10 Places to Pay Homage on Gandhi Jayanti

Mahatma Gandhi stands as a towering figure, a beacon of non-violence

In the vibrant tapestry of India’s history, Mahatma Gandhi stands as a towering figure, a beacon of non-violence, and a symbol of the nation’s struggle for independence. As the nation celebrates Gandhi Jayanti on October 2nd, it is an opportune time to pay homage to the Father of the Nation by visiting places that played a significant role in his life and the freedom movement. Here, we explore 10 such places that offer a profound glimpse into the life and philosophy of Gandhiji.

Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad:

Gandhiji's journey is the Sabarmati Ashram

At the very heart of Gandhiji’s journey is the Sabarmati Ashram, located on the banks of the Sabarmati River in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Established in 1917, this serene ashram served as the epicentre of many crucial decisions during the Indian independence movement. The simple living quarters of Gandhiji, the Hridaya Kunj, and the historic Dandi March are all tangible echoes of the past that one can experience here.

Dandi, Gujarat:

Salt March led by Mahatma Gandhi in 1930

Dandi, a coastal town in Gujarat, became synonymous with the historic Salt March led by Mahatma Gandhi in 1930. The salt tax imposed by the British was a symbol of oppression, and in an act of civil disobedience, Gandhiji marched 240 miles to Dandi, where he and his followers made their salt from seawater. The Dandi Salt March Memorial stands as a testament to this historic event.

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Wardha, Maharashtra: 

sevagram Ashram, located near Wardha

Wardha holds historical significance as it was the headquarters of the All India Spinners’ Association and the All India Village Industries Association, both of which were founded by Gandhiji. Sevagram Ashram, located near Wardha, was another residence for Gandhiji and his followers, emphasizing the importance of self-sufficiency and constructive work in rural development.

Champaran, Bihar: 

Gandhiji's philosophy of non-violent resistance

The Champaran region in Bihar played a pivotal role in shaping Gandhiji’s philosophy of non-violent resistance. It was here that he initiated his first Satyagraha in 1917, protesting against the oppressive indigo planters. A visit to Champaran offers a deep understanding of the roots of Gandhian principles and the early struggles of the freedom movement.

Yerwada Central Jail, Pune: 

Gandhiji spent a considerable amount of time at the Yerwada Central

Imprisoned multiple times for his role in the fight for independence, Gandhiji spent a considerable amount of time at the Yerwada Central Jail in Pune. A visit to this jail provides a poignant insight into the harsh conditions faced by the freedom fighters. The cell where Gandhiji was confined is a stark reminder of the sacrifices made during the struggle.

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Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar: 

Jallianwala Bagh holds relevance in Gandhiji's journey

While Jallianwala Bagh is primarily associated with the tragic massacre of 1919, it also holds relevance in Gandhiji’s journey. The incident deeply affected him, strengthening his resolve to fight for justice and freedom. A visit to this historic site allows one to pay homage to those who lost their lives and to reflect on the collective struggle against colonial oppression.

Birla House, New Delhi: 

Birla House, now known as Gandhi Smriti

Birla House, now known as Gandhi Smriti, is where Mahatma Gandhi spent the last 144 days of his life before being assassinated on January 30, 1948. The room where he stayed has been preserved as it was at the time of his death. The Martyr’s Column, marking the spot of his assassination, serves as a solemn reminder of the sacrifices made for the nation.

Kochrab Ashram, Ahmedabad: 

Gandhiji in Ahmedabad, Kochrab Ashram

One of the earliest ashrams established by Gandhiji in Ahmedabad, Kochrab Ashram is a lesser-known gem. It was here that Gandhiji fine-tuned his philosophy of truth and non-violence. While the original ashram no longer exists, the memories and ideals born here continue to inspire visitors.

Gandhi Museum, Madurai: 

Gandhi Museum in Madurai, Tamil Nadu

The Gandhi Museum in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, houses a remarkable collection of memorabilia related to Mahatma Gandhi. It provides a comprehensive overview of his life, the freedom movement, and his ideologies. The museum also includes the blood-stained garment worn by Gandhiji at the time of his assassination, creating a sombre yet powerful atmosphere.

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Raj Ghat, New Delhi: 

Raj Ghat is the final resting place of Mahatma Gandhi,

Raj Ghat is the final resting place of Mahatma Gandhi, a serene memorial on the banks of the Yamuna River in New Delhi. The black marble platform marks the spot where Gandhiji was cremated on January 31, 1948. Visiting Raj Ghat is not just an act of homage but also an opportunity for contemplation on Gandhiji’s enduring legacy and the path he charted for a free and united India.

In conclusion, these ten places provide a kaleidoscopic view of Mahatma Gandhi’s life, principles, and the arduous journey of India towards independence. As we celebrate Gandhi Jayanti, paying homage to these sites is not just a tribute to the man himself but also a way to connect with the profound ideals that continue to shape the nation’s identity. Through these pilgrimages, one can grasp the essence of Gandhiji’s teachings and be inspired to carry forward the torch of truth and non-violence in the ongoing pursuit of a just and harmonious society.

10 Things to Do in India for the Winter Travel

Solang valley has gained popularity over time more for its adventure sports activity

The sunshine has slowly lost warmth, with constantly dropping temperatures, a myriad of festivals and vacations assembles as the best places to visit in winter in India. Winter is the best time to take advantage of the shift of the season and is a perfect period for long holidays. Prepare a Bucket List of ideas for the season with sports activities and other fun things to do in Winter Travel. 

Fans of Bollywood must have spotted Rohtang Pass on the screens as Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani, Jab We Met, Highway, and the list continue

Some tourists want to explore the chilly weather for a magical land view instead of waiting for the snow to melt. Let’s take on your snow boots, gloves and jackets for adventurous activities to witness the stunning sights of snow-capped mountains with lush green forest. Travel to India to experience the best season with thrills for enticing adventurers. 

Ice Skate on a Frozen Lake 

Skating over the glittering ice in freezing temperatures
Image Source: Google

Ohh! Ice Skating. Sounds like too much fun? The old skill of the Western world is somewhat a new sport for India. Skating over the glittering ice in freezing temperatures dares you to conquer the slippery frozen lake covered with woollen clothes from head to toe makes it more challenging. 
Places in India for Outdoor Ice Skating: The versatile mountains of North and North-East India have paved the way for the adrenaline earnest to seek all the fun of ice skating.
Jammu & Kashmir: Pahalgam and Gulmarg
Ladakh: Leh
Arunachal Pradesh: Tawang
Himachal Pradesh: Shimla

Build a Snowman

Do you want to build a snowman?
Image Source: Google

When the world around you is blanketed in white by snow, the favourite word of everyone comes along, “Do you want to build a snowman?” Of course, we do love building snowmen as a classic winter pass time. Just rolling balls of snow and stacking them on each other in the correct order is not the complete form of frosty men. The carrot nose, corn cob pipe, crooked branch arms, magical top hat, and use whatever tickles your imagination to bring the snowman to life.
Places to enjoy snowfall: Gulmarg, Manali, Auli, Mussorie, and Yumthang.
Best Time to Visit: October-March

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Go Sledding

sledging is a more relaxed snow activity
Image Source: Google

Unlike other sports activities in winter, sledging is a more relaxed snow activity. It is a growing trend in India that involves sliding down a wooden sledge from a snow-topped hill. Although, it requires you to monitor your body weight to manoeuvre the sledge to avoid ramping in the minor bumps, which makes the ride a lot more fun. If you are planning a family vacation or newlywed couples for a honeymoon, try out the fun activity of racing on a snow sledge. 
Places famous for Snow Sledding: Auli, Gulmarg, Solang Valley

Take a Snowshoe Hike

discover the peace and beauty of snowshoe hiking is through the untouched snow
Image Source: Google

The best way to discover the peace and beauty of hiking is through the untouched snow. The diversity of the Himalayan landscape after snowfall leaves you with the thrill when you traverse even the deepest snow fields. Snowshoes spread your weight on the snow to ease the progress of soft snow from sinking and give us a grip on the hard snow. This winter exercise is a fantastic way to remain active with many high-altitude hiking trails. 
Places in India for Snowshoe Hikes: Bhirgu, Hampta Pass, Khanpari.

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Have a Bonfire

gather around the bonfire and listen to the story of your buds and family
Image Source: Google

Break yourself from the shackle of monotonous life with smartphones in your hand. It is fun to gather around the bonfire and listen to the story of your buds and family. The destination with bonfire is taking advantage of vacation in the freezing night to instil warmth in your relationships. Have the best time of the year celebrated with friends, families, great food, and dance-song with a bottle of rum.
Places Famous for Bonfire: Rishikesh, Kullu, Kasauli, Dzukou Valley

Drive a Snowmobile

snowmobile to experience the exciting winter sports activity
Image Source: Google

Hop on a snowmobile to experience the exciting winter sports activity by yourself. Choose an area to explore with loved ones along the cold breeze zipping through the slopes at full speed as you drive onwards. If you have never driven a snowmobile before, it’s nothing to worry about, as the instructor will teach you the basics with five-minute handling instructions. Ride safely and confidently by surrendering yourself to the beauty of nature.
Places Famous to Drive a Snowmobile: Gulmarg and Solang Valley.

