India is one of the world’s most coveted destinations. It features on the dream travel list of every globetrotting tourist and explorer. 

Typically bucket list of those who are visiting India includes a trip to the Taj Mahal in Agra, a spiritual stay in Varanasi, a cultural expedition to the land of royalty and cultural festivity Rajasthan, the beaches and backwaters of God’s Own Country Kerala, the must-visit Mughal landmarks of Delhi, glitzy Mumbai, and beach paradises of Goa, Karnataka, and the Andaman Islands

While these are all iconic destinations offering rich and unique cultural experiences, there are so many other unexplored destinations in India that slip under the radar.

If you prefer an offbeat, pristine, less-crowded, and less ‘touristy’ destination, tucked away from the noise and commotion of heavy footfall, this list is for you including places , best time to visit guide and things to explore for first time traveler . 

1. Ziro Valley, Arunachal Pradesh

A UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its ecological importance, the Ziro Valley is a secluded mystical place in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh. Ziro is a place of mesmerizing beauty. 

Every year in the month of September, this valley plays host to the ancient Ziro Music Festival which is an indigenous festival featuring tribes of the surrounding valleys. 

Things to Do in Arunachal Pradesh

  • Tawang War Memorial celebrating the heroics of the heroes of 1962 Indo-China War. 
  • Namdapha National Park and Tiger Reserve.
  • Explore the Golden Pagoda.
  •  Pakke Tiger Reserve.
  • Sela Pass

2. Lakshadweep

Photo by Irshad RH:

Lakshadweep is a collective of 35 islands 120-170 miles off the coast of Kochi (Kerala) in the Arabian Sea. 

Picture a perfect tropical white sand beach paradise with an island all to yourself.

The Minicoy Thundi Beach, is the best beach in Lakshadweep and is ranked among the only 12 Blue Flag Beaches in India.

Things to do in Lakshadweep

  • Cruises in the ocean.
  • Beachside picnics

3. Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand

Sprawling over 33 sq km in the Himalayan Uttarakhand, the Valley of Flowers in the Chamoli District puts on a little natural miracle every year between the months of June and September.

As the snow melts, every year during these months, this valley sees a sprouting of rare alpine flowers, some of which are indigenous only to this region.  The valley is a wonderful site to behold during this time of the year. 

Declared a national park in 1982, the “Valley of Flowers” is also home to snow leopards, Asiatic black bears, musk deer, brown bears, and red foxes.

Things to Do in the Valley of Flowers

  • Birdwatching: Birds you can sight: Himalayan Monal, Blue-fronted Redstart, and Himalayan Snowcocks. 
  • Wildlife spotting. The Valley is part of the Nanda Devi Bioreserve. Probably sightings include Himalayan musk deer, blue sheep (bharal), and snow leopards. 
  • Pilgrimage to the sacred Sikh sight Hemkund Sahib.
  • Tipra and Ratban Parvat Glaciers.
  • Camping, stargazing, and picnics. Photography and trekking

4. Aizawl, Mizoram

Aizawl, Mizoram
Photo by Atiswan Goel:

Located at a height of 3,714 feet above sea level, the capital of the state of Mizoram is famous for the unique tribal culture of the Mizo people, traditional festivals like the Mim Kut, Chapchar Kut and Pawl Kut, folk dances, and Raj-era colonial architecture.

Things to Do in Aizawal

  • Cultural Immersion with the tribal people of Aizwal. Visit the local landmarks and local markets. Try the traditional Mizo cuisine. 
  • Visit the uniquely built Solomon’s Temple.
  • Visit the Mizoram State Museum.
  • Cathedral of St. Paul.
  • Durtlang Hills.
  • Aizawl Zoological Park and the village of Reiek Tlang.

5. Zanskar, Kargil (Ladakh)

Zanskar in the Kargil district of Ladakh is one of India’s remotest places. But it is worth the hassle of getting there.

Zanskar is pure unadulterated natural beauty, vast wilderness, serenity, snow-capped mountains, serene rivers, and just the perfect air. Its semi-cold desert region is ideal for an off-roading 5×4 adventure.

