India: Off the Beaten Track, Yes Indeed

From child-free hotels to bargain luxury breaks, there’s a package holiday to suit us all. Of course, nobody can deny that the internet has given us a lot more choice regarding our holidays, with late deals and offers on all kinds of destinations. However, if you’re yearning for something just a little bit different this year, you’re not alone.

The world is a big place and is still largely undiscovered. Nowhere else is this more the case than in India, arguably one of Asia’s most beautiful places to visit for an ‘off the beaten track’ holiday.

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If finding a new perspective on travelling appeals to you, here are a few places you should take the time to explore.

Sunset in India

Gokarna

As you’d expect from a country that has over 3500 miles of coastline, there are many beach destinations to choose from. Gokarna, on the west coast of mainland India, is one such town. The combination of beach and temple make it a place of pilgrimage for Sanskrit students and somewhere that little bit different for tourists to visit. Four of the region’s most pristine beaches are located in the wider area of Karnataka making it an ideal destination if you are new to ‘free-spirit’ travel.

Gokarna

Kasol

Did you know that India has more than 20 mountain ranges? Each one of them provides their own view, trek and climb. If standing at the top of the mountain and contemplating the serenity of the world that lies before you is your thing, consider the hill station of Kasol in northern India. The mountains and the nearby hot springs provide a welcome contrast to the bustling commercialism in some of India’s more widely visited tourist areas.

auroville puducherry

Auroville

India is much more than beautiful scenery and if you are looking for a holiday unlike any you have experienced then Auroville is for you. This township in southern India was set up to promote peace and harmony in the modern world. With an emphasis on non-religious unity, the town is a real experience for the world-weary traveller. It’s about values, and there’s no place like Auroville to learn them and also to broaden your horizons.

The typical tourist wants to see Delhi, the Taj Mahal, Gandhi’s tomb, but there’s so much more to see in India, and you’re not the typical tourist either, are you? India is full of natural beauty and opportunities to enrich not just your knowledge of the country, but also to enrich your soul through travel. That’s an opportunity that should never be wasted.

Dalton Littlewood is a lecturer in Sanskrit and Indian culture and also a travel lover. When not indulging in his love of Indian culture or travelling, he likes to relax with his saxophone or read a good jazz biography.

Images by Ananth BS, Raman Sharma and Barry Pousman used under creative commons license.

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