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Learn to Snowboard

Snowboarding is seemly a fascinating winter sport
Image Source: Google

Snowboarding is seemly a fascinating winter sport as the major hill stations of India offer the ultimate experience of other kinds of winter activities. One of the reasons why people prefer snowboarding is the immense love to visit rugged hills and glide down the valley, bringing insatiable enthusiasm with you. These are specially designed boards of tenacious materials that can easily glide over deep snow. If you want to be part of this reasonably expensive sport, you will need the best equipment and protective gear since it is a dangerous sport. 
Places famous for Snowboarding: Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Auli, Solang Valley, Sethan.

Soak in a Natural Hot Springs

pools, geysers, and fumaroles form Natural Hot Springs in India
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When geothermally heated groundwater comes to the earth’s surface and takes in the forms of pools, geysers, and fumaroles form Natural Hot Springs. Some hot springs have been offering safe temperatures, the meditative healing process, relaxing muscles, and improving blood circulation for the human body and are believed to be beneficial. Taking a dip in a natural spring at the end of the trip is to wipe off all fatigue in the replenishment of mother nature herself as a boon to the dose of wellness. 
Places to Soak in Natural Hot Springs: Panamik, Kheerganga, Yumthang, Barkeshwar, and others.

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Do a Random Winter Photo Shoot

 best time of year to capture creative photoshoot ideas
Image Source: Google

Winter is the best time of year to capture creative photoshoot ideas. A winter landscape is a wonderland’s inspiration change of the season with an atmosphere of cheer and colour. Start your winter photoshoot with classic holiday food, hunt for the best festival decorations, and set up some creativity for your family holiday portrait. Astrophotography in winter is more challenging and can add the most stunning night sky with a clear view. If you want the best capture for a winter outdoor photo shoot, there are some tips to perfect your art just as though having a plan, keeping flexibility as a key, trying to shoot in golden hour and trying to hold your breath before the click.

Spend the Night in a Cozy Cabin

an escape from the crowded Winter Destinations for a scenic gateway
Image Source: Google

If you are seeking the perfect winter break with an escape from the crowded Winter Destinations for a scenic gateway. Many winter destinations in India have quickly gained popularity in recent years, whereas many serene and wonderous places are yet left to explore and uncover by us. Some tourists prefer the ambient silence of snow-capped mountains surrounded by pine forests. Read on to travel journals, travel blogs and other travel-related articles for small villages and cities which may give some cliche or unheard of.
Offbeat Places to Spend a Night in the Cozy Cabin: Malana Village, Mawlynong, Gurez, and others. 

Plan Your Winter Activities for these Winter Travel with Us!

Frocking in the snow yearning for hot mulled cider and a crackling fire with a few of the winter activities we have laid out in this post. Wondering! where to take a winter trip? Here we have a guide to some of the destinations. 

We are sure that after going through this great list, you will have your next holiday plan sorted. However, if you are worried about all the hassles of flight & hotel booking, local transport and more, we have you covered for that as well. At Solitary Traveller, we provide customised and curated travel itineraries that are specially designed just for you! So pack your bags and get set going with us today.

Two More Indian Beaches Enter Coveted ‘Blue Beach List’

The golden sand lapped with peaceful surrounding is the best compliment for the name ‘Serenity’.

In the field of conservation and protection of our precious ecosystem, India has been playing a leading role in recent years. Be it flagship programmes run by the government or raising consciousness among the general people, there are relentless efforts being made on every front!
These efforts are indeed bearing fruits as two more of India’s beaches have entered the list of coveted Blue Flag labelled beaches taking the total number of beaches with this label to 12 in India.
Wondering what is the Blue flag label and which are certified under it. Well, we have got all your queries sorted! Read on to find out.

What is the Blue Flag Label?

Blue flag certification is an eco-label that is given to the cleanest beaches across the world
Image Source: Google

The Blue Flag Beach label or Blue flag certification is an eco-label that is given to the cleanest beaches across the world. This globally recognised label is indeed a matter of great pride and prestige as it is accorded by the Foundation for Environment Education in Denmark (FEE).
To qualify for this award, several stringent environment-related criteria have to be met & maintained! Naturally getting this award is a great impetus towards tourism & sustainability initiatives for the beaches. So, let’s find out which are two new Indian beaches to enter this list:

Minicoy Thundi Beach-

Minicoy Thundi beach is a part of the Lakshadweep
Image Source: Google

A breathing beautiful island, Minicoy Thundi beach is a part of the Lakshadweep Archipelago. Its turquoise blue water lapping on white sand makes it a paradise for nature lovers & swimmers. If you planning a romantic getaway with your special one, this is the island that we recommend to you. This is definitely one of the best Lakshadweep beaches.
How to reach?
The nearest airport from Minicoy is in Agatti island, which is connected by regular flights from Kochi.

Kadmat Beach-

The beauty among the Lakshadweep islands is Kadmat Beach
Image Source: Google

Another equally beautiful island that is sure to win your heart with its beauty among the Lakshadweep islands is Kadmat Beach. Needless to day, this coral island too meets all the standards set by FEE owing to its cleanliness and superb efforts in the direction of conservation.
Did you know? Kadmat island is also known by the name Cardamom Island! If you are an adventurous soul, the island also offers exciting opportunities to try out snorkelling and other water activities.
How to reach?
Located nearly 77 km from Kadmat, the nearest airport is located in Agatti.

Up next on this exciting list is already blue fagged certified beaches of India:

Eden Beach-

The offbeat gems of Puducherry is Eden Beach earned the Blue flag certification
Image Source: Google

A hidden beauty that is counted among the offbeat gems of Puducherry, Eden Beach earned the Blue flag certification in 2019. Surrounded by swaying coconut tree plantations, this beach is sure to give you a Kerela vibe. Small umbrella huts and a towering watch tower give it the ideal holiday beach vibe that every traveller looks forward to.
How to reach?
The nearest railway station is in Puducherry which is located 10km away.

Kovalam Beach-

Kovalam Beach of Tamil Nadu
Image Source: Google

Covelong beach, better known as the Kovalam Beach of Tamil Nadu. Just 40 km away from the city of Chennai, it is a much sought-after spot among all adventure lovers. Try your hand at surfing or other types of adventure sports that are sure to give you unforgettable memories. Or you can enjoy a quiet afternoon of sunbathing in this ancient Dutch Fort.
How to reach?
The nearest airport to the beach is in Trivandrum which is located 15 km away.

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Shivrajpur Beach-

Shivrajpur Beach a blue flag-certified beach, here you can spot dolphins
Image Source: Google

If you thought that the Southern part of India is the only region blessed with heavenly beaches, this one name is here to prove you wrong. Equally beautiful and scenic, Shivrajpur Beach is located 12 km away from the city of Dwarka. Standing true to its prestige as a blue flag-certified beach, you can spot dolphins and beaches here. Several other tourist attractions are located in close vicinity here, including the Okha Madhi which is famed for its fine sands.
How to reach?
The nearest railway station is located in Dwarka which is 14 km away from the beach.

Golden Beach-

Golden Beach is located as its name says in Puri, Orrisa
Image Source: Google

Located on the eastern coast of India, Golden Beach also known as Puri Beach is located as its name says in Puri, Orrisa. Not just is this island in the famed blue flag list, but it is also the place where you can see the art of many famous sand artists too. The annual Puri Beach festival is another attraction to the place. If you plan a visit Golden Beach, do not forget to stop by its various seafood shacks and pay homage to the heritage Jaganath temple.
How to reach?
The nearest railway station in Puri is well-connected to all major railway networks across the country.

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Kappad Beach-

Image Source: Google

Have you been to Kozhikode? If so, you could not have missed a visit to the famed Kappad Beach. Yes, this tourist’s favourite ancient beach has also qualified for the coveted Blue Flag List. This may come as a surprise as many believe this beach was discovered some 500 years ago by Vasco Da Gama and his men and it was on this very shore that they had anchored. Despite its long history, its beauty and serenity have been well preserved along with its biodiversity. Activities like boat rides are the main attraction here, making it a tourist favourite.
How to reach?
The nearest airport is in Calicut, at a distance of about 23km

Kasarkod Beach-

Kasarkod Beach is known for its beauty and calm as very few tourists
Image Source: Google

A genuinely offbeat beach destination, Kasarkod Beach is known for its beauty and calm as very few tourists throng to the place. Developed by Karnataka’s forest department it was established with the aim of encouraging eco-tourism in the state. Covering a stretch of 5 km, the beach and its inviting white sand compel visitors to helplessly fall in love with its beauty. The remoteness of its location almost gives you the feeling of visiting a private beach that is reserved for your pleasure.
How to reach?
Owing to its remote location, only taxi services are available to connect you to this beach.

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Ghoghla Beach-

Ghoghla Beach is one of the largest beaches among union territories, Diu.
Image Source: Google

Located about 15 km away from the union territory Diu, Ghoghla Beach is one of the largest beaches among union territories. Known for its exciting range of adventure activities, the beach has something to offer for every age group. While children and senior citizens can benefit from its open gymnasiums and parks, the youngsters can get their adrenaline rushing with the array of adventure sports including parasailing, surfing, banana boat rides and more. The beach is equally inviting in all seasons as the warm sunshine and its clear waters remain equally inviting throughout the year.
How to reach?
Located only 15 km from the main town of Diu, the beach is accessible through various means of public transport.

