India Unexplored: 24 Incredible Offbeat Destinations

Ever thought of traveling off the beaten path and glimpsing a side of India that few tourists see? From pristine beaches to quirky villages, hidden architectural marvels and more, there is no shortage of such unseen places in India. These pristine surroundings are waiting to be discovered. Check out these 24 offbeat India destinations that are just begging for you to visit them!

1.   Anthargange: Land of Caves


Approximately 70 km from Bangalore, this unique hillside is heaven for cave explorers. It is scattered with a plethora of caves formed from small volcanic rocks. The caves are both welcoming and intimidating at the same time.

What adds to its charm? There’s a spring that emerges from a small crevice in the rock, a mysterious source. Local people believe the water of the stream to be very holy.

2.   Umri: The World’s Twin Capital

Uttar Pradesh

The small town of Umri near Allahabad, believed to be 250 years old, has perplexed researchers all over the world. Out of every 1,000 children born here, 45 are twins. In the last 80 years, the village has had 108 twins, which is downright amazing for a town. The reason for this remains unknown. But the villagers believe it to be god’s miracle.

Hemis monastery during their famous and colorful festival, one of the incredible unique and offbeat India destinations

3.   Hemis

Jammu and Kashmir

Located about 45 km southeast of Leh is the beautiful town of Hemis. The town is popular for its Hemis monastery and a colorful festival that it celebrates every year.

4.   Bhangarh Fort: So Haunted its Illegal!


Like with most haunted places, Bhangarh has no shortage of myths and ghost stories. But unlike other places this one is so haunted the government of India has made it illegal to enter the grounds. Apparently anyone who has been out past sunrise in the ruins of Bhangarh Fort has never returned alive!

See More The Haunted Bhangarh Fort

5.   Ethipothala Falls: A Sight to Behold

Andhra Pradesh

About 11 km from Nagarjuna Sagar Dam in Andhra Pradesh lies Ethipothala, which is home to the spellbinding Ethipothala Waterfall. The falls are a union of three streams and are quite a breathtaking sight to behold.

Bekal Fort, one of the incredible unique and offbeat India destinations to add to your bucket list

6.   Bekal Fort: The Giant Key-Hole Shaped Fort


Sprawling over forty acres, the 300-year-old Bekal Fort is shaped like a giant key hole. It is one of the best preserved forts in Kerala. The observation tower in the fort offers a fascinating view of the Arabian Sea and all the major places in the vicinity.

7.   Bada Imambra: Gravity Defying Palace

Uttar Pradesh

This architectural marvel was built in the 18th century in Lucknow. It is a fantastic mix of European and Arabic architecture. The most astonishing aspect is the central arched hall, a whopping 50 meters long and about three stories high, hanging without the support of any pillars or beams!

8.   Idukki: Land of Red Rain


Well known for its spice plantations, wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations and the gigantic Idukki arch dam, this district in Kerala truly is the epitome of natural beauty. What makes this place really quirky? Idukki is known for the most unusual phenomenon called Red Rain. The colored rain of Kerala started falling in 2001. Since then it has become one of the most discussed anomalies of recent years.

Loktak Lake, also known as the floating lake, one of the incredible India off the beaten path destinations

9.   Loktak Lake: The Floating Paradise


This is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India and its banks are home to the world’s only floating National Park. Loktak Lake in Manipur is also called the floating lake because of the floating masses of vegetation on its surface.

10.   Khajjiar: India’s Mini Switzerland

Himachal Pradesh

About 24 km from Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh, this small picturesque saucer-shaped plateau is a wonderful destination. For a peaceful sojourn in the lap of the Himalayas, this is the ideal place for relaxation.

Kolukkumalai is the world's highest tea plantation and unique of the unique, offbeat India destinations

11.   Kolukkumalai: The World’s Highest Tea Plantation

Tamil Nadu

For all the tea lovers reading this, this is one place you need to visit. At 7,900 ft above sea level the hills of Kolukkumalai in Tamil Nadu produces legendary tea which has a special indescribable flavor and freshness to it.

Malana, deep in the heart of India's cannabis country and home of the potent hash known as Malana Cream, is one of the most legendary unique and off the beaten path destinations in India

12.   Malana: Home Of The famous Cannabis Cream

Himachal Pradesh

In the northeast of the Kullu Valley lies the solitary village of Malana. The village is considered to be one of the first democracies in the world. It is also home to the notorious Malana cream, one of the finest quality types of hash ever produced.

See More HoliDaze How To: Get a Job Trimming Cannabis in California

13.   Mawlynnog: Asia’s Cleanest Village, The Magical Paradise


Do you cringe at the sight of litter on streets in India? Well then you will be surprised to know about this village. Located about 100 km from Shillong is Mawlynnog, a small village in the East Khasi Hills. In 2003 it won the award of being the cleanest village — not just in India but in all of Asia.

