Located right in the middle of Man Sagar Lake, this palace in Jaipur has been abandoned for ages now. It is said to have been built as a summer retreat for the Royals. However, today, it lies abandoned and desolate, in the centre of the lake. This is a mysterious and unusual place in India as it actually has five storeys, with four of them being submerged in the lake! How the palace came to be submerged, no one knows. However, it makes for a hauntingly beautiful experience. You can book a boat and view the submerged palace up close, in peace.
Ever heard of rats being worshipped? While you might cringe at the thought, there is a temple built in Deshnoke, Rajasthan that does exactly that! The temple is filled with over 20,000 rats that lap at bowls of milk laid out just for them. Many people offer sweets and candy to these rats. If you happen to step on a rat and hurt it, you have to purchase a silver or gold rat statue and offer it to the temple, as penance for your sin. The devotees believe that rats are incarnations of the Goddess Karni Mata. It does make for a strange experience and if you visit this place, you’re not going to forget it very soon!
This experience in Ahmedabad is a seriously bizarre one. At this restaurant, you can literally dine alongside the dead! No, we’re not kidding. Located in the Lal Darwaza region, this restaurant has been built in the place of a graveyard. Instead of shuddering at the thought, the owner of the restaurant decided to make this his USP. Leaving the graves untouched apart from installing iron bars around them, the owner has built sitting areas around the graves, in the available space. Every morning, the staff cleans all the graves and adorns them with fresh flowers! Dining at this unusual place in India will surely be an unforgettable experience.
Legend says that on his way home one day, Om Singh Rathore met with a drunk-driving accident when his bike crashed into a tree. The bike was taken away by the police and was miraculously discovered the next day at the site of the accident! Thinking of it as a prank, the cops took the bike away again and even chained it up for good measure. But the next day, the bike was found again at the site of the accident! After that, the bike was permanently moved to the site of the accident, inside a glass enclosure. People offer flowers and liquor to the bike and worship it like some kind of deity! Strange? We sure think so! Whoever heard of a bike God? As we said though, this happens only in India.
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Sulabh International Museum of Toilets was built in 1992 by Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak (a social activist) and titled as one of the weirdest museums in the world by Time magazine. Established with the objective to address the global history of sanitation and toilets, the museum is anything but mundane and is a source of amusement to many. This unusual place in India, true to its name, offers up all the rare details and facts of the historic evolution of toilets, from 2500 BC till date. It even displays the trends in toilets over the course of these years! From medieval toilet displays to modern ones, this place is all about commodes both old and new! It really is a quirky museum that you must visit when you travel to Delhi.
Known For : Rameshwaram Temple Dhanushkodi Temple and Beach Glass Boat Ride at Pamban Bridge
Legend says that these floating stones that connect the tip of India to Sri Lanka, are remains of the Ram-Setu bridge that has been written about in the epic Ramayana. With no base to speak of to hold them up, these black floating stones are a mystery and nobody has been able to satisfactorily solve it till date. What’s more, these mysterious floating stones are found in several places within Rameswaram too making it one of the strangest places in India.
Best Time: Throughout the year
With the anti-gravitational effect, this is the only magnetic hill in India. Landmarked by a yellow notice board that spells out instructions and asks you place your car on neutral gear right on the spot marked by white paint, this unusual place in India will leave you in awe as your car will begin to move uphill on its own. You will come across this hill on your way to Leh. It is located 11,000 feet above sea level and is known to have magnetic powers that will pull your vehicle towards it, even if the ignition is off! Imagine moving towards this hill of your own accord. This is all due to an optical illusion created by the gravity of course, but it’s thrilling and unusual, to say the least!
What looks like a dense forest from afar, is actually just one wildly growing tree! About 3,600 aerial roots of this banyan tree have spread across a vast space, making it look just like a forest. This tree is actually the widest tree in the world! There is a road that has been constructed around this tree for visitors. With every passing year, you will see that the tree continues to grow. It’s surprising, to say the least!
No, this is not at all like the great bull race of Spain! Bull surfing is a water sport conducted in Kerala, after the harvest season. Two bulls will charge down a paddyfield through dirty mud, with a person hanging on to a board or to the tails of the bulls. All three are soaked with water by the time they are finished. It will definitely be an intriguing and unusual place in India to see, won’t it?
I have heard of people who are head over heels in love with their dogs. But worshipping them? I think that takes it to a whole other level! Located in Chennapatna’s Ramanagar district, this temple houses statues of dogs. The locals believe that dogs work alongside their village deity. They also believe that dogs symbolize faithfulness and faithfulness must be worshipped. After cow worship, is this the next big thing?
