India is undoubtedly a beautiful country with unmatched destinations. The farther you go; you discover more beauty topped with utter serenity and peace of mind. Some places actually have a spiritual aura, whereas some are so warm with hospitality that it melts one’s heart. Truly India is a land which must be explored to the fullest.
Here are some places that are lesser known but are absolutely worth a visit.
Lepchajagat, West Bengal
Lepchajagat is a small village located in the wilderness at an altitude of 2123m. It is at a distance of only 19kms from famed hill station in India, Darjeeling. Although it’s quite close to Darjeeling and takes only about 45 minutes by taxi, it has a world of its own. If you are a nature lover or looking for a romantic getaway, then, Lepchajagat is the place for you. In short, the place is all about dense forest full of pines, oaks and rhododendrons; magnificent views of Kanchenjunga Peak; wonderful birdlife and serene ambiance.
About 90 km from Pune, off the Pune -Ahmednagar Highway, is a sleepy town named Nighoj. From here, some 2 km further up are Asia’s largest potholes formed in River Kukdi. The gorge found here which just about 2 km in length is hardly visible from a distance. The river bed and the walls of the gorge have fascinating formations of rocks and potholes.
The villagers remain enchanted with Nighoj for a reason that is very interesting. It is said that every year on Janmashtami, the villagers indulge in a little ritual, in which over six hundred devotees pour into Nighoj to witness a miracle. At the stroke of midnight, villagers claim, an earthen pot brimming with water emerges from the main well in the village, the pot is put on display for three days and after a grand procession, it’s immersed into the well so that it rises again the next year.
Dzongu is a triangular region in North Sikkim. It is bounded by the Teesta River in the south-east, Tholung Chu River in the north-east and by mighty mountains in the west. It borders the Kangchenjunga Biosphere Reserve. The place boasts of lush green valleys and swift water streams that gush down the cliffs. The region sees very little tourist activities and hence seems almost untouched. It is sparsely populated and is covered with dense vegetation of rice and cardamom.
Dzongu has been established as an official reserve for the Lepcha people, the aboriginal inhabitants of Sikkim. There are no hotels in Dzongu but as eco-tourism initiative, some families have started ‘Homestays’ here. One can experience the hospitality of the Lepcha people by living as a part of their family in their home. Doing so also helps travellers to understand Lepcha culture, customs and language.