepherd's temple or to the beach. Close by from here is Bhogwe, which lies in the shadow of Tarkarli and has remained hidden from the gaze of tourists. The place has a number of cottages which are made of bamboo, cane and offer brilliant views of the coastal region.
PC: ASIM CHAUDHURI
10. Amadubi, Jharkhand
India is land which is well known for its rich art forms; however, the Paitkar paintings is an art form which rather remains unknown to many. The artists from the hamlet of Amadubi practice this form on scrolls which are made out from leaves and barks of trees. The paintings cover various legends and stories from the epics and oral narrations; it is great opportunity for one to watch these artisans narrating stories through pictures.
PC: Mike Prince