10 Best Offbeat Destinations in India to Satiate Your Wanderlust

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Offbeat Tourist Destinations in India

…what one may see it as just a destination, for others it is a paradise…

India is an epitome of tranquility, filled with serenity and bliss and a visit to this flamboyant country will leave you awestruck. However, from the list of offbeat places that became popular over the period of time, there are still a few overlooked destinations that have high potential in terms of tourism. Some of these are hidden destinations that are seated in the beautiful Indian Ocean, while some lay nestled in the lap of gorgeous Northeast India, whereas some enjoy their privacy in the tourist destinations of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. So, you know, there is always a chance for you to find an offbeat destination in India to satiate your wanderlust and find that perfect place to have that perfect adventure or an interaction with yourself. Here in this blog we will be discussing all about the best 10 places we think are still offbeat to visit for a wandering soul.

1. Tranquebar, Tamil Nadu

Tranquebar in Tamil Nadu

Down at the west coast of Tamil Nadu, a visit to Tranquebar may transport the travellers to a different era filled with historical oddity and calmness. And due to this coastal town being frequently visited, Tranquebar can be considered to be an offbeat destination in Tamil Nadu. Here, you can spend a lazy afternoon simply gazing at the seashore and fishing boats; a heritage walk of the town is always one of the best things you can do. Whether you rent a bicycle or walk along the beaten tracks of Tranquebar, you are to find peace and solace here. However, this former Danish colony and trading port of Tamil Nadu also has many tourist places with Danish Fort being the prime attraction. You can visit the Van Theylingen House, a Maritime Museum, further visiting Zion Church and New Jerusalem Church. Other tourist places in Tranquebar are Fort Dansborg, Masilamani Nathar Temple, Danish Cemetery.

How to Reach?

By Air: The closest airport is in Chennai and you can avail local taxis and buses to Tranquebar.

By Rail: The nearest railway stations are Nagapattinam (35 km) and Chidambaram (40 km). You can get an overnight Nagore Express from the city of Chennai.

By Road: By road, Tranquebar is 280 km from Chennai, you can take 5 to 6 hours on travel. Government and private buses leave regularly from Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminal.

2. Mawphlang, Meghalaya

Mawphlang Meghalaya

Slightly off the popular tourist destination in Meghalaya called Shillong, you can visit a beautiful offbeat place of Mawphlang. It is one of the best sites to visit for nature lovers and a trek up the Khasi hills will land you to Mawphlang sacred forest, locally named as Law Kentang. The significance behind it being sacred is that, the forest is a protected home to U Ryn¬gkew U Basa, a forest God. Besides that, the dense treasure trove forest will astonish you by it’s medicinal plants and tall trees that have been surviving for more than 1,000 years. As a matter of fact, the best way to explore the forest is by taking a local guide that will help you unearth the ancient folk stories of Law Kentang. While in Mawphlang, you can also visit the Khasi Heritage Village set up by the district council. You can witness various Khasi traditionally tribal huts and other culturally significant artifacts.

How to Reach?

By Air: The major airport is located in Guwahati and you can avail many taxis to Shillong further interchanging to a local transport to Mawphlang.

By Rail: The closest railway station is located in Guwahati and there are direct taxis to Shillong. You can further change to a local taxi to reach to Mawphlang.

By Road: Mawphlang in Meghalaya is located around 25 km from the state capital Shillong and it takes about an hour drive from the city. You can find many local taxis that ply from Shillong but if you don’t plan on staying in Mawphlang, make sure to hire the cab for a full day trip.

3. Dzukou Valley, Nagaland

Dzukou Valley

To see a heart warming sight of Dzukou after a tedious climb of Mount Japfu can make you teary eyed; such a splendour, you will feel the long hours of trek worth it. This spell-binding tourist destination is rather a famous local trekking place in Nagaland but it may be something new for tourists visiting India for adventure. Due to its offbeat approach and trails that may miss guide you at times, make sure to be fully prepared while venturing here. The beauty you can witness here are its wild seasonal flowers that blossom far and wide and of course the cold rivers of Japfu and Dzukou. It is completely safe pitching a tent in the valley as a matter of fact, there are also a few caves where adventure fonatics can play man versus wild. Although Dzukou Valley is not a difficult climb and taking a guide can be optional, you can refer to ‘a piece of heaven on earth’ article that will help you guide you with all your know hows.

How to Reach?

By Air: The closest airport is located in Dimapur, Nagaland and you can get taxis and buses from the airport to Kohima, further changing into a local transport to Dzukou Valley. Guwahati is however the international airport with buses from ISBT that will drop you to Kohima and Dimapur.

By Rail: Guwahati has a major railway station that links all important destinations and Dimapur as well. You can either drop off in Guwahati and take a bus from the ISBT or get down in Dimapur and hire a cab to Kohima.

