Unusual Places in India – It Happens Only in India

If there is one thing that anybody can assure you of, it is this. When it comes to travelling within India, you will never ever complain of boredom. This is one country that is filled to bursting with lots of fun experiences, some of which border on the bizarre!
Yes, since our country is steeped in superstition, there are a couple of things that may seem strange or bizarre to a non-residential citizen. However, there are other fun and quirky things that you will see when you choose to travel across India. The Taj Mahal and the Konark temple are all definite must-visits. But those are places everybody visits in India. So, why not veer off the beaten track sometimes?

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Here is the list of 16 Unusual Places in India – It Happens Only in India

1. Jal Mahal or ‘The Floating Palace’ of Jaipur

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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. The mysterious or the bizarre thing about this palace is that 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.

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2. Magnetic Hill, Ladakh

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With 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 one will leave you in awe as your car will begin to move uphill on its own, baggYou 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!

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3. Hanging Pillar in Lepakshi Temple

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Lepakshi Temple is an ancient temple displaying the relics of Vijayanagara style of architecture with its roots going back to 16th century. The temple complex comprises three shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Veerbhadra and Lord Vishnu. One of the most peculiar things about the temple is 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.

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4. Bullet Baba Shrine in Jodhpur

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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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5. Floating Islands in Loktak Lake, Manipur

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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.

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6. Floating Stones at Rameswaram

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Known For : Rameshwaram Temple | Dhanushkodi Temple and Beach | Agnitheertham

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.

Best Time : Throughout the year

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7. Sulabh International Museum of Toilets in New Delhi

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 museum, 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.

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8. Hide and Seek Beach in Orissa

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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.

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9. Double Decker Living Root Bridge, Cherrapunjee

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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.

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10. Mass Bird Suicide at Jatinga, Assam

Having a population of around 2500, this village is popular worldwide for its unexplained phenomenon of bird suicides. Most of the migratory birds visiting the area never leave the village, 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. Many theories have been offered by scientists to explain this phenomenon, the most popular one being that these birds are attracted towards village lights which later confuse them, along with many others. None of them has yet been able to prove any of the theories behind this phenomenon though, which is why it continues to haunt and intrigue the minds of the residents and travellers just the same.

11. The Great Banyan Tree in Howrah

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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!

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12. Karni Mata Rat Temple in Rajasthan

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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!

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13. Lonar, Maharashtra - Land of the Crater

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Known For : Lonar crater lake | Gomukh Temple | Daitya Sudhan Temple

Lonar is famous for a crater that was formed over 50,000 years ago due to the collision of a meteorite on the surface of the region. This 6,000 feet wide and 500 feet deep lake is, therefore, a vital source of scientific research and educational importance. It is the only saltwater lake in the basaltic rock in the world.

Best Time : October to March

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14. Lucky Restaurant in Ahmedabad

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 here will surely be an unforgettable experience.

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15. Bull Surfing in Kerala

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 a strange and intriguing thing to see, won’t it?

16. Dog Temple in Karnataka

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?

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This post was published by Sanjana Subramanian

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