Even More Offbeat India Destinations!

14.   Nohkalikai Falls: The Waterfall with a Tragic Tale


One of the five tallest waterfalls in the country, Nohkalikai Falls near Cherrapunji is named after the horrific tale of a woman named Ka Likai. The legend behind this gorgeous fall makes it all the more intriguing and beautiful.

Orchha dates back to 1501 and is full of palaces and shrines. This combined with a lack of tourists makes it one of the amazing off the beaten path destinations destinations in an offbeat India

15.   Orchha: A City Frozen in Time

Madhya Pradesh

Full of palaces and shrines still retaining their original grandeur, the city of Orchha dates back to 1501 and is a must for all history / culture / architecture buffs. It is located near the banks of Betwa River in Madhya Pradesh.

See More Namaste Orchha, India’s Hidden Gem

16.   Roopkund Lake: The Mysterious Skeleton Lake


Situated in the Himalayas at an altitude of 5,029 metres (16,500 feet) this lake is popularly known as Skeleton Lake. Skeletons of about 200 people belonging to the 9th century were discovered here. It was later found that a hailstorm had killed the people. To this day, visitors can still see those skeletons.

17.   Shetpal: The Village of Snakes


A village at about 200 km from Pune follows a frightful custom. Each house in this village has a resting place for cobras in the rafters of their ceilings. No cases of snake bites have been reported in this village despite snakes moving about freely in every household.

Spiti Valley, one of India's most incredible offbeat destinations

18.   Spiti Valley: The Hidden World

Himachal Pradesh

Tucked away in the Himalayas of Himachal Pradesh, the Spiti Valley is a relatively unknown world but slowly getting more popular. With Tibet in the east and Ladakh in the north, this region is scattered with tiny villages and monasteries rich in traditional culture.

19.   Tharon Cave: Archaeological Wonder


Located 27 km from the district of Tamenglong in Manipur, the Tharon Cave is of great archaeological and historical importance. A visit to this cave is the experience of a lifetime.

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20.   Chilkur Balaji: The Visa Granting Balaji Temple


Is the USA your land of dreams? If yes, then you simply cannot miss visiting the Chilkur Balaji Temple, which is about 20 kilometres from Hyderabad in Telangana state. People believe the 21st century god of this temple has the power to grant you a US visa.

Yes, you read that right. Every week around 75,000 to 100,000 devotees visit this temple!

Dhanushkodi, one of India's most incredible offbeat destinations

21.   Dhanushkodi: Ghost Town with Mythological Importance

Tamil Nadu

About 620 km from Bangalore is the ghost town of Dhanushkodi. Not only is it famously known for its mythological importance, but also for the cyclone that hit the town in 1964, which ravaged the entire region.

22.   Vihigaon Falls: The Picturesque Falls


Located in the Thane district of Maharashtra state, Vihigaons Falls is a monsoon fed waterfall. It is the perfect place for rappelling and canoeing.

23.   Wilson Hills: Hill Station with a Spectacular Sea View


About 870 meters above the sea level, this hill station is located in the State of Gujarat. The most amazing aspect about it is the rare and beautiful sea view that guests get to see.

Yumthang, one of India's most incredible offbeat destinations

24.   Yumthang Valley: The Valley of Flowers


Located at about 148 km from Gangtok, the Yumthang valley with its scenic beauty is truly a paradise for nature lovers.

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Any other strange, unique or offbeat India destinations?

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About Derek Freal

"Some people eat, others try therapy. I travel."   Cultural enthusiast. Adrenaline junkie. Eater of strange foods. Chasing unique and offbeat adventures around the world since 2008. Derek loves going to new destinations where he does not speak a word of the local language and must communicate with hand gestures, or places where he is forced to squat awkwardly to poo -- supposedly its healthier and more efficient. For more information (about Derek, not squat pooing) including popular posts and videos, check out his bio.

10 thoughts on “India Unexplored: 24 Incredible Offbeat Destinations”

  1. India is one of the most gorgeous countries on earth. Rocking post Derek, because you share off the beaten path spots I’d not seen. Those high elevation tea plantations are epic! Love that shade of green. Thanks for sharing with us.


    • Completely agree Ryan! The country is so big and so diverse, there is something here for everyone, from the Indian Himalayas up north to the sandy shores of the south. However in between is where you find all these random awesome overlooked nuggets of goodness 😉

  2. India is full of places of power, you’ll need weeks or even months to visit them all and feel the real spirit of ancestors. Thank you for sharing the list of wonderful places, it’s good to start the trip visiting one of them.


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