Best Offbeat Destinations of India - Part II (Western India)

Pangong Lake

India is the land of myriad tourism potential, with dazzling beaches, dramatic temples, exotic rain forests, colossal mountains, eternal deserts, lively cities, and the Indian peninsula creates an ultimate allure for the travelers across the globe. So vivid and diverse in culture, heritage and language, India is bestowed with an equally rich natural beauty that adds to its tranquility. The picturesque hill stations, the pristine beaches, the unique and halcyon pilgrim destinations and the vast deserts, historical buildings to gen-next dwelling structures and from snow capped mountains to the boat ride on the serene backwater yards and breathtaking hill stations, India is a land of endless opportunities for the explorers of peace and poise. If traditional destinations are less for you, www. has compiled a list of best of India travel offbeat destinations.

West India:

The awe-inspiring festoon of highlands, plains and villages, provide the picturesque vista of landscapes of West India. The most alluring experience of West India is for the one who has never seen dazzling sunsets and had only weaved dreams or drawn paintings thinking about the dusks and dawns. The tribal lives of West India can get you to experience the edgy lifestyle of many centuries ago and one of the best India travel can offer you ! The Shetpal, Vadi, kila are few of the villages which can shower you with never-seen-before experiences.Temples, lakes, rivers, villages, valleys are some of the tranquil realm with the feeling of abundance and rejuvenated spiritually.

1. Door-less Houses of Shani Shignapur:

 Shani Shignapur is a village located about 35 km from Ahmednagar of Maharashtra. This village is known for its popular temple of Shani, the epitome of Hindu god of the planet Saturn, is worshipped with supreme reverence and devotion. The uniqueness of this small village is that none of the houses in this village has doors or even a door frame, including the commercial buildings, schools etc for safety. To me, this is the best offbeat destination in India. The people here believe that it is the blessing of the god that no crime ever happens in this village. The first of its kind in the country, the United Commercial (UCO) Bank opened a ‘lockless’ branch in the village taking note of the near-zero crime rate in the region in January 2011.

2. Karni Mata temple - Jai Mata Di:

Karni Mata temple is one of the popular and unusual holy shrines of India. This Temple is situated in the small town of Deshnok, in south of Bikaner, Rajasthan. During the 14th century it is believed that, Mata lived and performed many miracles during her life time and is an incarnation of Hindu goddess Durga. The inimitable fact about this temple is that rats are considered to supremely auspicious and are taken special care to safeguard them as they believe that these rats are the children of the Goddess Karni Mata and are holy. Out of all of the thousands of rats in the temple, sighting white rats are meant to be specifically holy as they are believed to be Karni Mata and her own sons.

3. The Levitating Stone at Shivapur – Dave Ja Vu’!!

Shivapur is a small place in Pune in Maharashtra which is famous for its levitating stone. According to the popular belief, Qamar Ali is a famous Sufi Saint and is renowned for its magical powers. 800 years ago a gymnasium existed on the place where the shrine now stands. Two huge stones were used by the wrestlers to exercise. Qamar Ali was always targeted by the other boys as he was not interested in all these. Hazrat Qamar Ali Darvesh then proclaimed that only his name power can lift the stone and then declared that the large rock could be raised with just eleven finger tips touching it but only if his name was loudly called. Similarly the smaller rock could be raised by using nine finger tips. From that day onwards the stones could be raised in the same manner only by applying that formula!

4. Vociferous Vihigaon – Waterfall rappelling in Vihigaon falls:

Rappelling over 120 feet of garrulous waterfall is one of those experiences every adventurous mind longs for! Canyoneering is one of those sports which have become famous all over the world. Western Ghats have many waterfalls and flowing rivulets which are best suited for water rappelling. Vihigaon falls in Kasara Mumbai is one such nature’s gift to mankind. Its one-of-its kind of adventure that includes rappelling, down-climbing and river tracing in the midst of thick forest.  It’s the best way to overcome Acrophobia – Fear for Height! To experience the thrill of suspension at the height of about 100 ft and rappelling along side of water is an incredible experience.

5. Super deadly combination of food and ambiance – The New Lucky Restaurant in Ahmedabad:


There must be few fervent thing you imagine doing. Here is one such thing you wouldn’t have even thought of! Yes… We are now talking about The New Lucky Restaurant in Ahmedabad, a tea stall outside a centuries-old Muslim cemetery, and business quickly exploded. The graves are situated between tables and often topped with candles, and resemble green-painted concrete coffins. Business is brisk at the restaurant where the graves are scattered randomly. The graves are said to belong to a 16th century Sufi saint and the owner says that the graves are the lucky mascot for them.

