India shares its land borders with 7 countries: China, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. What makes the borders of India beautiful are the mountain passes, scattered villages, and pristine valleys. Tourism along the Indo-China border is quite popular because of the scenic unexplored mountains and lakes, but there’s more that we’ll explore today.
There’s so much beauty that the Indian landmass holds due to its diverse topography. There are snowy mountains, long coastlines, and rocky terrains that would satiate the hunger of any traveler. Go towards the northwestern borders to see sweeping desserts, to the southern borders to see abandoned coastal towns, and to the eastern borders to see picturesque arid landscapes. Excited already? Here are the best places near the Indian border you must visit.
If you want to see patriotism up close, head over to the Wagah-Attari Border. This town is famous for the Wagah Border Ceremony that’s attended by many tourists. Anyone who’s touring Amritsar makes it a point to visit this border.
There’s an amphitheater which gives you a good view of the ceremony. Across the large gates, you can see Pakistani civilians enjoying the ceremony. It’s a breathtaking moment of brotherhood between the two countries.
This 30-minute ceremony happens every day before sunset and you can see both Indian and Pakistani soldiers coming together in a well-coordinated display of military showmanship. It begins with the national anthem (singing the anthem amongst the crowd of thousands is sure to give you goosebumps). Then soldiers from both sides display a military parade.
Towards the end of this ceremony, the Indian Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers go ahead with lowering the flags and closing the international gates. This ceremony has been going on since 1959 and is also popularly known as the Beating Retreat ceremony.
Witnessing a spectacle like this truly fills you with national pride which makes Wagah Border one of the best places to visit near the Indian border. Just remember to go early at 3 pm if you want a preferred seat at the amphitheater for a good view!
Pangong Tso which means ‘high grassland lake’ is a scenic lake located in the Leh district of India. What’s interesting about this lake is the fact that 1/3rd of the lake lies in India while the other part of it falls in China!
The crystal blue lake is an absolute delight to look at against the backdrop of the mountains. The lake changes its color from blue to green to red because of changing sky colors and refraction at high altitudes, amazing, isn’t it?
Many migratory birds make Pangong Lake their preferred hangout spot every year. You can see black-necked cranes, seagulls, bar-headed goose, and Brahminy ducks in and around this lake. The lake also acts as a brilliant landscape for photography, walk along the narrow path of land that goes inside the lake and you can be sure of finding some perfect frames.
As for the adventure enthusiasts out there, there are no adventure sports or boating by this lake since it’s a delicate area between two nations. But worry not, you can go camping by Pangong Lake! Bring your own tent or choose from the various camping options available around the lake.
One thing to be aware of while exploring this lake is that not all of it is open to the public. You can only explore the lake’s shores up to the Spangmik village. A friendly tip would be to not visit the Pangong Lake in winter as it freezes completely!
Nelong Valley is an adventure hotspot in Uttarakhand. The valley is not made for the faint-hearted as it’s a rocky desert with sharp cliffs that can spook anyone out. Many tourists visit this valley for the unhindered view of the Tibetan Plateau.
The valley’s area falls under the Gangotri National Park so you can expect to spot wildlife like snow leopards, Himalayan blue sheep, or musk deer. It’s difficult to spot them in the kind of topography Nelong Valley has, but you can always keep an eye out!
Once you enter Nelong Valley, you’ll see tight security and the presence of the army. The valley is restricted and you can go only 25 km inside the area until you reach the Nelong Valley checkpoint because it’s so close to the border.
There’s a lot of history attached to the valley since it was the trade route between India and China. Nelong Valley was closed to the public after its villages were vacated during the Indo-China War. Recently in 2015, the valley opened to tourists who want to explore the historical trade route.
To visit Nelong Valley, you’ve to produce a fitness certificate and a permit from the sub-divisional magistrate. Also, you aren’t allowed to camp here or stay the night since the area falls under the national park limits. But you sure can ride through the valley on your Royal Enfield upto the restricted zone, now that sounds thrilling!
Sundarbans is a mangrove forest and a national park near Kolkata and is a major tourist attraction. There are close to 400 tigers in the forests. You can also spot many reptiles, aquatic life, and migratory birds in this mangrove forest. This biodiversity mixed with interesting local culture makes Sundarbans in West Bengal one of the best places to visit near the Indian border. Around 35% of this 10,000 square kilometers national park falls in India, the rest belongs to Bangladesh.
If you’re wondering how the Royal Bengal Tigers survive in mangroves like Sundarbans, let us tell you that they’re strong swimmers. But don’t go exploring too deep as the tigers have a reputation to be manhunters!
You can check out the Sajnekhali Wildlife Sanctuary if you want to spot rare bird species, reptiles, and deers. Wildlife exploration in the Sundarbans is a unique experience since you’ll be exploring on a boat! Take our word and book a private boat that takes you deep into the narrow waterways of the forest which increases your chances of spotting the rare wildlife.
If the wildlife of the region doesn’t interest you, you can explore the villages and learn about local culture. You can see the process of honey collection in the Sundarbans and even sample some for yourself. While you’re at it, don’t forget to eat the Hilsa as it’s a popular fish cuisine in the region!
Welcome to the last motorable village in India, Chitkul. This hamlet in Himachal Pradesh is covered in snow most of the year. Visit this village on the Indo-Tibetan border for its pristine views, peaceful surroundings, and cleanest quality of air. Yes, Chitkul is reported to have the cleanest air in all of India according to a recent study by the Centre of Atmospheric Sciences at IIT Delhi!
