What are some places in India that are hard to believe exist until you visit them?
I am not going to answer about an unbelievably beautiful place (although I do find it one of the most beautiful experiences in India) but something more unique in its conception and creation.
Have you heard of a place called Auroville?(I hadn’t until six months ago). It is 15 km from Pondicherry. I am an avid traveler and have seen places like New Zealand, Australia, US, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, London, Sikkim etc but Auroville touched another cord in me.
Here’s what’s unique about it-
Auroville (City of Dawn) is an experimental township founded in 1968 by (also known as “The Mother”) and designed by architect . As stated in Alfassa’s first public message about the township, “Auroville is meant to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity.” (wikipedia)
This is what I gathered from the local folks there (please correct me anything looks amiss)–
Auroville was created on the vision of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy to promote auniversal town where anyone from any country could come and live consciouslywithout being motivated by/worried about money . To establish this place, Mother met Nehru and got a special Act in the Indian Constitution to support separate laws for Auroville. A barren land was chosen and then it was afforested and developed to build the proposed town. If you look at the land today, it is plush with amazing variety of trees and plants. You will find some of the most beautiful and huge banyan trees in here. Here’s one from the guest house I was staying at-
It has truly remarkable architecture as evident from the design of its iconic Matrimandir(took 37 years to be built). It is a haven for Meditation and attracts tourists from all over the world. Students of architecture from all across the globe come for internships here.
The is covered by golden discs and reflects sunlight, which gives the structure its characteristic radiance. Inside this central dome is a meditation hall known as the inner chamber – this contains the largest optically-perfect glass globe in the world. (wikipedia)
The leaves contain 28 gm of gold per 1000 leaves ()
The green philosophy is taken a step further and there’s a place called Solar Kitchen (community dining hall) which prepares roughly 1000 lunches everyday utilizing the solar energy power ()
To live in Auroville, one needs to spend few months living there first (plus some other norms apply). Since the community is based on collective/oneness principal, whatever you create in Auroville belongs to the foundation (and whole society in turn) and not the individual. The criteria attracts certain kind of people only.
No one has any ownership rights over houses and other buildings, services, projects or commercial activities in Auroville. Selling or renting these assets for personal profit is unacceptable. ()
The manager, Dara, of my guest house was an Argentinian who had settled in Auroville decades ago. Here’s Dara with a copy of (my book)-
There are many non-Indians settled in this way. The place attracts a lot of artists, writers, yoga enthusiasts, meditators, teachers etc who like spending time in the non-commercial entity free of distractions. Did I mention, you will not find a single ATM, MacD, KFC, Pizza Hut etc here? There is a huge community that focuses on organic farming. On that note, you should not miss theawesome organic food at Naturellement-
Then, there’s the east coast or Bay of Bengal view close from the beach. I wish the beach was maintained properly but its still a nice place to see the sunrise-
On the way back from watching the sunrise, I was again awestruck at this marvelous view ofsunrays filtering through the dense flora. I had to stop my buddy and capture this picture-
There are some commercial units related to manufacturing, designing, handlooms, furnitures, handicrafts, green farming etc etc. Each of these units contributes a considerable part of their profits to the township. One such unit is Svaram which produces world-class musical instruments. They had a lovely office that I got to visit with awesomely designed instruments (that are pre-tuned and will always produce a pleasant harmonious sounds), wind chimes etc. Here’s a pic of Goddess Saraswati on its premises-
I can literally go on and on but the fact is that this place can only be experienced and not seen through pics or understood by words. It is an immersive experience and I am thankful I got to be there. I am seriously contemplating going there for longer period now.
By the way, I was there to write and attend a workshop. The workshop on consciousness turned out amazing and got me started on regular practice of Mindfulness and Meditation. Here’s a pic from our sessions (notice the design of the hall, it is built to be illuminated and ventilated naturally)-
And, here’s another pic from my writing retreat-
Actually, it was so beautiful, unique and blissful that I was distracted away from my writing 😀
I hired a two wheeler and used to roam through the lanes. All I can say is, just go there once and you will not be able to come back unaltered! That’s me, happy as a bird! –
And try to go there alone, it is a perfect place to explore and face yourself. And feel free to message me for insider tips on getting the most out of your visit there! Good luck
I blog on ‘s website.
