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Hidden Gems In India That You Should Visit Before You Die

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Hidden Gems In India That You Should Visit Before You Die

Location: Chatpal, Kashmir

India is a land of many adventures, treasures and surprises. Though tourism in our subcontinent is a fast growing sector but there are many special places that only real travelers know and care about .

1. Laitmawsiang, Meghalaya: This small village located in Khatarshnong Laitkroh, Block of East Khasi Hills, is the perfect hideout for people hungry for isolation in the lap of nature.

Laitmawsiang in Meghalaya is one of India’s best secret-keeper. If you’ve been dreaming of exploring a hidden gem, this place should be on the top of your bucket list. It is known as the home of cotton-candy clouds, the north-eastern state of Meghalaya is endowed with sweeping views of timbered valleys, glassy lakes, sparkling waterfalls and ancient caves. Dotted with British colonial architecture galore, this destination is an ideal hideaway to unwind amidst nature.

Best Time to visit Laitmawsiang- The months of August and September are ideal. The Garden of Caves is open seven days a week, and visitors can enter from 8:30 am in the morning.

How to reach Laitmawsiang- The closest domestic Airport happens to be in Shillong, which is 52 km away from Laitmawsiang. Many tourist prefer travelling by train and the nearest railway station is in Guwahati, which is 145 km away from this spot. Tourist wanting to embark on road trips from Shillong can back a full day taxi trip to the destination.

Hotels to stay near Laitmawsiang, Meghalaya – 

i)Rani Homestay: It has been rated 7.5 out of 10 by Booking.com guests. Located in Cherrapunji Rani Homestay provides accommodations with free private parking. The homestay features a terrace. The nearest Airport is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, 88 km from Rani Homestay. If you’ll book through Tripadvisor.in then it will cost only Rs.1,000 from Moby Trip, it cost Rs.1,003 and from Booking.com Rs.1,960. It is cheap and clean place and service is also good. Good location overall for sightseeing recreation, dining and getting around.

How far is Rani Homestay from Laitmawsiang-  It takes only 13 minutes by vehicle or car to reach Laitmawsiang from Rani Homestay.

ii)D-cloud Guest House: It offers accommodation in Cherrapunji, with free private parking and also feature bike hire for guests who want to explore the surrounding area. It has been rated 8.1 out of 10 with an affordable rate.

How far is D-cloud Guest House from Laitmawsiang?

It takes 34 minutes to reach Laitmawsiang from D-cloud Guest House.

2.Chetinad Palace, Tamil Nadu -  The Chettinad Palace in Tamil Nadu is a unique amalgamation of art, architecture and tradition.

How to reach Chettinad Palace?

On Road: Kanadkathan is 10 km from Karaikudi, plenty of buses are available from Karaikudi, Thirupathur Madurai International Airport 87 km towards Tiruchirappa (Code: TRZ) and 81 km towards Madurai International Airport (Code IXM).

Airport near Chettinad Palace – The nearest Airport is Tiruchirappali Airport and it is around 20 km away from Chettinad. Another close Airport to Chettinad is Madurai Airport.

13 Arch Bridge, Kerala: The 13 Arch Bridge of Kerala is located in Kazhathuruthi in Kollam district. This architecture marvel is a sight to behold. Constructed over a century ago with just rocks, the 13 Arch is also an architectural marvel. This marvelous piece of engineering work on the greens of western ghats of Kerala is outstanding to view. Maharaja sanction this bridge for meter gauge train this service, build by British engineer in 1900 whole is made of granite blocks and mortar. Still this Bridge is active with broad gauge fast trains.

How to get into this – Ride from the nearest railway station catching the stunning beauty of the jungles.

4. Tada Falls/ Ubbalamadugu Falls, Andhra Pradesh: This is not so famous waterfalls of Andhra Pradesh are tucked away in beautiful bullocks and greenery. Hikers and trekkers looking for a quiet escape and can be spotted around the hills.

How to reach Tada Falls/ Ubbalamadugu Waterfalls – It takes 45 hour to reach Ubbalamadugu Falls from West Bengal by Car.

To reach Tada falls, first we need to reach a village called Varadaiahpalem. You can board bus from Koyambedubus stand to Varadaiahpalem village. The nearest railway station is in Tada town and you can board local train from Chennai Central that goes to Sulurpet.

