March is a wonderful time to explore India. With the winter slowly giving way to spring, the weather becomes pleasant and perfect for outdoor activities. India is a diverse country with an abundance of offbeat destinations waiting to be explored. From the rolling hills of Himachal Pradesh to the pristine beaches of Maharashtra. There’s no shortage of options for travellers seeking unique experiences. If you’re looking for a break from the mainstream tourist destinations, here are the top ten offbeat places to visit in India in March 2023.
Trekking: The Most Popular Activity in March in India
If you’re an adventure enthusiast, trekking in India is a must-try activity during the month of March. The weather is perfect for outdoor activities, and there are plenty of offbeat destinations waiting to be explored. From the towering peaks of the Himalayas to the rolling hills of the Western Ghats, India has a diverse landscape that offers stunning trekking trails for all levels of experience.
Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or a novice, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from. Imagine trekking through picturesque valleys, crossing mountain streams, and camping under a starlit sky. In these 10 offbeat destinations to visit in India in March 2023, I’ve added popular treks in each of the locations. So, pack your bags, lace up your boots, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in India.
Top 10 Best Offbeat Destinations to Visit in India in March 2023
1. Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh:
Picture yourself amidst the lush green meadows, surrounded by towering cedar trees, and snow-capped mountains in the backdrop. That’s exactly what Khajjiar in Himachal Pradesh feels like. The town, often referred to as the “Mini Switzerland of India,” is a hidden gem that’s still unexplored by many travelers. The star attraction of Khajjiar is the Khajjiar Lake, which offers mesmerizing views of the surrounding landscape. You can also visit the Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary, home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including the western tragopan, a rare bird species. If you’re up for some adventure, there are several trekking routes in and around Khajjiar that offer stunning views of the mountains.
The popular trekking trail in Khajjiar is the Khajjiar-Chamba trek which offers a scenic view of the Dhauladhar range and the Pir Panjal range.
2. Cherrapunji, Meghalaya:
Cherrapunji is a small town located in the northeast state of Meghalaya. It is famous for receiving the highest rainfall in the world. The town is surrounded by hills and waterfalls, and you can trek to some of the nearby villages to experience the local culture. Known as one of the wettest places on earth, Cherrapunji offers a unique experience with its lush green forests, cascading waterfalls, and awe-inspiring living root bridges. The town is situated on a plateau, and the landscape is marked by rolling hills and valleys covered in mist.
The Mawsmai Cave, located just a few kilometres from the town, is another popular attraction that offers a glimpse into the underground world. You can also visit the Nohkalikai Falls, the tallest plunge waterfall in India, and the Seven Sisters Falls, a collection of seven waterfalls cascading down the hills. And let’s not forget the iconic double-decker living root bridge, a marvel of nature created by the Khasi tribes using the roots of ancient rubber trees. Cherrapunji offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage that’s sure to leave you spellbound.
The popular trekking trails in Cherrapunji are the Living Root Bridges trek and the Double Decker Living Root Bridges trek.
3. Orchha, Madhya Pradesh:
Located in the heart of Madhya Pradesh, is a hidden gem that’s steeped in history and culture. The town is dotted with stunning medieval palaces, temples, and forts, each with its own unique story to tell. The Orchha Fort, built in the 16th century, is a grand structure that offers breathtaking views of the Betwa River and the surrounding countryside. The Jahangir Mahal, another magnificent palace built by the Bundela Rajputs, is a fine example of Indo-Islamic architecture. The Ram Raja Temple, dedicated to Lord Rama, is another must-visit attraction that’s revered by locals and visitors alike.
In addition to its historical significance, Orchha also offers a range of outdoor activities. You can go on a cycling tour around the town or enjoy a boat ride on the Betwa River. The nearby Panna National Park, home to tigers, leopards, and other wildlife, is another popular attraction that’s worth a visit. It is a perfect destination for history buffs and nature enthusiasts looking for a unique travel experience.
The popular trekking trail in Orchha is the Orchha Nature Trail which takes you through the beautiful forests and hills surrounding the town.
4. Gokarna, Karnataka:
Gokarna is a small town located on the western coast of India. Referred to as a mini-Goa. The town offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and spiritual significance, making it a unique destination that’s perfect for all types of travellers. Gokarna’s beaches are the main attraction, with crystal clear waters and pristine white sand. Kudle Beach, Om Beach, and Half Moon Beach are some of the most popular ones that offer a range of water sports, including surfing, parasailing, and banana boat rides. Gokarna is also a pilgrimage site, with several ancient temples that attract visitors from all over India. The Mahabaleshwara Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the most important temples in the town. The town is also known for its vibrant street markets that sell local handicrafts and souvenirs. Gokarna is a perfect destination for those seeking a blend of adventure, spirituality, and relaxation.
The popular trekking trail in Gokarna is the Gokarna Beach trek which takes you through some of the most beautiful beaches in the town.
5. Dzuko Valley, Nagaland:
The valley is a offbeat destination that’s tucked away in the Eastern Himalayas and is often referred to as the “Valley of Flowers.” It’s a place of stunning natural beauty, with rolling hills covered in wildflowers, crystal-clear streams, and a unique variety of flora and fauna. The best time to visit Dzukou Valley is during March when the valley is in full bloom, and the entire landscape is painted in a riot of colors. The valley is also popular with trekkers, with several trekking routes that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and valleys. The trail to the valley is a bit challenging, but the reward is worth the effort. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the valley and the surrounding mountains. Dzukou Valley is a perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts who are looking for an offbeat travel experience.
