The joy of exploring your home country, India is unlike anything else. Traveling the lands of grand diversity will help you understand why others seek solace in India. You will also be left pleasantly surprised to discover that many breathtaking locations in the country resemble foreign destinations. So, let’s stumble upon all the fantastic foreign look-alikes in India.
Switzerland is well-known for its picturesque green hillslopes, Alpine gardens, and snow-clad mountain peaks. And while all these are definite pros to go visit Switzerland, the biggest con holding us back is the budget, especially during the peak tourist season. Well, no worries! You can enjoy a similar scenery and landscape right from the comforts of India. The gorgeous hill station of Khajjiar in Himachal Pradesh is the place to be.
Popularly known as the ‘Mini Switzerland of India’, Khajjiar is a popular hill station close to Dalhousie. Situated against the backdrop of the snow-covered peaks of the Himalayas, the rolling green hills, and the thick alpine and deodar forests make Khajjiar a must-visit destination. The hill station truly transports you to another country and that too at an affordable travel budget.
Things To Do: Zorbing, jungle safari, trekking, paragliding, horse riding.
Best Time To Visit: March to June.
Also Read: Caving In India
If you have ever dreamed of vacationing in the Maldives but wish for a location close to home, then Lakshadweep Island is the place for you. Lakshadweep beautifully recreates the turquoise waters, pearly-white sandy beaches, and the lush green rainforests of Maldives. But a trip to the Maldives isn’t really budget-friendly. But a vacation to the Lakshadweep islands is much more pocket-friendly and just as awe-inspiring.
Lying off the coast of South India, Lakshadweep is a group of 35 islands and is famous for its sun-kissed beaches and lush green landscapes. These islands are lined with swaying palm trees and the stunning coral reefs here make it a great diving destination. While Maldives offers all-inclusive 5-star resorts, Lakshadweep offers a more authentic and rugged experience which sets it apart from other islands.
Things To Do: Snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, canoeing, reef walking, sailing, kayaking.
Best Time To Visit: October to April.
Also Read: 5 Lesser Known Beaches In India
For nature lovers, the vast meadow filled with beautiful wildflowers and covered in hundreds of colors is akin to paradise on earth. And the Antelope Valley in the United States is one such destination that is frequented by numerous tourists every year to experience the diverse flora here. But if you wish to experience the same without having to sit for a long flight and spend hundreds of dollars, then the Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand can offer you a similar experience.
Situated in North India in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, the Valley of Flowers is perched amidst the high-altitude Himalayan valley. Surrounded by snow-clad mountains, this vast landscape is covered by thousands of wildflowers and blooms, around 650 different species of flora, completely transforming the valley into a floral paradise! Add to this, milky white streams and alpine forests, and the Valley of Flowers is a place you must at least visit once in a lifetime.
Things To Do: Trekking, bird watching, photography, hiking.
Best Time To Visit: June to October.
Every tea lover’s haven, Munnar needs no introduction. From lush green hills to expansive and fragrant tea estates, it is a popular travel destination in India for a reason. You get to see how tea is grown, processed, and finally served, and is a true treat for all the chai lovers in the country! But you might not know, that this tea haven is very much similar in terms of landscape to the famous Cameron Highlands Tea Gardens in Malaysia.
A trip to Malaysia would no doubt be super exotic, but if you’re looking for something closer to home and easy to reach, then Munnar is your best bet! One of the largest tea plantations in the world, Munnar is quite a picturesque destination and feels absolutely otherworldly. Decked with carpets of green, rolling mist, and fog, and the air kissed with the subtle fragrance of tea, a vacation to Munnar will not disappoint you!
Things To Do: Camping, nature walks, tour the tea estates, tea tasting tours, wildlife spotting.
Best Time To Visit: November to February.
France is undoubtedly one of the best overseas destinations to visit and is popular for good reason. From the narrow cobblestone streets to colorful bistros and cafés to the sweet aroma of freshly baked goodies, France is the top European destination that is frequented by thousands of tourists every year. But you can get a taste of France here in India, in the southern union territory of Pondicherry!
