Travelling in India is like a roller-coaster ride, thrilling and unforgettable. India has something to offer to every traveller: scenic beauty, beaches, mountains, fauna, adventure sports, luxury hotels, historical monuments, a cultural treat for all the senses... The experience will leave you a little exhausted; because in every moment, there's so much to live.
If you think you've seen everything there is to see, you couldn't be more wrong. India isn't called Incredible India for nothing. This wonderful land is riddled with more mysteries and astonishing things than Alice or Dorothy could ever have imagined.
Sometimes uncanny and sometimes uplifting, India is full of surprises. Every corner of this wonderland has something waiting to be unraveled, just like these:
1. Levitating Stone - Shivapur, MaharashtraSomewhere in Pune, in a quaint little hamlet called Shivapur, lies the Hazrat Qamar Ali Darvesh that has a magical story to tell. The current shrine was a gymnasium, 800 years ago. A Sufi saint called Qamar Ali was taunted by the wrestlers there. The saint placed a spell on the rocks that were used for body-building. The 70 kg rock can only be lifted by 11 finger tips touching it and calling out his name loudly. Till date, the Stone of Qamar Ali can be magically lifted by chanting his name!
2. Land of Black Magic - Mayong, AssamA cloak of mystery shrouds Mayong, better known as the Land Of Black Magic, a village 40 kms from Guwahati city, close to Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary. It is popularly believed that the name Mayong comes from the Sanskrit word for illusion, Maya. Many tales of men disappearing into thin air, people being converted into animals, or beasts being magically tamed, have been associated with Mayong. Sorcery and magic were traditionally practised and passed down over generations. Many ancient relics of Ayurveda and black magic are now preserved in the Mayong Central Museum.
3. Lake of Skeletons - Roopkund Lake, Chamoli, UttarakhandAt a height of 16,500 feet, in the middle of the most uninhabitable part of the Himalayas lies the secluded Roopkund Lake, covered in snow and surrounded by rock-strewn glaciers. More popularly known as Skeleton Lake or Mystery Lake , the spine-chilling attraction of this lake is the 600 odd human skeletons that were discovered here. These date back to the 9th CE and are clearly visible at the bottom of the shallow lake when the snow melts. The locals believe that this entourage had earned the fury of the local deity, Latu, who sent a terrible hailstorm their way, which eventually killed them.
4. Mass Bird Suicide - Jatinga, AssamThe idyllic village of Jatinga is snugly nestled amongst the Borail Hills of Assam. Every monsoon, this scenic village witnesses an uncanny phenomenon. Between September and October, especially during dark and foggy nights, hundreds of migratory birds fly full speed towards trees and buildings, crashing to death. This 'mass bird suicide' was first brought to global attention by famous naturalist E.P. Gee in the 1960s. Ever since, it has remained one of the world's unsolved mysteries.
5. The Curious Case Of Twins - Kodinhi (Kerala) and Umri (near Allahabad)Kodinhi, a sleepy little town tucked away in the Malappuram district of Kerala, has managed to baffle scientists across the world. In a population of 2000, Kodinhi has 350 pairs of identical twins! It has rightfully earned the title of 'Twin Town.' 6 pairs of twins in every 1000 births is considered a high twinning rate. Kodinhi has a rate of 42 twins per 1000 births. This means, almost every family in Kodinhi has more than one pair of twins!
Mohammedpur Umri village, near Allahabad has a similar tale to tell. With over 60 pairs of identical twins in a total population of 900, Umri's twinning rate is 300 times the national average, and perhaps the highest in the world. Researchers believe that the cause might lie in the genes, but for others, it is the divine hand.