Radhanagar Beach-

A famous attraction of Havelock Island, the Radhanagar beach
Image Source: Google

A famous attraction of Havelock Island, the Radhanagar beach has always been famous among the tourist circuit. In fact, in 2004, the beach was even recognised as the best beach in Asia by a popular magazine. It also went on to assert that the beach is the 7th best in the world. Owing to its eye-catching beauty and romantic setting, it is one of the best choices on our list for honeymooners. Plenty of huts along the beach make it the best place to relax.
How to reach?
Radhanagar Beach is about 12 km distance from Havelock Island Harbour. You need to take a cruise to reach the island. The beach is easily accessible from the harbour by road by bus, cab, auto, two-wheeler and cycle.

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Padubidri Beach-

Padubidri beach is quiet and beautiful that every traveller reads of in travel magazines
Image Source: Google

Located in Udipi, the Padubidri beach is just the kind of quiet and beautiful beach that every traveller reads of in travel magazines. Be it a quiet walk by the beach or lapping amidst the waves, this beach is the best place to spend some private time with your loved ones. However, if the romantic is not what excites you, then do not worry for the beach has plenty of opportunities for adventure sports too.
How to reach?
The beach is most easily accessible by road through National Highway 17.

Rushikonda Beach-

Rushikonda beach is one of the jewels among beaches in the Bay of Bengal
Image Source: Google

A few distances from Visakhapatnam, Rushikonda beach is one of the jewels among beaches in the Bay of Bengal. Surrounded by greenery that contrasts with its turquoise-blue water and white sand, it is literally a treat for your eyes. To add to the attraction of this place and make it tourist-friendly, the government has also facilitated several restaurants and cottages around the beach. However, if you are planning to stay in any of the cottages, we suggest that do your bookings well in advance
How to reach?
The nearest railway station is the Vishakhapatnam Railway station located at a distance of about 15 km from the beach.

Visit A Dreamy Blue Flag Certified Beach Today

Blue flag certifications play a big role in the foundation of environmental education and in raising awareness among people. India is fortunate to have such a vast number of blue flag certifications within its territory.
We are sure that after going through this fantastic list, you have your next holiday plan sorted. However, if you are worried about all the hassles of flight & hotel booking, local transport and more, we have you covered for that as well. At Solitary Traveller, we provide you with customised and curated travel itineraries that are specially designed just for you! So pack your bags and get set going with us today.

Top Destinations Across India That You Can Visit This Summer

I moved out to witness the glamour as it soaks up the golden glow of the morning sun.

Are you looking for some exciting offbeat places to visit this summer? With the scorching heat soaring up the mercury across the plains in India, the need for a cool and relaxing holiday has become more urgent than ever! From the turquoise lakes perched on the Himalayan hills to the cosy and quaint hill stations, there are endless options for summer destinations in India.

the best places to visit in summer

But unless you plan your itinerary carefully, there is always the risk of finding yourself stuck amidst the touristy crowd that may make you wonder why you ever left home! However, don’t let pushy travellers shell your plan.
This time escape the unforgiving heat without having to sweat about choosing the right destination. Go through this exclusive curation of the best places to visit in summer:

Saputara, Gujarat

Picture Courtesy: Google

Set amidst the picturesque setting of the Western Ghats, Saputara is a quiet little hill station in the Dang district of Gujarat. The cascading waterfalls, winding roads and lush greenery that surrounds this town make it an ideal setting to spend some relaxing time with your loved ones.

Things to do: While at Saputara, a visit to the Artist Village located near Nasik Road is a must. From pretty artefacts crafted in Bamboo to colourfully woven clothes and a range of other handcrafted articles, this is the best place to pick some authentic tribal handicrafts. The visit to this village can also help you in understanding and appreciating tribal handicrafts.
The remote Hatgadh fort is another attraction located 5 km away from Satpura lake. Despite its dilapidated condition, the fort eloquently depicts the grand history of its past. The Saputara Lake and Gira falls are some more places of interest that you may like to visit during your tour.

How to Reach?
By Air: Surat Airport (156 km)
By rail: Waghai Rail Station (50 km)
By road: State-owned and private buses and cabs run from Gujarat, Pune & Mumbai

Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra

Picture Courtesy: Google

Another jewel in the crown of the Western Ghats, Mahabaleshwar is located in the Satara district of Maharashtra. With its numerous rivers and majestic peaks, it holds a special place among the summer vacation places in India.
The manicured gardens and old structures are a reminiscence of its old days of colonial glory. Mahabaleshwar is also a sacred pilgrimage site for the Hindus as the mighty Krishna River has its origins here.

Things to do: If magnificent waterfalls excite you, then Mahabaleshwar is an ideal pick for you. From the tantalizing Chinaman’s falls to the foaming white Dhobi falls, each is a sight to behold especially during the summer season. The Elephant’s Head viewpoint is another great attraction that offers a bird’s eye view of the Sahyadri range.
The Pratapgad Fort located an hour away from the town is also a must-visit during your tour to Mahabaleshwar.

How to Reach?
By Air: Pune Airport (120km)
By Rail: Wathar (60km)
By Road: Mahabaleshwar is well connected by road to Pune & Mumbai

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Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh

Picture Courtesy: Google

Known as “Satpura Ki rani” or the Queen of Satpura, Pachmarhi is an attractive town that sat forgotten until it was discovered in 1857. Replete with legends and history, it indeed gives you the feeling of stepping into the setting of a romantic story.

Things to do: The Pandavas caves are one of the foremost attractions of Pachmarhi. Legends say that the caves were once built by the Pandavas who stayed here during the period of their exile. Another place of interest is the Jatashankar cave which looks like the tangled hair of Lord Shiva. Apart from the spiritual sites, one can also enjoy adventure activities like jeep safari & para-motoring here!

How to Reach?
By Air: Bhopal Airport (200 km)
By Rail: Pipariya (47km)
By road: Pachmarhi is easily accessible from Bhopal

Binsar, Uttarakhand

Picture Courtesy: Google

If experiencing a quiet rural life is what you are looking forward to this summer vacation, then Binsar is the best pick. The erstwhile summer capital of the Chand Dynasty, this sleepy hamlet features the best of sceneries in the Kumaon hills. Wake up to the view of the mighty Himalayan peaks like the Nanda Devi and Trishul, spend your day hopping through its cafes and end your day admiring the beauty of a thousand stars.

Things To Do: Visit the ancient Gananath Temple and marvel at the artistic stone cut facades of the yesteryears. Trek up to the Binsar Zero Point and enjoy nature’s serenity at its best. Nature walks and wildlife safaris are some of the other activities that you may try out there.

How to Reach?
By Air: Pant Nagar Airport (127 km)
By Rail: Kathgodam (120km)
By Road: It is well connected by road to all the major towns in Uttarakhand

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Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh

Picture Courtesy: Google

Do you want to spend your summer holiday walking amidst apple blooms and tasting apricots? Then you must add Kinnaur to your itinerary. Lying in the ancient trade route between India and Tibet, Kinnaur sits in the lap of the majestic Himalayan ranges of Zanskar and Dhauladhar.
The culture of Kinnaur is an interesting mix of Hindu & Buddhist rituals, with many important sites of both the religion abounding the town. The place is also known for the majestic view that it offers of Mt. Kinner Kailash.

Things To Do: When in Kinnaur, a visit to the revered Bering Nag temple of the Sanglas is a must. Built-in wood and stone, the Pagoda style architecture are awe-inspiring. Equally revered is the Bu-Lan-Kar Gompa located near Kalpa. A visit to this monastery will fill you with an indescribable sense of serenity. For wildlife lovers, a visit to Nichar is also a must!

How to Reach?
By Air: Shimla Airport (267 km)
By Rail: Kalka Railway Station (356 km)
By Road: Well-connected to Shimla and Rampur

Thekkady, Kerela

Picture Courtesy: Google

One of the largest wildlife sanctuaries, Thekkady is no less than a dream manifested into a reality. Featuring a rich bounty of tropical flora and fauna, the place is indeed a heaven on earth for nature lovers. The artificial lake that surrounds the Sanctuary adds to the attraction of the place.

Things to do: Take a close look at nature and the many wildlife found there with the elephant safari. The boat ride in Periyar Lake is an experience that you must try if you love bird watching. Spend your evenings enjoying the rich culture of Kerala at the Mudra Cultural centre.

How to Reach?
By Air: Madurai Airport (136km)
By Rail: Kottayam Railway Station (114km)
By Road: Thekkady is well-connected to Cochin, Trivandrum & Kottayam

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Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Picture Courtesy: Google

Located in Uttarakhand’s Tehri Garhwal region, Rishikesh sits on the bank of one of the holiest rivers in India. Counted among the best destinations for the summer holidays in India, the scenic beauty of this place will captivate your heart. With its numerous ashrams and temples, you can take a deep leap into the spiritual world and practice yoga and meditation to de-stress your body & soul.
Rishikesh is also an ideal place to try out many offbeat and upcoming adventure activities too.

Things To Do: While at Rishikesh, a visit to the holy Triveni Ghat is a must. The Beatles Ashram, where the eponymous brand once stayed in the 60s now features beautiful art & graffiti work. River rafting & camping by the Ganga beach are some of the other interesting activities that you may try out here!

