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While those popular travel spots in India certainly have their place, if you’d rather be a little bit different and enjoy a real off-the-beaten-track adventure, why not pick out a few on this list to travel to next time you’re on vacation?

1. A Lake At 17,000 Ft – Gurudongmar, Sikkim

A Lake At 17,000 Ft - Gurudongmar, Sikkim
Credits: Abplive

At an attitude of 17000 ft, Gurudongmar is one of the highest lakes in the world. It lies in the North side of the Khangchengyao Range and is encircled all around by snow-covered mountains, the sacred lake freezes during the winters except at one spot, which the devout believe has been specially blessed. The Chinese Tibetan boarder is just a few kilometres away from the lake.

How to get there: Tour to North Sikkim requires special permit (Inner Line Permit). The permit is given to Tourists through an authorised tour operator. Only Indian tourists are allowed to visit Gurudongmar Lake. For international tourists, the tour is limited to Chopta Valley a few kilometers before the lake.

2. Rann of Kutch – Kutch, Gujarat

Rann of Kutch
Credits: Rannutsav

Rann of Kutch is a large area of salt marshes located in mostly in Gujarat (primarily the Kutch district), India and the southern tip of Sindh, Pakistan. It is divided into two main parts; Great Rann of Kutch and Little Rann of Kutch.

How to get there: Visit during Rann Kutch Utsav Festival which is starting in December till Holi.

3. Bandar Kodini, Madhya Pradesh

Bandar Kodini, Madhya Pradesh
Credits: Jabalpurtourismpc

Bheraghat exists at a distance of about 21 km from Jabalpur. It has been a part of the ancient settlement of Tripuri- the first phase of urbanization of labalpur. Fossilized remains of animals along with stone age tools have been found here from the sections of Bawanganga, the original bed of the Narmada. It was due to some tactonic movement like earthquake etc. during an unknown period that a deeper gorge was formed at the point or Dhuvandhar and onwords on the existing route of the Narmada and the river changed its course.

How to get there: It is located Bhopal Road, 23 km from Jabalpur city. The closest bus stop is Bhedaghaat. Entry is free and boaating charges are Rs. 55/- per hour. It is open all the days.

4. Rani ki Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell), Patan – Gujarat

Rani ki Vav - Patan, Gujarat
Credits: Behance

Rani-ki-Vav, on the banks of the Saraswati River, was initially built as a memorial to a king in the 11th century AD. Rani-ki-Vav was built at the height of craftsmens’ ability in stepwell construction and the Maru-Gurjara architectural style, reflecting mastery of this complex technique and great beauty of detail and proportions. Designed as an inverted temple highlighting the sanctity of water, it is divided into seven levels of stairs with sculptural panels of high artistic quality; more than 500 principle sculptures and over a thousand minor ones combine religious, mythological and secular imagery, often referencing literary works. The fourth level is the deepest and leads into a rectangular tank 9.5 m by 9.4 m, at a depth of 23 m. The well is located at the westernmost end of the property and consists of a shaft 10 m in diameter and 30 m deep.

How to get there: Intercity buses from Ahmedabad to Patan take 3.5 hours, and 1 hour from Mehsana. Shared jeeps are slightly quicker, but less comfortable. Entry is from 8 am to 6 pm. Entree fee for Indians is Rs 5/-, Foreigners 2 USD.

5. Majuli, Assam

Majuli - Assam
Credits: Wikipedia

Beached amid the mighty Brahmaputra River’s ever-shifting puzzle of ochre sandbanks is Majuli, which at around 452 sq km is India’s largest river island. For a place continually ravaged by the primal forces of nature (much of the island disappears under water every monsoon), Majuli flaunts unparalleled scenic beauty. The island is a relaxed, shimmering mat of glowing rice fields and water meadows bursting with hyacinth blossoms.The island is home to nearly 100 species of birds.

Don’t wait! Surveys indicate that at current levels of erosion the island will cease to exist within the next two decades.

