If you want to explore something beyond the mountains or the beach, consider travelling to the many lesser known islands of India. While Andamans and Lakshadweep are evergreen choices, here are some of the most serene islands from the length and breadth of the country for you to consider:

Munroe Island, Kerala

Truly a gem on the magical backwaters of Kerala, the 8-island cluster of Munroe Island is a fascinating network of water canals that helps integrate the various waterbodies of the region. The top attractions of the island include Thenmala, M.G Beach, Jatayu Rock, Varkala Beach, Chavara, Shendurni Wildlife Sanctuary and Palaruvi Falls. Staying overnight in a houseboat on the island is highly recommended.

Majuli Island, Assam

The biggest river island in the world, Majuli is truly a natural wonder that must not be missed. The locals here follow a unique culture and lifestyle, and anybody interested in the diverse communities of India would enjoy their time in Majuli. Out of the twenty-one Satras (monasteries) here, the best one’s include Dakhinpat Satra, Kamalabari Satra, and Garamurh Satra.

Netrani Island, Karnataka

Also known as the Pigeon Island, Netrani can be reached via the temple town of Murdeshwar, right off the beautiful Konkan Coast. The scenic island, along with affording breath-taking views of the Arabian Sea from its jagged rocks and cliffs, also offers the perfect opportunity to spot exotic marine life such as whale sharks and butterfly fish. You can indulge in scuba-diving and go sightseeing in this gorgeous island.

Rameswaram Island, Tamil Nadu

With breathtaking views of the Bay of Bengal, Rameswaram Island, right off the eastern coast of Tamil Nadu, is connected to the mainland by one of the longest sea-bridges of the country. The island is a must-visit for its gorgeous beaches and temples dotting the landscape. Some famous attractions include Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple, Agniteertham, Gandamadana Parvatham and Dhanushkodi.

Chorao Island, Goa

The largest island in Goa, Chorao Island is a tribute to the Portuguese colonial rule. It’s a wonderland for bird-spotting, with Goa’s largest bird sanctuary – Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary – also situated here. Chorao Island is famous for its abundant flora as well; especially the thick mangroves. Other attractions to explore include the numerous 16th-century Catholic churches as well as some beautiful Hindu temples.