India is a land of many paradoxes. There are people who strive hard to earn their bread and butter here, and then there are people who have all the luxuries of life. There are cultures which are forward thinking and open to changes, and then there are cultures which strongly hold to their roots. There are places which are rugged and barren, and there are places which are blessed with lush greenery and amazing forests.
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And each one of those paradoxes of India is beautiful in its own right. You don’t need to go looking for beauty in India. You come across it while exploring the land. But for those who want to experience some of the most beautiful destinations of the country, here is a list of 100 beautiful tourist places in India that you cannot miss out on. (Part 2 of this list can be found here.)
Image Credit: Ramnath Bhat – Flickr
This beautiful place bears a very striking resemblance to Switzerland’s topography, the well known romanticizing location. Khajjiar is located at the foot of Dhauladkar , in the lap of Himalayas and is 2000 meters above sea level.
A beautiful panoramic view of the densely populated forests and the meadows and snowy peaks of Himalayas can be captured. Summer months are the best to visit this place as it wouldn’t be too cold and the hill station would be laden with beautiful flowers which makes it one of the most beautiful places to visit in India.
Places to visit: Best places to visit from Khajjiar
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Circled by towering peaks in the rich verdant valley of the Beas River, with mountain ventures waving from all directions, Manali is a year-round attraction. Travelers assemble here to hang out in the hippie villages around the main town; adventure seekers come for trekking, climbing, mountain biking, canyoning, paragliding, rafting and skiing; and much more. There are plenty tourist attractions surrounding the town like Rohtang Pass, Solang Valley, Beas Kund (Chandratal Lake), Chandrakhani Pass, Pandoh Dam in Kullu, Great Himalayan National Park and much more which would be an ideal for Indian families and honeymooners to experience the cool mountain air and a taste of snow.
Places to visit: 18 Best places to visit around Manali
Places to stay: 16 Best resorts in Manali
How to reach: You can take a flight to New Delhi from Mumbai. It’d cost you just INR 2,301. From Delhi, you can have a lot of options to go to Manali by road.
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Chained along a 12km hill, with sheer forested hills dropping away in all directions, the Himachal capital is a good appetite for an inspiring mountain vacation. Shimla is one of India’s renowned hill retreats, whirring with a sparkling flow of Indian tourists and full of reverberations of its former role as the summer capital of British India. As the city is surrounded with stunning views of the majestic Himalayan mountain and popular attractions like Summer Hills, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Annandale. The Scandal Point, Ridge, The Shimla State Museum, Naldehra and Shaily Peak, Chadwick falls, Kufri ,Chail and much more.
Things to do: 12 Best Things to do in Shimla
Places to visit: 15 Best Places to Visit in Shimla
Places to stay: 14 Best Resorts in Shimla
How to reach: Nearest airport to Shimla is Jabarhati airport but they have an unsure schedule so we’d suggest you to take a flight to Delhi from Mumbai and it could cost you just INR 2,301.
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Spread along the beautiful Parvati River and with mountain panoramas to the northeast, Kasol is the main traveler destination in the valley. It’s a small hamlet but almost infested with bakeries, reggae bars, and affordable guesthouses catering to a wide hipster Israeli crowd. It’s also a venue for trance parties emigrated from Goa and at any time an easy base for traversing the forested valley or just hanging out. Picturesque spots around this surreal town have some delightful tourist destinations like Kullu, Parvati River, Malana Village, Kheer Ganga Peak, Bhuntar Town, Manali and these are considered as the best tourist places in India.
Places to visit: 15 Best Places to Visit in Kasol
How to reach: Suggested flight: Mumbai to Delhi. Fares start from INR 2,301
Image Credit: Creative Commons
With its deceiving pine-clad canyons and scattered mountain panoramas, Dalhousie is another of those excellent hill destinations forgotten behind by the British. Dalhousie has never more been truly the same again. Still, it is a relatively steady getaway for honeymooners and families from the plains. Notably one of the best tourist attractions in India famous for its sightseeing places like Panch Pulla, Satdhara Falls, Khajjiar, Kalatop wildlife sanctuary, Subhash Baoli, Daikund Peak, Chamunda Devi Temple, St. John Church and much more.
Places to visit: 16 Best Places to Visit in Dalhousie
Places to stay: 12 Best Resorts in Dalhousie
How to reach: Take a flight from to New Delhi from Mumbai and it won’t burn your pockets. Fares start from just INR 2,301.
