The mysteries of India will bring your soul and imagination to life.
Not everyone can handle India; you will either love it with every fibre of your being with the exploration of its mysterious locations becoming like an addiction. Or you will detest it: India will drive you out.
I believe it comes down to what you focus on. If you come from the West, you have to open your mind and be willing to truly leave your comfort zone to connect with what makes India such a deeply special place.
India is full of mysterious places and stories spanning back over the centuries that are just beckoning to be explored. Some you may have heard of, but some are rare tourist places in India that will take a little more getting to.
Often the road less travelled takes us to the most memorable places. That’s why we created this guide on the most mysterious places in India – they will leave you in awe.
Best Mysterious Places in India
Many of the ancient mysterious places can be found right here in India, which is what makes this country so unique for backpackers. India itself is enshrouded by fascinating stories, deep history, and creepy paranormal activity. As we introduce you to the most mysterious places in India, it is hard to not let your imagination run too wild.
When you visit these places, you will see that so much of what happens seems to go way beyond anything that could be explained by your own imagination… But don’t worry, if the creepiness is a bit too much to handle, you can always check out India’s (normal) places to visit.
1. A River That Sucks People In: Khooni Nadi
This may actually be one of the most dangerous places in India. The Khooni Nadi River, also known as ‘the bloody river‘, is one of the spookiest and most mysterious places to visit in India. There are many terrifying accounts of people being sucked into the water, never to be seen again. Even if you’re not a believer of the paranormal, this is definitely somewhere you do not want to go for a swim. In fact, it’s not somewhere you should really visit by yourself.
It is spooky enough that the water has claimed so many lives but the fact that many bodies have never been recovered is even creepier. There are many unresolved stories and unknown mysteries of India but the ones where people are never found again are not to be taken lightly! Therefore, this is our top spot for the most mysterious places in India.
2. Unsolved Mysteries of India: The abandoned village of Kuldhara, Rajasthan
Abandoned towns and villages have to be one of the most creepy things about India. What you often find about the mysterious places in India is that there is so man stories much told and retold regarding their history. It all overlaps to a point where you can’t quite get to the bottom of what happened: these unsolved mysteries of India are truly fascinating.
There are actually many ruins in this region. These are often best explored with a motorbike and camping gear. Though, you would have to be made of tough stuff to sleep after hearing about all the paranormal activity surrounding Kuldhara.
Legend has it that the last successful inhibitors, the Paliwals Brahmins left suddenly in the night, never to be seen again. They say they left a curse on the place. Since that time, anyone who has since tried to re-inhabit the area has been chased out by evil spirits. Check out this post to find out more about India’s ghost towns. If you’re into ghost stories, this is definitely one of the best mysterious places in India you could wish for!
3. A Drowning Church: Shettihalli
Drowning churches are quite a fascination across the world. Something about them captures the imagination. Shettihallli may not be the most secret place in India, but it is one of the more mysterious places in India. However, rather than being spooky, many people say that it is a deeply peaceful place to explore.
It is sometimes referred to as the floating church, sometimes the drowning church. As you may have guessed this is due to the fact that waters around it rise and fall. Rather excitingly, if you are visiting during monsoon season, you should be able to explore by boat!
India is, of course, a Hindu country which is perhaps why this church was abandoned in the 1960s. Due to this contrast with the myriad Hindu temples, some may find this church is one of the more mysterious places in India.
4. The Whispers of the Dead: Dumas Beach, Gujarat
This will make the hairs on your neck stand up! We tend to associate beaches with relaxing in the sun. Not at Dumas Beach in Gujarat! Many have reported the same haunting experience of walking down the beach and hearing whispers, but as they turn around, there is no one there.
More concerning, there have been reports of people going missing on this beach. Whatever you believe, these unexplained mysteries of India could genuinely be dangerous. So however you decide to visit this one, please be safe. On a side note, it is actually quite a pretty beach!
5. The Village That Slithers: Shetpal
In Shetpal, Maharashtra, you will come across the village that slithers. Even just its name will have some people’s skin crawling. Snake worship runs deep for many Indians and dates back to ancient times. If you can hack it, this mysterious place in India is definitely worth putting on your itinerary.
