1. Bera (Rajasthan)
Along the banks of River Jawai and nestled in between thick forests is the relatively unknown village of Bera. The region, dotted with scrubland vegetation such as cactus, has plenty of hillocks with caves where leopards roam free. The Jawai Dam built over the river has a lake-like water body where you can find some of the biggest crocodiles. There are some beautiful safari homes and lodges that organize game drives. Accompanied by expert guides, you can spot the elusive leopards, and several other species like a hyena, nilgai, mongoose, sloth bear, jungle cat, and several bird species.
2. Yellapur (Karnataka)
The quiet little town of Yellapur is in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, in the Western Ghats section. The place is famous for Satoddi Falls and Magod Falls. The former is one of the most well-known falls in Karnataka and is on the outskirts of Yellapur. Magod Falls is about 19 kilometers away from Yellapur. Here, the water of the Bedthi river falls into a ravine from the height of 650 feet. The best time to visit these falls is just after the rainy season, when the weather is pleasant and the roads are accessible.
3. Dudhwa (Uttar Pradesh)
Dudhwa National Park in Uttar Pradesh spans across over 600 kilometers and has a varied wildlife population spread across the diverse terrain. The region covers Kheri and Lakhimpur districts and is in the Terai belt of the Himalayas. The Terai belt is one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world. The undulating grasslands, dense forests, and marshland are home to an assortment of flora and fauna. Apart from housing species such as deer, antelopes, elephants, hyena, jackal, and leopards, it also contains several bird species.
4. Lepakshi (Andhra Pradesh)
This quaint little village in Andhra Pradesh showcases the rich culture of the region through its many temples and archaeological sites. The Lepakshi temple is a spectacle of magnificent architecture and art. It is the prime location of shrines dedicated to Shiva, Veerabhadra, and Vishnu. The Vijayanagar architectural style in this region is characterized by hanging pillars, cave chambers, and fascinating murals. With each unique structure narrating a story of its own, this place is a must-visit for people who appreciate archaeological and artistic splendor.
5. Kanatal (Uttarakhand)
This relatively untouched village lies near Mussoorie and is surrounded by breathtaking views of the Himalayan mountains and rivers. At an elevation of 2600 meters, this picture-perfect place is the perfect weekend getaway destination. Visitors can enjoy an array of activities here like sightseeing, trekking, camping, valley crossing, rappelling, jungle safari, and nature stay. To enjoy a weekend of solitude, unhindered by the hustle of the city, away from the pollution and humidity, this is one of the best places to visit.
6. Ziro (Arunachal Pradesh)
Ziro valley is one of the oldest towns of Arunachal Pradesh and is 167 kilometers from Itanagar. At an elevation of 1500 meters above sea level, this picturesque location has an imposing landscape with hills covered with bamboo and pine trees. The valley is dotted with vibrant flora and fauna. The place is famous for its unique tribal heritage; the area is mainly inhabited by the Apatani tribe. The locals are festive and happy people and they enjoy taking part in unique festivities, like murung rituals, animistic ceremonies, dances, and feasts. Music and art lovers from all over the country come here to get a glimpse of the fervor and pomp of the Ziro Music Festival.
7. Patan (Gujarat)
This charismatic town in Gujarat is dotted with architectural sites and ancient temples. It has a rich cultural heritage that goes back over 650 years. The stepwell, Rani ki Vav, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a fine example of the architecture and craftsmanship of the region. The fort walls and gates are still intact and attract tourists who wish to explore the history and culture of this place. The narrow streets and pols are dotted with mashru and patola weavers, rope makers, bidi makers, Jain temples, and an ancient library.
8. Mandu (Madhya Pradesh)
This ancient city is as beautiful as it is ancient. It is famous for its exquisite architecture and rich and diverse history, the most notable being the love story between Prince Baz Bahadur and Rani Roopmati. The sprawling lawns, beautiful monuments, and splendid palaces take you back in time, to the era of kings and queens. The architecture of the palaces and mosques, such as Jama Masjid, Hindola Mahal, Ashrafi Mahal, and Hoshang Shah Tomb is so spellbinding that people say that these monuments inspired Shah Jahan to build the Taj Mahal. With such an ethereal and timeless beauty, this is a perfect romantic destination.
9. Champaner (Gujarat)
Home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Champaner-Pavagarh Archaeological Park, the city of Champaner is an archaeological and architectural wonder. Back in the 15th century, this was the flourishing capital of the sultans. The city has palaces, residential precincts, agricultural installations, fortifications, and several mosques that have stood deserted for centuries now. A visit to this place should cover the masjids of the Halol-Pavagarh road, like Kevada Masjid, Shaher Ki Masjid, and Jami Masjid. Once you’ve covered these places, you can head over to Vadatalav Lake, a vast lake with a beautiful hill view. Surrounding the ruins of the old city is New Champaner, a city teeming with markets and modern cafes.
10. Damro (Arunachal Pradesh)
Site of the longest hanging bridge in Arunachal Pradesh, Damro village is in Mariyang Block of the Upper Siang district. The bamboo-thatched houses and sprawling meadows of the village take you to a simpler and laid back life, unburdened by the tensions of the modern world. You can stay in pretty cottages near the woods and make your way to the hanging bridge, which is a 40-minute hike from the settlements. You can appreciate the age-old customs of the place as you observe the locals go about their harvesting activities. The local delicacies like apong (rice beer), smoked pork, and raja chilly chutney will make your taste buds tingle.
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