Before The Year Ends, Visit These 4 Weekend Getaways In India For An Exciting Holiday

Before The Year Ends, Visit These 4 Weekend Getaways In India For An Exciting Holiday.

Before The Year Ends, Visit These 4 Weekend Getaways In India:

1) Little Rann of Kutch- Wild At Heart:

Before The Year Ends, Visit These 4 Weekend Getaways In India
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This corner of Gujarat, a geographically unique landscape, and famous for being the world’s last refuge of the Indian wild ass (khur), makes a great getaway for the wildlife lover.

Explore, and you’ll realise it is a zone that’s rich in biodiversity, home to a wealth of fauna and attracting scores of migratory water birds like cranes, ducks, pelicans, flamingos and land birds like sand grouse, francolins and the Indian bustard.

Seeing a flock of flamingos up close can be a memorable sight. It is also home to the Indian wolf, desert fox and nilgai.

On cross-Desert safaris, you’ll visit the little hillocks known as ‘bets’ which were once islands on ancient seabeds which have, over centuries, risen above ground and are covered with grass and scrub. It is these ‘bets’ that are now the habitat of the handsome khur.

Seeing a herd racing across this dramatic landscape is a sight that makes the whole trip worthwhile. So, get your safari gear, pack your camera and go explore the Little Rann of Kutch that’s big on experience.

How to Reach?

  • From Mumbai, fly to Ahmedabad. From there, it’s 190 km to the Little Rann of Kutch.
  • If you love to drive, you can drive all the way from Mumbai, a distance of 600 km.

Where to Stay?

There are not too many places to stay here. So, book in advance. The Rann riders resort is a popular choice.

Tip:

Do not venture into the Rann without a guide, for it can be treacherous. Stick with the organised safari trips.

2) Chilika- A Birder’s Paradise :

Before The Year Ends, Visit These 4 Weekend Getaways In India
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Situated in coastal Odisha, Chilika is known as Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon. One of the most important wetlands in the world, Chilika is home to a vast array of birds.

Some 160 species are found here, including ospreys, golden plovers, sandpipers, flamingos, pelicans, shovelers and gulls that make their homes in the lake and its reed islands.

If you like birding, Chilika is bound to give you hours of pleasure.

Do visit the Nalabana Island in the lagoon area which attracts around 400,000 waterfowls of different species. Often underwater, the island gradually emerges during the summer months.

The lake is also dotted with other islands like Kalijal, Somolo and Rajahansa. You can take a boat trip to these places and observe the lives of the fishermen who inhabit them

Nature-lovers who go to Chilika keep a watch for the Irrawaddy dolphins often spotted off Satpada Island which is bounded by the lagoon on three sides and has a long sand bar.

How to Reach?

Take a flight from Kolkata to Bhubaneswar. Chilika is about 100 km from there.

Where to Stay?

The Panthanivas Barkul, run by the state tourism department, has a vantage setting at the edge of the lake.

What to Eat?

There are lots of good fish and prawns to be eaten here, both in the restaurants and in little dhabas in the vicinity of the lake.

3) Madurai- Jasmine, Temples and Culture:

Before The Year Ends, Visit These 4 Weekend Getaways In India
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Madurai, an ancient town, woven into myth and legend, once the seat of the powerful Pandya kings, home of the Tamil Sangam which brought forth literary works which survive to this day. And, of course, abode of Goddess Meenakshi who rules over it from a magnificent four-towered temple.

Today, it’s a bustling, even chaotic town, with a unique personality and vibe of its own.

Begin your tour of Madurai at the Meenakshi temple around which life revolves in this historic town. Walk its carved corridors, listen to the devotional music that fills the air

The narrow streets around the temple pulsate with a rhythm all their own, selling brassware, chungidi sarees, silks and costume jewellery. Everywhere, there are vendors carrying the fragrant jasmine the town is famous for and which makes its way into some of the top perfume houses of France.

You can also visit the Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal where many a film song sequence has been shot and see the arresting sound and light show there.

Round off your Madurai experience with a culinary trail. The town is famed for its ethnic fare—from parota to idli to kari dosai and dollops of hot halwa served up on a square of banana leaf.

How to Reach?

Madurai is connected by air from Chennai and is an overnight bus and train journey from bengaluru.

Where to Stay?

Splash out and stay at the Heritage, with its luxury rooms and lovely setting.

What to Drink?

You can’t miss out Madurai’s signature drink – “Jigarthanda”, which exactly does it.

4) Amritsar- Spiritual Quests and Soul Food:

Before The Year Ends, Visit These 4 Weekend Getaways In India
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Amritsar is synonymous with the Golden Temple, the holiest of shrines in Sikhism. Whether you see its spires seemingly ablaze as they catch the first rays of the sun, or walk its marbled corridors in the still of night, this is a temple that inspires awe and reverence and invites you to be enveloped by the power of faith.

Spend some time in this serene space, listen to the uplifting devotional music and stop and meditate by the sparkling tank – Amrit Sarovar.

The Guru-Ka-Langar, a massive community initiative that feeds some 60,000-80,000 pilgrims a day, is a must-do experience. You can participate in the preparation, the service or the cleaning – a humbling, enriching thing to do.

Outside the Golden Temple, the old city of Amritsar is far from serene. It’s a maze of small, chaotic, colourful streets, noisy, crowded and constantly engaging. Here, you’ll also find some of the best street food in North India – from kulcha to lassi and jalebi.

You can visit the summer palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, which is now dedicated to the ruler known as the ‘Lion of Punjab.’ It has a spectacular diorama depicting the maharaja’s greatest battles, complete with battle cries and other sound effects.

Jallianwala Bagh is now a poignant park commemorating the 1,500 Indians killed in the massacre of 1919 and is on most visitors’ itineraries.

The Beating the Retreat ceremony at the Wagah border may seem like a touristy thing to do. But, it really is quite a rousing spectacle and a lot of fun, too.

How to Reach?

If you have the luxury of time, it’s a pleasing six-hour drive from Delhi to Amritsar, via Ambala. You can also fly between the cities.

Where to Stay?

Charming as the old city is, for some respite from the noise and crowds, you can check into the Hyatt Amritsar.

What to Eat?

Explore the street food while in Amritsar. It’s really something special. Eat at the Maqbool Road Kulcha shop, taste the slow-cooked dal at Kesar da Dhaba, have a poori-aloo breakfast at Kanha Sweets and down a big tumbler of lassi at Ahuja Sweets.

Before The Year Ends, Visit These 4 Weekend Getaways In India

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