How to Reach?
By Air: Dehradun (35km)
By Rail: Haridwar (25km)
By Road: Rishikesh is well connected to Haridwar, Dehradun & New Delhi

Coorg, Karnataka

Picture Courtesy: Google

Located amidst the aromatic coffee gardens of the Western Ghats, Coorg is known for its scintillating beauty and breathtakingly beautiful landscape. Whether you are looking for a luxurious holiday filled with every comfort or the best places to visit in India in summer on a low budget, Coorg fits into every list and every budget. The mouth-watering cuisine of Coorg is another reason that makes this destination a favourite among its visitors.

Things to Do: Soak up the beautiful scenery of Coorg at close range by taking one of its numerous treks. Or explore the burst of flavours by taking a food tour through the town. If adventure is what excites you, then camping by the rivers and jungles of Coorg is an exciting experience you must try out. Microlight flying, rappelling and civet creek camp are some of the other exciting experiences that you must try out.

How to Reach?
By Air: Mangalore (160 km)
By Train: Mysore (95km)
By Road: Coorg is well-connected to Bengaluru, Mysore & Mangalore

You may also like: Exploring Beautiful Kohima

Kohima, Nagaland

Nagaland Kohima is one of those offbeat places

Known for its untouched beauty and rich history, Kohima is one of those offbeat places that has recently come to the limelight. While the Hornbill festival may be the most talked-about event here, Kohima is equally awe-inspiring as a summer holiday getaway!
The cultural extravagance, indigenous games, crafts and music give it a unique place in the tourist circuits of India.

Things to Do: Dedicated to the soldiers who laid their lives during World War II, a visit to the Kohima War Cemetery is a unique experience you would not want to miss out on. Another place of interest is the Touphema Village where you can experience the culture of the tribes. Boating at the Shilloi lake & trekking to Mt Japfu is the other experiences that you must try out.

How to Reach?
By Air: Dimapur (74km)
By Train: Dimapur (74Km)
By Road: Kohima is well connected to all Northeastern state capitals.

Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh

Tawang is a perfect escapade from the hustle-bustle of city life
Picture Courtesy: Google

A quaint hill station famous for its picture-perfect monasteries and breath-taking sceneries, Tawang is a perfect escapade from the hustle-bustle of city life. Set at an altitude of 3048 m, it is surrounded by Himalayan peaks and dotted with many glacial lakes. During the summer months, the snowmelt way to make space for the many pretty flora and fauna that add to the appeal of the place.

Things to Do: Tawang offers a plethora of activities for all its visitors. You may start your tour with a visit to the monasteries that lend a mystical aura to the entire town. You may also spend some time meditating among the green foliage of Taktsang Gompa. Hike the spectacular Gorichen peak and do not forget to include the Sangetser and Sela Lake in your list.

How to Reach?
By Air: Tezpur (317km)
By Train: Tezpur Railway Station (314 km)
By Road: Tawang is well-connected to Guwahati and other major Northeastern towns.

Now that you have this exciting list of exciting destinations to travel to across India, what are you waiting for? Make your pick and arrive before others to enjoy an unforgettable summer holiday experience.

Plan Your Trip!

Still, searching for ‘summer places to visit near me’ or looking for an itinerary that fits your budget? Get customized plans and hassle-free tours only with Solitary Traveller. Get in touch with us today to know more!

10 Mesmerizing Waterfalls of North-East India

top waterfalls of northeast tourism

What is the best destination for a mind that seeks serenity and a soul that craves nature’s healing touch? If you are searching for such a retreat, then look no further. Away from the chaos and noise of cities, the offbeat places in northeast India will be your salvation. The wonderful waterfalls of north-eastern states are sure to bless your weary heart with calm and peace.

northeast India waterfalls safe to travel
Picture Courtesy: Google

Now, like most travellers you must be wondering, “is northeast India safe to travel to?” Here we would like to assure you that – yes, it is. It is safer than many other Indian tourist destinations. Thanks to the active efforts of the respective state governments, the North-Eastern tourism sector is also quickly flourishing. You can safely explore the hidden gems of northeast India.

Follow our travel guide to know our selection of the top ten waterfalls of northeast India.

Kanchenjunga Falls, Sikkim

Kanchenjunga waterfall is breathtaking beauty in Sikkim, Pelling
Picture Courtesy: Google

You have heard of the mighty Kanchenjunga peaks, but have you heard of the Kanchenjunga waterfall? You can find this breathtaking beauty in Sikkim, Pelling. It is 24 km from Pelling and 10 km from Yuksom. If you are planning a northeast India trip, it is a must-visit.

Fed by the glacier atop the highest mountain peak of India Kanchenjunga, it cascades down gracefully from a height of about 100 feet. Here you can indulge in adventure sports and feel that adrenalin rushing in your veins! There is the opportunity for a good hiking session or rope activities.

The best season to visit Kanchenjunga waterfall is the time right after the monsoon. The rain helps it to flow in its full glory. The vegetation too grows alongside it and accentuates its beauty.

Akashiganga Waterfalls, Assam

Picture Courtesy: Google

Dropping down from a densely forested hill at the elevation of 3000 feet, Akashiganga is easily most remarkable waterfalls in northeast India. Leaving the onlookers feeling awestruck it plunges down an amazing 140 feet. The natural beauty of the waterfall is spellbinding, to say the least; hence you will see both tourists and locals gathering here.

You can enjoy a serene picnic day here while you relish the mesmerizing beauty of the falls. It is also a famous pilgrimage site. You can pay a visit to the Shiva temple that is connected to the much-revered Sati’s legend.

The waterfall is located in the Hojai district of Assam, on the Dabaka-Dimapur road. You can go there by road or take a taxi from the nearest Chaparmukh railway station which is 28 km from Nagaon. September is the most ideal time to visit Akashiganga.

You may also like: Travel To The Offbeat- Find The New You!

Kakochang Waterfalls, Assam

Picture Courtesy: Google

Those who follow the wanderlust cannot do without a northeast India trip. In that case, the elegant Kakochang waterfall of Assam is a must-visit for you. It is gushing down inside the unexplored parts of the green forest that is bound to captivate the traveller’s heart for the magical view.

You can enjoy the waterfall or arrange a picnic with your friends and family near it. The historical Numaligarh and Deopahar ruins are also visible from the site. It is situated near Kaziranga National Park, so you can consider exploring the wildlife from there if you want.

The location is well-connected by major roads. Plenty of public and private transportation is available to reach there. The post-monsoon season is the best time to enjoy the waterfall.

Elephant Falls, Meghalaya

Elephant falls in Shillong is one such gem that you absolutely cannot miss
Picture Courtesy: Google

It is impossible to miss the beautiful state of Meghalaya when your goal is to explore the northeast Indian tourist places. Meghalaya is home to some of the most enchanting waterfalls in North-East India as well as the country. Elephant falls in Shillong is one such gem that you absolutely cannot miss. 12 km from the city, you can reach there by bus from any north-eastern town. You can also get there by train and flight, through Guwahati. Although the waterfall is gorgeous all year round, months after monsoon are still the best to visit.

Originally known as “Ka Kshaid lai Pateng know Siew” in the Khasi language, the British renamed it Elephant falls. This stunning water body is separated into three stages. However, only the largest fast step is visible, surrounded by pleasant vegetation.

Nohkalikai Falls, Meghalaya

stunning waterfall of Meghalaya is the Nohkalikai falls
Picture Courtesy: Google

Another absolutely stunning waterfall of Meghalaya is the Nohkalikai falls. It plunges down at the height of a whopping 1115 feet, at an elevation of 4065 feet making it one of the tallest waterfalls in India. At the foot of the fall, it creates a plunge pool of water in the most unique shade of green.

Surrounded by legends and myths on the ground and clouds at the top, Nohkalikai falls is a must-visit for your northeast India travel itinerary. You can reach there via the nearest airport or railway station in Guwahati. From there you can reach the location via bus or car. Since it is a rainwater fed waterfall, you can visit it after the monsoon.

You may also like: Top Attractions in Cherrapunjee (Sohra)- Everything You Need To Know

Nuranang Falls, Arunachal Pradesh

elegant Nuranang waterfall on your list
Picture Courtesy: Google

In recent times northeast India tourism has made significant progress. It is therefore a wonderful time to visit the beautiful Arunachal Pradesh. You can put the elegant Nuranang waterfall on your list without a doubt. Locally it is also known as Jang falls or Bong falls.

Due to the scenic beauty of the lush green landscape that embraces the waterfall, it has become a favourite spot for photographers. It may not be one of the tallest plunges at 100 meters, it is located at 6000 feet in the mountains. Trodden by a few, the thick forests shrouded in clouds are heaven for nature lovers and explorers.

You can reach the waterfall in Tawang via the Guwahati-Tawang road. You can also avail The Arunachal Pradesh Helicopter Service from Guwahati Airport.

Triple Falls, Nagaland

Triple Falls of Nagaland will be a treat to your eyes
Picture Courtesy: Google

If you want to explore northeast India in October-June, the Triple Falls of Nagaland will be a treat to your eyes. This picturesque waterfall is in fact made of three different streams that cascade down from 280 feet high to form a natural pool. This offbeat destination in Seithekima village, of Dimapur, Nagaland boasts of enthralling natural beauty preserved by the tourism department. So, take plenty of pictures!

At the Triple falls, there are ample opportunities for multiple activities. You can have a picnic at the spot, or go trekking in the pristine woodlands. You can also go sightseeing, explore Kachari ruins, and observe wildlife at the Rangapahar Reserve Forest. Triple Falls is ideal for a northeast India road trip of short duration.