Things to do in Ladakh

  • Explore the capital city of Leh, famous for its palaces and monasteries. 
  • Visit the Nubra Valley famous for its beauty and double-humped camels. 
  • the color-changing Pangong Tso lake.
  • Off-road adventure at the Khardung La (the highest jeepable mountain pass in the world) 
  • Hemis National Park.

6. Mawlynnong Village, Meghalaya

Land of the East Khasi people, Mawlynnong is a great place to go on eco-friendly and environmentally conscious tours. One of its main attractions is the Nohwet Living Root Bridge.

The “Cleanest Village in Asia,” Mawlynnong Village of Meghalaya is famous for its legendary “Living Root Bridges.”

A living root bridge is a splendid exhibit of ancient tribal engineering. It is formed by training the roots of a rubber tree to form bridges of roots over rivers and streams. 

Things to Do in Mawlynnong

  • Nature trails and forest walks. 
  • Eco Tours. 
  • Visit to living root bridges. 
  • Visits to waterfalls.

7. Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir

Pahalgam is located at an average height of 3,900 meters above sea level. 

Popularly known as the “Valley of Shepherds” due to its lush green grazing pastures, this little valley in the Anantnag District also serves as a base camp for the famous holy pilgrimage site, the Amarth Caves (abode of Lord Shiva). 

The river is especially famous for its trout fish and riverside picnics. 

Things to Do in Pahalgam

  • Riverside picnics at the Lidder River
  • Trout fishing
  • Visit the nearby Betaab Valley
  • Spend a day with the shepherds.

8. Lanchen, North Sikkim

The state of Sikkim in the northeastern Himalayas is famous for its capital Gangtok (which is one of India’s most well-known hill stations). It is also famous for being the home of the mighty Kanchenjunga, India’s tallest mountain.

Lanchen, located in the sparsely populated North Sikkim is the path less travelled. Famous for its serenity, and beauty, Lanchen’s unique landscape is dotted with ancient Buddhist monasteries. Lanchen “the big or high pass” is also the site of famous yak races. 

Lanchen is governed by a unique governance system called “Dzumsa” wherein every household is a part of the governance apparatus. 

Things to Do in Lanchen

  • Spend a day with the local tribe.
  • Ride a Yak.
  • Visit the Lanchen Monastery
  • Hike up to the Gurudongmar Lake.
  • Visit the Chopta Valley famous for its rhododendrons and alpine trees.

9. Kohima, Nagaland

The capital of Nagaland Kohima is the proud host of the legendary Hornbill Festival that is held in the month of December. The unique tribal festival brings together tribes of the region for a 10-day-long festival that features tribal games, music, and dances. Every tribe shows up in Kohima with its own contingents of tribal warriors, athletes, dancers, and artists. 

This landlocked region of India is home to a set of diverse indigenous tribes and ethnic groups collectively known as the Naga people—an ancient tribe that has inhabited this part of the world for centuries.

Things to Do in Kohima

  • Trek to the Dzukou Valley, famed for its scenic beauty.
  • Visit the Khonoma Nature Conservation.  
  • Trekking Trails of the state.
  • Visit the traditional Naga Villages. Spend a day with the locals.
  • Trek to the Japfu Peak.

10. Marari, Kerala

God’s own Country Kerala is one of India’s most visited places. It offers stunning beaches, mouth-watering cuisine, fine Ayurveda-inspired luxury resorts, and serene backwaters.

But the village of Maraikulam tucked away in the Alappuzha District is one of the state’s best-kept secrets and considered one of the “World’s Best Hammock Beaches.”

It is an ideal alternative to the busy beaches of Goa, Kovalam, and the Andamans.

Things to Do in MARARI

  • Enjoy the beach.
  • Visit St. Andrew’s Basilica Arthunkal— a fine exhibit of the architecture of the Victorian era.
  • Temple tour to the Vaikom Mahadeva and the Mullakkal Rajarajeswari Temples.
  • Take a houseboat tour.
  • Enjoy the backwaters of Alappuzha, an exciting world of waterways lined with coconut palms and exotic little villages.


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