Considering India’s expansive size, it’s no surprise that the country is home to a diverse bouquet of traveler’s delights – bustling cities, exotic rainforests, searing deserts, lofty mountains, shimmering beaches and snowy peaks are just part of the rich diversity of India’s geographical makeup. Yet its many attractions can make finding a truly authentic Indian experience a struggle. For the return visitor, the offbeat traveler, the solitude seeker and the peaceful nature lover, we’ve compiled this list of off-the-beaten-path destinations to help you experience a unique holiday which is truly yours.
1. Palolem Beach, Goa
Goa’s known as one of India’s must-visit travel destinations due to its pristine sandy beaches, chilled out vibe, fantastic beach parties and international flair. It’s also easily accessible from abroad, with regular flights from Miami to Goa, If you’re looking for a lesser known spot where you can enjoy the best of Goa, Palolem Beach is an hour and a half’s drive from Goa Airport and boy, is it worth the journey – known as ‘Paradise Beach’, Palolem’s got everything, including its own accommodation.
If you’re looking for a truly immersive, unique destination, this lush cluster of mangrove forests is perfect. Home to a wide variety of exotic animals including pythons, crocodiles, spotted deer and over 170 species of bird, this area of outstanding natural beauty makes the ultimate trip for nature lovers.
For real adventurers seeking an active, thrill-packed trip, this remote mountainous region is sure to excite – dense forestry, soaring mountains offering panoramic views and rough terrain makes this perfect for trekking and hiking. Vivid greenery, drifting clouds and dizzying dips and heights make this perfect for explorers.
This delicious little village near Chamba makes a gorgeous off-beat destination for couples – known as ‘Mini Switzerland’ due to its topographical similarity, this secluded toy-town village is enclosed with lush meadows, dense pines and mountainous terrain. Khajjiar lake offers a gorgeous view of the surrounding areas, and this region offers landscapes which are as far from the usual images of India as one can image – truly something to write home about.
If you’re after a city break but want a quiet moment to escape the crowds, Lodi Gardens’ 90-acre grounds are a peaceful place to relax and reflect. Containing several ancient tombs and some fascinating examples of Lodhis’s 15th century architecture, Lodi Gardens make a contemplative little-known cultural destination away from the busy bustle of inner Delhi.
Another underrated cultural spot, Chettinad Palace is a visual feast which is second to none – combining art, stunning architecture and tradition, its ornate exteriors and detailed façade are a vision you will never forget. And Chettinad cuisine is considered amongst the finest in India – the word ‘chettinad’ itself translated has connotations of ‘a master preparer of food’. With its winning combination of stunning architecture and aromatic, spicy local dishes, Chettinad’s a must-visit destination.
So get out there and get booking – with such a selection of little-known delights, its only a matter of time before these secrets go mainstream! Just catch a flight from Chicago to New Delhi and start your adventure today.