Exploring the Unexplored with the 25 Best Offbeat Places to Visit in India
India is called a sub-continent for a reason. Nowhere else would you find such a diverse and vibrant mix of cultures, religions, languages, landscapes, and histories in one country? From the snow-capped Himalayas to the sandy beaches of the Andaman Islands, from the bustling cities of Delhi and Mumbai to the peaceful backwaters of Kerala, India has something for everyone.
Anyone considering the places to visit in India is bound to need clarification on all the options. For example, if you plan a Leh trip, you will find many Leh Ladakh packages, each with a different itinerary. Hence, you can understand that if one place has so many places to visit, those travellers must pick and choose the destination they want to visit.
There are many tourist places in India that are known worldwide for their beauty and splendour. But a few hidden gems are waiting to be discovered beyond the famous tourist spots. These offbeat destinations in India offer a unique perspective on India’s beauty and charm, and visiting them can be a truly unforgettable experience. In this blog, we will take you on a journey to India’s 25 best offbeat destinations that you can plan to visit in 2023.
1. Gokarna, Karnataka
Gokarna is a hidden gem in Karnataka. The state is otherwise known for its beautiful beaches, ancient temples, and breathtaking landscapes. In Gokarna, you can pay respects to the deity at the Mahabaleshwar Temple. The town has several quiet, serene beaches like Om Beach, Half Moon Beach, and Kudle Beach. One of the best places to visit in India, for peace and quiet, the town of Gokarna has many opportunities for adventures too.
The town offers a unique mix of adventure and spirituality, making it an ideal destination for all travellers. Visit between October and March to enjoy the pleasant weather and respite from life’s usual bustle.
2. Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh
Many visitors come to the Chamba district of the magnificent Himachal Pradesh but need to catch up on Khajjiar. It is a charming town surrounded by lush green meadows and snow-capped mountains. Often called the “Mini Switzerland of India”, it is one of India’s best places to visit. The town offers visitors a chance to relax in the lap of nature, and Khajjiar Lake is a popular spot for boating and horse riding.
Visitors can also explore the nearby temples and trek to the Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary. Khajjiar has attractions for both kinds of visitors. Those seeking relaxation can take strolls down the rolling meadows, while those looking for adventure can go paragliding, zorbing, and such. For these reasons, it is one of the best places to visit in India in the summer months. The best time to visit Khajjiar is between April and June.
3. Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary, Karnataka
Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Karnataka, so you may have heard about it. But you might have yet to hear about Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary, a unique wildlife reserve near Hampi. It was established in 1994 to protect the habitat of the Indian Sloth Bear, and it currently houses about 120 of them.
Visitors can spot these fascinating animals in their natural habitat and observe their behaviour. The best time to visit the sanctuary is between October and February when the weather is pleasant and the bears are active.
Apart from sloth bears, the sanctuary is also home to several other species of wildlife, including leopards, hyenas, jackals, wild boars, and several species of birds. It is a beautiful addition to this list of places to visit in India.
4. Auli, Uttarakhand
Auli is a popular skiing destination in Uttarakhand. The breathtaking views of the Himalayan peaks, such as those of Trishul Parvat, Hathi, Ghoda, and Nanda Devi from Auli, make Auli stand out in this list of places to visit in India. Visitors can enjoy skiing, trekking, and camping in Auli.
You can either trek to Auli from Joshimath or take a ropeway ride. We suggest you pick the latter option, as here you will be met by nature’s beauty in its most pristine form. The town offers a perfect blend of adventure and serenity, making it an ideal destination for all types of travellers. The best time to visit Auli is between December and February.
5. Ziro Valley, Arunachal Pradesh
Ziro Valley is a beautiful valley in Arunachal Pradesh. It is known for its rice fields, bamboo groves, and pine forests. It is a paradise for those peace-seeking wander bugs. It would help if you visited Ziro once before you can understand why we are recommending it. Most other places to visit in India will not have such beautiful lush valleys and steep mountains in one frame.
This valley is home to the Apatani tribe, and visitors can learn about their culture and traditions by exploring the nearby villages. The valley offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan lifestyle, but it comes to life during the famous Ziro Music Festival. This duality helped to make Ziro one of the best tourist places in India. The best time to visit is between March and October.
6. Gurez Valley, Kashmir
If you want to experience the nomadic lifestyle of shepherds, visit Gurez Valley. It is unique amongst all other places to visit in India, where you will encounter a remote valley, snow-capped peaks, and gurgling streams all in one place.
