Updated: Apr 8, 2021
There are several places in India that have the essence of a foreign land in terms of elegance, but they are far more accessible when it comes to budget.
1.Gurudongmar Lake, Sikkim and Jökulsárlón Lake, Iceland
At a height of 17,100 ft. (5212 meters), the gorgeous Gurudongmar Lake situated in the north of the state, is one of the 15 highest lakes in the world and the second highest in India.
Comparable to Jökulsárlón Lake (pictured) in Iceland, it is not just scenic but is also believed to have healing properties. Tourists often carry the lake water with them. Best time to visit is from November to June.
2.Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Tourists visit the islands during the year because of the tropical climate. The capital city, Port Blair, is also the gateway to the pristine islands, home to 270 bird species and full of dense flora and fauna.
Equivalent to the Phi Phi Islands (pictured) in Thailand, this Indian counterpart is known for its picturesque locations and water sports like scuba diving and snorkeling, among others.
3.Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir and Switzerland
The beautiful town of Gulmarg is 32 miles (52 km) away from the city of Srinagar. A major tourist attraction here is Gulmarg Gondola, which is Asia's highest and longest cable car project.
While Srinagar itself is as good as any foreign location, the beauty of Gulmarg is a notch above it with its snow-covered peaks, which are comparable to those of Switzerland (pictured). It is a paradise for people seeking solace from the summer heat as much as an adventure destination. To enjoy the snow, the best time to visit is from December to March. Otherwise April, May and June are ideal.
4.Thar Desert, Rajasthan and Sahara Desert, Africa
Also known as the Great Indian Desert, this northwestern desert covers an area of 77,000 square miles (200,000 square km) and is the 18th largest and the most densely populated in the world.
This splendid territory that borders Pakistan is as beautiful as the Sahara desert (pictured). Watch the sun go down against the myriad shades of brown dunes and enjoy camel safaris. December to January is the best time to visit.
5.Chitrakote Falls, Chhattisgarh and Niagara Falls
This waterfall is 95 feet (29 meters) in height in the Bastar district and is the largest waterfall in the world. The months between July and October are perfect if you wish to visit the waterfall in its full glory. This is when the Indravati River is flooded by the monsoons, which is where the waterfall is situated.
Although about one third less in width, the waterfall is often called the Niagara Falls (pictured) of India, for its width and fullness.
6.Alappuzha, Kerala and Venice, Italy
Formerly known as Alleppey, this popular destination in the south, takes you on an enchanting journey through the backwaters of Kerala. You can enjoy fishing, coir-making and prawn farming when on-board a houseboat, known as "kettuvallam." The city also hosts the snake boat races every year during August, which draw tourists and locals in large numbers.
You can enjoy panoramic views of lush fields, ducks and birds as you glide through the water, deriving the same pleasure as being in Venice (pictured). The best time to visit is during the winter months of November to February.
7.Lakshadweep and Maldives
The Sanskrit word Lakshadweep translates to "a hundred thousand islands." An archipelago, it is the smallest Union Territory of India comprising 36 islands.
The blue waters, rich marine life, beautiful landscape, coral reefs, scenic beauty and enchanting environment is captivating and enthralling like Maldives (pictured). However, the entry is restricted and a permit by Lakshadweep Administration is required
8.Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh and Switzerland
At an altitude of 6,500 feet (1,981 meters) above sea level, the small plateau in Chamba is located. This is a popular honeymoon and holiday destination because of the beautiful weather coupled with the green surroundings.
The dense pine and deodar forests with a lake in between adds to the charm of the hill station popularly known as "Mini Switzerland." The best time to visit is from April to October.
9.Valley of Flowers National Park, Uttarakhand and Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
The Valley of Flowers is nothing less than a fairy land with cool breeze, fresh alpine flowers and sounds of nature. The magnificent valley is home to several birds and rare animals like Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, musk deer, brown bear, red fox, and blue sheep.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site, which has rolling plains much like California's Antelope Valley (pictured), is spread across 34 square miles (87.5 square kms). The best time to visit the valley is during July to September.
10.Puducherry and France
Formed out of four territories of French India in 1962, Puducherry (previously known as Pondicherry) still displays a rich French essence with its architecture and its streets named in French.
The popular tourist destination has beautiful beaches and no hills or forests. It is quiet, clean and calm with scenic views of perfectly lined trees and heritage buildings. People speak in English and French apart from the local languages. The best time to visit is between October to March.
Hope you found this informative and useful. More places to go, would share that in part 2 .Till then Stay safe and happy.
Travel safely. Thank you !!