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Why Should You Opt For Offbeat Places Over Mainstream Ones?

Today, when the travel world has opened with catalysts like social media and work-from-home opportunities, well-known places are found more crowded than ever, especially on weekends or holidays. In this, people who want to skip the beatings of queues and interrupted views must go to offbeat places: places which are not yet marked on the map for extensive travel. When we say we organise offbeat tours with Plan the Unplanned, it means we market them less to maintain their authenticity. So, if you are reading this, feel fortunate. Only a few vigilant travellers get to visit them. 

These places will serve the proper purpose for your soul. With the flooded conception of sustainability and organic living, many stories are lost in greenwashing. If you look closely, you will find that offbeat places have sustainable living deep-rooted in them. There is no requirement for tags or fancy names. And that is why we strongly urge you to travel offbeat. 

Why should you travel to offbeat places?

Discovering Hidden Gems

From the 3214 km of length and 2933 km of breadth in India, it might seem like crowds consume all major destinations. But in reality, there are still hundreds of beaches, backwaters, and mountains that are less explored.

In the wee hours of the morning, even before the dawn is broken, we wake up from the most profound slumber and head towards the backwaters of River Aghanashini. As soon as we land outside of our tempo traveller, we can deduce that this is something unreal we are seeing. 

We hop on the boat. As it glides inside beautifully, with mangroves on both sides, our sleep turns into excitement. Soon, what we see is beyond the word ‘Spectacular’. It is the best sunrise I have seen in my life. As the boat is rowing from the alley, it is like catching the rising sun just at the right time, right in front of us as we take a right turn. It is heavenly. Soon, we find ourselves leaving, but we don’t want to. The boat takes a U-turn on the other side, and the sun is seen rising and leaving us behind. It is heart-touching and heartbreaking. In such a small window, we have seen this natural construct – playing, peeking, glancing us straight in the eye. It is a miracle to be witnessing this. 

Authentic Cultural Experiences

When on a work tour in the Northeast and for a limited time, I chose to visit Chandubi. The place never stopped throwing surprises at us and made it one of the best days of our lives. 

Imagine stepping into a fresh green garden, with paddy beneath you, blue sky above and wrapping you in its arms are the children’s smiles who are fishing and finding food to be carried home. It is such a bliss to be here. Soon, from the bulky summer, the weather switches suddenly, and it starts to rain. We run. 

We run and catch the shelter. Here, ladies are sitting to showcase to us the Bamboo jewellery-making process. Through smiles and simplicity, all conversation is done. We proceed next to meet the Pati Rabha Tribe. They showcase the traditional vodka-making process, dress us up for the beats of Bogejari Folk Dance, and feed us with lip-smacking food

Overall, this was an opportunity where it felt like home, where we were not looted for money. Where the people treated us with love and gave us essential lessons.

Read: Making Vodka in Chandubi, Assam: The Pati Rabha Way

Avoiding Crowds

Who would identify you if you don’t put photos on your wall from famous places? Or, would you praise yourself for skipping the crowd and choosing places that are not on itineraries? Chuck it! We are travellers.

Our guide in Meghalaya tells us to avoid visiting Double Decker Root Bridge. Why? Because that bridge is overpopulated. Every day, the crowd attacks it for photos and selfies. He tells us that the Double Decker Root bridge is becoming weaker day by day. Every person’s shoe sole damages it slightly. Multiply this with the striking of thousands of visitors; it stands crying. Additionally, it never gets enough time to heal. 

So, we chose to go to a different root bridge, some 200 years old, still young and with no crowd. We also learn how these roots are fed over time, and how this bridge is constructed. Did you know every root bridge is emotionally connected with its caretaker? It is only the right of this caretaker to destroy this bridge. No one else should touch it without their permission. 

In two days, we visited not one but two living root bridges. 

There are multiple root bridges in Meghalaya. Ask your local guide; he will show you around. Don’t think that getting a guide is an expense. Indeed it is. But the returns are impressive. Avoid crowds and go to similar offbeat places instead.

