8 Offbeat Summer Destinations In India
If you are tired of the crowded mainstream hill stations in India like Shimla, Manali, Mussoorie, Ooty, Darjeeling and Shillong it is time to take the route less taken with some offbeat summer destinations.
The easy-to-access destinations are affordable, quaint and literally untouched by tourists. Hotels and lodges are not always full and locals are gracious to please their guests.
Tucked away in tiny corners of India, these are succulent destinations that have not yet been hoarded by tourists. So you can roam around on the streets without constant honking of cars or bask in the warmth of the sunshine on a hilly countryside.
(Source: Flickr Creative Commons Nevil Zaveri)
Located in Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh Moorang is a picturesque escapade for those looking for a serene holiday destination. Situated 3591 meters above sea level, this little village offers a gorgeous view of apricot orchards that you can hand pluck!
There are historical little temples located here for sightseeing and worshipping. The village has the Reckong Peo Tehsil, Nichar and Rampur Tehsil on the west.
Some of the major cities nearby include Shimla, Tehri and Mandi. You can stay at one of the government lodges here. The nearest railway station is Shimla
. You can also go by car from Chandigarh or Delhi.
Best time to visit - November to March
Also Read: Tourism in Himachal Pradesh
(Source: Flickr Creative Commons Kiran SRK)
This mountain pass in the heart of the Western Ghats offers rugged views of the hills. It is located in the Pune district. You get to see a beautiful view of the valleys here.
The MTDC resort is one of the best options to stay in Malshej Ghat as that gives one view of (Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation) dark woods and wild animals.
You can get lucky to spot a tiger or leopard along with rare birds. Another nearby attraction is Khireshwar that has a spectacular waterfall and is close to Harishchandragadh, a popular tourist spot.
Best time to visit - October to April( Avoid visiting during the monsoons as there are many landslides around here)
Also Read: Tourism in Pune
This historical village is blessed with natural beauty. Situated about 183 kms away from Bomdila, the area offers stunning solitude along with serenity. It is located about 3500 meters above seal level.
The Gudpi surrounds the area along with the Chong-Chugmi ranges. The breathtaking Tawang chu River and Tawang Valley are popular spots that can be used for fishing or simply enjoying the beauty of the surroundings.
Other attractions include Sangetsar Lake and the PTso Lake, which has rare animals and birds like snow pigeon and musk deer.
The area has a rich history too. The popular Tawang Monastery from the Mahayana Buddhism is located here along with Gelukpa, which had been founded in the 17th century by the 5th Dalai Lama- Mera Lama Lodre Gyaltso.
This is the 2nd largest monastery in Asia with a 28 feet golden statue of Lord Buddha. The region is the home to the Urgyelling Monastery that is known as the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama- Thangyang Gyatso, the sixth Dalai Lama. Many other smaller monasteries are located here too. You can reach by road travel from Tezpur, Assam.
Best time to visit - March to November (Winters are very cold here)
Also read- Tourism in Arunachal
Chikaldhara Hill Station
Chikaldhara is the only coffee growing location in Maharashtra and has been named after "Keechaka". Folklore has that Bheema killed the villain Keechaka here.
The hill station is truly mesmerizing as it is all about deep valleys, serene locales and abundant flora and fauna. Placid lakes, gigantic trees and cascade-like waterfalls make this more than just a holiday retreat.
It is a complete offbeat holiday destination for those who love nature. Some popular attractions here are-
- Melghat Tiger Project
- Dhakana-Kolkaz National Park
- Hurricane Point
- Prospect Point
- Devi Point
- Excursions to Gavilgad and Narnala Fort
- Pandit Nehru Botanical Gardens,
- Tribal Museum
- Semadoh Lake
You can go trekking, hiking, bird watching or simply camping. The weather here is pleasant but winters can be cold with temperatures going to about 10 degrees.
Chikaldhara is easily reachable by road from Nagpur, which is also the nearest airport. The nearest railway station is Badnera.
Best time to visit - All-year through
Also Read: Tourism in Maharashtra
(Source: Flickr Creative Commons Vijay S)
If you want to really touch the clouds, you must visit Chittoor's Horsley Hills in Andhra Pradesh. The hills here, also called Archeans, are the oldest geologically. It is situated 1,314 meters above sea-level.
This offbeat location offers a truly unique and un-spoilt environment. You can see the broken yet breathtaking views of the Eastern Ghats. Horsely Hills are also called the ‘Andhra Ooty’ because of the rich wildlife, foliage and cool climate.
Some of the must visit places include the oldest banyan tree called Thimmamma Marrimanu. Another tree called the Kalyani tree is a 148-year-old eucalyptus tree.
Two pristine lakes here, namely Lake Gangotri and Mansarovar are known for not drying up. For nature lovers, there is EEC centre or Environmental Park. You can also sit for hours at the Gaali Banda or wind rock.
You can reach the hills by road. It is about 140 kms from Bangalore and 524 kms from Hyderabad.
Best time to visit- October to May
Also Read: Tourism in Andhra Pradesh
Looking for some offbeat adventure water destinations. Then Kadmat Islands or Cardamom Islands is the destination to check out. The deep blue see here is like a vision of heaven.
With its cool breeze, sounds of the sea gull and abundant sandbanks, there is no dearth of the beach and sun here. Located in Lakshwadeep, Kadmat Islands has sparkling coral reef along with scores of marine animals.
It is situated about 5kms on the north east side of Amini Island. Snorkelling, scuba diving and exploring marine life are some popular sports here. The impact of the sea is moderate here and being shallow, it is ideal for swimming and lounging on the beach.
Many hotels are available in the area to provide comfortable lodging along with exotic seafood. This is surely one offbeat locale that you will not want to leave! The nearest airport is the Agatti Airport. From there you can take a boat to reach the island.
Best time to visit - October to May
Also Read: Adventure Sports in Lakshadweep
Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary
Located in West Sikkim near Hilley is the Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary. It is right between the Singalila National Park and Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve
The offbeat and small sanctuary is spread over 104-sq-km at a height of about 3000 meters above sea level. For nature lovers, there is a lot of bio-diversity to explore here. The rhododendrons that bloom around April-May are special attractions.
You can stay at the forest lodge here. The area is reachable by road from Hilley, Dentam and Soreng.
Best time to visit - October to May
Also Read: Tourism in Sikkim
(Source: Flickr Creative Commons Lensman vishy)
Honnemardu is a little village nestled in the state of Karnataka along the backwaters of River Sharavathi in Shimoga district. The region has sparkling golden sand and water activities like Kayaking.
If water sports don’t attract you then try doing some bird watching and exploring rare species here. The dense woods around here offer fresh air for a natural detox, without any effort!
The region is well connected by roads. The nearest airport is Mangalore and the closest railway station includes Shimoga and Sagar.
Best time to visit - Late August to January
Also Read: Tourism in Karnataka