In religion, India is the only millionaire – the One land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for all the shows of all the rest of the globe combined. – Mark Twain
India is a land of many wonders, languages, scenic landscapes and beautiful people. There are so many things you can do here, that it would not compare to any experiences that you might have as you travel around the world. It holds many surprises: enchanting, exhilarating and energizing! And after a long and difficult period of mulling over the long and seemingly never-ending list of destination options that I had in hand, I finally came up with this list of astoundingly beautiful locations where you can just throw your head back and enjoy the sprinkles of happiness that Nature showers on you.
I used to tell myself that my dreams of roaming the world take a backseat when travel dreams in India come into picture, for there is so much to experience within India itself that the world will have to wait. But life doesn’t work that way. It gives us curveball after curveball, and in my bid to dodge them, all I can do is make list after list. And as I do this, my travel to-do list grows by the day.
So this Travel Tuesday, here are the 15 places in India that I want to visit. Irrespective of when I end up going to these places, I know that I will treat them with excitement and there will be bunches of photos on my social media. 🙂
Bekal Fort, Kerala
If you ask me why I want to go to this place, I wouldn’t have an answer for you. All I can say is that as I scrolled through pictures of this fort and the beach and the waters around it, I was instantly transported to this place. I could feel the spray of the sea water and the sun on my face. And though I wouldn’t want to get tanned (remember Miami?), it gives me a bliss that I just cannot afford to let go of the hope of finding some day.
Chandertal Lake, Himachal Pradesh
Sitting at the edge, legs stretched out, just kissing the waters that gently lap against the earth, as the mountains loom around me – an automatic smile forms on my lips as I envision it. How could one not experience peace in such an atmosphere? How can I not contemplate life and envision the hugeness of it all? The importance of my existence while I’m just a speck in the grand scheme of things? Okay, I’m getting carried away. But I hope it’s towards this place. 😛
Indira Point, Nicobar
Looking across the waters of the Indian Ocean and knowing that I have touched the southernmost tip of India would be one of the most amazing things ever. It would mean so much more to me than just dreaming of going there! I would love to get into that lighthouse there and throw a glance in all directions! What an experience that would be and what satisfaction to actually have a dream come true of the 15 places in India on my bucket list!
Sar Pass, Himachal Pradesh
Honestly, this seems like a far away dream and I don’t know if it will come true. But if it does – if I manage to make it come true, it’s going to be lovelier than anything I could ever think of. My arthritis is going to be a bigger pain in the bum than anything, but trekking up this pass, surrounded by snow covered mountains and breathing in the fresh mountain air, and gazing down upon the frozen Sar lake as the same mountains provide a breathtaking backdrop! I’m not sure I’ll be able to contain my joy! Wow! 😀
Meaning “Horse-Face” in Kannada, this mountain peak provides a wonderful view on the lush greenery and the picturesque outlines of the cloud-covered mountains in the distance. Just standing on the edge of the peak would give an immensely satisfying rush, irrespective of how afraid of heights I am or how dizzy I would feel or the 10,000 possibilities that would rush through my mind, all involving me losing balance and falling off. 😛
Belum Caves, Andhra Pradesh
Eerily lit, yet, it fills you with wonder as you imagine yourself walking through the paths that are shadowed by low hanging rock ceilings. We’d been here in 2014 and it was everything that I’d thought it would be! It’s an absolutely thrilling experience, although I barely remember anything because my memory is a piece of sh- ANYWAY. The point is: that’s one place ticked off this bucket list. 😛
Hill stations seem like the best holiday retreats ever. Beautiful sceneries, clouds and cool breeze. All of it makes you breathe the fresh air in and never want to let go of the peace that shrouds you as you stand at the top and look down about the greenery. Why haven’t I ever been here before? Okay, let’s not open that door!
Another hill station, this time, in Kerala. A beautiful hill station in God’s Own Country, this place gives me visions of myself living in a beautiful tree house (even if it is creepy) after backpacking across wonderful paths and taking in as much Nature as is physically, emotionally and mentally possible. We’d been to Wayanad on a fleeting trip that was very eventful. More about that in a separate post. But something about Kerala stuck with me, and since then, I’ve dreamt and dreamt about it. Yes, despite now having arthritis and despite the very thought of trekking filling me with dread. Beauty is beauty.
Chitrakoot Falls, Chhattisgarh
Just looking at this picture makes me want to stand at the head of the waterfall and wash my feet in the rushing water, though definitely not in the monsoon season, where the water gushes like crazy. Of course, we wouldn’t be able to get in in the first place because the region is closed off due to the force, but let’s not get stuck on technicalities. Just look at that sight, man! Ah!
Gurudongmar Lake, Sikkim
Sitting on one side of the lake, on blankets, with a picnic basket open by my side, a book in my hand or lilting music singing in my ears and looking across the wavy yet steely surface of the lake to the clouds dancing around the mountainous summit. What would I give to experience this! [Anything but my books. Grrr!]
Filled with promises of water sports and that of a proper wildlife experience, Dandeli has always been on my list. We’d planned a trip years ago but due to unforeseen circumstances, which involved a friend meeting with a freak accident, we had to cancel it. The lost swoosh of the imagined water and the bellow of the elephant sound in my ears as I think of Dandeli. I just hope I can visit there soon!
Wagah Border, Punjab
I cringed as I read my previous reasons for wanting to visit the Wagah Border. But present me thinks that I just want to be part of something that separates two countries that were once part of a bigger one. I don’t know if that’s a valid enough reason and I don’t even know if I will be able to. I’ve seen people diss on the experience of visiting this border, but let me see for myself, if I ever can.
Jog Falls, Karnataka
As I look at this picture of four different streams of water falling from a height and becoming one as they touch the water body below, I want to feel the water at my fingertips and get drenched in the coolness as it comes crashing down below. Yes, it’s unheard of for me because of how annoyed by water and rain in particular I get. But this dream, somehow, is one I want to live.
Pangong Tso Lake, Jammu & Kashmir
(I let out a mighty sigh as I reached this picture while editing this article. Just. WOW.) Well… This lake has been on my mind ever since I watched Kareena Kapoor ride a scooter on the sands in 3 Idiots and Anushka Sharma take a dive in Jab Tak Hai Jaan. How wonderful it would be if I sat on the sands surrounding the lake, in the sunset, with pen and paper in hand and wrote about the greatness of the sceneries surrounding me! Is that really too much to ask? Maybe. But sometimes, we do need to ask, don’t we? Or we don’t get what we want. Isn’t that how the saying goes?
Dudhsagar Waterfalls, Goa
I have been to Goa twice. And both times, I could not make the time to go to these wonderful falls that fall at such a great speed and with such great hurry, that the fizz makes it look as white as milk. Hence the name “Dudhsagar” (Hindi for ‘Sea of Milk’). I know. I’m ashamed of me, too. (Or am I?) But Dudhsagar is top on my list, for I want to watch the water come crashing down as the train chugs past it on the bridge that is in the foreground of this wonderful water body. It seems like a dream to me and one that is within my reach. When I will do something about it is the big question.
It’s difficult to choose just a few places in a country that sings songs of heritage and beauty. But these come easily off the top of my mind.
What do you think of these places? Have you visited any? Do you plan to visit any? Which of these should I visit first, if I get the chance? Which are on your ’15 places in India on my bucket list’ list? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!
I’ll be back soon with a new post. Until next time, keep traveling (responsibly), and add melodrama to your life! 🙂