India, the seventh largest country in the world, is surrounded by 5 countries - China, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh - on 3 sides, while the south is bounded by Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. The towns, villages and destinations located on the border are, therefore, significantly influenced by the countries neighbouring them.
You can see many similarities in culture, traditions and heritage between north-east states with Bhutan, Nepal or China, just like there exist similarities between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. To witness these confluence of lifestyle and culture first-hand, visit these places in India.
Nathu La Pass, Sikkim
PC: Shayon Ghosh
Located at a distance of 52 km from Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim, Nathu La Pass is the region where the formerly operating Silk Route connected India and Tibet. Therefore, Nathu La Pass lies between India and China.
Plan a day trip from Gangtok to the beautiful pass, where you can witness the Chinese Army on one side and the Indian Army standing on the other. You can see the mighty snow-capped Himalayas beautifully surrounding the region.
Wagah Border, Punjab
PC: Stefan Krasowski
Wagah is actually a small village that belongs to Pakistan, so only the border is in Indian bounds. While on a tour through Punjab, don't miss on visiting Wagah border since a beating retreat ceremony takes place here everyday.
It is a ceremony of lowering of the flags that is practiced by both Indian and Pakistan military forces. It takes places two hours before sunset everyday where you can see at least 5000 people who come to witness the ceremony.
Rann Of Kutch, Gujarat
PC: Rahul Zota
Lying between India and Pakistan is one of the largest salt marshes in the world that is the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. It is located in the Thar Desert; in fact, "rann" literally means "desert" in Hindi. The best time to visit Rann of Kutch is during the Rann Utsav that takes place all through winter.
This year, the festival is between 1st Nov to Feb 1st 2018. During this festival you can witness boisterous celebration of folk dance, music and art in the beautiful white Rann of Kutch, which looks especially stunning during full moon.
Pangong Tso, Ladakh
Pangong Tso is a lake that stretches from India to China and is spread across a distance of 134 km. It is settled in the Himalayas at a fearsome height of 14,270 ft and is a spectacular lake that glitters in pristine beauty.
The lake changes colours during different times of the year from blue to turquoise, to a shade of grey at times. The lake was popularised by the famous Bollywood movie 3 Idiots and has been a tourist hotspot ever since.
Dhanushkodi, Tamil Nadu
PC: Brocken Inaglory
Ever since a cyclone hit and destroyed the town of Dhanushkodi in 1964, it has remained an abandoned town. But now it is a sparsely populated beach town perfect for a serene vacation. This town is between India and Sri Lanka.
Some of the popular attractions of Dhanushkodi include Adam's Bridge, which is a natural bridge that connects India and Sri Lanka, Gulf of Mannar National Park, Dhanushkodi Beach, Pamban Island, to name a few.
PC: Vikramjit Kakati
Dawki is a small town in Meghalaya that is home to the Dawki Tamabil Border Crossing that connects India and Bangladesh. This crossing is used for transportation of coal; wherein, almost 500 trucks cross everyday during peak season.
This town is mainly popular for the pristine natural beauty of lush greenery surrounding the town. The immaculate Umngot river is a stunning spectacle in Dawki where you can try boating or fishing in the crystal-clear river.