The valley is an ideal destination for trekking and camping, with several trekking routes offering stunning views of the Himalayas. Visitors can also explore the nearby villages and experience the local culture and cuisine. Wular Lake, Peer Baba Shrine, and Razdan Pass are the popular tourist attractions of Gurez Valley. The most suitable time to visit Gurez Valley is between June and September.
7. Majuli, Assam
It is a must for those looking to visit the best tourist places in India. Majuli is the world’s largest river island, built on the Brahmaputra River in Assam. It is known for its natural beauty and cultural significance. If you are looking for places to visit in India, and don’t think Majuli would be a good option, let us sweeten the deal. You can reach this island via a ferry ride, and once you get to the island, you can explore it on a rented bicycle.
You will also get to experience the tribal lifestyle and get to take part in their cultural festivities. The island also allows visitors to experience Assamese cuisines and traditional handicrafts. The best time to visit Majuli is between October and March.
8. Mawlynnong, Meghalaya
Often the most overlooked state for tourism, it is starting to emerge as one of the best places to visit in India. Mawlynnong is a small village located in Meghalaya, known for its cleanliness and natural beauty. It is undoubtedly an offbeat destination in India, but it’s something you would want to take advantage of.
The village is often called the cleanest village in Asia, with locals taking great pride in maintaining its cleanliness. Visitors can explore the village and admire the beautiful flower gardens and waterfalls. The village is also home to the rare living root bridge, but it will require you to climb down many steps. The village also offers visitors a chance to experience the local culture and cuisines. The best time to visit Mawlynnong is between September and May.
9. Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
When contemplating the best tourist places in India, you must have considered Spiti Valley and the Spiti Valley Tour Packages that take you to this dream destination. It is a remote valley in Himachal Pradesh, known for its stark beauty and rugged landscapes. It is the perfect place to plan a visit to India if you want adventure exploration. The route to Kaza, the largest town in Spiti, is straight out of a romance novel.
The valley is also home to several ancient monasteries, including the famous Key Monastery and Kibber Monastery. Visitors can also explore the nearby villages and experience the local culture and cuisine. You may even be lucky to spot the elusive snow leopards around Chicham village.
If you are searching for quiet and completely offbeat places to visit in India, then Spiti would be your best bet. The valley offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city’s lifestyle, and the best time to visit is between June and September.
10. Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
If you are considering the state of Arunachal Pradesh for your next trip, you must add Tawang to your itinerary. It is undoubtedly one of the most scintillating places to visit in India. Tawang is a remote town known for its stunning landscapes and rich culture. The route to Tawang is filled with adventure, and only a few people have the stamina to bear it. Thus this town has earned a name as an offbeat destination in India.
The town is home to the famous Tawang Monastery that remains popular as one of the largest Buddhist monasteries worldwide. Visitors can also explore the nearby villages and experience the local culture and cuisine.The best time to visit Tawang is between March and October.
11. Champaner, Gujarat
For nature lovers and history buffs alike, who are looking for places to visit in India that matches their interests then there is no place like Champaner in Gujarat. Located at the top of a hill, Champaner is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you can get a fascinating glimpse into the medieval history and culture of the region.
One of the main attractions of Champaner-Pavagadh is Pavagadh Hill. Atop this hill, you can see breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. Visitors can take a ropeway ride, hike up to the top of the mountain, or explore the ruins of a once-thriving empire. If you visit Champaner-Pavagadh between October and March when the weather is pleasant, you can enjoy bird watching from the hilltop.
12. Chopta, Uttarakhand
Chopta is a beautiful hill station in Uttarakhand, known for its scenic beauty and peaceful environment. The town offers visitors a chance to relax in the lap of nature and enjoy various activities like trekking and camping. If you are keen on exploring exciting places to visit in India, then Chopta is the way to go!
You can trek up to the Tungnath Temple, one of the Pancha Kedars and the highest temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. All along the road, you will find lush green meadows that the locals call bugyal. Trekkers can also go beyond the Tungnath Temple up to Chandrashila Peak for stunning views of the Himalayas. You can camp here at night and enjoy the starry sky in pitch darkness. The best time to visit Chopta is between April and June.
13. Nubra Valley, Ladakh
Nubra Valley is also called Dumra Valley. The word Dumra in the Tibetan language means the valley of flowers. It is a beautiful valley in Ladakh, known for its stunning landscapes and unique culture, which is why it is one of the essential places to visit in Ladakh.
