Postcards from India – Explore offbeat places in India #blogchattera2z
In a strange turn of events, the whole world that was so upbeat about the beginning of a new decade, has come to a standstill. Well, almost so. Just last month, I was busy booking and planning my UK trip for July this year. Today, it’s unthinkable.
My country is officially on a 21-day lock-down. Yes, a whole country of 1.3 billion people have been directed to stay home, and not venture out except for essential services. Unofficially many cities have been under restriction since the second week of March itself. For a country that was already grappling with an economic slowdown, this situation has been a cruel blow. I can’t help but think about the less fortunate – the people working in the unorganized job sector of India, the way they must be coping up with this. While I was worried about refunds on my planned UK trip, there are people running the roadside dhaba thinking how long will their savings last. Yes, I’m privileged.
When all this is over (hopefully soon), we all need to get together to revive the economy of India. So people like us, who can afford a foreign trip for leisure, might let go of it. Instead travel in India. Visit the uncharted places, the remote hamlets, the virgin beaches, the hidden hill stations, the unsung architectural masterpieces. Stay in India’s hotels and home-stays. Eat at local eateries. Buy from the local vendors. Collect the gorgeous Indian rural crafts as souvenirs. Let’s do our bit, not just in the form of taxes we pay or the donations we make, but also by the way we live.
In the coming month of April, I will start this my writing one letter at a time. Letters from those offbeat wonders of India, which summon you to come see them. Each post will be a picture postcard from a place in India that you might not have heard about, a place that can put your dream destination in Europe or Australia to shame. So I have decided to use this Blogchatter A2Z challenge of April 2020 to tell you the stories of India. Well I have a selfish reason too. Through this series I will be revisiting the memories of my travels within India and also build a bucket-list for myself.
How did I select these places?
Selecting “offbeat” places is always a challenge. What’s offbeat to a person living in Kolkata may be a chiched for a person living in Bangalore, and vice-versa. For example, I was a little offended when I saw bloggers suggest Kodaikanal as an offbeat destination in India. If you visit the place in summer, you will face worse traffic jams in the hills there than in your crowded city. But then I realized, while it’s a popular place for the thrifty techies of Bangalore and Chennai, it is unknown to many in North India.
The second challenge was to bring in diversity. I didn’t mind having many places from a single state, but I am rather interested to showcase different landscapes – the rain-forests, the deserts, the snow-covered Himalayas, the ecological hot-spots of Western Ghats, the islands and caves and canyons. I wanted to include mostly the places that I visited so that I can share an authentic experience with you. So, you may find many states of India missing here, because I have not visited them. However, there are many remote places I wanted to write about, which are on the top of my bucket-list. For those I have written in consultation from my friends who have visited the same place.
So subscribe to the site as I will be moving from monthly newsletters to weekly ones, and send you postcards from the nooks and corners of India. Well that, along with the freebies in the welcome kit. You can also follow me on Instagram where I will be posting some previews of my blog posts. Here’s a sneak peek to where the postcards will come from in the first week. Why don’t you go through the list and tell me how many of these don’t seem offbeat to you? The ones in green are still on my bucket-list.