Unspoiled Nature and Physical Fitness

You will find people flocking to places like Glass Bridges, Zip Lining, Viewpoints, etc. And then, from the top, you see only vehicles & crowds. Has this ever happened to you? It feels like a total waste of effort when we encounter this. The Alternative? Hike or take a walk in the park instead. 

Before we dive deep, it is essential to know why we travel. We travel because we want to disconnect, introspect, find new cultures and practices, and see how life can be lived in many other ways. You can find offbeat places hidden at a hiking distance, like finding a pristine waterfall or fort.

Personal Growth

When you talk with strangers, have the strangest encounters, and grow out of them, you learn. 

So, there is this place in Meghalaya called Pynter. Khasi people are, in general, great admirers of art. It is said that these people have learnt music from scratch, invented musical instruments and can sing in different languages.

The dusk is settling in. And I am exhausted from the day’s excursion. As soon as the bus stops, I hear music, which instantly rejuvenates me. Magnetised, I reach a shack where a combination of new and old eras enlighten me. Gripped by music, observing the performance and love that’s oozing in this shack, I learn the meaning of music. 

Creating music is not about getting famous; it is not about shouting on stage and saying swear words to grab the audience’s attention. Music is one of the highest forms of creativity. It is the force that ultimately comes out of a musician. No matter how hard they try to hide it. It is an elixir which, when created in the right environment by the right person, can dissolve magic in a listener’s life. 

These musicians are not professionally trained but self-trained. Looking at this life, I – a writer – imagine a life full of poetry, reading and writing sessions, and getting comfortable with this life only, settling into one art and discovering self in different ways for one full life. How fulfilling does this sound? 

In that shack, tears roll down my cheeks; I am not moving, but internally, so much has changed.

Cost Savings

No brainer. You go to an offbeat; you, you save thousands of rupees. But whenever you travel to any offbeat location, carry your tent and sleeping bag.


You know, we must realise as a human race that no experience not experienced is ever enough. We need to feel a place, break the monotony, and come out of our routines to be all empty again, open to absorb and know more. 


When we hear of Ooty, commercial buildings, crowded places, netizens clicking pictures, well-established hotspots start popping into our heads. Many times, we ignore the city for the same reason and instead choose a different hill station. I must tell you, you are mistaken here. Wake up the artist in you, and explore a bit. Around Ooty, you will find gems yet to catch the public eye.

During the Kotagiri trek with Plan the Unplanned, we came to know about the four prime tribes of the Nilgiris: Todas, Kota, Badagas, and Irulas. They have been living here for ages and are protectors of the realm. Every household has a different cooking style, some of which have been lost: music, dance, festivals, and culture. Unfortunately, we couldn’t meet these tribals because of the pandemic. For most of the year, these tribals remain in far-fetched areas of the country, far from the office. It is easier to communicate diseases. Hence, we must avoid meeting them. The best we can do is learn about their lifestyle, the landscape of the place, and the crops they grow. Our guide, Kannan, was kind enough to stop us midway at many sites and tell us about all this. 

When you travel to offbeat places, you get more time to unwind; the compass of the place opens itself for customisations.

Why do I travel to Offbeat Places?

All the above reasons, and from the beginning, when I started travelling, it was on my agenda to meet as many locals as I could. Narratives change over time. Stories are laced with truth to make them attractive. And in selling the place somewhere, the truth is lost. That’s why I travel to offbeat places which are still authentic, have solid emotional values, and stories are still in raw form; money making is not their prime motive. In unspoiled places, we get to taste food straight from the locals’ kitchen. 

As a traveller, I strongly urge you to travel to destinations to seek their stories. Every place is unique. When one story takes the limelight, it is widely visited. It doesn’t make the site extravagantly different, just better marketed than the rest.

