Let me urge you to think differently — for winter are a magical time in India and the entire country is open for exploration. And whatever may be your winter wants, here you go
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by Aditi Balbir
Leisure travel is seasonal — for we oft think about best times to visit a place. Beaches are deemed appropriate for winters, hill getaways a popular choice for the summers. Let me urge you to think differently — for winter are a magical time in India and the entire country is open for exploration. And whatever may be your winter wants, its all here -
- Head to the hills — Narkanda — This hamlet is perched high above Shimla, at an altitude of 8600 ft and so it is natural that it snow during this time. But the stays are equipped, and it’s the perfect time to sit cozy in the all-wooden chalets, sip warm apple cider and see the white extravaganza outdoors. For the more adventurous, it is the second most popular ski-ing destination in all of India. I must recommend the Yak tours, and the piping hot Maggie stations atop the peaks, making it quite the winter sojourn.
- Prefer the beach? — Give Goa a miss, try Kumta — This beach vacation lies a 3.5 hour journey south of Goa. And has everything — gorgeous beaches, clear waters, estuaries and forests and even a little bit of the hills. I don’t exaggerate when I say its India’s very own Greece — little islands spotting the oceans, Private hatch tours, eclectic cafes and splendid sea food. And like Greece, you can see the bioluminescence, small creatures that light up the water at night. (Recall Life of Pi?)
- Want a heritage holiday? — Orchha it is — Known for its temples and forts, this town is sadly more explored by foreigners than our own folk. Just a 15 minute drive from Jhansi, Orchha offers all things experience — picnics by the gushing river, rafting, heritage tours, foreign food and beautiful resorts. The wonderful Chanderi weavers are nearby for the shopaholics, as is the alligator reserve for river safaris. Orchha has a strong story and it will draw you in like you wont expect.
- Safari’s are the new draw, head to the less explored Panna — Tiger spotting is alluring domestic travellers to explore the wildlife parks, and several of them are already quite famous. Panna, the forest closest to Khajuraho is strangely less explored. I can tell you that the forest is quieter, the stays more exotic and the naturalists as good as any other park. But the most scenic proposition is the Pandava falls and caves, something different and definitely explore worthy.
So whatever you choose, hills, beaches, heritage or wildlife, make sure of only one thing. Leave your stories, take only your memories. Be responsible.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house.
Originally Published in Businessworld