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Stunning places in India that will give you an international location feel

Want to witness the picturesque locations abroad but your budget (or visa issues or COVID restrictions) don’t allow you to? Check out these beautiful places in India that can give international destinations a run for their money when it comes to natural beauty.

Nature is filled with exotic marvels that draw us, travellers, in. At times, destinations are also popular because of their man-made structures, which have stood the test of time. On several other occasions, rulers who have migrated across countries and continents or ancient travellers who’ve witnessed stunning structures abroad have returned to create replicas of the same, as a reminder of the places they visited.

There must have been a time when you visited a place or saw some stunning images online and wondered where this breathtakingly beautiful site was. We generally tend to think of these places being abroad, maybe Switzerland or Venice, until we realise those beautiful locations are right here in India. India is filled with beautiful, less-explored places that could easily compete with popular foreign locations, thanks to their ethereal beauty. These mesmerising destinations, scattered across the length and breadth of India, are marvels, to say the least, and attract not just domestic tourists, but international visitors as well.

So, for the travellers at heart, we’ve curated a list of some of the most beautiful places in India, which actually resemble popular international destinations such as Stonehenge in the UK, Switzerland, The Grand Canyon, Venice and more. If you haven’t visited, these are probably the destinations that should be on your bucket list!

Beautiful places in India that are alternate places for international destinations

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Kadiya Dhro or Kadhiya Dhrow is also called the Grand Canyon of India, thanks to its deep rock formations. The site, located close to Kutch in Gujarat, is a wonderful alternative for those who cannot visit the USA for whatever reason, but still want to witness sights similar to the Canyon.

The rock formations here have been formed over years, due to weathering by high-speed winds as well as water. This is one of the things that makes it such a picturesque spot – both, for visitors as well as locals. A great place for trekking, the destination will surely draw you in with its mesmerising views and Instagram-worthy spots. It’s also a great spot for treks.

Image: Courtesy of @pankaj_68/Instagram

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You must have definitely seen images of the Stonehenge, located in Salisbury, the UK. The stunning sight has also been the wallpaper for many computer screens, too! But in case you want to witness something similar in India, visit Burzahom in Kashmir Valley.

Burzahom, located in Srinagar, tells the story of human transition between 3000 BCE till 1000 BCE. Present here are pottery, tools and a lot more, including the tall stone formations, that date back to the Neolithic time, and is a great site for those who are history buffs. This is not all – views here include the stunning Dal Lake, which is just kilometres away from the site, which will make for some stunning pictures.

Image: Courtesy of @the_blissofnature/Instagram

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Jökulsárlón Lake in Iceland is one of the most scenic lakes in the world. The lake is surrounded with mountains, providing excellent views. This is not all – the water here is said to have healing properties, because of which travellers bring back bottles of it back home.

A destination in India that resembles this foreign location is the serene Gurudongmar Lake. Located in Sikkim, this is among the 15 highest lakes in the world, and is surrounded with the beautiful mountains. The place attracts thousands of visitors both from India as well as abroad – though international visitors need to obtain permits to visit.

Image: Courtesy of Gaurav Bagdi/Unsplash

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Switzerland has been among the top international destinations especially for honeymooners, thanks to Yash Chopra’s movies. However, in case you want to witness the similar snowy mountains and clean, romantic skies in India, plan a visit to Gulmarg.

Located a couple of hours from Srinagar, Gulmarg is blessed with lush greenery and blue skies, which are fragrant with the scent of flowers. The place, which is covered in a blanket of snow in the winter, is great for activities such as skiing, which is something popular in the Swiss Alps, too. So, pack your bags and visit soon!

Image Credit: Sumaid pal Singh Bakshi/Unsplash

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The Niagara Falls are the largest in the world. A group of three falls which create a horseshoe structure, are one of the most magnificent sites you can witness on the Canada-USA border. However, a place that can give you similar views in India is the Chitrakote (Chitrakoot) Waterfalls in Chhattisgarh.

The waterfalls are located close to Bastar, Chhattisgarh. They are the widest waterfalls in India, and their horseshoe shape make them akin to the Niagara. The falls, which are created on the Indravati river, cover a width of almost 300 metres during the monsoon, which makes them so stunning.

Image: Courtesy of Shutterstock

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Venice in Italy is characterised by its many canals that connect the small islands. The city is a romantic, beautiful spot for honeymooners or those looking for a relaxing vacation. One place that will allow you to enjoy the same calm in India is Alleppey, Kerala.

Alleppey or Allapuzha is a serene city in Kerala. Known for its canals, backwaters and beaches, this place has earned its reputation as the Venice of India. Visit Alleppey for a relaxing vacation amidst the water, stay on houseboats or experience the lush greenery of the place – we promise that you will not be disappointed.

Image Credit: Kunal Kalra/Unsplash

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What makes Amsterdam among the most popular international destinations is its tulip garden. Keukenhof Tulip Gardens, located about 40 kilometres from the centre of Amsterdam, is covered with these blossoms in almost every colour imaginable when these flowers bloom. However, there is a place a lot close home where you can see a similar sight.

The Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden in Srinagar comes alive with tulip blossoms in April, kickstarting the tourist season in the valley. What makes it so special is its similarity to the tulips in Amsterdam – which makes it a popular place to visit in India. This also makes Kashmir a true paradise on Earth, having more than one tourist spot that can transport you to stunning places abroad.

Image: Courtesy of Arif Khan/Unsplash 

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The Antelope Valley in California is home to hundreds of species of native plants, which come alive as the arid ground is watered by the winter rains. This makes for a beautiful sight indeed! And one place in India where you can get similar views is the Valley of Flowers National Park, Uttarakhand.

The park, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is known for housing some unique species of plants and animals, such as Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, musk deer, brown bear, red fox, blue sheep and many alpine flowers. The place is a great one for nature lovers and adventure travellers, with its many nature trails and treks. The park also houses a conservation centre and seed bank to protect and preserve these species of flora present here.

Image Credit: Alosh Bennett, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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The great Wall Of China has made its place in history as being among the largest (or longest) man-made structures ever. The wall, which has been built by several rulers over centuries, were built for defense, and today, are among the most-visited sites in the world.

A place in India that is similar to this marvellous feat is the Kumbhalgarh Fort. Among the UNESCO world Heritage Sites of the hill forts of Rajasthan, the fort is surrounded by a wall that extends to about 36 kilometres, earning it the name of the Great Wall of India. The walls are 15 feet thick and were built for protection against attacks.

Image: Courtesy of Shutterstock

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The Bonneville Sale Marches in Utah, the USA, are known for their vast white expanses of salt. It is a popular place for tourists and for activities such as motorcar races. A place that is similar to these salt flats is the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat.

The salt pans are located on the India-Pakistan border, with sections in both the countries. The Rannotsav is held here every year, with tents set up for visitors and activities such as night safaris organised to keep them engaged.

Image Credit: Unma Desai/Unsplash

Stunning places in India that will give you an international location feel

Anushka Goel

Anushka has worked with publications such as Times of India and Being Indian. A graduate from Xavier Institute of Communicatios, she specialises in entertainment, food and travel. She also likes to write about sustainability and beauty. When not working, you can catch her reading a book, tending to her plants, cooking or playing an instrument.