Offbeat Tours With Plan the Unplanned

  1. Offbeat Chandubi Assam Tour One Day

    1. Become a spectator of the beauty of Chandubi Lake.
    2. Taste Local Cuisine with 7+ varieties of dishes.
    3. Learn traditional Vodka Preparation.
    4. Savour freshly brewed Vodka.
    5. Participate in a Bamboo Jewellery Workshop and learn about this art from the tribals.
    6. Get a chance to interact with the Pati Rabha Tribe.
    7. Sway on the beats of Bogejari Folk Dance. Watch here
    8. Learn about Traditional Cloth Weaving.
  1. Chandubi Assam Tour Two Days
    1. Become a spectator of the beauty of Chandubi Lake.
    2. Taste Local Cuisine with 7+ varieties of dishes.
    3. Learn traditional Vodka Preparation.
    4. Savour freshly brewed Vodka with starters.
    5. Participate in the Bamboo Jewellery Workshop and learn about this art from the tribals.
    6. Get a chance to interact with the Pati Rabha Tribe.
    7. Sway on the beats of Bogejari Folk Dance.
    8. Learn about Traditional Cloth Weaving.
    9. Boating in Chandubi Lake.
    10. Take a Chandubi Village Walk.
  2. Offbeat Assam Tour Four-Day

    1. Visit 6 Offbeat Places in Assam: Chandubi, Tukubari, Kothal Guri, Baroigoan, Ranikhamar, Langkhar.
    2. Become a spectator of the beauty of Chandubi Lake.
    3. Taste Pati Rabha Local Cuisine with 10+ varieties of dishes.
    4. Gulp down Garo Traditional meal
    5. Learn about Garo Culture.
    6. Learn traditional Vodka Preparation.
    7. Savour freshly brewed Vodka with starters.
    8. Get a chance to interact with the Pati Rabha Tribe.
    9. Sway on the beats of Bogejari Folk Dance.
    10. Learn about Traditional Cloth Weaving.
    11. Boating in Chandubi Lake.
    12. Take a Chandubi Village Walk.
    13. 10+ km  Jungle Trek through the dense obscured Jungle of Assam.
    14. Learn the fine art of camping.
    15. Away from the hustle & bustle, go through the Forest Healing Session.
    16. Walk upto Soloka Dare waterfalls.
    17. Spend some time Angling in the Kulsi river.
    18. Enjoy a bonfire and a live acoustic performance on day 3.
  3. Newly Discovered Offbeat Waterfalls Trek

    1. Visit the five-tiered Ermaai Waterfall. It is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the region.
    2. Drive through the beauty of Dakshina Kannada in the Charmadi Ghats section of Western Ghats in Dakshina Kannada.
    3. Stand below the magnificent Didupe Waterfalls plunging from 70 feet high.
    4. Visit Surya Temple Ujire or Shri Sadashiva Rudra temple to alleviate your sins or pains and bless yourself with your desired wishes.
    5. Trek to Bolle Waterfalls, which falls from a whopping height of approximately 100 feet.
  4. Best Offbeat Trek: Ranipuram Trek

    1. Go to the offbeat Ranipuram trek in Kerala
    2. Discover and explore “God’s Own Country.”
    3. Cross streams and valleys on your way
    4. Trek to the top of Ranipuram
    5. Visit a secret waterfall
    6. Mud games
    7. Interactive session with a local family and traditional lunch here at an old Heritage Home.
  5. Long Weekend Kodachadri Trek

    1. Summit Kodachadri Peak by trekking;
    2. Hindlumane Falls;
    3. Midway, immerse yourselves in glimpses of the Arabian Sea en route;
    4. Visit Moola Mookambika temple;
    5. Visit Devagange Temple
    6. Visit Chitradurga Fort for a peek into the history
    7. Take a sneak peek at Kuvempu’s life – Karnataka’s most celebrated poet
    8. Visit Secret Falls
  6. Dandeli Offbeat Adventure Trip

    1. Enjoy water sports, including kayaking, zorbing, swimming, jacuzzi and boating 9 Self Sponsored.
    2. Go for white water rafting;
    3. Witness a sunset in the backwaters on the shore of river Kali;
    4. Visit 12-century old Ulavi caves;
    5. Go to a secret waterfall.
About the author

I am Supriya, a writer by passion and I have been following up with it from the past 12 years. Stamped initially as a Software Engineer, I switched to ‘All Things Travel’. I travel to find coherence in life and love stories. Admittingly craving local food, meandering through the alleys, and treasuring talks with elderlies, I prefer backpacking to connect with the roots of a place. Bylines include Tripoto, Plan the Unplanned, Women’s Web and Rough Guides. Know her better: supriyasahu.com

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