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Most unusual tourist attraction?

Discussion in 'Itinerary' started by PrincessTigerLily, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. Every country (or state/region within a country) has at least one very unusual tourist attraction. Of course, it could be a little-known thing that isn't really an attraction so much as something that you find interesting. (Ie the view from a bridge or a store that sells a funny product.)

    I like knowing the less trodden paths, so it would be fun to see what other people have discovered in India that they were not expecting.

    Share your most unusual discoveries in India, no matter how strange or unconventional.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hi there!

    I think India has many unusual and unique destinations. The country, as a whole, is a huge melting pot of culture and traditions. You'll find something interesting in every city or state that you visit. That's the beauty of India really and the reason why people all over the world visit this magical country. But for me, here are the best unusual destinations you must visit when you're in India:

    Places with Weird Phenomenon
    • Magnetic Hill in Ladakh - This is a gravity hill located near Leh in Ladakh. Vehicles going to the Magnetic Hill move uphill by themselves. The phenomenon has been explained already. It's an optical illusion making it seem like the hill is going uphill when in reality it's going downhill. But still, this attracts tourist all over the country and the world. Some of the locals believe that the hill was once a doorway to heaven and only those worthy can make it through the path.
    • Krishna's Butter Ball in Mahabalipuram - This can be found 60 kms South of Chennai. The name of the huge rock came from Krishna's insatiable appetite for butter, that he would often sneak from his mother's butter jar. This huge rock derived its name from that story. The rock is situated in a slope in the hills and seems to defy some laws of physics, with its huge size, it was able to balance itself.
    • The Levitating Stone in Shivapur - I think the Levitating Stone has been discussed in another thread in this forum. The story goes that Qamar Ali Darvesh was born into a family of brutal and mighty brothers. He was the only quiet and reserved boy in the family. He grew up dedicating his time on meditation and prayers. As he grew up, he became a well-known healer in the town and the surrounding towns. Unfortunately, he was stricken by illness at an early age and just as he was about to die, he instructed his family to put a 200-pound stone next to his tomb. Along with his request, he said, "If eleven men place their right index fingers under the stone and then jointly call my name, it will cause it to rise higher than their heads. Otherwise, neither singly nor together will they be able to move it more than two feet off the ground." Thus, the Levitating Stone in Shivapur came to be. If you don't follow exactly the instructions of Qamar Ali Darvesh, you won't be able to lift the stone.
    • Kodhini in Kerala - Kodhini is popularly known as the Village of Twins. There are about 2,000 families living here and at first glance, you won't find anything unusual about this remote place. Take a further look and you'll find that each family has its own set of twins. Kodhini has the largest set of twins, not only in India, but in the whole world. There are over 220 pairs of twins in this town alone. The rate of giving birth to twins here is about 6 times more than the average. Until now, this phenomenon isn't yet fully explained but it's quite a great trivia especially in a country where the twin rates are quite low.
    • Jatinga in Assam - Between September and November each year, the unusual bird suicide in Jatinga occurs. Just after sunset, between 7:00 to 10:00 pm, birds here commit suicide by crashing into buildings and trees. For a while, the locals believed that the evil spirits in the sky cause this birds to go into suicide. The phenomenon has been explained already though, the cause of the suicides is the monsoon fog which puts the birds into haze and so they fly into the village lights which cause them to die or be seriously injured.
    • Hanging Pillar of Veerabhadra Temple in Lepakshi - There are about 70 pillars in this temple but one stands out. This is the Hanging Pillar of the temple. You can pass objects like papers and fabrics below the pillar. Until now, the brilliance of this phenomenon isn't fully explained and it's definitely an interesting attraction in the temple.
    • Red Rain in Idukki - You can find Idukki in the state of Kerala. In the early 1800s, a strange phenomena was recorded here, when it experienced red rain. Several instances thereafter were recorded as well, where it rained with red water too. This was in 2001 and 2012. Some explanations were that the redness of the water came from spores, others explained that it might have been from a meteor explosion. But until now, there is no conclusive explanation for the phenomenon.
    Places with Animals... A Lot of Animals!
    • Karni Mata Mandir in Bikaner - This temple is dedicated to Karni Mata. Quite unusual is that about 20,000 black rats live in this temple. They are referred to as kabbas. They are revered to as sacred rats and people all over the world go to the temple to visit them. Some even consider eating on the food that has been nibbled on by the rats as a high honour. There are also white rats in the temple and they are believed to be manifestations of Karni Mata and her sons.
    • Land of Snakes in Shetpal - Each house in this village has a resting place for cobras in their ceilings. Despite this, no case of cobra bite has been recorded in the village until this time. In honour of Shiva, the snakes in this village are cared for by the villagers. It's also not unusual to see cobras roaming around freely in the town.
    Villages with Unusual Rituals or Traditions or Stories
    • Living Root Bridges of Cherrapunji - The residents of Cherrapunji (Also the wettest place on Earth) built these living root bridges by themselves. There are about 11 functioning root bridges in this town. One root bridge is supposed to grow for around 15 years before it becomes safe to cross for humans.
    • Houses with No Doors in Shani Shingnapur - You would find all establishments and houses here have no doors. Until 2010, there were not thefts recorded in the village. The village has Lord Shani as their main deity who is believed to guard their village from any dangers.
    • Malana Village - The residents of Malana believe that all other individuals are inferior to them. Hence, they cannot be touched nor can you touch their houses or items. If you do touch them, you'd have to pay a fee in order for them to slaughter a lamb and purify the object that has been impure.
    • Millionaire's Village in Hiware Bazar - This is a village with about 54 millionaires. This was once a poverty-stricken region but now, this little town has a monthly per capita income of Rs. 30,000. Liquor and tobacco are banned here though. It was Papatrao Pawar who turned around the fate of the village and made it what it is today, of course along with the help of the villagers.
    Hmmm... Is this list enough? I'm sure others can add in their favourite unusual places in India!

