26 Places in India, Looks like siblings to foreign travel destinations.

India is one of the most ancient countries in the world with many attractions mainly for travel & tourism.

Many travelers from all over the world visit India to spend a their memorable and unforgettable holiday trip experience of life. In recent years, India has emerged as the most suited destination for medical tourism as well because of the affordable treatment, acclaimed medical professional, state of the art hospitals with frontier technologies, and simplified medical tourism visa norms

Anyway Today’s topic is for those people who has sweet tooth for traveling and don’t have much time/budget or whatever reason it could be for foreign tours. I bring in here top tourist places which are almost siblings to those of foreign destinations, they are kids of mother nature which got separated since so long but still they inherits some characteristic similarities. you will easily identify them once you see them together.

Foreign DestinationIndian Version
A1. Uyuni Salt Flats of BoliviaA2. Rann of Kutch, Gujarat
B1. Sahara desert, AfricaB2. Thar desert, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 
C1. Grand Canyon, USAC2. Bhedaghat, Jabalpur or Gandikota
D1. Tulip fields of the NetherlandsD2. Tulip Garden, Srinagar, Kashmir
E1. SwitzerlandE2. Gulmarg, Kashmir and Khajjar, Himachal Pradesh
F1. Niagara Falls, CanadaF2. Chitrakote Falls, Chattisgarh
G1. California Poppy Reserve, Antelope Valley, USAG2. Valley of Flowers Uttarakhand
H1. Reynisfjara or the black beach, IcelandH2. Black Sand Beaches of Maharashtra
I1. Noboribetsu, JapanI2. Manikaran Sahib hot springs, Himachal Pradesh
J1. Mud Volcanoes of AzerbaijanJ2. Mud Volcanoes of Andaman
K1. Phi Phi Islands, ThailandK2. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
L1. Phi Phi Islands, ThailandL2. Lakshwadeep islands – Maldives
M1. Cameron Highlands, MalaysiaM2. Munnar Tea Gardens, Kerala
N1. Jökulsárlón Lake, IcelandN2. Gurudongmar Lake, Sikkim
O1. Japan’s Cherry BlossomO2. Cherry Blossom Shillong, Meghalaya
P1. Scotland, UKP2. Coorg, Karnataka 
Q1. Caribbean beachesQ2. Goa beaches
R1. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, ThailandR2. Floating market on Dal Lake, Kashmir
S1. Paragliding at Mont Blanc, FranceS2. Paragliding at Bir Billing, India
T1. Scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, AustraliaT2. Scuba diving in Andaman
U1. River rafting in Colorado, USAU2. River rafting in the Ganges at Rishikesh
V1. Hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia, TurkeyV2. Hot air balloon rides in Jaipur
W1.Skiing in Alaska or CanadaW2. Skiing at Auli, Uttarakhand
X1. Boat rides in Venice, ItalyX2. Boat ride on waters of Alappuzha, Kerala
Y1. Snow Castle, FinlandY2. Igloo Hotel, Manali
Z1. Sky Dining in DubaiZ2. Sky dining in Bangalore

For ease consider :

Alphabet1 = Foreign destination

Alphabet2 = Indian Sibling to “Alphabet1” Place)

Let’s start,

A1: Uyuni Salt Flats of Bolivia

A2: Rann of Kutch, Gujarat

The White Rann of Kutch is very unique place of India – It’s Gujarat’s large flat salt desert. It resembles the salt flats of Uyuni in Bolivia, which are said to be the world’s largest mirrors. The best time to visit the Rann of Kutch is during the winter from October to February. You can also camp in a tent at the edge of these salt flats during the Rann Utsav or the Festival at the White Rann.

