Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Satisfy Your Wanderlust! Visit The Offbeat Travel Destinations In India.

Temples Of Bishnupur 

Quiet sleepy town of Bishnupur is home to a series of centuries old terracotta temples built by the Malla Kings. Bishnupur town was named after Lord Vishnu by Vashnavite Malla kings as their main deity was Lord Vishnu. Facing shortage of stones in the area, the Kings decided to build terracotta temples, crafted from local laterite and brick, the temples were covered with terracotta tiles depicting scenes from the epic Mahabharata and Ramayana. Bishnupur town is not just famous for it's terracotta temples but is rich in it's heritage, architecture, culture and handicrafts such as pottery and weaving. Not to forget the famous baluchari sarees.

Ruins Of Basgo 

Among the many stunning stops on the Kargil Leh highway Basgo ruins was like a crown of jewels. Just a small detour off the highway took us to these ancient ruins where once stood a massive clay castle and Maitreya temple. This is one of the most treasured monuments of Ladakh. The views from the highway were so captivating that we were attracted towards it. The most unbelievable fact is that this monument was built using clay, stones and wood. These colossal ruins are such treasures not just of Ladakh but the whole World. It is a must visit while on a trip to Ladakh.

Monoliths Of Nartiang

Meghalaya, the land famous for its bio engineering wonder- "The Living Root Bridges" which are many in number and all of them absolutely breathtaking, was the topmost reason we wanted to visit this state. However, our quest for off beat places made sure we explore not just the Root Bridges but other lesser known hidden treasures which are off the tourist radar. One such gem of a find was the 'Nartiang Monoliths' in the Jowai region of Meghalaya and is 80 km from the state capital, Shillong.

Keibul Lamjo Only Floating National Park 

The only floating National Park in the world, Keibul Lamjao is the last abode for the endangered species Sangai or dancing deer. Once threatened to near extinction, re-appeared a couple of years later and now one of the most endangered species. This Park is a part of the Loktak lake and though the lake has phumdis all over, the phumdis in the National Park are the ones that are best suited for the survival of the dancing deer. The reeds and grasses that grow on the phumdis serve as food for the sangai deer.

Witness The Migration Of Amur Falcons In Doyang

If solitude is your cup of tea and you want to enjoy Nature at it's best without any disturbance then Doyang is the perfect place. This beautiful village in remote parts of Nagaland is a bird watchers paradise and is visited by lakhs of Amur Falcons during the winter months. These incredible migratory birds have chosen this fertile land for roosting, embarking on a marathon flight from East Asia to Siberia via North East India covering thousands of kilometers. Only a handful of homes are dotted across the hill and this is one of those rare places to enjoy wilderness. The star lit sky and massive reservoir built over Chubi river on which the Doyang hydro power project sits is a picturesque destination.

Longwa Village Home To Last Remaining Headhunters

Though headhunters lived among every Naga tribe, the Konyak tribe in Longwa and Mon village is where we found men sporting tattoos on their face which symbolizes only one thing- these men have actually severed heads during raids. We had come to Mon just to catch a glimpse of these men, little did we know that we would dine with one and spend time with a couple of others and have a friendly chat while they were smoking up fresh opium in their wooden pipes. After a tedious ride to this extreme remote corner- Mon, it only made sense to reach Longwa a border town in between India and Myanmar.

Under Construction Living Root Bridge- Umkar 

Siej Village is home to a stunning piece of wonder "Umkar Living Root Bridge." A couple of years ago, this 40 year old bridge was washed away due to massive floods and the villagers are now rebuilding it. This Bridge is 75% complete and would take another 15 years to grow fully and become functional. The bridge can now be tagged as "Under Construction."

Willong Khullen Monoliths Of Meghalaya 

Who knew a small village in Manipur, a rarely visited North Eastern State, could hold such a significant wonder that is on the same lines as the Stonehenge. This exceptionally intriguing monument is sadly not known by the locals of Manipur apart from those living in the villages around Willong. We were left in awe to see massive blocks of rocks many towering over 10 feet and a few over 1 meter wide. There are a total of approx 135 pillars here.

Go Treasure Hunting In Rajgir 

Rajgir, the first capital of Magadha Kindom that later on became the Mauryan Empire, has a lot of tales to tell every inquisitive visitor with a keen interest in history. This city is not just mentioned in the epic "Mahabharata" but also finds a place in Jainism and Buddhism scriptures and has a cluster of attractions spread across 3 lanes- defining Incredible India. This tiny town in the remote part of India has more than enough to give treasure hunters sleepless nights.

Trek Around The Massive Crater Lake In Lonar 

One of its kind phenomena on the planet is the Lonar Crater Lake with geological, geographical, mythical, scientific wonders - all served in one platter. The only hyper-velocity crater lake in the world formed from basaltic rock was created by a meteor impact some 52000 years ago and is the third largest salt water lake in the world. The mystery behind the aftermaths of the meteor impact as to why a compass fails to work in some parts of the crater, how it is able to support some rare micro-organisms that are hardly found at any other place on the planet, why is the water alkaline and saline and what lurks at the bottom of this lake make it even more intriguing.

Be Lost In Mesmerizing Artwork Of Mother Nature Gandikota Canyons

Gandikota canyons and gorges are one of the best kept secrets of India. The site is so stunning and gorgeous that one has to see it to believe it. An impregnable fortress built here stands testimony to the fact that the deep gorges are impossible to climb up mighty Penna river.

Witness The Art Of Cave Dwellers In Bhimbetka

Bhimbetka caves, lying in the lap of the Vindhya ranges, are a gift from our forefathers, aka cavemen! These long lost rock shelters were discovered by Dr. Vishnu Sridhar in 1957. This World Heritage Monument offers a pictorial representation of how our ancestors lived their lives during the Stone Age. The rich paintings and art depict day to day activities, it is hard to believe that plant extracts used as colors centuries ago look amazing even today.

Stay In The Humble Likir Monastery

Our very first experience of staying in a Monastery was in the land of Lamas "Ladakh," home to stunning monasteries. Each monastery is more beautiful than the other. We chose the offbeat yet beautiful Likir Gompa. The abbot of this monastery is the younger brother of the 14th Dalai Lama- Tenzin Choegyal. The monastery is home to around 120 lamas and the school teaches around 30 lamas. It was an awesome experience to stay in a centuries old Monastery and we also had amazing views of the Himalayas from our room.

Wake Up To Stunning Views Of Glaciers In Parkachik Village

It's more often the off beaten paths and tough roads that lead to the most beautiful and non commercialized stunning destinations. The quintessential Parkachik Village is one such destination en route Zanskar Valley. Just 80 km from Kargil, it is home to stunning glaciers, perennial rivers and colossal snowy mountain peaks. The closest that you can get to Nature.

Soak In Unending Views Of Laitlum Canyons

Meghalaya has enchanted us with her beauty and we were in love with the sunning landscape, amazing roads and the perfect relaxing environment that the state has to offer. The best experience was undoubtedly our visit to Laitlum Canyons which holds true to it's name "End of Hills." This beautiful location in East Khasi Hills is an amazing hot spot to catch views of the hills of Meghalaya. A 45 minute drive and some 30 odd kilometers from the capital, Shillong, this lesser known destination can be reached via Smit Village.