India is among the top 20 winning countries as voted by the Reader’s Choice Awards 2020. Isn’t it amazing?
Also, India holds 34th rank among the best value destinations in the world!
Exciting enough? But we have more to tell you. It is widely known that the country is blessed with everything that can entice travellers. However, it is also noteworthy that India has several destinations that are way better than its international twins.
So, you are at the advantage of discovering the beauty of India with a touch of foreign locations. And the best bet? You need not think about visa hassles. Let’s set on a trip to top 6 Indian destinations that look like foreign places. Taste the international travel flavor within your own country. Here you go …
Foreign Location: Switzerland, Europe
Indian Alternative: Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh
Switzerland is the white winter wonderland for romance seekers until the budget is not a constraint. Khajjiar in Chamba is India’s best answer to Switzerland. It is equally breathtaking to this European paradise. It bears a striking resemblance to the topography of Switzerland and has everything to entice tourists.
Why Khajjiar is dubbed as Mini Switzerland of India:
Breathtaking views of snow-capped Himalayan peaks, pristine lakes, and a vivid variety of flora and fauna make Khajjiar special. You won’t miss Switzerland once you are in Khajjiar. Bookmark Khajjiar if you are looking to explore places like Switzerland in India.
Best time to visit: October to March is the best time to visit Khajjiar for admiring the town enveloped in snow.
How to get there: The nearest airport to Khajjiar is in Dalhousie, approx 120 km away. Buses and taxis connect Khajjiar with nearby places.
Things to do:
- Enjoy nature walks and hikes at the Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Reinvigorate your mind and body at Khajjiar Lake to plunge into the Swiss feel.
- Tour the apple orchards at Kailash Villages and relish apples.
- Trek to Dhauladhar Range to witness snow-capped peaks.
- Shop locally crafted rugs and little trinkets at Tibetan Handicrafts Centre.
Foreign Destination: Venice, Italy
Indian Alternative: Alleppey, Kerala
Talking of foreign destinations and their look-alikes in India, Alleppey in Kerala deserves to be mentioned. Lord Curzon – the Viceroy of India labeled Alleppey the “Venice of East.” Home to the picturesque canals, lagoons, Venice is every romance lover’s first choice. However, Venice in Italy has itself turned into a major tourist attraction that brings crowds. If you are seeking an alternative to its tranquil canals, replace Venice with Alleppey. Located in Kerala, Alleppey is celebrated for its emerald backwater rides, appetizing seafood, and brilliant beaches.
Why Alleppey is called the Venice of East?
If budget is what you consider for your holidays, Alleppey in Kerala should be your best bet. It is one of the best dream places to visit in India for tranquility lovers.You will find the same extensive backwater network, which resembles Venice. The quaint houseboats in Kerala have all the luxurious facilities for overnight stays. Plus, the lush greenery, a marvelous vista of ruler Kerala is best seen in Alleppey that too at affordable expense.
Best time to visit: Except from June to October (due to the rain), houseboats in Kerala are operational throughout the year.
How to get there: Cochin International airport is the nearest, approx 75 km from Alleppey. It is well connected to the major Indian towns.
Things to do:
- Enjoy backwaters cruise ride in Alleppey’s traditional houseboats.
- Visit Krishnapuram Palace to explore history and culture.
- Rejuvenate your body and soul with medicinal plants oil spa bliss.
- Purchase high-quality spices, handmade artifacts at Floating Triveni.
- Feast on spicy seafood after spending quality time at Marari Beach.
Foreign Destination: France, Europe
Indian Alternative: Pondicherry
No doubt, France is one of the best overseas destinations for Indians. But so much popularity means more crowds. Why not explore the less crowded place with the same French vibes? There’s a little France in India hardly anyone knows, and its name is Pondicherry. It’s a Union Territory located in South India where the French vibes could still be unlocked. The place is bestowed with complete French vibes. Be it be – food, culture, architecture, and hospitality. In Pondicherry, the French connection is unmistakable and distinct. If you are like us, who wants to travel to France without actually visiting France, bookmark Pondicherry to explore.
Why Pondicherry is called Forever France?
Pondicherry is not as touristy as France, and neither is it expensive. Exploring India’s French town won’t make a hole in your wallet. Plus, you can polish your French learning as many people speak French, English, Tamil in Pondicherry. Explore Pondicherry as it is one of those places in India that look like foreign locations.
Best time to visit: Visit between November and March to enjoy the watersports and beach vibes.
How to get there: Nearest airport to Pondicherry is Chennai International airport. It is well connected with domestic and international flights. After landing at Chennai airport, tourists can hire a taxi or cab, or board a bus to reach Pondicherry.
Things to do in Pondicherry:
- Enjoy a sizzling sunset at Promenade beach.
- Indulge in boating, kayaking, and overnight camping at Paradise beach.
- Improve your surfing lessons at Serenity beach.
- Inhale reverberating positive energy at Manakula Vinayagar Temple.
- Tour the cobbled streets, heritage bungalows to see the interaction of French influence.
