Known worldwide for its vibrant culture, traditions, history and hospitality, travelling in India is like a roller-coaster ride, thrilling and unforgettable. Apart from the world famous Taj Mahal and the popular hill forts of Rajasthan, there are also many places in India that are very unique and unusual. India is one country that is filled with several mystics and mysteries that are buried deep in its most bizarre of places which seem like stories from a horror mystery novel.
Trawell.in listed top 11 unusual and mysterious places in India here.
Magnetic Hill in Ladakh
Located at an altitude of 11,000 feet, Magnetic Hill is a gravity hill located near Leh in Ladakh, India. The hill is alleged to have magnetic powers that pull cars uphill even if the ignition is off and force passing aircraft to increase their altitude in order to escape magnetic interference. There is a yellow box marked on the road which indicates that the vehicle must be parked in neutral gear. It is from here that the vehicle starts to move at a speed up to 20 kmph.
This is all due to an optical illusion created by the gravity of course. The mountains, roads, and hills are placed in such a way that the downhill road appears as an uphill terrain. It is one of the most unusual places to visit in India and also among the most popular tourist stop of traveller on car journeys.
Karni Mata Mandir – Temple of Rats in Rajasthan
Popularly called as Rat Temple, Karni Mata Temple is a holy temple situated at Deshnok near Bikaner town of Rajasthan. The temple is dedicated to Karni Mata, an incarnations of Goddess Durga. The Karni Mata Temple is a renowned center for rat worship and among the most mysterious places in India. The temple is home to as many as 20,000 rats within its premises. These are considered as holy because these rats are believed to be the reincarnated relatives and family members of Karni Mata.
The rats move freely in the temple and appear from crevices in the marble covered walls and flooring. Sighting of a white rat is considered very auspicious. If a rat is killed, it has to be replaced by a rat of gold or silver one weighing the same as the dead one. Many people offer sweets, milk and other edible offerings to the rats. The food nibbled by rats is also considered holy and consumed as prasad. In spite of the large population of rats here, this place is free of Plague or any other contagious diseases.
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Jatinga – Mass Bird Suicides
Over the last 100 years, Jatinga village of Assam is world famous for the phenomenon of Mass Bird Suicides. This occurs between September and November each year. Every night, hundreds of birds fly towards buildings and crash themselves to death. This strange Bermuda Triangle of fowl death remains largely unexplained, despite studies by India’s most prestigious ornithologists. Explore near by places to visit in Assam.
Though initially believed to be a mysterious case of bird suicides, ornithologists and conservationists discovered that the birds are generally disoriented by the monsoon fog. So they are attracted by the village lights and fly towards them, sometimes hitting walls and trees during the descent. Some of the birds die, while others are seriously injured and fall easy prey to villagers who attack them with bamboo poles. However, still it is a mystery why such a large number of birds would arrive at Jatinga in unison and start behaving strangely at an unnatural period of the day, right after dark, when they are actually supposed to stay within the nests.
Roopkund – The Skeleton Lake
Popularly called as Skeleton Lake, Roopkund is a high altitude glacial lake situated in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Having a depth of about two metres, Roopkund is known for its numerous human skeletons found in and around the water body. At an altitude of 5,029 m, the area is uninhabited and the lake is a popular places of trekking in Uttarakhand.
Nearly 300 skeletons can be seen under the surface of the frozen Roopkund Lake every year when the ice melts at this mysterious place in India. These skeletons date back to 9th century AD and were rediscovered around 1942. According to legends, the skeletons are of the king of Kanauj, Raja Jasdhaval who was travelling to Nanda Devi shrine with his pregnant wife and servants, and died in a hailstorm at Roopkund.
Living Root Bridges of Cherrapunji, Meghalaya
Deep in the dense tropical forests of Meghalaya and hidden in one of the wettest places on earth, there are some astonishing man-made natural bridges that are not built but they’re grown. Known as living root bridges, these are made from the roots of the Indian Rubber Tree ‘Ficus elastica’, seen only in the northeast region. It may sound magical or even exaggeration; the root bridges of Cherrapunji are really alive and among the best places to visit in Cherrapunji. The root bridges provide a stable alternative to wooden bridges, which decay and get destroyed during the lengthy monsoon seasons.
The elastica trees have roots as long as 3000 feet slithering their way along the slopes. The trees cling to the upper regions of the riverbanks and send down their roots to the riverbed. The people of Khasi tribe have shaped them to aid as a natural bridge over small rivers and streams. With a life span of over 500 years, these roots take around 15-20 years to become fully functional. One can find more than a hundred root bridges in Mawlynnong, Nongriat or Cherrapunji areas of Meghalaya. Of these, Umshiang Bridge is the most popular one. Fondly known as the ‘double-decker root bridge’, the living roots of Cherrapunji can carry over 50 people at a time and is around 100 feet long.
