India is a huge country with a lot of great places. On the other side, not many travel bloggers describe those unusual, but still awesome places in India. See some of my favorites here.
It's hard to argue which of the awesome places in India are the best one, as this country is huge and offers a lot of things to do and see. In this travel blog article, I will try to describe the unusual tourist attractions and interesting placed I enjoyed the most during my trips to India.
India's Jains Mecca: Palitana temples, and Shatrunjaya Hill
Shatrunjaya was originally called Pundarikgiri, which means "place of victory against inner enemies" and it's a big hill located near Palitana, the city of Gujarat. This place is some sort of India's Jains Mecca, where a lot of pilgrims come every year. They were sanctified when Rishabha (who was the first Tirthankara of Jainism) built the first temple on the hill and gave there his first sermon. The history of Shatrunjaya is also connected to the Rishabha's grandson, who has achieved his salvation here. Pilgrims also come to his shrine.
Shatrunjaya hill is an awesome place for all kind of tourists not only because of magnificent views and the panorama from the top but also because you can find great Palitana temples on it's top. More than 850 marble-carved temples can be found here, mostly small, but together they are very impressive. If you want to get to the main temple, you will have to climb about 3500 steps. Jains believe, that everybody from India should visit Shatrunjaya and Palitana temples once in a lifetime to achieve salvation and nirvana.
The trip to Palitana temples and Shatrunjaya Hill is a must-do travel destination for every traveler who comes to India.
Cherrapunji with its amazing bridges
Cherrapunji s a beautiful town located in the state of Meghalaya and it's the wettest place on Earth, so be prepared for massive rainfalls while traveling here. While being here, remember to see the Eco Park and the living root bridges. There are a lot of them and the most famous are called Mawsaw root bridge, Ritymmen root bridge, and Umshiang root bridge.
There are other interesting places here, and one of the popular tourist attractions is Himanshu Lahkar with Nohkalikai Falls and Seven Sisters Waterfalls. All these places are very beautiful and it is one of the best places to see in India.
You can find Chand Baori near the Abhaneri town, Rajasthan. You can get here during your travel to Jaipur, as it's about 90 kilometers from that city. Well, the Abhaneri village is now one huge ruin, but still, a lot of tourists come here because of the stepwell Chand Baori.
Stepwell is the well where the water is reached by descending a set of steps and it was common to build them in all over India. Chand Baori is one of the oldest and for me the best stepwell in the country and it was built in the 8th century by King Chanda of the Nikumbh dynasty who dedicated Chand Baori to the goddess of joy and happiness - Hashat Mata.
Chand Baori is definitely worth visiting, as it's huge and you can for sure make here wonderful photos.
Skeleton Lake, Roopkund
Roopkund, called also Mystery Lake and Skeleton Lake, is a lake located in the state of Uttarakhand and can be found in the Himalayas, 5000 meters above the sea level. It's a famous and very popular tourist trekking destination, although it's a hard way to get so high.
The Roopkund lake is not too big, but it got famous because of the human skeletal remains that are visible at its bottom. And that's why nowadays it's called the Skeleton Lake.
The Thar Desert is located just 30 kilometers from India-Pakistan border in the north-west part of India. You can get it from Jaisalmer city where you can order a few days trip with sleeping in the tent on the desert. If you want to know a little more about this great tourist attraction, you must read my other article: the Thar Desert and Jaisalmer city in India.
I really enjoyed visiting the Thar Desert in India and for me, the desert and the nearest city of Jaisalmer are one of the best tourist destinations in whole India and really a must-see places.
Caves of Ellora
Listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ellora Caves are one of the biggest rock-cut monastery and temple cave complexes in the whole World. It is located in the state of Maharashtra, India. Those caves include not only Buddhist artwork and monuments, but also Hindu and Jain and they were built between the 6th and the 10th century.
While being here, you must visit Kailasa temple, which contains the largest single monolithic rock excavation in the world and it's dedicated to the god Shiva. But this is no only cave here. The whole complex of Ellora Caves contain more than 100 different caves and more than 30 are opened to the public.
The Lake Palace called also Jag Niwas is a beautiful and luxury hotel from the 18th century, located near the Udaipur city on the lake Pichola. It's an awesome place where you can get only by the boat.
Near Lake Palace, you can find a lot of other great tourist attractions and interesting places, like another building called Jag Mandir (Lake Garden Palace) and two other small islands: Mohan Mandir and Arsi Vilas. There are also a lot of great places in the nearest city Udaipur, like Niwas palace or Jagdish temple. You can read more about this in my another travel blog article about Udaipur, the city among the lakes.
Rani Ki Vav
Another awesome stepwell described in my travel blog. Rani Ki Vav is located near the Saraswati river and Patan city in the state of Gujarat, India. It is also on the UNESCO's World Heritage Sites list and it's dated to the 11th century.
Rani Ki Vav Temple in India is an awesome place not only for travelers but also for any sort of photographers. I would suggest you visit it if you have an opportunity or are in the nearest area.
The Key Monastery (or Kee, Kye, Ki) is built probably in the 11th century and it's a big group of houses located on the hill to preserve Mongol hordes attacks. While visiting the monastery you can notice a huge China influence on its architecture as well as beautiful inner historic murals.
Nowadays the Key Monastery is still an active and functioning monastery with more than 250 monks who live here farming and keeping this 1000 years old place alive. I'm not sure if it is for everybody, but I know that you can even spend some time living here among the monks.
Places on Map
If you don't know where in India are the tourist attractions and interesting places described here, below you will find a map where I marked them.
India is an awesome country full of wonders, temples, castles, and palaces. I hope that this list of the most unusual, but still awesome places in India showed you some great places you would like to visit. If you enjoyed this article or have some other questions about India or any of those tourist attractions, feel free to leave me a comment in the section below.