1. THE VALLEY OF FLOWERS, UTTARKHAND
Among the naturally beautiful places in India, The Valley of Flowers could well be one of its kind in the world. If you are a nature lover and still longing for a site to take your breath away then visit the Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand India. A world heritage site and home to a diverse collection of Alpine flora, the valley has few comparisons in the world to match its vibrant and panoramic beauty of color.
Discovered by mountaineers Frank Smythe, Eric Shipton and Holdsworth in 1931, it is accessible from Rishikesh to Govindghat by road. Thereafter it’s a trek to the Valley that will take you through a magical experience of a lifetime.
In august the entire valley explodes in a riot of color with its innumerous flowers blanketing the region. The valley is also home to endangered animal species such as the snow leopard and the musk deer.
2. SAND DUNES OF JAISALMER, RAJASTHAN
As a tourist you may question why sand dunes? And aren’t all deserts alike. Well this is one desert that has a charm of its own. The charismatic sand dunes of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan have been created by forceful wind speed adopting a unique symmetry to portray some vivid scenery at sunrise and sunset. Jaisalmer itself is a city that plays to the senses with ethnic villages surrounding the desert.
The best way to explore the area is by a camel safari that takes you across the awesome Thar Desert. A major attraction for tourists worldwide is the exploration of the Sam sand dunes during the festival period of February and March when the entire area turns into a festive display of Rajasthan culture.
3. ZANSKAR VALLEY LEH
Mountains and valleys, the world over never fail to disappoint as regions of tranquil splendor. It is even more so with the awesome Zanskar Valley in Ladakh India. The Zanskar valley at 13,000 ft. lies in the very heart of the Himalayas in the Ladakh region. Being a fairly isolated area and accessible only between June to September, the picturesque Zanskar valley can be reached from the Himalayan region of Padum 464 kms from Leh. You can get some fairly decent hotels and cheap guest houses in the area.
Apart from its magnificent views of the Himalayas, the valley also plays host to a number of Buddhist monasteries with foundations dating back to the 11th century AD.
4. BACKWATER LAGOONS, KERALA
‘Gods own country’ as it is known in India, this is perhaps one incredible experience you may not find anywhere else in the world. To live on a houseboat in the enchanting backwaters of Kerala is truly a magical experience.
Stretching over 1500 kms throughout Kerala the brackish backwaters serve as a vital waterway link to inaccessible areas. The waterways double as popular tourist attraction due to the amazing journey that takes you through forests and regions of natural unparalleled splendor. Hiring a houseboat for your stay as well as a cruise down the tranquil lagoons, you’re definitely going to return a second time.
5. YUMTHANG VALLEY, SIKKIM
No trip to the eastern Himalaya is complete without visiting Yumthang valley. Located in the state of Sikkim, Yumthang is all abloom with short rhododendron with a panoramic mighty Himalayan peak rising as a majestic canopy over the tree line.
At 11,800 feet, Yumthang is famous for its hot sulphur springs known for medicinal properties. Yumthang is extremely close to Tibet and is accessible from Lachung village. Best season to visit Yumthang would be February to June when the valley is abloom with a large number of Himalayan flowers.
6. HOGENAKKAL WATERFALLS, TAMIL NADU
One of the most interesting and naturally beautiful places in India for a great vacation with friends, the stunning Hogennakkal waterfalls is also known as the Niagara of India. Located in the Melagiri hills of Tamil Nadu, India, the waterfalls are part of the river Kaveri and popular as a natural spectacle by virtue of its large expanse covering a wide area.
Accessible from Dharmapuri town by boat, Hoggenakal is a virtual water haven where you can actually explore the area in a coracle or bamboo boat.
7. LAKSHWADEEP ISLANDS
Sandy beaches, azure waters and a haven called Lakshadweep. Where else but in India can you get such an amazing diversity of natural beauty. From mountainous valleys to island lagoons, Lakshadweep with it’s submerged coralline banks and coral reefs are reminiscient of a tropical paradise.
Lakshadweep islands being the only atolls in the Indian Ocean are relatively pristine in nature, hence their virgin habitat makes a great place for a short relaxing vacation. You can easily book a stay at the Bangaram island resort situated on the uninhabited island of Bangaram. Plenty of water sport and activities available here.
8. BHITARKANIKA WETLANDS, KENDRAPPA ODISHA
A UNESCO world heritage site these unique mangrove forests are second to the great sundarbans of Bengal in area. Oozing a charm of its own, a stay here will fill you with the pleasant sights and sounds of an ethereal forest. Home to a diverse ecosystem, Bhitarkanika is famous for its saltwater crocodiles some 22 feet in length. It is also the nesting place and breeding ground for the endangered Olive Ridley turtle.
An ideal spot for wild life enthusiasts, the Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary has plenty of tourist accommodation. It is easily accessible by road from Bhubaneswar the capital of Odisha.
9. LAVA, KALIMPONG WEST BENGAL
If you’re looking for a sleepy mountain hamlet to spend a quiet peaceful night waking to a misty morning, then lava in Kalimpong is just right for you. The two quaint mountain hamlets of lava and loleygaon in Darjeeling district is just a 1.5 hour drive from kalimpong town. The mountain villages are an ocean of peace, perfect for a lazy getaway from the usual hustle and bustle of the typical tourist rush in neighboring Darjeeling.
At 7,000 ft, the entire area consists of coniferous forest where Lava is a base town for the popular keora valley national park. The Park is a bird watchers delight with species such as the wren babbler, blue robin and fulvetta finch.
10. MEADOWS OF KANHA NATIONAL PARK
The Kanha National park in Madhya Pradesh is one place where you can experience not just the spectacle of nature but its awesome raw splendor in the form of the Royal Bengal tiger. Yes if you want to see the royal majestic Bengal Tiger upfront, Kanha is an ideal place to visit.
It was here in Kanha that Rudyard Kipling derived inspiration for his famous “jungle Book”. The tiger reserve does not disappoint among the naturally beautiful places in India with its dense vegetation and its lush meadows which are a tranquil experience in the early hours of the morning or at twilight.