India’s undiscovered gems

MOST travellers to India will tell you that it’s pretty tough to get off the beaten track in a nation of over 1.33 billion people, but believe it or not the mission is indeed possible so long as you have the right tour guide. Here are a few of the best hidden gems in India to get started.

Adalaj Stepwell

Constructed in 1498 in the memory of her husband Rana Veer Singh, Queen Rudadevi commissioned what is today regarded as one of the finest examples of Indian architecture.

The almost entirely sandstone Adalaj stepwell is five stories deep and is octagonal in its design, featuring intricate carvings throughout its large number of pillars. Above its square floor there are beams and arched openings that spiral around the interior, a feature that continues all the way to the top level.

The tourist attraction is located 18km north of Ahmedabad city and can be accessed by road, rail and air.

Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

Accessible by ferry service running between Ribander and Chorao, the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is located along the Mandovi River in Goa and boasts 1.8km of reserve.

The park is home to a multitude of unique bird species such as the western reef herron, jack snipe, kingfisher, coot and egret species.

Visitors also have the opportunity to participate in guided canoe trips through its marshy mangrove waters.

Muktagiri

This centre of worship for followers of Jainism is located on the border of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra in central India, offering visitors to this remote site 52 amazing temples to check out on an impressive mountainous terrain.

A steep waterfall envelopes the Muktagiri temple complex, with travellers needing to make sure they visit before 10am as the attraction shuts at 11am.

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