Odd and Inexplicable Places in India Even Indians Don’t Know About!
A land of mysteries, a civilization which has endured several mutations, India is indeed a myriad of many contradictions and paradoxes. As the famous BBC correspondent Mark Tully would say, ‘there are no full stops in India’. True to this spirit, India never ceases to enthrall the countless souls who come to its shores in search of something or the other – either fortune, mysticism, or moksha.
This land is such a diverse universe of so many cultures, thoughts, and demographics, that to gauge its total extent would require several thousand light years. In short, this civilization of more than 5,000 years is a land of wonders. India has innumerable places to visit, each with its own distinctive topography, culture, and people.
In this article, we will discuss some places which even the citizens of this country haven’t heard about, let alone visited. They are unique not only in the context of this country, but also throughout the world.
The first place in this list is a village by the name of ‘Kodinhi’ which is situated in the beautiful Indian state of Kerala, also known as ‘God’s Own Country’. Kodinhi is home to around 2,000 families and has attained fame and international recognition because of a certain uniqueness in its population.
This place astonishingly has an extremely high rate of twin births, although India has one of the lowest twinning rates in the entire world. This is quite a wonder and people visiting this village have been taken aback to see so many twins together there. To this date the reason behind this phenomenon is not known.
Ancient Pilgrimage Center of India
The next unique place called ‘Hajo’ which is situated in the North Eastern Indian state of Assam, and located close to Guwahati, the state’s largest city, on the banks of the river Brahmaputra. The uniqueness of this place is that, it is an ancient pilgrimage center which is devoted to three major religions of the world: Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. It is probably one of the very few places in this world, which is equally devoted to three different religions.
Entrance of Hayagriva Madhab Mandir in Hajo, India. (deepgoswami / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 )
The Smokeless Village in India
The second in this list is a village which has attained a unique distinction in the history of India by becoming the first village in this country to go completely smokeless. They entered the prestigious Limca Book of Records for this tremendous feat. They did it by making all the households of the village convert to LPG from their traditional ways of cooking, which were harmful to the environment.
This village is called ‘Vyachakurahalli’ and it is situated in the Chikkaballapur district of the southern Indian state of Karnataka. The village is an example to others about how to protect the environment.
High Points in India
We already know that India has the gigantic Himalayas in its fold and several habitats have been established in its verdant valleys. One of the places is called ‘Hikkim’, a picturesque small village situated at high altitude in Himachal Pradesh.
Hikkim is small village in Himalayas of India. (Saurabh Chatterjee / CC BY-NC 2.0 )
Hikkim is special because of its claim to have the world’s highest post office with a permanent structure (There is also a temporary post office at a higher altitude than Hikkim in Qomolangma, Tibet as a Mt. Everest Base Camp postal service.). Hikkim also claims one of the highest polling stations in the world. (The highest polling station in the world is in the village of Tashigang in the same state of Himachal Pradesh. Some maps project this area as disputed). Hence, Hikkim has also been featured in the famous Limca Book of Records.
India’s Guest of Honor
The uniqueness of the places in India just doesn’t seem to end. In this list, we will now talk about the village of ‘Shetpal’ in Maharashtra, and it is quite unique in a completely different way. In this village there is a strange custom that each household have a designated space for a very unique guest, who is held in very high honor – the snakes (cobras) which may come and take rest in any house.
Serpent deity reliefs in India. (Dineshkannambadi / CC BY-SA 3.0 )
The people here believe the cobra will bless the family. They roam freely in Shetpal but people have no fear of them. The residents of this village love the cobras and sometimes they even play with them.
India Goes Vegetarian
Also, to the west in India is a place called ‘Palitana’ which is a major pilgrimage site of Jainism in the state of Gujarat and visited by millions of devotees. There is a legend about this place, that Adinatha, the first of the 24 Jain Tirthankaras, is said to have meditated on Shatrunjaya Hill, where temples were constructed later in commemoration to that pious incident.
Shatrunjaya Hill in Palitana, India. (Saurabh Chatterjee / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 )
In the year 2014, after a mass furor from the religious populace of its environs, the town became one of the first completely vegetarian towns in the world, after the local government took some measures in that regard. That’s quite a wonder because it is not easy for an individual to become vegetarian, let alone a whole town!
Sacred Waters of India
The last but not the least unique place of India in this list is the holy ‘Sri Yaganti Uma Maheswara Temple’ or ‘ Yaganti Temple ’ which is situated in the state of Andhra Pradesh. This is one of the most intriguing places of India, in the context that, as per the devotees who dedicatedly follow this shrine, the Nandi idol which is placed there in front of this temple is growing continuously in size.
Yaganti Temple is a holy site in India. (Mranaroy / CC BY-SA 4.0 )
The experiments done regarding this issue have also suggested that the rock which has been used to make this idol exhibits a growing nature. The Archaeological Survey of India has also confirmed that the idol increases by approximately 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) every 20 years.
The Yaganti Nandi Statue is believed to be growing in size. ( CC BY-SA 4.0 )
Not only this, another unique amazing feature of this temple is its small pond ( Pushkarini in local language) which has very pure water and is situated in the temple grounds. Strangely no one can figure out how the water here flows into the Pushkarini throughout the year.
The Pushkarini in India is suitable for holy baths. (Sumanth699 / CC BY-SA 4.0 )
Devotees consider that a bath in this holy Pushkarini, before visiting Lord Shiva , will bring luck and prosperity.
These are just a handful of the many unique and unknown places in this vast and ancient country.
Saurav Ranjan Datta has just released his first book of 12 extraordinary stories of women from India, “ Maidens of Fate ’, available now from Amazon.
Top image: There are many hidden travel destinations in India. Source: Roop Dey / Adobe Stock.
Your article is informative and interesting. However, to say it is difficult for an individual to become vegetarian, is ridiculous. It's one of the easiest diets to follow. I am impressed that the entire village decided to follow a vegetarian diet. But honestly dude. You're from India. Surely you know that huge amounts of Indian cuisine is vegetarian? I get the feeling you are communicating personal diet bias in making that comment.