In pictures: 10 unusual and mysterious places in India

12-Apr-2017
  • The temple is famous for about 20,000 rats living there, which are considered holy and called kabbas. Eating food nibbled by them is considered a high honour and tourists from across India and around the world frequent it as a popular tourist destination. Two legends exist regarding the presence of rats in the temple. The first one states that the rats are reincarnations of the temple's goddess, Karni Mata. In another tale, an army of 20,000 soldiers deserted a nearby battle and came running to Deshnoke. The goddess spared their lives for their desertion (considered punishable by death) but transformed them into rats, offering the temple as a home to them.

    The temple is famous for about 20,000 rats living there, which are considered holy and called kabbas. Eating food nibbled by them is considered a high honour and tourists from across India and around the world frequent it as a popular tourist destination. Two legends exist regarding the presence of rats in the temple. The first one states that the rats are reincarnations of the temple's goddess, Karni Mata. In another tale, an army of 20,000 soldiers deserted a nearby battle and came running to Deshnoke. The goddess spared their lives for their desertion (considered punishable by death) but transformed them into rats, offering the temple as a home to them.

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  • A high altitude shallow, glacial lake in the Uttarakhand, Roopkund lies in the lap of Trishul massif and is famous for the hundreds of human skeletons found at the edge of the lake. The area is uninhabited, located in the Himalayas at an altitude of 5,029 metres (16,499 feet) and is a popular trekking destination. About 2 metres deep, Roopkund has attracted attention because of the human skeletal remains that are visible at its bottom when the snow melts, which date back to 9th century CE. Many theories and opinions from purely spiritual to scientific ones have been formed over the years attempting to explain their existence. Pic/YouTube

    A high altitude shallow, glacial lake in the Uttarakhand, Roopkund lies in the lap of Trishul massif and is famous for the hundreds of human skeletons found at the edge of the lake. The area is uninhabited, located in the Himalayas at an altitude of 5,029 metres (16,499 feet) and is a popular trekking destination. About 2 metres deep, Roopkund has attracted attention because of the human skeletal remains that are visible at its bottom when the snow melts, which date back to 9th century CE. Many theories and opinions from purely spiritual to scientific ones have been formed over the years attempting to explain their existence. Pic/YouTube

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  • Kodinhi, a village in Malappuram district in Kerala entered the international spotlight when a survey done by locals found an unusually large number of twin births in the region. Though initial estimates put the instance of multiple births at 100 pairs, follow-up surveys found the figure to be closer to 204 pairs (408 individuals) of twins, and two sets of triplets. According to doctors, this phenomenon is due to chemicals present in water in the area. Pic/YouTube

    Kodinhi, a village in Malappuram district in Kerala entered the international spotlight when a survey done by locals found an unusually large number of twin births in the region. Though initial estimates put the instance of multiple births at 100 pairs, follow-up surveys found the figure to be closer to 204 pairs (408 individuals) of twins, and two sets of triplets. According to doctors, this phenomenon is due to chemicals present in water in the area. Pic/YouTube

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  • The famed Hanging Column or Pillar of Lepakshi temple, located in Anantapur district in southern Andhra Pradesh attracts tourists, who flock to see this amazing phenomenon of one of the 70 pillars in the structure that hangs without any support. Pilgrims and curious visitors pass dupattas, twigs, paper sheets and other thin objects under it to see if the claims are true. Many consider the practice to bring good luck.

    The famed Hanging Column or Pillar of Lepakshi temple, located in Anantapur district in southern Andhra Pradesh attracts tourists, who flock to see this amazing phenomenon of one of the 70 pillars in the structure that hangs without any support. Pilgrims and curious visitors pass dupattas, twigs, paper sheets and other thin objects under it to see if the claims are true. Many consider the practice to bring good luck.

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  • There are living root bridges around Cherrapunji, Meghalaya, which are simple suspension bridges made of living tree roots of some suitable species such as Ficus elastica growing alongside the gap to be bridged, by gradually training some of its roots to grow across the gap until they take root on the other side. There are bridges with a span of over 100 feet (30 meters) and re naturally self-renewing and self-strengthening as the component roots grow thicker and some are thought to be more than 500 years old.

    There are living root bridges around Cherrapunji, Meghalaya, which are simple suspension bridges made of living tree roots of some suitable species such as Ficus elastica growing alongside the gap to be bridged, by gradually training some of its roots to grow across the gap until they take root on the other side. There are bridges with a span of over 100 feet (30 meters) and re naturally self-renewing and self-strengthening as the component roots grow thicker and some are thought to be more than 500 years old.

