As a kid I hated attending geography classes. Reading about rivers, tributaries, the monsoon cycle, grasslands and agriculture and what not, was of least interest to me. The universe on the other hand, with its galaxies and red dwarfs and neutron stars and dark matter, was more my jam. It was only towards the end of my teenage years and as an adult that I began to appreciate one planet in particular: the Earth. With its gorgeous valleys, lofty peaks, winding roads, tall skyscrapers, stormy seas and lush forests — our world is a sight to behold.
If there’s one website that will have you scrolling and clicking through hours it’s Google Earth. With over 20,000 different destinations to explore, you can scratch your travel itch by zooming in and out of streets, forests, beaches, historical sites, waterfalls, deserts, rivers and more. The slick user interface and engaging material is a treat to the eyes and the soul.
Here are some mesmerising sites in India that you can explore by going on a virtual tour on Google Earth
The five peaks of Kangchenjunga symbolise the five treasures - gold, silver, gems, food grains and religious texts. This sacred mountain has not been scaled by mountaineers out of respect for local sentiments.
It is considered the most civilised desert due to the inlay of roads, infrastructure and human settlements dating back thousands of years.
Namdapha National Park
Namdapha stretches along the international border between India and Myanmar. The forest at Namdapha is almost unnavigable and impenetrable. Hence, it's quite a challenge for wildlife-watchers to spot animal or bird species.
There’s an added coolness in the juxtaposition of something so old being viewed in HD with futuristic technology. The black bronze statue on the exterior of the monument is the Angel of Victory and it rotates with the wind.
Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa
The mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, whose body was brought from China, has stayed intact as the day it was buried. The remains are displayed to the public once at a global event which takes place every 10 years
Rann of Kutch, Gujarat
The canvas of Kutch is painted in the glorious colours of the Rann Utsav every winter. One of the largest salt deserts in the world, the shimmering landscape under the moonlight gives the celebrations an enchanted feel.
Kannan Devan Hills, Kerala
Set amidst the tiny, quaint village of Idukki, this hill station in Kerala is renowned for its tea heritage as well as the picturesque scenery that will heal even a jaded soul.
Dal Lake, Srinagar
It is divided into two more parts, the Lokut and Bod Dal. With its crystal clear waters reflecting mesmerising skies, this Jewel of Kashmir is a stunner.
Qutub Minar, New Delhi
The tallest brick minar in the world has not only survived damages from an earthquake in the 16th century, but it has also withstood two lightning strikes in the 14th century.
Nanda Devi Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand
This hanging valley is a riot of colours with about 600 species of flowers thriving in the cool climes of the Western Himalayas. Visit in the months between May to September as it is snowbound for the rest of the year. Setting up camp, be it temporary or permanent is prohibited.
Jog Falls, Karnataka
Its four falls, Raja, Rani, Roarer and Rockets, have their own personalities. One is the highest, one falls gracefully, one makes a thunderous noise, and the last one dives like a jet!