Pondicherry has a small slice of France in it because of the French colonies that were settled here in the 1600s. The French Quarter of Pondicherry will offer you similar vibes as that of any small French town, with its cobblestone lanes, colorful vintage buildings, and charming little cafes and restaurants that serve some of the most authentic French cuisines. Add to the unmissable French flair, Pondicherry is home to pristine beaches where one can indulge in a variety of water sports.
Things To Do: Water sports like kayaking, surfing, scuba diving, sightseeing, and photography.
Best Time To Visit: October to March.
Venice is famous for its water canal system and boating from one lane to another. Imagine requiring to take a boat ride to travel across town! Along with its water canal system, Venice is also famous for its traditional Italian architecture and vintage shops and cafes. Ever imagined boating to the next lane in India? Kerala’s Alleppey is a real-life portrayal of the water canal systems in Venice.
The then Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon labeled Alleppey as the “Venice of East”. The city is home to picturesque canals, lagoons, and backwaters, which is a stunning alternative to traveling all the way to Europe. Along with the emerald backwaters rides, Alleppey offers mouth-watering seafood dishes and spectacular beaches. One can also opt for an overnight stay in the quaint houseboats which are decked with every modern amenity you can imagine.
Things To Do: Boating, canoeing, parasailing, houseboat rides, fishing, sightseeing.
Best Time To Visit: November to February.
Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands are a popular holiday destination for all those hankering for a sun-kissed vacation. Phi Phi Islands are a great spot for scuba diving, snorkeling, and a variety of water sports and other adventurous activities. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India offer a similar view and fun-filled vacation as Thailand, without the extra effort to travel too far, and is also easy on your pockets.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a popular tourist destination in India. With bountiful beauty, golden beige beaches, and azure waters the islands offer a total beach-vibe vacation. One can indulge in diving and explore the colorful coral reefs, go snorkeling, and kayaking, or try out various boat rides. The lagoons around these islands are home to exotic aquatic animals like stingray, seahorses, and sea turtles. The islands make for a blissful and relaxing holiday destination and have a lot to keep you entertained.
Things To Do: Hiking, seaplane rides, snorkeling, scuba diving, sea walking, banana boat rides.
Best Time To Visit: October to May.
The Sahara Desert is the largest desert in the world, covering almost the entirety of North Africa. This desert is one of the most spectacular scenic landscapes and is every adventurer's hot spot to visit. But if flying to the other side of the world seems like too much work, then perhaps you should explore the Thar Desert in Rajasthan. Although Thar is not as vast as the Sahara, it covers a rather large portion of the northwestern Indian subcontinent!
Thar is so much more than a dry and arid desert. Decked with majestic forts, dreamy palaces, and quaint charming villages, the Thar Desert seems to come alive with vibrant culture and traditions. Known to be the 17th largest desert in the world, parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, and Haryana all come under this desert. A fun fact about the Thar Desert is that it is surrounded by the River Sutlej in the northwest, the Indus River in the west, and the Rann of Kutch in the South, giving it more diversity in terms of terrain and landscapes.
Things To Do: Dune bashing, camping, camel rides, parasailing, star gazing, photography.
Best Time To Visit: October to February.
The Grand Canyon is a true marvel of nature and brings hundreds of adventurers, hikers, and tourists to Arizona to explore these gorges. The orangish red, meandering gorges against the bright blue sky, are a sight to behold! But traveling all the way to Arizona is not a simple feat and requires a lot of planning and budgeting. What if you could experience a similar natural scenery in India? The majestic canyons in Gandikota in Andra Pradesh are an astonishing look-alike to the Grand Canyons.