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Dharamshala resides in the topmost ranges of the Kangra valley in Himachal Pradesh and is located at an elevation of 1,475 meters above sea level. The city is enclosed by a thick blanket of deodar cedar trees and is one of the significant strongholds for the Tibetan exiles and also home to Dalai lama. The town’s outstanding picturesque surroundings and the residence of the Dalai Lama have made the township a conventional tourist center, both for the Indians and the foreign tourists with sightseeing attractions like McLeod Ganj, Masrur, Kangra Museum, Kangra Fort, Dal Lake, Namgyal Monastery and much more.
Things to do: 20 Best Things to do in Dharmshala
Places to visit: 15 Best Places to Visit in Dharmshala
Places to stay: 14 Best Resorts in Dharmshala
How to reach: The nearest airport is Gaggal airport but we’d suggest you to take a flight to New Delhi to avoid the uncertainty of the flights. Fares start from INR 2,301
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Bir is a tiny mountain hamlet in northern Himachal Pradesh with a massive, well-settled Tibetan community. Set facing the backdrop of the Dhauladhar Range of the Indian Himalayas, the town is charming, despite the debris scattered on the roadsides and streams of the Tibetan Colony are an unfortunate adverse to its golden-roofed temples, and to the greenery of Upper Bir and the neighboring villages. The Tibetan Colony is actually in the village of Chowgan. There are tons of activities and sightseeing spots like Sherab Ling Monastery, Bir Tea Factory, Chokling monastery, Deer Park Institute, Dharmalaya Institute, Tibetan Colony, and Bir Road.
Things to do: 20 Best Things to do in Bir- Billing
Jammu and Kashmir
8. Kashmir Valley
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Kashmir valley is no doubt the most beautiful tourist places in India. The heaven on earth tag is always linked to Kashmir for its evergreen landscapes and snow-filled mountains.
A visit to Kashmir should definitely be included in your bucket list of every nature lover. The Shalimar gardens, the Dal Lake and the shikaras and gulmarg are the utmost attractions here.
If you are an adrenaline junkie and want to explore the thrilling nature then mountaineering and river rafting are good adventure activities in Kashmir. The perfect time to visit the Kashmir valley is between the months of March and October.
Image Source: Muzaffar Bukhari – Flickr
Image Source: Michal Svec – Flickr
Things to do: 5 Best Things to do in Kashmir valley
Package: Women’s Tour To Kashmir Valley
How to reach: You can take a flight from New Delhi to Jammu. Fares start from INR 2,590
Spectacularly rugged, parched mountains wrap this enchanting, Buddhist ex-kingdom. Picture-perfect Buddhist monasteries climactic crown rocky lands among pale stupas and meditational mani walls coated with myriad mantra-inscribed pebbles. Ladakh’s remarkably well-balanced traditional society has much to teach the West in terms of ecological awareness. With some of the most stunning tourist places in India like Leh, Pangong Lake, Magnetic Hill, Nubra Valley, Tso Moriri Lake, Lamayuru are well know across the world. This makes for unforgettable landscapes but beware that road access requires crossing tortuous high passes which close altogether from around October to May.
How to reach: There’s a direct flight from Delhi to Leh. it would be a good option. Fares start from INR 2,863
Pine binding Gulmarg is the nearest India gets to a ski resort. It’s not so much a town as a twisting 4km-long loop of road ringing the undulating ‘Meadow of Flowers’ for which it’s named. Gulmarg is mostly fancied by travelers. The go to destination for types of travelers, be it family, kids, and couples, Gulmarg is, however, mostly favored by Family, Couple. There are many tourist attractions in Gulmarg like Gondola Lift, Gulmarg Ski Area, Golf Course, Avantiswami Temple, Apharwat Peak, Baba Reshi Shrine, Khilanmarg, Tangmarg, Verinag, Alpather Lake, Gulmarg Biosphere Reserves, Ferozpore Nallah and much more.
Pacakges: Kashmir Skiing Expedition at Gulmarg
11. Valley of Flowers
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The Valley of Flowers is a national park located in the upper reaches of the Himalayas, in the state of Uttarakhand is a must visit tourist place in India. The park is a true paradise for botanists and anybody else who loves the glory of nature. It stands true to its name, with several species of exotic flowers to be seen here.
