India is known for the splendour and pristine state of its nature and is a country which is home to numerous sights that never cease to amaze a nature lover. However, there are also some places that, despite technically being a part of India, remain just beyond our reach. These areas are restricted to the citizens of India due to varying reasons, and as a result, lie so close to us and yet so far. It is important to be aware of these wonderful sights that we are missing out on, so as to bring about a new regard for the sights that we do have within our reach. Here is a list of the top 5 places in India that we are not allowed to visit, but are wonders to the eye.
Barren Island, Andaman
Located in the Andaman Sea, Barren Island is home to the Barren volcano – the only active volcano in South Asia. The island is barred to tourists owing to safety restrictions, and one would need the permission of the Forest Department in order to set foot on it. The island is uninhabited and secluded, with crystal clear ocean water surrounding it. It is home to species like rodents, birds and flying foxes and has significantly less vegetation due to the volcanic eruptions. The hot lava at the mouth of the volcano can be seen from ships at a safe distance from the island, which further increases our curiosity.
Aksai Chin, Jammu and Kashmir
The infamous border of India and China lies in the South Western part of Hotan Prefecture in China. This area has seen immense dispute with India claiming that it is a part of the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, and China claiming it is a part of the Hotan Prefecture. It is a part of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and is now classified as the ceasefire line. It is a high altitude cold desert area with a number of soda lakes. This piece of land is untouched by humans and is one of the most dangerous places in the world. It lies right beyond the reach of Indians but is a sight to behold from the safety of the Indian borders.
“Foreigner only” beaches in Goa and Pondicherry
Goa and Pondicherry are two of the most sought-after coastal tourist spots in India. Both regions witness enormous tourist traffic owing to their serene beaches and beautiful tourist attractions. However, both these places are known to have particular beaches that are ‘restricted’ to Indian citizens. In Pondicherry, these are certain elite beaches that have intricate French and Indian architectures. Despite being lawfully on Indian property, and owned by the Tourism ministry, these beaches continue to remain out of bounds for Indians.
Located in the Bay of Bengal, and constituting the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar, the Nicobar Islands are off-bounds to Indian citizens. These islands are pristine and untainted and are supposed to be even more beautiful than their counterpart- Andamans. The islands are restricted for tourists, and one would need special permission in order to set foot on these islands. Researchers, wildlife specialists, and scientists are a few of the only people allowed to enter the Nicobar Islands and face strict regulations when doing so. While the Andaman Islands are a place of immense tourism, the Nicobar Islands lie shrouded in mystery and fascination to the Indian population.
Malana Village, Himachal Pradesh
Believed to have been first inhabited by the men of Alexander the Great, this village is considered to be one of the oldest democracies in the world. The village lies to the north-east of Kullu valley and is a solitary area away from the grasp of the modern world. It has its own autonomous governing body and is a self-contained location that self-produces all its requirements, hence cutting ties with the rest of the country. The villagers are extremely aware of outside movement within their village and wary of outsiders who have often levied a fine on trespassing. The newly constructed Malana Hydro Prower Station is a way by which this beautiful, secluded village is now being brought closer to the rest of the country.
While these places would be wonderful to visit and experience, it is crucial to remember that their seclusion is the reason for their pristine beauty. One may desire to break the laws and enter these places, but the reasons behind the restrictions are necessary to be understood. So travel the rest of the country and experience the joys of nature and the beautiful sights that it has to offer while also keeping in mind the numerous other sights that despite being beyond our reach, still exist out there. While some secrets can be unlocked, others remain hidden from the world and their existence might make one value what they have more.