How can I reach Tada Falls from Tada railway station?

Tada falls is near from Varadaiahpalem village.

By train- Reach Chennai Central Railway station, and board on train towards Sullurpeta, get down at Tada Railway Station. Train frequency on the route is good, on every 2 hours, you can get train. Distance from Tada railway station to Tada falls is 26 kilometers.

5. Arvalem Caves, Goa – The rock cut caves are monuments of the pre-historic life in Goa, a time of Pandavas and Mahabharata. These Caves (located 9 kms south of  Bicholim Town) are now a rather recent discovery and are said to be a hide out for Pandavas during their exile. Dating back to the 5th to 6th century, these caves are locally known as the Pandavas Caves. There’s a much debate over whether the Caves are Buddhist or Brahmanical in origin, considering lingas that exist in four different shrines. The Shafts of the four crafted lingas are very similar to those that can be found in Elephanta and Ajanta and Ellora Caves in Maharashtra. Some of the characters engraved on the second linga belong to the sanskrit and Brahmi script, that was prevalent in the 7th century. Excavated from a late rite hill, the complex consist of two major caves and a residential Chamber.

How to reach Arvalem Caves, Goa –  At a distance of 29 km from Panjim Kadamba Bus Stand, 46 km from Vasco Da Gama Railway Station and 9 km south of Bicholim.

You can travel by Cab/auto/Rental bike. Trip duration (including travel) is 1 hour. The distance from Kadamba Bus Terminus is 29 kms.

6. Jhatingri, Himachal Pradesh – Himachal is a popular tourist destination but this little abode is situated 5 km from Ghatasni on way to Barot. It is located in India about 230 mi north of New Delhi. The hill town is completely unspoiled and is perfect for those who don’t make or like a lot of noise.

How to get there and get around –

•Kullu Manali Airport (17 mi)

•Kangra Airport (39 mi)

•Shimla Airport (61 mi)

•Ludhiana Airport (93 mi)

7. Doodhpathri, Kashmir: Doodhpathri is considered one of the most beautiful meadows in India, and situated only 42 km away from  Srinagar a visit here is almost mandatory.

How to reach Doodhpathri, Kashmir – It takes 42 hours to reach Doodhpathri, Kasmir from Siliguri, West Bengal.

By Air – The closest airport to Doodhpathri is the Srinagar International Airport. From there, buses are available from Humhama area to Budgam, which is about 2 km from the Airport.

•By Road – Take a bus from Lalchowk Srinagar to Badgam (30km in distance), from where you can catch a vehicle to Khansahib.

What you can do in Doodhpathri?

•One can take horse ride to the top (5 km at Rs.800/- per horse) or walk about half km and play in the snow.

•On the way lof of walnuts and Apple trees and once you reach you will find nature at it’s best with lovely weather green surroundings can do horse riding and enjoy Maggi.

8. Idukki, Kerala : One of the most beautiful district hidden away from mad tourist crowds. But what it is an absolutely scenic drive through forest with signs telling you to watch out for elephants by the side of the road.

How to reach Idukki, Kerala – It takes 56 hour to reach Idukki, Kerala from Siliguri, West Bengal by vehicle. 

How can I go to Idukki by train – The nearest railway station is at Kottayam which is 114 km from Idukki. Bus services are available from Kottayam to reach Idukki. All the trains from major cities in India and the state have stopovers at Kottayam.

9. Chalakudy, Kerala – Move away Munnar and Thekkady, if you are the explorer land then Chalakudy is just the place for you. It brings together hills,wild life, waterfalls and backwaters of Mala and Azhicode along with a stunning Munakkal beach all within itself.

How to reach Chalakudy, Kerala – It takes 55 hour to reach Chalakudy, Kerala from Siliguri,  West Bengal.

By Road – Hit the roads to reach Chalakudy as this is the best option to get there. Tucked along the NH 544, you can also reach the place through State Highway 21, you will pass through the beautiful city of Vazhachal near Tamil Nadu.

Hotels near Chalakudi Station – 

•Hotel Sidhartha- It is a 3-star hotel which is situated 1.8 kilometers away from Chalakudi station.

•Oyo 28276 Harshavardhana Inn – 3 -star Hotel, situated 4.6 kilometers to Chalakudi Station.