Having a population of around 2500, this village is famous worldwide for its unexplained phenomenon of bird suicides. Most of the migratory birds visiting the area never leave the town, dropping dead for no rhyme or reason on the streets. The case gets even more inscrutable as these birds always plummet to their death between 06:00 p.m. to 09:30 p.m. on the moonless nights of September and October. These mass suicides only occur on a specific 1 mile by 600 feet strip of land and this phenomenon is said to have occurred year after year without a break for more than a century. Locals explain that it's the evil spirits in the sky that compels the birds to give up their lives, but scientists have a different story to share. They say that it is the dense monsoon fog and high altitude, which makes the bird feel dizzy, thus hitting trees and buildings and eventually losing their lives. Another theory offered by scientists is that these birds are attracted towards village lights which later confuse them, along with many others. None of them proves any theory behind this strange place in India. Thus, continuing to haunt and intrigue the resident and traveller minds just the same.
Located around 54km from Imphal, in the state of Manipur, Loktak Lake is another wonderful creation of nature. On this unbelievably beautiful lake, one can find, the world's only floating islands, known as 'Phumdis'. Loktak lake also has world's largest floating park, the Keibul Lamjao National Park.
Known For : Lonar crater lake Gomukh Temple Daitya Sudhan Temple
In Maharashtra lies a small lake called Lonar Crater Lake. Known to be the only hyper-velocity impact crater in basaltic rock in the world, the lake is said to bear alkaline and saline. Lonar is famous for a 50,000-year-old crater that was formed due to a meteorite collision on the surface. This 6,000 feet wide and 500 feet deep lake is, therefore, a vital source of scientific research and educational importance. What lies brain teasing for scientists is the fact that the source of this lake lies continues to remain unknown. Supporting rarely found microbials here, the lake is also said to dysfunction compasses around parts of the waterbody.
Best Time: October to March
A 'root bridge', it is located in Tryna village. Made of the Indian Rubber Tree this is one of the biggest attractions of Cherrapunji. A unique attraction and quite an innovative mix of nature and engineering. The Umshiang River flows beneath the bridge.
Hide and Seek beach is located in Orissa. Here, the sea disappears and miraculously reappear as it plays with you is an unforgettable experience that will leave you in awe of the miracles of nature. One of nature's truly wondrous works is how the sea at this beach recedes up to five kilometres during the ebb, and then comes back to fill the emptiness with the high tide. This literally gives us the opportunity to walk deep into the actual seabed. In fact, when you walk on the beach when it has receded, only your feet get submerged into the shallow water and get surrounded by moist sand; so if you take a picture from afar, it looks as if you are actually walking on water.
Lepakshi Temple is an ancient temple displaying the relics of the Vijayanagara style of architecture with its roots going back to the 16th century. The temple complex comprises three shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Veerbhadra and Lord Vishnu. Lepakshi Temple is one of the most unusual places in India due to its hanging pillar. It is suspended in the main hall which is said to be the hall of reception for Shiva and Parvati's marriage. The miraculous thing about the pillar is that among the 70 pillars of the Lepakshi Temple, this pillar is a salute to the makers of the temple. A British Engineer to know about the secret of its hanging in the air had made an unsuccessful attempt to move it which is the reason behind it dislodgement. To prove its uniqueness people often pass clothes from under it.
Towards 35 kilometres south of Calicut lies this small village with an unconventional mystique attached to it. Kodinhi gained popularity for the birth of '200 pairs of twins' here. It's an unusually large number of twins to be born in a small village. Coincidentally, women wedded outside this village have also borne twin children. This mystery is yet to be unlocked, but scientists believe that there lie some chemical elements in the water which might have lead to such happenings.
Hampi is known for its extraordinary temple architecture which stands out due to the construction of abundant pillars. The Vittala Temple is known for its remarkable 56 pillars flanking the temple. However, within these pillars lies an enigmatic story. The pillars emit musical sounds when tapped. To excavate the mystery behind it, Britishers cut these pillars into half to gather the reason behind this phenomena, but they couldn't find any. Irrespective of how beautiful these pillars are, it's spooky when you tap them!
Built on the banks of Hemavathi River in Shettihalli, Karnataka, Rosary Church is the only church standing in water. During monsoons, the church submerges into the surrounding rainwater but rises to glory after the water recedes. A yearly occurrence, the mystery is that the walls still bear the brunt of the water and no damage of this rustic church has been reported. The charm remains intact, and it looks hauntingly beautiful post-sunset.
Which of these unusual places in India have you visited? Let us know how bizarre they were in the comments below!
This post was published by Sanjana Subramanian