Popularly known as the ‘Grand Canyon of India’ the gorges of Gandikota are worth visiting. Located in a small village in the Kadapa district, Gandikota is a spectacular natural gorge formed by the River Pennar, which cuts through the Erramalai Hills. An astounding piece of natural architecture, Gandikota flaunts beautiful pinkish-red gorges with the pristine river cutting through and stands against the backdrop of beautiful pastel skies. The canyon is located 300 feet above sea level and is also home to beautiful forts and temples that are worth visiting.
Things To Do: Caving, rappelling, rock climbing, camping, hiking, trekking, photography.
Best Time To Visit: September to February.
Also Read: Places To Visit In Vizag
The iconic Niagara Falls needs absolutely no introduction. The world’s most popular waterfall with thundering power and impressive views, the Niagara Falls is a dream destination for many. So, while you’re saving for this amazing vacation, you can give the Chitrakoot Falls in Chhattisgarh which is famed as the ‘Niagara Falls of India’. Located in the west of Jagdalpur in the Bastar district, the Chitrakoot Falls is one of the most spectacular natural waterfalls in India.
Situated at a height of about 100 feet high and with an impressive width of 1000 feet, the Chitrakoot Falls is the widest waterfall in the country. The waterfall originates from the Indravati River of the Kalahandi region of Odisha and falls from a height of 29 m to form the waterfall. One of the major reasons for Chitrakoot’s comparison to the Niagara is the horseshoe shape. A fun fact about the falls is that it is believed that the pressure of the water falling here is equivalent to that of the weight of 500 elephants!
Things To Do: Boating, swimming, trekking, nature walks, photography.
Best Time To Visit: July to October.
Foreign holiday destinations certainly are part of several adventurers' and travelers' bucket lists, but if it's the budget restrictions or the travel distance that is holding you back do not fret! India is home to several such destinations that resemble some of the most spectacular foreign destinations, which can be covered more easily and conveniently by all. These locations are certainly budget-friendly and can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone!
Which Place In India Is Like Maldives?
The Lakshadweep Islands in the southern part of India look a lot like the Maldives, with their sun-kissed beaches, turquoise waters, and palm-lined coasts. The lagoons here are rich in marine life making them great for diving and snorkeling activities.
What Is The Best Time To Visit The Valley Of Flowers In Uttarakhand?
One should visit The Valley Of Flowers in Uttarakhand during the months of June to October. It is between the months of July and August that the flowers are in full bloom and tourists flock to the valley to catch sight of the diverse flora.
Which Place In India Looks Like Switzerland?
Khajjiar hill station in Himachal Pradesh resembles the quaint pastures and alpine forests of Switzerland. Surrounded by snow-covered peaks of the Himalayas, the rolling green hills, and the thick alpine and deodar forests, Khajjiar is rightfully known as the ‘Mini Switzerland of India’.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Pondicherry?
If you’re thinking of visiting Pondicherry, then plan around the months of October and March as this time period offers the best climatic conditions for sightseeing and extensive travel. The weather is not excessively hot and only slightly humid, making it pleasant and comfortable enough to go explore the city.
Which City Is Called London Of India?
The capital city of West Bengal, Kolkata is known as the ‘London of India’ owing to its vintage buildings, Gothic architecture, and the Lake Town Clock Tower’s location here which is a close look-alike to Big Ben.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Gandikota?
The best time to visit Gandikota in Andra Pradesh is between the months of September and February since the temperatures are more favorable for sightseeing and indulging in the various adventure activities offered here. The summers can be unapologetically hot and the monsoons bring heavy rainfall, making these months not the best time to visit Gandikota.
Which Place Is Called The Scotland Of India?
The spectacular hill station of Coorg located in Karnataka is popularly known as the ‘Scotland of India’. Coorg resembles Scotland for its climatic conditions, undulating terrain, European architecture, and spectacular waterfalls. The hill station is famous for its extensive coffee plantations and green rolling hills.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Munnar?
The months between November and February are the best time to visit Munnar. The winter months offer a cool and pleasant climate, with mist rolling down the green hill slopes and temperature drop making Munnar the perfect honeymoon destination.