I will mention few places which are really beautiful and should visit them at least once! I know few of them and visited some, but I guarantee you that they are wonderful during rainy season.
Beach – ಮರವಂತೆ ಸಮುದ್ರತೀರ, Kundapura, Karnataka. This beach is next to a highway – NH-66. On one side of the road is Arabian Sea and the Suparnika River flows on the other side of the road.
– ಸತೋಡಿ ಜಲಪಾತ near Kallaramarane Ghat, , Karnataka.
– ಮಾಗೋಡ್ ಜಲಪಾತ near Yellapur, in the district of Uttara Kannada, Karnataka.
- Jog falls – ಜೋಗ ಜಲಪಾತ (many people know it but added that beauty again)
- Shivanasamudram falls (Gaganchukki-Bharachukki – ಗಗನಚುಕ್ಕಿ ಮತ್ತು ಭರಚುಕ್ಕಿ ಜಲಪಾತ), Karnataka.
- Yana (Kannada: ಯಾಣ) is a village located in forests of the Uttara Kannada district ofKarnataka.
- Hanbal Falls – ಹನ್ಬಲ್ ಜಲಪಾತ near Sakleshpur, Karnataka.
- Dudhsagar waterfall – ದೂಧಸಾಗರ್ ಜಲಪಾತ(literally sea of milk ) is a four-tiered waterfall located on the Mandovi river in the Western ghats range.
(ಹೆಬ್ಬೆ ಜಲಪಾತ), Kemmangundi, Karnataka.
(ಕಲ್ಹತ್ತಿ ಜಲಪಾತ) or Kalahasti Falls is located at Kallattipura (kallathigiri) in Chikmagalur district of Karnataka.
– ಗೋಕಾಕ್ ಜಲಪಾತ is located on the Ghataprabha River in Belgavi district of Karnataka.
- Apsarakonda falls – ಅಪ್ಸರಕೊಂಡ ಜಲಪಾತ, Honnavar, Karnataka.
- Arishinagundi falls – ಅರಿಶಿನಗುಂಡಿ ಜಲಪಾತ, Kodachadri, Karnataka.
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- Bandaje Arbi(ಬಂಡಾಜೆ ಅರ್ಬಿ) –
(Arbi=falls in Tulu language) is located near Ujire (9 kms from Dharmasthala), Karnataka. (Source: )
- Hidlumane falls – ಹಿಡ್ಲುಮನೆ ಜಲಪಾತ is around 5 km from Kodachadri, Karnataka.
- Barkana falls – ಬರ್ಕನ ಜಲಪಾತ (259 m, Sita river, Shimoga, Karnataka).
- Kudlu Theertha falls (ಕುಡ್ಲು ತೀರ್ಥ) on the way to Agumbe via Hebri, Karnataka.
(This fort is really famous for its rocky surroundings, water reservoirs, temples, warehouses and famous history)
Holi playing pool. This inverted-pyramid pool was used by the king during the Holi Day celebrations. Different Colors are mixed in this pool and people would gather in and around the pool to throw colored powders on each other. ( ) &
Maddu Beesuva Kallugalu or Gun powder grinding stones: maddu bIsuva kallu or the gun-powder factory, with it’s stone-grinder system.
(ಚಿತ್ರದುರ್ಗ ಕೋಟೆ), Chitradurga, Karnataka.
- Kumara Parvatha or . (Way to get there: ). At 1,712 metres (5,617 ft), is the highest peak in Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary in the Western Ghats of Karnataka. It is located in the Somwarpet Taluk, 20 kilometres (12 mi) from Somwarpet in the northern part ofKodagu district on the border between Dakshina Kannada and Kodagu districts. It is 6th highest peak of Karnataka.
