Nine Unmissable Landscapes in India

Nine Unmissable Landscapes in India

India is a country of contrasts, where the compulsive chaos and cacophony of sounds ripple across the land, calling curious travellers from far and wide. It’s a place where spiritual beliefs, traditions and staggering natural landscapes intertwine to form a captivating medley of sights and sounds. From the depths of the Thar desert to the lapping waves of the Andaman Islands, there is much to be explored here. Beyond the hustle and heat of the major cities lie pockets of serenity, where lovers of the road less travelled can find escapism from the tourist hordes. Think floating houseboats meandering through Alleppey, trips to the swooping tea-filled hillsides of Munnar and views of the famous Himalayas in Darjeeling. Whether you’re already a fan or an excited first timer, you can be sure that the tranquillity and gravity of this wondrous country will leave you longing to see more of the unmissable landscapes in India.

  1. Darjeeling
  2. Sikkim
  3. Leh, Ladakh
  4. Lake Pichola
  5. The Thar Desert
  6. Alleppey
  7. Munnar
  8. Andaman Islands
  9. Hampi



The snow-capped peak of Mount Khangchendzonga casts shadows on the emerald tea plantations below. They cascade over the Himalayan ranges, with a generous smattering of sun-kissed trails, deep valleys, Buddhist monasteries and, of course, plenty of tea thrown in for good measure. This West Bengal haven and Indian hill station known as Darjeeling has it all. There’re adventurous treks to Singalila Ridge, mountain biking across the hills and bustling bazaar-filled towns, showcasing Himalayan products and the warmth of the people from across Sikkim, Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet. With a steaming cupful of Darjeeling in hand, you can clink drinks to a trip well spent, exploring this magnificent and unmissable landscape in India.



The neighbouring state of Sikkim is a former mountain kingdom, overflowing with historic personality, and it remains a champion for all things clean, green and organic. Discover monasteries where traditional Tibetan Buddhism and Hindu shrines co-exist. Also awaiting you are camera-worthy mammoth monuments, that sculpt their way across the skyline, and near vertical valleys, home to thriving woodlands (thanks to the subtropical climate). It’s an undeniably serene spot and largely considered to be the beating heart of India’s eastern Himalayan range. Sharing borders with Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal, it provides those who journey here with an unmatched sense of tranquillity and warmth, that you’d be hard pushed to find elsewhere.


Leh, Ladakh

Ladakh is a union territory in the Kashmir region and home to some seriously unmissable landscapes in India. It’s divided into two districts, Leh and Kargil, with the first (Leh) offering the wonders of the Nubra Valley, the largest high-altitude lake in India (Tso Moriri) and the gravity-defying drive along the Magnetic Hill. Water lovers can marvel at the ever-changing Pangong lake, shifting day-to-day from light blue hues to verdant greens and even grey. While keen hilltop walking enthusiasts can take in the magnificent, white-domed Buddhist monument of Shanti Stupa. This adventure playground has your trekking and rafting fix, with a healthy dose of culture and otherworldly magic too, with every rolling hillside and craggy mountain edge offering more.

Leh Ladakh in India


Lake Pichola

This next entry might be cheating a little, given that it’s more of a lakescape than landscape, but we couldn’t leave the Venice of the east, Udaipur, off our list of unmissable landscapes in India. Take a trip to marvel at Lake Pichola’s calm waters, that have been in the heart of the city since its construction in 1362, enchanting those who journey here with its scenic beauty and surroundings. Lush green hills (that are just as unmissable) envelop it, alongside lofty palaces, temples and bathing ghats, reflected perfectly by the still lake. Boat across this mirror-like lake on a guided tour, offering postcard pretty pictures that capture the opulence of this spot. Before landing on Jag Mandir Island, home to its very own exquisite Lake Palace, that appears to be floating effortlessly on the water's surface.


The Thar Desert

The temperature is rising with this next entry, as we journey to the Thar Desert, one of the most inhospitable ecoregions in the Indo-Pacific area. Yet, it’s still home to over 80 million people and animals alike. From the blue bull and blackbuck to the Indian gazelle and chinkara, thriving here requires a degree of adaptability to its extreme climate. Freezing winters and scorching summers coat the sweeping sand dunes and craggy rock formations but those intrigued enough to journey here will be surprised. Luxury desert camping, parasailing, sunrise and sunset chasing and ruin-finding await, proving that it’s so much more than just a barren stretch of land.



Its official title is Alappuzha, but it’s more commonly referred to as Alleppey. This unmissable landscape offers picturesque backwaters, overnight houseboat stays and some of the best pearly beaches in Kerala. Its white sand coastline promises water sports in the dry season and beach-side lounging for the relaxation lovers. Its maze of interconnected canal backwaters are fringed by palms, offering glimpses of verdant paddy fields and the day-to-day innings of local Keralans. It’s an ode to a slower pace of life and appreciation for the calm, in a country that thrives on being busy.

alleppey in the sun



Those in need of another tea fix will find a trip to south India’s largest tea growing region has just the brew you’re after. Lush green hills, rich with tea plantations, are lovingly crafted, snipped and sculpted into shape, forming perfectly pruned hedges, so you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d landed in the Queen of Heart’s labyrinth maze. But this isn’t a Lewis Carroll novel, although tea parties (minus the Mad Hatter) are encouraged. Rather it’s an escape to a magnificently scenic oasis, offering views from above the clouds, where wisps of mist snag on the mountaintops. There’re endless varying shades of green to behold and this awe-inspiring landscape will leave you craning your neck skyward in search of more knockout views.


Andaman Islands

Seclusion, sea and serenity rule the waves that lap the Andaman Islands. The phosphorescent ocean is shaded by primeval jungle, and travellers to this slice of tropical paradise can dive below the waters (or under an umbrella along the shoreline for some serious rest and relaxation). The far-flung Andamans have some 572 islands in their midst, only 36 of which are inhabited, with a handful open to travellers, offering the escapism they promise. Most head to Havelock (Swaraj) for all things beach and epic diving, before sunset watching and reminiscing on a day well spent.



Last, but certainly not least, is the magnificent city of ruins, Hampi. Largely considered to be the most beautiful and evocative of all the ruins in Karnataka, this exquisite display of temple architecture offers glimpses into India’s history. Rightfully earning its spot among our nine unmissable landscapes in India. You can walk through the broken city, with its crumbling temples, former forts and distinct Dravidian style, while the Hampi Bazaar offers a broad and dusty boulevard, lined with stalls and restaurants for all things souvenirs and stomach rumblings.

Hampi close up