India is a country of inexplicable oxymora: the land where civilizations and rhythms mingle, a mystifying place, which attracts people from all over the world. In India, places that are not as well traveled give the adventurous and photograph enthusiasts memories of a lifetime. If you’re a real traveler, check out these spots on your next trip to India.
Two of the most amazing archaeological sites in India are Ajanta and nearby Ellora. These handcrafted caves are sprinkled all through India’s western state of Maharashtra. The developments at Ajanta and Ellora, nearly 300 kilometers northeast of Mumbai (Bombay) are the most ornate and diverse examples known. The caves are actually man-made temples cut into an immense granite hillside. Generations of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain monks lived, worked, and worshipped in the caves carving ornate statues, pillars, and meditation rooms. Photographic opportunities abound with the simple carvings, sleeping rooms and a carving portraying Vishnu transformed into a man-lion as he battles a demon.
The caves at Ellora are spectacular as architectural achievements, but the Hindu Kailasa Temple is the magnum opus. It was carved to symbolize Mt Kailasa in the Himalayas, home of the god Shiva. It is the biggest monolithic construction in the world, was carved from the top down from a single gigantic rock, and holds the largest cantilevered rock ceiling on the globe.
Wayanan snuggles among the mountains of the Western Ghata and is considered the largest hill station of Kerala. The emerald paradise is located 76 km from the coast of Kozhikode. Wayanad is thought to get its name from the word Vayalnadu that means “the land of the paddy fields”. This regressive region is one of the largest foreign exchange stipendiary’s of the State, due to its cash crops such as tea, pepper, coffee, cardamom, condiments and other spices. One of the few regions in Kerala that has been able to keep its virgin environment, Wayanad is hidden in the knolls and is the location of some of the first tribes still untouched by civilization. The first prehistoric etchings in Kerala were discovered in the slopes of Edakkal and near Ambukuthimala. They give witness to a culture going back to the age of the Mesolithic period.
The scenery is extraordinarily picturesque and is known for its charming hill stations, sub-tropical savannahs, rich forests sprawling spice plantations, and rich cultural traditions. Wayanad is located on the southern tip of the resplendent Deccan plateau. Oh, and let’s not forget Love Lake, a small body of water shaped just like a heart!
Located in a picturesque valley, Harsil is inhabited mainly by the Bhotia people. The climate remains enjoyable during summers and cold during winters. It’s located 72kms north of Uttarkashi.
Harsil is an untouched and hidden gemstone of Uttarakhand state presenting plentiful opportunity for people seeking harmony and tranquility in the Himalayas. Located on the banks of Bhagirathi River, the land stands at 2,620 meters above sea level. Harsil has become admired of late with travel aficionados, nature lovers, and photographers. Thick deodar forests, streaming water, singing birds, and other tranquil surroundings are the highlights of this quaint destination. There are numerous hiking trails for active travelers and backpackers to explore as well.
If these hidden gems of The East don’t get your mind racing for an adventure than we don’t now what will! While our upcoming India group tour doesn’t make it to these off the path destinations, some of us will be staying longer and surely heading to them. Let us know if you’re interested in joining the adventure after the adventure!