Travelling is nothing less than therapy, and when the destinations are offbeat and closer to nature – nothing like that. India is known for its cultural heritage and unity in diversity. But, India is also the landmark of many beautiful destinations. It has its exquisite range of mighty mountains, to vaulting valleys and serene seas. While most of you are aware of most of the well-known picturesque places, today we will indulge in the most offbeat destinations in India that you must explore. So if you are someone who is not a big fan of crowds, give this blog a read. You will be surprised to find so many offbeat yet beautiful places for your next vacation.
8 Offbeat Destinations In India
Located at the heart of Uttarakhand, Auli is a true nature’s retreat. Surrounded by apple orchids and pine trees, Auli is indeed a piece of heaven on earth. Known as the skiing destination in India, Gurson Bugyal and Kwani Bugyal are two small and simple treks in Auli. A snow-covered hill station, Auli is a stunning offbeat destination in India which provides the magnificent views of Mount Nanda, Ghori Parbat and Nar Parbat. It is always a great time to visit Auli. But if skiing is on your mind, June to October is the time for you.
How to reach Auli
The nearest railway station, as well as airport to Auli, is Dehradun. From there it takes you nearly 4 hours to reach Auli. If you wish to save some penny, take a bus from Dehradun railway station. However, there are plenty of private cars which will take you to Auli.
Places to stay
Auli has many beautiful resorts, hotels and hostels where you can stay for your holidays. There are places for backpackers, people on a low/medium budget and people who want to have a luxurious stay. The Himalayan Abode is a quaint, little place to stay at Auli. Enjoy the breathtaking view of the Himalayas from your room while sipping cutting chai. The tariff is Rs 1500 per night. If budget isn’t a constraint for you, Cliff Top Club Auli is the place to be. Plan your trek to the Valley of Flowers and know everything you need to about skiing from here. Enjoy the exquisite cuisine options available here while staying in the lap of Nanda Devi, the third tallest peak of India. The tariff here is Rs 8000 per night. Check out this Instagram page to find more information about the place.
Must-Try Foods In Auli
Do not expect to have a gourmet meal when at Auli. Rather, enjoy the traditional Garhwali cuisine which includes rice, dal and traditional meat dishes. Kachmauli (stuffed goat seasoned with mustard oil and spices) and Bal Mithai (a sweet dish) are a must-try.
2. Daringbadi, Odisha
Widely known as the ‘Kashmir of Odisha’, Daringbadi is an unexplored retreat for any nature lover. The lush green of Odisha makes this place nothing less than paradise. The tranquil water bodies are surrounded by luxuriant greenery. Although many tourists step foot in the ancient city of Odisha, Daringbadi is an offbeat destination to date. Go for some soul searching and enjoy the majesty and grandeur of this place. Surrounded by thick rain forest, coffee garden and green valleys, this offbeat destination is above 300 feet from sea level. Lover’s Point, Hill View, Ludu Waterfall, Kalinga Ghat and Belghar Sanctuary are some places that you cannot miss when at Daringbadi. Next summer, plan a weekend tour at Daringbadi and experience the heavenly beauty yourself. To know more about Daringbadi and other outstanding yet offbeat destinations in India, follow this Instagram account.
How To Reach Daringbadi
The nearest airport to Daringbadi is Bhubaneswar. Take a private or shared cab from there and reach Daringbadi within 5 hours. Brahmapur is the station where you have to get down if you are travelling by railway. It will take around a little more than 2 hours to reach Daringbadi.
Places To Stay
Deers Eco Home, Hotel Utopia and Hotel Padma are some decent places for accommodation at Daringbadi. The tariff at these places ranges from Rs 1800 to Rs 2500 per night.
Food To Try in Daringbadi
At Daringbadi, you will get the typical Bengali thali (veg and non-veg) which comprises of rice, dal, vegetable curry, fish and/or meat. Apart from that, there are many budget-friendly and good restaurants available there which serves Indian Chinese, South Indian, Mughlai and Continental dishes.
