Where to Go in 2017: The India Edition

The country’s still undiscovered secrets. | By NGT Staff  
The turquoise waters off the coast of Rameshwaram are a treat, above and below the surface. The ocean has thriving coral reefs and good visibility. Photo: Ravi Shekhar/Dinodia Photo Library

Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh’s natural heritage is vast, and relatively untouched, spanning snow-capped mountains and lush forests shrouded in mist. Photo: iStock.com/ Danielrao

Arunachal Pradesh’s natural heritage is vast, and relatively untouched, spanning snow-capped mountains and lush forests shrouded in mist. Photo: iStock.com/ Danielrao

Like much of northeastern India, Arunachal Pradesh is rich in natural and cultural heritage, but remains largely unexplored. Fortunately, a clutch of music festivals are helping visitors explore its riches—and they’re getting more professional each year. The Orange Music Festival, set amidst the orange orchards of Dambuk, combines music and adventure sports with river rafting sessions during the day and performances by local musicians in the evening. The Ziro Festival of Music, brings international and local musical acts and gives travellers a chance to meet the indigenous Apatani tribe, known for their animist culture, sustainable lifestyle, and traditional tattooing traditions.

Amritsar, Punjab

partition museum Amritsar

The map of the Indian subcontinent, on display at the Partition Museum in Amritsar. The museum presents first-hand accounts of the devastating impact of the 1947 India-Pakistan Partition. Photo courtesy Partition Museum

The Golden Temple is Amritsar’s most popular attraction, but the city’s more recent Partition Museum also has the power to move visitors. Opened in 2016, the museum is dedicated to documenting one of the biggest human migrations in human history, witnessed during the partition of India and Parkistan in 1947. Exhibits include newspaper clippings from Aug 15 1947, letters from life-long friends separated by the border, and audio clips of Partition stories from witnesses now in their 80s. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Partition and India’s independence from the British, a fitting time to witness the beating retreat ceremony at the Wagah Border nearby. More here.

Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra

tiger

The Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve falls in the wildlife corridor between the Tadoba and Kanha reserves. Photo: Rohit Varma/Flickr/Creative Commons (http://bit.ly/1jxQJMa)

Still among the lesser known sanctuaries in India, the Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve promises tiger sightings, minus the maddening safari crowds. Located in northeastern Maharashtra, Nagzira is an important wildlife corridor between the Kanha National Park and the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve. In October 2016, the government sanctioned an additional buffer zone of over 1,200sqkm around the reserve, creating even more protected areas for tigers, sloth bears, and gaurs to roam freely. For a no-frills, rustic experience stay at the guest house run by the Golden Temple. It’s located in the middle of the Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary, on the banks of Nagzira Lake, a watering hole for the wildlife. More national park holidays here.