•Rasa Gurukul – 3-star hotel, 5.8kms to Chalakudi Station.

10. Nagarhole National Park: Under Conservative for UNESCO World Heritage Site, Nagarhole National Park has a reserve of wildlife and plants that will make for any photographers delight.

How to reach Nagarhole National Park?

•BY RAIL- To reach Nagarhole National Park by rail, one has to alright at the Mysore Station which is at a distance of 80 kilometers from the park. The train ride from Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad to Coorg takes 2 hours, 21 hours and 16 hours respectively.

Hotels near Nagarhole National Park-

The Serai Kabini – Relax and rejuvenate at Oma Spa. The villas feature stunning Kabini river views from the private or shared patios. Enjoy your favourite drink at the open-air bar, The Outpost. Enjoy the natural beauty of Kabini with activities like birdwatching and a river cuisine. Complimentary breakfast is available.Drinks are served. Complimentary access to events such as Movie is available at the price of Rs. 18,880 per night.

11. Adalaj Stepwell, Gujarat: Known as one of the finest examples of ancient architecture in India. The stepwell is a historical monument that can make even the most modern travellers stop and stare.

How do I get to Adalaj Stepwell – A drive across NH 8C from Sarkhaj is the shortest way to get to Adalaj. It'll take around 30 minutes to fathom the 30 odd km that separate the two attractions.

How to reach Adalaj?

By Air: Ahmedabad Airport is the nearest Airport which is 16 km away.

By Train: Ahmedabad Railway Station is the nearest Railway Station which is 20 km away.

By Road: Ahmedabad is well connected with other major cities.

Adalaj Stepwell Entry Fee: Entrance is free. Still camera and video camera are allowed, footwear are not allowed. Visit Duration is 1hour (approx). Facilities- food stalls & washrooms.

12. Maithon, Jharkhand: If you want to combine your obsession of exploration with travel, the Maithon is the place you have been waiting for.

Hotels near Maithon, Jharkhand-

Shubhankar Guest House: It offers free wifi. It charges only Rs.1,580. Room and food price are very reasonable. It takes only 6 minutes to reach Maithon from Subhankar Guest House.

13. Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Goa: A ferry ride away from Ribandar, the Bird Sanctuary is located in the island of Chorao. During the migratory months birds come from as far as Siberia, and are best spotted early in the morning. This bird Sanctuary will make every nature lover to hit Goa right away. Spread across an area of 420 acres, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is an estuarine mangrove habitat. It has got its name from India’s most prolific ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is also home to several exotic species such as marsh, crocodiles, pythons, plankton, jackals, and mudskipper. Apart from bird species such as white egrets, purple herons, colourful Kingfishers, eagle, cormorants, kites, woodpeckers, sandpiper, curlews and mynahs that attract passionate bird watchers fro.across the country.

One can enjoy a fun, yet challenging ride through the park while marvelling at the wide variety of birds. If you’re looking for a completely in depth experience, explore the park on foot and hire a guide to learn all about jungle life.

Boat ride through the mangroves – A 10-seater boat will cost you Rs.750, while a 12 seater will cost you Rs.900. If you’re traveling in a smaller group, share with other people and you’re good to go. It’s best to travel with your families, and friends with a large group.

Getting to Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary-

A bus or car ride from the capital city of Panaji will take you to the Ribandar ferry wharf. From there, take a ferry across the Mandovi River to the Island of Chorao. The Sanctuary is within walking distance from the ferry wharf.

Here is how you can reach Panaji Mumbai, which is the closest metro city:

By Air: There are daily flights to Dabolim Airport from Mumbai starting at approximately Rs.2000 onwards. It takes about 45 minutes to reach Panaji from Dabolim Airport.

By train: There are several trains that connect Mumbai to Goa and it takes approximately 9 to 10 hours by most to cover the distance of about 600 km.

Once you get down at Madgaon or Thivim Station ( depending on the train you pick), hire a cab or take a bus to reach Panaji.

By Road: Mumbai is connected to Panaji by NH48 and it takes about 10-11 hours to cover the distance of 590 km.