By Road: Dzukou Valley is easily accessible from the capital town of Nagaland Kohima and there are plenty of taxis that offer to and fro services. (make sure to get the contact numbers of the driver and service station) There are two entry points to Dzukou Valley, Viswema and Jakhama and with Jakhama being the closest from the capital town (30 km) make sure to ask the driver to drop you at a point called ‘The Trekkers Point.’

4. Dhanushkodi, Tamil Nadu

Dhanushkodi

Dhanushkodi has earned its reputation for being one of the haunted places in India, but we can think it to be more of a historical attraction that is associated to the tale of Ramayana. Often tourist come here to witness the spectacular natural Adam’s Bridge that almost joins Sri Lanka, that being said, most of the tourists prefer a chopper ride for a clearer view often missing out on the mini truck ride. From the point where the tar road ends in Dhanushkodi to the tip point of the sandy shore offers an enthralling 12 km ride where the mini trucks drive along the beach. A few not to miss tourist sites in Dhanushkodi are the Church and an old railway station, you can see only the ruins left after a devastating cyclone hit in 1964.

How to Reach?

By Air: There are no airports in Dhanushkodi however, the city of Madurai in Tamil Nadu has an airport that has many options to reach Dhanushkodi.

By Rail: Rameswaram railway station and Pamban Junction are the only railhead closest to Dhanushkodi with punctual services from Boat Mail Express and Sethu Express.

By Road: From Rameswaram, you can avail buses that will drop you to the end of the tar road in Dhanushkodi from there on, you can access a mini truck that will take you for a round trip across the sandy path to the tip of the land.

Note: The round trip offers only a 30-minute wait time after which it will return, make sure not to miss your ride or hop onto another mini truck before sundown or the last truck.

5. Nameri National Park, Assam

Nameri National Park

It may be quite an unheard wildlife destination in India but Nameri National Park offers all that what any other famous wildlife places does. First, this park is located amid the natural setting between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh making it possess a blend of plains and hills and second, it offers exquisite staying option in the national park. A stay at the Wild Mahseer provides a wonderful wildlife experience with individual bungalows intact with authentic Assamese decor. Nevertheless, if you visit between November to April, you can indulge in engaging adventure activities such as river rafting, trekking, birding, eco-camping and safaris. Nameri National Park similar to Kaziranga is extremely rich in flora and fauna and there is no doubt, it can be a fabulous national park to visit alternative to Kaziranga National Park.

How to Reach?

By Air: The closest airport is in Guwahati, i.e. 240 km however, it is 32 km from Tezpur Airport (you will have to interchange flights from Guwahati or Kolkata)

By Rail: The closest and major railway is located in Guwahati. You can get plenty of prepaid taxis from the station to the national park.

By Road: Roadways are the only means to reach Nameri National Park via Guwahati and Tezpur. You can always avail taxi services from the landing stations or call the hotel where you will be staying for a transport.

6. Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh

Tirthan Valley

One prized possession of Himachal Pradesh, the Tirthan Valley is a treasure trove for nature lovers and certainly, any visitor will be awestruck by the riveting beauty of pine trees and dramatic hill slopes. Located about 1600 meters above sea level in the Kullu district, Tirthan Valley is quite popular as it is surrounded by the Great Himalayan National Park. Nevertheless, this fabulous offbeat destination that ooze sweet fragrance is also a great place for adventure sport lovers, you can go exploring hill villages, indulge in wildlife watching and of course trekking through various offbeat paths. However, for a rather rustic feel and experience, you can opt for a homestay in a local’s home or camp outside GHNP. ‘Infact, out of the many small villages around the valley, Gushaini is most preferred village to visit and stay.’ During your trip to the valley, you can expect to see sights of rolling clouds on mountains, houses surrounded by vines, climbers and flowers, a pristine waterfall located towards a hike further from the Rolla Village. And of course the two not to miss sights are the Prashar Lake alongside a pagoda style temple and a 1,500-year old Chehni Kothi tower.

How to Reach?

By Air: The closest airport to Tirthan Valley is located in Bhuntar, Kullu–Manali Airport. You can avail prepaid taxis to the selected hotel in the valley.

By Rail: Chandigarh Junction is the closest to Tirthan Valley and you can get many taxi services to the selected accommodation.

By Road: Easily accessible via NH 21, Chandigarh-Manali NH21, expect to find a smooth ride traversing scenic snow clad slopes and green patch lands on your way to the Tirthan Valley.

7. Phawngpui Blue Mountain National Park, Mizoram

Phawngpui Blue Mountain National Park

The highest mountain range of the state of Mizoram, Phawngpui and the often considered Blue Mountain is a riveting offbeat place in Mizoram you have to visit. This mountain range also has a beautiful national park that is located about 270 km from the Mizoram’s capital Aizawl. Due to its close proximity with the border of Indo-Myanmar, you get to sightsee a drastic change of mountain ranges as compared to other Indian mountain ranges. And while hiking under the radiating Indian sun in the Blue Mountain National Park, you are for sure to sight rich collection of flora and fauna as well as breathtaking rocky cliffs and dense forested lands. Phawngpui Blue Mountain National Park is certainly an ideal place to visit, along with the states many alluring places of tourist interest.

