India is a huge country. Its vastness cannot be fathomed in words. Apart from popular cities, there are several small towns and villages, which still boast of raw beauty. If you are tired of stressful city life, a vacation at any of these locations is going to give you the much-needed respite from hullabaloo of city life. Crowd-less, beautiful, lush, peaceful, friendly and welcoming, are the towns and villages of India. You will create unforgettable memories with your loved ones.
1. Diksit Town, Ladakh
Lying on the boundary of an arid desert in the Shok Valley, Diksit village is a pristine destination in Ladakh, boasting of enchanting and serene surroundings. Placed at an altitude of 10,310 feet above sea level, this place has beautiful mountains, making bird watching quite popular here.
Do not miss a visit to Diskit monastery, built in the 14th century. The best feature of this monastery is the 106 feet tall statue of Maitreya Buddha. A day’s excursion to Nubra Valley can also be planned. This monastery houses around 100 monks. You can also plan a trek to nearby location.
Best time to visit: June – September
2. Nako, Lahaul Spiti
Located close to the Tibetan border in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, Nako village leaves you enthralled with its tranquility and unspoiled scenery. As the geographical area of this pristine hamlet is quite small, you can easily explore it by foot on your own. As you take a walk, savor the stunning vistas. One of the most beautiful small towns and villages in India, this place transports you into another world. One of the best features of this place is its moon-like landscape.
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Visit the four Tibetan temples here along with the ancient Nako Monastery, which was constructed way back in the 11th century. Spot the various Mani Stones strewn all across Nako’s landscape. Do not miss out exploring Tabo Monastery, a UNESCO heritage site, which was erected in the 9th century AD. Embark on a trek to another village called Tashigang. Get a glimpse of Ladakhi lifestyle. Plan a picnic around the picturesque Nako Lake. Visit the world’s highest village Kibber, housing a wonderful monastery and sanctuary.
Best time to visit: July – September
3. Ziro Valley, Arunachal Pradesh.
Boasting of unparalleled scenic charm and tranquil environs, Ziro valley deserves to be in the list of 8 most beautiful towns and villages in India. For the same reason, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Exotic wildlife, snow-covered peaks, thick pine forests, and rice fields, all look mesmerizing. Just lay down on the grass and admire the nature for its simple pleasures.
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Embark on sightseeing including Meghna Cave Temple, Ziro Puto, Midey etc. Go for a walk in the rice fields. Exotic wildlife at the Talley Valley Wildlife sanctuary. Do not miss out on having an interaction with Apatani tribe. If you happen to be here during Ziro Music Festival, you must attend the event. During your tour to Arunachal Pradesh, explore this lovely valley.
Best time to visit: March – October
4. Idukki, Kerala
Just 47 km from the very popular hill town of Munnar, Idukki in Kerala is one of the best offbeat destinations in India. This small town lies peacefully amid the lofty Western Ghats with its tranquility and scenery. The place has several delights such as wildlife sanctuaries, lush forests, hill stations, waterfalls, spice plantation, placid lakes, and mountain trek.
Trek to Anamudi Peak and Devikulam. Enjoy wildlife safari at the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary. Go for a nature walk in the spice plantations. Plan a picnic at Cheeyappara Waterfalls or Idukki arch dam.
Best time to visit: October – May
5. Malana, Himachal Pradesh
Touted as one of India’s best kept secrets, Malana in Himachal Pradesh must be visited at least once for its various charms. As per the villagers, they are a unique generation, who are the descendants of Alexander’s army. An ancient village in the Kully Valley, this place is known to produce best quality hash. The locals here are extremely protective of their beliefs and customs.
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It is also known to be one of the oldest democracies in the world. This is an ideal destination to relax, unwind and indulge in some adventure including trek to Naggar, and a 6 km trek to Jari and 16 km trek to Kasol. Hiking to the Chandrakhani pass would also be exciting.
Best time to visit: March – June and September – October
6. Mawlynnong Village, Meghalaya
One of the most beautiful villages in India, Mawlynnong in Meghalaya was given the award of cleanest village in Asia in 2003. The villagers’ community are completely devoted to eco-tourism. Nature’s beauty is simply mesmerizing. Enjoy an interaction with the friendly tribal people. Plan a holiday in Meghalaya and visit this lush village.
Go for trekking from Mawlynnong to the living roots bridge, as you walk past the wild surroundings. Picnic at Umterming waterfall can also be planned. Savor local delicacies prepared in bamboo shafts. There are a number of other waterfalls and caves that must be explored here.
Best time to visit: October – April
7. Skuru, Nubra Valley
Wish to cut yourself off from the entire world and have a peaceful stay? Skuru in Nubra Valley is just the kind of place you are looking for. This tiny hamlet with just 52 houses and a population of around 230 people is one of the 28 villages on the Nubra block around with other villages like Largiab, and Terchey. It lies at an altitude of about 10,000 feet.
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To arrive at this village you need to trek for 4 days, starting from Sasposte, and to reach Sasposte, you need to rent jeep from Leh. The nearest town to Skuru is Leh, which is around 134 km away. There are a number of tour operators in Leh, you are going to organize this visit for you. Trek across the valley of River Rakuruk, and you reach here to enjoy the warm hospitality of the friendly people of Skuru. Your vacation here is going to be full of peace, amazing weather, and breathtaking views.
Best time to visit: April to June and September to October
8. Nitoi, Nagaland
One of the most beautiful but lesser known villages of Nagaland, Nitoi is easily accessible and is located in the Kiphire district. This place is just 8 hours away from Kohima and is definitely worth-visiting for its panoramic views, lush hills in the surroundings, and unmatched tranquility. This is a tiny hamlet with a small population of 406 people but the rate of literacy here is 80 percent.
Opt for homestay as accommodation so that you interact with the local people, savor their home-cooked food, and get an insight into their lifestyle. Nitoi is around 52 km from Kiphire and has a total of 73 houses. Away from the tiresome hustle-bustle of city life, this visit is going to an unforgettable one. Explore the place by foot.
Best time to visit: All season destination