Hotels near Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary:-

Deltin Palms- It serves a great location, good food and well groomed staff. In leafy surroundings on the banks of the Mandovi River, this  relaxed, all-suite hotel is 2 km from the Deltin Royale floating Casino, 3 km from cultural exhibits at Goa international Airport. It offers parking free and breakfast free. It takes only 33 min (7.6 km) to reach Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary from Deltin Palms.

Goa Mariott Resort and Spa- Located 6 km from Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. It cost only Rs. 10,029.

Mercure Goa Devaaya Retreat- situated 6 km from Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and it cost Rs.5,376 including breakfast.

Sterling Goa Bardez- 3.9 km from Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. It cost Rs.3,841.

14. Badami Caves, Karnataka: Hidden in the Bagalkot district of north Karnataka, Badami Caves stand reminiscent of the great chalukya  architecture. The town used to be a capital of the Chalukya empire in 6th century.

How to reach Badami Caves- 

Nearest Airport to Badami is in Belgaum which is located at a distance of 190 km from here. From Airport you can hire prepaid taxi or you can take bus to reach Badami which is directly connected via road to Belgaum. Many domestic flights from major cities of India land in Belgaum  hence it’s easy to reach this place.

How can you go to Badami Caves from Bangalore?

The fastest way to reach from Bangalore to Badami is flight to Hubballi Airport, then cab to Badami and takes 3h 55m. The recommended way to reach from Bangalore to Badami is bus to Badami and takes 9 hour. Buses from SRS Travels, Sanjana Travels, VRL Travels etc. Flights from Spicejet  Indigo etc.

15. Haflong, Assam: Even if you find Haflong too boring, Haflong lake is beautiful enough to keep you going for days in its admiration. Haflong is a spectacular hill station in the state of Assam has also grown up to be a well known tourist attraction of North East India. Many travelers plan to visit to spend their holidays here. The transportation system is also feasible, and thus people can easily reach without facing any difficulties.

By Air: One can reach Haflong via the Guwahati Airport from where many private cars and taxis are available on hire that carry tourists to this destination. You can also take a flight to Shillong and then reach the hill station from there.

By Rail: The closest Railway Station to this place is about 3 km distance from the main town from where one can easily reach Haflong hill station. The scenic beauty from the train is simply amazing.

Hotels to stay in Haflong-

•Landmark Hotel Haflong: Luxurious hotel in the mid of the Haflong town. It has 13 well appointed luxury rooms and 2 suites with ample parking area. Free parking, free Wifi, free breakfast , Bar, lounge,restaurant.  The hotels costs Rs.3799. It will take only 6 min via Lake View Rd to reach the Landmark Hotel from Haflong.

16. Lugnak Valley, Jammu & Kashmir – 

It is a home to around 70 Monks, Phugtal Gompa is an early 12th century- cave monastery located in south-eastern  Zanskar. Made of mud, bricks and stones, this Monastery almost hangs from the mouth of the cave. Another thing that makes Phugtal unique is that it can only be reached by foot. And when you do research here, look for the fabled healing spring.

How to reach Lugnak Valley, Jammu & Kashmir To reach Lugnak Valley, first we have to reach Jammu and Kashmir, and then we can head to Lugnak Valley.

By Air: To fly into Kashmir, take the Srinagar Airport (15 km away), which is well connected to prime Indian cities. Air India, Go Air, Indigo and Jet Airways operate regular flights for Delhi, Goa, Jammu, Leh Mumbai and Bangalore. After reaching the Airport, visitors can hire taxis to reach various cities and towns of Kashmir. Airway is the bestest way to move towards the Jammu & Kashmir.

17. Chopta, Uttarakhand: Want to kickstart your trekking goals? Then Chopta is the place for you. The small village serves as the base camp for treks to Tungmath and Chandrasila. Even otherwise, it’s a quaint town that you can escape to for some time alone.

How to reach Chopta, Uttarakhand – 

By Road: Chopta is well connected by motorable roads this taking a taxi or driving your own car to the Chopta region is the best and most suitable one. We also recommend that you to take a taxi to explore the Chopta region.

By Public Transport: Chopta is not connected with any public transport. The nearest places covered by public transport are Ukhimath and Guptkashi. You can get taxis from Guptkashi & Ukhimath.

Nearest Airport: Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest Airport to Chopta situated at a distance of 221 kms. Jolly Grant Airport is well connected to Delhi with four round flights in a week. Taxis are available from Jolly Grant Airport to Chopta.