The valley is home to several endangered wildlife animals; hence you need to apply for a permit online before visiting this tourist place in India. There are ancient monasteries and beautiful villages, including the famous Diskit Village, to explore in Nubra Valley. There is the added charm of planned activities like camel riding and river rafting, apart from the stunning views of the surrounding mountains. There are many places to visit in India, but Nubra Valley is the only place where you get to experience a camel ride at such a height in the Himalayas. The perfect time to visit Nubra Valley is between May and September. To know more about the valley, you can check out our Nubra Valley Guide.
14. Sandakphu, Darjeeling
Sandakphu is a tiny town in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal. This town marks one of the highest points in the Eastern Himalayas. The city is situated at 11,930 feet and is a famous destination for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Sandakphu translates to a height of poison plants, and this is one of the most unique places to visit in India. The place got its name from the wolfsbane plant that grows naturally in the region. Phalut, Meghma, and Tumlingare the most attractive tourist locations in Sandakphu, and you can visit them any time of the year.
15. Halebid, Karnataka
South Indian towns are known for their exquisite temple architecture. Halebid in Karnataka is no exception. Here, you will find the ruins of the Hoysala Dynasty, which ruled the region for 150 years. Halebid is also called Dwarasamudra or the gateway to the seas. It is indeed one of the most beautiful places to visit in India.
The ruins resulted from frequent invasions by Malik Kafur and his armies, who ransacked the region in the 14th century. Come to Halebid and experience a walk through India’s colourful history. You can also visit Belur and Shravanabelagola, where you will find beautiful Jain monuments. These marvellous ancient structures make Halebid the best tourist place in India.
16. Chembra Peak, Kerala
Next on our list of tourist places in India, we arrive in Kerala, where you will find the lesser-known Chembra Peak. You can take pleasure in an adventurous trek up to Chembra Peak. When you reach the top, you will be mesmerised by a breathtaking 360° view of the Western Ghats. The lush landscape veiled in the mist is a sight to behold. As you draw in the fresh air into your lungs, you will realise why this is a perfect addition to this list of places to visit in India.
Nature lovers in you must come here once as you will see many flora and fauna in their natural environment. It would be wise not to disturb or touch any of the plants in the region, as the Forest Department has a mandate against it.
There is also a natural lake called Hridaya Saras in the shape of a heart where you can click beautiful pictures with your loved ones. Come here between September and February to see the valley’s verdant glory.
17. Kanatal, Uttarakhand
From the South, we now come to North India to search for tourist places in India. In the tiny Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, there is a place that most visitors still need to learn about. Kanatal is over 80 km from Dehradun, which would have otherwise appeared in this list of places to visit in India, had it not been so popular and crowded.
You can easily spend 8-10 days in this romantic place while enjoying your hotel’s stunning views of the Himalayan peaks. The popular tourist attractions that you can see in Kanatal are the Surkanda Devi Temple and the Tehri Dam. The best time to visit Kanatal would be April and June.
18. Damro, Arunachal Pradesh
Do you wish to walk over the longest hanging bridge to cross a raging river below? Then you have to visit Damro in Arunachal Pradesh, another lesser-known tourist place in India. Your visit to this state will be unlike any other trip, as you will get to see and experience the authentic tribal lifestyle. Here, you will find bamboo houses with thatched roofs, swaying bridges made with wood, and tamed bison.
You have got to come here once, and you will resent going back to your city life. The Damro Labokellie Tea Garden is an excellent addition to this already beautiful place. You can even form a relationship with the hospitable locals and work alongside them in the fields, which is something you won’t find in other places to visit in India. The best time to visit Damro would be between October and April.
19. Kila Raipur, Punjab
The land of five rivers, Punjab has many tourist places in India that you can visit, some well-known while others are hidden. One such hidden gem is Kila Raipur, where you can experience daring local games. These are challenging and enthralling sports and can make you sit on the edge of your seat.
If you want to explore places to visit in India in February, you must visit Kila Raipur. It is then that the locals hold the Rural Olympics, which is celebrated with much pomp.
20. Jawai, Rajasthan
Still an unknown tourist place in India, Jawai gives you a chance for both adventure and cultural experience. You can spend a few days in the thrill in the Jawai Leopard Camp, where you can have tent accommodations. The rustic ambience of the place and the exotic cuisine will not disappoint you.
There are places to visit in India where you can watch animals and birds in their natural habitat from a safe distance. But in Jawai, you also get the benefit of local hospitality. It is a great place for birdwatchers, as many migratory birds, like flamingoes, cranes, geese, etc., flock here. You can also visit the nearby Kambeshwar Mahadev Temple, Kumbhalgarh, and Abhinav Mahavir Dham. It is best to see Jawai between early September and May.
