21 Not-to-Miss Offbeat Destinations in India

India has been a traveler’s love for centuries. Popular tourist sites have the attention of the world, but if it is the offbeat you crave for, then there are equally amazing options. Forget the crowds and the popular destinations, escape to the unexplored. India, in its vastness, has countless amazing destinations, many of which still lie untouched by the urban craze. These offbeat places in India give you the chance of a lifetime.

Here is the list of the top 21 offbeat destinations in India that you must visit

  • Malana, Himachal Pradesh
  • Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh
  • Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
  • Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
  • Majuli, Assam
  • Orchha, Madhya Pradesh
  • Mandu, Madhya Pradesh
  • Shojha, Himachal Pradesh
  • Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh
  • Nubra Valley, Ladakh
  • Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu
  • Gokarna, Karnataka
  • Ponmudi, Kerala
  • Halebidu, Karnataka
  • Shekhawati, Rajasthan
  • Bundi, Rajasthan
  • Kalimpong, West Bengal
  • Saputara, Gujarat
  • Naukuchiatal, Uttarakhand
  • Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand
  • Binsar, Uttarakhand

1. Malana, Himachal Pradesh


A pristine hamlet in Himachal Pradesh, Malana is tucked away from civilization. This is one of the best offbeat destinations in India you must visit for the following reasons. Malana is extremely beautiful, snuggled amid snowcapped mountains; you will love to spend time here. Trekking in these scenics outdoors is truly unforgettable. The residents of Malana are said to be the descendants of Alexander the Great. They have their own unique administrative system, which will be a great experience. Lastly, the cream of Malana is a big lure.

  • Best time to visit: March to June and September to October
  • How to reach: Malana can be reached by trekking or bus and taxi. Get to Kullu by air or road, then make your way to the hill town.

2. Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh


One of Himachal Pradesh’s gems, Khajjiar bears a strong resemblance to Switzerland. The picturesque hill station leaves you in awe of nature’s beauty. This is one of the best offbeat destinations in India one must visit, not just to avoid the crowds. The deodar forests, meadows, trickling streams, and lake make you feel comforted in nature’s lap. There are adventure activities like trekking, camping, and zorbing. Rejuvenate in the salubrious town, go for long walks with birds for a company or try thrilling sports.

  • Best time to visit: March to October
  • How to reach: Khajjiar is well-accessible by air, rail, and road. The nearest airport is in Jammu, the nearest railway station is in Pathankot.

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3. Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh

Tawang Monastery

Offbeat and truly beautiful, Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh is one of the must-visit places in North East India. The hill town houses several monasteries and is popular as the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama. Visit the picturesque town for its incredible monasteries, waterfalls, and snowcapped mountains. Tawang’s culture, food, and lifestyle further add to your vacation’s unforgettable memories. Recharge your spiritual sense in this serene location. Go trekking, learn about Buddhist culture, and whatever you do, discover peace in yourself.

  • Best time to visit: March to September
  • How to reach: Tawang is a minimum 4-hour drive from Tezpur in Assam. The city is the closest airport to most of the country’s domestic airports.

4. Spiti, Himachal Pradesh

Key Monastery, Spiti

A true hardcore offbeat destination, Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh is one of the places you must visit once in a lifetime. Located at an altitude of 14,931 ft, it is one of the most difficult places in India. Spiti lures the traveler who pursues new experiences. The stark mountains are dotted with ancient Tibetan monasteries. Trekking, camping, mountain biking, and other adventures add to the thrill. For an unforgettable trip, get to Spiti by road and spend a few days in the rustic villages of Ki, Kibber, Kaza, etc.

  • Best time to visit: July to September
  • How to reach: Spiti Valley is accessible by road from Manali. Kaza is the biggest town in Spiti Valley. Regular buses ply the town. The nearest airport is in Kullu.

5. Majuli, Assam

The largest river island in the world, Majuli, is located on the Brahmaputra River in Assam. It is a lush green freshwater Island in India. Majuli is pollution-free and environment-friendly. The inhabitants of Majuli are tribals with a unique culture. The main village of Majuli is Naghmar which hosts many events during the festivals. Raas Purnima is an important festival for the people of Majuli. It is a perfect offbeat destination in India. Freshwater island is famous for growing 100 types of rice.

