When we think of vacations we hardly venture outside of cities and towns, however, there remain a few villages in India where you can enjoy surreal views and breath-in the fresh desi air without any city-like interruptions. Here is a list of 7 picturesque villages in India that are perfect for an offbeat vacation, away from the frenzy of the city.
Located about 368 kilometers north of Bangalore, Anegundi is said to be the birthplace of the monkey god, Hanuman. The village is supposed to be older than Hampi and dates back to the 3rd century BC. The name of the village, when translated means elephant gorge. This is probably due to its association with the mighty Vijayanagar army that kept its elephants here. You can get here by road from Bangalore or by 30 min boat from Hampi, by crossing the river of Tungabhadra.
What to see: The Anegundi Fort, Hucchapayana Matha temple, Pampa Sarovara and Navabrindavan.
Amboli Village, Maharashtra
Leave behind the likes of Lonavla and Mahabaleshwar and visit Amboli, situated in the Western Ghats for a hilly experience in West India. The place comes alive during monsoons and its beauty is truly enhanced. If you are a nature-lover and love to go on hikes and trails, then add visiting the Amboli forest park on your list. The dense forest hosts a number of reptiles and crawlers, thus, it is advised not to venture out without knowledge. Amboli is about a 8 hour drive from Mumbai and a 3 hour drive from Goa.
What to See: Amboli Ghat Waterfall, Mahadev Ghat, and Mahadevgad Fort.
Aldona Village, Goa
If you venture outside of the commercial places of Baga, Calangute and Aguada you’ll find a lot of other hidden gems in North Goa. Aldona is definitely one such place, where you can enjoy a quiet, peaceful and picturesque Goan vacation. Often called ‘the most beautiful village’ by the locals, Aldona is a small village with a mere population of about 4-5 thousand. Nestled between a hilly terrain and a tributary, this village is known for its greenery and a close access to the Corjeum Fort. You can visit this village by renting a car from any of the places in the Bardez district in Goa.
What to See: St. Thomas Church, Aldona cemetery, Stone Bridge and Corjeum fort.
Nilambur Village, Kerala
Nilambur a paradise for all nature lovers. Close to Calicut (only a 2-hour drive) and few hours away from Coimbatore, the place is known for its teak and beautiful views. Laden with greenery and waterfalls, Nilambur is also known to have activities during the off-season. A visit to this village is a must, especially if you plan on going to Calicut. Calm and serene, this place is also close to the pleasing Elambalai Hills, located in the borders of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
What to See: Teak Museum, Kannimara Teak, Adyanpara Waterfalls and Nedumkayam
Bakkhali, West Bengal
Located close to the Sundarbans, Bakkhali is a hamlet island in West Bengal known for its serene coast and beaches. Frasergunj, a town situated 2km from Bakkhali is often visited with it and the two are called twin-towns. The place is surrounded by all things natural, and you can visit the biosphere reserves’, Reptile Conservation Centre and Sundarbans nearby. You can reach Bakkhali by train and then a short ferry ride.
What to See: Bakkhali Sea beach, Henry’s island and Jambu Dwip.
Located in West Sikkim, Kaluk is a small village in the Himalayas known for its scenic views and greenery. Kanchenjunga, the world’s highest peak is visible from Kaluk. The village is recognized mostly for the Bersay Rhadodendron Sanctuary. Kaluk is a 4-5-hour drive from Gangtok and can only be reached by hiring taxis or jeeps.
What to See: Pemayangtse Monastery, Sanga Choeling Monastery and Bersay Sanctuary
Sangla Valley, Kinnaur
Famous for its apple orchards, Sangla in Kinnaur is about an 8-hour drive from Shimla and is known for its picturesque houses and valley. The villages here are sure to remind you of the houses that children draw, with a river flowing in the front and hills surrounding the house. Close to the Tibetan border, you can enjoy this place thoroughly by staying in one of the cottages or camps.
What to See; Chitkul village, Sangla meadow, Kamru fort and Bering Nag temple