Iamge Source: Prashant Ram – Flickr
While for the most part the valley remains covered with snow, during the summer months, it comes alive with a riot of colors which makes it one of the beautiful places in India. Expectedly, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But you need to cover a slightly difficult trek in order to feel the bliss of this national park.
How to reach: Dehradun airport is the nearest one from the Valley of flowers. Take a flight from New Delhi. Fares start from INR 1,975
12. Roopkund Lake
Image Source: Sanjeev Asher – Flickr
The Himalayan region is blessed with several gorgeous high altitude lakes. But the one which catches the maximum attention is the Roopkund Lake, gorgeous, and shrouded in mystery. The lake is situated at a height of about 5,000 meters above sea level in Uttaranchal’s Chamoli District. During the summer season, when the ice melts in the lake, you can see several hundred corpses floating in the lake.
The skeletons of the corpses have been well preserved because f the cold climatic conditions. Scientific evidence suggests that the corpses date back to around 12th century, but nobody knows the real story behind the mass deaths. Roopkund Lake is probably the only place on earth which continues to be beautiful despite the presence of about hundred skeletons
Packages: Trekking Expedition Packages in Roopkund
Rishikesh is found at a range of 24 km from Haridwar. It lies in the lower Himalayas. The sacred river Ganga is truly astonishing and breathtaking which enhances the elegance of the area. Rishikesh is pretty impressive as the surroundings are encircled by lush greenery and graceful environment. There are many tourists attractions like Lakshman Jhula, Haridwar, Shivpuri, Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, Parmarth Niketan, Ram Jhula, Triveni Ghat, Vashishta Gufa and much more.
Places to visit: 27 Best Places to visit in Rishikesh
Places to stay: 25 Best Resorts in Rishikesh
How to reach: Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the nearest to Rishikesh. You can take a flight from New Delhi. It’d cost you as low as INR 1,975
Uttarakhand is blessed with a bounty of rustic beauty and Auli is one of the fascinating places in all of Uttarakhand. Auli is known for its enthralling ski retreats and beautiful surroundings. Encircled by snow-covered mountains of the majestic Himalayas, this rugged land flourishes with fascinating scenes of oak-fringed inclines and delightful rich coniferous forests. At an average elevation of 2800 meters, this is one of the few world-class ski retreats in India. Some of the well-known attractions surrounding the vicinity are Auli Artificial Lake, Joshimath, Winter Ski Resort, Trishul Peak and much more.
Places to visit: 10 Best Places to visit in Auli
Places to stay: Best Resorts in Auli
Packages: Camping and Adventure Activities
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Packed around a wide, lush volcanic lake, Nainital is Kumaon’s biggest town and favorite hill retreat. It holds a sheer jungle valley around the namesake lake Naini. Loads of hotels are set in the hills around the lake. There are a bustling market and hillside viewpoints facing the distant Himalayan peaks. For travelers, it’s an accessible town to sit back and unwind, eat healthy, and go horseback ride or paddling on the lake. These are some of the famous places in the vicinity Sitabani Temple, Naini Lake, Tiffin top, Astronomical observatory, Eco Cave Park, Nainital governor’s house and much more.
Places to visit: 15 Best Places to visit in Nainital
Things to do: 5 Amazing Things to do in Nainital
Places to stay: Best Resorts in Nanital
Packages: Camping and Adventure Activities
How to reach: The nearest airport to Nainital is Pantnagar airport. Take a flight from Delhi and it could cost you just INR 4,000
Propitiously situated at the tip where the Ganges arises from the Himalaya, Haridwar is Uttarakhand’s religious Hindu city, and pilgrims visit here in flocks to bathe in the holy Ganges. The absolute number of people crowding around Har-ki-Pairi Ghat give Haridwar a turbulent but worshipful feel. It’s particularly bustling throughout the yatra (pilgrimage) season from May to October and is the place of the yearly Magh Mela holy carnival. These are some of the famous attractions around Haridwar are Har Ki Pauri, Bharat Mata Temple, Chandi Devi Temple, Bara Bazaar and much more.