(Photo credits: )
20. Kodachadri Parvatha(Mountain) – is a mountain peak with dense forests (elevation – 1,343 metres above sea level) in the Western Ghats in South India (Shimoga Dist., Karnataka State). It is declared as natural heritage siteby Government Karnataka and it is 10th highest peak of Karnataka.
(Photo credits: )
(There may be hundreds or even thousands of these falls. But not many people know about it. Some people explore it and expose it to us! and If I were to put the images of historical places with temples then it would be tons of them!!! I would like to add few unheard places, if I find some, in Karnataka which might be interesting for trekking enthusiasts.)
Will keep on adding amazing places
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It’s a tiny island, visited by relatively fewer number of tourists, but it is one of the most beautiful islands in the Andamans.
The island is full of different kinds of animals and trees:
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There are mangroves in certain parts of the island
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There island is surrounded by coral reef, and there are facilities for scuba diving.
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There is a natural arch like structure formed due to weathering and erosion
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Here’s a photo that I clicked at the sunset point. Something unique is happening here. If you observer carefully, the waves are moving perpendicular to the beach. They are moving from right to left in this photo.
This happens because there is a sudden change in the shape of the coastline on the western tip of the Island. The photo was taken at this place marked on the map:
This island can only be approached by sea. (There are no airstrips or helipads) This is the jetty, the only way in and out of the island.
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1. Chandra Taal (meaning the Lake of the Moon), or Chandra Tal, is situated at an altitude of about 4,300 metres (14,100 ft) in the
The most surprising thing about this lake is that there is no visible source of water to this lake but there is a visible outlet of this lake which means that water to this lake comes from underground.
2. Self-mummification: The mummy is about 500 years old. The scientists who X-rayed and examined the mummy came to the extraordinary, but apparently well grounded theory, that the Lama had meditated and starved himself to death as a self-sacrifice to protect the local people. The deep mediation techniques that he used somehow ‘drained’ his body of fluids extremely rapidly, and caused this incredible preservation.
Their research found that Tibet had had many such examples of ‘self-mummification’ but they had been destroyed during the cultural revolution.
They also found similar mummies still exist in Japan.
One of the most beautiful, ‘not-touristy’, quaint, surreal I’ve ever visited in India.
Here’s my travel experience.
A small village and cantonment area, 24 kms off route from Gangotri.
Harsil during the winter months.
Nestled amidst the beautiful Kumaoun Himalayas, Harsil is the ideal destination to experience serenity and solitude amidst the lap of nature. Harsil is 73 kms away from Gangotri. It is tucked away amidst green valleys and sleepy meadows, with the river Bhagirathi flowing by with full force. This little hamlet of Uttaranchal is situated at an altitude of 7,860 feet.
The best time to visit Harsil is in early spring, when the snow is gently melting away, the weather is adequately chilly and the flora is in full bloom. At least, that’s how I like it!
I took the holiday in summer. The weather was cool, if not cold, but the sun felt like shards of fire bolt at noon. I guess that’s true for all hill stations, without exception, on a clear, sunny day.
An exceptional view of the azure waters of the pristine Ganga.
We basically had no specific plans when we came on this trip. No tour packages. No hotel bookings. That’s what eventually turned out to be a blessing in disguise for us.
We initially wanted to visit the Gangotri temple from Uttarkashi directly starting very early in the morning, and stay in the ashram of an acquaintance there. That’s usually what all tourists do, take a day-trip to Gangotri from Uttarkashi.
But on our way, mesmerised by the scenic beauty, we decided to camp at Harsil for the night.
This is a photograph that I took on the way to Harsil. Understandably, we were lured into stopping by this beautiful spring, because, one, the surroundings were so lovely, and two, it was a hot day, we didn’t want to miss the chance of dipping our toes in the water. Flabbergasted we were, when we realised that the water was freezing, almost capable of causing severe frostbite if the body is in contact with it for more than 10 seconds! All hopes of bathing in it were immediately scratched!
