“Off the beaten track” experiences – India
As much as I hate the phrase “off the beaten track”, it describes perfectly what I want when I go to India in February 2014.
After spending 2 months in Kenya last year, exploring (on the top of a cargo truck) the rather untouched but undeniably beautiful north, I am yearning for more locations that will take me deep into the culture of a place – not somewhere that I’ll be surrounded by other tourists all fighting for the same photos.
So, I’m travelling to India for 2 weeks next year and want to know where I can get to (preferably on public transport) to find a less touristy and more authentic India… I’ve done plenty of travel in Rajasthan and am wanting to hit the south – preferably near Goa or Kerala.
Goa is really not off any sort of path, it’s well-trodden. And any destination that you’ve heard of is more tarnished than the few you haven’t heard as much of – think Palolem, Amjuna, Calengute.
I go to Benaulim. A small fishing village (modern term is tourist trap) and it’s much quieter than the rest. I spent 6 months there on my first trip to India, and now go for a couple of weeks each year (since I mostly live here). It’s worth a stop.
‘Fraid I can’t comment on Kerala…
Lottie Gross Thanks for the tip :) I'll definitely look into Benaulim and the others! I realise Goa isn't off the beaten track but as we'll be making the obligatory visit to that part of the coast I thought it'd be nice to try and see some less 'beaten tracks' nearby.
PirateAt50 Benaulim, or rather Margao (Madgaon is the train station) is convenient access to north, south and east trains. Madgaon is 6Km, inland from Benaulim.
If you want to explore the Coastal south India then you can consider taking a train from Pune (Maharashtra) to Mangalore with the following stopovers. This is the coastal area from Pune to Goa best travelled by Train/Road.
Castle Rock- Famous for the Dudhsagar falls (“Dudh” mean milks & “Sagar” mean sea ) .
Managalore (Karnataka)- Best for beaches and old churches. Famous for the seafood, be sure to try the local fish fry.
Udupi (60 kms from Mangalore by road) – A few more beach along the road from Mangalore-Udupi and some more in Udupi. Udupi is called the Temple City , a lot of temples with stories if their own.
Gokarna (100 kms by Road from Udupi)- (Om Beach) One of the famous beaches flocked by western tourist more than the local.
Take a train from Gokarna till Goa.
For Goa you can search in any of the various sites.
As a detour you can travel to following place to explore the Jain Culture and their monuments 1000 pillar temple at Moodbidri and Gomateshwara (5 feet high Monolithic statue) at Karkala.
Wayanad, Kasargod are good options.
You can also check out Vagamon, Hampi, Coorg and other parts of Karnataka.