Places to visit: 10 Best Places to visit in Haridwar
Packages: Camping and Adventure Activities
How to reach: You can land at Dehradun airport as it’s the closest to Haridwar. Fares start from INR 1,975
The spots to visit in Dehradun ponder the mysterious part of this small time city and here to exhibit some all time favorite Dehradun traveler destination. Assan Barrage here remains a hot favorite amongst bird watchers and nature buffs. For the pious souls, some choices are Laxman Siddh, Tapkeshwar Temple, Santala Devi Temple, and Ram Rai Gurudwara. It goes without saying that Malsi Deer Park, Sahastradhara, and Indian Military Academy also count amongst great Dehradun places to visit.
Things to do: 8 Amazing Things to do in Dehradun
Packages: Camping and Adventure Activities
How to reach: You can take a direct flight to Dehradun and Fares for that start from INR 1,975
18. Corbett National Park
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Explore Corbett like never before and know about many hidden gems of the place. Discover popular picnic places for an unforgettable family outing. Check out the offbeat destinations in Corbett for an extraordinary holiday experience. With the thorough information about places to visit in Corbett, you can quickly prioritize which places to see in Corbett. For fun and adventure, you can also explore your options in things to do in Corbett. If you like to revel at some entertaining site or cherish the marvels of age-old architecture at historical monuments, museums, and buildings, Corbett is your go-to destination. You can also know about the places in Corbett where you can spend the best of your vacation time relaxing in the proximity of nature.
Things to do: 10 Things to do in Corbett National Plan
Places to stay: Best Resorts in Corbett
Packages: Safari and Stay packages in Corbett
How to reach: Nearest airport to Jim Corbett is Dehradun. You can take a flight from New Delhi and it’d cost you just INR 1,975.
19. Ghats in Varanasi
Image Source: Franc Pallarès López – Flickr
Varanasi is believed to be the oldest civilization is among the most India. Situated on the banks of River Ganga, the city holds a sacred spot in Hinduism.
Every year, lakhs converge on the Ghats of Varanasi for performing the last rites of their relatives and dear ones. Despite the seemingly macabre surroundings, the Ghats of Varanasi have a certain allure to them. The spirituality and the calmness that prevails here, makes it an excellent destination to attain Nirvana.
The best time to escape to Varanasi is anytime from the end of September till March. There are several festivals and events that take place in Varanasi during this period, which showcases the hardcore culture.
Things to do: 8 Things to do in Varanasi
The ancient city of Agra has texts that record as far back as in the Mahabharata. Today, this charming land still has evidence of the magnificent golden era. It is here that you get to experience some of the world legendary architectures. Be it the white marbled splendor of Taj Mahal, the revered Jama Masjid that is striking exemplar of Mughal style or the captivating deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri. The legacy of the Mughal realm has left a majestic fort and a liberal mixture of captivating tombs and monuments, and there’s also fun to be had in the bustling market places.
Things to do: 8 Things to do in Agra
Places to visit: 12 Places to visit near Agra
Packages: Sightseeing packages in Agra
How to reach: You can reach to Delhi by taking a flight from Mumbai. You can get a bus from Delhi to Agra. Air Fares start from INR 2,421
Image Credit: benjamin chodroff – Flickr
Renowned for being the birthplace of the Hindu god Krishna, Mathura is one of Hinduism’s seven holy cities and draws surges of pilgrims during Janmashtami (Krishna’s birthday). The town is scattered with temples from several ages and the extent of the holy Yamuna River which flows past here. Today all that’s left of the ancient city are the beautiful carvings rescued from ruins, now on display in the Archaeological Museum. These are some of the best attractions to visit around the vicinity Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi temple, Gita Mandir, Radha Kund, Jama masjid and much more.
Packages: Agra tour with Mathura
Image Source: Arati Kumar-Rao – Flickr
Jodhpur is beautiful in a paradoxical kind of way. Most of Jodhpur’s terrain is barren and rugged, which makes it a quintessential desert land. If you visit the old part of the city, don’t miss the blue houses, which have earned it the tag of the ‘The Blue City’.
Jodhpur is one of the largest cities of Rajasthan, offering tourists an opportunity for memorable desert safaris. One of the best safaris you can take in Jodhpur is a Bishnoi Village Safari. It takes you up, close and personal to the lives of the Bishnois, an old clan of the land.
Image Source: Alison Domzalski – Flickr
The city is full of antiquated forts and monuments and also fascinating gardens; that attracts innumerable explorers and tourists. To escape the heat, visit Jodhpur during the winter season, which is from October to March.
Image Source: Ivan Lian – Flickr
How to reach: You can travel to Jodhpur by taking a flight from Mumbai to save your time. Fares start from INR 3,669.
