Popularity of India as one of the best go-to-destinations in the world has been climbing with each year. And, not just among the overseas travellers, but the charm of exploring India has caught hold of local travellers as well.
Be it the trekking spots or diving sides, historic places or modern architecture’s paradise, India overwhelms with plethora of mesmerizing travel spots. However, over the years, the options of taking vacations in India or travelling in India have been limited to handful of fixed spots. Be it a family vacation, adventure trip, group expedition, or any other reason of travelling, travellers visit same places over and over again.
India is incredible from its core, and the core is comprised of villages, towns, and tier 2 cities. These cities are no less than a bucket full of fabulous historic treasures. And, so, here we’ll take a look at some of such cities, which have a lot to explore about, but are really underrated.
If you’ll go through the list of Trip Advisor’s annual Traveller’s Choice Awards 2018 – ‘Best Hotels in India’, you’ll see the top place acquired by The Umed Bhawan Palace. And the same hotel was adjudged as the third most popular hotels in the world. And guess where it is located? You’re right! In Jodhpur.
The second largest city in Rajasthan, after Jaipur, Jodhpur is a place full of good food, relaxed life, golden heritage, and jovial people. Founded in 1459, Jodhpur has had a great involvement in our golden history and has evolved immensely over the period of time.
Its grand Mehrangarh Fort stands tall at 125m from the city ground level; atop a mountain rock. Its colourful lifestyle dissolves a pinch of delight in travelling. Its food pushes you to keep aside the guilt and simply hog.
Recommended Spots: Mehrangarh Fort, Umed Bhawan Palace, Mandore Garden, Kailana Lake
Recommended Food: Lassi at Misrilal’s, Gulab Jamun of Chaturbhuj, Gattey ki Sabji, Dal Bati, Mirchi Bada, Mawa Kachori
Recommended Purchase: Lehenga, Mojri, Jodhpuri Suit, Bandhej Sari
Recommended Time of Travel: November to February (it’s recommended to travel during winters)
Fun Fact: The Mandore Garden was originally the house of Ravana’s wife Mandodri. So, it can be said that Jodhpur is Ravana’s sasural (in-laws’s place). In fact, there’s only one place in the entire country that has a temple of Ravana. Yes! Jodhpur.
Indore is the commercial capital and the largest city of the state of Madhya Pradesh. Founded in the 16th century, the city used to operate as a hub for trade between Delhi and Deccan. The city and its people take pride in being a part of this area and its subtle, yet, interesting lifestyle.
For travel bugs, this city has a lot to offer in the shape of monument, history, architecture, food, and more. Even in terms of education, Indore is considered to be the hub in the entire state as well as the country. This is mainly due to the fact that it is the only city in the entire country that has the campuses of, both, IIT and IIM.
The city has come a long way from its image as a mere trading hub, to a commercially advanced area. Although, some things are still practised and are part of routine life of the people in this city, as they used to be in the past. For instance, even today, one of the commonest breakfasts for the local people is the hot & crispy, Phoa and Jalebi.
Recommended Spots: Kanch Mandir (temple of glass), Central Museum, Chattris (Cenotaps, built out of stone with domed shape architecture), Gandhi Hall, Sarafa Bazar, Lal Bagh Palace, Patalpani
Recommended Food: Poha & Jalebi, Patis, Malpua, Bhute ka Kees, Namkeen
Recommended Purchase: Handicrafts, Chanderi & Maheshwari Saris, Namkeen (once you taste it, you’d certainly want to purchase some for your take away)
Recommended Time of Travel: October to March
Fun Fact: There’s a gorgeous and popular waterfall, located at some 33kms from Indore, named Patalpani (Underworld Water). It got this freakishly solid name from the fact that the depth of the pond that forms at the bottom of the waterfall is unknown and legend has it that it goes as deep as patal, which is the Hindi word for the underworld.
When a city welcomes you with such a warm and amicable line, ‘Muskuraiye, Aap Luckhnow Mein Hain!’ (Smile, as you are in Luckhnow!), you’re guaranteed to get that grin on your face. Welcome to the capital and the largest city of the state of Uttar Pradesh, Luckhnow!
The city has always been known for its humility and hospitality, however, it has a lot more to show and explore. The old lanes and streets of the city will give you a glimpse of its early lifestyle. The markets will introduce you to one of the most artistic & finest pieces of handwork. The food stalls will serve you some really heavenly dishes.
Despite having grown and evolved as a metropolitan, one can feel the reflection of decades old lifestyle and culture. You hit a conversation with a Luchnowite (that’s what the new age population of Luckhnow likes to call themselves; apparently) and you’ll sense the tehzeeb and tamiz in their tone of voice.
Recommended Spots: Bara & Chota Imambara, GomtiNagar (Marine Drive of Luckhnow), Ambedkar Park, Hazratganj Market, Kaiserbagh Palace
Recommeded Food: Tundey Kebab, Kulfi in Aminabad, Malai Makkhan at Chowk area, Rattilal’s Kachori
Recommended Purchase: Chicken worked apparels, Jewellery
Recommended Time to Travel: November to April
Func Facts: Lukchnow is one of the three cities that are a part of Uttar Pradesh Heritage Arc, a chain of survey triangulations created by the Government of Uttar Pradesh to boost tourism in the state. The other two cities of this arc are Agra and Varanasi (formerly Banaras).
So, these were just three of the many such small cities and towns which are worth giving a visit, and should be added to your travel bucket list right away.
If you know of or have visited any such city in India which you feel is similarly underrated, do share it in the comment box.