This is the Bhagirathi river in Harsil- on the left is the Harsil village. The people are extremely hospitable and because the settlement is very small and isolated, the intimacy amongst the all inhabitants is something we rarely see, even amongst next-door-neighbours in the cities. Not very modern, the village has a few hotels, even fewer tourists. At that point we happened to be the only ones! Amongst the few choices we had, we selected the one with the best view. Disclaimer for luxury travellers: You would not find any ‘star’ labelled hotels here; only ones with the basic amenities like a comfortable bed, electricity and a clean washroom. And trust me, you would love it!
This was the view from our hotel balcony. The trees were so green, the skies so blue and the snow so white, I was overwhelmed by the prettiness! 🙂
There was a meadow behind the hotel. Green, so lusciously green was the grass, that I lay on it for hours, reading. Right beside the meadow, a tiny streamlet of turquoise blue water was gushing by, a sweet rippling sound, breaking the sedated silence of the valleys. The picturesque setting was right out of a romance novel!
We took a walk around the village, trying to find our way to the banks of Bhagirathi. The well formed cobbled paths with pine trees and small shrubs on both sides looked gorgeous! I saw families sitting on their patios having tea and enjoying each others’ company. Every house had a backyard garden, where different kinds of vegetables and spices were grown. I noticed a boy, all of two, lending a hand at weeding the garden!
Harsil is very famous for apples, and I saw apple orchards everywhere. And were they cheap, 80kgs for 500 INR! They were the crispiest and sweetest apples I’ve ever had.
I took a photograph of this seagull on the bank of Bhagirathi. Soon after, I found, nestled carefully, camouflaged amongst the plethora of grey pebbles, a baby seagull! We let it be, fearing that we may scare it away.
On our way back, we encountered a herd of goat and sheep, I think there were atleast 200 of them, returning back after grazing in the nearby pastures.
This is the view of the snow peaks from Harsil at sunrise.
We stayed there only for one night and started for Gangotri early next morning, avoiding the mid-day tourist rush. Though this was just one day’s trip, it was one of the best places I’ve been to. I recommend everyone visiting Uttarakhand to stop by at Harsil.
(Trivia: A considerable part of the movie “Ram Teri Ganga Maili” was shot here)
Travelling with your best buddies; no matter what time of year it is or whichever location it is, unlimited amount of fun and excitement are always guaranteed with the best friends.
1. Tawang-Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh
2.Zuluk , East Sikkim
3. Vatwang Falls,Mizoram
4. Meghalaya , Cherapunjee Storm
5. Ki-Monastry, Himachal Pradesh (Spiti Valley)
6. Pangong Lake, Ladakh
7. Deodar Forest,Himachal Pradesh
8. Andaman Islands, Scuba Diving Exploring the Coral Reefs
9.Karsa Gompa , Ladak
10. Manali-Leh Road Trip
11. Tea Estate – Munnar , Kerala
12. Sandakphu, Darjeeling
13.Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh
14.Sathuragiri Hills,Tamil Nadu
15.Kodiveri Dam,Tamil Nadu
16. Himalayas, Uttarkhand
17. Madurai ( temple city ), Tamil Nadu
19.Skiing , Shimla
20.Mary’s Islands , Karnataka
21.Maha Kumbh Mela
22. Mandi , Himachel Pradesh
23. Chand Bohari Abhaneri
24. Ajanta Ellora Caves
25. Aizwal at Night
26.Kuntala Falls, Adilabad,Telangana.
27. Lotus Temple , New Delhi
28. palitana Jain Temple, Gujarat
29.Ran-of- Kutch, Gujarat
31. Hampi, Karnataka
32 Dawki , Meghalaya
We all love tourist getaways to chill out or warm up during our summer or winter holidays and most of us prefer Hill stations for their scenic beauty. What if i told you that you can enjoy a big holiday of 4 years while learning in one such wonderful place well known for its valleys and gardens?