The popular trekking trail in Dzukou Valley is the Dzukou Valley trek which takes you through the beautiful valley and offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding hills.
6. Mandu, Madhya Pradesh:
Mandu, also known as the “City of Joy,” is a hidden gem located in the heart of Madhya Pradesh. This ancient fortress town is steeped in history and is home to several stunning monuments and structures that date back to the 15th century. One of the most popular attractions in Mandu is the Jahaz Mahal, a magnificent palace that’s said to have been built to house the harem of Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din Khilji. The palace is built on a narrow strip of land between two lakes and looks like a ship that’s floating on water, hence the name Jahaz Mahal.
Another popular attraction is the Hindola Mahal, a grand palace that’s known for its sloping walls that resemble the swing of a Hindola, or a swing. The Mandu fort, built by the Mughals, is another must-visit attraction that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Apart from its historical significance, Mandu is also known for its scenic beauty. The town is surrounded by lush green forests and hills, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers. If you’re a foodie, don’t miss out on the local delicacies, including the famous Bafla, a traditional dish made from wheat flour and ghee.
The popular trekking trail in Mandu is the Mandu-Achalgarh trek which takes you through the beautiful forests and hills surrounding the town.
7. Hampi, Karnataka:
Hampi, located in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, is a UNESCO World Heritage site that’s famous for its stunning temples, palaces, and ruins. The town was once the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire and is home to some of the most impressive examples of Dravidian architecture in India. One of the most popular attractions in Hampi is the Virupaksha Temple, a magnificent temple that’s dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is adorned with intricate carvings and is a testament to the skill of the ancient craftsmen. Another must-visit attraction is the Vittala Temple, a stunning temple that’s known for its intricate carvings and its famous musical pillars. Hampi is also home to several ancient ruins that offer a glimpse into the town’s glorious past.
The Hampi Bazaar, a street market that’s been in operation since the 16th century, is another popular attraction in the town. The market is a great place to shop for souvenirs, handicrafts, and traditional clothing. Hampi is also a popular destination for trekkers, with several trekking routes that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Hampi is located on the banks of the Tungabhadra River, making it a perfect destination for water sports enthusiasts as well.
The popular trekking trails in Hampi are the Matanga Hill trek and the Anjaneya Hill trek.
8. Bundi, Rajasthan:
The town is home to some of the most stunning examples of Rajput architecture in India, including the magnificent Taragarh Fort. The fort, built in the 14th century, offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside and is a popular spot for sunset viewing. Another must-visit attraction in Bundi is the stepwell of Raniji ki Baori, an ancient water tank that’s adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures. The town is also known for its stunning havelis, or traditional Rajasthani mansions, that are adorned with stunning frescoes and intricate carvings. The Sukh Mahal, a grand palace that was built for the royal family, is another popular attraction in the town.
If you’re a foodie, don’t miss out on the local delicacies, including the famous Rajasthani thali and the sweet delicacy of Bundi ka Ladoo. The town is surrounded by hills and is home to several lakes and waterfalls, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers. If you’re looking for a peaceful and off-the-beaten-path destination in Rajasthan, Bundi is definitely worth a visit.
The popular trekking trail in Bundi is the Bundi Palace trek which takes you through the beautiful palace and offers a breathtaking view of the town.
9. Tarkarli, Maharashtra:
A hidden paradise that’s waiting to be discovered. The village is known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and stunning coral reefs, making it a perfect destination for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts. Tarkarli Beach, with its white sand and turquoise waters, is one of the most popular attractions in the village. The beach is also a great place to try your hand at water sports like scuba diving, snorkelling, and parasailing. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some dolphins in the waters around the village.
It is home to several ancient temples, including the famous Sindhudurg Fort, which was built in the 17th century by the Maratha king, Chhatrapati Shivaji. The fort is a great place to learn about the history and culture of the region. If you’re a foodie, don’t miss out on the local delicacies, including the famous Malvani seafood and the spicy Konkani curries. The village is also known for its beautiful homestays, which offer a unique opportunity to experience the local culture and lifestyle.
The popular trekking trail in Tarkarli is the Devbaug Sangam trek which takes you through the beautiful beach and offers a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea.
10. Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh:
Ziro is famous for its picturesque landscapes, lush green forests, and stunning rice fields, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The town is home to several ancient tribal communities, including the Apatanis, who are known for their unique customs and traditions. The Apatani women are famous for their nose plugs, which are considered a symbol of beauty and status in the community. It is also home to several ancient temples and monasteries, including the Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to several endangered species of flora and fauna. If you’re a trekking enthusiast, don’t miss out on the popular trails that lead to the stunning hills and forests surrounding the town.
Ziro is home to the popular Ziro Music Festival, which attracts music lovers from all over the country. If you’re a foodie, don’t miss out on the local delicacies, including the famous bamboo shoot pickle and the smoked meat. If you’re looking for an offbeat and peaceful destination in the Northeast, Ziro is definitely worth a visit.
The popular trekking trails in Ziro are the Pange Valley trek and the Talley Valley trek.
In addition to these offbeat destinations and treks, there are many other places in India that you can explore during the month of March. Some popular destinations that you can consider visiting during this time include Rishikesh, Uttarakhand; Jaisalmer, Rajasthan; Udaipur, Rajasthan; Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands; and Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu.
So, there you have it, folks – 10 offbeat destinations to visit in India in March 2023. Each of these places has its own unique charm, and you are sure to have an unforgettable experience. Make sure to plan your trip in advance and book your accommodations and transportation in advance to avoid any last-minute hassles. Happy travels!
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This guide was first published on of miles & musings.