India,  Travel

The ultimate list of Less Explored Places of India That You Might Have Missed

Here is a question to all my travel lover friends!

How many of you have traveled to the less explored places of India? And what are they?

India is such a diversified country which has a ton of stunning places spread everywhere. Be it mountains, desert, forest, lakes, or beaches, it has every element of nature in abundant.

People often go to the places that are either widely popular known destinations like Shimla, Darjeeling, Coorg, Jaipur, etc for their convenience may be. For example, it is easier to find hotels and restaurants in popular tourist destinations. You will get everything at your distance.

Now, here is the thing, how many like to explore something more offbeat of those places?

Of course, when I say offbeat, you can guess that these places usually can’t be found in the middle of the city. You have to either trek or hike or drive through rough roads to reach these places.

I have compiled a massive list of less explored places of India, these places are undoubtedly gorgeous. These are less known, and people don’t often visit frequently, which is one of the reasons why they are still nature’s best asset.

As the list is enormous, so don’t leave the page soon and keep scrolling down to continue.

Dzongu Valley, North Sikkim

The icy cold, rough terrain of Dzongu is situated in North Sikkim. Dzongu is a village dominated by the Lepcha community. This place is entirely left out untouched due to its poor infrastructure. Beautiful lush green valleys and water stream makes it a perfect offbeat destination of Northeast India.

Dzongu is n’t a place for faint heart people. If you are up for any adventurous trip, then you should give it a try.

Best way to reach:

 You can book a car from New Jalpaiguri station, West Bengal and hire a travel agent who can book a homestay for you in Dzongu area.

Note:

Carry enough cash with you as you won’t get any ATM nearby that place.

Dzongu is the less explored places of India

Lonar Crater Lake, Maharashtra

There is a historical fact behind this amazing Lonar lake in Maharashtra.

It says, almost 52,000 years ago, a meteor crashed in this region of the earth which makes a hole that was 1.8km wide and 150 m deep. Over time, the forest took over and the base of the lake transformed into a green lake.

Well, NASA scientist and Geological Survey of India has done much research on the secret Lonar lake. Most tourists don’t know about the existence of this lake, which of course has made it a less explored places of India.

Best Way to Reach:

Aurangabad is the nearby city. Buses are available from Aurangabad to Lonar which takes around 4-5 hours. Or you can directly book a car/private buss that runs overnight from Pune/Mumbai to Aurangabad.

Note:

If you are visiting Ajanta and Ellora which is a very popular tourist place and UNESCO site of India, do make sure to detour in Lonar. The best time to visit is during winter. Please avoid going during summer as the temperature goes up to 40C -43C.

Lonar lake in Maharashtra

Gurudongmar Lake, North Sikkim

North Sikkim is really the least explored destination of India. People from West Bengal and Northeast states visit North Sikkim often, but from the rest of the country, the percentage is meager.

Gurudongmar lake is one of the highest lakes in the world situated at an altitude of 17000 ft. Locals believe that the lake water is scared and has the power to heal.

Best way to reach:

From Gangtok, you need to reach Lachen, which is around 6 hours of drive, and it is also the nearest spot for accommodation. From Lachen, you can start your journey early morning towards Gurudongmar lake.

Note:

The road to Gurudongmar lake is very hostile, and the weather remains unpredictable due to the altitude. Make sure to take everything with you, which makes you comfortable in the journey like medicines, jackets, scarves, etc.

Gurudongmar lake in North Sikkim

Kudremukh National Park

All national parks in the earth are beautiful. With lush green forest around, it is nature’s paradise. Kudremukh National Park in Karnataka is such a place in India which remains an offbeat place to wander.

The national park is approximately situated 95 km away from Chikmagalur.

If you are that travel enthusiast who loves hiking or trekking and loves to be around the forest, then you may think of exploring this national park in India. Not only the forest, but you may also encounter different species of flora and fauna along with breathtaking waterfalls.

Best way to reach:

The nearest airport is the Mangalore airport, from here you can hire a private cab to the national park.

Note:

Get a trekking permit from the Forest office in Kudremukh town and camping is off the ground, so make sure you book your stay in a hotel nearby.  

kudremukh national park

Valparai

A beautiful nature’s paradise situated amidst the Anamalia mountain range in south India. A less known hill station which is covered with tea plantations, waterfalls, and dense forest is charming in its own way.

Instead of choosing Ooty or Munnar as your next trip to a hill station, you can explore the beauty of Valparai.