Say Hello to National Institute of Technology Srinagar.
NIT Srinagar is one of the reputed institutions governed by MHRD India along with other NITs and IITs which makes it a high quality educational institute.
The campus is situated on the banks of Dal Lake and is a few mins. of walk from the famous Hazratbal Shrine.
The entrance to the epitome of Knowledge and Beauty.
Bird eye view of the administration block of the campus
Snow clad Administration Block ( during winters )
Playground ( for extra curricular activities and Whatnot )
Playground – different angle ( it’s huge )
It rains in Srinagar too and its colder than Dilli ki sardi 😛
The right most tree is the famous Chinar tree and it has been witness to every alumni story.
Jhelum Hostel ( Boys )
Boys Hostels – Jhelum, Chenab, Indus ( clockwise direction starting from top )
Hazratbal Shrine is more beautiful during snowfall, thanks to majestic mountains
Majestic Dal lake during winters. Taking a ride on shikara is more fun than it seems in the picture.
Typical stormy nights as seen from Dal Lake.
There are various tourist places ( gardens and hill stations ) in and around to make sure that you’re never bored with the place. There’s Sonmarg, Gulmarg, Yousmarg, Pahalgam and many more which can be visited from Srinagar within a couple hours of journey.
Most people have a doubt about the place being unsafe for studying. I too had the same doubts but when i visited the place my perception changed and believe me it’s as safe as any other institution in the country. So if you’re upto spending 4 years of your college life in a place which will mesmerize you along with making you a better person professionally, be sure to check out NIT Srinagar ( ).
For more details on tourists spots, check any famous trip advisor site like goibibo, makemytrip, tripadvisor, travel india and others.
Pic credits – Taken from ( maintained by alumni ) and snapped by alumni of the college.
India has attractions of all types – Deserts, Hills, Snow covered peaks, Mountains, Ravaging Rivers, Seas, Big cities, Heritage places, World wonders, Historical buildings, Holy places for almost all religions in the world etc. Here are some places that are hard to believe exist:
1. Andaman & Nicobar Islands:
Andaman and Nicobar islands are one of the most beautiful places in the earth! It is sparsely populated which itself is a blessing in disguise. ‘Andaman’ is derived from the Malay word for the Hindu god Hanuman. ‘Nicobar’ is a Malay word that roughly translates to ‘land of the naked people.’ Andaman and Nicobar are covered with 90% forest and only 10% is inhabited by people. There are a total of 572 islands, and some are not even inhabited.
2. Salt Flats of Rann of Kutch, Gujarat
The Great Rann of Kutch is a seasonal salt marsh located in the Thar Desert in the Kutch District of Gujarat. It is about 7,505.22 square kilometres in size and is reputed to be the largest salt desert in the world. If you want details on when and how to visit this place, check out the blog –
Salt Crunching Walk
3. Pamban Bridge, Tamil Nadu
The Pamban Bridge used to be the longest sea bridge in India till 2010(when the Bandra-Worli Sea Link took over the honours). It is a 2.06 KM long bridge which connects Rameswaram with mainland India. It has both a road bridge and a railway bridge over the Bay of Bengal. While driving on this road, the blue waters of the sea will leave you speechless. For a moment you’ll wonder India is so much much more beautiful than what you thought.
For more such places, check out the blog – by
Disclaimer: I’m the co-founder of
Tripura. Capital- Agartala.
Many of us are not aware about its existence but it is an Indian state in North East of the country.
I have listed below few of the many places at Tripura to visit.
1. Unokoti, Kailasahar
2. Ujayantta Palace, Agartala
3. Rudrasagar Palace, Melaghar
4. Sipahijala Wildlife Sanctuary
5. Heritage Park, Agartala
6. Tripura Sundari Temple
Let’s go and read about Tripura now ? –,
Old Silk Route, Sikkim
This Route is a Part of Old Silk Route that Linked India and China.
While here, you are practically above the clouds and the mountains.
