India is a land of diverse landscapes, cultures and places, and offers a variety of places to visit for the nature-loving tourist. But the great thing about India is that almost every destination has a multidimensional aspect to it. Your love for nature can go hand-in-hand with your love for indigenous cultures, spirituality or great food! Let’s take a look at a few places every nature-lover should visit in India.
Valley of Flowers
The Valley of Flowers National Park in the North Indian state of Uttarakhand is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located at an altitude that varies between 10,000 to 20,000 feet in the Himalayas, the valley is covered in snow for most of the year, but from June to September, 300 varieties of alpine flowers spread over the green grass in a lush carpet of color, set against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains.
One of the best parts about trekking to the valley is that the food on offer at the major stop-overs is authentic fare from various regions in North India. Here’s a great travel guide to the valley and surrounding areas.
Rann of Kutch
The Rann of Kutch in the state of Gujarat on India’s western borders is the one of the largest salt deserts in the world, spread over 6000 square miles. But don’t let the “desert” moniker fool you. The place is a paradise for wildlife nuts and birdwatchers, and is visited by flamingos, pelicans and the rare Indian bustard. It is also the last surviving sanctuary of the endangered Indian Wild Ass.
The months of December and January are the best time to visit the Rann, and take in the Rann Utsav, a festival which celebrates the culture of this region. The tourism department organizes camel safaris, cultural programs, adventure sports and much more at this time.
One of the most important temples for Hindus, the Kedarnath Temple is located at an altitude of over 10,500 feet in the Himalayas. The temple can be reached after a demanding but not too tough climb of 14 kilometers. Places, in and around Kedarnath, offer a great trekking experience for enthusiasts, the prime attractions being Vasukhi Tal and Chorabari Tal.
However, Kedarnath also gives you an opportunity to experience a unique aspect of India, its spiritual culture. The space is visited by many ascetics and mendicants who have taken to the path of brahmacharya or monkhood.
India is a major tourist hub and rates for everything from airline tickets to accommodation can be expensive unless planned ahead of time. MakeMyTrip and Yatra are two of the main travel booking website in India.