7 tourist places in India that look like international destinations

Home to 28 states and 8 union territories, India is one of the most diverse nations in the world. The presence of Himalayas, being surrounded by water on the three sides and a rich, cultural heritage together make India incredibly unique. You can experience not only giant mountains, picturesque hill stations, beautiful beaches, forests, deserts and an incredible wildlife in here but also go through the annals of history beginning from Indus Valley Civilisation and ancient empires in the surviving old caves/ cave structures, monuments, forts & palaces, temples, mosques, gurudwara’s and churches and various art forms. It’s so incredible & rich that even a lifetime is less to capture this.

We attempted this impossible feat four weeks back with our new campaign, ‘Rediscover India, Incredible India’. This campaign will have 10 themes, each lasting for a month. Each of these themes will focus on one unique, incredible aspect of India and take you through a succinct journey of its incredibleness, each week, one blogpost at a time.

The first theme is ‘Affordable places in India that will make you forget International Dream Destinations’. This is the fourth and the last blogpost of this theme. To access the previous three blogposts, check the links shared below:

Week 1: Now experience the ‘Garden of Europe, Keukenhof, Netherlands’ in the Tulip Gardens of Kashmir, India

Week 2: Emerald Green Tea plantations of Munnar that are way more gorgeous than those of São Miguel, Portugal

Week 3: The great wall of Kumbhalgarh, the second longest wall in the world: Incredible India

Are you getting a bit lost?

Don’t worry. ‘Feeling lost’ is often the sign of an upcoming adventure. 🙂

Don’t believe me? Then, check this list of affordable places in India that have great resemblance with popular foreign destinations. You won’t be able to wait till your next vacation:

1. Gulmarg, Kashmir that will remind you of Mount Titlis, Switzerland

I know it might sound far-fetched but it’s 100% true. All my friends who have been to Swiss Alps and taken a Gondola ride in Gulmarg, Kashmir vouch for the fact that you can’t tell the difference between the two except that you will have to pay only a fraction of cost to visit Gulmarg.

Gondola ride in Gulmarg is the highest and the longest in Asia. Within minutes, it takes you to a height of ~8500 ft. in phase 1 and at a height of ~14000 ft in phase 2. And the view from phase 2 is so spectacular that a pair of eyes feel less to scan everything.

Snow-capped mountains, wide expanse of snow that you would want to ski your way from one spot to another, mountain peaks so near that you would want to touch one…and then Indian Flag hoisting high at a spot that fills you with pride.

2. Thar Desert, a preview to the great Sahara desert

About 90% of Thar Desert lies in India with about 55% of it existing in Rajasthan. You can enjoy the stillness, vastness and infinity of a desert in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. With its culture programs, sand dune jeep safari and night long camps, you won’t think about anything else. It might not be as big or as large as Sahara, but it sure gives you a preview and a much affordable experience of travelling to a desert.

3. Backwaters of Alleppey much like Venice

Kerala is called God’s own country, and for all the right reasons. Tea plantations of Munnar, pristine beaches of Varkala and Kovalam, forts of Kochi, and backwaters of Alleppey make Kerala unique and magnificent.

Rightfully called the Venice of the East, Alleppey backwaters take you through a distinct experience through shifting landscapes of coconut groves, paddy fields, houseboats and much more.

Alleppey has many stretches of backwaters. When you choose one for your trip, choose wisely. I’d recommend Kumarakom.

4. Fontainhas in Goa – a mini glimpse of Portugal

Goa that is part of India today, once belonged to the Portuguese. And Fontainhas in Goa is a living proof of those colonial times. One of the most visited places in Goa, Fontainhas resembles much of Portugal in its Slate tiled roofs, multi-coloured wooden doors, white and blue tiled plaques, bright coloured houses with hues of Red and Mustard Yellow and flowers blooming all around.

Until you plan your trip to Portugal, Europe, Goa is not half bad.

5. The Blue city of Jodhpur – an affordable alternative to Morocco

Rajasthan is known for its colours. And one of its colourful cities that is painted in the Royal Blue colour all over is Jodhpur. Famous for Mehrangarh fort, Jodhpur with its coloured doors, narrow lanes, and beautiful landscapes – will remind you of the famous international destination popular in every traveller’s itinerary these days – Morocco.

To extract the deeper experiences, go for long walks through the lanes of Jodhpur & stop by those little, quaint cafes that you will find in every nook and corner.

6. Khajjiar, rightfully called the mini Switzerland of India

Nestled in the foothills of Dhauladhar range of the Western Himalayas, Khajjiar lies on a small plateau with a rare combination of lake, pasture and forest.

By the way, you might not know but on 7 July 1992, Swiss Envoy Willy P. Blazer, Vice-Counsellor and Head of Chancery of Switzerland in India labelled Khajjiar as “Mini Switzerland”. He also put a sign of a yellow Swiss hiking footpath showing Khajjiar’s distance from the Swiss capital Bern: “6,194 km” or 3,849 mi.

Khajjiar is among the few locations in the world that resembles with Switzerland.

7. Floating market of Dal lake, much like the Floating market of Bangkok

Much more picturesque than the floating markets of Bangkok, the floating market of Dal lake is a beautiful ride through the blue lake, with a view of mountains around. With houseboats and Shikaras around selling every possible thing, the whole scene elevates when it’s the time of Sunset.

This experience becomes unbeatable when you enjoy this with a glass of Kehwa

Bonus: 8. Coorg, a hill station that brings back memories of Scotland to many

I chose to write about these 7 but India is full of locations and cities that would make you forget tours to international destinations. Hence, I am finding it difficult to stop at 7. So, here’s one more: Coorg (Kodagu), a hill station in Karnataka, situated at a distance of ~250 Kms. from Bangalore.

The rolling hills of Western Ghats, the coffee plantations, an year-round pleasant weather and the beautiful lush-green landscapes of Coorg often remind travellers of Scotland. This is probably why it’s called the Scotland of India

So, where are you planning to travel next?

Next week, I will choose the second theme of ‘Rediscover India, Incredible India’ campaign. If you got any recommendations, feel free to send in.

Till then, keep travelling and keep exploring this incredible country.


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