Be it the spellbinding beauty of a man-made creation or the many picturesque blessings of mother nature, most of these creations seem like the enchanting maidens that are toxic behind that beautiful exterior. And the fact that criminals make full use of such gorgeous places to carry on with their operations from underneath the veil of the thick green, further makes us fearful of these creations.
Some of such nature’s and man’s masterpieces in India that are just as much scary as they are breathtaking, are:
1. Drass, Jammu and Kashmir
The fact that Drass (also known as ‘The Gateway to Ladakh’) was one of the most shelled places during the Kargil War sounds serious enough. But while the Kargil war is a memory that continues to haunt this place, the permanent dangerous feature to this place are its harsh climatic conditions. And the fact that it is the second coldest place on the Earth can give you a fair idea about just how harsh.
2. Silent Valley National Park, Kerala
Located in the Nilgiri Hills, this impeccable creation of nature is a habitat to a rich wildlife. And its beauty is so brilliantly picturesque that it is also known to be the setting for the Indian epic, Mahabharata. However, the harmony of this valley was disturbed in December of 2014 when Maoists made it a battlefield. And since then, the police has remained vigilant in the area. Today, the silence in the valley has an eerie touch to it. And that is why, there has been a significant drop in the number of tourists in this place.
3. Bastar, Chattisgarh
This small but high-on-beauty-quotient town in Chattisgarh is known all over India for two drastically different reasons. One- It is home to the very famous Chitrakote falls, and two- it is one of the most preferred dens of the Naxals. The unmanned greenery of the region makes it easier for them to carry on with their guerilla activities secretly. Many have lost their lives to Naxal attacks in the town. And hence, it remains one of the many beauties of India that only a few dare to go.
4. Roopkund, Uttarakhand
Trekkers have to go through extreme hardships and steep climbs to reach Roopkund lake. In fact, last year only, it was reported that one of the trekkers could not live up to the adverse conditions at such great heights and died while en route to the top. Moreover, Roopkund is also famously known as Mystery Lake and in recent times, the Skeleton Lake, thanks to the hundreds of human skeletons that mark the edge of the lake since apparently 9th century CE.
But if you are a mountain lover, Roopkund is definitely THE place to go to.
5. Kailash Mansarovar, Tibet Autonomous Region, China
Mount Kailash has a deep religious significance in Hinduism. So much so, that every year a throng of visitors trek their way up about 18000 feet to experience the unreal (yet completely real) beauty of the great mountain and the Lake Mansarovar surrounding it. However, nausea, the blurriness of vision, and altitude sickness are just a few of the many side-effects that this pilgrimage brings along and that’s why, it is for best if the amateurs avoid this trek.
Absolutely fit health and a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 27 or less are the requirements that the intended yatris must fulfill in order to get selected.
6. Chambal River Basin, Madhya Pradesh
Forest and thick woods are always a preferred choice of criminals and Chambal River Basin is another one on the list that has long been famous as a naturally beautiful house for the dacoits.
7. Kishtwar Kailash Road, Kishtwar, Jammu region
Kishtwar Kailash is the road that runs between Kishtwar and the base camp of Kishtwar Kailash mountain. The road is rightly known as one of the deadliest in the world, and not simply because it runs several feet up the hills. But because at certain points, it is so narrow that it allows passing of only one vehicle at a time. Moreover, on this extremely narrow and windy road, there is no secure edging for almost 100 miles. And just a tad bit of miscalculation on this road will unsurprisingly drop you to your death.
8. Manas National Park, Assam
The fact that Manas National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site itself should give you an idea of how beautiful and rich in wildlife it must be. In 1992, however, it was declared under threat because of extensive poaching and terrorist activities. Furthermore, in 2011, a report that Bodo militants from the national park had kidnaped 6 WWF officials, further added to its scary quotient.
9. Barren Islands, Andaman
These islands house the only active volcano of India. The spewing red hot lava and smoke emerging from the tip of the volcano can literally be seen from a good distance, and owing to the same reason, tourists are not allowed to go anywhere near the hill.
10. Haflong, Assam
Irrespective of the high beauty quotient of this town, it has not really been rich tourist-wise and the reason is the Black Widow terrorist organization that allegedly, uses the town as its hub for terrorist activities. It has one of the scariest train routes in India. Hundreds of security personnel have been killed in this area, train engineers have been kidnaped and murdered, and all-in-all, the train services in this area remain greatly impacted. For a regular traveler, the danger factor is not any less dreadful.
11. Pamban Bridge, Palk Strait (A strait between Tamil Nadu and the Mannar district of Sri Lanka)
The mere sight of this mighty bridge is enough to make your heart skip a beat. Running a length of 2 km across the sea, it is the second longest bridge in India (after Mumbai’s Bandra–Worli Sea Link) and connects Rameshwaram (a town on the Pamban Island) to the mainland India. And if this gigantic bridge running over the sea does not form a very scary image for you, then how about the fact that Pamban Bridge secures a spot on the list of Top 10 Most Dangerous Railroads in the world?
12. Dumas Beach, Surat
One of the only beach amongst the most haunted places in India, this nature’s beauty carries a reputation of being the third most haunted places in India. Hindus have been using the place as a burial for many years now and owing to this fact, some say, that it is the spirits of the dead that haunt this beach.
Hearing of whispers when there is no one around, and the many reported cases of disappearance of people under mysterious circumstances give this scenic beach its scary edge.
That’s the thing with these creations; when we look at them, they soothe our eyes and get our hearts racing with fear, at the same time.