21. Amadubi, Jharkhand
If you admire arts and handicrafts, you can visit this tourist place in India. In Jharkhand, you will find a village called Amadubi—home to many painters and sculptors. You can participate in local festivities like the Tusu Parab and the festival of Dansai. The traditional rituals, songs, dance, and aromatic food will quickly win you over. You will surely recommend Amadubi to others over other places to visit in India.
Support the local artisans here and buy the Mithila-print sarees, Dokra craft, and Paitkar paintings. These are sure to add colour to your life and home. The best time to go to Amadubi is between September and March.
22. Mainpat, Chhattisgarh
This place is so well-hidden that even we were about to miss it. Mainpat has many gomoas or temples that you can explore. These were built by the Tibetan settlers in this region. It would be best to visit the heavenly Thakpo Shedupling Monastery when you are here. Other attractions of Mainpat are the Mercury Falls and the Parpatiya Sunset Point. If you are looking for places to visit in India where you can spend a couple of days in peace then choose Manipat. You can come here anytime between October and March for the best experience.
23. Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh
Located in South India in Andhra Pradesh, it is a small town called Lepakshi. It has the famous Veerabhadra Temple, where you will find beautiful frescos depicting the scenes of Mahabharata and Ramayana.
In the temple, you will find the miraculous hanging pillar and the beautiful idol of Lord Shiva. The Jatayu Theme Park makes Lepakshi a must amongst other places to visit in India. It is best to come to Lepakshi from November to March.
24. Velas, Maharashtra
In Velas, you can encounter the annual turtle festival, earning it a spot on this list of exciting places to visit in India. Take part in the conservation efforts alongside the villagers of Velas. You can see turtles hatching out of their eggs in their natural habitats.
You can come to Velas and visit the Bankot Fort or walk down the beaches like Velas Beach and Hariheshwar Beach. The best time to go to Velas is between March and April.
25. Moodbidri, Karnataka
Are you looking for places to visit in India, where you will find Jain temples and shrines? Then Moodbidri is the answer to your search. There are temples here that are dedicated to the Digambara sect of Jainism. The 600 years old temples have over a thousand pillars and show Nepalese, Oriental, and Hoysala influences.
The famous places in Moodbidri are Kanchibail Waterfalls, Durga Waterfalls, and Gomateshwara Statue. You can find the best climate from September to March in Moodbidri.
India has diverse cultures, rich history, and breathtaking natural beauty. The 25 offbeat destinations mentioned above are just a few examples of India’s hidden gems. These places to visit in India are perfect for travellers looking for something unique, away from the usual tourist spots.
From the pristine beaches of South India to the majestic mountains of the Himalayas, each destination offers a unique experience. These are sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors. Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast, a nature lover, or a history buff, these places to visit in India have something to offer everyone.
So, if you’re planning your next vacation, consider visiting one of these offbeat destinations to experience the true essence of India. The memories you will make on your trip will stay with you forever.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Offbeat Places To Visit In India
1. Where should I travel next in India?
The answer to this important question depends on your budget and preference. Different places will have various attractions for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and culture buffs.
2. What are the secret places in India?
India has many offbeat and lesser-known destinations waiting to be explored. Some of these secret places include Majuli Island in Assam, the largest river island in the world. Ziro Valley in Arunachal Pradesh is a picturesque valley surrounded by mountains and is home to the Apatani tribe. There are several other secret places to find in India.
3. Where should I go in the summer of 2023?
India has many destinations that are perfect for summer travel. Ladakh is known for its scenic landscapes, Buddhist monasteries, and adventure activities, making it a popular choice for summer travel. Manali, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, is also a great choice, known for its natural beauty, adventure activities, and scenic landscapes. Darjeeling is a picturesque town in West Bengal famous for its tea plantations, mountain views, and heritage toy train. These are just a few options.
4. Where do Indians travel the most?
The most popular domestic travel destinations for Indians are hill stations such as Shimla, Manali, and Mussoorie, as well as beach destinations such as Goa, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and Kerala. Other popular destinations include historical and cultural sites such as Agra, Jaipur, and Delhi.
5. How Can I Travel In India Cheaply?
Some of the tips to help you travel in India cheaply are planning your trip during the off-season, using budget accommodations and airlines, eating at local eateries, using public transportation for commute, exploring free or low-cost places of attractions, and staying flexible with the itinerary.