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Places you are not allowed to visit in India

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Humans are curious beings and we love to explore our surroundings. Remember even as kids we wanted to go to those places where the adults had put restrictions. Don’t venture out in the dark, don’t go near the river alone, never try to roam inside the forest. The only question which came to my mind was “But why?” I was explained the consequences and I tried to remain out of trouble but the curiosity never left me.

These are few places in India where you cannot visit. Curious? Read the article to find the answer for “But why?”

Aksai Chin

Aksai Chin is the disputed border region between India and China. It is part of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) also known as the ceasefire line that separates Ladakh in India from Hotan Prefecture in China.  It is a cold desert with no human activity as both countries fight over this piece of land.  Interestingly, the LAC passes through the spectacular Pangong Lake and a larger portion of the lake lies in China. This place which remains untouched by humans is also considered one of the most dangerous places in the world.

aksai chin
Source: https://www.gopetition.com/

North Sentinel Island

North Sentinel Island is the part of Andaman and Nicobar and is home to a tribe which does not want any intruders on their land. Many attempts had been made in the past to contact these people but they had mostly been unsuccessful. In 2004, few helicopters were sent to check on the Sentinelese people after the Tsunami. The tribe was found in good shape but was not pleased at the hovering helicopters and attacked them with bows and arrows.  In 2006, they killed and buried a fisherman whose boat got drifted to the island.

north sentinal islands
Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/

The island got media attention from all over the world in 2018 after the death of an American tourist who illegally visited the isolated North Sentinel Island. John Allen Chau was a Christian missionary who wanted to preach Christianity to the natives. It is reported that the tribal people chased him away twice, but killed him when he tried to venture on the island for the third time.

There has only been one friendly contact with the islanders till date. In 1991, a team of anthropologists made various trips to the island bearing gifts such as clothes, candies and coconuts. Initially the tribe showed resistance but one day they came closer and took the coconuts from the boat. The process of collecting gifts continued for few months but the tribal people never invited any one on their island. Later, the government decided to stop this program and no one has been to the island since. Madhumala Chattopadhyay, one of the anthropologists later said “The tribes of the islands do not need outsiders to protect them, what they need is to be left alone.”

north sentinal islands
Source: https://topyaps.com/

Barren Island

Barren Island is an active volcano situated in The Andaman Sea. This is the only active volcano in the entire South Asia region. The first recorded eruption of the volcano dates back to 1787. And it has been erupted more than ten times since then. The most recent eruption was in 2017 when the sky was covered with fumes initially and later hot lava melted away into the sea.

barren island
Source: https://round.glass/

No one is allowed to set foot in the island due to security reasons. However the sea around the island is one of the best scuba diving destinations in the world. You will be swimming with dozens of manta rays, tunas, sea snakes, barracudas, turtles and oceanic sharks. It is a paradise for anyone who craves for exploring the underwater world.  The thrilling quotient will be doubled as you will be one of the few people who get to explore around this uninhabited land.

Umling La

If I ask you which is the highest motorable pass in the world, majority of you will say Khardung La in Ladakh. Wrong answer! At an altitude of 5,883 metres (19,300 ft), Umling La became the highest motorable pass in the world in 2017. The Border Roads Organization (BRO) accomplished a heroic feet of constructing the highest motorable road in the world, and the first one to cross the 19000 ft mark. The road connects the village of Chisumle and Demchok. It took 6 years for the road to be constructed. Do you know that all the construction workers were given special training and had to come down every hour to acclimatize themselves?  Hats off to the commitment and hard work!

Umling La is located in Changthang valley of Ladakh region. In 2017, after the pass became famous, a lot of people travelled to it. However, from 2018 no civilian is allowed to travel to Umling La. The pass is too close to the Chinese border which makes it a sensitive region. Now, let’s not be disappointed. The highest motorable pass in the world is in India. Don’t you think, it’s something to be proud of?

Nicobar Islands

The group of islands in the Bay of Bengal is pristine yet off-limits to the tourists. Unlike Andamans which attracts a lot of tourism, Nicobar Islands are fairly untouched. UNESCO has declared the islands as one of the world network of biosphere reserves. The islands are restricted for tourists, and one would need special permission in order to set foot on these islands. Researchers, wildlife specialists, and scientists are a few of the only people allowed to enter the Nicobar Islands and face strict regulations when doing so.

nicobar islands
Source: https://traveltriangle.com/

The islands are home to two tribal communities ( Nicobarese and Shompen). The government does not want the outside world to disturb them and the tribes also want to remain secluded from rest of the world. The tribes have stayed isolated for centuries now and need protection from the outsiders who may carry different diseases to the island.

nicobarese
Source: https://www.thehindu.com/

Dongkha La and Cholamu Lake

On 7 September 1849, British botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker crossed the Dongkha La and brought it to the attention of the world. He described it as the most treacherous pass that he had ever traversed. Dongkha La, also known as Donkia Pass is situated at an altitude of 5,534 meters (18,156 ft) and is the sixth highest motorable pass in the world. This pass connects Sikkim in India to Tibet, and is located about 4 kilometers from India-China border.

Atop the mountain pass one can capture the picturesque Tibetan plateau. The beautiful Tso Lhamo or Cholamu Lake is also quite close to the pass. It is one of the largest high altitude lakes in the world, and is also the source of Teesta River. The turquoise blue water glistens as the sun rays fall on the surface and is a sight to behold.

The security around here is very high due to the close proximity to the border. To visit the Cholamu Lake you need a Restricted Area Permits (RAPS). It’s highly restricted and chances of civilians getting the permit are very less.

cholamu lake
Source: http://www.thinkingparticle.com/

Bhangarh Fort

This fort in Bhangarh, Rajasthan is the most haunted place in India. Tourists are allowed to visit the place during the day. But the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) has restricted anyone to visit this fort past 6 pm. Past this hour, the entire fort is shut and there are stories about trespassers hearing ghostly screams and cries at nights. It is also said that even the watchman locks himself inside his room at night which is situated close to a temple.

A little history: The fort was built in 16th century by Maharaja Bhagwant Singh, It is believed that either people of Bhangarh migrated or famished due to the famine in the 18th century although the popular legends have something else to say!

According to one story, a sadhu lived in the village and agreed to the fort being built on the condition that its shadow would not touch his house. Ajab Singh, grandson of Madho Singh, ignored this warning and greatly raised the height of the fort. As a result, the shadow of the fort touched the house of the sadhu who cursed the whole town to death. Even now they say that if any roof is built inside the fort, it collapses immediately.

Another version of the story states that there was a tantrik who fell in love with Princess Ratnavati. One day, he replaced the princess’ scent with some potion to make her fall in love with him. Ratnavati discovered the wizard’s trickery and threw the bowl of potion on a boulder nearby, which started rolling down and killed him.  Before dying, he cursed her, the family and the whole village, and everyone perished.

We don’t know if any of the stories are true, but they make this beautiful fort more alluring.

bhangarh fort
Source: http://www.allgudthings.com/
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