Living in India, there are certain places that have such a spectacular buzz around them that the final face to face feels like a dampener in comparison to the glorious stories. In some cases, the time has taken its toll as has the insane population and over-commercialisation to transform a once beautiful spot into a crowded ‘must see’ location. Forget those overrated spots and instead visit these alternate locations that might come with lower expectations but are far better. So, here’s a list of 10 terribly overrated destinations in India & where you could go instead:
Overrated Destinations In India
While you’re planning a fun-packed yet soothing holiday in the serene hill stations and exciting tourist places in India, take a look at these best ones to know more about the overrated destinations in India and where to head to next!
1. Visit Auli Instead Of Shimla
Infested by hotels, rickshaws and tourists, it is quite difficult to find peace at one of the most popular hill stations in India. The ever famous mall road is charming but does not offer anything that you wouldn’t find in Delhi or Mumbai.
On the other hand, nestled in the lap of snow-capped peaks of Garhwal Himalayas, the picturesque town of Auli gives a breathtaking view of India’s second-highest peak – Nanda Devi. And in addition, it is also a premier ski resort with the world’s highest artificial lake. A holiday at this hill station will take your breath away.
2. Visit Chakrata Instead Of Mussoorie
Heavy tourist traffic, the ubiquitous Mall Road, deforestation has destroyed the beautiful town of Mussoorie’s quaint charm. There is nothing much to see except for Kempty Falls close by and roam in the market space trying to get away from the city life. Whereas surrounded by lush green forest, Chakrata is an ideal destination for a calm vacation. With options of trekking, skiing, climbing the Kharamba peak and getting enthralled by a rich variety of flora and fauna, a visit here is going to be the trip that you had been wanting for a while.
Suggested Read: 8 Chakrata Resorts: Amazing Staying Options Amidst The Himalayas
3. Visit Palolem Beach Instead Of Baga And Calangute Beach
The quiet and calm streets of Goa turn into something unrecognisable at this stretch of beach. With almost as much crowd as Mumbai’s Chowpatty, all vying for their spot on the sand, this is not the Goa experience you’d want. Not to mention the astronomical prices that will burn a hole in your pocket!
At the fag end of Goa’s coastline is Palolem, a beach with the right balance of tourists, great food and natural beauty. Attend the silent party, sunbathe on the sand, kayak on the waters and go bird watching for a beach holiday you really wanted. Not to mention, the prices are half of what you find in Baga and Calangute. Don’t you want to tick off this place instead of choosing one from the list of overrated destinations in India?
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4. Visit Gangtok Instead Of Darjeeling
Funny or not, make sure that the hotel you choose to stay in does not have a water shortage. Once beautiful town of Darjeeling has now turned into a place so crowded that you may feel like taking a break from your holiday to another place. Not to mention the famous sunrise on Kanchenjunga from Tiger Hill that you have to brave the early morning traffic to see. Unless you are into tea, skip the journey altogether. While on the other side, when you land at Bagdogra, drive to Gangtok instead for the white fragrant magnolias, traditional stupas and monasteries, magnificent tea gardens and also a thriving modern town. Popular for trekking sites and mesmerising beauty, it will leave you dumbstruck. So, did you make up your mind about ditching overrated tourist places in India and heading straight to the less crowded ones?
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5. Visit Coorg Instead Of Ooty
Filled with tourists from all parts of the world, the super famous hill station in the South known as Ooty has, over the years fallen victim to rampant commercialisation. As a result, what you see today is overcrowded and quite the opposite of what you’d expect from a holiday destination. Hotels and restaurants offer poor value for money, well-known water shortages and with limited attractions, this town is not the ‘hatke’ trip you are looking for. In contrast to this clean, cool air, surrounded by greenery, Coorg or Kodagu has managed to remain the Scotland of India even now. Stay in a coffee plantation homestay, get lost in the rolling green hills, wooded slopes, undulating landscape and quaint villages and enjoy the superb Kodava hospitality.
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6. Visit Spiti Valley Instead Of Leh
Leh begins with wide asphalt roads like in any major metro, with a halt at the Leh palace and ends in a very crowded marketplace. Unless you are here on a spiritual or religious visit keep your visit limited to Ladakh.
On the contrary, if you look at Spiti, popularly known as Little Tibet, it will leave you spellbound with its beauty. Surrounded by mountains and glaciers, it has a mix of quaint old monasteries and villages offering stays to the tourists. Indulge in trekking or a jeep safari in one of the many popular trails and check out Bara-Shigri glacier, the second-longest glacier in the world. Make sure you choose this destination for your next trip instead of another overrated destination in India.