Best way to reach:

Well, the closest airport is Coimbatore airport, Valparai lies at a distance of around 120 km. You can take a bus or hire a rental car and drive to Valparai.

The best way to enjoy would be to self-drive through the narrow, curvy roads of Valparai.

Note:

It would be great if you could book a homestay or resort near the tea estate. The landscape looks excellent and eye-soothing.

Valparai

Chorla Ghat, Goa

A drive-through Chorla Ghat feels great during monsoon. Goa is one of the most visited tourist destinations in India. Often people take the easy way to reach Goa i,e by air.

How about a road trip?

Chorla Ghat is a perfect trip during monsoon as the view gets more scenic with lush green forest and waterfalls on your way. The ghat road gets interesting and exciting to drive.

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Best way to reach:

From Goa airport, Chorla ghat is around 65 km away. The best route would be from Calangute connecting Mapura, which will lead you to the ghat road. The road connectivity is functional and well-directed, so it won’t be difficult to reach.

Note:

Do not go if the rainfall is high there as landslide is very common during that time. So, if you are willing to go, then make sure to check the weather report of Chorla Ghat.

 Chorla ghat in Goa

Butterfly Conservatory of Goa

If you love butterflies, then this place would be perfect for you to go on your trip to Goa. You will be fascinated at once by the tons of colorful butterflies and many other small species of animals.

This is a conservatory for butterflies to keep them protected and a beautiful place for a morning stroll. The best thing about the place is there are lots and lots of plants which creates an ideal spot for the butterflies. The moment you enter, you will feel an entirely different world, a peaceful and colorful world of plants and butterflies.

Best way to reach:

The conservatory is situated around 4 km from Ponda Bus Stand.

Note:

If you have time, you can also visit Spice Plantations nearby.

Related article: Where should you go north Goa or south Goa?

less explored places in India butterfly conservatory of goa

Jaldapara National Park, West Bengal

Here is another one of the best National Park of India, which remains unexploited, which is good for maintaining a balance between nature and animals.

But if you are the one who loves to see animals roaming around freely, how about taking a trip to Jaldapara National Park.

The national park is famous and home to one-horned rhinoceros, Indian bison, Tigers, Leopard, Hof Deer, etc. Jaldapara National Park is located at the foothills of Eastern Himalayas and is home to a wide variety of both flora and fauna.

Especially during monsoon, the forest gets a boost from the rain and emerge as beautiful and rich in greenery.

You can enjoy an elephant safari and jeep safari and be the person to watch the wildlife from a near distance.

Best way to reach:

Bagdogra airport is the nearest to Jaldapara National park, and it is also well-connected by road.

Note:

Make sure to book your accommodation as early as possible because during the peak season forest bungalows for tourist get filled soon. People of West Bengal are highly fascinated by Jaldapara National Park. I hope people from the other states too come here and visit. You will get all the information on the above link. (Not sponsored)

Less explored places of India Jaldapara National Park

Ziro Valley, Arunachal Pradesh

The picturesque town of Arunachal Pradesh ‘Ziro’ was once untouched and unexplored by the outside people.

My father was posted in Arunachal Pradesh for three years during his days in the Indian Air Force. He has told me several tales of the place and their culture. Ziro was one of them, a small town where nature has bestowed all the beauty of the earth perhaps.

Ziro is unique and different from the outside world. The Ziro people and their culture are different. The town is home to the ‘Apatani tribe.’

These days they are trying to hold their tradition together, but Ziro has now become a tourist spot ever since it has been shortlisted as a UNESCO heritage site.

But still, it is considered as less explored places of India.

Best way to reach:

The nearest airport is Guwahati International airport, from here you can hire a cab to reach Ziro. Or if you choose to go by train, then from Guwahati airport, you can take the train to Naharlagun Station, which is closer to Ziro.

Note:

It would be best if you hire a guide, who will assist you on your trip to Ziro as you could face a language problem.

Ziro valley in Arunachal Pradesh

Tapola, Maharashtra

You must have heard of Mahabaleshwar, which is a popular hill station in Maharashtra.

Tapola is a hidden gem near Mahabaleshwar, having a quaint environment with magnificent lake and greenery all around. People visit Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar, but they don’t even know that there is a place name Tapola exist.

Learn More: 10 Ultimate Magical Monsoon Destinations in India

Best way to reach:

It’s the same route NH 48 through Pachngani, will lead you to this offbeat hill station of Maharashtra.

