The European countryside has always been a fascinating place to travel, with virgin, green landscape and snow covered mountains. Crisp, clean air compliments the immaculate scenery with new cultures to explore just miles away. But who’s to say that India has any less. Far from the manic, grimy cities lay lands as verdant and unspoiled as any you’d expect in the most luxuriant places in the world, at a fraction of the cost.
Fondly known as the Scotland of India, Coorg’s natural beauty will haunt you long after you depart. From mountains to valleys, Coorg is lush green every which way you look. Go trekking through misty hills to see stunning waterfalls, rivers and lakes or opt for a day angling or river rafting. Try the famous Kodava pandi curry and of course their world famous Coorg coffee.
Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh
Switzerland of India- Sitting on a small plateau surrounded by mountains with a small stream fed lake as its centre, very few places in the world can boast beauty comparable to Khajjiar, including the country it’s dubbed after. Trekking through here, you will discover wilderness so untouched, it seems time forgotten.
Often compared to the Lake District in England, sits one of India’s most beautiful and popular hill stations. Located on a forested hill dotted with lakes, Nainital stands the pearl in the Himalayan necklace. The most prominent of these lakes, Naini Lake is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva performed his Tandava. Magical beauty and history along with the luxuries expected from a place this popular make Nainital a premier holiday destination in the Himalayas.
Gurudongmar Lake, Sikkim
At a height of 17,800 feet, Gurudongmar Lake, sacred to both Buddhists and Sikhs, sits as one of the highest lakes in the world. If it’s winter magic you are looking for, look no further. Surrounded by snow capped mountains, Gurudongmar stands a picture of pale perfection that resembles Jokulsarlon in Iceland.
Alleppey, though known as the ‘Venice of the East’, is so much more in terms of natural beauty. Palm and coconut trees replace the man made structure that bank Venice, beaches replace jetties, houseboats replace gondolas and miles of paddy fields replace stone roads. Just as Venice has its city charm, Alleppey encompasses natural glory – the common thread being the network of canals that crisscross across the towns.
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