Foreign Destination: Alaska, United States
Indian Alternative: Auli, Uttarakhand
Alaska has been known for its breathtaking snow-covered peaks and exciting winter adventure sports. But due to the ever-increasing number of tourists these days, chances are high that you might just feel like visiting it’s alternative in India. Consider Auli – the breathtaking hill station tucked in Garhwal Himalayan foothills, known to provide the same winter adventure as in Alaska. Auli is best known for its postcard-perfect vibes since it’s perched at 2,500 to 3,050-metre above sea level. If you are bothered about your budget, plan to visit Auli in winters where the mercury level drops below 1°celsius. Auli is a winter retreat where snow-covered terrains will be your backdrop.
Why Auli is called the Alaska of India?
You will be amazed to know that mountain peaks in Auli are higher than in Alaska. This hill station in Uttarakhand remains covered with a snow blanket throughout the year. Just like in Alaska, you might spot the majestic snow animals in Auli slopes. Also, the price of skiing is much affordable compared to Alaska. So, why visit Alaska when you have Auli in India?
Best time to visit: November to March is the ideal time to visit Auli if you love snow. However, it’s an all-year-round destination.
How to get there: Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport to reach Auli, approx 220 km. Taxi/bus service is available to reach Auli from there. The nearest railway station is in Rishikesh, approx 230 km. Both flights and trains are frequent to reach Auli from major Indian cities.
Things to do:
- Skiing through the expansive snow blankets and high slopes.
- Spend a relaxing time with your beloved at Auli Lake and watch the sizzling sunset.
- Get yourself bewitched with snow-covered mountains at Kuari Pass trek.
- Wake up to the stunning snow-capped views when you camp.
- Visit UNESCO Awarded Nanda Devi National Park to encounter high altitude flora and fauna.
Foreign Destination: Lake District, England
Indian Alternative: Nainital, Uttarakhand
There are places in India that are better than their international counterparts. And Nainital will surely bewitch you! Every time you come across remarkable lake destinations in the world, Lake District will be there. It is a treasure trove of artistic landscapes and uncountable outdoor adventures . But the place tends to get crowded as well. And that’s why Nainital is the best alternative of it, for its equally beautiful landscapes. Also, exploring Nainital is all about promoting Indian tourism, and yes, it is more budget-friendly than the Lake District, England. Surely, it is among Indian destinations that surpass the beauty of foreign locations.
What makes Nainital a counterpart of Lake District, England?
Ruskin Bond’s writing revolves around Dehradun and the Himalayas since he spent 30 years of his life there. You will experience something similar to what Ruskin has described in his poems when you explore Nainital’s Naini Lake and Bhimtal. Also, you don’t need to travel for a thousand miles and spend your hard-earned money when you can marvel at the same beauty in Nainital. Stay amidst the lush green and snow-capped surroundings at the homestays that look like a fairytale.
Best time to visit: For a colorful summer retreat, visit between March to June (16°C – 23°C). However, October to February are the months when you will witness snowfall in Nainital (temperature goes down to -5 °Celsius).
How to get there: The nearest airport is in Pantnagar (approx 70 km) from Nainital. The nearest railway station is Kathgodam (approx 35 km). One can hire a shared/private taxi to reach Nainital from the airport or railway station.
Things to do:
- Enjoy a peaceful boating experience in Naini Lake.
- Admire the Himalayan Ranges from Tiffin Top and gaze at the sunset.
- Enjoy a shopping spree at the Tibetan market and shop artifacts.
- Unlock the divinity of Hanuman Garhi Temple.
- Fly like a bird on a ropeway ride to embrace scenic environs.
Foreign Destination: Maldives
Indian Destination: Andaman And Nicobar Islands
Think of crystal clear beaches and the Maldives will come across your mind. And why not! There are plenty of beaches by turquoise blue waters and luxury defining resorts that are a destination themselves. Traveling to the Maldives is a must-do experience if you are not short on budget. But what if you have budget constraint? What if you have been there before? In that case, we recommend visiting the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is a cluster of almost 500 islands out of which more than 30 are inhabited. Spectacular beaches, thrilling watersports, and luxurious resorts are a few traits of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In short, Andman is the replica of Maldives.
Why Andamans is called India’s own Maldives?
Whether it’s snorkeling, scuba diving, and lazing around turquoise blue beaches, the islands in Andamans have got you covered with everything. White shining sands could be seen at its different beaches. You can take a romantic stroll amidst the private island beach resort. Plus, the gear of snorkeling in Andamans is inexpensive compared to the Maldives. Did we mention you can’t bring seashells from the Maldives due to customs duty but can bring from the Andaman Islands?
Best time to visit: Except for July to September (due to humidity and rain), Andaman Islands is an all-year-round destination.
How to get there: Port Blair is the capital of Andaman where the Veer Savarkar International airport is situated. It is well connected with major Indian cities. To reach Andman from the airport, one needs to board a ferry ride.
Things to do:
- Enjoy the delightful experience of watching a sound and light show at Cellular Jail.
- Take romantic beach strolls on the beach, watch the sunset with your beloved.
- Try snorkeling and meet the exquisite marine life at Havelock Island beaches.
- Relieve all your body stress by recharging at your beach resort.
- Witness bioluminescence and lighting stars floating under your feet after sunset at Havelock Island beaches.
So why wait? See more for less and save time. Raise the slogan of Incredible India and quickly revolve around any of these places in India that resemble foreign locations. Get a feel of visiting foreign places in India itself. It’s like an international trip and that too without a visa!
Now, pack your bags, grab your favourite book and camera, and head to any of these places on your next vacay! How similar did you find these? We are eager to know.