B1: Sahara desert, Africa

B2: Thar desert, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

The Thar desert in the west part of the Rajasthan will definitely give you a once in a life memorable experience. Thar don’t have the pyramids like the Sahara, but there are other things to do here which give you pleasant tour feelings.Like You can go on a camel safari and end up the night by camping in the middle of the Sand dunes. We have India Pakistan border there you can see it from desert and our old military posts around the dunes. Best time to visit Thar in winter- Oct to Feb.(No need to say it’s one of the hottest Place on earth, so do not throw your self there in summer vacation)

C1: Grand Canyon, USA

C2: Bhedaghat, Jabalpur or Gandikota

Gandikota camping, well-known for the representing the Grand Canyon of USA, caters a variety of options for nature lovers and get lost amidst the scenic beauty of hills and rivers. The Gandikota Camping site is situated in the eastern ghats in the state of Andhra Pradesh and at a short distance from the city of Chennai, where the valley is cut by the River Pennar flowing through the Erramala hills.

D1: Tulip fields of the Netherlands

D2: Tulip Garden, Srinagar, Kashmir

Tulip garden in Srinagar. It is the largest tulip garden in Asia spread over an area of about 30 hectares. It is situated on the foothills of Zabarwan Range with an overview of Dal Lake. The garden was opened in 2007 with the aim to boost floriculture and tourism in Kashmir Valley. The garden is built on a sloping ground in a terraced fashion consisting of seven terraces. Apart from tulips, many other species of flowers – hyacinths, daffodils and ranunculus have been added as well.

E1: Switzerland

E2: Gulmarg, Kashmir and Khajjar, Himachal Pradesh

The green pastures and snow-clad mountains of Switzerland cannot be compared to anything else in the world. But there are a few places which give us similar feelings of wanderlust. The green pastures of Switzerland are often compared to Khajjar in Himachal Pradesh. Khajjar is always referred to as the Switzerland of India. And if you go a bit more north, the snow-clad landscapes of Gulmarg, Kashmir, will again remind you of Switzerland.

F1: Niagara Falls, Canada

F2: Chitrakote Falls, Chattisgarh

A Land of Surprises, Chhattisgarh offers you some of the best eco-tourism destinations in the country. Right from over a thousand varieties of flora and fauna, to wildlife which is not seen anywhere across the country, it offers you a majestic experience which will make your trip unforgettable.

Chitrakote Falls is fondly known as the “Niagara Falls of India” because of its unbelievable width. It falls from a height of 30 meters and is almost as wide as 985 ft, which is one-third of the magnanimous Niagara Falls. It is therefore, also touted as the widest waterfall in India.

G1: California Poppy Reserve, Antelope Valley, USA

G2: Valley of Flowers Uttarakhand

The Valley of Flowers National Park in the state of Uttarakhand is well known for its endless medows and slopes full of various alpine flowers. The best time to visit Valley of Flowers National Park is from mid July to mid August. The flowers are in full bloom at this time of the year. Go just after the first monsoon rains to expreiance this piece of paradise in India. The flowering season may vary as per the weather conditions each year, so check whether the flowers have bloomed before leaving.

you must note that Valley Of Flowers trek is not easy. It is a moderate level trek, with slightly longer trekking days and a steep ascent to Hemkund Sahib that will challenge your endurance. So, prepare well for this trek.

Best Time To Visit Valley Of Flowers

The gates to Valley Of Flowers open at the beginning of June. But the best time to visit is between July and September. You can extend it to the end of September.

Even in the best months between July and September, the trek is not the same every month.

H1: Reynisfjara or the black beach, Iceland

H2: Black Sand Beaches of Maharashtra

The black sand beaches of Iceland, particularly Reynisfjara are famous all around the world. But did you know that we have black sand beaches here in Maharashtra too? From Alibaug beach in Mumbai to Shrivardhan beach in Konkan, almost all the beaches in Maharashtra have black sands. Best time to visit them is winter – Oct to Feb.

I1: Noboribetsu, Japan

I2: Manikaran Sahib hot springs, Himachal Pradesh

You must have heard a lot about the plethora of hot water springs in Japan and the Japanese Onsen culture. But there are some good hot springs in India too. The hot springs of Parvati river at Manikaran Sahib, in Himachal Pradesh, are the best spa for your body. The waters are hot and have medicinal properties which are said to cure several bone or muscles issues.

