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Undiscovered Gems: Destinations In India That You Never Thought You'd Try

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Well, we know we are still in the middle of a pandemic, but that really doesn’t mean we can’t head out for a quick R&R. I speak this from experience; having travelled twice since the last six months, I feel a quick vacay in a quaint little place away from the city can rejuvenate us and give us the much needed energy boost we need to get on with our lives—especially in these trying times. Of course safety is paramount and it’s essential to do a thorough research on the COVID count, the quarantine rules and if there are way too many people there. To make your life easier, I have rounded up some of the hidden gems that aren’t on the tourist map yet—implying you can sit back and relax far away from the crowd, feel safe whilst enjoying your much needed vacay. Now, doesn’t this sound like a dream come true? 

1. Lunglei, Mizoram

If you are a nature lover, this is one place that should be in your travel list. The second largest city in the beautiful state of Mizoram offers you the most unadulterated and raw version of nature’s beauty, that you cannot really find anywhere else. Spend hours walking through the Saza Wildlife sanctuary, spend some time at the Lunglei bridge near the Nghasih stream, immerse yourself in the culture at the Saikuti Hall or go trekking, hiking and camping in this beautiful destination. It is a perfect setting for those who seek to be away from the noise of the city.

2. Betul, South Goa

Since goa is often the last-minute plan, it would be wrong to not include it in this quaint list. However, forego all those touristy beaches and head to this quiet little beach town that is located along the Southern end of Sal river. The town is picturesque with the Betul lighthouse in Quitol that stands majestically like a sentinel, braving the forces of nature. The beach is pristine, scenic and pretty empty most of the time. Since Betul is also an important fishing port as all the deep sea trawlers and fishing boats bring in their catch here, you can expect heaps of fresh delicious sea food here as well.  Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?

3. Munsiyari, Uttarakhand

One of my favourite places till date, Munsiyari is a comely hamlet situated in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand state, nestled in the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas. Perched at an altitude of 2298mts above sea level, the scenic hill station is as isolated as it gets and offers stunning views. You can unwind in a cute little resort overlooking the Himalayan ranges, enjoy the snowfall and indulge in some delicious Kumaoni cuisine while you are it; adventure junkies could also opt for some exciting treks into the interiors of the Himalayas!

4. Srikhola, West Bengal

If you have a thing for lovely mountain villages, then this one will check all your boxes. Located at an altitude of 6,900 ft, Srikhola is a charming scenic mountain village in the Darjeeling district. The main attractions in Srikhola include the gorgeous Srikhola river, the hanging wooden bridge, the surrounding wooden cottage replete with gardens in full bloom, the Singalila National Park etc— to name just a few. You can also go trekking from Sandakphu to Srikhola, enjoy a relaxing picnic on the riverside, taking a dip in the river and revel in the scenic beauty of nature.

5. Parule & Bhogwe Beach, Maharashtra

Located close to the town of Parule, Bhogwe beach is one of the most pristine and secluded beaches in Maharashtra. While the masses throng the popular beaches of Tarkarli, Bhogwe with its white sand and crystal clear water can be your own personal oasis. This idyllic beach is also famous for being the merging point of river Karli and the Arabian sea; and if you are lucky, you can catch the sight of dolphins jumping in the background. The region is also famous for its seasonal haul of mangoes, cashews, coconuts and other fresh produce which you can enjoy during your stay here. Sounds dreamy!

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