Nestled by the River Baspa, this settlement is the last inhabited village and is just 71 kilometers from the China border. You should visit this place if you want the ultimate escape from your city life as there are no ATMs and mobile networks in the village! Vegetables like peas and potatoes are grown on Chitkul’s land which means you can relish wholesome meals made out of locally grown organic vegetables. If you want to explore Chitkul, it better be on foot!
Do check out the Mathi Temple and the Chitkul Fort for their Pahadi style architecture. While you’re in Chitkul, eat at the ‘Hindustan ka Aakhri Dhaba’ which is the last local cafe in India! This cafe is located right beside River Bapsa and serves you delicious local dishes and snacks. If you’re wondering where to stay, there are hotels, homestays and a youth hostel in Chitkul to drop your bags and get exploring!
Dhanushkodi is an abandoned town at the far end of India’s south-eastern tip. It’s situated right where India stretches out towards Sri Lanka and midway disappears into the sea. This abandoned town at the end of Pamban Island was once a thriving port. It was a busy center of business between Sri Lanka and India, there are rail tracks buried under sands that tell the story of bygone times. But what really happened here?
In 1964, a massive cyclone hit Rameswaram and killed many people. The cyclone erased the town of Dhanushkodi completely and made it unfit for human settlement. The Pamban-Dhanushkodi Express Train was also carried away by the cyclone, instantly killing 115 people onboard. Today, you can see the remains of an eerie ghost town; the ruins of a church, a post office, and a temple tell the tale of a town swept away by natural disaster.
Tourists flock to this ghost town today because beyond Dhanushkodi Beach lies Adam’s Bridge or the Ram Setu. This naturally formed narrow path runs for some distance into the sea from Dhanushkodi before submerging into water. Do check out this ghost town on India’s southeastern border for its mythological importance and history! But try returning to Rameswaram before dark as the town gets unsafe after sunset.
Jaigaon is a small town that’s located on the border of India and Bhutan. The twin towns of Phuentsholing and Jaigaon closely neighbor each other and are separated by the Bhutan Gate that’s the entry point into Bhutan. The town was a trade route between India and Bhutan and was a commercial hub.
The same can be seen today, the local market of Jaigaon is flocked to by both Indian and Bhutanese citizens. You can see wholesalers and distributors running this market for a primarily Bhutanese clientele. What’s interesting is that the Bhutan Gate at the end of Jaigaon is the entry point into Bhutan via road. You can see travelers spending their night in Jaigaon and waking up to collect the passes to cross into Bhutan the next morning.
If you’re wondering what to see around Jaigaon, there’s the Jaldapara National Park 25 km from Jaigaon that’s famous for its rhino population. You can also spot leopards, elephants, sambar, barking deer, and spotted deer in the forest. If you want to spot some tigers, you can drive 40 km from Jaigaon to reach the Buxa Tiger Reserve.
Dharchula is a scenic hill station located on the Indo-Nepal border. Dhar and Chula mean ‘peak’ and ‘stove’ in the local language and Dharchula is named so since this border town resembles a stove. Dharchula is located 915 meters above sea level and offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas.
The history associated with the place also interests many tourists. This hill station was an important hub on the trans-Himalayan trade route. Back when trade was flourishing, the main source of income for the locals of Dharchula were the carpets made here.
Dharchula today is a hitchhiker’s paradise because of the peaks and mountains in the region. You should head over to the shores of the Kali River. This beautiful river divides Uttarakhand from Nepal and is a popular sightseeing spot in Dharchula. Check out the Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary for its rich flora and fauna. You can even drive to the Narayan Ashram that’s 44 km away from Dharchula. The peace and quiet of this ashram are enough to reconnect you to your spiritual side.
Now that you’ve explored the places near the Indian border, how about going beyond India? Yes, you can do that even without a visa, ever heard of cross-border road trips? Road trips like these are the most thrilling way to explore places beyond India’s borders. Drive, trek, or walk to the scenic places around India’s border, nothing stopping you!
Do I Need A Permit To Visit Places Near India’s Border?
Yes, you need permits to visit places near India’s border like Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, and Lakshwedeep. Such permits are in place to protect the indigenous tribes and to protect the land near India’s borders. There were special permits required to enter restricted areas in Leh-Ladakh before 2021, but they aren’t needed anymore. This step was taken to encourage tourism in the Leh-Ladakh region.
Which Places To Visit Near India’s Border?
Wagah Border, Pangong Lake, Nelong Valley, Sundarbans, Dhanushkodi, and Dharchula are some of the best places to visit near India’s border.
Can India’s Border Be Crossed?
Yes, India’s border can be crossed via road in some places. You can cross over to Bhutan, Myanmar, Malaysia, and even Thailand without a worry! You just need international driving licenses and other documents before you begin your journey.
Is It Safe To Visit Places Near India’s Border?
Places near India’s border are heavily guarded by the Indian military which is why it’s totally safe to visit places near the border. Just don’t trespass into restricted areas without a permit.
What Is The Border Of India Called?
The border of India is widely known as the Line Of Control (LOC).
What Are The 7 Borders Of India?
India shares its borders with 7 countries. They are China, Pakistan, Bhutan, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Which Country Has The Longest Border With India?
Bangladesh has the longest border with India as its land is surrounded by India to the north, east, and west.