The nearest airport would be Pune airport, you can book a car or get a rental car and drive via NH 48. It’s easy.

Note:

Because Tapola is not a commercial tourist destination, so accommodation is hard to get. It is better to take the road from Mahabaleshwar to Tapola, which is around 1 hour of drive and after exploring the place, you can come back.

 Tapola, the less explored places of India

Tarkali, Maharashtra

Maharashtra is known for many amazing beaches apart from the beautiful Western Ghat. I am sure you all have heard of Alibaug, Kashid, Murud-Janjira but have you heard of ‘Tarkali’?

Tarkali is a peaceful and secluded place located in the Malvan region of Maharashtra. It is a tranquil village with the Konkan coastline, is a treasure for all the beach lovers. It is a less-known tourist destination which isn’t crowd filled yet the place has a lot of options for a fun vacation.

The pristine water of Tarkali will let you do snorkeling and scuba diving. The sunset looks gorgeous here.

So, if you want to skip the crowd of tourist, then Tarkali is an ideal option for you to make your trip worth.

Best way to reach:

The nearest international airport is Pune and Mumbai. The route from Mumbai to Tarkali is straight, just follow the Goa route till Kudal or you can also track the route till Kolhapur NH48.

There are several routes from Mumbai and Pune, depends on your preference which highway you want to take. All the road conditions are favorable so you can take any.

Note: Don’t forget to have Konkan cuisine dishes.

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Tarkali, the less explored places of India

Lepchajagat, West Bengal

As the name suggests, ‘Lapchajagat’ is home to the Lepcha tribe. Situated amidst the mountains and forest, it is a nature’s paradise. Lepchajagat is a secluded place, you can let your ears listen to the pleasant chirping of birds in the morning, sounds of crickets at night, and the hustling sound of the trees when the wind blows.

It is a beautiful and amazing small hill station in eastern India.

Best way to reach:

Lepchajagat is closer to the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station, approximately situated at a distance of around 95 km. The quaint hilly town is well-connected to roads from Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri.

You can easily get a cab from either the NJP railway Station and Bagdogra airport to reach Lapchajagat.

Note:

It is recommended to book your homestay or resort at least 2 months early from your travel date.

You can also check out a related article on best places to travel in West Bengal

Lepchajagat, West Bengal

Henry Island, West Bengal

West Bengal is home to several beautiful beaches and hill stations. Among the many, Henry Island is a hidden gem, an unpolluted environment with untouched seashore lines.

Best way to reach:

It takes around 5 hours to reach Henry Island from Kolkata city. The nearest airport is Kolkata International airport. If you want to take the train, then get to a train from Sealdah to Namkhana station and from there get a cab to Henry Island.

Note:

You can also explore Bishnupur and Sunderban Mangroves nearby.

The less explored places of India 'Henry Island'

Ponmudi Hills, Kerala

The two widely popular tourist destinations in Kerala are Munnar and Wayanad. Two different places that give the best of travel memories.

But how many of you have heard of Ponmudi hills? I am sure people who reside in Kerala they know pretty well about Ponmudi hills but do the outsiders know?

I have doubts.

Ponmudi is a peaceful and least visited hill station of Kerala. This place, although is considered a paradise for the trekkers and hikers. It is located in the Trivandrum district of Kerala, an absolutely serene spot which will give the tourist a deep respite of the city life.

Best way to reach:

Well, the nearest airport to Ponmudi would be Trivandrum International airport. If you hire a cab from the airport to Ponmudi, it will take around 2 hours to reach.

Note:

The road drive is scenic, so if you rent a self-drive car, you will enjoy the trip more.

 Ponmudi hills in Kerala

Marari Beach, Kerala

Marari beach is little known although, located not very far from the Alleppey in Kerala. The beach is usually a quiet one, heads of tourist can be seen mostly on weekends.

So, if your heart wants to make a visit to this calm beach and if you are staying near Alleppey, you can come here to explore.

Best way to reach:

Like I said, the nearest place is Alleppy, it takes only about 30-40 minutes to reach Marari beach.

Note:

The beach is ideal for a long walk, you will encounter with many local fishermen and their boats left behind on the beach. You will get the feeling of walking on the Palolem beach of Goa.

Marari beach in Kerala is the less explored places of India

Vembanad Lake, Kerela

Well, as you can see, there are so many less explored places of India are from Kerala itself. Here is another, ‘Vembanad lake in Kumarakom, is certainly an offbeat place in Kerela.

