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5 offbeat places that you should visit in 2014

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These five places are not tourist places per se but are a favourite those looking for a dose of the lesser known and the unfrequented will revel in these destinations

My friend, the cobra

Vadi tribe, Gujarat - Do you remember your first pet? Maybe it was a cute puppy or maybe a cute bird. Can you imagine a cobra as your playmate? For the nomadic Vadi tribe of Gujarat snakes are a way of life. Children of this tribe are introduced to snakes at the age of 2 and the Vadis pride themselves on their 'divine association' with snakes including deadly cobras.

Photo Courtesy: Russ Bowling

Snakes are family

Shetpal, Maharashtra - Continuing the slithering experience, the Shetpal village of Maharashtra has a resting place for cobras in their ceilings in each household. Snakes abound in the village and there is a Siddheshwar temple whose deity, locals believe, has the power to cure people of snake bites. Nevertheless, hundreds of people cohabit with snakes in this village.

Photo Courtesy: Vithu.123

Utopian village

Shani Shignapur, Maharashtra - Imagine a place where no robberies or no crime is ever committed. Well, this is no utopian thought. The village of Shani Shignapur in Ahmednagar district is famous for the having houses without doors. No valuables are kept under lock and key and in 2011 a 'lockless' branch of a bank was opened in the village, a first in the country.

Magical Mayong

Mayong, Assam - Fancy laying an entire army to waste with some magic spells or simply stopping moving things with the single wave of a hand. Deemed the land of black magic, the village of Mayong in Assam has insipired awe as well as fear in the minds of people since medieval times. Visit and see the mystery and ambivalence for yourself.

Don't let the sun set

Bhangarh, Rajasthan - According to legend anybody who stays in the ruins of this fortress town after sunset is never seen again. Entry for tourists is prohibited before sunrise and after sunset. A pretty place by daylight nevertheless.

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