You’re forgiven for cursing the sun gods for the signature Delhi heat. But thanks to them, the long weekends of Dussehra & Diwali are beckoning you to ditch the sunscreen, lose the ice stock, drop your sun hat, and set out for a breath of fresh air.
Here are five travel ideas that are not your regular tourist haunts. If you’re looking to set off to discover a world that not many people have seen before you, these just might fill you with ideas for an adventurous October.
1. Daman, Gujarat.
Daman & Diu is the stuff of geography text books. Quietly tucked away in southern Gujarat, the small town of Daman will charm you with its Portuguese architecture, tropical weather and proximity to the Arabian Sea. Once a European colony, Daman’s secluded location in the union territory has preserved its ancient churches and small town culture, keeping away urban influences. The Daman Ganga River bank fills with fishing boats at sunset, etching one of those travel memories that are hard to erase.
2. Pranpur, Madhya Pradesh.
I’m hopelessly in love with the rural, rustic side of India. A side that’s not for everyone to discover, and perhaps not everyone can appreciate it. Pranpur, a little town just south of Jhansi, is a shining example of this India. Its craft is much better known than its crafts-men and women; they spend their days intricately weaving colorful Chanderi Silk Sarees. Surrounded by raw greenery, Pranpur is a town of its people and their hospitality, and the culture that modern India has evolved from.
3. Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand.
The name speaks for itself. The alpine wilderness of the Valley of Flowers, a national park in the Kumaon region of Uttrarakhand, is perhaps the most apt Delhi getaway for the summer. If the snow-capped peaks are not enough to tempt you, maybe the glacial waterfalls, the rare wildlife and the starry night skies will be. Post-monsoon and pre-winter, the forests surrounding the valley breathe a new life.
4. Lakshadweep Islands.
Lakshadweep is an oasis of blue in our own backyard. A good 400km off the Indian coastline, the isolated location of its islands in the Arabian Sea make it one of the most unusual places to visit in India. Add to that the powdery white beaches and the cobalt blue waters of Kavaratti, Bangaram and Minicoy, and you have your own little island paradise. You might want to carry your sun hat along, for better reason than the sweltering Delhi heat.
5. Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh.
There isn’t a better way of experiencing spirituality in India than through the life and people of Mcleodganj. And it will keep you coming back for a rare chance to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Being in the vicinity of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile and other Tibetan government offices will lose you into a long-drawn political battle. But if spirituality and politics is not your thing, the Himalayan connection with Dharamsala, its rocky terrain, its lush green slopes, and its closeness to Tibetan culture will take you far away from the India you’ve known and seen.
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Also read: 4 offbeat ecotourism experiences in India.