Nearest Railway Station: Nearest Railway Station to Chopta is Haridwar. Haridwar Railway station is situated 230 kms before Chopta on NH-58 and is well connected by railway networks with major destinations of India. Trains to Haridwar are frequent from different parts of India. Taxis and buses are available from Rishikesh to Srinagar, Rudraprayag, Ukhimath and Chopta.

Hotels in Chopta – 

Meraki Mayadeep Resort: It cost only Rs. 1,500. It is no.1 Hotel and Guest House in entire Chopta region with highest repeat visitors. It offers a majestic and fairy landscapes with meadows, flowers, trees all around. It is the only resort which have two streams flowing nearby. Rooms to staffs everything is perfect over here. 

Chopta can be visited at any month.

How far is Meraki Mayadeep  Resort from Chopta – It takes 2hrs 28min to reach Meraki Mayadeep from Chopta.

18. Loktak Lake, Manipur: Keibul Lanjao National Park is the only floating national park of the  world. Loktak Laks is the miracle of nature as flora and fauna flourish over water. If you ever venture into North East India then missing Loktak Lake is a crime.

How to reach Loktak Lake: Loktak Lake is situated about 48 km away from Imphal. To reach Loktak, you must first take a taxi or a cab from Imphal for Moirang which is 30 km away and cost INR 50 per head. Taxis are found at the stand near Jiribam, Imphal market.

Hotels near Loktak Lake – 

Sendra Park Hotel: situated at a very good location overall for sightseeing, recreation, dining and getting around. It gives breastfast free and it takes only 13 minutes to reach Sendra Park Hotel from Loktak Lake.

Loktak Aquamarine Floating Homestay: Good location overall for sightseeing, recreation, dining and getting around. It takes only 21 minutes to reach Lotak Aquamarine Floating Homestay from Loktak Lake, Manipur.

19. Chuchen, Sikkim – The retreat is completely hidden from the outside world. Untouched by human habitation, Chuchen offers something for everyone like Lhentse Monastery, Rahuney Caves, Khandosangphug Caves, Phurtshachu Hot Springs, Pemayangste, Rabdentse Ruins and so many more.

How to reach Chuchen, Sikkim: Before reaching Chuchen, we first have to reach Gangtok and can head forward to Chuchen.

By Air : Around 125 km from Gangtok is the nearest to the capital city of Sikkim. A number of Airlines such as Indigo, Air India, Jet Airways, Air Asia India, Go Air and Spicejet operate regular flights from prime Indian cities including Delhi, Chennai, Banglore, Guwahati and Kolkata for Gangtok. Once you reach outside the airport, you can hire taxis or cabs to reach Gangtok.  It will be not more than a 5-hour drive.

Besides, Sikkim has come up with its ownAirport as well called the Pakyang Airport, which was opened recently in May 2018. It’s best travelling by Airs only.

20. Chatpal, Kashmir – Chatpal is actually even better for the solitude seekers. With no electricity, only a real travelers would venture into this stunning heaven.

How to reach Chatpal, Kashmir – 

By Rail: The closest railway station is the Jammu Tawi railway station, which is located 222 km from Chatpal.

By Road: From the Anantnag – Chitergul Road till Achabal and then a local shared jeep/sumo should be taken to reach Chitergul and then another one that will take you to Chatpal.

By Air: Srinagar's Airport is the closest airbase, which is well connected to important cities of India like Chandigarh, Jammu, Mumbai, New Delhi etc. From here, taxis can be hired to make the 90 km journey.

Hotels near Chatpal, Gangtok – 

The Fern Denzong Hotel & Spa: It offers free Wifi and 70 well-furnished rooms with mountain views from the hotel rooftop. It costs Rs.5,277. It takes only 7 minutes to reach Denzong Hotel & Spa from Gangtok.

Hotel Sonam Delek: Set in the Himalayan mountains, this relaxed hotel in a rustic-chich building is a 6 min walk from Ridge Park, it offers free parking and free breakfast at an affordable rate of Rs. 1,903. It takes only 5 min to reach Hotel Sonam Delek from Gangtok. 

Great Eastern Valley Residency: It costs only Rs.900. Good location overall for sightseeing, recreation, dining and getting around.

 

 

 

 


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