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A Travel Year: 12 Months At 12 Off-Beat Indian Destinations

Explore and experience the off-beat and unusual Indian locations that have seem to be stolen away from the limelight owing to mass tourist attraction to the conventional travel destinations.

source: unsplash

Who doesn’t love travelling? And what about a whole year of travelling? The blissful beaches, the snow-capped mountains, the cultural retreats, and the relaxing getaways… such places tend to make their way in our travel list every year. So here is an exhilarating travel-calendar that will make you explore and experience the off-beat and unusual Indian locations that have seem to be stolen away from the limelight owing to mass tourist attraction to the conventional travel destinations.

January – Uttarayan, Gujarat

Kickstart your new year with colorful and bright kites plunging into the endless sky celebrating the festival of Uttarayan in Ahmedabad, the main hub being the Sabarmati Riverfront. This is also an International Kite Flying Festival which sees participation from national and international kite flyers. The festival isn’t just a portrayal of master kite flying skills of the participants but is also a cultural carnival that offers the visitors with traditional art performances and lip-smacking Gujarati delicacies. Enjoy the breezy weather with the beautiful multi-hued skies. 

Image: Uttarayan in Gujarat via Getty Images

February- Tsomgo Lake, Sikkim

Indulge in the beauty of this serene lake set around 40 kilometres from Gangtok. The lake is a true beauty, especially in the months of January and February when the lake turns into a glacial plate. The lake is also called as the “Colour Changing Lake” due to the shift in colours with changing seasons. The picturesque view of the lake reminds the tourists of the scenic beauty of Switzerland. You can also enjoy a yak ride around the lake. 

*NOTE* The Tsomgo lake falls under the restricted area and hence an inner line permit is required by tourists to visit this place. Foreign nationals require special permits to visit this lake.

Image: Lake Tsomgo via Unsplash

March- Vrindavan Holi, Uttar Pradesh

Immerse yourself in the colorful and jovial spirit of one of the best and the most famous Indian festivals of Holi. And what better place to enjoy the festival than the sacred town of Vrindavan itself. Vrindavan and its neighboring places like Mathura and Barsana turn the cities into a riot of colors on Holi, giving you the experience of a lifetime and will also give you a taste of the heritage of India. What makes this place even more worthy to visit is the number of styles in which Holi is celebrated like the Lathmar Holi where men are beaten with wooden sticks by men, or the Flower Holi played just with flower petals, or the special Holi for the widows. 

Image: Holi via Getty Images

April –  Andaman Nicobar Islands

The sparsely populated turquoise islands of Andaman and Nicobar make for the best getaway for the whole family. The vibrant coral reefs, parasailing, India’s only active volcano, the historic ‘Kala Pani’ jail, Andaman has so much to offer. You can opt for underwater adventures like snorkelling to explore the rarest of corals, banana boat rides or the speed boat rides. You can also take a tour to India’s only active volcano at the Barren Island. The island also includes the southernmost tip of India, the Indira Point. The pristine archipelago makes for the perfect holiday destination.

Image: Beach at Andaman and Nicobar Islands via Unsplash

May – Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh

Tawang is a contrastingly colourful and quaint town in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. It is a desirable travel destination which is yet to gain its fair share of appreciation. Speckled with Buddhist Monasteries in one direction and the magnificent mountain ranges on the other, Tawang is an ideal destination for travelling in March. The serpentine roads and challenging weather conditions for biking make this place ecstatic for all the adrenaline junkies. The natural beauty and the soothing spirituality of this town are surely going to please you. 

Image: Tawang Valley, Arunachal Pradesh via Unsplash

June – Thekkady, Kerala

The tropical town of Thekkady serves as the home to India’s largest Tiger Reserve. The town is a great fusion of beauty, adventure and wildlife. Apart from enjoying the exotic beauty of wilderness at the Periyar Tiger Reserve, there’s much more that you can do at the sanctuary. You can hike through the dense forests spotting rare species followed by a soothing raft ride in the Periyar lake. 

Image: Tiger at Periyar Tiger Reserve via Unsplash

July – Valley of Flowers National Park, Uttarakhand

The lofty Himalayas, the gentle breeze, the refreshing mizzle and the idyllic expanse of the blanketed valley with beautiful flowers. This paradisiacal view can be experienced at the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand. The scenic beauty is completely worth the efforts of the trek. 

Image: Valley of Flowers via Getty Images

August – Kalsubai Peak, Maharashtra

Spend your August trekking to the highest peak of Maharashtra, the Kalsubai Peak. Enjoy this challenging yet immensely adventurous trek that is surely going to yield when you reach the top. Commencing from the small village of Bari and the hike through the farmlands and rocky terrains leads you to the heavenly view of the peaks of the Sahyadris like Alang, Madan, Ratangad and Ajoba. If you opt for the night trek which would take you to the summit of the Kalsubai peak by the time of sunrise, you will find yourself standing among the clouds and soaking in the rays of the rising sun. The experience of this summit is definitely a surreal one. 

Image: Kalsubai Peak via Getty Images

September – Ziro Valley, Arunachal Pradesh

Ziro valley is a picturesque location in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh that offers splendid views of the lush green forests and hills. This quaint town away from the cacophony of the big cities is a great destination for your detox. But you’re in for a surprise if you think this small town is just as calm as you think. Every year Ziro hosts a musical extravaganza by the name of “Ziro Music Festival” in the month of September which is a blend of music, entertainment and art. It gives a huge platform for the North-Eastern artists to put forth their love for music and the talent that they possess. This is a great alternative to other music festivals with jostling crowds. 

Image: Ziro Music Festival via Unsplash

October- Mysore Dasara, Karnataka

The scintillating city of Mysore comes alive during the Navratri and Vijayadashami festivities in October. The famous Mysore Palace and the whole city brightly twinkles making this a visual stunner. The festivities begin from the first day of Navratri which is then concluded by a glorious procession commencing from the illuminated royal palace which brings the city to an almost standstill. The occasion is adorned by folk performances, traditional wrestling tournaments, the unique torchlight parades and what not. This should be your go-to destination if you want to take a deep dive into the richness of Indian culture and heritage.

Image: Mysore Palace during Dusshera via Getty Images

November – Jawai Leopard Camp, Rajasthan

Tucked among the Aravali hills is the Safari Camp of Jawai Bandh. This exquisite destination gives you the experience of spotting leopards and other animals like hyenas, sloth bears, monkeys and peacocks. You can also spot migratory birds like flamingos and cranes here. The Sujan Jawai Resort makes for a luxurious staycation that never fails to impress the visitors. This is truly a hidden gem of India that one should visit.  

Image: Sujan Jawai Resort via Getty Images

December – Munroe Island, Kerala

Settled in the beautiful backwaters of Kerala is the enchantingly beautiful and tranquil island of Munroe. The riveting island with skies painted like a canvas make for the perfect family getaway to end the year relaxing and unwinding at the end of a year. Be it the serene early morning backwater rides to catch the sunrise or the relaxing Ayurvedic massages and spas, everything about this place is alluring. The chilled-out vibe of the place and the ever-smiling and welcoming people of Munroe make this island a fascinating option on your travel list and a perfect place to end your year at. 

Image: Munroe Island via Unsplash

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A curious mind looking to explore stories around the world.

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