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Indian Villages – the word itself as put forward rings in as something that functions in a niche and anything that is niche has its own individuality and uniqueness as do our villages. India has many such hidden gems that are overshadowed by the numerous cities and towns, frequented by the tourists. While planning a travel, our mind always drools over choosing a location which is ‘popular’ over discovering these hidden gems which precisely is the reason for its lack of popularity, as also the reason for them remaining in a pristine condition and presenting before us a way of life, of nature and of beauty in a language that is so different form the world we live in.
Let me give you a glimpse of the world I just introduced – which is all about nature, adventure, freshness, amazement and most important – a break from monotony in all aspects.
Top 10 Villages in India for Wanderlust
Best time to visit: Jan to March and September to December
Places to visit nearby: Jorhat
Majuli is the world’s largest freshwater island in the Brahmaputra – exciting much??!! Now the part why it should be in your list of ASAPs is that Majuli faces a risk of flood and erosion by the river on which it is situated, which would diminish the island or eat it away completely. But that’s not the only reason why one should visit here, Majuli is an island rich in its bio-diversity coupled with its rich culture, traditions and a unique way of life. Its vibrant festivals, authentic Assamese cuisine, simplicity, history, the people, and the handicrafts leave you spellbound.
Lahaul – Spiti
Location : Himachal Pradesh
Best time to visit: June to October
Places to visit nearby: Manali
Fancy being encountered by snow leopards, foxes, Himalayan bear or a musk deer? In a landscape of monasteries and breathtaking scenery with diverse flora and fauna? This is the place for you. Not only this, it offers a thrill to the adventure seekers as well through its treks into the Himalayas, its yak safari and wildlife trails.
Hampi and the Hippie Island
Location : Karnataka
Best time to visit: September to March
Places to visit nearby: Badami and Aihole
On the banks of the river Tungabhadra lie this UNESCO world heritage site – a group of monuments consisting of numerous markets, temples and farms carved into huge boulders. The places transports you to the past making you awestruck by its gigantism and planning. Before you arrive at your consciousness to the present world, the other side of the river, the hippie island mesmerizes you by its breathtaking nature and the shacks, which makes you feel relaxed and rejuvenated as on the other hand, if you thrive for a the coolest you have ever been to loaded with all the things to make you lose yourself – this is the place.
Best time to visit: All through the year
Places to visit nearby: Cherrapunji, Shillong
Listed as the cleanest village in India, this village is a large garden – forest you can get lost into and be tranquillised with. The natural rubber tree bridges, the watch tower – presenting an aerial view of the entire area couples with Bangladesh is breathtaking. The community based eco-tourism, the rich tribal culture and the organic food is another plus the village offers. Near it lies Cherrapunji which is also a must visit for its waterfalls and is a part of places with highest rainfalls!!! Definitely a top village in India.
Location : Kerala
Best time to visit: October to March
Places to visit nearby: Trivandrum, Kollam
On the Arabian coast with Palm covered red cliffs in the background, this place presents the most pristine beach one can ever witness. It is a place untouched by massive tourist crowds with the perfect setup to chill – the beach in front, some shacks, and all the stuff you need to get high! The place has some foreign crowd who come here to stay for months together and rent the local houses for stay. Skinny dipping is one of the activities one can be seen doing here. It is a home away from home nestled pristinely.
Location :Arunachal Pradesh
Best time to visit: March to June
Places to visit nearby: Bomdilia, Ziro
Home to many beautiful monasteries and famous as the birth place of Dalai Lama, Tawang is a picturesque journey which holds you still with nature in every inch of its land, so breathtaking that you are tranquiled by it, that all of your senses marvel at the views your eyes catch leaving you with goosebumps all throughout. The many lakes nestled into greenery and the diversified flora and fauna, the waterfalls, etc. soaks you into them. When the mercury dips, the entire area is covered by snow, redefining the beauty of the area to a whole new level. ‘Dare’ – is what you need to have to visit this gem.
Best time to visit: March to June
Places to visit nearby: Joshimath, Badrinath, Tapovan
Fancy skiing? Or undergoing a training for the same? – Auli is the place. It is a skiing destination due to its glittering slopes and snowcapped mountains amidst the Himalayan range. With the apple orchards, old oaks and pine trees dotting the mountains, wildlife like Snow leopard and red foxes can be seen amidst them. The place gives a new definition to the word hill stations – and this with a scope – to learn skiing ad enjoy multifarious adventurous activities.
Malana – Kasol – Tosh
Location: Himachal Pradesh
Best time to visit: All year round
Places to visit nearby: Chikmagalur, Nepal
Stoners or not – if you want to get the best Marijuana in the world or if it is just the best you like to have on your plate for a first, this is the place to be. Nestled in nature’s lap, this place is a paradise for trekkers, backpackers and adventure lovers – with all the attributes of an ideal place where one can forget oneself and surrender – only to wake up each day differentiating between what was real and what was a dream. Most of the people who go to Kasol for a vacation, do keep Malana on their Kasol’s itinerary.
Location: Kargil district, Jammu and Kashmir
Best time to visit: April to August
Places to visit nearby: Leh – Ladakh
This Buddhist village shows you the Trans Himalayan ranges through its adventurous paths which can be traversed better by foot than by roads, if you want to really explore Zanskar. Its topography is such that many of its areas are not connected by roads and it remains shut from the world for almost 9 months. The most interesting and amusing thing about this place is that it offers a trek called as a Chadar trek which basically is a frozen river trek, active only in winters when the water freezes making the sheet of ice thick enough to walk on. The river is a route that connects Zanskar to Ladakh, when all the roads and passes are covered by snow. In addition to this a peculiar feature of this place is its cave mountains and monasteries carved into them – so beautiful that it is difficult to identify the natural from the man made from a distance.
Best time to visit: March to May
Places to visit nearby: Ladakh
The movie 3 idiots has made Pangong Lake an identity of Ladakh. Well, Pangong Lake with its pristine blue watersis a sight to behold, but what if you get to stay there, with the view of the Pangong right outside your place of stay in the foothills of the Himalaya and the last village of Pangong – Merak is the place for you. The route from the start of the Pangong to Merak will be one to remember for a lifetime.
Pack your bags and leave already.