You can reach there by private taxi or by bus. Auto-rickshaws are available from Dimapur bus station.

You may also like: Travelling to The Land of Nagas – Nagaland

Barak Waterfalls, Manipur

Barak Waterfalls in Tamenglong, Manipur is one of the most popular tourist
Picture Courtesy: Google

The Barak Waterfalls in Tamenglong, Manipur is one of the most popular tourist places in Manipur. Lovers of offbeat destinations will certainly appreciate this underrated but stunning waterfall. The most striking feature of Barak is the seven waterfalls complementing it in close range. Together they not only enhance the scenic beauty but also provide water for irrigation.

You can enjoy a quiet day at the site away from the crowd- have a picnic, enjoy the splendour of the untouched nature there. The soft gurgling sound and the aqua blue water are pleasing to the soul. Adventurous people can go rafting and do other water sports there. Mountain climbing is also possible at this site.

The winter months between October-February are the best season to visit Barak Falls. You can visit it at any time of the day. There is public transport available from Tamenglong to reach the site.

Vantawng Falls, Mizoram

Vantawng Falls is another treasure of northeast India
Picture Courtesy: Google

Vantawng Falls is another treasure of northeast India that is safely tucked inside the thick green forests. It is one of the highest and most astonishing waterfalls in the state of Mizoram. Located in the Vanva River, this tiered waterfall drops down 750 feet into a gorge. Although you cannot go near it, there is a viewing platform near it. You can see the entire waterfall in its full glory from there.

Vantawng has situated 137 km from Aizawl. You can land at Lengpui airport and take the NH54 to reach the location. You can also go there via Bairabi Railway station. Public transport by road is also available. September to January is the ideal window of time to visit this waterfall.

You may also like: Top 10 Adventure Sports Activities in India

Dumboor Waterfalls, Tripura

With legends and religious significance attached to it, Dumboor waterfalls are one of the most important and popular sites in Tripura. It is a well-frequented site not only by the tourists but also by the locals. According to locals, you can find a footprint of Lord Vishnu there. The mouth of the waterfall called Tirthamukh is also considered auspicious. Like the other waterfalls in northeast India, this one too sits surrounded by blooming vegetation.

You can plan your trip around July-August and you can witness a unique tribal festival called Karachi. Dumboor Waterfalls is in the Gandacherra subdivision, 120km from Agartala. The nearest railway station is 75km away in Ambassa. You can also easily travel via road.

Plan Your Trip with Us!

You cannot really travel to India completely without exploring the amazing north-eastern Indian states. Especially if you love some quiet time within nature, you can check out these aforementioned waterfalls of northeast India. You can plan your trip with us for a hassle-free, comfortable travelling experience. You can also read our other northeast India travel blogs to get further exposure to the treasure the North-Eastern states hold.

Travel To The Offbeat- Find The New You!

The unwinding trails to Sandakphu from one ridge to another.

This World Tourism Day 2021, we bring you the story of our founder that led to the creation of this awesome service as we recount the story of how Offbeat Destinations became our hallmark!

World Tourism Day is here. Started in 1980 by the United Nations World Tourism Organization, this day aims at raising awareness about the value of tourism while underlining the effects it has on the social, economic, cultural and economic values of the entire world. Indeed, tourism is more than mere recreation that many assume it to be.

Hornbill festival is organized every year by Nagaland

Travelling to a new destination can be a way for us to explore the unknown facets of our own personalities, experience new cultures and broaden our mental horizons. Have your trips offered you such rewarding experiences so far? If not, then our founder Abhishek’s story and insider tips may be just what you need to take your travel adventures to a whole new level.  

Travel To Find The New You

Telkupi village is well known for its half immersed temple.

Are you tired of your monotonous routine? Do you often find yourself pining for a break? Well, these were exactly what our founder was feeling when he first began travelling. Like most of us, his initial picks too were the common tourist spots that figure on people’s Instagram stories and pop up first on search engines. But when you are trying to satiate your travel lust, usual touristy places may not live up to your expectations.

Just as crowded as the urban jungle that he was trying to escape, Abhishek soon found himself getting bored with these destinations. That is exactly what prompted him to explore the underrated places in India.

Sacred forest of India in Northeast

Quite surprisingly, though these places barely figured on anyone’s list, these places were just as scenic. In fact, the experiences he had in each of these places were very unique. Soon enough, the stories of his travel began to have his friends and colleagues interested too. Many even started looking up to him for itinerary suggestions and he was flooded with positive reviews for his picks.

And just as our founder, we too are completely in love with offbeat places. Wondering how you can pick out the right destination for such unique experiences? Here are some tips from our in-house expert to get you started:

Beat The Usual Circuits

The golden sand lapped with peaceful surrounding is the best compliment for the name ‘Serenity’.

The first step towards becoming a traveller from a tourist is beating the usual circuits. For instance, if you want to head to the beaches for your upcoming holiday, don’t just rush off to the first place that comes to your mind.  Do not opt for the second or third name either. Rather skip the popular list and look for beach options that are open to the public in our country. Arriving at your destination in this way may take a bit of searching, but the results will pay off for sure.

10 Beautiful Abandoned Places in India

Gorgeous abandoned places of India for holidays

Have you ever visited a place that is hardly frequented by people now? There may be several reasons why a place is abandoned over time. Climate change, population decline, natural disasters can lead people to migrate from one place to a new one. Over time, the original reasons are forgotten, and people paint new and mysterious stories with their imagination. Perhaps it is these stories or just the eerie silence of these places that make them so hauntingly beautiful. 

If you are someone who loves to go beyond the one or one who appreciates the beauty of silence and old-world charm, the abandoned places can be an excellent fit for your itinerary. Glance through some of the best-abandoned spots in India:

Nubra Valley, Ladakh

Picture Courtesy: Google

Originated from the word Ldumra, meaning an orchard or a garden, Nubra valley is situated to the north of Leh, crossing over Khardung la pass the highest motorable road in the world. The valley is surrounded by the forbidding peaks of the Karakoram Range, where the sparkling Shyok River flows through the lush valley. This picturesque spot is a virgin destination that is blessed with breathtaking natural beauty, rich flora, and fauna and offers a great time for people who seek peace and love interacting with nature and new cultures.  

Things to do: Take A Camel Safari, Cycling In Villages, Khardung La Pass Adventure Tour, Eat Baltistani Dishes At Balti Kitchen.
Major Attraction: Samstanling Monastery, Diskit Gompa, Panamik Village, Yarab Tso Lake, Hunder Sand Dunes.
How to reach?– Leh is the nearest airport.

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Chambal Valley, Rajasthan-MP border 

Picture Courtesy: Google

Situated between Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh, Chambal is a small town that is a perfect spot for any nature lover. Chambal gets its name from one of the cleanest rivers in India, i.e., River Chambal, which is a tributary of the mighty Yamuna River. Known as the land of Bandits, Chambal ki Ghatti is a land of legends and stories which led to making this place uninhabited until now. This place is now open for tourists where one can enjoy its breathtaking untouched nature, scenic beauty, rural vibes, wildlife, fascinating ruins, and legendary exploits.

Things to do: Camel safari, Jeep safari, river rafting.  
Major Attractions: National Chambal Sanctuary, Bateshwar Temples, Machkund Temple, Shergarh Fort, Van Vihar Wild Life Sanctuary.
How to reach? -80 kilometres drive from Agra.

You may also like: 10 Best Places to Adore Spring Season in India

Gandikota, Andhra Pradesh.

India’s Grand Canyon-The Gandikota Village
Picture Courtesy: Google

The word Gandikota is derived from the Telugu word “Gandi,” which means “gorge.” The city was named after a magnificent gorge that is present there. Known as “The Hidden Grand Canyon of India,” Gandikota is situated on the banks of the Pennar River. This spot is known to very few passionate backpackers as it isn’t a common spot that makes to one’s travel itinerary. This abandoned untouched piece of land is a photographer’s paradise as it has the best scenic and pictorial view. Gandikota, in the coming years, has the potential of becoming one of the best tourist spots in and around Andhra Pradesh.

Things to do: Water Sports, Boating, cave tour. 
Major Attractions: Madhavaraya Temple, Raghunathaswamy Temple, Jamia Masjid, Belum Caves, Owk Reservoir.
How to reach?– Nearest Airport is Bengaluru International Airport.

You may also like: India’s Own Grand Canyon-The Gandikota Village

Fatehpur Sikri, Agra.

Picture Courtesy: Google

Once an exorbitant capital of the Mughals, Fatehpur Sikri is now known to be one of the most well-preserved derelict places in India. This red sandstone city was built by Emperor Akbar for the purpose of providing ease to his army from the hot, dry plains of the Indian subcontinent. This short-lived capital is a fine example of Indo-Islamic architecture whose detailing and craftsmanship can be compared to that of the Taj Mahal. It is said that Akbar’s death in 1605 and water shortage in this area were the reasons why this city was abandoned.

Things to do: Tour of the beautiful red city, Heritage walks, and photo tours. 
Major Attraction: Buland Darwaza Diwan-I-Khas, Jodhabai Palace, Tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti, Jama Masjid.
How to reach?-Bus tour from Agra’s biggest bus terminal (37kms).

