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Off the Beaten Path

Sometimes it is rewarding to leave the ‘Yellow Brick Road’ as many beautiful untouched destinations, off the beaten path, may satisfy our wanderlust like never before

Published: 13th January 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th January 2015 01:48 AM   |  A+A-

Since I was a child and first read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, I have wondered, “What if Dorothy got off the Yellow Brick Road? Where would she reach?” This curiosity has made me an avid traveller and with inquisitiveness comes the urge to see places that are not crowded by thousands of tourists. Believe it or not, our own country has some of these unexplored, beautiful spots that you can travel to.

If you like historical destinations with forts and palaces like Agra, Jaipur and Delhi, why not try the town of the Bundelas, Orchha? From beautiful views overlooking the Betwa River to the enchanting Orchha Palace with its connected buildings, this place has a lot to offer.

Hampi is another historical town with its own set of beautiful ruins. Like the pyramids of Egypt, the temples here will leave you amazed by their architecture and make you wonder how people built them at a time when no modern building tools or machinery were available. Hampi is just a train ride from the tourist filled beaches of Goa so if you are exhausted fighting for space with the sunscreen slathered throng, this little town will be a nice break.

Nature.jpgThe State of Maharashtra is home to many such hidden places, the most beautiful of which definitely is the Kaas Plateau. Best visited during or just after the monsoons, this plateau is covered in flowers (much like the field of poppies in the aforementioned book and movie, The Wizard of Oz). Termed ‘The Valley of Flowers’, this spot of natural beauty has around 150 species of flora thriving there. If the natural beauty of flowers is what attracts you to a place then why not spend a couple of days in the cantonment town of Kasauli which is often called a flower basket? If the colonial architecture, moderate climate and preserved greenery does not fulfil your traveller’s itch then the Kasauli Brewery definitely will!

Almost everyone has heard of the Grand Canyon and India has an equivalent to the Grand Canyon, which is relatively unexplored. Gandikota in Andhra Pradesh is a village where the Pennar River cuts through this massive canyon. Man has tried to tame this wonderful natural landscape by building a fort, a mosque and some temples. They are all worth a visit, but of course, it all pales in front of the majestic canyon.

If hill stations are your favourite and you are bored of Simla, Mussoorie, Nainital and Kullu Manali, you should give Daringbadi in Odisha a shot. Odisha is a hot State but if you are looking for snow in the winter, you can count on this little town to provide it. If not, you can still enjoy the pleasant climate while sipping fresh coffee at one of the coffee plantations there or admire the natural beauty of the hills and the waterfalls. The very scenic yet unexplored Horsley Hills near Bangalore will give you uninterrupted views of a glorious mountainous terrain. Though there is not much to do in these towns in terms of activities, you can decide if you want to go exploring, do a nature walk, go bird-watching or just laze around at a quaint guest house while admiring the beauty of the spot.

These innumerable unexplored towns, villages and tourist spots dot the map of India. On visiting these places, one can reap the benefits of taking the road not taken as you explore the untouched and uncrowded beauty of these places.



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