Bullet Baba Shrine in Jodhpur
Om Banna, also known as the Bullet Baba Temple is perhaps one of India’s most unusual temples and among the top places to visit in Jodhpur. The temple is dedicated to Om Singh Rathore, an avid bike lover. The one unique fact about the temple is that people don’t worship the usual figurines of Gods and Goddesses here. What they worship is a motorcycle! According to locals, Om Singh Rathore was died when his motorcycle fell into a ditch on the Pali-Jodhpur highway in Rajasthan. The following morning, the local police took the bike into custody but every night, the bike would disappear from their custody and reappear at the accident site. Even after emptying its fuel tank and keeping it locked, the bullet would always return to the same spot before dawn.
It was believed that the late owner himself rode it there. This came to be seen as a miracle and ever since then, the locals built a temple to honor the bike and the soul of Om Singh. It is believed that his soul helps distressed travellers and praying to the motorcycle, would keep travelers safe. Another interesting fact, some of the devotees actually offer ‘Bullet Beer’ to him.
Floating Islands of Loktak Lake, Manipur
Considered as the largest freshwater lake in North East India, Loktak Lake is a beautiful freshwater lake located near Moirang in Manipur. Popularly called as the ‘Floating Lake’, this iconic lake is known for its circular floating swamps called phumdis in the local language. Resembling miniature islands, these phumdis are the heterogeneous mass of soil, vegetation and organic material.
The lake offers a mysterious and spectacular sight. Loktak is the main source that drives the power, irrigation, and drinking water supply of the state. The lake is rich and abundant in bio-diversity. What makes the Loktak Lake even more special is the Keibul Lamjao National Park located at the south western part of the lake. Often considered as the only floating national park in the world, the park is home to the endangered Manipuri brow-antlered deer, Sangai.
Kodinhi – The Mysterious Village of Twins
Kodinhi, a remote and sleepy village in the Malappuram district of Kerala, continues to be a mystery to researchers. Kodinhi has one of the highest birth rates of twins in the world while India comes in the league of the lowest twinning rates. According to estimates, there are at least 400 pairs of twins in the village that has a population of 2000 families. While the national average of twin births is not more than 9 in 1000 births, in Kodinhi, the number is as high as 45 in 1000 births. Almost every family here has twins.
Kodinhi, or the ‘Village of Twins’, holds an eminent place among the mysterious places in India! The women of Kodinhi, who are married to different places, are also giving birth to twins or triplets. According to the doctors, this phenomenon occurs due to a chemical which is present in the water of this locality. Many more researchers have tried to get staunch results, but no one has been successful.
The Hanging Pillar at Lepakshi
Among the archaeological and historical sites in India, Lepakshi is known for its architecture and painting. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Veerabhadra Swamy temple in Lepakshi is among the most mysterious places in India, owing to its famous Floating or Hanging Pillar. The pillar does not rest on the ground completely but hangs in the air. One can actually swipe a towel or paper mid-air that separates the ground and the pillar. As a matter of fact, a curious British Engineer tried to figure out the secret of its support, consequently dislodging it a bit in the process. Some believe that the entire complex stands on the pillar. Lepakshi is one of the top places to visit near Bangalore.
Out of the 70 pillars at Lepakshi Temple, this Hanging Pillar stands out as a proud masterpiece of architecture. The Archaeological Survey of India has proven that this pillar was not built as a mistake, but was constructed intentionally to prove the intelligence of the builders of the time. People come to the temple and pass objects under the pillar, believing it will bring prosperity into their lives!
Chandipur – A Stupendous Beach
Chandipur Beach or the Vanishing Beach is a mysterious sea beach situated near Balasore in Odisha, India. Also known as the magical hide and seek beach, Chandipur Beach is one of the most unique beaches in India and among the best beaches in Odisha. The unique phenomenon of the beach is that the sea recedes by almost 5 to 6 km every day during low tide and then comes back at high tide. This phenomenon happens twice a day.
It is truly a magical experience when something just disappears right in front of you. This hide and seek amuses various travelers. With the receding sea, it is possible to walk deep into the actual seabed or even drive a car. Explore Orissa tour packages offered by Trawell.in to explore near by places.
Shetpal – The land of Snakes
Shetpal village, located in Sholapur district of Maharashtra, is an unusual place where snakes, especially Indian Cobras, roam around freely everywhere even inside the houses of the village. Often referred as the ‘Land of Snakes’, the village has established a custom for every household, wherein it is mandatory for the house to have a resting place for cobras in the rafters of their ceilings.
The cobras roam around in the village very freely and amazingly nobody screams, shouts, or has any fear for them. These snakes are worshiped and taken care of by the villagers in honor of Shiva. They fearlessly move along with them and it is a daily routine that snakes are found in the rooms of the house. Kids of the village sometimes play with the cobras. The snakes even enter the classrooms of the schools and the children, without any terror or any distress stay where they are. The surprising fact is till date not even a single case of snake bite has been reported here.
Santhi is an avid traveler and primary contributor to the blogs at Trawell.in. She has explored most of the states in India and gained vast knowledge on tourist destinations in India and abroad. She also contributes content to other travel websites.