7. Visit Bekal Instead Of Pondicherry
The charm of Pondicherry lies in its difference to the surrounding state of Tamil Nadu and the french architecture. And once you have stared at enough french windows and made a mandatory visit to the Aurobindo Ashram, you are going to wonder what to do next. Maybe sit at the rocky beach and enjoy the breeze but other than that there isn’t much to do. On the other hand, the lesser-known town of Bekal offers a fascinating melange of lagoons, backwaters and the sea to the tourists. And the fact that it is somewhat unknown will give you the peace and quiet you would be looking for on your trip. When here hike across the Mangrove trail of Malabar, enjoy the panoramic view of the Bekal Fort and visit the nearby Valiyaparamba to cruise on the backwaters.
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8. Visit Wayanad Instead Of Munnar
Yes, it’s spectacularly beautiful due to its tea gardens and misty mountains. But once you have taken in the beauty, there is nothing much to do in Munnar. Add to that the insanely expensive hotels due to the large number of tourists visiting the place and average food, this is not the authentic Kerala experience you would want. While on the opposite side, with its mist-clad mountains and mountainous rivers, Wayanad is an idyllic destination for a weekend getaway. Climb the Chembra peak, see the elephants at Muthanga Wild Life Sanctuary and get drenched in the Soochippara Waterfalls. Or just stopover at a roadside food joint for some idiyappam, kadla and black tea.
9. Visit Matheran Instead Of Khandala
A couple of hours drive from Mumbai, this hill station has been synonymous with a popular Bollywood song. But rest assured, there is nothing to really go there for other than a drop in temperature and a few hills to make you feel like you’ve left Mumbai. Seriously overrated! But, instead, take a trip on the narrow-gauge ‘toy train’ in Matheran. With motorised vehicles not allowed inside the place, the air is clean. Add to that a number of viewing points for the surrounding scenery and this becomes a lovely weekend getaway from the crowded streets of Mumbai. Make sure you choose Matheran instead of other overrated destinations in India.
10. Visit Kasol Instead Of Manali
One of the most explored tourist destinations already, it suffers from the trappings of commercialisation like others. Filled with honeymooners, here taxis are expensive, public transport is slow and non existential and if you are not making a trip to the elusive Rohtang Pass, might as well skip the trip altogether. But unlike many overrated places in India, spread out along the lovely Parvati River, Kasol is a small village overrun with reggae bars, bakeries and cheap guesthouses. Explore the forested valley around, take strolls to the neighbouring villages of Chalal, Katagla and Rashol or just relax at the local bar.
What are the other overrated destinations in India according to you? Share in the comments below. We hope this list of places will help you plan a better holiday in the scenic views and stunning landscapes of hill stations in India. So, plan a trip to India for an amazing holiday experience like never before!
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Frequently Asked Questions About Overrated Destinations In India
Is Manali better or Auli?
There is no comparison between the two since they both offer utterly unique experiences to travelers. While Auli is a more isolated place, Manali is brimming with energy and is always crowded with youngsters and foreigners. Auli is a more suitable destination for honeymoon couples since it offers pristine surroundings and utter seclusion, while Manali is a favorite of thrill-seekers and adventure enthusiasts.
Is Munnar better than Coorg?
While Munnar is considered better than Coorg by many, we believe that they both are equally beautiful in their own way. There is an ample number of activities and places to visit in Munnar as well as Coorg. While Coorg is famous for its picture-perfect coffee and cinnamon plantations studded in lush jungles, Munnar is more famous for its rolling carpets of green tea farms and misty hills. While Coorg has a rather cool and dry climate, Munnar is slightly cold owing to its elevation. Coorg and Munnar are always on every traveler’s list, whether it’s a couple, a family with kids, a solo tripper, or an adventure seeker.
How is Darjeeling for a honeymoon?
Darjeeling is a great place for a honeymoon trip. If you wish to relax and rejuvenate on your holiday, while also indulging in plenty of romantic experiences, then Darjeeling is the perfect place for you to visit. Other than tremendous natural beauty and a blissful weather, a honeymoon in Darjeeling will offer everything you need to start your new life together!
Which is better Darjeeling or Shimla?
Whether Darjeeling is a better place to visit or Shimla totally depends on what the person wishes to see and do there. They’re both beautiful hill stations set amidst cloud-kissed hills and bear a colonial charm. They both offer somewhat similar activities like toy train rides, trekking, and more. While Shimla will let you experience the charming Himachali hospitality and culture, Darjeeling will let you in on the vibrant Tibetan heritage and food. All in all, they’re both equally preferred by honeymooners, solo travelers, adventure enthusiasts, as well as families with kids.
Which is better Coorg or Ooty?
Both Coorg and Ooty are insanely beautiful destinations for a trip and each of these offers something unique and extraordinary to travelers. This is why it won’t be fair to compare between these two equally exciting destinations in South India. While Coorg is famous for its scenic coffee plantations, Ooty is popular for its picturesque tea estates. While Coorg has more tourist attractions, Ooty makes up for that with some awesome weather and endless natural beauty!
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