23. Desert of Jaisalmer
Image Source: Le Batteur De Lune – Flickr
The Jaisalmer state is a World Heritage Site and is popularly known as ‘The Golden City’. It lies in the heart of the Thar desert and also shares approximately 471 KM of its border with Pakistan.
The Camel Safari is one of the most memorable and delightful experiences you can have. Travel through the crests and troughs of the naturally formed Sand Dunes on a camel back and experience the essence of life in the Jaisalmer region.
Image Source: Srinayan Puppala – Flickr
Discover colorful villages and the highly intriguing culture of Rajasthan. Once the night falls gather around a campfire and enjoy a luxurious treat of cultural performances like lambada dance by the locals.
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Picture this–chilly winters, a drink in your hand and the sight of the calm waters of Lake Pichola, with the imposing Lake Palace at its heart. This lake city of Rajasthan is truly breathtaking, and we can’t even put in words how romantic the sights are. During the day, you can check out the City Palace-it’s filled with tiny passageways that open onto gorgeous courtyards and enclosures. A few other places that might interest you are the stunning Jain Temple of Ranakpur and the Fateh Bagh Palace, which is now a heritage hotel.
How to reach: Take a flight to Udaipur directly because your time is precious. Fares start from INR 3,000 only
The Ranthambore forests were the hunting grounds for the Kachwaha Rajputs of Jaipur till the time India received its independence. After independence, it was established as the Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary and it rose to being a tiger reserve in 1973 and got its national park status in 1980. One should also visit the Ranthambore fort, which is a part of the UNESCO world heritage site. The fort is situated in the forests of the Ranthambore National Park. The fort housed many different ruling clans till it finally fell to the Kachwaha Rajputs of Jaipur. The vast cultural history imbibed in this ancient architecture is a must visit indeed.
Image Credit: damien – Flickr
Being the capital of Rajasthan, and a practical getaway for many, Jaipur is the most visit city by tourists. And while you may be here for all the shopping and the Hawa Mahal, don’t miss out on the grand Amer Fort and the royal City Palace. Also, visit the festival for the deluge of musical variety it offers. Check out some beautiful blue pottery items and leather goods on display throughout Jaipur’s old market. Try the elephant ride at the entrance of the Amer Fort instead of the usual walk-up.
How to reach: Take a flight from New Delhi to Jaipur. Fares start from INR 1,684
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Start your winters by praying for a peaceful new year at Pushkar. The city also serves as a base for the nearby temple town of Pushkar. Among the many famous temples in Pushkar, you can find here the only temple in the world dedicated to Lord Brahma. The Pushkar Lake has great religious importance, as it is supposed to have been created when Brahma dropped a lotus on earth. Pushkar has some really nice Italian restaurants. So, if you are experimental enough, try not to miss Italian eateries like Little Italy Pizzeria and Shiva Eye Rooftop Restaurant.
How to reach: Take a flight from Mumbai to Jaipur and save your precious time. Fares start from INR 1,684
Image Credit: daniel mennerich – Flickr
Once Rao Jodha, the founder of Jodhpur, scolded his brother and his son Bika for whispering in court, asking whether the two were plotting to build their own kingdom. They took the remark to heart. For 30 years, Bika led a band of freebooters all over Rajasthan till he settled down in Bikaner. Most of what was built by those warriors, the Rathores, still stands, a testimony as much to the quality of the construction as to the arid conditions in Bikaner that retard decay. The city settles towards the northern Rajasthan and it features sand dunes in the vast golden desert. With the largest Camel Research and Breeding farms in the world, the city offers the best camel rides. The camels are beautifully adorned with local handicrafts. Alongside these general tourist attractions, the vibrant markets in Bikaner is a must visit.
An erstwhile duck hunting ground for Lord Curzon, Bharatpur today is the site of one of the most well-known bird sanctuaries in India. Years of colorful Jat rule have also bestowed the place with a rich historic legacy. Bharatpur has one of the finest bird parks in the world. Also known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park, this place is flocked by tourists all year-round. Besides the rare treat of watching these graceful creatures, visitors can also indulge in some satiating sightseeing by visiting the some of the highly revered spots like Bashistha Cave, Harihara Temple, Krishna Temple and Sita Ram Temple must be explored. Lohagarh Fort is another prominent place to visit in Bharatpur.