Manikaran is located in the Parvati Valley on river Parvati, northeast of Bhuntar in the Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh. It is at an altitude of 1760 m and is located 4 km ahead of Kasol and about 45 km from Kullu and about 35 km from Bhunter.

This small town attracts tourists visiting Manali and Kullu to its hot springs and pilgrim centres. An experimental geothermal energy plant has also been set up here.

J1: Mud Volcanoes of Azerbaijan

J2: Mud Volcanoes of Andaman

This image shows a typical mud volcano, which throws up mud, slurries, gases and water. Several mud volcanoes can be found in Jarwa creek, Baratang, and in Diglipur in the Andaman Islands, India. These volcanoes are small and safe, interesting and fun to watch. If you are visiting the islands, try to visit one of them. In Andaman, they are creating some form of geothermal energy from these cute little volcanoes.

K1: Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

K2: Andaman and Nicobar Islands

The Andaman and Nicobar islands of India, are as beautiful as the islands of Thailand. Several Indian tourists flock to the beaches and coasts of Thailand every year. The Andamans are beautiful and have equally turquoise waters. But we lack in marketing our own destinations. Many of the Andaman and Nicobar islands are still unexplored.

Sparsely-populated beaches that give way to an ocean brimming with interesting marine life and coral gardens are just one of the reasons to visit the beautiful Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Ghandi Park, Sippighat Farm and the century-old Cellular Jail (now a pilgrimage destination) provide glimpses into the past and present of these peaceful islands with a mysterious and multicultural past.

L1: Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

L2: Lakshwadeep islands – Maldives

Although Andaman islands have transformed into a tourist destination by the enterprising locals, Lakshadweep islands in India are still away from the limelight. It may lack tourist facilities, but the nature at these islands is equally beautiful. And why would you need touristy hotels, when you can stay at the local homestays, and learn their way of life?

M1: Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

M2: Munnar Tea Gardens, Kerala

Munnar hills are located in God’s own country – Kerala. The hill station has around 50 tea gardens which have free entry. You can also visit the Tata Tea museum located on these hills. The best time to visit will in winter from Dec to Feb. For more fun activities, try cycling down the slopes around these gardens, or try your hand at harvesting the tea.

N1: Jökulsárlón Lake, Iceland

N2: Gurudongmar Lake, Sikkim

Want to visit picturesque landscapes in a winter wonderland? The journey to Iceland is long and expensive. Instead, you can just visit our smallest state Sikkim, in India for a similar experience. The Lake Gurudongmar in Sikkim will surely remind you of some Icelandic Lakes.

O1: Japan’s Cherry Blossom

O2: Cherry Blossom Shillong, Meghalaya

Japan has marketed its cherry blossom so much that the whole country is now synonymous with these beautiful pink flowers and Mt Fuji. But did you know that we have cherry blossom here in India too? If you visit Shillong in mid- November you can see rows upon rows of beautiful pink blooming trees – The Himalayan Cherry Blossoms. We have so many natural wonders within India, but the locals can’t really recognize what the tourists seek. Recently, to bring attention to these Indian Cherry blossoms, an International Cherry Blossom Festival Shillong is started in Shillong, Meghalaya. The surrounding mountain trails, hikes and trails are worth the adventure during this time.

P1: Scotland, UK

P2: Coorg, Karnataka

The scenic mountains and landscapes of the hill station Coorg in Karnataka remind us of the highlands and scenic beauty of Scotland. It is better to soak in the natural beauty of Coorg in India, rather than applying for a lengthy UK visa to visit Scotland. It is also known as Kodagu. The western ghats of India are the most scenic in the monsoon months from June to September. So plan accordingly!

Q1: Caribbean beaches

Q2: Goa beaches

Not so unknown, the beaches of Goa are the dream of every youngster in India. And just like the Caribbean beaches, there is so much to do, so many adventures in Goa. From various water sports and activities to climbing trekking or hiking to the top of the nearby forts, Goa has a lot to offer. And did I mention the most beautiful waterfall – Dudhsagar is in South Goa.