  • Best time to visit: Visiting Majuli anytime between September to November for an ideal situation to travel, and in this time, you can enjoy the best weather and the natural & calmness beauty of Majuli.
  • How to Reach: The only way to reach Majuli is from Jorhat. It is about 20km away from the island. One has to take a ferry ride to make the way to Majuli. The nearest airport is Jorhat Domestic Airport. Jorhat is also connected to nearby cities by road.

6. Orchha, Madhya Pradesh


Offbeat and forgotten, Orchha is a beautiful town in Madhya Pradesh. The former capital of the Bundela Rajput kings, the 16th-century town is a lesson for history lovers and adventure enthusiasts. If you are wondering why this offbeat destination must be on your list, then the reason is it’s mesmeric.

Snuggled along the Betwa River, blessed with picturesque scenery, the town is dotted with ancient forts, palaces, temples, monuments, and memorials. Relive the olden days, stay in a heritage hotel for an authentic feel. Paint, sketch, or photograph the incredible relics of architecture.

  • Best time to visit: October and March
  • How to reach: Orchha is easily accessible from anywhere in Madhya Pradesh. The nearest airport is in Gwalior, and the nearest railway station is in Jhansi.

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7. Mandu, Madhya Pradesh


A justified name on the list of amazing offbeat places to visit in India, Mandu in Madhya Pradesh is an experience a traveler must not miss. A poignant memory of love, the olden days, and India’s brilliant legacy, Mandu is a testament to the unconditional love between Prince Baz Bahadur and Rani Roopmati. Explore the epitome of Islamic architectural excellence, which includes Mandu Fort, Jahaz Mahal, Jami Masjid, Hindola Mahal, Baz Bahadur’s Palace, Rewa Kund, and many more. Experience the forgotten era, the peaceful vacation will refreshen your senses.

  • Best time to visit: October to March
  • How to reach: Mandu is accessible by air, rail, and road. Indore has the nearest airport, while Ratlam has the nearest railway station.

8. Shojha, Himachal Pradesh


A small hill station in Himachal Pradesh, Shojha is one of the best offbeat places in India. Where else can you sit quietly in the wilderness and enjoy the serenity only nature can provide? You must not miss the hill station because it is one name very few travelers know about, so it is away from crowds. Explore ancient temples made out of wood. Go fishing, there are many spots. Jalori Pass offers easy trekking and camping. Escape the city and civilization in this untouched haven.

  • Best time to visit: April to June
  • How to reach: Shojha is a 522 km, 10-12 hour drive from Delhi. The offbeat town is accessible by road. The nearest airport and railway station is in Chandigarh.

9. Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh


The North East region of India is one of the most unexplored regions in the country. Ziro, the scenic mountain village in Arunachal Pradesh, personifies the uncharted beauty. One of the most amazing offbeat destinations in India, Ziro is mostly loved by backpackers and adventure enthusiasts. Explore serenity and natural beauty. Explore the surroundings, learn about the Appatani tribe, spot a hornbill, and do not miss attending Ziro Music Festival. You can go camping and trekking all over North East as well.

  • Best time to visit: Throughout the year
  • How to reach: Ziro is 147 km away, almost 3 hours from Itanagar. The city’s Lilabari airport has many airline services. Overnight buses and taxis are also available from Guwahati.

10. Nubra Valley, Ladakh


One of the top offbeat destinations in North India is Nubra Valley in Ladakh. The valley is a timeless beauty or, what we say, a miracle worth beholding. A desert in the sky, sand dunes inhabited by double-humped Bactrian camels, lush fields fed by two rivers, picturesque villages, and ancient monasteries combine them all, and you get the wonder of wonders, the Nubra valley. Think of all the incredible experiences you can indulge in. Nubra Valley is one of the most amazing locations in India and one you must not miss out on.

  • Best time to visit: June to October
  • How to reach: Nubra valley is almost 110 km from Leh. One can get to the town from Leh. Arrive by road or air to Ladakh’s capital and then proceed to the Nubra Valley crossing Khardung La Pass, the world’s highest motorable road.

