Know the Indian travel destinations that beat the international ones in splendour

 Know the Indian travel destinations that beat the international ones in splendour

Alok K Singh

International Travel costs are soaring and travel lovers are facing a challenge sticking to their budgets for vacations. As compared to last year, the ticket prices for several airlines have increased significantly for popular foreign destinations. According to a report, global travel prices are expected to continue to increase in the coming months of 2023.
But don’t you worry, if you have a tight budget and cannot afford international travel. We bring before you a few Indian destinations that resemble foreign locations in beauty but wont make a dent on your pocket. Not to forget that India holds 34th rank among the best value destinations in the world.

Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh (Switzerland, Europe)
Breathtaking views of snow-capped Himalayan peaks, vivid variety of flora & fauna, and pristine lakes just like Switzerland, make Khajjiar a winter wonderland for travel lovers. There’s a striking resemblance to the topography of Switzerland. Undoubtedly, Khajjiar is the best answer to Switzerland as it is equally mesmerizing to this European paradise. You won’t miss Switzerland when you visit Khajjiar. Best time to visit Khajjiar is from October to March.

Major attractions include : Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary, Khajjiar Lake, Kailash Villages, Dhauladhar Range, trekking, hiking, Tibetan handicrafts. You can plan a Himachal tour as per the activities of your liking.

Alleppey, Kerala (Venice, Italy)
Alleppey in Kerala was quoted as the “Venice of India” by Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of India.When he paid a visit to this place, he noticed that the beauty of this place was so magnificent.  The serene views and tranquil backwaters captivated him and this is where the name came from. Home to scenic canals and lagoons, Venice in Italy is the first choice of every tranquility lover. If you are looking for an alternative to Venice’ canals and lagoons, visit Alleppey. The appetizing seafood, quaint houseboats, lush greenery, brilliant breaches and emerald backwater rides are another reason to visit this place. June to October is the best time to visit this place.

Major attractions include : backwater cruise ride in Allepey’s traditional houseboats, Krishnapuram Palace, medicinal spa, handmade artifacts, floating Triveni, and Marari Beach.

Pondicherry (France, Europe)
France is undoubtedly one of the best overseas destinations. However, a trip to this dream destination may make a hole in your pocket. If you want to have a similar experience on a low budget, Pondicherry is the right place for you. This union territory in South India is a less crowded and most economic replica of France. Everything from culture to food to architecture and hospitality, Pondicherry has a distinct French influence. Many people speak English, French and Tamil in Pondicherry, it may polish your French learning skills. Best time to visit this place is from November to March.

international travel destinations
Major attractions include : beaches, watersports, boating, kayaking, overnight camping at Paradise beach, Manakula Vinayagar Temple, heritage bungalows and cobbled streets.

Auli, Uttarakhand (Alaska, United States)
Alaska had been known for its picturesque snow-covered peaks and exciting winter adventure sports. But due to increasing international travel costs these days, chances are high that you might consider visiting its alternative in India. Auli in Uttarakhand (state in India) is known to provide the same winter adventures as in Alaska. In winters it gets fully covered with slabs of snow on the hill slopes. You will be amazed to know that Auli’s mountain peaks are higher than Alaska’s mountain peaks. If you have budget constraints but still want to experience the pristine beauty of Alaska, Auli is your destination. Best time for skiing lovers to visit Auli is from November to March, however, it’s an all year round destination.

international travel destinations
Major attractions include : Nanda Devi National Park (UNESCO awarded), Gurso Bugyal, Kwani Bugyal, Kuari Pass trek, skiing, trekking, Chenab Lake, Nandaprayag and Joshimath.

Nainital, Uttarakhand (Lake District, England)
There are several places in India which are better than their foreign counterparts, Nainital is one of them. It is a counterpart of Lake District, England. Lake District is a travel trove of artistic landscapes and numerous outdoor activities. Nainital is its best alternative as it has equally beautiful landscapes. It has many ravines and lofty mountain peaks like Deopatha, Ayurpatha and the Nanda Devi. In addition to this, it has seven meandering lakes- Sattal, Bhimtal, Naukuchiatal, Malwatal, Khurpatal, Harishtal and Lokhamtal. You can visit this bewitching beauty anytime, be it summer or winter.

Major attractions include : boating in Naini Lake, Tiffin Top, shopping spree at the Tibetan market, artifacts, Hanuman Garhi Temple, ropeway ride, and paragliding. You can book an existing Nainital travel package or have one custom-made for yourself.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Maldives)
While thinking about crystal clear beaches, Maldives always crosses the mind. Beaches with turquoise waters and luxury defining resorts are awe-inspiring destinations themselves. Maldives has gained a lot of tourist attention in recent years. But spending a vacation here is quite expensive for many. Its best alternative is Andaman and Nicobar Island; a cluster of almost 500 plus islands out of which 30 are inhabited. Whether it’s scuba diving, snorkeling and lazing around turquoise waters, the islands here have got you covered with everything. Shining white sand can be seen at different beaches. You can even bring sea shells from Andaman and Nicobar, which is not allowed in Maldives due to custom duty. Best time to visit Andaman and Nicobar Islands is from October to June. Avoid going there in July, August and September as the climate is not so pleasant due to rain and humidity.

Major attractions include : thrilling watersports, spectacular beaches, luxurious resorts, snorkeling, exquisite marine life at Havelock Island, sound and light show at Cellular Jail, witness bioluminescence and lighting stars floating under your feet post sunset.

Gurudongmar Lake, Sikkim (Jökulsárlón Lake, Iceland)
Jökulsárlón is a natural wonder par excellence, thousands of travelers visit it all year round. The journey to this pristine lake is nothing short of magical. Chunks of ice glisten shine like diamonds when the sunlight falls on them, making for a really stunning view. There are many icebergs, these are ancient and some are even older than thousands of years. It is absolutely comparable to Jökulsárlón Lake, it’s not only scenic but also has healing properties. It is said to be believed that a part of it never freezes irrespective of how low the temperature drops.

international travel destinations
Gurudongmar Lake is one of the highest lakes in the world, named after the Guru Padmasambhava. Situated lavishly at an altitude of 5430m, this place is considered to be one of the most sacred places in Sikkim. Best time to visit is from November to June.
Major attractions include : seals, icebergs, snow-capped peaks, monastery, picturesque views, and holy water.

Alok K Singh is Co-founder and CEO, Travomint





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