Vembanad lake is one of the longest lakes in India, an abundant source of surface water you can say.

The beauty of the lake is precisely undescribable and to feel the charm of it the village tourist department offer houseboat safari to their tourist.

Do you know that the snake boat race, which is famous throughout India during the Onam festival, is conducted in Vembanad lake.

Learn More: 15 Beautiful Honeymoon Destinations in South India that are Romantic

Best way to reach:

To reach Kumarakom, you have to take a cab from the Cochin International airport, which is around 16 km away. If you take the train, Ernakulam Railway station is the nearest, from where you can get a cab or autorickshaw to Kumarakom.

Note:

It is recommended to stay a night in the houseboat or at least book a boat safari of the Vembanad lake. It is worth to make your trip memorable.

Also, ignore coming during the monsoon, the best time of the year to come is winter.

Vembanad lake in Kerala

Bhangarh fort, Rajasthan

Bhangarh fort is famous for the historical and ghost haunting stories. It has been considered as one of the most haunted places in the country. Although, the fort is ruined mostly but still an exciting place to explore.

There are stories that the locals say about Bhangarh fort. Now, how much truth is there nobody knows.

As you all know, Jaipur is one of the most visited tourist destinations in India. There is so much to do and see in Jaipur that tourist often skip going to Bhangarh fort.

Best way to reach:

Well, the nearest airport is Jaipur International airport and to reach Bhangarh fort, you need to hire a cab which will roughly take 2 hours and 20 minutes to reach your destination.

Note:

Avoid going after evening. As it is prohibited to enter the fort after 6 pm.

Bhangarh fort, the less explored places of India

Kotkhai, Himachal Pradesh

Kotkhai is a small picturesque town, situated near to Shimla. A town, known as an ‘apple country.’ The town is home to a large production of apples.

It is a great weekend destination for the people who live in Delhi, Chandigarh or Haryana. The place indeed is offbeat. SO, you are looking for a day or two of respite from the hustle-bustle of city life, Kotkhai could be your place.

Best way to reach Kotkhai:

The nearest airport and railway station from Kotkhai is Shimla. It is only 60 km from Shimla. Cabs and local buses are readily available from the central city.

Note:

If you want to bounce Shimla for good, you can book a homestay in Kotkhai. That way, you will be able to explore more about the culture of the local people, and staying with them will keep you grounded.

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Image result for kotkhai

Miyar Valley, Himachal Pradesh

Have you heard of the Miyar valley? A valley situated in the Lahaul region of Himachal Pradesh, isolated and wrapped in the serene beauty of the Himalayas. It hasn’t been commercialized yet for tourist, which is good.

Some places should be kept off the reach from the outer world. With too much tourist, these places become dirty and polluted, which breaks the balance of nature.

But if you are a responsible traveler, then you deserve to go to this heavenly place of the earth.

Best way to reach:

As this is an off-the-wall area, the best way to reach would be through trekking. By road, you need to reach Keylong then Khanjar, and from there you have to go on foot.

Note:

Take a guide with you as you won’t get any accommodation comfort in this region. So, be well-versed with where you want to go and make a plan for each day at the start of your journey.

Miyar Valley

Kalpa, Kinnaur

In the list of less explored places of India ‘Kalpa’ has certainly earned its place. Kalpa is a peaceful village in Kinnaur district which is surrounded by lush green forest and snow-clad Kailash mountain at the background. Though it is not entirely an unknown destination, tourism plays a significant part in the livelihood of the people around here.

Still, it remains a less crowded place that offers a peaceful stay. So, if your travel priority is to get away from the crowd then probably Shimla won’t be a perfect option to go with instead choose to stay in Kalpa.

Best way to reach:

The nearest central town is Shimla and Kalpa is well-connected by road. It takes around 6-7 hours of drive to reach Kalpa. If you want a train trip, then the nearest railway station is Chandigarh and Shimla. But Shimla railway station is relatively small.

Note:

The climate of Kalpa is cold throughout the year, so keep in mind to pack only your warm clothes like a sweater, jacket, scarves, socks, etc.

The best time of the year to visit Kalpa would be summer. So, when the rest of the country is soaked in hot sunny waves, you can enjoy the pleasant cold climate of Kalpa.

Kalpa in Kinnaur

Malpe Beach & St. Mary’s Island, Udupi

Malpe beach is not very far from Udupi and is an excellent blend of turquoise blue water, white sands, and palm trees. The place resembles a perfect picture of a painting.

