India is a land of diverse cultures, landscapes, and attractions. From the majestic Himalayas to the serene backwaters, from the ancient temples to the modern skyscrapers, India has something for everyone. But if you are looking for some offbeat and unique destinations to explore in 2024, here are 10 hidden gems that will make your Instagram feed stand out.
Dzukou Valley, Nagaland
If you love trekking and nature, you can’t miss the Dzukou Valley in Nagaland. This valley is a paradise of wildflowers, streams, and green hills. The best time to visit is from June to September, when the valley is in full bloom. You can capture the stunning views of the valley from various viewpoints, such as the Japfu Peak and the Dzukou View Point.
Gurez Valley, Kashmir
Gurez Valley is a hidden gem in Kashmir, located near the Line of Control. This valley offers a tranquil and picturesque setting, with snow-capped mountains, lush meadows, and crystal-clear rivers. You can also witness the rich culture and heritage of the local Dard tribe, who live in wooden houses and wear colorful attire. Gurez Valley is accessible only from May to October, so plan your trip accordingly.
Chopta is a small town in Uttarakhand, known as the “Mini Switzerland of India”. It is surrounded by pine forests, meadows, and Himalayan peaks. Chopta is a base for many treks, such as the Tungnath Temple and the Chandrashila Peak. You can also enjoy camping, birdwatching, and stargazing in Chopta. The best time to visit is from March to June and September to December.
Mawlynnong is a village in Meghalaya, famous for being the “Cleanest Village in Asia”. The villagers maintain a high standard of cleanliness and hygiene, using bamboo dustbins, recycling waste, and planting trees. Mawlynnong also has some unique attractions, such as the living root bridges, the balancing rock, and the skywalk. You can also experience the Khasi culture and cuisine in Mawlynnong.
Dhanushkodi, Tamil Nadu
Dhanushkodi is a coastal town in Tamil Nadu, situated at the tip of the Rameswaram island. It is believed to be the place where Lord Rama built a bridge to Lanka. Dhanushkodi was devastated by a cyclone in 1964, and was declared a ghost town. However, you can still visit the ruins of the town, such as the railway station, the church, and the temple. You can also enjoy the scenic views of the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal.
Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh
Lepakshi is a historical town in Andhra Pradesh, famous for its temple dedicated to Lord Veerabhadra. The temple is a marvel of architecture, with intricate carvings, paintings, and sculptures. The most notable feature of the temple is the hanging pillar, which barely touches the ground and defies gravity. Lepakshi is also associated with the Ramayana, as it is believed to be the place where Jatayu fell after being wounded by Ravana.
Hemis is a village in Leh, known for its monastery, which is the largest and richest in Ladakh. The monastery belongs to the Drukpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, and houses many ancient relics, statues, and paintings. Hemis is also famous for its annual festival, which is held in June or July. The festival showcases the colorful and vibrant culture of Ladakh, with masked dances, music, and rituals.
Majuli is an island in the Brahmaputra river in Assam, and the largest river island in the world. It is a hub of culture, art, and spirituality, as it is home to many monasteries, called satras, where the neo-Vaishnavite tradition is practiced. Majuli is also rich in biodiversity, with many rare and endangered species of flora and fauna. You can explore the island by boat, bicycle, or on foot, and witness the rustic and serene lifestyle of the locals.
Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh
Khajjiar is a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, often called the “Mini Switzerland of India”. It is famous for its green meadow, surrounded by pine trees and snow-capped mountains. Khajjiar also has a lake, a temple, and a golf course. You can enjoy various activities in Khajjiar, such as paragliding, horse riding, zorbing, and trekking. The best time to visit is from March to October.
Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh
Ziro is a valley in Arunachal Pradesh, inhabited by the Apatani tribe. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a hotspot of biodiversity and culture. Ziro is known for its paddy-cum-fish cultivation, where fish are reared in the waterlogged rice fields. Ziro is also famous for its music festival, which is held in September every year. The festival showcases the indie music scene of India, as well as the local culture and cuisine of Ziro.