R1: Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Thailand

R2: Floating market on Dal Lake, Kashmir

The colourful floating market on Dal Lake in Kashmir, India with the backdrop of the Himalayan mountains will easily beat any floating market in this whole world. The vegetables and food sold on the waters of the Dal Lake are grown on the banks of the lake itself. They are usually cut just a few hours before selling. Even if you don’t buy your vegetables here, the market and its people, expertly manoeuvring the boats full of fresh produce through Dal Lake, will leave you in awe.

S1: Paragliding at Mont Blanc, France

S2: Paragliding at Bir Billing, India

If you cannot go to the world’s highest Paragliding site at Mont Blac in France, so what? You can always go to Bir Billing in Himachal Pradesh, India which is the world’s second-highest paragliding site. Needless to say, it is the paragliding capital of India, where numerous enthusiasts can learn paragliding or just go for a tandem ride with an instructor. For the best experience go here between March to June. But if you want to witness the surrounding scenery covered in snow, come to Bir Billing in winter months from November to January.

T1: Scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

T2: Scuba diving in Andaman

The Andaman islands as mentioned above are extremely underrated. If you ask about the aquatic life, the islands are home to some of the most amazing rare species. There are 560 different species of corals found around the Andaman islands. The colors and diversity underwater will surely surprise you and leave you Speechless.

U1: River rafting in Colorado, USA

U2: River rafting in the Ganges at Rishikesh

Colorado River in the US is the most loved by thrill-seekers around the world. And the Ganga river in India is much better known as the most sacred river in India. But in Rishikesh, you can attempt the adventure of manoeuvring the rapids of Ganga river with your squad. In Manali, you can go white water rafting on the freezing Beas river. And in Maharastra, you can play in the rapids of Kolad river.

V1: Hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia, Turkey

V2: Hot air balloon rides in Jaipur

The one and only hot air balloon option in India is located in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Imagine going high above the Jaipur skyline and watching the castle, its walls, fields and lakes, and the tiny buildings in the city all at your feet! Cappadocia’s hot air balloon ride may be beautiful. But the views over Jaipur city are equally amazing.

W1: Skiing in Alaska or Canada

W2: Skiing at Auli, Uttarakhand

The Ski slopes of Uttarakhand and Sikkim in India are underestimated. Internationally, Alaska, Canada or Switzerland are well known for their silky adventurous ski slopes. But one of the best things to do in India, which should be on your list is Skiing in Auli, Uttarakhand. You can even learn skiing here at one of the skiing schools.

X1: Boat rides in Venice, Italy


X2: Boat ride on waters of Alappuzha, Kerala

The travel lovers and wanderlusters like me often dream of sailing in a boat across the many pretty canals of Venice, Italy. But the boat rides on the rivers in Alappuzha, Kerala in India will beat the crowded touristy canals of Venice any given day. The river is lined with trees and nature, rather than the medieval buildings. And if you go for a ride early in the morning, seeing the sunrise from these boats will be the most beautiful experience.

Y1: Snow Castle, Finland

Y2: Igloo Hotel, Manali

If like me you always dreamed of snow castles and igloos, the wait is over now. You can book your nights stay at India’s first-ever Igloo Hotel in Manali. Can you imagine staying warm inside the walls made of snow and ice? The igloo hotel may not be as good as the Snow Castle in Kemi, Finland. But it is something to start with, for a country like India. Do I need to say the best time to visit here is in winter?

Z1: Sky Dining in Dubai

Z2: Sky dining in Bangalore

This out of the world fine dining experience in the sky is not just available in Dubai. At India’s Fly Dining restaurant, you can get the best sky dining experience. Fly dining restaurants are spread across India in many cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Goa, Noida, Delhi, Agra, Chandigarh, Surat, Jaipur, Hyderabad, and Port Blair. If you are living in one of these cities, you should experience this soon.

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Written by Navdeep Patel

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