5 offbeat destinations of India
Khimsar, Rajasthan: Located on the edge of the Thar Desert, this village is one of the less-explored tourist destinations in the country. Offering a great combination of history, monuments, and nature, the village is sandwiched between other well-known tourist destinations in the state. The natural sand dunes near the village give a unique desert expedition experience to the tourists, not too far from the rustic ambiance of the village and the urban atmosphere of the nearby towns. The 16th-century ancient fort takes visitors on a journey through the village’s history. A complete experience of desert, dunes, camels, camps, tents, and monuments awaits you at Khimsar.
Mawlynnong, Meghalaya: The village was named the “Cleanest Village in Asia” by Discover India magazine in 2003. Though this award has increased the tourist influx to the village, it has still managed to remain one of the cleanest places. The neatly laid out village is a great place to stay while enjoying the tourist destinations nearby. The village is a role model for rainwater harvesting, waste management, and community participation for a larger cause. A relaxed saunter around the village would enrich the visitors with a great sense of cleanliness, worth emulating back home.
Courtallam, Tamil Nadu: It is one rare village in India that has numerous waterfalls, both within the village and around the village. A journey through all these waterfalls of various sizes often leaves the visitors thrilled and exhausted. Located in the Tenkasi district of the state, the economy of the village and surrounding places depends on waterfall tourism. Apart from the waterfalls, Courtallam is well known for the beauty of the western ghats surrounding it and has been featured in many films. There are about 10 waterfalls in the village, some of which are private but accessible, and this rich natural blessing showered on the village by mother nature has given it monikers such as “Land of Waterfalls,” “Waterfalls Village,” and “Spa of South India to Courtallam.”
Shivagange, Karnataka: Located about 50 km from Bengaluru near Dabaspet, this towering hill, nearly 4500 feet high, is a revered religious site. Though popular with tourists and trekkers, divinity takes precedence here, with a large number of temples present at the base and at the peak as well. A couple of temples, such as Gangadhareshwara and Honnamma Devi, are cave temples. The long and tiring trail that leads to the top of the hill is more than 5 km long, with steps carved all along the way. The power of devotion makes even the aged climb this distance to receive the blessing of God. The ancient temples were built by the various dynasties that ruled the place. A statue of Nandi perched atop a large boulder on the peak is a great attraction of the place.
Bhimbetka Rock Shelters, Madhya Pradesh: These are a group of over 700 rock shelters distributed over an area of nearly 10 square kilometers and spread across about seven hills. The UNESCO World Heritage Site preserves evidence of human presence in the form of rock art and paintings dating from at least 15000 to 25000 years ago. The cave shelters vary in size and style and have stone walls and floors, which are claimed to be the oldest in the world.