3. Bijanbari, Darjeeling
If an escape from the hustle-bustle of the city life is your main intention for a vacation, Bijanbari in Darjeeling district is a wonderful place to visit. Bijanbari is like a riverside camp, but instead of camps, there are 3 bamboo resorts. The whistling sound of the river flowing along with birds chirping will be nothing but music to your ears. The small village of Bijanbari is such an offbeat destination that Google too cannot provide a lot of information. There are not many typical sight-seeing spots here and I remember being at my resort, staring out from my window and getting absorbed into the unparalleled beauty of nature. Every time is a good time to visit this beautiful destination. Perfect for a romantic gateway or solo travel. Darjeeling is a hidden gem of offbeat destinations. Have a look at this Instagram account to realise the beauty it beholds.
How To Reach
The nearest airport to Bijanbari is Bagdogra Airport, from where you can get a cab and reach within 3 hours. From New Jalpaiguri Station, which is the nearest railway station, it will take a little more than 3 hours to reach Bijanbari. The roads are beautiful and if you are lucky, you might just get a glance of Kanchanjungha while on the road.
Places To Stay
Bijanbari has 3 resorts, which are made of bamboo and gives a very camp life feel. The resorts have swimming pools and the property in itself is as beautiful as the place. Bamboo Resort and ATV Park is a delightful resort which hosts BBQ, hiking and trekking as well. The tariff is Rs 2000 per night.
Foods To Try in Daringbadi
There are a handful of roadside momo stalls at Bijanbari. Apart from that, you will get authentic Nepalese food like Thukpa, Phaley and Genthuk here. Along with that, basic Bengali food (minus the fish) are available at the resorts.
4. Dawki, Meghalaya
Situated at the heart of Meghalaya, the abode of clouds is this pristine town called Dawki. The unexplored beauty of the North East makes it even more mysterious and nothing less than magic. The enchanting beauty of this offbeat destination is enhanced by the Umngot River which is one of the cleanest rivers in India. The hour-long boat ride on the crystal clear water will certainly make you fall in love with nature. Dawki is along the Indo-Bangladesh border and has been a centre for trade between the two countries. Standing on the 1932 Suspension Bridge when you will look down, it will seem that the boats are floating on water. The cool breeze, the splendid Khasi hills around is what is known as the ‘Scotland of the East’ and rightfully so. Meghalaya receives the highest amount of rain every year. So if you aren’t very adventurous, skip the monsoon season. But the waterfalls and the thriving greenery are in their most flourished forms then.
Places To Stay In Dawki
There are many campsites available beside Dawki if you are interested in trekking and/or water activities. Encamp Adventures and Marvel Camps and Treks will provide you with amazing service. Apart from that, the nearest homestay to Dawki is at Mawlynnong called the Nongrai Homestay. The tariff varies from Rs 1500- 1800 per night.
How To Get To Dawki
Dawki is situated 95 km from Shillong which takes around 3 hours in a private car. The nearest airport to Shillong is the Umroi Airport which is another 30 km from the city. Guwahati is the nearest railway station to Shillong which is around 100km away.
Khasi is the major tribe of Meghalaya whose food platter is a little different and hotter from ours. But if you are that person who takes the red chutney with a bite of momos, more often than usual, you are going to love their traditional food. Try the double roasted fried pork, it is a delightful sin. But if you want to keep it safe, there are tons of restaurants and food chains like KFC, Pizza Hut and Dominoes available.
Varkala is located at ‘God’s Own Country’ – Kerala. 50 KM northwest of Trivandrum, Varkala is the ideal offbeat destination in India, if somebody is tired of the overcrowded beaches. The cliff clad beach offers stunning sunset views which are going to take your breath away. The laidback atmosphere makes it the perfect place to relax with your loved ones. This beach is very famous for spa and ayurvedic centres, offering the best treatments and therapies. Rejuvenate and pamper yourself at one of the many massage places near the beach. Varkala is not the only offbeat location in Thiruvanthapuram. Find out some beautiful places from here.
Places To Stay In Dawki
Varkala is a back-packers destination, so there are many hostels around. Cliff Stories is a marvellous place to check-in. Take a sea-facing room and live the best days of your life. The tariff here is around Rs 1800 per night. For a luxurious stay, Magnolia Guest House is a lavish and gorgeous resort, tariff ranging from Rs 5000-7000 per night.
