6 places to explore in India when you’re done with the tourist trail

Often the thought of visiting India can be a little overwhelming — with some of the most famous spots crowded with bustling tourists, the country is more than a little bit intense.

India is huge, though, and despite it being a wildly popular tourist destination there are still a wealth of hidden spots that haven’t been fully discovered by the crowds yet.

The experts at Rickshaw Travel have put together some alternatives to the famous tourist spots, letting you experience the real India on your holiday.

1. Assam

Do you love tea but want something a little different to Darjeeling? Assam is a more rural alternative, where you can stay in a jungle lodge within the lesser known Kaziranga National Park with a chance to see the incredible one-horned rhino, wild elephants or even the giant tiger.

2. Jorhat

Still on the tea theme, head to Assam’s second largest city, Jorhat, to see the whole tea-making process, from lending a hand to tea pickers to taking a sip back in time, in a colonial manor overlooking lush green lawns. Sounds blissful, doesn’t it?

3. Bandhavgarh National Park

For real nature lovers, looking to see the majestic Bengal tigers of India, a common choice is Ranthambore National Park — however if you’re looking for somewhere quieter and a different experience, you can head to Bandhavgarh National Park instead.

Stay in an African style cottage with your own veranda to enjoy the views over the park, and then go on a private jeep ride safari to see what you can find, from tigers, to cheeky hyenas.

4. Deogarh

For train lovers who normally head to Shimla, for the famous toy-train experience, there’s a hidden gem right in the middle of Rajasthan. Pretty much undiscovered by tourists, Deogarh is built around a former Maharaja’s palace and the splendour will leave you breathless.

After marvelling at Deogarh, ride a local train to visit the nearby Phulad, see the incredible countryside and feel like you’re back in the 1930s.

5. Madurai

Want to see a different side to the history & culture of India? It’s not all about British colonialism — the south of India offers some very different influences. Heading to gives you the chance to see breathtaking multi-coloured temples and palaces, in a more relaxed atmosphere than most places.

6. Tanjore

Afterwards head to Tanjore, a little slice of France with an Indian sprinkling for good measure. You’ll wake up to enjoy a fresh croissant, before walking through the French District in Pondicherry, with small boutique shops and wide boulevards, surrounded by European style churches and green parks.

Originally published at https://www.thenationalstudent.com.