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  • The Hazrat Qamar Ali Darvesh shrine located in Shivapur, Pune ranks among the most mysterious places in the country. There is a special stone in the shrine weighing about 70 kgs, which rises up in the air magically when 11 people are required to gather around it, touch it with their forefingers, and loudly call out the name of a Sufi saint Qamar Ali, who placed a curse on it 800 years ago. Pic/YouTube

    The Hazrat Qamar Ali Darvesh shrine located in Shivapur, Pune ranks among the most mysterious places in the country. There is a special stone in the shrine weighing about 70 kgs, which rises up in the air magically when 11 people are required to gather around it, touch it with their forefingers, and loudly call out the name of a Sufi saint Qamar Ali, who placed a curse on it 800 years ago. Pic/YouTube

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  • The largest freshwater lake in Northeast India, located near Moirang in Manipur, it is famous for the phumdis or heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil, and organic matter at various stages of decomposition floating over it. The largest of these phumdis contain the Keibul Lamjao National Park, the last natural refuge of the endangered sangai or Manipur brown-antlered deer, considered the only floating park in the world. The lake plays an important role in the economy of Manipur. It serves as a source of water for hydropower generation, irrigation and drinking water supply. Pic/YouTube

    The largest freshwater lake in Northeast India, located near Moirang in Manipur, it is famous for the phumdis or heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil, and organic matter at various stages of decomposition floating over it. The largest of these phumdis contain the Keibul Lamjao National Park, the last natural refuge of the endangered sangai or Manipur brown-antlered deer, considered the only floating park in the world. The lake plays an important role in the economy of Manipur. It serves as a source of water for hydropower generation, irrigation and drinking water supply. Pic/YouTube

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  • Alternatively known as gravity hill Leh in Ladakh, the area's layout and surrounding slopes create an optical illusion that the downhill road is actually an uphill road. Objects and cars on the hill may appear to roll "uphill" in defiance of gravity when they are, in fact, rolling downhill.

    Alternatively known as gravity hill Leh in Ladakh, the area's layout and surrounding slopes create an optical illusion that the downhill road is actually an uphill road. Objects and cars on the hill may appear to roll "uphill" in defiance of gravity when they are, in fact, rolling downhill.

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  • The birthplace of legendary king Maharana Pratap, the Kumbalgarh fort in Mewar, Rajasthan, is encompassed by a wall over 38 km long, which is the second largest wall in the world after the Great Wall of China and the second largest fort in Rajasthan after Chittorgarh Fort. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013. Occupied until the late 19th century, the fort is now open to the public and is spectacularly lit for a few minutes each evening.

    The birthplace of legendary king Maharana Pratap, the Kumbalgarh fort in Mewar, Rajasthan, is encompassed by a wall over 38 km long, which is the second largest wall in the world after the Great Wall of China and the second largest fort in Rajasthan after Chittorgarh Fort. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013. Occupied until the late 19th century, the fort is now open to the public and is spectacularly lit for a few minutes each evening.

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  • This ancient village located in a side valley of the Parvati Valley to the north-east of Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh is isolated from the rest of the world. It's inhabitants are known to follow their own distinct lifestyle and customs. Legend has it that they are the descendants of Greek soldiers of Alexander's army. As the legend goes, some soldiers took refuge in this remote land after Alexander left the country and later settled there permanently. However, the authenticity of this theory is widely disputed. The village has been the subject of many TV documentaries.  People in Malana consider all non-Malani to be inferior and consequently untouchable. Visitors to Malana town must pay particular attention to stick to the prescribed paths and not to touch any of the walls, houses or people there. Malana Cream and other popular, yet costly varieties of the drug come from this part of India alone.

    This ancient village located in a side valley of the Parvati Valley to the north-east of Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh is isolated from the rest of the world. It's inhabitants are known to follow their own distinct lifestyle and customs. Legend has it that they are the descendants of Greek soldiers of Alexander's army. As the legend goes, some soldiers took refuge in this remote land after Alexander left the country and later settled there permanently. However, the authenticity of this theory is widely disputed. The village has been the subject of many TV documentaries. People in Malana consider all non-Malani to be inferior and consequently untouchable. Visitors to Malana town must pay particular attention to stick to the prescribed paths and not to touch any of the walls, houses or people there. Malana Cream and other popular, yet costly varieties of the drug come from this part of India alone.

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