13 Destinations In India Worth Ditching Goa For


One of the best beaches in India, Gokarna is a more laid-back and less-commercialised version of Goa. The beaches of Gokarna attract crowds for being low-key and having a chilled-out beach holiday feel and not for full-scale parties.

(c) Abhishek Chinchalkar

Photo of Gokarna, Karnataka, India by Gunjan Upreti

To take a break from travelling to the hills this winter, head to this lesser- known heritage town in Madhya Pradesh. Orchha is a sleepy town caught in a time warp, still sustaining the age-old myth that describes it as the city ruled by the Hindu god, Ram.

Photo of Orchha State, Madhya Pradesh, India by Gunjan Upreti

Tarkarli is a tiny village in the Malvan region of Maharashtra. The coral beach of Tarkali is arguably one the most picturesque beaches on the Konkan coast. The water is so clean that on a clear day you can see the seabed till 20ft.

(c) Sandeep Wairkar

Photo of Tarkarli, Maharashtra, India by Gunjan Upreti

Stay: Hotels in Tarkali.

This tiny town and the serene lake here shine like a pearl in Rajasthan's crown. Make sure to get a glimpse of the sun setting behind the Pushkar Lake, making it look golden with its last rays.

(c) Jatin Jindal

Photo of Pushkar, Rajasthan, India by Gunjan Upreti

Varkala Beach is the only one in southern Kerala where cliffs are found adjacent to the Arabian Sea. Also known as Papanasham Beach, Varkala holds a mythological relevance for locals. It is believed that a dip in the clear waters of Varkala can wash away your sins for life.

(c) Paul Varuni

Photo of Varkala, Kerala, India by Gunjan Upreti

Pondicherry, or Puducherry, is a must visit for beach lovers. The cobbled streets and navy blue sea truly makes you feel like you're near the European coastline. Along with the beautiful French colonial architecture, Pondicherry also offers delicious cuisine that's built on centuries of fusion.

(c) Praveen

Photo of Puducherry, India by Gunjan Upreti

The endless sand dunes of Thar have attracted travellers to Jaisalmer for centuries. From havelis that have stood the test of time, to traditions that date back centuries, Jaisalmer is the ideal place to get away from the humdrum of city life.

Photo of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India by Gunjan Upreti

The largest island of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Havelock Island is known for its pristine beaches, coral reefs and great scuba diving experience.

(c) 1ieve

Photo of Havelock Island, South Andaman, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Gunjan Upreti

The tiniest Union Territory of India, Lakshadweep is an archipelago consisting of 12 atolls, three reefs and five submerged banks. Agatti Island is the largest one of the group and is said to be discovered by the Arab traveller, Ibn Batuta. Being an eco-sensitive zone, Agatti prohibits rampant commercialisation. There are only two hotels available here: Agatti Island Beach Resort (AIBER) and Sea Shells Beach Resort.

(c) World Wide Gifts

Photo of Agatti, Lakshadweep, India by Gunjan Upreti

Mandvi is a historic city in the Kutch district. Known as the vacation stop of the kings of the Kutch Dynasty, Mandvi used to be inside a fortified wall, whose remains can still be seen. Kutch is also home to a 400-year-old ship building industry, which still creates small boats for local fishermen.

(c) Meena Kadri

Photo of Mandvi, Gujarat, India by Gunjan Upreti
Photo of 13 Destinations In India Worth Ditching Goa For by Gunjan Upreti

Tajpur Beach's location, Purba Medinipur, is the major cause behind the emerging popularity of this beach holiday destination. Tajpur is still the most unexploited virgin beach around Kolkata.

Photo of Tajpur, West Bengal, India by Gunjan Upreti

If your intention is to leave behind the busy city vibes and find some fresh air, then Kodaikanal is where you need to be. The soothing weather, thrilling landscapes and warm locals make Kodaikanal an absolute favourite amongst tourists.

(c) Uday Manivannan

Photo of Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Gunjan Upreti

Located on the road to Murud, Kashid Beach is a lovely stretch of white sand and clear water. It is one of the best beaches on the Alibag Murud stretch. There are quite a few well known resorts at Kashid that offer a beautiful view of the beach.

(c) Rahul Bulbule

Photo of Kashid, Maharashtra, India by Gunjan Upreti

Also, before you judge me, I personally love winters. But it is totally understandable that you don't prefer having a constant shiver run down your spine. The remarkable aspect of India is that at any given moment there are more than two seasons raging through the country. So, you can always escape to a place of your desired temperature.

If you've been to any other destination that was the perfect warm hideout, share your story here.