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11. Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu

Kotagiri Landscape

Located in the lap of the Nilgiri Hills, Kotagiri is a pleasant mountain getaway. Why it’s offbeat is it is relatively lesser known and untouched. Walk amid the lush tea plantations or interact with workers plucking tea leaves in the early hours of the day. Plan out trekking expeditions, there are quite a many trails that take you to the heart of the mountains. Escape to the heart of nature. Spot waterfalls and free animals. Spend a weekend or a short vacation, the fresh mountain air rejuvenates your senses.

  • Best time to visit: Throughout the year
  • How to reach: Kotagiri has its own railway station. The nearest airport is Coimbatore International Airport.

12. Gokarna, Karnataka

Gokarna Beach

Blissful and crowd-free, Gokarna is one of the amazing offbeat destinations in south India that you should visit. A coastal town on the banks of the Arabian Sea, it is known for being dedicated to Lord Shiva. If you are seeking beach pleasures, it is the right place. The golden shores, swaying palms, and the musical play of waves create a beautiful setting. Why you must not miss Gokarna is the languid pace of the town. Friendly locals and delicious seafood add to your vacation.

  • Best time to visit: November to February
  • How to reach: The closest railway station is Gokarna, while the nearest airport is Dabolim Airport in Goa. It is well-connected by road.

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13. Ponmudi, Kerala


Ponmudi is one of the offbeat places in Kerala. The hill station is snuggled in the Western Ghats mountain ranges. Ponmudi makes its place among the amazing offbeat destinations in India one must visit as it is charming. Explore the spice and tea plantations dotted with waterfalls and viewpoints. Find bliss amid the mountain flowers, butterflies, springs, and rivulets. Also, check out the excellent opportunities for trekking, especially to Agasthyarkoodam, one of the highest peaks in the Western Ghats. Indulge in luxurious Ayurvedic medical treatments, as the town is well-known for them.

  • Best time to visit: Throughout the year.
  • How to reach: The hill town is easily accessible from Thiruvananthapuram. The capital city of Kerala has both air and rail connection to India. You can also reach the hill station by road.

14. Halebidu, Karnataka

Hoysaleswara Temple

If you want to go different this vacation, Halebidu in Karnataka is one of the places you must visit. The ancient capital of the Hoysala Empire dates back to the 12th century, and it feels like that time has stopped moving here. Famous for its ruins of Hoysala architecture, the town is blessed with temples, shrines, and other delectable pieces of architecture. Explore the Hoysaleswara temple, Belur, Shantaleswara temple, Kedareswara temple, and many Jain temples. Offbeat and away from the urban craze, enjoy a relaxing vacation.

  • Best time to visit: October to February
  • How to reach: Bengaluru city has frequent connections to Halebidu. Though the closest airport is in Mysore, the drive from Bengaluru is one of the best ways to reach the historic town.

15. Shekhawati, Rajasthan


Shekhawati is the picture of your typical Rajasthan and one of the places one must visit in India. One of the most offbeat destinations in India, the town is dotted with Havelis, forts, frescoes, and impeccable architecture. The open-air galleries, enchanting Havelis and palaces, and legendary forts, transport you into the golden era of Rajputana. You must visit because you can escape the cities, learn about history, art, culture, architecture and much more. The heritage hotels here offer you a royal vacation away from crowds.

  • Best time to visit: October to February
  • How to reach: Shekhawati is well-connected by road. The nearest airport and railway station is in Jaipur, 150 km away.

16. Bundi, Rajasthan


One of the small towns in Rajasthan, Bundi is one of the historical and cultural treasures. The 12th-century town is known for glorious forts, temples, Havelis, and magnificent palaces. Different from the touristy cities, Bundi is one of the most amazing offbeat destinations in India. Explore the relics, marvel at paintings at Chitrashala, or enjoy the pleasures of the town. Try to attend the Bundi Festival, a spectacular culmination of traditional art, culture, and crafts. Indulge in a fine concoction of desert life and a glimpse of colorful culture.

  • Best time to visit: October to February
  • How to reach: Kota Railway Station is the nearest railway station, while Jaipur is the closest airport. It is well accessible by road as frequent buses ply the route.