  3. These are all fascinating, and I appreciate the list. But I wasn't really looking for a list of things that you might find by using Google. I was looking for individual responses from people who have been to India, and what their favorite unusual spot or discovery was. Personal tales was more what I was wondering about.

    However, I do appreciate the list. I like the idea of the Living Root bridges. I will have to look that up.

    Rats! Hmmm. I love animals, but I'm not crazy about pests. However, I am guessing these might be more tame than the usual rat, considering they are used to human visitors. I think there is a similar place like that in Japan that is overrun with wild hares.
  4. rootle

    rootle Member

    There's this place called Auroville in Pondicherry which is a pretty unusual place. Basically it is a sort of a society founded by this French lady who they mysteriously call 'The Mother'. It's a bit weird, they're sort of like a religion or a cult although they don't like being known as such. The basic idea was to create a place where people from various communities around the world could come and live together in peace. And from what I understand they sort of live like a communist society but there's a lot of spirituality and new age ideology mixed into it. You can visit Auroville and even stay there for a few days if you want, there are people from all over the world living there, mainly Indian, French and German. They even have this weird temple which is like a golden sphere that you can see from outside.
    It's an interesting place with an interesting concept. Pondicherry is generally pretty cool as well.
    PrincessTigerLily likes this.
  5. @rootle Thank you, that's more the kind of thing I"m talking about. That does sound really interesting. It sounds a bit like a Utopian colony, of sorts. But, yes, also like a cult. It also put me in mind of some of the places I read bout in Eat, Pray Love.
  6. rootle

    rootle Member

    It is basically a Utopian colony, yes. The reason I relate it to a cult is because they hold certain superstitious beliefs in some sort of divine presence and their colony is sort of based on these beliefs from what I understand. I haven't read that book, but I think I've heard of the movie adaptation.