Just like its humongous and diametrically different castes and religions, India also comes all dressed up with outstanding, regular and mundane tourist destinations.
India’s regular tourist destinations can be boring, overcrowded and dirty — but there do exist some places that are strange and mysterious, and most of all, not frequented by a large number of tourists.
Here is a list of 7 must-see strange and weird Indian places:
- Roopkund, or Skeleton Lake (Uttarakhand)
Roopkund is a shallow lake made from melted glaciers. It is located at a height of around 16,500 feet above sea level. The area around the lake is uninhabited (who in his right mind will live next to glaciers and snow-capped mountains) and extremely remote. But it makes for a great trekking destination.
The mystery element behind the lake can be traced way back to 1942 when a ranger discovered about 200 human skeletons at the edge of the lake.
It was initially believed that the skeletons were of Japanese soldiers who died trying to cross this route in Word War II. Later, scientists found that the skeletons were of people from a 9th century Indian tribe that perished in a hailstorm.
There is just one hotel near Roopkund (GMVN) and visiting the lake makes sense only for the trekker who can rough it out. Others should stay away.
- Malana, or The Ancient Indian Village High On Cannabis (Himachal Pradesh)
Malana perhaps is the only Indian village that remains isolated from the rest of India. Perched about 10,000 feet above sea level, Malana has its own social structure, and its inhabitants claim that it is one of the oldest democracies of the world with a well-organized parliamentary system, guided by the their devta (deity) Jamlu rishi (from the Puranas). Another theory claims that Malana was founded by Alexander The Great’s army.
Malana-ians speak in Kanashi, which is hybrid Sanskrit-Tibetan. No one else understands this language. Malana’s USP is the Malana Creme (pure Hashish or weed). This is one reason why the village is sought after by westerners for dum maro dum purposes.
The non-trekker way of reaching Malana is from the village Jari (Kullu valley). From there, it is a six hours walk to to Malana (12 km). The route is dotted with scenic waterfalls and greens. The nearest Airport is at Buntar.
Image sourced from: https://mysterioushimachal.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/photo8.jpg
- The Mummy of Gue Village (Spiti Mountain, Himachal Pradesh)
In the 15th Century when Columbus was busy conquering America, Sangha Tenzin, a monk from Gue Village was busy mummifying himself because he believed that his death would rid his village of a scorpion plague.
Sangha was the true Scorpion King but Hollywood refuses to acknowledge that fact.
The weird thing about Sangha Tenzin’s mummy is that it is embalmed naturally. And no one can figure out how. You can see his hair and teeth, and even his eyes, which are miraculously intact.
If you believe in mystery tourism, Gue is the place to head for. It is a barren and isolated village and you will have to rough it out on risky roads, but the visit is worth it for the true blue adventure seeker.
The nearest tourist gateway to Gue is Kaza, which you can reach once you arrive at Manali or Shimla.
- The Living Root Bridges of Cherrapunji (Meghalaya)
Villagers have created bridges from the aerial roots of mighty Banyan trees In Cherrapunji, Meghalaya.
The aerial roots are encouraged to grow through betel tree trunks placed across rivers and streams. The roots keep growing till they reach the other side of the river, and are then fastened and stabilized with sticks, stones, etc.
Each bridge takes 15 years to make and it can last for as long as 100+ years. Queen of the bridges is the Umshiang Double Decker Bridge. Some say it is 500 years old. One look at these bridges and you’ll be transported into the Omaticaya clan era of Avatar (the James Cameron flick).
Cherrapunji is the wettest places on Mother Earth and you must avoid it between June and August. To reach it, travel to Guwahati by air or rail and then take a bus.
- Loktak Lake, The Lake That Supports Floating Islands (Manipur)
Loktak is an amazing freshwater lake that has islands floating over it (phumdis). The Keibul Lamjao, which is considered as the only floating national park in the world, floats over this legendary lake.
Scientists have invented fancy names for all the fantastic vegetation and organic matter that floats over the lake. The lake is rich in fauna too with 70+ species of water and wetland birds, 425 species of animals, including rare animals such as the Indian python, sambhar and barking deer.
The lake makes for a fantastic trip for nature lovers. Loktak is well-connected by road to Imphal. The nearest airport is the Tulihal Airport.
- Kodinhi, The Twin Town (Kerala)
Kodinhi, a village located in Malappuram district of Kerala, is famous for an unusually large number of twin births. Per Wikipedia, there were 204 instances of twins born as of 2008.
There are other places in the world that witness the birth of a large number of twins. Igibo-Ora in Nigeria being one of them. Scientists have always correlated the birth of twins with women’s diets. In Igibo-Ora, women consume a specific tuber, which has been directly connected to the large number of twin births. However, there’s no such correlation in the case of Kodinhi, where women consume the same diet as the rest of Kerala.
Some say that the water contains ingredients that trigger twins. But no one knows for sure.
Kerala is a popular tourist destination in South India and you will not face any problems in reaching Kodinhi.
- Bhimbetka Rock Shelters, Earliest Traces of Human Life In India (Madhya Pradesh)
Located just 45 km from Bhopal, Bhimbetka is home to about 700 rock shelters that contain the earliest traces of human life in India (1,00,000 years ago). 400 of these shelters have paintings, which are over 30,000 years old. These shelters signify the beginning of the South Asian Stone Age. The caves also contain evidence of dancing.
Bhimbetka makes for an amazing and intriguing tourist destination.
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