India has a wide range of beautiful, serene and unscathed valleys, especially in its northern and north-eastern regions. For avid travelers and wanderlust seekers, below is a quick list of overlooked valleys worth a glance to fulfill your travel needs.
1. Pindar Valley, Uttarakhand
Pindar Valley lies along the Pindari River in Bageshwar – a city in the Kumaon district of Uttarakhand. This valley is neighbor to the Saryu Valley and is renowned for its scenic beauty and lush landscapes. It is abode of many villages namely Nalgaon, Meenag, Simli, Tharali and many more. The Pindar Valley is drained by the Pindari River and its rocky attractiveness, elevated Himalayan vegetation – pine, oak and rhododendron, snow-capped Himalayan peaks and hill-side villages makes it a true charm for trekkers.
Best time to visit: In the months of summer and onset of winter.
Major Attractions: Limestone cave temple of Patal Bhuvaneshwar falls. These caves are about 90 feet deep and 160 meters long. Although properly lighted, you need a little bit of courage to reach its end.
How to reach: Book a flight to the Pantnagar Aiport, 136 kms away from Bageshwar. Once you arrive at the Pantnagar Airport, you can board an bus or hire a taxi to reach your onward destination.
2. Pin Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Pin Valley is located in the Lahaul and Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh. It is a fascinating sight dotted with unique flora – Dry alpine and dwarf Junifer shrub and fauna – fox, wolf, ibex, bharal, Indian porcupine, snow patridge, blue rock pigeon, Himalayan marmot, Himalayan snow cock and many more. It is a complete vista of bare mountains; snowy fields and hanging glaciers shining in the light.
Best time to visit: April to June in summer and September to October when a little chill sets in.
Major Attractions: 680-year-old Ugyen Sangnak Choling Gompa and Pin Valley National Park.
How to reach: Book a flight to Kullu-Manali International Airport, located in the Bhuntar district of Himachal Pradesh, India. Once you deboard, you will get plenty of transport options to reach your onward destination.
3. The Nubra Valley, Leh
Nubra Valley lies in the Leh district of Ladakh. It was once called the “Valley of flowers” and now, it’s called the “Orchard of Ladakh”. It’s a high-altitude cold desert with an altitude of 10,000 ft. (average). The surreal surroundings with a bright contrast of mild brown mountains and deep blue sky, vibrant lakes and sand dunes at such a notable height, makes it a place worth visiting, once in your lifetime. It is no less than a “Heaven” for nature lovers.
Best time to visit: April to June and September to October.
Major attractions: The Diskit Monastery built in 1420 BCE, is the most renowned and largest Buddhist monastery in the Nubra Valley. It has a majestic statue of Lord Mahavir Buddha overlooking the town.
How to reach: Board a flight to Kushok Bakula Rimpochee International airport in Leh. Leh lies in Jammu & Kashmir part of India. Once you deboard, you will get plenty of transport options to reach your onward destination.
4. Dzukou Valley, Nagaland
Located in the Kohima District of Nagaland, this valley gives a spectacular view of lily flowers that are not found in any other part of the world – called the Dzukou Lily. You will also find multi-coloured rhododendrons and variety of wildflowers throughout the year. You can access this valley via two routes – one from the foothills of Viswema village and the other through Jakhama Village (Zakhama), both of these routes can be reached through Kohima. It is a hidden asset of Nagaland.
Best time to visit: June, July, August and September.
Major Attractions: Pulie Badze Wildlife Sanctuary. It is home to rare and endangered bird species and a must-visit for bird watchers and photography enthusiasts.
How to reach: Book a flight to Dimapur Domestic Airport. Once you deboard, take a taxi to Jakhama or Viswema. This will be followed by a five-hour long trail to Dzukou Valley.
5. Yumthang Valley, Sikkim
Located at an altitude of 11,693 ft in the eastern Himalayas, it is abode of more than 25 species of rhododendron flowers and this is why, it is called the Rhododendron heaven of India. Also, it is renowned as a popular skiing destination attracting visitors around the year except December to March.
Best time to visit: September, October, November and December.
Major attractions: Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, where you can find different types of rhododendrons during the months of March to May.
How to reach: Book a flight to Bagdogra International Airport. Bagdogra is located in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India. Once you reach the Bagdogra International Airport, you will get many public transport options to reach your onward destination.
6. Dibang Valley, Arunachal Pradesh
It lies in the upper Dibang district of Arunachal Pradesh. It is home to the native Idu Mishmis and a few more tribes belonging to the ancient Tibetan era. Also, the Dibang Valley is the least populated district in India. This make it a perfect place to connect with nature in true sense.
Best time to visit: October, November, January and March.
Major attractions: Rukmini Nati Fort – popularly known as Chimiri Fort – built in the 14th-15th century, is a historical attraction spot of Dibang Valley.
How to reach: The nearest airport is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati and once you deboard, you will get many public transport options to reach your onward destination.
7. Warwan Valley, Kashmir
It is an “unexplored heaven” of the North India. Surrounded by natural greenery of Kashmir on one side and cold desert of Ladakh on the other, it is open for visit for only a few months in summer and remains closed for other months of the year. This wondrous beauty is a true paradise for adventure lovers.
Best time to visit: Summer season.
Major attractions: You can walk along the length of the Bracken glacier wherein the Warwan river emerges from beneath the glacier and enjoy the breathtaking sight of enchanting waterfalls.
How to reach: Board a flight to Srinagar International Airport or Sheikh-ul-Alam Airport and once you deboard, you will get many public transport options to reach your onward destination.
8. Parvati Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Parvati Valley is a “nature’s paradise” situated in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, India. Kasol, also called the “Mini-Israel” of Himachal Pradesh is situated on this valley. The ethereal mountain views, fresh water streams and its less-explored villages will be an enchanting experience for you.
Best time to visit: March, April and May.
Major Attractions: Rudra nag – a serpent-shaped waterfall, Khirganga and Pin Parvati Pass and Manikaran Sahib.
How to reach: Book a flight to Kullu-Manali International Airport, located in the Bhuntar district of Himachal Pradesh, India. Once you deboard, you will get plenty of transport options available to reach your onward destination.
“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere”
If you are planning to fill your 2017 bucket list with adventure and wish to make your bond with nature stronger than ever then the above unexplored destination are perfect for you. Happy Traveling!