There’s something about Ladakh. The land of high passes, the spectacular jagged mountains, the stunning natural beauty and the wealth of knowledge in monasteries—Ladakh evokes a feeling of completeness which everyone wants to experience. It’s no wonder that visitors are flocking to Ladakh more than ever before. The summer months are crowded as everyone wants to experience an epic adventure. But with over tourism a real factor, travellers and locals have called out to others to not go to the region. India is so diverse that there are plenty of places to quench your thirst for adventure without the fear of over tourism. But wherever you go, remember to be responsible.
Monsoon in Meghalaya is a dream. The name literally translates to ‘the abode of clouds’. The stunning valleys, waterfalls and lakes are at their full flow during the monsoons. Places like Mawsynram and Cherrapunji are known around the world as two of the wettest places, and it is a whole different feeling in chasing the monsoon amidst the lush greenery. High mountain plateaus, dense forests, narrow valleys with gushing rivers, mighty waterfalls and an intricate network of limestone caves. This amazing variance in landscape also makes it the ideal playground for the adventurous.
Karnataka is the land of ultimate natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. It is known for its Unesco World heritage sites like Hampi and Pattadakal. From the historical monuments to cycling amidst the dramatic landscapes, Hampi can be a perfect hideout for your budget plan. You can visit the ruins of temples and palaces and the machans that will give you a great experience. Famous for their historical rock cut temple ruins from the Vijayanagar empire of the 14th century, the towns of Hampi and Badami have one more secret--they’re fast gaining popularity as adventure travel destinations for bouldering and rock climbing.
Odisha is situated amidst beautiful mountains of the Eastern Ghats. This historical land is blessed with palm-fringed beaches, shimmering lakes, rivers, waterfalls and blue hills. It is dotted with numerous architecturally celebrated temples, sacred shrines and historical monuments. It is one of India’s hidden splendid cultural landscapes.
If you are seeking to step into a world of extraordinary beauty and discover experiences found nowhere else on earth, then Arunachal Pradesh is the place for you. The state is rich with picturesque beauty that offers relaxation and rejuvenation. It is India’s remotest state and the first Indian soil to greet the rising sun. This beautiful land is endowed with dazzling array of flora and fauna that is sure to allure any tourist. Gushing waterfalls, mountains and dotted with innumerable historical monuments bear testimony to its rich cultural heritage.
The north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh possesses diverse mountain ranges and valleys with scenic hill stations and an aura that’s fascinating and completely soothing. The idyllic region of Sangla Valley is fast gaining popularity as a less crowded alternative to the traditional spots of Shimla, Kullu and Manali. Amazing mountain views, short walks around the charming villages as well as rafting on the Baspa River are some of the activities you can do in this area.
Then there is also Spiti Valley. This cold desert mountain valley is located in the Himalayas. Every year for six months, the Himalayan valleys of Kinnaur and Spiti emerge from a thick cloak of snow to reveal a different secret world to man. Rivers start to flow with unseen fury, the earth turns a swathe of colour, mountains unlock secret doorways and local inhabitants come out in celebration of itself. At dizzying heights of 2600m to 4200m, the experience is almost surreal. This is your journey of discovery in the lesser known Himalayas. The Chandrataal Lake is a big draw in this region and boasts of some of the best landscapes in the region.
The sleepy region of Binsar is one of the scenic places of the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. Perched high at 2420m, Binsar is known for offering spell-binding views of the majestic Himalaya peaks such as Chaukhamba, Nanda Devi and Panchachuli. This compact hill station is encircled by the Binar Wildlife Sanctuary. The place is wrapped up in thick foliage and is undoubtedly the best place for experiencing adventurous hiking, camping and nature walks.
A paradise in the Bay of Bengal is the Andaman & Nicobar archipelago. The pristine beaches of white sand, the clear blue waters, the opportunities for snorkeling, scuba diving and other water sports activities, the lovely sunsets, the natural wonders of limestone caves and the mud volcano at Baratang; are just some of the reasons why this destination is popular. Apart from the phenomenal natural beauty, this place also has historical significance.
The writer is founder, Countryside Adventure Holidays