How To Get There
Varkala Train Station is the nearest railhead that has access to trains coming from Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam which connects the city to other major parts of Kerala like Kochi, Coimbatore, Bangalore and Trivandrum. Take a cab from there to reach Varkala. Thiruvananthapuram is the nearest airport to Varkala, situated at a distance of 35km.
Indulge in the authentic Keralan food and a plethora of seafood at Varkala. This offbeat destination in India will not only make you fall in love with the place but also their food. Sea Sun Cafe, Clafouti and God’s Own Country Kitchen will serve you the best platters.
The former capital of Gujarat for 650 years, the ancient city of Patan is rich in heritage and resources. If you are a history buff then you cannot give this offbeat destination a miss. Famous for Patola sarees and Rani ki Vav, this place will take you back to centuries when the fortifications were being built. The archaeological remains will let us weave a story of our own. The Jain temples, the numerous Shiva shrines and the sandstone images adorning the walls have survived the ravages of time. The best time to visit this offbeat destination in India would be from September-February.
Places To Stay
There are tons of hotels and resorts available around Patan, so finding a place here is very easy. Hotel Faith, Grand Raveta and Hotel Navijan are to name a few.
How To Reach
Patan is situated in North Gujarat and the nearest airport to Patan is Ahmedabad which is situated at a distance of 125km. Take a cab from the airport to reach Patan within 4 hours.
Foods To Try
A trip to Gujarat is incomplete without some Thepla, Muthiya and Jalebi. Head out to any roadside stall to enjoy the best jalebi of Gujarat. There are not many places which serve non-vegetarian in Gujarat which is a bummer.
7. Chalal Trek Trail, Kasol
Many of us have heard or have been to Kasol for all the right reasons. There is no denying of the fact that Kasol is alluring, to say the least. But off late, Kasol has been overcrowded and is starting to lose its charm. Chalal is a tiny village which lies ahead of Kasol at an altitude of around 5366 feet above sea level on the banks of River Parvati. The Chalal trek trail is very scenic which will leave you mesmerized. The gushing sound of River Parvati makes it feel like a trance. The beautiful valley is the perfect spot for backpackers, solo travellers or even for a romantic gateway. From Chalal, you can easily trek to Kheerganga and can also visit the mystic village of Malana.
Hostels & Homestays
Chalal has a hub of backpackers hostels, where Parvati Kuteer provides the best service and view. Brick and Wood Huts and Whoopers Hostel are great too. The tariff varies from Rs 250 per bed per night to Rs 450.
How To Get To Kasol
From Delhi, there are plenty of buses which will take you till Kasol. From Kasol, either take another bus or rent a cab to reach Chalal. Delhi to Kasol is an overnight bus/cab ride.
Both Chalal and Kasol host many fancy cafes with a heavenly view. Sip on that hot chocolate and forget about the worries of this world. Rice, noodles, momo, sandwiches and meat platters are the type of food that you will find here.
Beautiful waterfalls, reclining lush green landscapes and the transcending mountain tops make Coorg a fascinating offbeat destination in India. One of the most spectacular places in Karnataka, Coorg is a marvellous experience. Abbey Falls, Iruppu Falls, Mandalpatti View Point, Talakaveri, Brahmagiri Peak and Dubare Elephant Camp are few of the many attractions here. June to February is the right time to visit Coorg and enjoy this offbeat destination.
Places To Stay In Coorg
Welcome Heritage Ayatana is a wonderful resort in the laps of nature where you can stay with your family and/or partner when at Coorg. Three Hills Coorg and Dream Homestay are the places to stay when you are travelling in groups.
How To Reach Coorg
Mangalore is the nearest airport to Coorg, situated at a distance of 135 km while Mysore is the nearest railway station which is located at a distance of 120km from Coorg. From both the places, you can rent a private car and reach Coorg within 4 hours.
Foods To try In Coorg
Coorg is synonymous to coffee, so don’t miss out the famous filter coffee at Coorg. Apart from that, traditional Karnataka food like Pandi Curry (pork curry) is a must-have. For those who aren’t a fan of pork, they can have the chicken version of the same recipe.
So that’s a wrap (for now) about the offbeat destinations in India every wanderlust must visit. In the meantime, check out our latest blog about how to spend a perfect day at Bern here.