India’s Roads Less Traveled

Arun Bhat
  • By Arun Bhat
  • September 28th, 2010

Nearly every traveler who comes to India begins his or her journey with the Golden Triangle – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Those who have more time go a little further to places like Varanasi, Jaisalmer and Khajuraho. Those who come on a leisure holiday prefer Goa or Kerala, while those who look for mountains go to Manali and Ladakh. More often than not, guidebook recommendations play a major role in deciding where to go. India is more than just these. There are some rare gems where even Indians rarely take time to travel to. Here is a list of five such places worth putting in your itinerary.

1. North East India

The fact that the seven states of North East India are separated by a bottleneck from rest of the country, has isolated these states from travelers list of places to see. The North Eastern states have a wildlife unparalleled and unseen in rest of the country. It also has some magnificent landscapes that vary from marshy grasslands in the plains to snowfields dotted with lakes. Visit Kaziranga National Park to see rhinos, go to Cherrapunjee to see the wettest place on earth and visit Tawang to see an ancient monastery that is one of the largest Buddhist learning centers in Asia.

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2. Madhya Pradesh

Although Madhya Pradesh is at the exact center of India, people often pass through it than stop by to see places. Reasons could be many. The state’s tourist infrastructure and transport facilities could do with some improvement. Also, being faraway from all the big cities and major transit points, one will have to travel long distances and make major deviations from their itineraries to reach any place in Madhya Pradesh. Madhya Pradesh, known as the tiger-state of India has many national parks that host a large number of tigers. Kanha and Bandhavgarh are the most well known. Also visit the ancient towns of Orchha, Khajuraho and Mandu.

3. Orissa

Orissa, Madhya Pradesh’s neighboring state, is not visited by many for the same reasons why Madhya Pradesh is not frequented by tourists. Orissa’s rich heritage can be seen by visiting Puri and surrounding areas, which are home to some of the most beautiful ancient temples in the country. Orissa, like Madhya Pradesh, too has rich wilderness and offers excellent biodiversity. The chilka lake and nearby areas not only have beautiful landscapes, they are visited by Olive Ridley Turtles in the winter months.

4. Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Until last decade, the islands of Andaman and Nicobar were rarely visited by tourists, be it Indian or foreign. With some marketing focus from India Tourism and availability of better tourist facilities, it is slowly attracting more people. Yet, the distance from the mainland still keeps many people from exploring these places. Andaman Islands have some of the best beaches seen anywhere in India, even better than the excellent beaches of Goa. The islands are also home to some of the thickest tropical rainforest, endangered tribes (whom tourists are not permitted to visit) and birds not seen in the mainland. Andaman also offers the best diving experience anywhere in India.

5. Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand’s hill stations are every Delhiite’s favourite and its trekking routes are every adventurer’s dream. While domestic tourists throng the hill-stations of Uttarakhand, foreign travelers seem to keep this mountain-state largely out of their itinerary. The southern Kumaon region of Uttarakhand has green hills and some quiet hill stations. As you go deeper into the mountains, the altitude increases steadily, revealing some of the highest peaks in the country. See the mighty Nanda Devi – the second tallest peak in India. Go on the Roopkund trek, ski on the slopes of Auli and see the amazing landscapes of Corbett National Park.

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This post is written by photographer and travel writer Arun Bhat who blogs on his India Travel Blog. This post is written for AffordableCallingCards.net, who offer cheap India calling cards.

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