You may also like: Don’t Miss these Mysterious Archaeological sites of India

Dandakaranya Forest, Chhattisgarh

Picture Courtesy: Google

The dense forest area of Bastar, Dandakaranya Forest lies at the tail end of the Aravallis, is one of the most significant eco-friendly destinations of the country. It is known for being one of the important locations connected to the Ramayana, as it was here that Lord Rama spent half of his exile period with Sita in the company of Lakshmana. Located at a distance of 264 km from Raipur, this jungle is named after a demon named Dandak, who is mentioned in the scriptures of Hinduism. Due to spiritual norms and beliefs, it led to the abandonment of a place filled with natural beauty and a tranquil ambience.

Things to do: cave walks and historical monuments, and temple tours. 
Major Attraction: DanteshwariTemple, ChitrakootFalls, TirathgarhFalls, Kutumsarcaves, Dandak Cave.
How to reach?-Raipur is the nearest airport which is a distance of 264kms.

You may also like: 10 Best Offbeat Jungle Safaris of India

Dhanushkodi, Tamil Nadu

Picture Courtesy: Google

When we talk about abandoned places in India, Dhanushkodi is probably the most talked-about place. Dhanushkodi is a small village in the Rameswaram island of Tamil Nadu. It was the southernmost tip of India until the 1960s when a cyclone completely destroyed the village. Even though the place is destroyed, the ruins of the famous Kothandaramasamy Temple still stand today. Even though after being declared as a ghost town, it is a popular offbeat holiday location where one can enjoy the fantastic beaches and bright blue sea. 

Things to do: bird watching, wander around what’s left of the town, enjoy on the beach. 
Major attractions: The Pamban Bridge, Pamban Islands, Ram Setu, Dhanushkodi Beach.
How to reach?-20kms away from Rameshwaram.

You may also like: 10 Gorgeous Beaches Of India You Haven’t Heard Before!

Vijayanagara, Karnataka

Picture Courtesy: Google

The next spot that makes it on our list is probably one of the most celebrated locations in the northern region of Karnataka. Known as the “City of Victory,” Vijayanagar was a city built in the 14th century by the kings of the Vijayanagara Empire on the southern bank of the River Tungabhadra. Once a known Hindu capital, Vijayanagara was destroyed in 1565 during the Muslim invasion of India, which led to the abandonment of the city, and the ruins were left to decay. In the early 1990s, the ruins of Vijayanagar were discovered, which led to the restoration of the city and temples. It is a perfect destination to wander and enjoy some of the finest examples of Hindu art and architecture in southern India. 

Things to do: Climb MatangaHill, Cliffjumping, Rideferry.
Major attractions: Matanga hill, Virupaksha temple, monkey temple, Lotus Mahal, Hazara Rama Temple. 
How to Reach?-Jindal Vijaynagar Airport is the nearest airport. 

You may also like: 8 Reasons that Fascinates India as The Best Travel Destination

Ross Island, Andaman

Picture Courtesy: Google

Located in the North Bay in Port Blair, Ross Island is a small island which is just 5 Kms from the Water Sports Complex in Andaman. The island is named after Captain Daniel Ross, which was used by the British as an administrative headquarters for 85 years. After the horrific earthquake in 1941, the island was abandoned until the Indian government took over in 1962. The island has a total area of 100 acres, where the whole island is covered with coconut trees. The island is also the home of the most famous lighthouse in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which is used as a tourist attraction and is one of the most visited attractions in Andaman.

Things to do: Tour of the ruins, water sports, light and sound show. 
Major attractions: British colony ruins, Japanese Bunkers, Barren Island, Ross Island Penal Colony. 
How to Reach? –3 km boat ride from downtown Port Blair.

You may also like: 10 Enchanting Islands of India

Prabalgad Fort, Maharashtra

Picture Courtesy: Google

Situated at the height of 2300 ft above sea level, Prabalgad Fort is one of the best-preserved forts in Maharashtra and is a popular tourist destination. Prabalgad Fort is located in the Maval region of Maharashtra in the Western Ghats. Spread over an area of around 14.5 hectares, this magnificent fort was built by Shivaji Maharaj and was later subsequently expanded by his son Sambhaji Maharaj. In order to reach the fort, one needs to be skilled and trained as the road taken for the trek passes through dense forests and is quite steep. Once reached, you will have one of the best views of the landscape surrounding the fort. 

Things to do: Sightseeing, Trekking, Camping.
Major attractions: Bhavani Temple, Karnala Bird Sanctuary, Zenith Falls, Irshalgad Fort.
How to Reach?-The nearest airport to the fort is Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji.

You may also like: 10 Trekking Destinations In India For Beginners

Golconda Fort, Hyderabad

Picture Courtesy: Google

Golconda Fort is a spectacular ruined fort in Andhra Pradesh, which is located about 48kms from Hyderabad. Situated on the banks of the River Musi at an elevation of about 242m, Golconda Fort is comparably one of the largest and complete forts in India. It was built by the Kakatiyas, who ruled Golconda, the kingdom in what is now the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh. It was built between the 13th and 15th centuries and was one of the largest and most powerful fortresses of its time. The fort was later abandoned by the Kakatiyas, but the structure remained intact and has become a popular tourist attraction in the 20th century.

Things to do: Sound and Light show and enjoy the sunset view.
Major attractions: Naya Qila, Qutb Shahi Tombs, Taramati Baradari, Birla Mandir. 
How to Reach?- It is well connected by road from the centre of Hyderabad. 

You may also like: The Best Routes for Road Trips in India

Did this raise your curiosity already? Then why wait? Contact our experts at Solitary Travellers today and enjoy a hassle-free travel experience today.

The Gypsies: Story Of The Romas In India

The Gypsies: Story Of The Romas In India

From the super hit Netflix series like Peaky Blinders to novels such as the Romani Rye and even Shakespearian plays such as The Tempest, do you know what all these pieces of art spread across centuries have in common? It is the Roma people.

The Romani community, often termed the gypsies, has inspired countless playwrights, writers, and composers across continents. Yet, their story has always been shrouded in mystery, myths, and unfounded superstitions. Join us as we uncover the true story of this amazing community and look at the lasting impression that they have created and are still making across the world.

Origin Of The Roma Community

Origin Of The Roma Community
Picture Courtesy: Google

You may have often heard or used the word gypsy. Loosely applied to people with free-spirited or nomadic lifestyles in the modern lingo, the term was originally used to refer to a community who left behind their homeland in Asia and spread all across the world. 

With increased awareness of people, this word, of course, is now taken as a racist slur-a a derogatory and archaic term. But even today, only a handful of people are actually aware that whom they easily label as the gypsies are actually the Romani people.

gypsies are actually the Romani people.
Picture Courtesy: Google

Again, as soon as one comes across the term Roma or Romani, the immediate conclusion that many people draw is that they are from Romania or Rome. But no, the Roma community is neither from ancient Rome nor modern-day Romania. In fact, many of you may be surprised to know that the Roma community actually traces its origin to the Indian sub-continent!

Yes, genetic studies have confirmed that the Roma community originates from the north-western part of India, corroborating the modern state of Rajasthan and certain areas which now lie across the frontier in Pakistan.

Why then do you find the Romas spread all across the world today? While there are no concrete answers to these, historical theories suggest that repeated raids by foreign powers along with natural calamities forced the Romas to spread to different parts of Europe around the 5th century.

A History of Persecution

A History of Persecution of Gypsies
Picture Courtesy: Google

While you may know the Roma community for their vibrant culture and their catchy music, the journey for them has always not been easy. Right from ancient times to the world wars of the modern era, the Romas have been subjected to constant persecutions. 

From slave trade to genocide, the horrors that the community had to face were endless. The suspicious attitude of the majority and the myths and superstitious stories that followed them only made matters worse. 

Forging A New Identity

Forging A New Identity for Gypsies in India
Picture Courtesy: Google

However, the hardships they faced were no match to their spirit and their fortitude. With time, the Roma community has been able to rise above the prejudices and forge a new identity for themselves. 

Spread across the world today, community members are constantly breaking stereotypes. Yet, even with their new identity, they have stayed true to their roots. The community proudly traces its origin to India and also holds a deep love for the entire sub-continent. India, too, is reciprocating the love for its long-lost children in the form of various programs to uplift and raise awareness about their community.

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations is also taking various initiatives to integrate the Romani community here with the mainstream. Efforts are also being made to officially recognize the Romanis as a minority community here.

Romanis Today Even today, travellers are often eager to experience the unique culture and lifestyle of the Romani community. Want to know more about the Romani community or experience their unique lifestyle? Get in touch with our experts only at Solitary Travellers.

10 Traditional Cuisines from Different Regions of India

Explore traditional cusines of India

Popularly known as the home of spices, India has been delighting people both with its recipes and ingredients for ages. While Indian spice may have spaded the cuisines across the world, in its part, too, it has been influenced by traditions and techniques from all across Aisa.

The result is a unique range of traditional food and drinks that leaves a fountain of flavours in your mouth. Each cuisine and sub-cuisine has its own specialities too. So if you want to explore traditional Indian gastronomy in its entire splendour, these are the top dishes that you must try out:

Aloo Poshto – West Bengal

Aloo Poshto is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated Bengali dishes enjoyed by Bengalis
Image Source: Google

This traditional dish needs no introduction for those who are well-versed with Bengali cuisine. Aloo Poshto is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated Bengali dishes enjoyed by Bengalis and people living around the eastern part of India. It’s a simple vegetarian dish cooked with potatoes with a lightly spiced poppy seed base and mustard oil as the cooking medium. When combined artfully, the dish gives a sweet-pungent burst of flavours that goes well as a side dish with plain rice.

