The food, the colorful festivals, he beautiful clothes!—And, don’t you forget—the energetic dancing! These are all amazing features that could sum up India in a nutshell.
But even more than the classical Hindi films and the faithful Yogis, this list would be incomplete without the breathtaking tourist destinations that make visitors troop into India in their droves every year from far and wide. From the masterful architectural phenomenon of the Taj Mahal to the amazing hillsides and pine forests of Shimla and Darjeeling, the country is a tourist destination for all kinds of experiences.
If you are one of those who are bored of the big names and want to explore new locations, India holds a huge treasure chest of adventure waiting to be discovered. To help prepare you for your next trip, we have scoured online for the best and least-known tourist paths in India. And here are our top five:
Located in the beautiful state of Assam, Jorhat was once the home of the largest river island (Majuli) in the world. That was sadly before the river length was affected by the adverse effects of climate change. Nevertheless, Jorhat is a promising spot for good locally made Indian food—we hear that the rice and fish stew and bamboo shoot cuisine are absolute winners!
In addition to the food and tea, Jorhat has proven to be the secret relaxation location for many creatives taking tours to India from USA. These include writers, singers, actors; you name it—tagging it The Cultural Capital of Assam.
So, if you’re hitting a block on finishing that book or missing an essential line in that new piece of music you’re certain would top the charts, you can hurry down to Jorhat and let its creative aura work its magic on you. The best times to visit are from January to March, and October and November.
If you’re a huge fan of waterfalls and wildlife, Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh might just be a top choice. Home to many temples and museums, Jagdalpur serves as a less popular albeit exhilarating alternative to famous tourist sites such as the Tirupati Balaji temple.
The simple architectural wonder of the Danteshwari temple and a host of other temples in Basoor would be sure to keep you captivated. The incredible collection of wildlife (including rhesus, drongols, red spurfowl, and sambhar!) at the Kanger Ghati National Park is worth checking out.
For a blissful connection with water, you could visit the Chitrakote and Tirathgarh Falls. To experience serenity, Kotumsar Cave, with its incredible stalactite and stalagmite formation, would be a great choice.
If you have a standing interest in speleology, Kurnool might just be the best off-the-beaten-path place for you as it is known for its caves. Located in Andhra Pradesh, Kurnool is also home to some of the most powerful temples in India, including the Yaganti temple and the Venugopalaswamy temple, whose intricate artistic paintings and sculptures of its deities will leave you in awe.
It is also the location of the Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary, which is known for housing some of the most exotic wildlife in the world. Kurnool is best visited from October to March due to the long hours of walking through the caves, which can be a tedious task.
There are a lot more than a handful of places worth visiting in Orchha, and one of them is the Chattris, which is located close to the Betwa river. The Chattris is the lying place of the Maharajas, and the cenotaphs date as far back as the 17th century.
It’s most breathtaking when viewed from a bridge on the opposite end of the Betwa river. From there, the reflection of the entire set of tombs can be seen clearly. The exquisite paintings in the dome also add to its appeal. Winter is usually the best time to visit this beautiful nesting ground.
Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu is home to many temples (about 188!), including the Adi Kumbeswarar temple and the Nageswaran temple. If you seek the journey of a more spiritual experience, Kumbakonam is just the place to check out.
Fun fact: Kumbakonam is said to be one of the very few places in the world that has a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Lord Brahma, who is believed to be the creator of the universe. The best time to go down here is during the magnificent Mahamaham festival.
Get Your Bags Packed!
There’s so much to see and do while on your trip to India, and it is entirely up to you to customize your own experiences. It can be more fulfilling when you forsake the textbook tourist destinations and go off the beaten paths. You could save your vacation experiences from being photo-bombed by selfie penchants that are known to parade popular tourist spots. That’s it, guys; get moving!