If you’ve ever dreamed about visiting Europe one day but find the journey too far and too time-consuming, there might be a more practical solution to your problem. I have been writing too much on how to make your trip cheap and affordable to make your honeymoon and vacation worthwhile. This post is dedicated to those Indians who want their trip to be even cheaper and don’t want to step out of India. Here are some of the places in Europe that are easily replaced by domestic Indian ones.
Switzerland and Khazziar
Rolling green hills and lush forests of Switzerland are like something out of a fairy tale. It’s absolutely dreamy! Now, a lot of people from India who don’t have the budget (or will) to travel all the way to Europe just to see Switzerland can instead opt for Khazziar. It bears a striking topographical resemblance and cleanliness to its European counterpart. Cedar trees rise all around this hill station, giving this place a perfect getaway vibe.
Look for it in Himachal Pradesh. Make your way to the Dholadhar mountain range in Chamba district and you won’t be able to tell the difference between Europe and India.
Read more: India’s Most Opulent Temples
In fact, the similarities between the two places are so great, that a Swiss officer visiting Khazziar in 1992 actually put a sign showing the distance to Switzerland from this hill station. If Swiss people can agree that Khazziar looks and feels like their homeland, then it must be true.
Read more: 2-Day Trips from Karnataka
France and Puducherry
Puducherry was put back on the map by the Hollywood mega-hit called Life of Pie. There was an upswell of people looking for the destination where the movie was filmed, wanting to relive the adventure of the young Pi.
Also known as Pondicherry, it bears a great resemblance to the actual country of France. Architecture, language and some say even climate is similar to what you usually encounter in the European country. The many temples and shrine show the more spiritual side of Puducherry and the devotion of its people to Hinduism. The lovely Karaikal Church is very reminiscent of the European ones, and so is the railway station. If you happen upon this part of India, also make sure to take a stroll along the magnificent Mahe riverside!
Venice and Alappuzha, Kerela
One of the largest cities of Kerala, Alappuzha is said to be Venice of India. While it’s not as obviously similar to its European counterpart as Puducherry and Khazziar are, it can still substitute for Venice quite nicely.
The very name of this place and its nickname (Aleppy) are suggestive of its geographic features. What it means is basically ‘the land surrounded by a web of rivers’. It was Lord Curzon that has bestowed upon it the title of the ‘Venice of the East’ due to all the canals, lagoons, beaches, and backwaters.
Aleppy is really big on paddy cultivation, enabled by all the wet and fertile soil. Make sure to drop by one of the paddy fields if you haven’t seen one before. Houseboats are also all over the place, which is not that strange considering the number of waterways here.
Venice and Udaipur
The city of Udaipur also claims to have some similarities with Venice. That is, they claim that the palace of Udaipur is reminiscent to some parts of the European city.
It is also one of the places that are known as the Venice of the East. It is also called the city of lakes. The breathtaking Pichola Lake is well-known for the magnificent palace on one of its islands called Jag Niwas. It is a true masterwork and attracts tourists from all over the world, not just India mind you. Along the banks of the lake, you can see the grand palace, just known as the City Palace accompanied by Sajjah Garh, or the Monsoon Palace.
Venice and Srinagar
By now, you must be wondering why it is that so many places in India claim to be the Venice of the East (this is the third one already). The fact of the matter is that a lot of places in India have canals or lakes, and houses (and houseboats) lining these bodies of water. People then immediately jump to conclusions and give their town all sorts of lavish titles that are often far-fetched. Srinagar is much more realistic in that matter, and ‘humbly’ calls itself – the Venice of Kashmir.
The truth be told, Srinagar does have plenty of lakes to boast. Thanks to Nigeen Lake, Dal Lake, Wular Lake, and Manasbal Lake, it claims large freshwater basins that really do give it this sort of a Venetian vibe.
Trakai Castle and JalMahal, Jaipur
The Trakai Castle has been built on water and is surrounded by 5 lakes.
It is one of the most famous spots in Lithuania. What’s interesting about Trakai Castle is that it is the only castle in Eastern Europe that’s situated on an island.
Similarly, Trakai Castle in Eastern Europe, the Jal Mahal in Jaipur has also been built on water. It is possibly the most peaceful sight of a low rise symmetrical palace floating in the center of Sagar Lake.
The palace has a further four submerged story under the water and holds strong as a technological and design marvel in the history of architecture.
Pictures of Top 3 Places in India that are similar to Europe
For the final stage of this article, we’d like to present you with pictures of three more places in India that bear a striking similarity to locations in Europe.
Big Ben, London and the Rajabai Tower, Mumbai
Scotland and Shillong
Arc de Triomphe, Paris and The India Gate, New Delhi
Obviously, there are even more places that can be paralleled, as Europeans have had a lot of influence in India. What locations do you find to be similar and would you like to visit any of these places?