What fascinates many about this place and makes it one of the most mysterious places in India is that there is a harmony between the snakes and people. Many would associate cobras with being aggressive and try to keep away from them.
However, in this village it is mandatory to have a resting place in each home should a cobra decide to bunk with you. Since adopting this relationship with the snakes, the locals have experienced virtually no problems with them, bar the occasional occupation of the bathroom.
6. Most Mysterious Places in India and the World: Kodinhi – Town of Twins
This is by far one of the strangest and most mysterious places in India! Kodinhi is so mysterious it actually caught the attention of an international science team who went to investigate it. Fascinatingly, they couldn’t actually get to the bottom of why this one village has more than 500 twinned siblings!
The locals say this phenomenon dates back to 1949. Some experts have theorised it to be linked to a chemical found in the local water. This, however, has not been conclusive and has thus been dismissed by many doctors and scientists.
The villagers really embrace the phenomenon and tend to honour it by intentionally dressing identically. This really is one of the most mysterious places in India as well as another of its unsolved mysteries. Definitely worth an investigation of your own if you are exploring the South of India.
7. Who Ya Gonna Call?: Jamali-Kamali Masjid, Delhi
Taking photos of abandoned temples in India is one thing, knowing the story behind them is another. At a glance, many wouldn’t even know that Jamali-Kamali is indeed a mosque and tomb. It’s important to learn the stories of where you explore.
Some mysterious places in India are easier to get to than others. Jamali-Kamali is easy to reach for those visiting Delhi; it is open most days and free to visit. What is less easy is hanging on to your senses as you walk amongst the densely haunted atmosphere.
There are many reports of unexplained noises and movements and just general freak-factor as you walk around the spooky 16th-century mosque and tomb.
8. The Most Mystic Places in the World: The Ganges
Most seasoned travellers have heard of the Ganga (Ganges). It may even seem a little too obvious to mention, so you may be wondering why it has made it into our top ten mysterious places to visit in India. Quite simply, the Ganges is enshrined in mystery and if you miss out on the depth and significance of the Ganges, you miss out on real India.
It is the most sacred place of worship in India. Many Indians go to Varanasi either as a pilgrimage or to burn their dead. Walk along the banks, still your heart, and watch the cremations and ceremonies that take place every day as locals revel in their oldest of traditions.
Listen to the locals’ stories about spirits and the afterlife. Walk with them join their journeys and truly connect with one of the most mystic and mysterious places in India.
Drink water from ANYWHERE. The Grayl Geopress is the market’s leading filtered water bottle protecting your tum from all the waterborne nasties. PLUS, you save money and the environment!
Single-use plastic bottles are a MASSIVE threat to marine life. Be a part of the solution and travel with a filter water bottle.
We’ve tested the Geopress rigorously from the icy heights of Pakistan to the tropical jungles of Cuba, and the results are in: it WORKS. Buy a Geopress: it’s the last water bottle you’ll ever buy.Buy a Geopress! Read the Review
9. The World’s Mysterious Places: Alwar
Strangely, even the most mysterious places in India normalize as you become acquainted with the culture. It’s paradoxical I know but it does happen. There are several forts in and around Alwar that have been reported as haunted; many Indians actually claim Bhangarh Fort to THE most haunted and mysterious place in India!
The tiny town of Alwar fascinated me. I have to say it is without a doubt one of the strangest places in India. At first, It seems like a perfectly average little town, I thought it would have been a non-event of a place to visit when we first arrived, oh how wrong I was!
When you’re thinking of mysterious places in India, try to find at least a few that are off the beaten track. They often have a way of becoming some of the most memorable places. Some mysterious locations in India just can’t have their gravity be put into words… but we can certainly try!
If you’ve got some time in your hands, read about our bizarre time in Alwar!
10. Mass Bird Suicide – Jatinga, Assam
This is one of the most mysterious things in the world; not just in India.
One of the weirdest stories you’ll hear in India that turns out to actually be true and takes place every year between September and November in the northeast of India. Well, it’s mostly true, many scientists have tried to explain and quantify it, but they still can’t get to the bottom of it. This makes it one of the top unsolved mysteries of India.
No amount of trying to rationalise it detracts from how ominous it is when the intense event takes place. Do what you can to make this one of the places in India you travel to and see for yourself.
