Does your soul ache to explore the unexplored? Have you always dreamt of travelling through the length and breadth of the country? Have you been bitten by the travel bug? Then these 15 destinations should definitely be a part of your bucket list.

1. Dzukou Valley

The north-eastern part of India is known for its exceptional beauty because of its mountainous terrain and pristine water bodies. Therefore, the first place on the list is the breath-taking scenic Dzukou Valley that lies at the border of Nagaland and Manipur. If trekking is on your mind, then this place will be your idea of the paradise. The valley is home to a wide variety of exotic fauna and in fact it is also referred to as the “The Valley of the Flower”. To put it in a single sentence, this valley offers you an opportunity to trek in emerald green hills and enjoy crossing the crystal clear water of the valley. Do ensure that you wake up early so as not to miss the beautiful sun rising from far beyond the hills.

2. Majuli

You must have probably heard about it from your school days or in one of the quiz questions. Majuli, located in Assam, holds the Guinness World Record for being the world’s largest river island. It is known for its pollution free water and is just 20 km away from the Jorhat city. The river island speaks of Assam’s rich biodiversity. This place is suitable for wanderlusts who want to escape from the dirty air of the cities to experience rural ambience.

3. Gokarna

Gokarna lies around 140 km away from Goa and is known for its famous beaches like Kudle Beach, Om beach, Paradise Beach and the Half-Moon beach. If you prefer a beach holiday then this place is the best choice for you. Not only do you get to relax walking on the peaceful shores, you also have an option to visit famous temples like the Mahabaleshwara Temple and Mahaganapati Temple to connect with your spiritual side.

4. Hampi

Hampi, located in Karnataka, offers a walk to the past. The place is totally recommended for the history enthusiasts who wish to witness the time that has stopped here. The magnificent ruins stand as an epitome of the grandeur of its rulers.

5. Athirapally Waterfalls

Are you a Bahubali fan? If yes, then I’m sure you’ll like to see the beautiful waterfall in the movie that took your breath. The Waterfall is located in God’s own country Kerala and has rich fauna and flora owing to its thick forest range. No amount of words can do justice to its unparalleled beauty. A trip to Athirapally is a golden opportunity to enjoy the nature at its best. Ezhattumugham, Vazhachal Falls and Charpa Falls are some other tourist attracting places near Athirapally Waterfalls.

6. Shonga-Tser Lake

If you love photography, then a casual walk by the side of the Shonga-Tser Lake in Arunachal Pradesh with your camera can capture spectacular view of the surreal lake with snow-capped mountains as a backdrop. Interestingly, the lake is also known as the Madhuri Lake after the famous Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit who was here to shoot a song for a film, Koyla.

7. Wayanad

Kerala is among one of the best tourist choices mainly because of its lush greenery and serenity. Wayanad district especially is known for its heart shaped Chembra Lake which is believed to have never dried up. This is again an ideal trekking place that is guaranteed to give you an adrenaline rush. Do try the mouth-watering local cuisines.

8. Coorg

If you live in a city area then you probably know how over the years human civilization has directly and indirectly become the cause of the growing pollution. Once in a while you feel an urge to leave the bustling busy life of the cities and go somewhere far away to rest in the nature’s lap. Coorg, The Scotland of India, is for the nature lovers. Located in Karnataka, it gives you a glimpse of divine tranquility with its misty landscape. Coorg has a blend of mystical green foliage, awe-inspiring waterfalls, and sprawled plantations of tea and coffee.

9. Bekal

Another beautiful place from God’s own country, Bekal, is in the Kasargod district. The Bekal fort is one of the best-preserved beach forts in India. The fort is shaped like a giant keyhole and offers an exquisite view of the Arabian Sea from its tall observation towers, which were occupied by huge cannons, couple of centuries ago. A beautiful walkway welcomes the tourists to stroll along the fine coastline. Experience the sight of the illuminated beach in the evening hours.

10. Dharamshala

Dharamshala’s Mcleod Ganj is home to the famous Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama. The picturesque surroundings and the presence of great Buddhism culture make this hill station one of the best in India. The majestic hilltop is surrounded by oak and conifer trees and offers beautiful views of the snow-capped mountains. If you're looking for snow, winter months are the best. Summer months are better for sightseeing, trekking, mountain climbing and other activities. And do not miss the opportunity to visit the Namgyal Monastery and be fascinated by the imposing statues of Buddha.

11. Spiti Valley

Does your idea of adventure involve taking risks? Then pack your bag and head to this cold mountain desert of Spiti with your gang. The Valley consists of stark high alpine lands and is known for its undiluted natural beauty. The locals are super-friendly and are very welcoming of the tourists. This place is perfect for the people who wish to test their endurance.

12. Vagamon

Vagamon in the Idukki district of Kerala is a never ending carpet of greenery with breathtaking ravines and rivulets. For the adventure seekers, there is an option of trekking, paragliding or rock climbing. Not only is this place famous for its beautiful series of hillocks, the pine forests has a charm of its own. A long drive through the zigzag roads with your friends will surely go deep down in your memory lane.

13. Auli

The splendid snow covered Himalayan range of Auli does not fail to mesmerize the tourists. The panoramic view of Auli can be enjoyed with a ride on the cable car, chairlift or a ski lift. It is especially known to be one of the best skiing destinations in India for amateurs and professional skiers alike. The least discovered and not so visited Chenab Lake is worth a visit for the calm and serene atmosphere that it offers.

14.Auroville

Auroville is much like a utopian city except that it really exists. This Pondicherry Township is based on the idea of human solidarity and love. The official website describes it as a place that “belongs to nobody in particular. Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole.” If you have lost your hopes and faith in humanity then this place will surely prove you wrong. There is no politics, no religion, no caste, no race or creed. It is a place to find one’s own conscience.

15. Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer in Rajasthan is a perfect mélange of history, culture, ethnic cuisine and architecture. A desert safari through the heart of the Thar Desert will leave you spell-bounded. The Jaisalmer Fort and other entrancing havelis are a must-see-once-in-your-life marvel. Enjoy the soothing local folk songs and go for a camel ride.

So, where are you heading to for your first backpack trip? ;)

[Picture Credits: Google Images]

Nidhi Issac