Fun facts: The British’s engagement in the lucrative opium trade with China led to the cultivation of opium in eastern parts of India. To make ends meet, the farmers depended on the waste residue of the poppy seeds, which found their way into the Bengali kitchen. Thus, it led to the birth of Aloo Poshto.

Where to Taste? – Local authentic Bengali Hotels, Kolkata.

Zunka Bhakri – Maharashtra

Zunka or Jhunka is a popular traditional staple dish of rural Maharashtra. This Maharashtrian delicacy is a spicy preparation
Image Source: Google

Zunka or Jhunka is a popular traditional staple dish of rural Maharashtra. This Maharashtrian delicacy is a spicy preparation made from gram flour and onion and many Indian spices. This classic dish is best enjoyed with round unleavened bread made of bajra flour known as Bhakri. The combination of Zunka and Bhakriis considered a poor man’s food as it can be easily made from very few ingredients. But once you taste the authentic preparation of this dish, you are sure to know why all so well love it.

Fun facts: This delicious combination of Zunka and Bhakri is so famous in Maharashtra that it has travelled to neighbouring states of Karnataka and Goa too.

Where to Taste? – Pune and other rural parts of Maharashtra.

Dalma – Odisha

Dalma is one such dish that tells us a story of how the traditional food of India influenced in writing the past
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The cuisine of Odisha, popularly known as the Odia Cuisine, is highly influenced by both North and South Indian cuisines. Owing to this unique combination, Odia cuisine has earned a special place in the food map of India. Dalma is one such dish that tells us a story of how the traditional food of India influenced in writing the past. This traditional curry is made of Moong Dal and a variety of seasonal vegetables cooked with the choicest spices, which are tempered with panchaphutana and coconut. This sumptuous nutritional dish is usually made on special occasions and is also offered as a “Mahaprasadh” in many temples in Odisha.

Story /Fun facts:  Legend has it that the second eldest brother of the Pandavas, Bheema, was the one who had created this dish for the first time when the Pandava brothers were in exile.   

Where to Taste? –  This preparation is primarily cooked and served as Prasad at various temples of Odisha. 

Galho – Nagaland

This northeast India traditional food has a soupy kind of texture which is similar to that of khichadi.
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People of Nagaland love their rice and meat, especially when it’s in the form of Galho. This northeast India traditional food has a soupy kind of texture which is similar to that of khichadi. It is a concoction of various indigenous vegetables, fresh green leaves, the preferred choice of meat, rice, and fermented soy or bamboo shoots. This effortless dish is the perfect comfort food and a perfect substitute for the boring old khichadi.

Fun fact: This dish is said to be created by the Angami tribe, which is said to be one of the oldest tribes in Nagaland. Even though it has a khichadi kind of preparation, traditionally, lentils aren’t used in this dish and are easy to make.  

Where to Taste? – Local eateries and restaurants.

Amritsari Fish – Punjab

Amritsari Machchli or simply Amritsari fish is a beautiful freshwater fish preparation that is lightly battered in a spicy gram flour
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From the land of classic chicken delicacies comes a famous dish that is a treat for all fish admirers. “Amritsari Machchli” or simply Amritsari fish is a beautiful freshwater fish preparation that is lightly battered in a spicy gram flour mixture that is cooked into golden perfections when deep-fried. Amritsari fish is an absolute crowd favourite among north India traditional food and is considered nothing less than Punjab’s usually preferred chicken delicacies.

Fun fact:  History books state that this fish preparation had originated from the Mughal kitchens during the reign of Emperor Akbar. It is said that Emperor Akbar was served with this golden battered fish preparation for lunch and dinner by his royal chefs. 

Where to Taste? –  Local street food stalls and restaurants in Amritsar.

Laal Maas – Rajasthan

Lal Maas red-hot lamb dish is probably the most eminent non-vegetarian dish in the whole of Rajasthan
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Predominantly a vegetarian state, this red-hot lamb dish is probably the most eminent non-vegetarian dish in the whole of Rajasthan. Lal Maas got its name from the fiery deep red gravy, which gets its colour from the locally grown dried chillies named Mathaniachilie. Many traditional Indian food blog posts convey misinformation about the dish. They suggest making the dish with Kashmiri red chillies or, worse, with tomatoes which mess up the authentic taste of this succulent, tender meat preparation. So when in Rajasthan, don’t forget to try out the authentic recipe.

Fun fact:  Back in the day, it is said that Lal Maas was traditionally cooked with wild boar or deer.

Where to Taste? – This delicacy is available in many restaurants around Rajasthan. For a royal touch, the best version of this dish can be had in Ambur Fort.

Pandi Curry – Coorg

Coorgi celebration is complete without a traditional pork dish known as Pandi
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 It is said that no Coorgi celebration is incomplete without a traditional pork dish known as Pandi. Pandi or Coorgi Style Pork curry is a spicy semi-dark pork dish that is a blend of locally grown spices and ingredients and cooked with a special souring agent known as Kachempuli. This traditional pork curry is rich in fat, spice, and tanginess, which, once prepared, might not look appealing at first, but once tasted, it might be the best dish you will have when you plan your next trip to Coorg. 

Story/fun fact:  It is said that initially, Pandi curry was cooked with wild boar instead of pork. This dish had originated in the times of Raj, where wild boar would be hunted by locals and eventually get cooked.

Where to Taste? – Many restaurants and diners in Coorg serve authentic Pandi curry.   

Gongura Mamsam – Andhra Pradesh

Andhra cuisine, its heat, spice, flavour, and tanginess come instantly to our mind. Gongura or Puntikura Mamsam is a perfect example
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When we think about Andhra cuisine, its heat, spice, flavour, and tanginess come instantly to our mind. Gongura or Puntikura Mamsam is a perfect example that demonstrates what Andhra cuisine offers to the pallet. It is a non-vegetarian dish where the mutton is cooked in a spicy masala base and sour fresh sorrel leaves. This spicy and mouth-watering south India traditional food is a part of every traditional Andhra meal and is an absolute favourite among the locals.

Fun fact: Sorrel leaves grow in abundance in parts of Andhra Pradesh and other states of southern India. This plant is high in nutrition, which is used in dishes and is also used in making various types of pickles, jam, and syrup.

 Where to Taste? – Available in most Andhra diners in Andhra Pradesh. This traditional dish is specially cooked at home during the third day of Sankranti.

Unniyappam – Kerala

Unniyappam is a traditional recipe that is quite a popular sweet snack among the Keralites
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Unniyappam is a traditional recipe that is quite a popular sweet snack among the Keralites. The key ingredients include rice flour, jaggery, and bananas, which are deep-fried into dark brown fritters. The locals prepare this during some festivals and family functions and are also offered as prasad in many temples in Kerala. It is a perfect snack for people who love to munch on sweets.

 Story/fun fact: it is said that Unniyappam was first offered to Lord Ganesh after the installation by Perunthachan. Since then, the custom is still continuing.

Where to Taste? – This snack is served as a prasad in many temples of Kerala.

Adirasam – Tamil Nadu

Adirasam is a popular and significant sweet snack in every Tamil household.
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Adirasam is a popular and significant sweet snack in every Tamil household. It is said that learning how to make this sweet dish is mandatory for every Tamil woman before marriage. Made with raw rice, this traditional sweet dish is made during special occasions and festivals like Diwali, Nombu, and Lakshmi Puja. This deep-fried fritter, in general, is the perfect sweet evening snack in every Tamil household. 

Story/fun fact: Adhirasam is said to have an origin traced back to the era of Krishna Deva Raya, who had ruled the southern part of India from 1509 CE.

Where to Taste? – This traditional dish can be enjoyed by local dessert shops in Kerala. 

Now that you have gone through this list of Indian traditional food recipes, your stomach must be grumbling already! To enjoy these authentic tastes and get their complete feel, plan your itinerary today. Food and stress do not mix well! So why not gift yourself a hassle-free travel experience as you explore each of these dishes! Intrigued by the offer? Consult our travel experts today and enjoy the new way of travelling. Also avail great discounts on hotel, flight, and rail bookings. Call us today to know more.

10 Most Haunted Places in India with Real Stories Behind

haunted places in India

Are you someone who is mystified by tales of horror and the supernatural? Well then, get ready for a real treat! India is a land of great beauty and culture. It is also a land teeming with innumerable myths and legends, many of which cross paths with the supernatural and ghost stories.

Almost every city, town, and village here have their own share of haunted places and horror stories. Some of these places have become so popular that they have entered the legendary list of most haunted places in India. 

10 Haunted Places of India with Short Scary Stories

So if you want to really test your courage and feel the adrenaline rushing, here are the top picks along with the stories associated with them:

Bhangarh, Alwar

Bhangarh Alwar
Picture Courtesy: Google

There is hardly a time when Indian spooky stories creep into conversations, and Bhangarh is not mentioned. This historic and majestic fort was built by Raja Bhagwant Das in the year 1573 and is located at the foothills of the Aravalis. The curious case of Bhangarh and its chemistry with the supernatural has for years intrigued and attracted several travellers from around the world.