There is a small river named Malpe river, which is located right around the beach makes it looks serene.

St Mary’s Island is Malpe’s most popular attraction, the island looks like a paradise and has crystallized basalt rocks in various forms and shapes.

The is one of the least explored places in India. The majority don’t even know its existence.

Best way to reach:

From Udupi bus stand it is only 6km, and from the Udupi railway station, it is around 7 km. The nearest airport is Mangalore airport, from where it is approximately 60 km.

malpe beach

Halebidu, Karnataka

If you love temples and architecture, then Halebidu in the Hassan district is a must-visit place for you. The road connecting from Bangaluru to Halebidu is superb, with green fields on both the side and ample coconut trees to see.

Traveling post-monsoon will be the best time to visit this place, especially the road drive.

Best way to reach:

The distance from Bangalore to Halebidu is 221 km. Hassan is the nearest railway station to Halebidu. From Bangalore, it is best to hire a cab and reach Halebidu in 5 hours. Otherwise, buses are available daily from Bangalore to Halebidu.

Note:

If you are into the Indian heritage and old architecture then coming here won’t disappoint you.

 Halebidu - the least visitedplace in India

Chikaldara, Maharashtra

Chikaldara in Amravati district of Maharashtra is one of the hidden charms which is little known outside the state. Maharashtra gets gorgeous during monsoon with its tons of waterfalls, lush green forest and the ghat roads get attractive.

Chikaldara is the only hill station in the Vidarbha region, but it hasn’t been commercialized yet like Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar. There are a few major viewpoints.

Best way to reach:

It takes around 7 hours by road to reach Chikaldara from Mumbai, which is far. So, the best possible road is to reach Nagpur, stay there overnight and then start your journey the next day to a 230 km road trip.

Same goes for Pune too.

Note:

It is recommended to choose your stay at MTDC in Chikaldara.

Chikaldara in Maharashtra

Majuli, Assam

In my list of less explored places in India, I would undoubtedly add Majuli of Assam – world’s largest river island. Majuli has been shortlisted as a UNESCO’s World Heritage site, which is a proud factor for the people of the state.

The island has formed by Brahmaputra and Subansari river. The surprising fact about this island is it is a district. Majuli represents Assamese tradition and culture of which they are very proud of.

If you ever think of visiting this nature’s beautiful island, try to understand and explore Assamese ritual and customs.

Best way to reach:

The nearest airport is Guwahati, so you have to take a flight till Guwahati then a train from Guwahati to Jorhat and from Jorhat station you can get a cab to Nimati ghat ferry dock.

The ferry will take you to Majuli.

Note:

Majuli is a village island, people there are simple so try to be as polite as possible, and you must try their local Assamese cuisine.

Majuli, Assam

Mawlynnong, Meghalaya

Mawlynnong is the cleanest village in Asia, and it has been awarded the title of cleanliness by Discover India. Not only cleanliness, this small village has also achieved 100% literacy rate and women empowerment.

This small village where the climate remains pleasant throughout the year is one of the least visited places by the tourist.

Mawlynnong is home to the Khasi tribe (the only tribe in India which has left behind the patriarchal power and women are the decision-maker).

It is also famous for the ‘Living Root Bridges’.

Best way to reach:

By air, Shillong is the nearest airport, which is located at a distance of 78 km from Mawlynnong. If you are going by train, then Guwahati is the nearest railway station. Buses and cabs are available to reach Mawlynnong.

Note:

Try to embrace the simplicity of local people and make sure not to throw garbages on the side of the road. Keep it clean and respect their tradition.

 Mawlynnong, Meghalaya

Conclusion:

Above places in India are the less explored and least visited, instead of visiting the popular tourist destinations like Shimla, Ooty, Jaipur, Coorg, Ladakh, etc. You can choose to spend your vacation in these places and boost their economy.

Note: Please travel responsibly. Don’t throw or dump garbage here and there on the road, it affects the balance of nature.

Keep nature clean and green, be a responsible citizen and traveler.”

Hello, I am Paulomi Dutta stay in Pune, India with my loving husband. I love to read, travel and cook. I have been thinking about blogging for the past three years and now finally all is set to start my World Up Close. I will be writing about places, relationships, good and smart living and lastly, will be writing on money and financial tips. My motive is to help others through whatever knowledge I have and can share with you all. Being an introvert person, two things I love the most painting and writing. Both involve sharing thoughts with the outer world. I hope my little effort to help through my articles will be appreciable and noticed. Thank you.

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