Indian Destinations


As the world adjusts to a new normal, we are hopeful for 2022 being the year we get to journey once more. From seeking spirituality at a 400-year-old Buddhist monastery in Arunachal Pradesh to trekking the living root bridges in Meghalaya . . . here’s the Absolute Gold List of 10 places to add to your travel bucket list in India this year.

The Absolute Gold List includes rare, exquisite places that are often looked over in favour of glitzier, Instagram-trending destinations. Our hidden gems are curated from years of personal travel and crafting bespoke itineraries. Well-armed, we wish you good memories and happy trails for the year ahead!

Havelock Island

The Andamans

Part of the striking Ritchie’s Archipelago, Havelock Island is the beating heart of the Andamans. Its cerulean blue waters and white sandy beaches surrounded by lush tropical forests have given Havelock the well-deserved reputation of a coastal paradise. To add to Havelock’s natural appeal are its unparalleled luxury services, alongside a tempting host of adventure activities.

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Experience stunning natural bioluminescence that illuminates the oceans and beaches, through a night kayaking tour. Or take a short, guided trek to elephant beach. Explore the Indian Ocean by scuba diving with a PADI certified dive center.



This UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site is rich with historical attractions. The quaint temple town is nestled amidst the hills and valleys of Karnataka, surrounded by the ancient ruins of the Vijayanagar Empire that dates back to 1500 AD. Visit for the beautiful temples and monuments, stay for the bustling street markets and eclectic cafes.

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Take a Heritage Hampi Tour to explore the history, monuments, and architecture of the place. The Vitthalapura Walk will introduce you to the temple renowned for its musical stone pillars and carved stone chariot. Visit the “hippie” island of Anegundi for its rock-climbing opportunities and relaxed cafes.

Pench National Park

Madhya Pradesh

Pench National Park owes its name to the river Pench, which cuts through the forest land. The expansive national park is rich with native wildlife, and lies in the Seoni and Chhindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh. Its pans this region and the neighboring state of Maharashtra. The majesty of Pench even inspired one of Rudyard Kipling’s best works—The Jungle Book.

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Stay at an eco-conscious forest lodge with peacocks singing your morning alarm, where you’ll trade stories with those who call the jungle home. Armed with torches, trek the night trail through old forests and farmland. Enjoy interactive sessions with local naturalists, and a delicious farm dinner experience under the stars. 



Jaisalmer, located in the north western past of Rajasthan, is a mainstay in the state’s tourism landscape. The town lies at the heart of the Thar desert, and is often referred to as ‘The Golden City’ thanks to the yellow sandstone that bathes its palace and forts in a golden hue. Explore the Silk Route that saw Jaisalmer prosper as a favored trading destination for exotic goods.

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Experience a luxurious Dinner on the Dunes, amidst the golden sand dunes of the Thar. Explore the city with a local expert and learn the history of Jaisalmer Fort, shop attractive patchworks, embroidery, rugs, paintings, and other traditional Rajasthani art near the main square, and enjoy cultural evenings with wonderful local performances and cuisine.



Kutch offers the best of Gujarat with its rich artisanal craft culture, sumptuous cuisine, and architectural marvels. Located on the India-Pakistan border, the region borrows its influences from many cultures. One can even view parts of Pakistan from here.

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Stay at one of the village resorts that are hand-crafted by the local community to mirror the regional art and design traditions. Explore the various craft traditions and local handicrafts of the region, from Mutwa embroidery to Hodka mud work, with guided visits to the numerous craft communities in the Banni area, or the village cluster. 

Kangra Valley

Himachal Pradesh

One of the most picturesque of the lower Himalayan valleys, the Kangra Valley is plentiful with Deodar forests that refresh the lungs and spirit. The region claims a diverse art and handicraft culture, worth exploring. The district also claims several famous towns including Dharamshala, McLeod Ganj, Sidhbari, etc. The peaceful valley is also home to a vibrant community of Tibetan refugees.

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The breathtaking trek from Baggi to Prashar Lake is one worth attempting. A visit to the iconic Choukling Monastery is sure to stir one’s soul. Enjoy spectacular views as you paraglide in Bir Billing, often called the paragliding capital of the country. Spend the day in India’s Mini Switzerland, Khajjiar! Wake up to a splendid sunrise on the Triund Hill. 



Located in the northernmost region of Jammu and Kashmir, Nubra Valley is known as the Orchard of Ladakh for its lush seasonal vegetation. The region was originally called Ldumra, or the valley of flowers. It is best known for its picturesque views, Buddhist monasteries, Bactrian camels, and orchards.

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Visit the Hundar Sand Dunes and interact with the double-humped Bactrian camels here. Enjoy a cup of traditional butter tea in a conventional Ladakhi house or Zhimskhang made from natural and locally sourced materials. Find your spirituality with a visit to the region’s oldest and largest Buddhist gompa, the Diskit Monastery that dates back to the 14th Century.



Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, in the northern hill province of India, Kumaon offers its fresh mountain breeze, cool weather, and scenic vistas of the mountains to all those who visit. Kumaon has its own distinct traditions and culture worth exploring, even as you take in the gently swaying deodar, pine trees, and the rolling hills with their bright step cultivation.

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The Kumaon region is surrounded by several serene lakes to explore, including Nainital, Bhimtal, Naukuchiatal, and Sattal. Hike to Reti Khan, one of the region’s remote villages to unwind and disconnect for a while. Pay a visit to a traditional Kumaoni home in nearby Umagarh to appreciate the local way of life.



The village of Dawki is a mystical place in the clouds, along the India-Bangladesh border. It boasts all the natural wonders of Meghalaya, including rich wildlife, gurgling rivers, and gushing waterfalls that flow uninterrupted. Settled at the very bottom of the Jaintia hills is Mawlynnong Village, also known as the cleanest village in Asia. 

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Enjoy a local boat ride along the clear, emerald stream of Umngot River, considered one of the cleanest rivers in India. Learn about the region’s Khasi culture, and trek the local living root bridges—a true testament to the magnificence of nature.


Arunachal Pradesh

Situated amidst the Himalayas, at an altitude if 3048 meters, Tawang is best known for its scenic landscapes, spiritual significance, and abundance of breathtaking waterfalls. Visit for an immersion in pristine nature and to explore the rich legacy of North-East India.

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Visit the famous Tawang Monastery for 400 years’ worth of Buddhist tradition. Stopover at the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama, and stroll around the local markets. Enjoy the serenity of nature, surrounded by snow-capped mountains at the high-altitude lake, Penga Teng Tso (12,000 feet). Test your fitness with a visit to Bumla Pass (16,000 ft), at the Indo-China border.



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