Make The Most of Those Long Weekends…With Wanderlust!
Jan 12, 2018 4:12:40 AM
We all love to travel and take our little breaks every now and then. But once or twice a year ‘annual vacations’ can only do so much. Sometimes, the only thing that helps us battle those dreadful Monday blues and keeps...
Well, good news my thirsty travellers! If we got you pumped up with our list of destinations-to-die-for for the New Year’s, then you’re going to be even more psyched with what you’re about to hear next! 2018 is the year of – yes, the Chinese Zodiac, the ‘Dog’ – but also, and more importantly, long weekends!
So just where exactly should you be spending all those long upcoming weekends, with one just around the corner when India will celebrate its 68th Republic Day? Well, that’s exactly what we’re here to help you out with!
Take your pick from any of the below super fun, power-packed holiday packages that include some of the most amazing destinations in India :
From preserving the world’s most magnificent but fast depleting “big cat” – the tiger to boasting the infamous yoga center and pilgrimage site that lured even the Beatles’ in 1968 – Rishikesh, the state of Uttarakhand is the perfect getaway for a long weekend. Just a one-hour flight from Delhi, you can spend a fun, adventurous 3-4 jam-packed days here. Start off by booking yourself on an early morning safari at the world famous wildlife reserve Jim Corbett National Park and be on the lookout for the elusive striped beast - the Bengal tiger. Enjoy spotting elephants and leopards on the banks of the Ramganga Reservoir along with hundreds of species of exotic birds. Unveil your wild side at the Valley of Flowers National Park and appreciate India’s rich abundance of flora and fauna. Dare to trek across the Kuari Pass or Kedarkantha which offer up some tough challenges and amazing panoramic views. Finally indulge your inner adventurer in some bungee jumping, river rafting and camping in Rishikesh. Once you take the jump off the mountains of Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, you’ll be filled with an unbeatable zest and enthusiasm that will last you a lifetime.
The first thing you must do when you get to Ladakh is camp at the infamous Pangong-Tso: the breathtakingly beautiful lake from the movie ‘3 Idiots’ and Ladakh’s number one hotspot. Visit during winter and you can ice skate on the lake’s completely frozen surface. Trek up two of the world’s mightiest mountain ranges, the Himalayas and Karakoram, dare to drive into the Khardungla Pass (you’re lucky if you come out of here alive!), enjoy an Arabian night in the sand dunes of the Nubra Valley, and defy gravity at the Magnetic Hill, where - believe it or not – vehicles have been seen moving uphill slowly on their own when left at the base of the hill with the brakes unlocked. A supernatural phenomenon of nature or just supernatural? Ladakh is such an extreme place that you’ll probably suffer from sunstroke and frostbite at the same time! Visit the Spituk Gompa and Namgyal monasteries for some inner peace and spiritual awakening or enjoy the clear night skies and some star gazing at the Lamayuru monastery. Try a different kind of safari on the back of a double-humped Bactrian Camel at the sand dunes of Hunder. Like Maggi? You haven’t had a real taste of Ladakh until you’ve enjoyed a plate of your favourite 2-minute noodles at the highest cafeteria in the world, ‘Maggi Point’ or some yummy yak cheese momos. Also, don’t leave Ladakh without spotting the elusive snow leopard, a resident of these regions.
Queens of Three States – Coorg, Wayanad, and Ooty
For the perfect weekend getaway where you can be at one with nature head to Kerala’s very own paradise – Wayanad, rich in thick forests and wildlife. The Bandipur National Park and the Mudumalai National Park are home to some of India’s best wildlife including Asian elephants, tigers, egrets, and leopards. Go back in time to the Edakkal Caves where you will find ancient petroglyphs, some dating back to the Neolithic age. Wayanad is the perfect place to satisfy your thirst for wanderlust too. Try the night camping, trekking and cycling tours in the rugged mountainous regions. Head out to Banasura Sagar Dam for some boating and to the Sentinel Rock or the needle rock where the waterfalls are needle thin before plunging into sharp spikes of stone at the bottom. Coorg is also famous for its cascading Abbey Falls, Nagarhole National Park, and wildlife sanctuaries. Don’t miss a cup of steaming hot coffee on a chilly morning because the coffee here is ground from the beans from some of the best coffee plantations in the world. Finally, visit the Botanical Gardens of Ooty located on the slopes of Doddabetta peak and revel in the best of horticulture covering a whopping 22 hectares. Sip on a cup of traditional Ooty tea at the tea factory before packing up some of those delicious tea leaves for back home.
Where better to spend that long weekend than in the exotic, mystifying land of Rajasthan? Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, and Bikaner are the most tourist-y attractions in the land of sands, camels, and deserts. Appreciate the rich history of India etched on the walls of the Umaid Bhawan Palace and preserved in the art and architecture at Mehrangarh Fort. But before indulging in sightseeing, indulge your senses in a cup of masala chai or spiced tea – a comfort drink enjoyed by the locals here. Don’t miss witnessing the Jaisalmer Fort, located in Jaisalmer or the “Golden City”, that stands apart with its yellow sandstone architecture and ornate temples. Ride a camel’s back on a half day desert safari then come back to your luxury camping site in the middle of Jaisalmer’s deserts with your beau. Enjoy the cultural folk dance, live music, and campfire. Camping in luxury and Swiss tents are very popular here because you get to enjoy the rustic and raw side of Rajasthan’s deserts in very modern, well-equipped tents. And the experience is elevated to a whole other level when you’re sharing it with someone special. Last but not least pay tribute to the Junagarh Fort in Bikaner which dates all the way back to the 16th century and that also houses the Prachina Museum where royal portraits and traditional textiles are on full display. Play with adorable baby camels at Asia’s biggest camel farm, the National Research Centre on Camel. End a perfect day with an authentic Rajasthani dinner that should include dal bati churma and laal maas with rotis under the starry Bikaner night sky. There are so many things to discover in Rajasthan that a weekend here will leave you with nothing but wonderful memories to last a lifetime and leave you wanting more.
Take your pick from any of the above awesome destinations for the next long weekend that might be just around the corner. So what are you waiting for? Pick up that phone and start making your reservations for a long weekend filled with wanderlust!