Pack your bags and pick your destination—international travel is no longer a mystery to Indian residents. But before you set your heart on exploring the world, how about discovering some wonders closer home? Here's a snapshot of a few places in India that'll remind you of their overseas counterparts, minus the hefty travel expenses.
The verdant beauty of Switzerland and the picture-paradise Gulmarg If you're enamoured by Switzerland's lush green valleys and picture-postcard lakes, head to India's mountain getaway Gulmarg—a destination that's as breathtakingly beautiful as it's adventurous. Covered with pine-fringed green pastures in summer and blanketed in snow in winter, it exudes a charm that few other places do.
Awe-inspiring salt flats in Utah and the stunning Rann of Kutch Before you dream of visiting the unforgettable white landscape of the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA, walk across the enigmatic Rann of Kutch. What appears to be an endless desert plain running straight to the horizon is in fact a seasonal island edged by the Gulf of Kutch and the Great and Little Ranns. Salt crystals dazzle like diamonds under the scorching sun and the still vastness almost appears eerie under the bluish glow of the full moon.
The famous Niagara Falls and the majestic Athirapilly fallsThe Athirapilly falls in Thrissur, Kerala have been nicknamed the Niagara Falls of India, and for good reason. The majestic falls are a sight to behold—stretching across 330 feet and surrounded by lush forests harbouring abundant wildlife. So, if you've always dreamt of getting drenched in the world-famous Niagara Falls, then look no further.
The idyllic beaches of Brazil and GoaLazing around some of the most captivating beaches in Brazil, cocktail in hand, pretty much sums up the perfect seaside getaway. For something closer home, head to the beaches of Goa. Home to long sandy beaches packed with lively shacks and a party atmosphere, Goa exudes a sense of revelry, merriment and abandon that is truly addictive.
Antelope Valley of Flowers and Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand Each spring, USA's Antelope Valley of Flowers comes alive with seasonal surprises—warm breeze replaces the winter chill and poppies burst into bloom blanketing hillsides in a sea of orange. In India, during the monsoon months of July and August, around 300 varieties of flowers carpet the Garhwal hills in Uttarakhand. The unending vistas of blossoming geraniums, wild roses and asters are enough to take your breath away.
The floating markets of Bangkok and Srinagar Before you get swayed by the floating markets of Bangkok, shop for vegetables and souvenirs in the floating markets of Srinagar. The Dal Lake is famous the world over for its scenic location, its shikaras and houseboats and its floating market. A part of everyday life in Srinagar, these markets are a popular destination for both tourists and locals.
The mystical Sahara Desert and the equally dramatic Thar DesertIf you're mystified by the idea of a journey into the Sahara Desert, then try and surf the sands of India's Thar Desert—its palette, a thousand shades of brown. There's not better place to indulge in exotic camel safaris and watch a breathtaking sunset across the shifting sand dunes.
Lahore's Badshahi mosque and Delhi's Jama MasjidLahore's enigmatic Badshahi mosque and Delhi's Jama Masjid are both considered to be the finest examples of Mughal architecture. Built by emperor Shah Jahan in 1656, the Jama Masjid is India's largest mosque and can hold a mind-blowing 25,000 people. Constructed 17 years later by Shah Jahan's son Aurangzeb, the Badshahi Mosque also uses red sandstone and white marble.
The diving paradise Thailand and equally adventurous Lakshadweep With hundreds of dreamy tropical islands scattered along its extensive coastline, Thailand is a popular destination for diving enthusiasts. Closer home, the exotic beaches and turquoise-hued waters of Lakshadweep islands aren't far behind. The real attraction rests underwater: the pristine lagoons, unspoilt coral reefs and rich marine life beckon you like no other place.
The sprawling tea gardens of China and Munnar, KeralaTea is an indispensable part of life in China—and and the same holds true for India. So before you stroll through China's verdant tea gardens in Hangzhou or Fujian, head to south India's favourite hill station, Munnar—where lush, green manicured tea fields exude an irresistible charm for travellers.