Kanyakumari is an ancient town, with a rich history as well as religious significance. It is the southernmost part of India and is sometimes referred to as ‘The Land’s End’. This offbeat travel destination is famous for its unique ocean sunrise, sunset and moonrise. Visitors can choose from its many hidden wonders and a wide array of interesting places to visit.
Located on the south-western coast of India, Goa is a place for all types of people. Visitors to Goa surely won’t be disappointed as it has many hidden wonders. If you’re looking to take a well-deserved break, the gushing sounds of the sea and feeling the cool breeze of swaying palms will allow your mind and body to relax. Seafood and local delicacies await the gastronomes. A variety of extreme and nature-bound activities are available for the fun-loving and adventurous.When in Goa, Fort Aguada definitely deserves to be on your itinerary as it is an epitome of Portuguese heritage and architecture. Fort Aguada stands overlooking the Arabian Sea. It was once a massive and marvellous citadel defining the coastal landscape of Candolim, Goa. Built in the 17th century, the fort derives its name from the Portuguese word ‘agua’ meaning water. Passing ships would often stop by so that crews could replenish their freshwater stores from a freshwater spring within the fort. With a capacity to store 2,376,000 gallons of water Aguada Fort served as one of the largest freshwater storages in Asia. The most standout feature of the fort is a unique four-storey lighthouse. It is the oldest one of its kind in Asia. Don’t miss to check out a statue dedicated to the freedom fighters of Goa. A ceremony to remember and honour them is observed there every year on 18th June. Tourists can enjoy stunning views of the sunset and capture memorable photos at this offbeat location in Goa.
Maharashtra is located in the western region of India and boasts of a 720 km coast line. There are popular and beautiful beach destinations almost every 50-100 km. Maharashtra has some of the country’s best hill stations. River rafting, kayaking, mountain biking and trekking the forts and hills are some of the common tourist activities. There are a lot of other hidden wonders to see and experience when in Maharashtra.The Kailasa temple is the largest of the rock-cut Hindu temples at the Ellora Caves in the Aurangabad District of Maharashtra. This monolith was built with extremely intricate details. It is considered one of the most remarkable cave temples in the world as archaeologists believe it is carved from a single rock. Another notable feature is its vertical excavation, where carvers started excavating from the top of the original rock and went downward. Within the Kailasa temple courtyard is a central shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple base has been carved to give a visual effect of elephants holding the structure aloft. The Nandi Mandapa and the porch of the temple are connected by a rock bridge. Scenes from Mahabharata and Ramayana are featured at the base of the temple hall.
Kerala lies on the Malabar coast of India. With the Arabian Sea to the west, the state’s coastline extends for 595 kilometres. Kerala offers some of the best experiences and offbeat tourist destinations in India. The Western Ghats form a wall of mountains and are recognized as one of the world’s hotspots of biological diversity. The forests there are considered to be older than the Himalayan mountains.The Athirappilly Falls also known as “The Niagara of India” is located in the Chalakudy River and is the largest waterfall in the state. Kuttanad is the “Rice Bowl of Kerala” and has the lowest altitude in India. It is one of the few places in the world where cultivation takes place below sea level. Kerala is famed for its backwaters, coconut-lined sandy beaches and Ayurvedic tourism. One of Kerala’s hidden wonders is St. Theresa’s Ship Church at Eravu, Thrissur. St. Theresa’s Ship Church is a Catholic parish church belonging to the Syro-Malabar Archdiocese of Thrissur. This magnificent attraction is a masterpiece with a unique design. St. Theresa’s Ship Church is built in the shape of a ship – it seems to be sailing in a surrounding water stream, which breeds attractive fishes and beautiful flowers. It also has a little deck area. The ship-shaped exterior is inspired by the biblical story of Noah and his Ark. Inside, the main altar is also in the shape of a ship. Biblical themed paintings and sculptures adorn the walls. St. Theresa’s Ship Church is unique not only in Asia but worldwide. It attracts devotees and tourists from all over.
Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is the capital city of the state of Maharashtra. Located on the Konkan coast of western India, Mumbai is constituted by seven islands. Mumbai is the second-most populous city and the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India. The city has some of the most beautifully designed Victorian and Art Deco buildings of the 19th and 20th century. The native Koli fisher-folk community is known for its tasty dishes and love for sea food. Though braving the Mumbai local trains in peak hours can be a thrilling experience in itself, visitors to Mumbai can also enjoy traditional or cosmopolitan festivals, variety of street food, cultural entertainment, and an exciting night life.One of Mumbai’s hidden wonders, Haji Ali Dargah mosque and dargah is located on an islet, 500 meters off the coast of Worli in the middle of the Arabian Sea. It becomes inaccessible during high tide as the nearly kilometre-long narrow causeway linking the islet to the city gets submerged. A definite highlight is a walk on the causeway during low tide with the sea on both sides. This monument of Haji Ali Shah Bukhari constructed in 1431, is an exquisite example of Indo-Islamic style of Mughal architecture with white domes, minarets, whitewashed structure and a marble courtyard. The marble pillars of the main hall are embellished with blue, green and yellow chips of glass. This artistic mirror work is arranged in kaleidoscopic patterns interspersed with Arabic patterns spelling out the ninety-nine names of Allah. Visitors and pilgrims, irrespective of faith and religion, can get the blessings of the holy saint and pay their respects in separate praying rooms provided for ladies and gents as per the Muslim traditions. A form of devotional music called Qawwali is sometimes performed at the dargah by various Sufi musicians on Fridays.
Tripura is a landlocked state in north-eastern India and part of the contiguous states collectively known as the Seven Sister States. Tripura is connected with the rest of the country by just one major highway, National Highway 8, making it almost geographically isolated. The landscape of Tripura is characterised by hill ranges, valleys and plains. Gumti Wildlife Sanctuary is a designated Important Bird Area for the conservation of bird populations. Thousands of migratory waterfowl throng the lake here in winter. Tripura is one of India’s best offbeat travel destinations.In Tripura, there exists an artistic fusion between mainstream Indian cultural elements and traditional practices of ethnic groups and indigenous religions. This is prominently seen in festivities, religious occasions, weddings and locally crafted musical instruments and clothes. Unakoti Hill is a hidden wonder of Tripura, with its one less than one crore stone images, rock carvings and sculptures at the archaeological site. Surrounded by lush greenery and waterfalls the place has a primitive beauty and is peaceful. According to legend, Lord Shiva rested here on his way to Kashi. However, all the other 99,99,999 gods and goddesses could not wake up in time before sunrise to follow him. Hence Lord Shiva set out by himself, cursing the others to be turned to stones. The most impressive of the rock-cut carvings is the central Shiva head, Unakotiswara Kal Bhairava. It is 30 feet high and includes a 10 feet high embroidered head-dress. It is surrounded by two full-size female rock effigies, one of which is Durga standing on a lion. Half-buried in the ground are three enormous images of Nandi Bull. The sculpture was featured in the Tripura Tableau at the 2016 Republic Day Parade.
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