Goa is passé, people. I mean, if you haven’t been there yet (WHAT? You haven’t been to GOA yet?) then that’s the first place you should visit. But then there are others who have been there and done that so many times that they’re sick of Goa now. The point is, there are a lot of other beautiful places you can choose to visit this holiday season.
Some of these places are beautiful, some absolutely breath-taking. And you owe it to yourself as a traveller to visit all of them at least once in your lifetime.
God’s own country, Kerala, has a charm that is hard to put into words, but I shall try. The backwaters, a network of five large lakes linked by canals, both man-made and natural, fed by 38 rivers, and extending virtually half the length of the Kerala state, is absolute gold. About 1900 kms of water around you to give you the break you’ve been yearning the entire year.
How many states can you think of that boast of having beautiful tea gardens and gorgeous backwaters just a couple of hours apart from each other? Munnar is another precious gem that Kerala has. With the tea gardens and hills around you, the temperature here stays between 5 and 25 degree Celsius throughout the year. Talk about chilling!
A 3-hour drive from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, will lead to this sweet surprise called Pondicherry or Puducherry. The French quarters, in particular, is a city in itself. With colonial townhouses painted in yellow and orange, the roads spic and span, the cobbled streets, the sea navy blue, it truly feels like you’ve entered a European Coastline. Must visit!
Lakshadweep is a string of 36 coral islands, approximately 300 kms off the coast of Kerala. However, 10 of these islands are inhabited mostly by fishermen, and travelers are only allowed on a few of them. As for how pretty this place is, I don’t think I need to answer that after this picture. Jaw dropping stunning!
The arid lands of Kutch creates a mosaic of exquisiteness which reflects the identity and spirit of the region. The flat, tortoise-shaped land (kachbo means tortoise in Gujarati), edged by the Gulf of Kachchh and Great and Little Ranns, is a seasonal salt marsh located in the Thar desert. It is the salt collected on the marshy land that gives the desert it’s beautiful white colour. If you plan to take a trip to this part of the country on a full moon in December, you will be witnessing Rann Utsav, a three-four day carnival arranged by the locals at various locales within Kutch.
Emperor Jehangir once famously said, "Kashmir, the rest is worthless". While I might not agree completely, I do agree there are only a few other places which even come close to the beauty of Kashmir. There is a reason why I haven’t mentioned a particular city here, because it’s that hard to choose a favourite. If there is heaven on earth, it’s Kashmir.
Auli is India’s premier skiing destination with thousands of enthusiasts travelling up there to experience the thrill of skiing down the slopes of the Himalayas. But skiing is not the only reason why it attracts tourists. Auli also provides for an amazing view of the Nanda Devi, India’s highest peak at 7,816 meters. Awesome!
Nestled between Arunachal’s mountainscape, Ziro is actually like a mythical kingdom. They say that Ziro is so beautiful, that anyone can be considered a photographer because of the picture-postcard landscapes it has to offer. This breath-taking place is also a must visit!
A backpacker’s paradise, Havelock Island offers everything you look for in a vacation. With snow-white virgin beaches, Havelock also boasts of some of the best diving locations in Asia. An absolute treat that this island is, some people choose to stay here for the entirety of their trip. Total serenity guaranteed.