Tired of your hectic life and looking for a travel destination?make feeble attempts at soaking yourself in the local culture and in general try to unlearn, learn and relearn. Break the shackles of the old school and take the road less travelled. You live only once so make the best of it by travelling and taking out time to admire the world around you. With a vibrant and diverse country, India can be fascinating and yet also be pretty challenging for a traveller. To keep the spirit of travelling young and vibrant, this post aims to make people aware that there is much more than Taj Mahal in India to be seen.
1) Discover the sleepy island of Chorao :
In the heart of North Goa, this pseudo-archaic little island is gallanted by gentle backwaters, loved by migratory birds, and home to the friendliest locals. You can ferry yourselves to this island city and drive along the alluring and serene coastal lines and admire old Portuguese homes. You can chance upon La Fayette, a little neighbourhood eatery, and delight yourself with drooling snacks and be fascinated with stories of island-living. Legend has it that a stolen statue of Christ the King mysteriously appeared overnight on a hilltop in Chorao; a worthwhile hike for aerial views of Goa’s skyline.You may take a ferry from Pomburpa’s ferry point to reach Chorao.
2) Uncover rural Udaipur:
If the old city of Udaipur, with its open drains and explosion of “hello madam” touts, is as big a turn off for you, escape to Mountain Ridge Homestay nestled on a forested hill away from the city. Lovingly and tastefully built by Piers and his team, this is your gateway to rural Udaipur, its stunning mountain vistas, and quaint tribal villages. You won’t see the city with the same lens again.
3) Mount Abu at it's best :
With the honour of being the lone hill station in Rajasthan, Mount Abu attracts a pretty handsome amount of tourists from adjoining states. Mount Abu becomes one of the best places to go for summer holidays in India as well as one of the hot favourites for honeymoon in North-West India. Perched atop granite peak and surrounded by the lush Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary, this hill town in Rajasthan is an important religious place for both Hindus and Jains. With home to over 80 exquisitely carved temples, most striking of which are the Jain Temples at Delwara - some of which are built over a 1000 years ago, Mount Abu sees constant flow of pilgrims throughout the year.
4) Off-roading into the Thar Desert:
If a camel ride is not your thing, go off-roading into the Thar Desert for glimpses of real desert life – young boys walking their camels, women carrying water from the well, men working on farms . If you are lucky, close to Desert National Park, you may even spot a Great Indian Bustard; only 300 of these endangered species remain in the world!
5)Indulge in breakfast by a stream at Mussoorie:
Imagine sitting in the middle of the water, dipping your feet in cool, crystal clear water, sipping on a cup of tea while you’re served piping hot breakfast. Pure bliss is one way to describe it. Explore the cobbled roads of Landour. Mussoorie and Landour are twin towns; in fact, Landour seems like the prettier cousin as you walk along the cobbled roads. When in Landour, a visit to ‘Prakash Brothers’ is a must. Established in 1927, this bakery is said to have been patronised by generations of the Nehru family.
6) Kanatal : Enjoy Himalayan view from 8500 feet:
Kanatal is a city in the state of Uttarakhand, India. Located 78 km from Dehradun, capital of the state. It is 38 km from Mussoorie and 12 km from Chamba. It is on the Chamba-Mussoorie highway and nearly 300 km from Delhi. Be it with friends, solo on an adventure or as a nature lover, discovering Kanatal's the beauty , enjoying the crisp mountain air, trekking, bird-watching will make it for an action-packed weekend. If you’re looking to enjoy some of the best Himalayan views, relax and even get a dose of adventure, this is a place you can keep in mind. For the nature lover in you, this will definitely be one of the most scenic places to go to. Whether it’s adventure, wildlife, relaxation – it’s got something for everyone. Next time you’re looking for a getaway in the mountains, Kanatal could be that perfect place.
7) Jog Falls:
Jog Falls is the magnificent waterfall in the Western Ghats just 100 Kms from Shimoga city. This beautiful waterfall is formed when Sharavati river plunges from a height of 829 feet in four magnificent cascades namely Raja, Rani, Roarer and Rocket. This is the tallest waterfalls in India that is situated in the dense evergreen forests of Western Ghats. The water does not stream down the rocks, instead it thunders down the slope losing contact with the rocks. The lush green surroundings enhance the beauty of the waterfalls. It is also known as Gerusoppaa Falls. The best time to visit the Jog is in winter when the sky is clear of the mist. The lush green surroundings enhance the beauty of the waterfalls. It is also known as Gerusoppaa Falls. The best time to visit the Jog is in winter when the sky is clear of the mist. The place is well connected by rail and road. It is just 100 kms from Shimoga on NH26.The place is well connected by rail and road. It is just 100 kms from Shimoga on NH26.The place is well connected by rail and road. It is just 100 kms from Shimoga on NH26.The place is well connected by rail and road. It is just 100 kms from Shimoga on NH26.
8) Road Trip to Tala Cauvery: Origin of River Kaveri in Coorg:
Coorg is not just a small town, it is a large geographical area, spread over hundreds of square kilometers. The Bhagamandala Temple is 33 km from the Madikeri town and the journey itself is so rewarding that you forget about everything else. A few kilometers before the Talacauvery is the ancient temple of Bhagamandala, situated where Kaveri is joined by two tributaries, the Kannike, and the mythical Sujyoti river. The temple is dedicated to Bhagandeshwara the local name of Lord Shiva and a place to be cherished for the devotee in you with utter amounts of relaxation.
9) Forever Tranquil Munnar :
Stunningly mesmerising, Munnar is a heavenly tourist destination in Kerala, blessed with tranquillity, a nice weather, various tourist attractions and splendid scenery. Nestled at an elevation of 6000 feet above the sea level in Idukki district, Munnar was also popular during the British era as a summer resort. Away from regular city chaos, Munnar lies amidst the lush Western Ghats and is known to be the confluence of the three rivers Kundaly, Madhurapuzha and Nallathanni. Munnar is also quite popular amidst adventure enthusiasts and offer opportunities for trekking, cycling, mountaineering, boating, elephant rides, fishing and so on. Eravikulam National Park, Anamudi Peak, Mattupetty, Tea Museum, Helicopter tours, Horseback riding, visit to top station are some of the other popular attractions here.
10) Piety Tawang :
One of the least populated towns in Arunachal Pradesh, Tawang is one of the most sought –after destinations in summer in India ideally visited in May and June before the arrival of Monsoon or after late September and in October. The need for weather change is one of the most motivating reasons to plan a trip to Tawang. This region is quite famous for the imposing 14th century Tawang Monastery. It was built at the will of 5th Dalai Lama 'Merag Lama Lodre Gyamtso' and belongs to Mahayana sect of Buddhism.Tawang is a restricted area. Foreign nationals need inner line permits to visit this hill station and permits are available from major cities such as Delhi, Guwahati and Kolkata. Hot water springs - Pankang Teng Tso Lake - Sangeshar Lake - Sela Pass - Tawang Galden Namgyal Lhatse ate a few of the tourist spots you'll enjoy the most.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream and discover.
By Beeba M Singh