Have you ever just wanted to run away from all the clutter in your life and take a break? Spend some time in a peaceful place so satisfying to your brain and body that you would want to go there time and again? Vacations are meant to de-stress you out and give yourself all the time you have been craving for the whole year. You can work all the time and dedicate yourself to it, but you can’t go on a fiesta all the time. Holidays once in a while is really needed. I have found a bunch of vacation spots in India you can run away to every now and then. These are some of the most peaceful places to holiday in. Few of these places also provide a kind of ambience that makes you feel you aren’t even in India.
1. Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu
It is a union territory town bounded by the south-eastern state of Tamil Nadu. It is also known as “The French Town” as the architecture there reflects the stylings of the colonial times of the Portuguese, Dutch and French. The popular tourist destination has beautiful beaches and no hills or forests. It is quiet, clean and calm with scenic views of perfectly lined trees and heritage buildings. The best time to visit this place is between October and February- the climate is comparatively cooler and also perfect for sightseeing, beach fun and water sports.
2. Alappuzha, Kerala
Also known as “Alleppey”, it is the Venice (Italy) of India. This popular destination in the south takes you on an enchanting journey through the backwaters of Kerala. You can enjoy panoramic views of lush fields, ducks and birds as you glide through the water. This trip will provide you with the same pleasure as being in Venice. Alappuzha beach with a 137-year-old pier overlooking the sea and a lighthouse built by the Portuguese from the 17th century adds to the magic of the place.
The Sanskrit word ‘Lakshadweep’ translates to ‘a hundred thousand islands’. It is the smallest union territory of India comprising 36 islands. The blue waters, rich marine life, beautiful landscape and breath-taking environment is captivating and enthralling like Maldives. The best time to visit this place is from October to mid-May. However, the entry is restricted and a permit is required by the Lakshadweep Administration.
4. Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh
Popularly known as “Mini Switzerland”, the beautiful weather in this place coupled with the green surroundings makes it a popular honeymoon and holiday destination. The dense pine and deodar forest surrounding the Khajjiar Lake adds to the charm of the hill station. The major attraction of the place is the island that floats, meadows, stunning landscapes and shimmering lakes. The best time to visit Khajjiar in summers is from April till July, monsoon is from July till August and winter is from October till March.
5. Goa -The Hippie Paradise
Goa is on every traveler’s list for the sense of peace and euphoria it offers. The ultimate party lovers’ paradise, the haven where parties only start and ends only when you walk out. The must-visit places of Goa are Arambol beach, UV bar for some night life, Cape Town Café, Casino Royale and Music festivals. It may be mediocre for some as everyone holidays there so it has lost its charm of excitement for them, but certain parts of Goa still retain the vibe of 60s down to the toes.
6. The great Rann of Kutch, Gujarat
Located in the Thar Desert in Kutch district of Gujarat, it highly resembles the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. The endless white salt crystals are a sight to behold during the day and glamorous to watch under the stars. The serene desert is best enjoyed during its annual fest, which attracts tourists from across the globe. This year the festival called “Rann Utsav” will be held from November 1st to February 20th 2019 which are also the favored months for the time of visit.
7. Coorg, Karnataka
Officially known as “Kodagu” and casually as “Scotland of India”, our country seems to have a certain affinity for the Scottish Landscape. Coorg is also the largest producer of coffee in India. The emerald hills are a close match to the sprawling ranges of Scotland. It is mountainous, misty and cool. March and April are the favored months to experience the valley shrouded in white flowers whereas October to March is the best time for adventure activities, especially trekking.
8. Lavasa, Maharashtra
Lavasa is a private, planned city being built near Pune. It is stylistically based on the Italian city of Portofino, with a street and several buildings with the city’s name. This city is turning out to be a new hangout for people looking for a small trip away from hustle and bustle of hectic city life. The main attractions of this place are The Promenade for food lovers, the Lake and Vortex SpalshPad for water sports and The Dasvino Town and Country Club for recreational activities. It is a holiday destination in the middle of lush green hills. The best time to visit Lavasa is September and March.
9. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Due to the tropical climate, tourists visit the islands all through the year. Port Blair, the capital city, is also the gateway to the pristine islands that inhabit 270 species of birds. The islands have some of the best scuba diving spots around. Coral reefs supporting marine life such as sharks and rays make for popular diving (sea walk) and snorkeling sites. Plus everything around you is tinted blue and green, so no need to dish out for a flight to Phi Phi Islands in Thailand. There is no certain time of the year which is best to visit the island as it experiences moderate weather almost throughout the year.
10. Nainital, Uttrakhand
Nainital is a paradise for nature lovers. The most captivating aspect is its hilly surroundings and the poised lake. With the hills in the backdrop and the mesmerizing lake, the place offers a calm experience to its visitors. There are exciting activities like boating, shopping, picnic spots, rope-way and trekking/hiking. During the night-time, the straight road with innumerable varieties of shops on one side and the lake with light reflecting on it on the other side makes it the most beautiful view ever! On top of that, there are benches for you to sit on facing the lake. All friends and families come out of their shells to walk on the road and children skate. The moment is priceless. March to June is the best time to visit as it constitutes the onset of summer season which is considered pleasant for sight-seeing and boat rides.
11. Aamby Valley City, Maharashtra
It is a township developed in the Pune district in the state of Maharashtra. Aamby Valley is decked with swanky resorts and plush bungalows that cater to tourists seeking leisure holidays. One can indulge in various activities like exploring the greenery around by foot or long drive, water sports, adventure and recreational sports. It has its very own three enormous artificial lakes that are a must-see. The atmosphere is sure to put your chaotic mind to rest. The best time to visit Aamby Valley City is from October to February when the weather is just perfect to stroll around and sit outside.
12. Shillong, Meghalaya
Known as “Scotland of the East”, Shillong has to be one of the most sought after tourist destinations in today’s times. It has a colourful tribal heritage that reflects in its food habits and different cuisines. Eating joints like Trattoria, Jadoh, La Galerie, Sao Aiom and Café Shillong Heritage deserve a mention. Pay a visit to Elephant Falls, Shillong Peak, Police Bazar and most importantly The Root bridge which is a famous attraction. Shillong has plenty to offer for the travelers and music lovers- visit during a music concert and you will know why it is called India’s Rock Capital.
13. Gangtok, Sikkim
Gangtok, the exotic capital of Sikkim, is a Buddhist haven and the epitome of neatness. Its main hub is M.G Marg which is a long stretch of open promenade and a mall area. This litter and smoke free zone has many glittering shops, restaurants and bars lined up on both sides. Main attractions here are Kanchenjunga snow peaks and sunsets, monasteries and gompas with amazing architecture, museums, gardens, art and craft, rides etc. The best time to visit Gangtok is either between April and May (summer) or October and November (autumn).
14. Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
It is the capital of Himachal Pradesh’s northern Indian state in the foothills of the Himalayas. It is famously known for the handicraft shops that line The Mall Road, a pedestrian avenue as well as the Lakkar Bazaar, a market specializing in wooden toys and crafts, the toy train ride from Kalka Station to Shimla. Visiting the apple garden is a must which it is popularly known for. You can also go for nature walk, fishing, ice-skating, skiing and much more. The best time to visit Shimla is between March and June as the weather is quite pleasant and perfect for outdoor activities.
15. Kochi, Kerela
Cochin, the queen of Arabian Sea, has forever been on every traveler’s wish list and brought people from faraway lands to its shores. It exhibits glimpses of its glorious past through its European churches, palaces, cemeteries, alleyways and much more. The spice markets, dotting islands, backwaters and beaches, which are a short drive-away, have slowly made their way to to-do lists. The most innovative ways Cochin looked at tourism were art exhibitions and eco tours. The mix of colonialism and contemporary ideas in tourism has made it one of the most sought after destinations in India. The best time to visit Kochi is during the monsoon season (October to February) as the weather remains cool and pleasant.
It’s time to pack your bags and run away to one of these places. Go incognito for a while and enjoy your anonymity. Keep calm and travel in peace.