You have the perfect excuse to escape! With Dussehra fast approaching, you probably can’t wait to take full advantage of the long weekend (30 September – 2 October), and travel. The marvellous headiness of this popular cultural festival matches the holiday vibe you have started to get into. Get packing and celebrate with a spa break, romantic getaway or a great weekend holiday package to your favourite beach or hill destination.
Are you ready?
The bustling IT hub of India is famous for its myriad weekend getaways. Soothe your weary soul and take your pick from amazing holidays of history, culture, adventure, natural beauty and plenty other options.
DISTANCE: 470 kms (by road)
A charming holiday retreat in the South, Kodaikanal is one of the quieter hill stations with incredible viewpoints – located south of Palani Hills. Covered in thick forest and waterfalls, the lush green landscape and mist covered hills greet you everywhere, no matter when you travel here. A popular drop-in in Kodaikanal is its huge star shaped lake, thronged with tourists by boat. Stroll leisurely among old churches and treat yourself to delicious homemade chocolates.
DISTANCE: 485 kms (by road)
For a fabulous beach vacation, head to this famous pilgrimage centre. Known for its temples and stretch of sandy beaches and clear waters, Gokarna has grown into a major tourist destination and haven for backpackers. Today, there are also many concrete guest houses with attached bathrooms, and several 4 star resorts.
DISTANCE: 60 kms (by road)
The best, cheapest way to relieve everyday stress from a hectic life. At 4851 m above sea level, Nandi Hills is a popular picnic spot with breathtaking scenery, rare flora, and cool fresh air. The morning breeze of the land is preferred as it feels most rejuvenating for the mind and body.
DISTANCE: 215 kms (by road)
A jungle safari is a good bet for a memorable vacation. Kabini is one of the best wildlife sanctuaries, located on the banks of its quaint namesake river. It is home to a rich variety of flora, avifauna and fauna species – a big allure for environment lovers. Kabini Lake attracts herds of elephants and wild animals. You can also look forward to a weekend of camping, birdwatching, boating and many photo ops.
Short trips from Delhi are anticipated by everyone; there isn’t a dearth of thrilling options for getaways. From Royal Rajasthan and magnificent Uttar Pradesh to the scenic hill stations of the Himalayas, travellers are spoiled for choice.
DISTANCE: 590 kms (by road)
One of the best places to visit at this time of year, Jodhpur is dotted with a number of tourist attractions including temples, lakes, museums and palaces – all with an old-world charm. Visit the local markets and villages, and have a chit-chat with the warm and friendly locals dressed in colourful traditional attire and chunky silver jewellery. If you can stay longer, go for five-day affair Jodhpur RIFF on October 5 – featuring over 350 Rajasthani and international musicians at the legendary Mehrangarh Fort.
DISTANCE: 480 kms (by road)
Stunning hill station McLeodganj can be found nestled amidst the mighty hills of Dhauladhars in the outskirts of Dharamshala, at 6831 ft above sea level. ‘Little Tibet of India’ is known for its majestic landscapes, fascinating culture and trekking trails – specially to Triund Hill, for amazing views of Kangra Valley.
DISTANCE: 250 kms (by road)
High energy festival time calls for a visit to the ‘yoga capital of the world’. The tranquil attractiveness of this place is an experience truly yearned for. The holy destination (from time immemorial) also offers many opportunities for adventure, particularly river rafting in the Ganges – most thrilling of them all.
Electrifying and ever-dynamic Mumbai is surrounded by the beauty of the Western Ghats. With bonus access to the azure Arabian Sea waters, India’s largest metropolitan offers holiday goers a plethora of weekend trips. Make the most of your time at misty hills, peaceful beaches, ancient forts, fun trails, waterfalls and many other natural locales.
DISTANCE: 610 kms (by road)
Beach therapy is the best therapy. Beloved Goa plays host to a number of different experiences for all kinds of moods. Rent a scooter when you’re there, sip some Goan feni and experience the famed susegaad life.
DISTANCE: 85 kms (by road)
There are about at least 28 look out points in tiny Matheran. This beautiful eco sensitive region and pedestrian hill station is loved by locals because it is untouched by the buzzing of vehicles and overwhelming city life. Recharge with a ‘forest walk’ at Jambol. This incredible forest destination feels like wonderland in the rains. For adventure enthusiasts, there’s also opportunities for rock climbing, rappelling, trekking and paragliding.
DISTANCE: 85 kms (by road)
A famous romantic getaway/honeymoon spot. Lonavala is the place to be during the monsoons. Its climate, ancient caves & forts, waterfalls and beautiful lakes make it the most sought after destination in India.
It’s durga puja time! But it doesn’t mean you don’t get to sneak away to these gorgeous destinations for a little ‘me time’.
DISTANCE: 638 kms (by road)
Nature lovers can’t get enough of this sleepy village. Samsing is an untouched rural destination, blessed with the lush tea gardens of Dooars, orange orchards and densely covered forest. Murti River is emerald green; adds a special charm to the panoramic vistas. About 4 kms ahead at Suntalekhola, find quaint tourist cottages to stay at. The most sought after trek from Suntalekhola leads you to the diverse wilderness of Neora Valley National Park.
DISTANCE: 670 kms (by road)
A remote Buddhist town on the Himalayan ridge, with clear skies and majestic views of the mountains (including Kanchenjunga!). With monasteries galore and serene residential areas, national parks and several trekking possibilities, Gangtok is the perfect place to head this Dussehra.