30. Mount Abu
Famed as the only hill station in Rajasthan and an important Jain pilgrim site, Mount Abu is a great place to beat the summer heat. At the same time, basking in a pious spiritual milieu makes the experience all the more satisfying. Mount Abu has the highest peak in Rajasthan’s Aravali range, the Guru Shikhar. A couple of not to be missed places here are the Jain Dilwara Temples and Nakki Lake. It is also a great shopping place with interesting options on its platter. Be it, bargain hunting or some lavish retail therapy, the hill station is full of promises.
31. Dudhsagar Falls
If you thought Goa is all about sand, beaches and crazy nightlife, think again. There is more to Goa than meets the eye[Here are 10 such things]. For those who would like to see the other side of Goa, head to Dudhsagar Falls. The waterfalls are actually tiered falls about 60 km from the capital city of Panaji.
According to popular legend, a princess once lived in the forests nearby the falls. She used to bathe in the pond at the base of the falls. One fine day, during her bathing session, she caught a prince watching her. In order to protect her modesty, she poured a jug of sweet milk in front of her to form as a curtain.
It is believed that it is that sweet milk which pours down the falls, hence giving them a milky appearance. While you can believe that story at your peril, the fact remains that it is a gorgeous waterfall which deserves a visit.
How to reach: You can take a direct flight to Goa and it’ll cost you just INR 2,449
32. Grand Island
Grand Island is true to its name. It is amongst the most offbeat yet adventurous tourist places in Goa. It offers a grand experience to the lovers of watersports as it is home to excellent Scuba Diving sites with Suzy’s Wreck, Shelter Cove and Bounty Bay are some of the Scuba Diving sites around Grand Island. Take a day trip to this island in Goa for great snorkeling experience.
How to reach: Land at Goa airport and start exploring. Fares start from just INR 2,449
33. North Goa
North Goa offers a complete holiday experience for every traveler. You can either lounge on a sun bed with a cool drink in hand or be a total party animal at the happening club parties. Those looking for an adrenaline rush will find plenty of action on the beaches. Home to many ornate churches, magnificent cathedrals and ancient temples, each with its own colorful history. A foodie haven for seafood lovers, Goan cuisine is an interesting blend of the Konkan and Portuguese cooking styles.
34. South Goa
The party capital of India, this little paradise on earth is a package full of surprises and contradictions. Apart from happening beaches and nightclubs in both north and south districts, South Goa has a number of unexplored beaches, obscure caves and other secrets spots waiting to be explored. Other highlights of Goa include its rich Portuguese history, amazing seafood and the friendly and vivacious locals. Welcome to the surreal beauty of a vast expanse of the clear blue sea and silver sandy beaches, the verdant lofty mountains and the imposing grand forts and cathedrals.
How to reach: Take a Mumbai-Goa flight and it won’t burn your pockets. Fares start from just INR 2,449
Image Credit: dalbera – Flickr
Mumbai is the city of dreamers, stalwarts and the common man. A vibrant combination of seven islands on the Konkan coastline joins together to make for the blend that’s Mumbai (Bombay) tourism. Splendid Victorian architecture, urban lifestyle, business hullabaloo and the entertainment industry welcome you to this energetic abode.
Defined by brutal corporate culture, fast paced lifestyles, glittering film industry, scenic beaches and the largest slum dwelling in India, Mumbai is a surprising picture of contradictions. This city of dreams is the prime center of Hindi film industry. Film City in Mumbai is the favorite spot for most of the filmmakers.
How to reach: Fly to Mumbai from New Delhi to save your time. Fares start from INR 2,151
Image Credit: 4nitsirk – Flickr
Celebrated as Maharashtra’s cultural capital, Pune houses a plethora of educational institutes, museums and hill forts. Besides being a cultural and educational hub, the city has ample attractions to satiate most visitors. Pune, with its glorious sightseeing attractions, pleasant weather, and a largely dynamic crowd of students and young professionals, proves wonderful for a vacation. The list of not to be missed attractions is infinite here but a couple of most interesting hot spots are the Pataleshwar Rock-cut temple and the Sinhagad Fort. Best famous for its Osho slippers, Shrewsbury biscuits, and world-class educational institutes, the city of Pune is no less than a foodie’s paradise with an array of dining options to choose from.