You can see other distant mountains below the horizontal eye site.
This is the most spectacular view of mountains that you will ever see from any other places in India.
2014 for me was the year of travel; I spent nearly two months all together travelling across India. Here are 10 amazing and surprising places I went to :-
10. ) Pangong Tso isn’t the only blue lake of India
The lake above is Chandrataal lake in Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh. Lake is accessible from May to October and is situated at height of 14,100 feet amidst Himalayas. One can sit near the lake and watch the colors change all day!
9. ) Hostels like Europe do exist in India!
After watching various Hollywood movies, one definitely gets tempted to explore the hostel culture of Europe ( which is still on my list) , but on advice of some friends I decided to try Jungle Hostel for my last two days at Vagator Beach, Goa. Best hostel experience ever. You dream of a hostel with people from all walks of life from all over the world with only goal: to experience the culture and travel? If yes, then such hostels do exist in India!
8. ) In Kal Bhairav temple, the Prasad is liquor
Kal Bhairav temple, Ujjain ( Madhya Pradesh) was definitely one of the strangest temples I’ve ever been to. Whereas in other temples of Hindu gods we offer sweets to god, at Kal Bhairav temple the Prasad you offer ranges from desi to IMFL, we offered Blenders Pride!
7. ) You must be AIDS free to enter Osho Ashram
I was in Pune visiting my old friend and meanwhile at Koregaon Park decided to meditate at famous Osho Ashram ( known as Osho Interational Meditation resort) , but to my surprise I had to first undergo AIDS test which turned negative so I was given entry. I learnt there that anyone AIDS positive is not allowed to enter resort premises.
6. )There is a MUMMY in India!
I always thought I’ll have to travel to Egypt to see a Mummy. Little did I know, one of the surpirses waiting for me in my Spiti road-trip was the Mummy of Shanga Tenzin ( believed to be around 600 yeards) of a Tibetian monk in Gue, which is near Tabo Monastery in Spiti Valley.
According to legend he asked his followers to mummify him during a scorpion infestation in the town, and when his spirit left his body, a rainbow appeared and the scorpions disappeared.
5. ) There is a solar observatory in Rajasthan..on an island!
This is Udaipur Solar Observatory situated inside Fateh Sagar Lake in Udaipur. Rajasthan being the state with most cloudless days and low air turbulunce due to surrounding water make USO one of the best solar observatories in Asia.
It was built following the model of the Solar Observatory at Big Bear lake in Southern California
4. ) Untouchibilty still exists in India
Malana : Chances are you have probably heard of this name before. They produce one of the world’s best quality Hashish in the world. This village which lies in Parvati valley has untouchibility culture where you are not supposed to touch locals at all! You get fined if you touch their temple and locals won’t let you touch them or touch you either.
3. ) There exists a place in India which has more Israelis than Indians
A visit to Kasaul is all you need to know about Israeli culture, you see more signboards in Hebrew in Kasaul than in English. Kasaul is one of best place for hippies and is one of favourite destinations of Israeli youth after their stint at Israel Defence Services.
2. ) India has a vehicle free hill station!
While travelling across Maharashtra I did a short detour to Matheran which is hardly two hours from Mumbai and upon reaching there I learnt it’s Indias only automobile free hill station, nothing except horses. Not even bicycles, only ambulances may enter hill station premises in case of emergency.
1. ) Chittorgarh Fort is an all-in-one package of Indian History!
Chittorgarh fort is the largest in India but is also richest in terms of historical signifciance. From Pandavas to Rana Pratap , from Akbar to Mirabai, this fort has significant history of almost every Indian historical character. History peeps out from everywhere in this huge fort!
I visited Munsyari (Pithoragarh district) -mesmerizing beauty ,something divine .
PANCHACHULI view from Munsyari :
Five snow peaks look like chimney
OM PARVAT :snow deposition pattern ,it is in Darchula district of western nepal and pithoragarh district ,India
Kali River’s one side is India and other side Nepal :
photos by – .