6. Hogenakkal Falls – Hosur, Tamil Nadu

Hogenakkal Falls - Hosur, Tamil Nadu
Credits: Wikimedia

Hogenakkal, the majestic waterfalls, is often called Cauvery by the populace of Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri districts, where it is situated. Hogenakkal is endearingly said to be the Niagara of India. Hogeakkal is surrounded by Melagiri Hills in the backdrops and 750 feet above sea level.Travelling 46 kms from Hogenakkal one can reach Dharmapuri district and the mighty Hogenakkal shares its borders with Karnataka.Located around 150 kms from Banglore, the mind-bogging Hogenakkal is absolutely in the border of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. During rainy Seasons the lush green ambience of Hogenakkal presents a visual feast to the tourists pouring in.

How to get there: The Hogenakkal Hamlet is located in the district of Dharmapuri in Tamil Nadu. The basic modes of transport in Hogenakkal are via bus and foot.

7. Valley of Flowers – Uttrakhand

Valley of Flowers - Uttrakhand
Credits: Snowviewtravels

Valley of Flowers National Park is an Indian national park, located in West Himalaya, in the state of Uttarakhand and is known for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and the variety of flora. This richly diverse area is also home to rare and endangered animals, including the Asiatic black bear,snow leopard,musk deer,brown bear, red fox, and blue sheep. Birds found in the park include Himalayan monal pheasant and other high altitude birds. The gentle landscape of the Valley of Flowers National Park complements the rugged mountain wilderness of Nanda Devi National Park to the east.Together, they encompass a unique transition zone between the mountain ranges of the Zanskar and Great Himalaya. Both parks are encompassed in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. This Reserve is in the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2004.

Best time to visit: July & August

How to get there: The motor-able road ends at Govindghat. Ghangaria is the common base camp for trek to Valley of flowers and Hemkund Sahib. The total distance is 14 kms. There are four options from Govindghat to Ghangaria: By trekking, By pony, By porter/porters, By Helicopter.

8. Roopkund (Mystery Lake) – Uttrakhand

Roopkund - Uttrakhand
Credits: Travelet

Roopkund (locally known as Mystery Lake) is a high altitude glacial lake in the Uttarakhand state of India. It lies in the lap of Trishul massif and is famous for the hundreds of human skeletons found at the edge of the lake. The area is uninhabited, located in the Himalayas at an altitude of 5,029 metres (16,499 feet). Surrounded by rock-strewn glaciers and snow-clad mountains, the lake is a popular trekking destination. A shallow lake, having a depth of about two metres, Roopkund has attracted attention because of the human skeletal remains that are visible at its bottom when the snow melts.Many theories and opinions exist, from purely spiritual to purely scientific ones, attempting to explain the existence of these skeletons, which date back to 9th century CE. Because of the human remains, the lake has been called Skeleton Lake in recent times.

How to get there: Kathgodam is the last train station and is in the foothills of Himalayas.It is 32 km from Nainital. Transit from Kathgodam to Lohajung Base Camp. Your trek starts at Lohajung (7,700 ft), a tiny pass, in the heart of the greater Himalayan range.

9. Pangong Tso Lake – Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir

Pangong Tso Lake - Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir
Credits: Arounddeglobe

Situated at a height of 4,250 meters, far away in barren land in Ladakh, Pangong Tso is one of the largest brackish lakes in Asia. The crystal clear blue lake sprawls over an area of 100 kilometers across the borders of two countries in India and China. It is one of the charismatic lakes situated on the Changtang plateau in eastern Ladakh region. Pangong Lake is also known by the name of Hollow Lake and appears as a clear symbol of nature craftsmanship. The brackish water plays with sunlight to produce different effects of light.

Best Time to Visit: June to September

How to reach there: The lake is located just 5 hours drive from Leh in the Ladakh region of Jammu & Kashmir. No inner line permit required for Indian nationalities/ tourist to visit Pangong lake. People of foreign nationality must have group permits (for a minimum of 3 people) accompanied by an accredited guide. The permit is issued by a tourist office in Leh for a small fee.

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