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Monday, October 13, 2014

The Lonely Planet India Unexplored Contest 2014



Some Facts- India is the seventh largest country in the world, has one of the oldest civilizations in the world, has one of the most diverse landscapes in the world, has one of the most diverse wildlife in the world, is a pot pourri of multiple cultures and cuisines (something which cannot be found in any other country in the world).... and yet the number of visitors who arrive in India from abroad is one-third to the number of visitors who go to Hong Kong, China (a region whose population and total area is lesser than that of Delhi, the capital of India) as per the figures of United Nations World Tourism Organization !


Clockwise from Left - Prithviraj Chauhan Smarak (Ajmer), Poddar Cenotaphs (Ramgarh Sethan, Shekhawati Rajasthan), Yumthang Valley (North Sikkim), Kumbhalgarh Fort, Baglep (Tibetan Cuisine), Velankanni Beach (Tamil Nadu)

The limited number of tourists who come to India make a beeline to Taj Mahal (Agra), Jaipur, Delhi, Udaipur, Goa and some of the popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Khajuraho, Hampi, Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Shore Temple e.t.c. The domestic tourists of India make a beeline to the same destinations which I just mentioned apart from hill stations like Shimla & Mussourie (popular with Delhi-ites), Darjeeling, Gangtok, Pelling (Popular with Kolkata-ns), Ooty and Kodaikanal (popular with Chennai-ites) and Coorg (popular with Bangaloreans).

Buddhist Monasteries (of Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Spiti Valley), Jhansi Fort, Surajkund Reservoir, Baoli of Farrukhnagar, Basilica of Our lady of Graces (Sardhana, Uttar Pradesh), Murals and Frescoes across the Streets of Ramgarh Sethan, Chand Baoli (Abhaneri), Sheesh Mahal (Farrukhnagar)

While the mass of tourists concentrate on these and some other destinations only, the rest of India remains Unexplored. Destinations like the murals and frescoes of the bylanes of Shekhawati Rajasthan, the stepwells of Gujarat, majority of beaches of Karnataka, majority of the forts of Maharashtra, the blue hills of Mizoram, the monasteries of Arunachal Pradesh and Spiti Valley, the temples of Chhatisgarh (Sirpur, Bhoramdev e.t.c.) and stupas of Bihar are just a few of the numerous destinations which are still waiting for travelers so that they can come and admire 'their' magnificence and might too.

Clockwise from Left - Streets of Churu (Shekhawati Rajasthan), Citadel of Ajabgarh Fort, Lal Kot (the first fort of Delhi), Pataleshwar Temple (Pune), Pandeshwar Temple (Hastinapur), Minor Rock Edict of Ashoka (Garhi, Delhi), Gurudongmar Lake (North Sikkim)

Lonely Planet India has started a wonderful initiative in the form of a contest called 'India Unexplored' where travellers are encouraged to send in their entries of places or destinations which have been unexplored as of yet. Apart from submitting entries about a destination, one can also submit entries about 'activities' which can be done in unexplored places (like the Chadar Zanskar Trek), 'Eateries' which are really good but not in the knowledge of the visiting tourist and local 'markets' or 'shops' where one can go for shopping ! While this is a great oppurtunity for travellers to submit entries about places which are rarely visited and win Cool Prizes, this is also an awesome oppurtunity for people who want to know more about India (and wish to gather knowledge about the various unknown destinations which are not in the bucket list of the normal tourist) as all the information would be available at one place - the India Unexplored Site apart from the Lonely Planet books off course !!

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'Path Rarely Taken' believes in exploring the rarely visited places and bring them to the notice of the world and so it supports the India Unexplored contest as it has the same philosophy as the blog !

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2 comments:

You are right these plants are lovely and attract the attention for visitors. Your shared photographs are breathtaking view and force to visit them again and again. You have shared useful information about India places. I visited many times with my friends and family. Recently I visited there before finger Lake Tour with my friends. You are right. The limited number of tourists comes here to see the major attraction such as Taj Mahal, Jaipur, Delhi and Goa. The places are the most popular and unique places in India.

Very nice initiative taken by Lonely Planet India. Thanks and Keep it up.