Chatpal hides itself away from all the popular tourist places in Kashmir , and is an epitome of the perpetual beauty of this Valley. Since the place has been mentioned in less travel blogs so far, it remains a hidden secret amongst the ones with serious wanderlust. Imagine spending your vacation by the side of the river of cool waters; you can bask on the lush meadows appreciating the surroundings that is filled with quietude.
Chatpal is perfect for family trip or visiting with your partner. This offbeat destination in Kashmir is in the Shangus district in Kashmir Valley and can be reached by road via Anantnag and Chitergul. One can hire a cab from Srinagar for Chatpal or till Chitergul.
From Chitergul, one can hike to Chatpal to add some adventure in their trip. Note: As most of the drivers are unaware of Chatpal, it is recommended to use Google Map navigation directions from Anantnag onwards. Askot defines what an offbeat destination is. Since fewer people know about Askot, you can have this place to all by yourself if you choose this offbeat escape in the Himalayas. The ones who know about this place, are aware of the beautiful wildlife sanctuary that is home to the rare Musk Deer sprawling here.
Your visual treat in Askot will included lush Pine, Deodar, Rhododendron Forests, and the gurgling streams against the stunning backdrop of Chhiplakot and the Panchchuli Range with the Nepal Mountains. If you take train till Kathgodam in Kumaon Region in Uttarakhand, then for Askot you have to hire a cab to take up a road journey of km.
The good news is, now there is flight connectivity between Dehradun and Pithoragarh. The recently opened airport in Pithoragarh is 52 km away from Askot. Either way, it will save a lot of time and your energy as well. In case you fail to get one of those booked, you can also stay in Pithoragarh which has a wide array of hotels. Kashmir never ceases to surprise with its beauty, and one of the fine examples of it, is Gurez Valley. In fact, Gurez is one of the finest unexplored hill destinations in India with crystal clear streams that pave their way through velvety meadows; tall mountains that are often snow-clad; and lush greenery of alpine forest.
One thing that is clearly unique in Gurez from any other offbeat hill stations in India, is the razor wire fencing, yes Gurez shares border with Pakistan, but unlike other border sharing destinations in the Valley, this one remains completely peaceful. It is a place where apart from soaking in the beauty of Kashmir and witnessing its authentic tribal culture, you can spend time introspecting. Gurez Valley is perfect for a solo trip or with people sharing the same love for culture and nature, and a lot of adventure.
Since it is offbeat with probably one or two accommodations in the entire valley, you could also be invited by the locals to stay with them. We often ignore South India when it comes to hill stations or stick to popular hill stations like Ooty and Kodaikanal. What we forget is that India is diverse and it can never cease to surprise. Both Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats are home to some offbeat South Indian hill stations to explore that are perfect for summer holidays.
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Kemmangundi is one such destination, situated in Chikkamagaluru district in the state of Karnataka. Some odd km from Bengaluru, Kemmangundi is a place where you get to forget all about the harsh realities of the world and unwind amidst the surreal landscape. There are waterfalls, mountain streams, and lush vegetation that contribute to the serenity of this place. There is a spectacular sunset view from the Raj Bhavan which you would love to have a sight of.
Kemmannugundi is 53 km from Chikkamagaluru and 17 km from Lingadahalli by road. There is another route via Mullayyanagiri and Attigundi, which is a scenic drive. If you are taking public transport, then you can catch a private bus from Lingadahalli.
There is also a Horticulture Department Guest House in Kallathi village, where the famous Kallathi waterfall is located. Himachal Pradesh is a repository of many surreal places, it is also one of those places in North India that has no dearth of offbeat destinations. Kalpa in the Kinnaur District in the upper realm of Himachal Pradesh is one such place that can turn any ordinary summer holiday into something magical. You can see the gurgling Sutlej River flowing below through deep gorges, ah, the view is going to make you go weak in the knees. There are a number of treks that you can enjoy around this town in Himachal Pradesh.
Also you can visit the border village of Chitkul situated a short distance away from Kalpa. Kalpa is well-connected by road and can be reached via Shimla or Manali. From Reckong Peo you can take another bus to Kalpa.
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There are a number of hotels in Kalpa and Reckong Peo. The best stay experience would be to stay in upper Kalpa where the views are absolutely breathtaking. Tungi caught my eyes, when a friend from North India posted her picture on Instagram. The green triangle hill in the picture behind her was something that won my heart. An ideal thing to do in Tungi beside relaxing and rejuvenating yourself is trekking to Pavna Lake. An easy 85 km drive from Pune can lead to Tungi. As simple as that! Kurseong cannot be termed offbeat, to be honest. This place already has its mark on the tourism map but it is definitely a place a lot of people cannot imagine to exist in the state of West Bengal.
This hill station is situated some 30 km from Darjeeling. Unlike other offbeat summer destinations in this list, Kurseong can be crowded but its the sprawling tea estates, surreal sunset views, the background of Kanchanjunga and Ghoom Range, and pleasing weather that give enough reasons to visit. Toy Train from Darjeeling is one of the ideal ways to reach Kurseong.
You can also choose to drive from Darjeeling to this destination. How about getting a better view of Kachenjunga? While Kurseong can trigger your interest in Kanchenjunga Peak, Yuksom in Sikkim can be the right place to make your dream come true to have an unforgettable view of the Himalayan Peak at close quarters. In North West Sikkim , Yuksom is a place that many trekkers are acquainted with but tourists in general hardly have a clue about. This destination in North East India, mark my words is ideal for offbeat tourism.
Away from all the rush, Yuksom boasts not only unparalleled view of Kanchenjunga or Khanchendzonga Peak but a glimpse of rich flora and fauna as well. It is a perfect destination for adventure lovers with many treks including the Kanchenjunga Base Camp on offer in its vicinity.
If you decide to fly, Pakyong in Sikkim is the nearest airport which is around km away. Hire a taxi here to Yuksom. For those wanting to reach by train, the nearest railhead is New Jalpaiguri at a distance of km. There are some hotels in Yuksom. Most of them are budget hotels where you can only expect basic amenities. But for the rest of the country, this place has not been making many rounds as a holiday destination, and thus, it had to be in the list.
Let me surprise you with the fact that Dandeli is situated at a close proximity to Goa. So, where was it on a tourism map all along you ask? Well, the place is a favourite weekend destination for people of Bengaluru. Dandeli boasts dense foliage, meaning that it is a place with a potential of becoming hot favourite of nature lovers.
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One can enjoy staying in the camps here, relishing the quietude, good weather, and a sight of rich fauna along with white water rafting adventure. Dandeli can be reached easily by road. Bengaluru is some km away and easy to drive from there as well.