India’s backdrop of lush green forests, majestic mountains and tropical beaches makes it an ideal destination for any nature lover. There are so many beautiful scenic spots and gorgeous places to stay that visiting every single one is almost impossible. Luckily, I’ve created a list of the top five best destinations for exploring India’s great outdoors.
Known as the ‘Scotland of India’ coorg is located in Southern Karnatake, in the lap of Western Ghats. It gets its reference to Scotland thanks to the stunning green hilly landscapes and cascading waterfalls. Coorg is also home to several coffee plantations, the Nagarhole National Park and the Talakevri Wildlife Sanctuary. Come take in the gorgeous sights and become one with nature in Coorg.
Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad
This zoo is about as close to nature as you can get. Spread over 380 acres, Nehru Zoological Park is home to over 1000 animals, all living in open enclosures. There are no big railings keeping these animals contained and instead, they are in their own natural habitats, with a large moat between them and any visitors. This zoo has all sorts of exotic wildlife species including Indian rhinos, Asiatic lions, Bengal tigers, panthers and Indian elephants. If you want to experience some of the world’s most beautiful creatures in a more natural environment, visit the Nehru Zoological Park, which is second only to Mumbai’s famous Jijamata Udyan.
Kaas Plateau, Maharashtra
Named a UNESCO World Biodiversity Site, the Kaas Plateau in Maharashtra is beyond stunning. If you’re an avid gardener, you will love exploring the more than 850 different unique species of flowering plants, but visit between August and September, to really see them in full bloom. This area is completely untouched, meaning you can experience the Kaas Plateau without any man-made interruptions. It’s natural beauty at its best.
For those who enjoy outdoor activities and staying fit, the famous Munnar hill station is a great place to stretch your legs. There’s a whole range of exciting sports and activities to join in with including camping, parasailing, trekking, fishing, birdwatching, wildlife spotting, rock climbing and more. Munnar has rolling hills, waterfalls, mountain peaks and even the large Kundala Lake. If the weather isn’t great, you can go inside the Tata Tea Museum and learn the history of this region’s tea-making process.
Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand
The name tells you everything you need to know here, as this valley in the Nanda Devi Biosphere is full of blossoming beauty in the form of endemic alpine flowers and medicinal herbs. On either side of the valley are towering mountain ranges and lush green hills. Further into the valley you’ll find gushing waterfalls and idyllic streams. It’s also home to some incredible wildlife species including the snow leopard, Asiatic black bear, blue sheep and musk deer. Make sure to visit between July and September, as that’s the only time this valley is open to hikers.