A Map of 30 of India’s Most Alluring Natural Wonders to Add to Your Bucket List
From Sikkim to Meghalaya and Uttarakhand, India is home to some of the most mysterious and fascinating natural wonders. We compiled a map of 30 such places that deserve a spot in your travel plans.
With a vast number of man-made wonders full of history and culture, India has attracted tourists from all over the world. But they are not the only wonders to leave you in awe. India is home to a large number of natural lakes, canyons, and more, spread all across different states.
Here are eight natural wonders of India that will surely take your breath away.
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What if we tell you that there is a place in India where you will go uphill even if you turn your car’s engine off?
Magnetic hill or Mystery Hill is a stretch of road 30 km from Leh city on the Leh-Kargil Highway, 14,000 feet above sea level, which “defies gravity”. The science behind this phenomenon includes two theories. One that the hill has a strong magnetic force that pulls vehicles uphill. The other is that it is merely an optical illusion that makes the vehicles look like they are going uphill when in reality they are moving downhill.
There is an interesting local myth around the place which says that the road once led to heaven and only the deserving were pulled uphill. Be it for the science or the myth, it is fascinating enough to be on your bucket list.
Valley of Flowers
As the name suggests, this wonder is home to a wide variety of flowers such as orchids, poppies, marigold, daisies, etc.
Located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, it was declared a national park by the Indian government in 1980. In 2002, it was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The trek of the Valley of Flowers is one of the most famous treks of the region, where one witnesses exotic flowers, waterfalls and the Pushpawati River.
Among some wonderful places in Sikkim, this wondrous beauty is one of the highest altitude natural lakes in the world. It is located at an elevation of 17,800 ft above sea level in the Mangan district of Sikkim in proximity to the Tibetian and Chinese border.
The lake is considered to be sacred by Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists. It is also a source of water for nearby villages.
Gurudongmar is associated with many different myths — it is believed that the locals of the area pleaded with Guru Padmasambhava, who was returning from Tibet, to solve their water woes. Moved by their plea, he touched the lake with his walking stick and the water of the lake would never freeze again. Even when the temperature goes as low as – 30 degrees, parts of the lake do not freeze.
"The scenic beauty here (in #LaitlumCanyon) is just beyond words…❤️" Couldn't agree more with @the_wayfaring_glutton! 🙌🏼
📍Laitlum Canyons, East Khasi Hills
📷 IG@the_wayfaring_glutton#MeghalayaTourism pic.twitter.com/DziD1uhvo4— Meghalaya Tourism (@meghtourism) July 9, 2021
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Nestled in the East Khasi Hills of Meghalaya, the scenic view of these canyons will make you swoon. The word Laitlum means “end of the hills” and the canyons do look like the end of hills with a jaw dropping view.
Often compared to the Scottish highlands, the canyon is full of picturesque views of sunsets, fog covered canyons, and lush green vegetation. You can trek to the top, visit the nearby village of Ra Song, and stand on the wooden bridge above the magnificent Laitlum River. The best time to visit the place is from May to September.
Located in Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu and just a five hour drive from Bengaluru, Hogenakkal falls offer beautiful scenery and great freshly cooked fish.
River Kaveri splits into multiple smaller streams and falls from height ranging from 15 ft to 66 ft, making it an enigma to witness. The locals believe that the water has magical properties that not only wash away your health issues, but also your sins.
You can enjoy boat rides in coracles (basket-shaped boats) and enjoy an oil massage.
The unique part about Lonar Lake, a meteorite impact lake in Buldhana, Maharashtra is that it has both, alkaline & saline water. Which has created a wide range of flora & fauna in its ecosystem!
Credit: india_on_my_cycle (Instagram) pic.twitter.com/Zf6wKXVIk9— Maharashtra Tourism (@maha_tourism) May 3, 2021
Lonar Lake or Lonar crater is located in Buldhana District of Maharashtra. It was created by a meteorite collision created over 50,000 years ago and has been identified as a geo-heritage monument with saline and alkaline water.
While science might say it is a crater, the locals say that it was created when Lord Vishnu vanquished Lonasura, a mythical demon that was troubling the people of the village. The place is famous for its 100-year-old temple, the scenic surroundings of the lake and sightings of migratory birds.
Also known as mini Niagara Falls of India, Chitrakote Falls are considered to be the broadest waterfalls in the country. It is located 38 km from Jagdalpur in Bastar in Chhattisgarh on the river Indravati.
The water of the river flows through the dense vegetation and falls from a height of 95 ft. It is in the shape of a horseshoe and offers majestic views.
The best time to visit the falls is during the rainy season from July to October.
St Mary’s Island
St Mary’s Island, popularly known as ‘coconut island’, is a group of four small islands in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Malpe in Udupi in Karnataka. They are famous for their white sand beaches and crystallised basalt rock formations which were created at the time Madagascar Island got separated from India.
St Mary’s Islands are listed as one of the Geological Monuments of India. It is said that Vasco da Gama made a stop on these islands while on his way to Calicut, putting a cross in the name of Mother Mary and hence its name.
Edited by Divya Sethu
Facts about St Mary’s Island by Akshatha Vinayak, 23 April, 2018
Lonar lake will soon be developed into a tourist destination by Outlook Traveller, 2 August 2022
The Jewel of sikkim: Lake Gurudongmar by Karan Kaushik, 11 May 2021
De-mystifying Magnetic Hills by Upasya Bhowal, 11 July 2022
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