If there is one thing that anybody can assure you of, it is this. When it comes to traveling in India, you will never ever complain of boredom. This is one country that is filled to bursting with lots of fun experiences, some of which border on the bizarre!
Yes, since our country is steeped in superstition, there are a couple of things that may seem strange or bizarre to a non-residential citizen. However, there are other fun and quirky things that you will see when you choose to travel in India. The Taj Mahal and the Konark temple are all definite must-visits. But those are places everybody visits in India. So, why not veer off the beaten track sometimes?
1. Jal Mahal or ‘The Floating Palace’ of Jaipur
Located right in the middle of Man Sagar Lake, this palace in Jaipur has been abandoned for ages now. It is said to have been built as a summer retreat for the royals. However, today, it lies abandoned and desolate, in the centre of the lake. The mysterious or the bizarre thing about this palace is that it actually has five storeys, with four of them being submerged in the lake! How the palace came to be submerged, no one knows. However, it makes for a hauntingly beautiful experience. You can book a boat and view the submerged palace up close, in peace.
2. Karni Mata Rat Temple in Rajasthan
Ever heard of rats being worshipped? While you might cringe at the thought, there is a temple built in Deshnoke, Rajasthan that does exactly that! The temple is filled with over 20,000 rats that lap at bowls of milk laid out just for them. Many people offer sweets and candy to these rats. If you happen to step on a rat and hurt it, you have to purchase a silver or gold rat statue and offer it to the temple, as penance for your sin. The devotees believe that rats are incarnations of the Goddess Karni Mata. It does make for a strange experience and if you visit this place, you’re not going to forget it very soon!
3. Lucky Restaurant in Ahmedabad
This experience in Ahmedabad is a seriously bizarre one. At this restaurant, you can literally dine alongside the dead! No, we’re not kidding. Located in the Lal Darwaza region, this restaurant has been built in the place of a graveyard. Instead of shuddering at the thought, the owner of the restaurant decided to make this his USP. Leaving the graves untouched apart from installing iron bars around them, the owner has built sitting areas around the graves, in the available space. Every morning, the staff cleans all the graves and adorns them with fresh flowers! Dining here will surely be an unforgettable experience.
4. Bullet Baba Shrine in Jodhpur
Legend says that on his way home one day, Om Singh Rathore met with a drunk-driving accident when his bike crashed into a tree. The bike was taken away by the police and was miraculously discovered the next day at the site of the accident! Thinking of it as a prank, the cops took the bike away again and even chained it up for good measure. But the next day, the bike was found again at the site of the accident! After that, the bike was permanently moved to the site of the accident, inside a glass enclosure. People offer the bike flowers and liquor and worship it like some kind of deity! Strange? We sure think so! Whoever heard of a bike God? As we said though, this happens only in India!
5. The Sulabh International Museum Of Toilets in New Delhi
This museum, true to its name, offers up all the rare details and facts of the historic evolution of toilets, from 2500 BC till date. It even displays the trends in toilets over the course of these years! From medieval toilet displays to modern ones, this place is all about commodes both old and new! It really is a quirky museum that you must visit when you travel to Delhi.
6. The Floating Stones at Rameswaram
Legend says that these floating stones that connect the tip of India to Sri Lanka, are remains of the Ram-Setu bridge that has been written about in the epic Ramayana. With no base to speak of to hold them up, these black floating stones are a mystery and nobody has been able to satisfactorily solve it till date. What’s more, these mysterious floating stones are found in several places within Rameswaram too.
7. Magnetic Hill in Ladakh
You will come across this hill on your way to Leh. It is located 11,000 feet above sea level and is known to have magnetic powers that will pull your vehicle towards it, even if the ignition is off! Imagine moving towards this hill of your own accord. This is all due to an optical illusion created by the gravity of course, but it’s thrilling and unusual, to say the least!
8. The Great Banyan Tree in Howrah
What looks like a dense forest from afar, is actually just one wildly growing tree! About 3,600 aerial roots of this banyan tree have spread across a vast space, making it look just like a forest. This tree is actually the widest tree in the world! There is a road that has been constructed around this tree for visitors. With every passing year, you will see that the tree continues to grow. It’s surprising, to say the least!
9. Bull Surfing in Kerala
No, this is not at all like the great bull race of Spain! Bull surfing is a water sport conducted in Kerala, after the harvest season. Two bulls will charge down a paddyfield through dirty mud, with a person hanging on to a board or to the tails of the bulls. All three are soaked with water by the time they are finished. It will definitely be a strange and intriguing thing to see, won’t it?
10. Dog Temple in Karnataka
I have heard of people who are head over heels in love with their dogs. But worshipping them? I think that takes it to a whole other level! Located in Chennapatna’s Ramanagar district, this temple houses statues of dogs. The locals believe that dogs work alongside their village deity. They also believe that dogs symbolize faithfulness and faithfulness must be worshipped. After cow worship, is this the next big thing?