The holidays are just around the corner and it would be a shame to not put it to good use and go on that trip you know you had been stalling for long. The leaves accumulated throughout the year coupled with the festivities are just the perfect excuse for taking one of those long weekend getaways. Now, wondering where to go? Best places to relax and unwind or to gear up and explore or maybe both? Look no further, we’ve covered just about everything for you. From the best beaches to snow-clad mountains, caves and forts, find your choice of destination at holidify.com and make the most of this chilly weather!
1. Gokarna + Murudeshwar : Serene Beaches
If you’re looking for best places to chill among long weekend getaways, then this is where you need to go. Abundant in natural spaces – beaches, hills, sprawling green landscapes and long roads with gorgeous view; Gokarna and Murudeshwar, two quietly mesmerizing places situated in Karnataka, offer the best getaway one could ask for. Located close to Bangalore, Goa and Mumbai, it makes for a good road trip for the weekend, where the drive is just as calming as the destinations.
Two of Madhya Pradesh best offbeat destinations, Sanchi is houses the oldest Buddhist sites and is one of the important places of Buddhist pilgrimage. While Orchha is rich in King’s legacy with elaborate stone carved temples, cenotaphs and palaces. Distance between Orchha and Sanchi is approximately 195kms, which makes it an easy drive with pit stops at Pachmarhi to explore the The Pandava Caves – the mythical home of the Pandava princes and at Bhopal to see the little remains of the ancient city. Exploring these places in this October mists would be quite surreal.
3. Mukteshwar + Dhanachuli: Offbeat Hill-stations
Located in Uttarakhand, Mukteshwar is one of the most gorgeous weekend getaways from Delhi. Uninterrupted beauty of snow-capped mountains in the distance proceeded by a range of green pastels, it is filled with overwhelming beauty. A little ahead of it, resides a small charming village of Dhanachuli which is houses a popular hill station of Uttarakhand coupled with humble people and inviting apple orchards. A quint little trip to make the perfect use of this long weekend getaway.
4. Auli: Himalayan Paradise
Auli is a hill station in the Himalayan ranges of Uttarakhand, also popularly known as one of the best skiing destinations of India. October begins to welcome winter and the temperatures are of a bearable cold to enjoy the panoramic view of the hills laced with coniferous trees and forests. While Badrinath, a famous pilgrim site being one of the char dhams in India, is located nearby where one can stop to visit the sacred temple, Vasundhara falls and explore the Vyas and Ganesha Caves.
5. Bir-Billing: Paragliding Enthusiasts
For the trekkers and adventure enthusiasts, Bir-Billing area of Himachal Pradesh has some exciting activities lined up for this time of the year. Paragliding session operated here for Sept-Oct-Nov, while trekking and camping happens all throughout the year. Bir is also known for its ancient Tibetan monasteries and The Bir Tea Factory which offers guided tours for those curious souls interested in the production of tea. These places are a must visit perfect for October trip.
6. Bishnupur + Mukutmonipur: Tryst with History and Culture
Bishnupur is the temple town of West Bengal, offers an extensive history of the different reigns and times left over in the architectural ruins of the numerous temples. Mukutmonipur on the other hand is small town located nearby famously known as a popular picnic spot of West Bengal for winter with a 38metre high Kangsabati Dam and an island right in the middle of sprawling lake.
Some of the best destinations to fulfil your relaxing and rejuvenation needs – Gopalpur or better known as Gopalpur on Sea is situated along the Bay of Bengal housing what is known to be one of the gorgeous and calm beaches in the area. Palm trees and unperturbed sea and sand dunes to feed your solitude, it is also known commercially for its silk sarees and handicraft products. While 45km further lies one of the biggest inland salt water lakes in India, known as Chilika Lake. The water produces a clear reflection of the skies above and becomes home to birds some of which come all the way from Siberia whereas water sports and boating facilities are also available here.
While Ooty remains one of the quintessential tourist destinations of the south, Coonoor is relatively less explored. Located quite close to each other, Coonoor is the second largest hill station of the Nilgiris range with a lot of exciting viewpoints. Dolphin’s Nose and Lamb’s Rock are two must visit viewpoints near Coonoor while one cannot miss Ooty Lake and the Doddabetta Peak. These are one of the best options in South India for long weekend getaways.
Rajasthan’s friendliest little blue town, Bundi has many attractions and warm people that over the decades attracted Indians and foreigners alike. A few October days in Bundi is enough to know the rich traditions of the common people, ancient forts, and the art of Bundi Painting taught here at the Bundi Palace. While you’re at it, spend some time at Kota exploring the various palaces, Museum, City Fort, Haveli of Deaji and Chambal Gardens all still intact in their past glory. While in Kota, you can also check out the educational areas which made Kota so famous in the modern era. Don’t forget to try out the amazing Masala Patties, Pyaaz ki Kachoris, milk-shakes and food at Amar Punjabi Dhaba!
10. Aurangabad + Ajanta – Ellora: Heritage Rendezvous
For the exploratory and curiosity driven kinds, this pleasant weather can be spent exploring the ancient structures and formations that echo the stories of the eras gone by. The Ajanta- Ellora caves themselves need atleast two days to explore while the remaining days can be spent in Aurangabad visiting Bibi ka Maqbara, Panchakki, Himroo weaving factory or Aurangabad’s very own set of caves which though not as magnificent as the Ajanta-Ellora but are a fine specimen of their rock cut architecture.
Bonus: Paragliding Course in Kamshet
If adventure is your calling, Kamshet provides the best getaway. A couple of hours’ drive from Mumbai, this place is a haven for the adrenaline junkie. It is a picturesque hill station in Western Ghats, renowned for paragliding and flying schools. It also has rock cut caves (Bedsa and Bhairi) dating back to 1st century BC and the Kondeshwar temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. But getting back to the main attraction, many flying schools offer all inclusive (food, acco, equipment) paragliding courses for the duration of 2-4 days with the onset of winter. Book your seats before they run out. More information can be found here and here.