How to reach: Fly from New Delhi and land at Pune airport. It’s real cheap! Fares start from INR 3,000
Nestled in the lap of the Sahyadri Hills, Lonavala offers scenic views of the Deccan Plateau on one side and the Konkan coast on the other.
The hilly landscape makes it an ideal destination for adventure sports such as trekking, fishing, and camping. Rajmachi Point provides an unparalleled view of Shivaji’s fort and consists of a beautiful trek. Lonavala Lake is another place where you can enjoy a day amidst natural scenery. Karla Caves, Bhaja Caves, and Lohagad Fort are some of the highly recommended tourist spots. Once there, you can go further to Duke’s Nose, and also up till Ajanta and Ellora.
How to reach: The nearest airport to Lonavala is Pune airport if you’re flying to Pune. Fares start from just INR 3,000
Surrounded by panoramic views of paddy and sunflower fields fringed by hills all around, Kamshet is a back-to-nature weekend par excellence. Its history has been shaped by the hills here. Once known for breeding fierce freedom-loving Maratha warriors, they now play host to bands of fearless paragliding pilots and adventure lovers. Kamshet is just the place to have a paragliding weekend.
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A famous hill station in the Western Ghats, Mahabaleshwar is one of the few remaining evergreen forests of India. Apart from a popular holiday destination and a sought-after honeymoon spot, Mahabaleshwar is also an important pilgrimage site for Hindus. Surrounded by soaring peaks and picturesque valleys, is truly heaven on earth. A perfect trekking destination, it takes days to completely unravel the various mysteries of this hill station. The famous Panchaganga Temple in Old Mahabaleshwar is an important pilgrimage site, said to be the origin of River Krishna and four other rivers. The Mahabaleshwar Temple is famous for the swayambhu lingam of Lord Shiva. Needle Hole Point, Arthur’s Seat, Sunrise Point, Kate’s Point, 3 Monkey Point and Venna Lake are some of the popular attractions here.
How to reach: Suggested flight is New Delhi-Pune. Fares start from just INR 3,000
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Amidst lush green grass and swift waters, this is an adventure island that will make you feel like a character straight out of Jungle Book. Adventure sports and fun games along the riverside will keep you occupied all through the day. To put it simply, Kolad is serene and picturesque. This is a scene most of you drew as kids, and well, it seems to be borrowed from Kolad. Here, the most striking feature is the fast paced Kundalika River that makes it a popular spot for adventure games. Kayaking, camping, trekking, river crossing – pick what you like and let loose the adventurer in you.
Image Credit: Rani vikas – Flickr
Surrounded by five hills of the Sahyadri hills, the hill station is favored for its undisputed beauty. Perfect for recovering and rejuvenating, the air in Panchgani is believed to have healing attributes.A summer retreat for the British, Panchgani owes its exotic array of fauna to its initial inhabitants. It is bestowed with both hilly terrains and coastal plains offering dynamic and scenic surroundings. The Rajpuri Caves hold immense religious importance and are highly visited by devotees and tourists alike.
How to reach: You can fly to Pune as it has the nearest airport to Mahabaleshwar. Fares can be as low as INR 3,000
Alibag is known for its abundant greenery, lively atmosphere, and scenic landscape. The golden sand beach and crystal clear water make it a lovely beach getaway. Alibaug, once the home of one of Shivaji’s bravest admiral Kanhoji Angre, is now the chi-chi address of celebrities who want to escape corporate warfare. According to the Bombay Gazette, Alibaug was never an important town — till Angre came along and made it an important Maratha base. Till then, it was known for its gardens and wells built by a wealthy Muslim trader called Ali, hence the name Alibaug. As it embraced by sea from three sides, it is also referred to as “Goa of Maharashtra”.
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A beautiful hill station located at the base of Mulayanagiri Range in Karnataka is Chikmagalur. The hill station is sometimes referred to as “coffee land of Karnataka” because of its several coffee plantations. Located close to the city of Bangalore, it is a popular weekend getaway for the people of India’s Silicon Valley. The highlight of Chikmagalur is the Mahatma Gandhi Park, previously known as Ratnagiri Bore. It is known for its scenic vistas.