Real story: There are several stories regarding what caused the fate of the Fort. One such folklore said when the Fort was being planned, it was found to be home to an ascetic, saint Baba Balaknath. After various negotiations, the saint gave his approval on a single condition–“the shadow of the king’s palace should never fall upon his home.” But over the years, an ambitious successor added to the fortification, causing a sinister shadow upon the Ascetic’s home. Having provoked the saint’s wrath, there befell a curse upon the land of Bhangarh.

Location: Tehsil, Rajgarh, Bhangarh, Rajasthan-301410.
Timings: 10 AM-5 PM.

Agrasen ki Baoli, New Delhi

Agrasen ki Baoli New Delhi
Picture Courtesy: Google

This monument is located on Hailey Road of New Delhi. It is believed to have been built by MaharajUgrasen from the Mahabharata. It is a one-of-a-kind step-well designed in Persian-style architecture with 108 steps leading to a reservoir. It is noticed over the years, this tourist’s favourite spot has experienced several questionably mysterious instances.

Real Story: There are several paranormal experiences that people have reported at this site. However, the most common one is about the feeling of continuously being watched by a powerful presence. Nobody has ever seen the force but has felt its glare when there. Some say the feeling changes from “being watched” to “being followed.”

Legends also say that there was a time when the water level forced those seeking water to go to the lower chambers. Once there, the dark water would call onto their souls and force them to jump. Spooky as it sounds, it is a must-visit to experience the rich architecture and marvel that it is.

Location: Hailey Road, KG Marg, New Delhi, Delhi-110001
Timing: 9 AM-5:30 PM.

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The Savoy, Mussourie

The Savoy Mussourie
Picture Courtesy: Google

Mussourie, a small town set in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand, was the hub for English settlement during the British Raj. The weather of this mountain-town, they said, was more suited compared to the harsh summers of the plains. Even today, we see how influenced the architecture of this tiny town remains by the former inhabitants. The Savoy is one such piece of English-Gothic country house that is identifiable from a distance.

Real story: This hotel was once upon a time the roof over Frances Garnett-Orme. She was a British spiritualist who had been betrothed to a British officer posted at Mussourie at the time. Unfortunately, the officer had died before the wedding. It is believed that being a spiritualist and grieving may have led her to turn to higher powers and communicate with the other side. She had befriended another spiritualist, Eva Mountstephen, who was visiting from Lucknow at the time. One day, Eva had to travel back to attend to urgent matters. Meanwhile, the body of Frances was retrieved from her room.

Strangely, the room was locked from the inside. When the case went on trial, Eva Mountstephen was found guilty due to lack of evidence. Strange enough, the doctor who performed the autopsy on Frances was also found dead. It is believed that the ghost of Frances Garnett-Orme still haunts the property. This case remains to be one of the most intriguing locked-room mysteries and has inspired many bestselling authors.

Location: Library Bazar, Gandhi Chowk, Mussoorie, Uttarakhand-248179
Timing: Open 24×7.

The Hastings House, Kolkata

The Hastings House Kolkata
Picture Courtesy: Google

Kolkata is known to be a land of various myths and legends of the past. Prominent buildings were built during the British Raj, which is counted as haunted. One such building is the Hastings house. Erected in the year 1777, The Hastings House is counted among one of the famous heritage architectures of Kolkata. Hastings House was the country home of Warren Hastings, who was the governor-general of India during the period of 1775 to 1785. The heritage structure is a two-storied building that showcases the western architectural influence during the British era in India. Now this spot has become a university, hence it is not such a popular place for tourism. But there is sheer eeriness when people pass by this place.

Real story: According to history, when Warren Hastings was apparently impeached when he returned to England. Legend says, to date, the spirits of Hastings roam around the gallery in search of documents that could have prevented him from being impeached. The first sighting of his spirit is said to be in the year 1884. While others state that the spirits of people who have lost their lives within the walls have been seen haunting the structure for years. 

Location:20, B.J.C.Road, Alipore, Kolkata, West Bengal-700027.
Timing:10AM-5 PM.

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Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad

Ramoji Film City Hyderabad
Picture Courtesy: Google

Built-in the year 1991, Ramoji Film city is the perfect getaway from the hustle-bustle of the city. With an area of over 2500 acres, this place is known to be World’s largest Film Studio Complex. Starting from breath-taking landscapes, gardens, movie sets, mini-trains, and live stunt show, it is a spot which has everything for every kind of tourist. This wonderland is not just known for its extravagant sets and displays, but in the past few decades, this place has been a spot of various mysterious activities.

Real story:  It is believed that the entire film city is built on the battlegrounds of the Nizams. It is said that spirits of the various soldiers who lost their lives on the battlefield wander around the sets. Starting from the crewmembers to the various famous artists, they had sensed uneasiness and feel an invisible force when they were on the sets of the largest film studio complex in the world.

Location: Ramoji Film City Main Rd, Hyderabad, Telangana-501512
Timing: 9:00AM-8:00 PM.

Mawphlang Sacred Grove, Meghalaya

Mawphlang Sacred Grove Meghalaya

Forests of Meghalaya is a source of some of the important cultural traditions, believes, and mysticism; Mawphlang Sacred Grove is one such spot. Nestled in the village of Mawphlang, this diverse array of lush virgin tropical forests is said to be sacred. Hence it is totally protected by the local inhabitants due to their age-old cultural and religious beliefs.

Real Story: The tribal populations have a firm belief that a goddess dwells among the forest, which protects the local community. A simple rule is followed by the locals is that ‘Nothing should go out of this forest or the deity shall get aggrieved.’ Many stories have come up that whoever dared taking anything of the tiniest of things out of the forest mysteriously fall ill, which sometimes led to death.

Location: Nongrum, Meghalaya-793121.

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Shaniwar Wada Fort, Pune

Shaniwar Wada Fort Pune
Picture Courtesy: Google

Built on the old parts of Pune, Shaniwar Wada Fort one of the prime tourist attractions in the city of Pune. Built by Peshwa Bajirao I, this colossal structure features Maratha imperial architecture style. Inside the palace, it is ornamented with teak walls and marble floor and wall which are exquisitely designed which recite the scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata. Other than the history and architectural brilliance, Shaniwar Wada Fort is considered to be among the top haunted places in India due to its various paranormal activities.

Real Story: Narayanrao, the fifth ruler of Peshwa, was assassinated by his own guards on the orders of his own uncle Raghunathrao. According to legends, in every full moon night, people have reported that the spirits of Narayanrao shriek out “Kaka mala vachava,” or “uncle, save me.”

Location: ShaniwarPeth, Pune-411030.
Timings:9:30AM-5 PM.

Three Kings Church, Goa

Three Kings Church Goa
Picture Courtesy: Google

Located atop a hill called Cuelim, 3 Kings Chapel is a tiny chapel that has been famous for its various legends and stories of various mysterious paranormal activities around the place. Keeping the stories aside, this place offers a picturesque and breathtaking view of the Arabian Sea, where one can enjoy its serenity and view of the fabulous sunset.

Real Story: According to legends, as the name suggests, the church was said to be ruled by three kings. In the quest to become the ultimate ruler, all three kings fought and eventually killed each other. The stories state that spirits of the kings still wander and protect the church and the surroundings as the bodies of these kings were said to be buried at the church site.

Location: Cansaulim,Goa-403712.
Timings: 8 AM-6 PM

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Kalpalli Cemetery, Bangalore

Kalpalli Cemetery Bangalore
Picture Courtesy: Google

Also known as St John’s Cemetery, Kalpalli Cemetery one of the most haunted places in India. This old cemetery near the Old Madras Road has a graveyard and Crematorium, side by side. Over the years, a number of spooky stories concerning the incidents taking place in this cemetery have come up. This place is surely not for the faint-hearted.

Real Story:  According to the urban legends, people who have been to this place have come across various paranormal activities in this area. Reports show that some people have seen a figure lurking around the graves in the middle of the night, while some claim to see a headless creature clad draped in white clothing that vanishes when approached. People who have visited the place claim to experience uneasiness and feel suffocated when on the premises.

Location: Sarvagnanagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka-560008
Timings: 24×7

Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai

Sanjay Gandhi National Park Mumbai
Picture Courtesy: Google

Located 84kms from the main city of Mumbai, Sanjay Gandhi National park is notably one of the most visited attractions of the city. It is known for its rich flora and fauna and picturesque Kanehri Caves in the middle of the park. Even though the national park is jostled with a high population of nature lovers, the place is home to tales and incidents of various spine-chilling paranormal sightings.  

Real Story:  After sundown, various reports of a mysterious woman in white have been sighted in these parts. Legend has it; this mysterious hitchhiker could be seen on the edge of the driveway requesting rides from every car passing and vanishing in thin air in seconds.

Location:Borivali East,Mumbai,Maharashtra-400066.
Timings: 9AM-6PM.

While we do not encourage the belief in superstitions, these places are a great pick for any enthusiastic travellers looking for an other-worldly experience. So experience these places today and become the favourite storyteller of the room as you recount your own personal experiences from your travel. Spooky, beautiful, or offbeat, choose any place you like and enjoy a hassle-free travel experience. Let Solitary Traveller be your guide and experience the best of each place that you visit. Avail expert opinion, easy ticket booking options, and assistance on your entire itinerary from our experts today. Get in touch to know more