Living in the city might be a challenging affair! The never-ending traffic jams, noisy irksome crowds, dreary concrete structures sprouting out of the ground, and amidst all the chaos and confusion of an exploding world population, we find ourselves trying to survive. In such a scenario, it's hard not to be disgruntled and it's definitely not uncommon to crave a change. A change so stark, it makes you feel everything up to that point was set in a different reality. When such a feeling kicks in, the only acceptable thing to do is to follow your heart and take off! Escape the madness of the city by exploring a low-key village that exudes a quiet charm, away from the din and disarray of urban living.
So in this release, we are going to jot down the 10 most picturesque villages in India that you have got to check out before the year ends (if you haven't already!).
1. Mawlynnong - Meghalaya
Villages of India and Cleanliness doesn't go hand-in-hand, does it? Well, that misconception of yours needs to be busted! Mawlynnong village, just a 100kms drive from the city of Shillong, is known as the cleanest village in Asia! The village is also well-connected with the city by good roads. You also get a spectacular sight of the sky from an 85-feet high tower here. One should totally put this scenic village on their checklist when it comes to exploring the best villages in India.
2. Majuli - Assam
Majuli — The Cradle of Assam Civilization!
Nestled between the mighty Brahmaputra, Majuli, the cradle of Assam civilization is the world's largest deltaic island that inherits many hidden gems to explore. Situated calmly along the waters of Brahmaputra, it is an unparalleled mixture of culture and heritage. if you are hunting an offbeat place somewhere in the peace of northeast, then you can’t go wrong with Majuli.
3. Ziro - Arunachal Pradesh
Most of us are familiar with the annual Ziro Music Festival held in Ziro Valley in Arunachal Pradesh. This four-day occasion of absolute music revelry is organized by the friendly local Apatani tribe that resides in the valley. But have you ever thought of exploring the charming little village of Ziro?
Situated about 115km away from the state's capital of Itanagar, this isolated paradise has been shortlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The sloping hills surrounding it are covered with pine and bamboo trees. Ziro has vast stretches of beautiful green grasslands, especially the Ziro Puto hill which appears to be covered by a green fluffy carpet of grass.
One quirky and rather interesting fact about the Apatani tribe is that the women in the tribe got facial tattoos because they were believed to be too beautiful for their own good! The tattoos apparently concealed their beauty so men from other tribes wouldn't woo them away!
This tiny hamlet remains largely unexplored by tourists, with the exception of the occasional backpacker. But anyone who loves nature, clean fresh air and fascinating trails should definitely head here.
4. Kasol Village - Himachal Pradesh
Kasol, sitting in the vibrant colorful valleys of Himachal Pradesh, has become a hippie haven full of hideouts where backpackers chill by listening to rhythmic music and relishing all-time favorite Maggie. The place has been home to many Israeli hippies as suggested by the Hebrew signboards everywhere. You'll be awestruck by the beauty of this village in India as it's home to beautiful landscapes and picturesque views. We just can't miss out on Kasol when it comes to the best villages in India.
5. Matheran - Maharashtra
This small hamlet in Maharashtra sits at an altitude of 800 meters above sea level and boasts of some incredible views of quiet mysterious valleys and surrounding hills. The pleasant weather, that promises to rejuvenate you, is just an added bonus. However, the coolest thing about Matheran is the fact that no vehicles are allowed here. So for all the 'city birds' looking to escape the toxic fumes of urban living, Matheran will be a breath of sweet fresh air and total serenity.
6. Idukki- Kerala
Much like the rest of picturesque Kerala, Idukki spoils us with its natural beauty and tranquility. Surrounded by lush mountains, this gem of a place is at the highest point of the Western Ghats and is a paradise for all nature lovers. Whether you wish to walk along winding trails, wander through a silent green forest, sit by a gurgling waterfall or jump into a calm, clear lake, Idukki offers it all. This is a must-visit for anyone who wants to experience the glory of Kerala.
7. Yana - Karnataka
Not many know of this enchanting village in Karnataka with its mysterious rock formations sprouting out of the ground, attempting to scrape the sky. With the Sahyadri mountains as its backdrop, Yana sits comfortably in a scenic spot, hidden away from the rest of the world. The limestone rock formations that intimidatingly tower over you, are home to a self-manifested Shiv lingam with a figurine of goddess Parvati inside. This village is a must-visit for pilgrims, nature lovers and those into adventure activities such as hiking and trekking.
8. Agatti - Lakshadweep
This one is for all water sports enthusiasts out there! Apart from being one of the most gorgeous places in the country, this peaceful little village in Lakshadweep surrounded by aquamarine-hued waters boasts of amazing aquatic diversity – corals and colorful marine life. It is super popular for activities such as scuba diving, sailing, snorkeling, glass-bottom boat tours, kayaking, fishing, water skiing, or you could just spend your days here swimming and soaking up the subtropical sun.
Hop onto a bike and travel extensively across this little island – most definitely the best way to explore Agatti – absorbing the natural beauty around while you let the wind playfully ruffle your hair. Most places, with the exception of the only one resort here, shut down by around 8 pm, so it's best to make dinner plans way in advance. The locals here are simple folk and lead a slow and uncomplicated life.
9. Khonoma - Kohima
Around 20km away from Kohima, the capital of Nagaland, is a sleepy village called Khonoma, but let that description not deceive you. This warrior village happens to be India's first "green village", known for its ecologically-sensitive people and community conservation projects. This 700-year old hamlet with a population of about 3,000 people, is known for its emerald green forests and sloping terraced hills blanketed with rice plantations.
Some of the conservation efforts that have taken place to preserve biodiversity and wildlife include the development of the Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary, successfully banning hunting in the region and strengthening systems of natural resource management.
10. Nako - Spiti Valley
This hamlet is located in the high-altitude and wondrously beautiful Spiti Valley and is very close to the Tibetan border. Arid, desolate and barren, Nako is uniquely beautiful and a place you should visit if you want to experience something a little different than your run-of-the-mill hill station holiday. This quiet little village has an ancient monastery complex, which is a cluster of four old temples, run by Buddhist lamas. The walls of these temples are adorned with beautiful frescoes. As for recreational activities, during summer you can go boating here and winter months offer fun ice-skating sessions.