How to Reach?

By Air: The closest airport to Phawngpui Blue Mountain National Park is in Aizawl, you can get connecting flights from Kolkata and Guwahati.

By Rail: Bairabi is the closest railway station in Mizoram and it is located 120 km to Aizwal.

By Road: Phawngpui Blue Mountain National Park is only accessible via roadways and you can get many taxis that ply from different places in Mizoram to the national park.

8. Sumbuk, South Sikkim

Sumbuk

Reputed to be one of the most untouched beauties of the southern Sikkim, Sumbuk comes in the collection to be one of the best places for bird watching. However, it does not end just as a birding place, in fact, being an offbeat place in Sikkim, you can expect a raw nature, thus offering excellent places for trekking. You can trek in the southern slope of Sikkim to a dense forest called as Peacock Breeding and photograph many feathered creatures like Khaleej pheasant, Himalayan Flameback, Hornbill and more. Kolompe Rocky Mountain and Phool Dhara meaning a hill filled with flowers in Nepali are also another interesting tourist hotspot near Sumbuk. However, the Kitam Bird Sanctuary home to various species of birds more than 200 is the main crowd puller.

How to Reach?

By Air: The closest airport is located in west of Siliguri, Bagdogra Airport about 77 km to Sumbuk.

By Rail: New Jalpaiguri Junction is the major railway station located 72 km to Sumbuk.

By Road: Sumbuk is accessible via roadways from the all major West Bengal cities and towns. Taxis are easily available on prepaid services or on hire.

9. Nelang Valley, Uttarakhand

Nelang Valley

Thanks to the striking resemblance to the rugged destinations of Ladakh, this cold deserted mountains of Uttarakhand is an offbeat treasure destination every adventure enthusiasts must uncover. Opened for tourists since 2015, Nelang Valley is a part of Gangotri National Park and overnight camping is not permitted. However, this valley is especially known for the trading business between India – Tibet and its spine-tingling ancient wooden bridge as their sole means of transport. This bridge that clings to the mountains is certainly an awe-inspiring sight and it is still in use; it is said that only the dare devil can cross the bridge.

How to Reach?

By Air: Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun in the closest airport to Nelang Valley which is roughly 315 km away.

By Rail: The closest railway stations are Rishikesh and Haridwar and local taxis are available every morning from these two holy towns.

By Road: Nelang Valley is easily accessible from Dehradun, Rishikesh and Haridwar. However, you can travel upto Bhairo Ghati from there on hired forest department vehicles will take you to the valley.

10. Mollem, Goa

Mollem Goa

An unexplored Goan destination of Mollem certainly has charm and serenity, it is a quiet little village close to the borders of Karnataka. This destination is however famed for the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and is constantly thronged by tourists. Nevertheless, some treasures Mollem possesses are the old rocks found in this region that are estimating to be around 3,600 billion years old. Another attraction Mollem possesses is the 13th century temple of Mahadeva located at Tambdi Surla. It is said that, this very shrine has survived during the Muslim and Portuguese invaders and is the sole surviving evidence of the Kadamba Dynasty of Goa. We can say that, Mollem can be an ideal short trip from other Goan places traversing the popular Dudhsagar waterfalls and scenic coastal roads.

How to Reach?

By Air: The closest airport is located in Dabolim, Goa and it is almost 60 km away.

By Rail: Madgaon Railway Station receives major trains and it is about 50 km to Mollem.

By Road: Roadways is the most popular means of transport and you can get plenty of taxis and you can also hire or rent a vehicle to get to Mollem, Goa.

With a list of tourist friendly places in India we come across, often transportation and staying accommodations tend to give an ache to the journey. Luckily, these mentioned exuberant offbeat places provide home stays, hotels and even options to camp. You are for sure to enjoy a holiday in India out of the monotonous places and to some new destinations. And if you are looking for pocket friendly tour packages, you can always contact us at +91-9212553106 or send us your queries at info@tourmyindia.com and we’ll make sure to contact you as soon as we get your message.

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About

Abhishek Gurung is a writer whose passion for food and travel is an unending affair. He likes going on treks and camping in the woods, loves exploring forts and architecture, he is a cycle enthusiast who likes to contribute something to the environment, travel photography and videography is another interest as he sees life in a cinematic point of view. He likes the idea of living in offbeat destination where the mode of communication is to interact with each other. Coming from Nagaland, he has visited some beautiful valleys and remote villages and appreciates nature as it is and as it should be.


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