Western Ghats — how many of us have truly explored this stretch that starts from Gujarat and ends at the southernmost tip of India. It covers a number of states which we may all have visited at least once in our lifetime, but there are a few hidden gems that these lush, green hills of the Western Ghats have been hiding. This summer, why travel abroad when you can unearth some of the gems hidden in one of the oldest landmasses in Eurasia, which also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site! By Shubhanjana Das
In the Anaimalai Hills of the Western Ghats lies a paradisiacal land of Valparai, which is the answer to the busier counterparts of Tamil Nadu. Valparai is one of those hill stations wherein you go and do nothing. That’s right. In the age when tourists are always in the mad frenzy of checking off itineraries, Valparai is the answer to the laid-back traveller’s quests. There’s no one place where you will find tourists huddled together. The tea estates in Valparai are vast enough for you to lose yourself a little while taking a leisurely stroll.
2. Kavaledurga Fort
It’s not news that the Western Ghats shelter a few of the most amazing forts that the south of India has inherited from rulers and kings back in the day. While some are frequented by hikers and trekkers, others like Kavaledurga repose in isolation. Located in the Shimoga district of Karnataka, this fort doesn’t reveal itself so easily. It requires an uphill trek to ascent an altitude of 1,541 metres for the views that make all the huffing and puffing worth it. The construction of this fort dates back to the ninth century and it has had rulers like Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan take over at different points of time. The history of this place is just as mind-boggling as the view of the rolling jungles from the top is mesmerising.
Just 28 kms from Ooty, you will be embraced by the sprawling Avalanche Hills that look like a natural shade card of every green hue there is. Once you cross Ooty’s Emerald Lake, the surroundings will slowly reveal to you the absolute thrill of secrecy that Avalanche holds. But first, let’s talk a little about that name, shall we? Avalanche was named so by the locals after a devastating avalanche had hit an area of this district in the Nilgiris. But that’s in the past. Now, Avalanche is enveloped by greenery that soothes the senses. Even the drive up to Avalanche, through Kundah forest is something that makes it a road trip-worthy destination.
Do you think beaches, parties, beer, and seafood is all there is to Goa? Mollem will make you rethink how you perceive the party capital of India. Known for its cascading rivers, rich wildlife, and thick vegetation, Mollem should be your getaway if you’re not a party person or find yourself lost in big crowds. Mollem gives the perfect window to peep into the exceptional natural beauty of the state of Goa.