On the occasion of India’s 73rd Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to visit at least 15 tourist destinations within India by 2022. Supporting the Prime Minister’s vision for boosting domestic tourism, Deep Kalra, CEO, MakeMyTrip India, an avid traveller who loves to traverse unexplored paths suggests a list of ten places that are a must-visit in India.
Nubra Valley - Located to the north of Leh, Nubra Valley is the gateway to the Shyok and is also home to the Siachen Glacier. The Nubra Valley was once on the trading route that connected eastern Tibet with Turkistan via the famous Karakoram Pass. It is the most recently opened area of Ladakh. With breath-taking views and delightfully hospitable inhabitants, it surely gives a mesmerizing experience to all.
Pangong Lake - Pangong Lake or Pangong Tso makes for a picture-perfect excursion. At a height of over 14,200 feet, Pangong Lake’s 134 kilometre stretches from India to China. Getting to Pangong Lake is about a five-hour drive from Leh town. The beauty and allure of this lake have attracted people from all over the country and beyond. Under the Ramsar Convention, the lake is in the process of being identified as a wetland with international significance.
Pahalgam - Surrounded by Lidder Lake and Betaab Valley, Pahalgam is the place to visit to experience clear water rivers and exhilarating deep valleys. River rafting at Lidder Lake is a famous attraction and is also the ideal place to go shopping for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts.
Gulmarg - Gulmarg is the snow paradise of Kashmir. This skier’s paradise is popular for having one of the world's highest and largest ropeways with an aerial distance of approx. 5kms. The bewildering view from the top of the mountains is at 3979 metres above sea level.
Sonmarg- Sonmarg or ‘the meadow of gold’ has one of the most picturesque views in Kashmir. With snow-clad mountains, green grasslands and ponies to ride on, this place is heaven and makes for the perfect getaway retreat. It is also one of the base points for starting the Amarnath Yatra.
Havelock Islands - Elephant Beach in Havelock is one of the best places to enjoy snorkelling because of its rich marine life. It also has an incredible reserve of corals
Neil Island- The Island is known for its natural wonders, especially the beaches. A trip to three such beaches is commonly called the three-point tour - Bharatpur, Lakshmanpur and Sitapur beach. There are multiple small lagoons at the beaches which are perfect for snorkelling and scuba diving. The delicious seafood is every foodie’s dream comes true with freshly caught prawns, crabs, fish and lobsters!
Umiam Lake – The Umiam lake also known as “bada paani” offers the ideal romantic experience. An exquisite romantic evening in the company of soft breeze and the blushing sun setting down the horizon of this breath-taking lake, makes it the perfect setting for a date. As the night descends, the spectacular lake transforms into the venue for a dazzling light and sound show
Rann of Kuch – This enormous stretch of white land is the world’s largest salt dessert, making it one of the most remarkable places to visit. The Rann Utsav festival starts in the month of November and extends till February. The festival offers rows of exotic food stalls and handicrafts which are one-of-a-kind and are a true representative of the state’s culture
Pench Tiger Reserve – The Pench Tiger Reserve is one of the premier tiger reserves in India and the first one to straddle across two states - Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. The reserve also has its mention in the famous story of 1894, ‘The Jungle Book’, penned down by the renowned author Rudyard Kipling
So, if you are still working on your travel bucket-list, this list may come in handy. Explore and soak yourself into the beauty of the wonderlands of India....