16 Surreal Places That Make India The Most Beautiful Country In The World

*Spends entire life savings on plane tickets*

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Perched at an altitude of 10,000 feet over sea level, this picturesque valley is hard to get to – non-locals require a permit, and some solid navigation skills – but (as is evident from these stunning pictures) so, so worth the effort.

Tucked away in Tamil Nadu, this is a district that you absolutely must visit if you like a) food, b) architecture, or c) all of the above. Whether it's meals, buildings, or saris, Chettinad believes in boldness and attention to detail.

Via Flickr: kshathriya

This remote valley boasts a total population of little over 13,000 people, split into small villages (the largest of which is inhabited by 700 people). So basically, if you ever want to really truly get off the grid, follow these simple steps: 1) Go to Zanskar. 2) Enjoy.

If someone were to find themselves in a situation where they had 5 minutes to experience a broad cross-section of life in India, this would be the place to do it. The ghats are home to a diverse range of entrepreneurs, vendors, priests, sadhus, and families, all united by a dependence on – and deference to – the Ganga.

This lake was made in the 14th century to serve as a dam and source of irrigation for its surrounding villages and towns, but – in typical Rajasthani fashion – its pragmatic purpose is now secondary to its stunning aesthetic beauty.

11. Chitrakoot Falls

Via Flickr: asianu

These impressive falls – known to some as India's Niagara – serve the dual purpose of telling you what season it is (if, for some reason, all your senses have failed except eyesight): They are brownish in the monsoon because they carry silt, but are clear in the summers when they don't.