Cities may be fascinating but the traditional roots of any place lie in its villages. In India, it’s the mud houses, the simple yet scrumptious meals, and the unpolluted surroundings that welcome you to soak in the rural culture. Traveling within India is not only about visiting its posh cities and well-known tourist spots but also about exploring the real India by stepping into the many clusters of villages throughout the country. However, there aren’t many who have woken up to the pristine beauty and unique landscapes that rural tourist destinations in India have on offer. Here are five mesmerizing tourist destinations in India which you wouldn’t want to miss at any cost!
Hodka Village in Gujarat
Located in the district of Kutch, Hodka derives its name from the Gujarati word “Hodi” meaning boat. The colorful attires, the rich culture, and the breathtaking art and craft of Hodka have contributed to making it one of the most popular rural tourist destinations of India.
While in Hodka, you can take a trip around the village with the local guides, popularly known as “bhomiyas”. They will not only show you around but also provide you with tidbits of information about the lifestyle of the locals. If you head out towards the wetlands of Chhari Dhand, you can find a diverse range of migratory as well as resident birds. Home to at least 55 animal species and over 50,000 bird species, Chhari Dhand wakes the nature lover in you.
Hodka is well-known for its traditional art and craft. With every hamlet in the village coming up with their own distinct patterns and prints, your eyes will never get used to the rich artwork of this place. Leather work is the most popular form of craft in Hodka.
Hodka lies at a distance of about 32.2 kilometers from Kutch and you should be there within 42 minutes by road.
Take the overnight camel safaris in Hodka. They are the most famous tourist attractions here.
Banavasi in Karnataka
Existing since 4000 BC, Banavasi was formerly known as ‘Vanavasaka’ followed by ‘Jayanthipura’ before coming to be known as Banavasi. Being one of the oldest temple towns in India, this place has its own significance as per the religious aspect. The Varada River flowing on its three sides adds to the aura of this serene village in Karnataka. Although Banavasi has pleasant weather throughout the year, the months between September and March are ideal for a visit.
Banavasi’s popularity lies in its Car Festival, hosted in the month of March. Do not forget to try out the delicious meals from the khanavalis during your stay in Banavasi.
During your visit to Banavasi, do not miss the Varnaloka – an art gallery hosted by Shreepad Purohit.
Pipli in Orissa
Pipli is well-known for its gorgeous appliqué work. Orissa is a storehouse of various unique industries, and this village is no exception. What’s more? You can also visit Puri Beach which is only about 37 kilometers from Pipli, a village with a history that dates back to the 10th century. Previously, the artisans were appointed to cater only to the requirements for the Rath Yatra, like making umbrellas and canopies for the deities. But today, the artisans of Pipli make everything from handbags to purses, puppets to wall hangings.
If you are planning to visit Pipli, the best time will be the months between October and March. The pleasant weather will make your tour more comfortable.
Mawlynnong in Meghalaya
Appropriately referred to as “the cleanest village in Asia”, Mawlynnong has several reasons to visit. Tribal, pristine, and misty, this village is a wild paradise. Experience the rich wilderness by going for a trek from Mawlynnong to the famous Living Root Bridge constructed out of roots of living trees and over a thousand years old. The cobbled streets leading to thatched Khasi huts are lined with colorful flowers and the gurgling water of the Umterming waterfall at the background are beautiful and unforgettable sights.
To experience the real lifestyle of this village, stay at the homestays on the stilts and grab a bite of the delicious local cuisine.
Munsiyari in Uttarakhand
Munsiyari is surrounded by dense forests and snow-capped mountains, with the river Gori Ganga caressing it. For nature lovers and adventurers, this place is an absolute delight.
Munsiyari lies 60 kilometers away from Delhi. There are three routes from Delhi to Munsiyari with picturesque stopovers along the way.