Yes, India is a mesmerizingly beautiful place and it has lots to offer to those who're looking for the best of history, nature, culture and everything in between. But there are some amazing places in the country that desperately need us to work to preserve them and sadly, we seem to have dropped the ball somewhere. So here we gonna talk about 10 such places in India you might want to visit while they still exist, which, unfortunately, won't exist for too long.
1. Majuli, Assam – The largest river island and it's shrinking
Majuli, in upper Assam, is one of the most diverse wildlife regions in India. Elephants, tigers, deer, rabbits, snakes, buffaloes and different kinds of birds, have made the largest river island in the world their home. The tragedy is, the island is shrinking. Deforestation resulting is massive erosion has reduced the area of the island from 483 sq km to 421 sq km. Some surveys show that at this rate, within 15-20 years, Majuli might even cease to exist.
Image Courtesy: Lost With Purpose
2. Wular Lake, Jammu & Kashmir – The shrinking lake
Wular Lake in Kashmir is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world and it regularly hosts water sports for locals and tourists. But it is shrinking due to pollution and the hunting to waterfowl. Enjoy the sights of this grand water body while it lasts. There is a plan to fell 2 million trees to increase the size of the lake, but that will take some time. And even so, the idea that trees need to be cut down to preserve a natural body, seems a bit bizarre.
Image Courtesy: The Wire
3. Rakhigarhi, Haryana – The largest city in the Indus Valley Civilization
This village in Hisar district in Haryana is an archaeologist's dream. In 1963, archaeologists discovered that this was the site of the largest city in the Indus Valley civilization, much larger than the sites found around Mohenjodaro and Harappa. Although the site was excavated for three winters since 1997, it was stopped due to a CBI investigation for claimed misallocation of funds. Also, the lack of maintenance has rendered the boundary wall useless letting locals steal ancient artifacts from the site and sell it to interested buyers.
Image Courtesy: news click
4. Rama Setu, Tamil Nadu - Limestone shoals connecting two nations
Also known as Adam's Bridge, Rama Setu is a chain of limestone shoals that connects Dhanushkodi in India and Mannar Island in Sri Lanka. Legend has it that it was the bridge built by Rama's Vaanar Sena. While that is still conjecture, the sad thing is the planned Sethusamudran Shipping Canal Project by the Indian government threatens the existence of this natural wonder.
Image Courtesy: Mysterioustrip
5. Sundarbans, West Bengal – The two faces of mother nature
The Sundarban Delta is one of the most fascinating places in the world if you're into nature and wildlife. Home to the largest mangrove forest it is also famous for the now endangered Bengal Tiger. But nature has a dark side too. The delta is in a low lying region which puts it at great risk of annihilation by being submerged underwater. Add to that the growing impact of global warming (it's not a myth, people!) and the rising sea level, this beautiful region could soon be history.
Image Courtesy: The travel magazine
6. Dechen Namgyal Monastery, Jammu & Kashmir – A fortified place of spiritualism
A 17th-century Buddhist Monastery or Gompa, this magnanimous fortified structure was built along the Ladakh trade route by Ladakhi King Sengge Namgyal with assistance from Tibetan priest Stag-Tsang-Ras-Pa. Because it's so difficult to reach, the much-needed restoration work has suffered over the years. The ten monks who pray there, do what they can to keep it standing with help from the locals in Hanle village.
Image Courtesy: India.com
7. Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan – A majestic structure struggling with modernity
One of the largest fortifications in the world, the Jaisalmer Fort in Rajasthan is a pride of the Rajputs in India. Amazingly, several families still live within the premises of the fort and it is also a major tourist attraction. Due to rising population and the introduction of modern plumbing (something that could not have been taken into account when the fort was built in the 12th century), the fort is deteriorating. And yes, this too is on that WMF watch list.
Image Courtesy: India Map
8. Balpakram Forest, Meghalaya – Where departed souls are said to rest
The Balpakram National Park or forest is located in the southern part of Meghalaya. Home to the local Garo tribe, local legend has it that this is where the souls of the departed go to rest. An environmentalist's delight, the green gorges are abundant with wildlife, such as wild water buffaloes, red pandas and various species of wildcats.
Image Courtesy: Holidify
9. Coral Reef, Lakshadweep – The beauty under the surface
If you have ever gone snorkeling in Lakshadweep, you'll know how amazing the coral reefs in the region are. But the excessive amount of blast fishing, coral mining and change in navigation paths is putting these in danger. Add rising sea level due to global warming to the hate-list and you'll realize how the bleak the future of the region is.
Image Courtesy: The Print
10. Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand – Strictly for trekkers
They were right when they said 'beauty can be a cruel mistress'. The Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand is so beautiful that it attracts a lot of tourists, and that is the biggest threat to the region. There is a thin line between an ideal trekking destination and a burgeoning tourist hub and we seem to have crossed that when it comes to Valley of Flowers.
Image Courtesy: MouthShut
Sometimes it's nature, but most often it's us the humans who ruin the good things. Now is a good time to take a U-turn.