With its scenic views, different yet amazing architectures and diverse people, India can make travellers enjoy an experience like never before.
From hills that pull cars up and a place where hundreds of birds commit suicide to a lake full of skeletons, India is home to the most unusual of places.
Levitating Stone – Shivapur, Maharashtra
Hazrat Qamar Ali Darvesh, located in Pune, has a magical story to tell. It is believed that about 800 years ago, the current shrine was a gymnasium, where a Sufi saint, known as Qamar Ali, was teased by the wrestlers. Disappointed by this, the saint cast a spell on the rocks that were used for body-building. Even today, if 11 people touch their fingers to the rock, which weighs 70kg, and shout the name “Qamar Ali Darvesh,” the stone flies up in the air. Many devotees visit the shrine to witness this magical sight.
Lake of Skeletons – Roopkund Lake, Chamoli, Uttarakhand
Roopkund Lake lies in the middle of an inhabitable part of Himalayas at a height of 16,500 feet. The lake is covered in snow and surrounded by rock-strewn glaciers. The unusual thing about this lake is that about 600 odd human skeletons were discovered here. These date back to the 9th CE and are clearly visible at the bottom of the shallow lake when the snow melts.
Temple of Rats – Karni Mata Temple, Rajasthan
Located about 30 kilometres from Bikaner, is the quaint town of Deshnok, which is visited by many devotees around the year to witness an intriguing sight at the Karni Mata Temple. Yes, the temple is home to over 20,000 rats. It is believed that the rats are reincarnated family members of Karni Mata. The white mice are worshipped and revered even more because the devotees consider them to be Karni Mata and her sons. Food nibbled by the rats is considered exceptionally holy and if a rat is killed, it’s replaced by a rat statue made of gold.
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Jatinga, Assam – Where birds commit suicide
The quaint town of Jatinga is nestled amongst the Borail Hills of Assam. Every monsoon, this village witnesses the most unusual phenomenon. Around September and October, especially during dark and foggy nights, hundreds of migratory birds fly towards buildings and crash themselves to death. This remains to be one of the world’s unsolved mysteries.
Magnetic Hill – Ladakh
Imagine getting pulled uphill even when the ignition of your car is off! Yes, at an altitude of 11,000 feet above sea level, is the Magnetic Hill in Ladakh, which pulls a car towards itself even when the ignition is off. It is a thrilling experience for all the visitors, and is one of the must-see things on the way to Leh. Scientists believe that it happens due to an optical illusion caused by a gravity hill.
Floating Islands of Loktak, Manipur
The Loktak Lake in Manipur, also known as the only Floating Lake in the world, is one of the most unusual sights in India. The lake has large masses of vegetation, perfectly circular in shape, floating on the surface. Known as Phumdis, the floating matter are clusters of vegetation, soil and other organic substances. A few of these floating islands are so huge that resorts have been built on them.
Malana, Himachal Pradesh
Not many know about this mountainous town, located in the hills of Himachal Pradesh. Malana is considered to be the oldest civilisation in the country and the native people do not associate themselves with Indian governance. The inhabitants believe themselves to be descendants of Alexander and his soldiers, and they consider themselves as the most superior Asian race. The Malana cream is believed to be one of the best and smoothest hash varieties in the world.
Village without doors – Shani Shingnapur, Maharashtra
Located 35 kilometres from Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, is Shani Shingnapur Village, known for its popular Shani temple. No crime has ever happened in the village, which people believe is because of the blessings of Shani Dev. The villagers have so much faith in their God that they have completely entrusted their safety into his hands. The homes and even the commercial buildings in this village have no doors. Owing to the zero crime rates, even UCO Bank has opened a ‘lock-less’ branch in this village, the first of its kind in India.
Neelakurinji Bloom, Munnar, Kerala
The God’s own country, Kerala, is the land of many natural spectacles and one of them is Neelakurinji bloom that happens once in twelve years. The flower ‘Neelakurinji,’ also called as ‘Strobilanthes Kunthianum’ by botanists blossom only after a period of twelve years, on the fabled hills of Munnar. This usually starts from August and lasts until October. Standing amidst the sprawling blooms of Neelakurinji is an ethereal experience, and many visitors throng Munnar during this time to witness this magical sight.
Lonar Crater Lake, Maharashtra
Measuring 1.8 kilometres in diameter and 150 metres in depth, this Crater Lake has apparently formed 50,000 years ago when an asteroid hit the region, which is now famously called the Deccan Plateau. It is a popular destination among trekking enthusiasts and is located 150 kilometres away from Aurangabad.
Gandikota canyon, Andhra Pradesh
While your American dreams brew a little longer, soak in the goodness that Gandikota canyon (Andhra Pradesh) has to offer. It’s an unending stretch of red granite rocks that guides the Pennar River. What’s fascinating about the canyon? A downhill trek that will lead you to the river bed.
Tsomgo Lake, Sikkim
If you enjoy living on the edge, a bike ride to this glacial water body is recommended. If not feeling adventurous, you could hire a car. Located at an altitude of 12,400 ft, Tsomgo Lake attracts most visitors during the winter season as it freezes over offering an interesting contrast with its surrounding mountains. Myth has it, old monks used to forecast the future based on the colour the lake would change into.
St Mary’s Islands, Udupi, Karnataka
What makes one of these islands unique is its distinctive geological formation. The columnar basalt rocks sit on the shores of the beach firmly; it is said that they were formed millions of years ago when molten lava flowed into water.
Barren Island, Andaman
India’s only active volcano, located at the Barren Islands, about 140 kilometre North East of Port Blair, has been spewing smoke since January this year. It’s highly recommended for thrill seekers as the island offers opportunity to scuba-dive and is also secluded, so you can have some alone time if you like. And don’t be psyched, the volcano last erupted in 1787.
Living Root Bridges, Meghalaya
Meghalaya is hit with excessive rain every year and therefore, the bamboo bridges cannot withstand the raging weather. Roughly 180 years ago, the Khasis built a solution around this and made the roots of rubber trees to pass through the hollows of Areca nut palm.
(With ANI inputs)