India is definitely a feast for the senses. It's a riot of dramatic colours, architectures that spell out world history, exotic wildlife and breathtaking scenery - all chaotically yet beautifully packed in the name of a subcontinent.
If you feel that going to faraway foreign lands and documenting them is the one and only way to garner a humongous number of followers and double taps on your Instagram profile, let us tell you that you're in a delusion. Explore India across its length and breadth with your camera and you're sure to create some breathtaking and jaw-dropping photographs for your Insta-fam to savour.
So to ease it for you, we shuffled through hundreds of beautiful destinations and have filtered down the 10 most picturesque places in India - 5 clichés and 5 unexplored - that need to be there on your next posts. Now all you've got to do is hashtag your content the right way.
1. Ladakh, Jammu And Kashmir
We couldn't resist beginning this list with anyplace apart from Ladakh. Nestled amidst the mighty Himalayan ranges and adorned by its crystal blue waterbodies, Ladakh is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque places existing in India.
From its famous Zanskar river to the enchanting Pangong Lake, from the world's highest motorable road at Khardungla to the unearthly valleys of Spiti - Ladakh has pearls all over its landmass. The place definitely offers some of the best landscapes to be captured and some unforeseen crystal clear skies to shoot magnificent star trails.
Our Tip: When in Ladakh, prefer taking wider photographs. The amalgamation of a vibrant skyline above and the magnificent mountains below literally bring life to the pictures.
2. Jaipur, Rajasthan
With forts, palaces and lakes that seem to be straight out of folklore, the Pink City of India has got everything royal to up your Instagram game. The grandeur of these iconic landmarks is undoubtedly something that is very rare to come across.
Our Tip: Pictures that focus on the whole monument are way too cliché and are all over Instagram already. Turn your lens beyond that and focus more on particular architectural designs, colours and patterns that depict the vibrancy and grandeur of this iconic place. Doing so will also add an artistic touch to your profile.
Capturing and sharing the French colonial vibes in Pondicherry are perfect examples of how the unusual, sometimes, could do wonders on Instagram. The beach town's charming aura is simply eye-pleasing and heart-soothing.
Our Tip: Trigger that sense of nostalgia by pulling out the vibrancy and the colonial essence of the town through your perspective and photographs.
The Andaman & Nicobar Islands host some of the most glamorous beaches, exotic islands and breathtaking coral reefs in India. If you're a beach person, the Andamans is one place that you ought to cover on your Instagram. Play with the turquoise blue water, white sand and colourful underwater life in your frames in order to create photographs that even you wouldn't believe exist for real.
Our Tip: Every time you're on crystal clear beaches, try to avoid having too much blue in your frames. You can make good use of the golden hours or compose a picture around a subject that stands out.
5. Banaras, Uttar Pradesh
It's one of the oldest-living cities that exist not only in India but also across the globe. So you can imagine the splendour of the old-world charm you're sure to find as you're either exploring the overcrowded, narrow lanes of Benaras or taking a city-wide walk along the ghats.
During the day, you'll never be out of subjects to photograph on these ghats and in the evening, the riverside aarti, the charming moon and the shimmering Ganga make for enchanting compositions.
Our Tip: Capture the essence of lives at the Ganga ghats and the worn-out bylanes, and add vintage filters, for e.g., Valencia, to the pictures to enhance the old-world feel.
The next 5 places are still unexplored and yet to be thronged by a hefty number of tourists. Read on, and make good use of them as long as they do not become crowded.
1. Aru, Jammu And Kashmir
Situated in a yet-to-be-explored corner of Jammu & Kashmir's Anantnag district, the scenic village of Aru is one place that keeps tugging your heart's strings even after years of your visit. Although most people visit Aru as a part of their sightseeing from Pahalgam, we strongly recommend that you stay in this little town for at least 2 days.
Our Tip: In Aru, you just turn your lens around and there are enchanting frames everywhere. Create mesmerising compositions with the cattle grazing along the miles-long meadows, the meandering Lidder river, the authentic village houses and, of course, some postcard-worthy shots of the mighty and snow-clad Himalayas.
2. Tosh, Himachal Pradesh
Raised at an elevation of 2400 m, the small yet utterly scenic village of Tosh is still an unexplored heaven. The hamlet is slowly becoming the go-to destination for backpackers and solo travellers as it gives you the chance to be a quiet observer of the snowy Himalayas, a cloak of lush greenery and a starlit night sky.
Our Tip: Put your hiking shoes on and take those trails less travelled to explore the wild, uncivilised forests. The ancient trees, colourful village homes and sunrays cutting through the thick clouds make for some of the most amazing frames. If you can sneak into one of the chalal parties, there can't be anything better than that.
3. Dhanushkodi, Tamil Nadu
You can call Dhanushkodi the southern extremity of the Indian soil closest to Sri Lanka. Yes, from this point our neighbouring country is located just at a distance of 33 km. The most interesting fact about Dhanushkodi is that it's bordered by the Bay of Bengal on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other. Sadly, Dhanushkodi suffered a tectonic shift during the severe 1964 Rameswaram cyclone and sank 5 m below the sea level which led to the abandonment of this town.
Our Tip: Document the cyclone-devastated railway tracks and Ram Sethu through your lenses. The still-residing fisherfolks, the local hutments and Dhanushkodi's mysterious church can also be good subjects.
4. Poovar, Kerala
This small beach town is best known for its sleepy, laid-back vibe, magical ambience, cosy cottages, scrumptious seafood and Kerala's exclusive oh-so-relaxing Ayurvedic massages. Located in Thiruvananthapuram, Poovar is still unspoiled and unexplored to a great extent.
Our Tip: Do not miss out on the splendid crimson sunsets coupled with the roaring waves of the Arabian Sea. The emerald backwaters and that exquisite-looking fish on your plate can make some enviable posts for your grid.
5. Mawlynnong, Meghalaya
This village in Meghalaya's East Khasi Hills district started attracting tourists after it was awarded the Cleanest Village in Asia. It's indeed spotless and one of the prettiest in India. Walk around its street aimlessly, mingle with the locals to understand their perception of conserving the environment or enjoy a simple, hearty lunch consisting of jado, dal, rice, potato and red chillies.
Our Tip: Even the usual thatched Khasi huts and their quaint verandahs make for vibrant Instagram posts. Hiking to the nearby living root bridges can offer some extraordinary frames for your feed.
Been to these places? Share photographs from your trip on Instagram along with the hashtag #nativeplanet, and we'll feature the best ones on our official Instagram handle.
Got suggestions for us on new places or experiences? Go ahead, share them with us in the comments section below.