Floating islands, marble rock gorges, a vanishing beach, and a lake created by a meteor impact — sounds fascinating, right? You won’t have to travel far and wide to witness these, for all of them, and more, are right here in India! If you have been wanting to see something jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring, nothing will match up to the beauty and splendour of these natural wonders in India we are ready to tell you about.
The Shimmering Marble Rock Gorges, Madhya Pradesh
It is tough to imagine that a small, nondescript town of Madhya Pradesh, Jabalpur, could feature among India’s natural wonders. All credit goes to the gorgeous marble rock gorges here. The Narmada River in Jabalpur narrows to a width of 10 metres before carving through mountains of white marble. This natural phenomenon has created a wondrous gorge of about 3 kilometres in length, which sparkles during the day and affords an equally mesmerising view at night. Take a boat ride to soak in the beauty of it all.
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World’s Only Floating Islands on Loktak Lake, Manipur
What could be more intriguing than a piece of land floating on water? Sounds like a place from a fairy tale, doesn’t it? Manipur is home to the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India—the Loktak Lake. This splendidly gorgeous waterbody has circular floating swamps, which are the only ones of their kind in the world. These heterogeneous masses of vegetation, soil and organic matter cover an area of 300 square metres. Here you’ll find fishermen, along with over 200 species of plants, 100 different kinds of birds, and close to 500 species of animals, including the Indian python and smasher — all, on small floating islands!
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The Gravity-Defying Magnetic Hill, Leh
Every nook and cranny of Ladakh spells magic and mystery. But the biggest of them all would, undoubtedly, be the Magnetic Hill or the Gravity Hill, right on the Srinagar-Leh highway. Park your car in the marked spot on the road going uphill. Turn off the engine and let the vehicle stand in neutral. You will see the car slowly start moving uphill — on its own! Don’t let theories about optical illusion dilute the thrill of this experience.
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Read more: Things to do in Leh Ladakh
The Mysterious Aleya Ghost Lights, Bengal
Do you have an appetite for the paranormal? If yes, the Aleya ghost lights in Sunderbans, West Bengal will definitely spark your imagination. In the swamps of Bengal, one can see flickering colourful lights at a distance — do not try to approach these, as they’re known to drown those who do. Scientists attribute it to ionisation of methane or geological faults (they’re not too sure), but locals believe these to be the spirits of fishermen who have died in the marshes (they are so sure). Time to find out for yourself.
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The Sparkling Salt Deserts of Kutch, Gujarat
Picture this: a glittering white carpet stretching into the horizon on all sides. This is the salt desert of India — the great Rann of Kutch, the largest of its kind in the world. This unique land mass is a salty marsh where Flamingos flock during the breeding season. Barely 10 kilometres from the Arabian Sea, the Rann of Kutch is submerged in sea water during the monsoon months. When the water recedes, it leaves behind white crystals of raw salt. Travel here in winters to see miles of salt fields — a pristine white desert.
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Read more: Rann of Kutch: Of Salt Deserts and Sunsets
The Meteoric Lonar Lake, Maharashtra
Almost 50,000 years ago, a meteor from space came crashing into the earth’s atmosphere and gouged a deep depression on the landmass. That’s how the Lonar Crater came into being — the youngest and the best-preserved of its kind on earth. This basalt rock depression, which beautifully evolved into a tranquil green lake over the years, falls in the Buldhana District of Maharashtra. Science buffs are always thrilled to learn that this waterbody is alkaline as well as saline. Incredibly, the water here supports micro-organisms rarely found elsewhere on earth.
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The Curious Hide and Seek Beach, Odisha
Ever heard of nature playing peek-a-boo? It does, at the mysterious Chandipur Beach of Odisha. Popularly known as the Hide and Seek beach, the sea here literally disappears for kilometres during low tide, and almost magically reappears a few hours later. This unique attribute of Chandipur makes it home to unique flora and fauna. It is an experience unto itself to walk on the sea bed.
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Do you know of any more natural wonders in India? Do let us know