As the sun begins to set, hundreds of birds begin falling from the sky – an avian act of mass suicide. It is such a remarkable happening that the locals have now developed a festival around the phenomenon.
Many locals believe it is due to evil spirits and they are eager to share their own stories about it. The atmosphere is truly intense and it is hard to not get freaked out by it. Go to Jatinga … I dare you.
Rounding Up the Top 10 Mysterious Places in India
|Mysterious Place in India||Famous For||The Vibe|
|Khooni Nadi||The river that sucks people in.||Dangerous|
|Kuldhara, Rajasthan||The abandoned village.||Creepy|
|Shettihalli||The drowning church.||Peaceful|
|Dumas Beach, Gujarat||The whispers of the dead.||Haunted|
|Shetpal||Village that slithers.||Creepy or phenomenal (if you like snakes)|
|Kodinhi||The town of twins.||Unexplained phenomena|
|Jamali-Kamali Masjid, Delhi||The haunted mosque and tomb.||Haunted|
|The Ganges, Varanasi||The life-giver and taker.||Mystical|
|Alwar||The hauntings and bizarre behaviour.||Haunted|
|Jatinga, Assam||The birds drink the kool-aid.||Unexplained phenomena|
More Epic Stuff about India
Planning your trip to India and you’re a bit overwhelmed with all the options? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Check out these other awesome India guides we’ve created.
Get Insured Before You Disappear Ghost Hunting
Mannn, who do you think you are? Scooby-Doo? I don’t see no damn mystery van! I don’t see no Daphne (na, forget Daphne – she’s useless; team Velma!)
Shoutout from Will – The OG Broke Backpacker: Have fun on your backpacking adventure, but please do get insurance – take it from someone who has racked up tens of thousands of bucks on an insurance claim before, you may need it.
And don’t forget to take out Travel Insurance for your trip! I have been using World Nomads for some time now and made a few claims over the years. They’re easy to use, professional and relatively affordable. They may also let you buy or extend a policy once you’ve started your trip and are already abroad which is super handy.
However, please note that nobody travel insurance game that will cover you for “maimed by angry Hindu poltergeist”.
It’s good to get lost sometimes, but it’s also good not to get too lost. There are people that want you home in one piece.
There’s one travel insurance provider The Broke Backpacker trusts for all his wildest shenanigans… World Nomads!
Click the button below to get a quote on your insurance or read our in-depth review of World Nomads’ coverage. And then… let the shenanigans begin. 😉
Summing up the Most Mysterious Places in India
God damn, that’s some spooky-ass shit! India is so special, man. It’s another planet!
These are our top ten mysterious places in India, but, as you may imagine, there are many so more. India is truly one of the most mysterious places in the world. However, no matter how much of a ghostbuster you are, please do approach and explore these places with care. People have gone missing and although it can be exciting to explore these places, some of them do pose a real threat.
Everyone who’s been to India has a crazy India story. That’s the beauty of India: no one leaves unscathed. India changes people.
We’d love to hear your stories too. Please share them in the comments below – genuinely. There’s nothing I love more than an excellent “I got India’d” story!
Thanks for reading – that was fun! 😀
We bring you epic FREE content!
Find out how YOU can help support us.
We’re a big site with a big team and this job isn’t always easy. But we do it because we love it – we love providing epic and free content. We love the knowledge that our content keeps you adventuring. We don’t ask for money, but if you’d like to find out how you can help the site in more organic ways, click the button below.
Thank you for your support 🙂
Bye for now, but not forever!
If you want MORE top-tier Broke Backpacker content like this, then sign up for our weekly newsletter below to get the latest and greatest!
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!
About the Author
Life loving, thrill seeking, Adventure chasing, hitch-hiking, nomadic Pad Thai fiend. Find me in the mountains, follow me through the jungle and brace yourself for mishaps if you’re daft enough to follow my blog GLOBE MAD. I can’t get enough of monkeys, bad yoga and noodles! When I’m not climbing mountains, chasing monkeys, abasing yoga and eating noodles I’m writing blogs to inspire other crazy cool intrepid types and taking photographs for my awfully superlative Instagram ‘globemademma’.