Travel on the cards? Here are a few offbeat destinations for backpackers in and around India
Travel is not just a means of escaping a busy lifestyle, but an end in itself. It’s an essential part of life, not a break away from it.Updated: Dec 01, 2019 12:41 IST
Travel is not just a means of escaping a busy lifestyle, but an end in itself. It’s an essential part of life, not a break away from it. Millennials are considered to be seekers of wholesome experiences according to various studies and travel trends over the years. It’s always necessary to be rich on adventures and experiences than pile on tons of money with nothing substantial to spend it on, case in point - yourself.
In sync with the new taste and preferences of young adventure-seekers, the following places are rising up to the occasion by enhancing their travel experiences:
Pokhara is often called the tourism capital of Nepal - and it is not in vain that it has received this moniker. It serves as a gateway to the renowned Annapurna Circuit, is among the most exciting paragliding destinations the world over, and offers the entrancing sight of the beautiful lake framed by sky-piercing mountains. What crystallizes its reputation as the ultimate ‘Adventure Land of Nepal’ is that it cuts a less busy version of Kathmandu while holding on its own as a must-visit backpacker’s paradise.
Munsiyari is a small town located in the Himalayan foothills in Uttarakhand. It’s famous for its enchanting natural beauty and pristine surroundings. The place has been unofficially names ‘Little Kashmir’. The town’s name literally translates to “a place with snow”. Come winters, the place turns into a snow heaven. While it’s slowly gaining popularity with adventure travellers as Munsiyari offers possibilities such as trekking, camping and mountaineering. Some places to visit in and around Munsiyari are Thamari Kund, Darkot and Madkot.
Auli is a lesser-known but a beautiful winter destination where thick snow blankets the entire town and paints it white. It is an offbeat retreat for those looking for skiing opportunities. Auli, situated in Uttarakhand, offers tourists a chance to truly disconnect by offering panoramic views of the lofty Himalayan peaks, such as Nanda Devi, Mana Parvat and Kamat Kamet. While in Auli, one can also visit Joshimath, a place of deep religious significance.
An exquisite confluence of history and culture, Aurangabad is home to the renowned Ajanta and Ellora Caves, a lot of old forts, art galleries, and museums. Besides this, the place is a bubbling, simmering pot of a range of dishes that no food-lover can afford to miss.
What could be better than mountains and peace? Mukteshwar is the stuff that a nature lover’s dreams are made of. It is the perfect place to chill alongside Nature within the folds of mighty mountains while enjoying the soul-soothing embrace of sunlight and the skin-tingling kiss of wintry waft. Mukteshwar is less than an eight-hour drive from Delhi, making it one of the closest hill stations to the Capital.
Wayanad is another treat for nature-lovers who also seek unique cultural experiences. Situated at a distance of 76 kilometers from the beaches of Kozhikode, the region is popular among backpackers on account of its near-perfect weather and scenic setting punctuated with dams, lakes, and hike trails. The town paints a quaint and soothing picture with the lush green of mountainous plateaus, picturesque jungles, and idyllic valleys dominating. Squatting atop the Western Ghats and enclosing part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Wayanad is not considered the most beautiful district in Kerala in vain.
It is only when one has explored the intricate network of waterways which can only have been knitted by Mother Chaos that one realizes that the tag ‘Venice of the East’ does Alleppey injustice. Perpetually carrying the fascinating look of a forest having just emerged from a spell of rain, the region is famous for its toddy shops, punted boats, coir industry, paddy fields, the floating villages, and houseboats!
There is a high chance a traveller in Pondicherry’s Karaikal Beach will be awed by its old-world charm. The Karaikal sandy beach is a natural one and runs along the Arasalar river. Visit the other beaches during your Pondicherry visit, walk around French town, with atleast a day in Auroville thrown in to the entire trip.
Tucked away in the pristine untouched beauty of northeast India, Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh is a must-visit travel destination. Nature speaks to you in her ways in this location. From gushing waterfalls to snow-clad peaks, Tawang has it all. During winters, Tawang dawns a shade of white and mesmerises its visitors with its spellbinding beauty and magnificence. Make a visit to the 400-year old Tawang monastery while you are here.
-- with inputs from IANS