Coming back from a vacation needing another one to recuperate from the first is a vacation wasted! If you are a workaholic, hyperactive individual who’s forgotten the existence of a neutral gear in life then you definitely need to visit one of these destinations to experience your very own eat, pray, love moment in India. So hush, turn off those gadgets, slow down a bit and take the road less travelled.
The quaint village of Alchi, 70 km from Leh, is a perfect picture of an idyllic village life with the Indus River adding to its breathtaking beauty and charm. Here, inner peace is only a walk away. A visit to the Lamayuru Monastery, one of the oldest in Ladakh and a heritage site, halts time in a peaceful calm.
Tip: If you make friends with the locals you can get a chance to binge on all-you-can-eat apricots and plums in the season.
Best time to visit: April – September.
Sharing its border with Tibet in the North and Bhutan in the South-West, Tawang is a peaceful town tucked away in the far hills. To get to this exotic place, one has to brave a long rough road trip. Although, once you reach your destination, you are enveloped by a quiet calm that the people and the place emanate.
A word of caution: A walk to the second-most-ancient monastery in the world, can result in spending hours at end in its serene surrounding and long periods of undisturbed solitude.
Best time to visit: Early March – June and September – October.
If you want to drink in the mountain experience, then Chail is the place for you. A hill station, 44 km from Shimla, surrounded by forests of majestically tall chir pine and deodar trees. Chail has a little bit of royal history in the summer retreat palace, which has been converted into a hotel now. We suggest, taking long walks along the forest path during the day; come back to your hotel for a serving of evening snacks and tea.
Best time to visit: April – early July and September – November.
Kothi, a small village, 15 km from Manali, offers a majestic view of snow-capped mountains, with the Beas River gushing across a labyrinth path. Perched on lush green mountains, this village offers you the perfect setting to disconnect with the world and reconnect with yourself. Locals say this little place has inspired writers and poets alike, so who knows, you may work some magic with your pen too!
Best time to visit: March – June and September – October.
Corbett National Park, Nainital
This one’s especially for the wildlife lovers, being the only lodge inside the Corbett National Park. You can opt to go for safari rides or just stay put at the lodge enjoying nature at its best. A visit by some wild animal is an added bonus. There is always a waiting list for bookings, so book in advance!
Best time to visit: November – June.
Migratory birds, neel gai, salt pans and the world’s last refuge for the wild asses; Little Rann of Kutch is not just a long stretch of white barren land but is teeming with life and ample water bodies for the beautiful birds to flock to. You can experience the local flavors while living in one of the many eco-stays offered there.
Best time to visit: October – March.
Ratnagiri District, Maharashtra
Clean sand, clear waters and not many people! Yup, that’s where you should be heading for a lazy laid back weekend. The ride to this little piece of heaven is beautiful in the monsoons. There are many hotel options, all serving local Konkani dishes. If you’re feeling adventurous you can even try your hands at fishing with the local fisher folks. It’s 250 km from Mumbai and a perfect place to escape the city’s hectic pace.
Best time to visit: Mid-June – August and September – February.
Try visiting during monsoon. With no tourist frenzy, you can spend lazy rainy days with a cuppa coffee, reading a book, may be take your forgotten guitar with you and strum some Goan songs with the locals. This is Goa with a twist and the Goa that will keep your busy feet stalled.
Best time to visit: Let it be the monsoon this time!
A small town surrounded with beautiful mountains, waterfalls and lakes, where one can spend a few days sipping on coffee, reading a book and enjoying the tranquility it offers, without getting the pangs of rushing to somewhere. Its beauty and charm magnifies in the rainy season with lush green trees all around. We would recommend giving it a go during monsoon, the 120 km journey from Vishakhapatnam, is a visual treat.
Best time to visit: June – September and October – February.
Pristine blue waters and virgin beaches! And viola, we present to you, Katchal Island in the Nicobar District. It became famous when it welcomed the first rays of the sun in the new millennium, so although not completely tourist free, it will still give you the elusive crowd-free space. You can explore the beautiful neighboring islands too, but that would only act as a fodder for the restless soul of yours, so you better stick to this island.
A little heads up:You need ‘restricted areas permit’ to visit the Nicobar district.
Best time to visit: Round the year.
A scenic escapade north of Almora, with a stunning panorama of the mountains perched up in the valley of Uttarakhand, Kausani is hill country paradise. Owing to its remote location you would not find people swarming in at any time of the year. Thus it has certainly been able to retain the old world charm of hill stations that bring pure nostalgia.
Best time to visit: September – November and March – May.