Image Source: Motographer – Flickr
How to reach: Take a flight from Mumbai and land at Bangalore airport. Fares start from just INR 1,900
The wildlife reserve at the banks of the expansive river of the same name, Kabini offers a vacation amidst greenery and wildlife at its prime. The nearby waterfall, elephant safari, and bird watching along with the lush green surroundings of the tropical forests tend to make you experience life in its most heart-warming form. Considered to be one of the best places to experience nature’s beauty in Karnataka, Kabini on the banks of the river of the same name offers wildlife lovers a treat. Not only the reserve is laden with natural beauty of lush green tropical forests, it is also a place you would get the pleasure of looking at herds of elephants, spot animals like sambar, langurs, chital, bison, sloth bear, crocodile, pythons, tiger, and leopards, and watch tens of different varieties of birds flying over the view.
Home to the famous Bandipur National Park, this town attracts everyone from tourists who are looking for a weekend break to naturalists who intend to study the teeming wildlife in these jungles. If you are looking for a fun-filled and adventurous vacation, head straight to Bandipur, a town in Karnataka, which is famous for its National Park. The famous tiger reserve bestows an abode to an exquisite fauna such as chitals, wild boars, gaur and tigers to name a few. The entire area stretches to Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve which further enhances its splendor.
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Nestled among the eternal mountains that line the southernmost border of Karnataka is the stunning Coorg region, gifted with emerald murals and acres of farms. A significant center for coffee and spice cultivation. Getaway to Coorg enables you to explore natural ways to encounter its spiritedness and charm of the striving authentic taste and flavour of Corgi lifestyle, cultures, and tradition which will make up for a perfect place for a joyful vacation during your weekend.
How to reach: Take a flight from Mumbai and land at Bangalore airport. Fares start from just INR 1,900
Dandeli is a small town nestled in the lap of Western Ghats. Blessed with verdant jungles home to the elusive black panther and River Kali, a hub for white water rafting and a place to savor delicious and traditional North Karnataka food, Dandeli is paradise for nature lovers.
There are two versions of Dandeli’s history. The first one dates back to the birth of a mythical creature called Dandakaranya, mentioned in the epic, Mahabharata. According to another legend, the town is named after Dandelappa, a local deity and a servant of the Mirashi landlords.
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Located on the border of Bayaluseemae and Malnad, Sakleshpur is one of the most beautiful hill stations in Karnataka. Situated in Hassan district, the town lies on NH-48 and has an average elevation of 949 m.
According to history, the region was under the rule of the Chalukyas, Hoysalas and the kings of Mysore. During the reign of the Hoysalas, a shiva lingam was found in this town. However, the shiva lingam found was broken, which was called as shaka Lesh ara. Since then, the town came to be known as Sakaleshwara among local residents. According to another legend, the town was known as ‘sakala Aishwarya Ga Linda kudida pura’, which literally means ‘the place is home to all kinds of wealth’.
Image Credit: roehan rengudurai – Flickr
Unreal and bewitching, the forlorn ruins of Hampi dot an unearthly landscape that will leave you spellbound the moment you cast your eyes on it. Heaps of giant boulders perch precariously over miles of undulating terrain, their rusty hues offset by jade-green palm groves, banana plantations, and paddy fields. While it’s possible to see the ancient ruins and temples of this World Heritage Site in a day or two, this goes against Hampi’s relaxed grain. Plan on lingering for a while.
How to reach: Take a flight from Mumbai and land at Bangalore airport. Fares start from just INR 1,900
Image Credit: jaxx2kde – Flickr
A regular nominee among travelers’ favorite beaches in India, Gokarna is a more laid-back and less commercialized version of Goa. It attracts a crowd for a low-key, chilled-out beach holiday and not for full-scale parties. Most accommodation is in thatched bamboo huts along its several stretches of blissful coast. In fact, there are two Gokarna; adjacent to the beaches is the sacred Hindu pilgrim town of Gokarna, full of ancient temples that come to life during important festivals such as Shivaratri and Ganesh Chaturthi. While its lively bazaar is an interesting place to visit, most foreign tourists don’t hang around overnight, instead of making a bee-line straight to the adjoining beaches.
One of South India’s most renowned tourist destinations, Mysuru is known for its shimmering royal legacy and majestic monuments and structures which would make up for an excellent weekend getaway. Choose from a multitude of sightseeing possibilities varying from Mysore Palace, one of the largest and most majestic palaces in India, lounging greenery of Brindavan Gardens, Mysore Zoo, Philomena’s Church and other countless churches and monuments will engage you for a long weekend getaway.