17. Kalimpong, West Bengal


An offbeat hill station in North East India, Kalimpong is one of the places to must visit once in a lifetime. The town is off the charted tourist routes, therefore the perfect getaway. Enjoy the picturesque bliss of mountains and exclusive views of the striking snow-laden Himalayas. This unexplored land is an enchanting haven for those who want to escape the demanding city life. The lush green valleys, towering pine trees, chirping birds, and pure air all contribute to the mystical aura of the town, you will discover inner peace here.

  • Best time to visit: September to June
  • How to reach: The nearest airport is in Bagdogra, while the closest railway station is the New Jalpaiguri railway station. Arrive in the town by road or take a toy train to Darjeeling and later a cab to the hill town.

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18. Saputara, Gujarat


Snuggled in the lap of Sahyadri, the only hill station of Gujarat, Saputara is one of the offbeat gems of India. The rolling green hills, lush with flowers and the undisturbed call of birds, transport you to the very heart of nature. Pay a visit to the artists’ village, and marvel at their talent. The amiable folks open the hearts and homes for visitors. Since there is a mix of wildlife, art and craft,s and sightseeing spots, it is an ideal destination for a short and fun-filled vacation.

  • Best time to visit: October to February.
  • How to reach: The nearest airport is in Surat, while the closest railway station is in Billimora. It is convenient to travel by road from Gujarat or Maharashtra.

19. Naukuchiatal, Uttarakhand

Naukuchiatal Lake

The lesser-known cousin of Nainital, Naukuchiatal is our next amazing offbeat destination in India. The nine-cornered lake is an equally beautiful hill retreat, if not more. The beautiful lake stretches for 1 kilometer. On its shores lies a scenic village. This is the place to go for pure natural bliss on the lake shores. Give Nainital a miss and settle in the serene town. Spend a relaxing vacation waking up at sunrise, boating, fishing, and camping. Go for walks in the blessed environs, it is a place where you feel your weary soul healed.

  • Best time to visit: April to June, September to November. The hill town is best avoided in the season of heavy rainfall and winter because of excessive snow.
  • How to reach: The nearest well-connected town is Nainital, an hour’s drive. The nearest airport is in Dehradun, and the closest railway station is Ramnagar.

20. Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand

Valley of Flowers

The Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand is one of the places you must visit once in a lifetime. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is visited only after a trek in the monsoon. One of nature’s finest creations, the valley is a spectacle of thousands of rare mountain flowers in full bloom. After the rain, the entire valley becomes a carpet of colors of green, yellow, red, blue, and every shade created by nature. The flowering pattern changes every few days.  This is one offbeat destination in India that you should not miss.

  • Best time to visit: July to September
  • How to reach: One can reach the Valley of Flowers only after 2-3 days trek. The trek starts from Govindghat.

21. Binsar, Uttarakhand


Uttarakhand abounds on many beautiful destinations, and Binsar is one of them. Perched at an elevation of 2420 meters, Binsar is blessed with spell-binding views of Himalayan peaks such as Chaukhamba, Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, Panchachuli, and Kedarnath. Also, the hill town serves as a habitat for rare animals, birds, and flower species. Hiking, camping, and nature walking offer the thrill of adventure. You must visit Binsar as it has all the pleasures of the mountains yet, is untouched by crowds and is truly one of the amazing destinations in India.

  • Best time to visit: Throughout the year, except the months of July to September.
  • How to reach: The nearest town is Almora. Pant Nagar is the closest airport and the nearest railway station. The best way to get to the town is by road.

Plan your trip to India with our well-planned holiday packages for an enjoyable vacation.

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A travel writer by profession and self-professed addict to literature, momos, dancing, music and travelling, Debasree Chakraborty has all interesting things to share. Go through her penned down travel experiences and collected intelligence in her write ups. Read on!

Comments ( 4 )
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  • Rudra

    I am bookmarking this article for future holiday plans!! Absolutely love the list. Some places I have been to, but some names I have not heard of before. Look forward to exploring these little gems.

    • Debasree

      Hey Rudra,

      Glad to hear from you. Keen to know about your experiences. Keep following our blog for posts on India travel & tourism.

  • Subhash Malhotra

    All the places which are shown in this blog are really very beautiful and i also will try to visit these places. Thank you for sharing this beautiful blog.

    • Debasree

      Hey Subhash,

      Thank you for your kind words. Follow our blog for more such informative posts.