1. Dhanushkodi, Tamil Nadu
Dhanuskodi is the southern tip of the Pamban Island in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is famous as a ghost town and that’s what makes it so intriguing. The town was hit by a tsunami in 1964, and is consequently full of broken, incomplete structures. It is inhabited with only a few temporary fishermen settlements. It is best to travel this island by foot even though it is not easy to cover 10-12 kms in the sand, especially when it’s hot and humid. But as you start walking, you spot crabs and delicate corals which you might want to keep as souvenirs. One can hear the sea waves and when you finally reach the point where land ends, the sea appears never ending with the clearest water. Even better is if you decide to witness the sunset. Buses to Dhanuskodi are available from Rameshwaram.
2. Lakshwadeep Islands
If you are seeking complete isolation, this is the place to go. Located only 300 kms away from the coast of Kerala, the white sand covered island with endless palm trees will give you one of the best travel experiences of your life. Out of 36 islands, only 2 or 3 are open to tourists. However, the appeal of these islands lies underwater with pristine water and untouched coral reefs. But, but, but be aware that vacations at Lakshwadeep are done only with pre-arranged packages which include meals and permits for under-water activities as well.
3. Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
If you didn’t already know, this forest is the inspiration of Rudyard Kipling’s famous novel ‘The Jungle Book.’ People say this is one of the national parks in India where you can actually spot a tiger! Inspired enough? That’s not it. There are a wide variety of birds as well. And with the help of stringent policies, the forest has managed to keep its flora and fauna intact. One of its main highlights is the sunset point. The backdrop consists of alluring shades of orange and deer grazing. Simply wow.
4. Keibul National Park, Manipur
This is the largest floating sanctuary in India including 40.3 sq km of wetland overgrown with 1.5 m of floating vegetation. The forest is home to various endangered species of deer like the Sangai ( brown-antlered deer), among others. One can also spot elephants and marble cats. The biggest attraction of the park is the Loktal lake which is the largest freshwater lake in India. In fact, a major part of the lake lies within the park, and a diverse variety of birds can be found near its banks. A photographer’s paradise, go here if you want to experience living in the wilderness.
5. Majuli, Assam
Majuli is the largest river island in India, located on the banks of the river Brahmaputra. It offers the most picturesque view with glowing rice fields and water meadows full of colourful flowers. Bird watchers please take note: this island is home to more than a hundred species of birds. If you want to have a cultural experience then it is a good idea to witness the Raas Mahotsav festival in November. Sadly, sources say, this island will only exist for another 20 years, since it will be completely submerged under water due to soil erosion. So you’ve got to plan this trip real soon!
6. Sundarbans, West Bengal
The largest tiger reserve in India with a never ending stretch of mangrove trees still remains an undiscovered paradise. If you’re lucky, you can spot some Red-Fidler Crabs and Ridley Sea Turtles too. The region’s rich diversity of organisms makes it a true wildlife experiences. Photographers should go here with multiple memory cards because there’s just so much to capture.
7. Rann Of Kutch, Gujrat
This is the biggest salt dessert in India and remains submerged in water during the monsoon. One place where colour, culture, traditions and tourism come together, you’ll find women dressed in colourful ghagra cholis, the finest silk cloths, ancient structures and rugged forts. In other words, the perfect place to experience ‘incredible’ India. Additionally, there are a wide variety of birds to add to endless scenic beauty. A camel ride in the breezy evening and sunsets should be a priority on your itinerary.
8. Dodital, Uttranchal
This is the perfect location for people who love trekking and camping. The high point about this area is a fresh water lake located in the middle of nowhere. The lake is full of trout fish that have a reflective surface. Interestingly, during sunrise, the lake starts radiating a golden glow due to the presence of these fish. And yes, it is a jaw dropping sight. Other attractions include a Lord Ganesha temple, and a dense forest full of deodar trees, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and trekking enthusiasts.
9. Tawang Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh
Located 10,000 feet above sea level and surrounded by ravines on both sides, this monastery is located on a hill. The building is gorgeous with the praying hall being the main highlight. It is nicely decorated and you can also spot monks praying in the morning hours. The best part of this place is the fact that it offers a breathtaking view of Tawang-Chu Valley. Please note, you need various permits to travel to Arunachal Pradesh. A must visit for those seeking a spiritual experience.
10. Tsomgo Lake, Sikkim
Also known as Changu lake, the road that leads to it is full of rugged mountain terrains and sharp turns, but the risk is worth taking. The lake looks different in every season. During the months of winter, it looks absolutely white because most parts of it are frozen. Otherwise, local weeds and colourful flowers surround it. Some locals say, in the past, Buddhist monks would predict the future by looking at the colour of the lake. One can also ride on yaks or mules and explore nearby markets.