6. The Utterly Charming tribe – The Vadi tribe, Gujarat:


India is a land of mysteries and myths and will continue to be so! The Vadi tribe from Gujarat is the best example for this. The Vadi tribes are the professional snake charmers whose tradition of snake charming dates way back to 10th century. One can see children as young as two sitting near a poisonous cobra and show no signs of fear or cringe when facing a deadly snake. Official on-board training for these children begins at the age of two, and will be taught the ancient ways of snake charming until they are ready to take up their roles in the community. The children are taught how one can take away a snake from its natural habitat for a maximum of seven months and anymore will be a sheer disrespectful to the snake.

 7. Shetpal – Strolling land of Snakes:

Of all the ancient practices and traditions of India, Snake worship is a prevalent religious practice. The snake, one of the gods of the Indian mythology, is associated with the lingam-the symbol of lord Siva. Shetpal, Sholapur district of Maharastra has a frightful custom where each house has a resting place for live COBRAS in the rafters of their ceilings. The village also adores a temple with a seven-hooded cobra made of copper over the Lord Shiva’s idol. No cases of cobra bites have been recorded in the village till date, in spite of kive cobras moving around the houses daily.

8. The Lonely Land of Gujrat – Little Rann of Kutch:


Little Rann of Kutch is a unique place on earth with endless opportunity to explore with numerous places to visit and to experience something you have never experienced before! The desolate, blindingly white land of Little Rann is nature at its harshest and most convincing, and home to India’s last refuge population of Khur – Asiatic wild ass and for the conservation of which it has been declared as the “Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary”. The wildlife sanctuary of Little Rann of Kutch with a wide-spread saline desert, arid grasslands, rocky and thorn scrub to lakes and marshes and is rich in biodiversity. Water birds like cranes, ducks, pelicans, flamingoes and land birds like sand grouse, frankolins and the Indian bustards are in abundant.


9. Ponder into the panorama of Pangong Lake:

Pangong Lake is a beautiful lake situated at an altitude of 4350 meters. The chilling water and the clear sky, surrounded by the mountain ridges coved with snow looks picturesque! The water in Pangong Lake is the brackish; hence it makes the highest situated lake with salt water. Pangong means extensive concavity and is 134 kilometer long, but it is only 5 kilometers wide at the widest points. More than 60% of the lake is spread over to Tibet. The topography is not just a tourist’s paradise but a geologist’s sphere of influence too but surely no fun for the army in the frozen temperature to take care of the tactical landscape.


10. Never seen before – The Rural Olympics at Kila Raipur:

Philanthropist Inder Singh Grewal visualized an annual recreational meet for farmers of Kila and other farmers in the vicinity to get to together and test their corporal endurance in 1933. This gave birth to the Kila’s undisputed “Rural Olympics”. The Rural Olympics of Kila of Raipur is held during February of each year. Raipur becomes the destination for hundreds of sports buffs, including foreigners. People pour in to watch special breeds of bullocks, camels, dogs, mules and other animals competing in cutthroat competitions. Display of horse racing, tent pegging and even “Gatka” will be held in high spirits. Other attractions of these Rural Olympics are Punjabi folklore and cultural festivities from the top notch artists.

11.The twinkling twin-tale of Umri:

Mohammadpur Umri, a unique hamlet near the Air Force base at Bamrauli, near Allahabad, has a twinkling tale to flaunt. The total population of this tiny village is nearly 900; there are at least 60 pairs of twins here.  Going by scientific knowledge, even two pairs in a population of 600 is considered high. The identical twin birth rate in this village is 300 times the national average population and probably the highest in the world. The most fascinating trivia about Umri is it is said that this village even possess a twin cows and a buffaloes, and hens that lay eggs with double yolks!

12. The Haunted city of Bhangarh:

One of the India’s spookiest and the haunted ruins lies in Bhangarh, Alwar district in the state of Rajasthan. The town of Bhangarh whose haunted status is attracting scores of tourists these days, lies beneath the Sariska forest in Rajasthan. The lost city is open only during the hours of daylight and is strictly prohibited after sunset. The Archeological Survey of India doesn’t have an official office here though government regulations state that every historical site must have an office of the ASI. The myth has it that due to the curse of Guru Bala Nath, the whole town was vacated over night. The Guru Bala Nath forbidden blight devastated the whole town. The tomb of Guru Bala Nath is still found amongst the ruins.

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