Don’t miss these 17 incredible only-in-India experiences

India is a vast and diverse country, offering countless attractions and experiences for travelers, but beyond the popular destinations like the Taj Mahal, the Golden Temple and the beaches of Goa, there are many hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. Here are 17 under-the-radar experiences that you can have in India, ranging from wildlife safaris to cultural festivals.

Walk on a frozen river in Ladakh

Ladakh is a region of high-altitude deserts, snow-capped mountains, and ancient monasteries. It is also home to one of the most challenging and thrilling treks in the world: the Chadar Trek. This trek involves walking on the frozen Zanskar river, which forms a thick sheet of ice during the winter months. The trek takes you through stunning landscapes, frozen waterfalls, and remote villages. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for adventure seekers.

Paraglide over the Himalayan valleys in Bir Billing

Bir Billing is a small village in Himachal Pradesh, known as the paragliding capital of India. It hosted the World Paragliding Championship in 2015, and attracts paragliders from all over the world. The village offers spectacular views of the Dhauladhar mountain range, and is surrounded by lush green forests and fields. Paragliding in Bir Billing is an exhilarating way to soar over the Himalayan valleys and enjoy the panoramic scenery.

Explore the hidden treasures of Rajasthan

Rajasthan is a state of royalty, heritage, and culture. It is famous for its majestic forts, palaces, and havelis, as well as its colorful festivals, markets, and cuisine. But there is more to Rajasthan than meets the eye. There are many hidden treasures that are waiting to be discovered by curious travelers. Some of these include the haunted village of Kuldhara, the salt lake of Sambhar, the stepwell of Chand Baori, the temple of rats in Deshnok, and the living root bridges of Ranakpur.

Volunteer at Auroville

Auroville is an experimental township in Tamil Nadu, founded by Mirra Alfassa, also known as The Mother, a spiritual collaborator of Sri Aurobindo. Auroville is a place where people from different nationalities, cultures, and beliefs live together in harmony, following the principles of human unity, peace, and spirituality. Auroville welcomes volunteers who want to contribute to its various projects, such as organic farming, renewable energy, education, health care, arts, and crafts.

Take an electric bike tour of Divar Island in Goa

Goa is a state of beaches, parties, and fun. But there is another side of Goa that is less explored and more serene. Divar Island is one of the islands in Goa that has retained its rustic charm and natural beauty. It is accessible by ferry from Panaji or Old Goa, and offers a glimpse into the rural life of Goa. You can take an electric bike tour of Divar Island with B:Live, India’s first e-bike tourism initiative, and discover its hidden secrets, such as ancient temples, churches, forts, caves, and springs.

Experience the countryside of Jodhpur

Jodhpur is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Rajasthan, known for its majestic Mehrangarh Fort, blue houses, and vibrant markets. But if you want to see a different side of Jodhpur, you can take a village safari that will take you to the rural areas around the city. You will get to visit traditional villages, witness local crafts such as pottery, weaving, and block printing, enjoy authentic Rajasthani cuisine, and watch folk dance and music performances. You will also get to see wildlife such as deer, antelopes, and peacocks.

Exploring India’s largest salt desert

The Rann of Kutch is a vast salt marsh that covers parts of Gujarat and Sindh in Pakistan. It is one of the most unique landscapes in India, where you can see endless stretches of white salt under a clear blue sky. The best time to visit the Rann of Kutch is during the Rann Utsav, a festival that celebrates the culture and heritage of the region. You can stay in luxury tents, enjoy camel rides, watch cultural shows, shop for handicrafts, and witness the spectacular sunrise and sunset over the salt desert.

Catch a groove at the Ziro Valley Music Festival

Ziro Valley is a picturesque village in Arunachal Pradesh, home to the Apatani tribe. Every year in September, the valley hosts the Ziro Festival of Music, a four-day celebration of indie music, art, and culture. You can enjoy performances by local and international artists, camp under the stars, interact with the friendly Apatani people and explore their unique traditions and cuisine.

Follow the Champhai Wine Trail

Champhai is a scenic town in Mizoram, overlooking the blue hills of Myanmar. It is also known as the wine capital of Mizoram, as it produces some of the finest grape wines in the country. You can visit the vineyards and wineries, taste different varieties of wine, learn about the history and culture of the Mizo people and enjoy the panoramic views of the landscape.

Explore the Dholavira Archaeological Site

Dholavira is an ancient city in Gujarat, dating back to the Indus Valley Civilization (2500-1900 BCE). It is one of the largest and best-preserved archaeological sites in India, revealing the sophisticated urban planning and architecture of the Harappan culture. You can see the remains of the citadel, the bailey, the residential area, the water reservoirs, the drainage system and various artifacts.

Discover the beauty of Kaas Plateau Flower Valley

Kaas Plateau is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Maharashtra, known for its rich biodiversity and floral diversity. Every year from August to October, the plateau transforms into a carpet of colorful flowers, attracting thousands of visitors and photographers. You can see more than 850 species of flowers, including orchids, lilies, balsams and carnivorous plants.

Explore the world’s largest river island

Majuli is the world’s largest river island, located in Assam. It is a cultural and spiritual hub, famous for its Vaishnavite monasteries (satras) that preserve the ancient art forms of dance, music, drama and literature. You can also witness the vibrant lifestyle of the Mishing tribe, who live in bamboo houses on stilts and practice fishing, weaving and pottery.

Get cloe to nature in Lepchajagat Nature Retreat

Lepchajagat is a tranquil hill station in West Bengal, surrounded by dense pine forests and rhododendron groves. It is an ideal place for nature lovers and birdwatchers, as it offers stunning views of the Kanchenjunga mountain range and a variety of avian species. You can stay in cozy cottages run by the West Bengal Forest Development Corporation (WBFDC) and enjoy trekking, camping and bonfires.

Have a cup at Valparai Tea Estate

Valparai is a hill station in Tamil Nadu, nestled among lush tea plantations and rolling hills. It is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts, as it is home to many endangered animals like elephants, tigers, leopards, hornbills and lion-tailed macaques. You can stay in colonial-style bungalows run by tea companies and visit attractions like waterfalls, dams and temples.

Explore the wonders of Mandu Heritage City

Mandu is a historic city in Madhya Pradesh, known for its magnificent monuments and romantic legends. It was once the capital of the Malwa Sultanate (1401-1561), which left behind a rich legacy of architecture and culture. You can see palaces, mosques, tombs, temples and fortifications that reflect the fusion of Hindu and Islamic styles.

Cool off at Chaukori Tea Garden

Chaukori is a hill station in Uttarakhand, famous for its organic tea gardens and snow-capped peaks. It is a perfect place for relaxation and rejuvenation, as it offers a serene and pollution-free environment. You can enjoy the sunrise and sunset views, walk through the tea estates, visit the nearby villages and temples and indulge in local delicacies.

Discover why UNESCO honoured the Bhimbetka Rock Shelters

Bhimbetka is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Madhya Pradesh, showcasing the earliest traces of human life in India. It consists of more than 700 rock shelters, some of which have paintings dating back to the Paleolithic era (10,000-30,000 BCE). You can see the depictions of animals, humans, hunting scenes, rituals and festivals that reflect the evolution of human civilization.

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