Obscure Places to Explore in India

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Travel Features >> Obscure Places to Explore in India

Obscure Places to Explore in India

December 05, 2012

India being a vast country boasts of numerous monuments, forts and palaces that are world heritage sites, renowned religious sites attracting thousand of devotees globally, and popular places that are on every tourist’s itinerary while visiting the country! However, that’s still just a small part of India that the country has shown to her visitors, as there are still many more obscure but interesting places that are waiting to be discovered and explored. Let’s go then on a serendipitous journey around India and explore these tiny little known hamlets, towns and forts that hold in them years of secrets yet untold.

Shatrunjaya Hills - Marble Temples of Gujarat
Shatrunjaya Hills in Palitana, Gujarat is a Mecca for the small community of Jains the world over. Shatrunjaya Hills have 863 temples believed to be one of a kind with enclosures that date back to some 900 years ago. With the fragrance of jasmine flowers filling the air, a sense of peace and serenity envelops one at Shatrunjaya Hills. Each temple is adorned with gold, silver and precious jewels donated by the rich merchants. According to the ancient scriptures countless souls have attained Moksha on the sacred hills of Shatrunjaya.

Shatrunjaya Hills is located at Palitana some 51 kms from the town of Bhavnagar in Gujarat. From the foot of the hills it is an arduous 4 km climb up that can be done either in ‘doli’ or climbing more than 3000 steps.

Kasol - Little Israel of the Himalayas
Step into this tiny remote hamlet Kasol that is home to Himachalies, Israelis and loads of hashish. Situated on the banks of the raging Parvati River between Bhuntar and Manikaran in Himachal Pradesh, Kasol is a favourite spot for young Israelis who after finishing their compulsory military service in Israel and come here to relax and rejuvenate. Interestingly, all the locals have been to a school but have studied only till seventh grade as there is only one school in the entire town and that too till seventh grade.

Kasol is located at a distance of about 77 kms from the hill station of Manali in Himachal Pradesh and it will take around 2 hours by road from Manali.

Cherrapunji – Listen to the Rhythm of the Falling Rain
Once renowned as the wettest place on the Earth, Cherrapunji in the Eastern Indian state of Meghalaya is a land of breathtaking beauty and exotic people. Locally known as Sohra, Cherrapunji is known to have only one season – monsoon. The place that has received several Guinness World Records associated with rainfall also boasts of a natural phenomenon of living bridges – bridges that are formed by the roots of a rubber plant species known as Ficus Elastica that boasts of strong roots network. See it to believe it!

Located at a distance of 58 kms from Shillong, Cherrapunji is one of the most picturesque places in the north eastern part of India.

Shani Shingnapur – Open Door Policy
A small non-nondescript village in Maharashtra, not on any tourist beat, Shani Shingnapur is believed to be under the protection of Lord Shani. The local inhabitants believe that if anyone steals, they will be punished severely by the gods. It is for this reason and this strong belief, there are no doors in any of the houses in the whole village! People keep their valuables in their home with no doors, and believe it or not there are no incidents of robbery recorded in this village to date.

Located at a distance of 35 kms from Ahmednagar, Shani Shingnapur is a must-visit religious site in the state of Maharashtra.

Adalaj Vav - The Step Well of Ahmedabad
One of the popular tourist attractions in Ahmedabad, Adalaj Vav or step-well is a five storied well that is intricately carved with designs like leaves, flowers, birds, fish and other breathtaking ornamental designs. Considered as one of the architectural marvel in Ahmedabad, Adalaj Vav was built by one Queen Rudabai in the loving memory of her husband in 1499 AD. The beautifully carved well with its five storied depth was used frequented by travellers and caravans as stopovers along trade routes. The well has beautifully carved balconies and numerous corridors and platforms surrounding it. Interestingly the well not only served the purpose of conserving water for drinking but it also served as a cooling chamber for travellers who wished to escape the scalding sun in the hot summer months.

Adalaj Vav is located at a distance of 18 kms from the Ahmedabad city and is one of the must-visit sites in Ahmedabad.

Kumbhalgarh – The Great Wall of India
So you haven’t been to the Great Wall of China, but worry not – the second longest continuous wall on earth is right here at Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan. The fort of Kumbhalgarh or the Great Wall of Kumbhalgarh, as it is also known, is the second most prominent fort in Rajasthan next to Chittaurgarh. Constructed by Maharana Rana Kumbha in the 15th century, the Kumbhalgarh Fort has earned the status of being ‘unconquerable’, and is protected by Aravalli Ranges.

The Kumbhalgarh Fort is located at a distance of about 64 kms from Udaipur City and is easily accessible from Udaipur City.

Magnetic Hill – Defying Gravity in Ladakh
Have you ever seen a car moving by itself? Come to the Magnetic Hill in Ladakh to see this happen! The hill here is supposed to have some magnetic properties – if a car is in neutral gear, with its engine off it can move uphill at 20 kms an hour and you have to see it to believe it. There is a signboard directing visitors to park their vehicles on a particular point to experience the phenomenon.

The ‘Magnetic Hill' is located on the Leh-Kargil-Srinagar national highway, about 30 km from Leh, and is a must see place.

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