Andaman & Nicobar
Known for their picturesque beauty with pristine beaches, azure waters and verdant forests, Andaman & Nicobar are a group of more than 500 shimmering islands tucked in an infinite expanse of the Bay of Bengal. Relatively unexplored, these islands have that enigmatic charm to them that lures thousands of tourists every year. Packed with an array of interesting activities, a holiday in Andaman & Nicobar is sure to be one of the best vacations in India. Asia’s best beach, ‘Radhanagar Beach’ on the ‘Havelock Island’ is a paradise for honeymoon couples who can be seen here immersed in romantic walks holding each other’s hands and witnessing the beautiful sunset. For water sports lovers, the azure waters teeming with diverse marine life and coral reefs, offer a perfect ambience to indulge in some world-class scuba diving and sea walking experience. If you are looking out for an adventurous twist in the serenity of these beautiful islands, go for boat safaris through thick mangrove forests leading to dark limestone caves at the ‘Baratang Island’, take a challenging trek to the ‘Saddle Peak’ snaking through scenic terrains and thick forests sighting few exotic colourful birds or camp under the open moonlit sky and try your hands at a bar-be-que experience of cooking your own fresh catch of a fish or crab.
Rishikesh, also known as Hrishikesh, is a city governed by Rishikesh Municipal Corporation (since October 2017), and a tehsil in Dehradun district of the Indian state Uttarakhand. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, it is known as the “Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas” and “Yoga Capital of the World”. It lies approximately 25 km (16 mi) north of the city Haridwar and 43 km (27 mi) southeast of the state capital Dehradun. According to Census of India, 2011 Rishikesh had a population of 102,138 making it the seventh most populated city in the state of Uttarakhand. It is known as the pilgrimage town and regarded as one of the holiest places to Hindus. Hindu sages and saints have visited Rishikesh since ancient times to meditate in search of higher knowledge.
In September 2015, the Union tourism minister Mahesh Sharma announced that Rishikesh and Haridwar will be the first in India to be given the title of “twin national heritage cities”. Due to the religious significance of the place, non-vegetarian food and alcohol are strictly prohibited in Rishikesh. The city hosts the annual International Yoga Festival on the first week of March since 1989.
With bursting energy and enthusiasm, the twenties is the best time to enjoy thrill and adventure, especially with your friends. Travel to the adventure capital of India, Rishikesh and ride on the mystical but fierce fast-flowing waters of Ganges. Rishikesh is a must-visit place in India if you haven’t yet crossed the age bar.
Home to the world’s largest mangrove forests, inhabited with the man-eating royal Bengal tigers, Sunderbans is one of the most famous offbeat places to visit in India. Situated on the mouth of the mighty Brahmaputra and river Ganges, the forests are also home to unlimited species of other wild animals, reptiles and birds. Evoking a mysterious fervour, Sunderbans has always lured adventure buffs, nature lovers and bird watchers from across the globe. Tracking down a ferocious beast, standing on the deck of your boat navigating through the dense mangroves engulfed in a sheer silence that is only occasionally broken by the whispering of bushes, squeaking of lizards and chirping of birds; the adventure is definitely one of the most exciting and enthralling experiences you can have at Sunderbans. Besides the spine-chilling adventurous journey, a trip to Sunderbans also offers you an unmatched scenic and bird watching experience that is indescribable in words. Needless to say, a visit to this world heritage site, for sure makes for an unforgettable holiday excursion. As a remembrance to this mysterious world, fresh forest honey and brown rice make for a perfect buy.
Revisit childhood by hopping on the colourful toy train from Kalka to Shimla as it makes way through the pine forests and verdant valleys. Experiencing this exceptionally elating toy train experience is a must for everyone on their trip to this best tourist place in India at least once in a lifetime.
Rann of Kutch
An enormous stretch of a white salt that is submerged underwater for 4 months in a year, the great Rann of Kutch in Gujarat is an incredible place to visit in India. With its astounding natural beauty, the world’s one of the greatest salt desert is swarmed by an endless number of tourists every year, especially during the famous ‘Rann Utsav’ when the white canvas gets painted into different hues and shades. Live folk music and dance performances, camel safaris, a rustic stay and a delicious Kutch cuisine make this experience an unforgettable one for every visitor. From walking along vast stretches of white getting a glimpse of salt-making process, watching colourful migratory birds in the Chhari Dhand Bird Sanctuary, getting breath-taking views of the infinite expanse of the Rann from ‘Kala Dungar’ to seeing the artisans creating magic with their hands making exquisite embroidery pieces; a trip to Rann of Kutch is truly an eye-opener. What adds to the charm of this memorable trip is a stay in traditional ‘Bhungas’ or cylindrical shaped huts with conical roofs in the enchanting ‘Hodka Village’ nearby. Providing you a feel of a rustic village life, these huts are beautifully decorated with traditional mirror work patterns and delicate latticework. During the night, enjoy a bonfire and watch a folk dance performance under the moonlit sky relishing on the tasty and spicy home-made Kutch delicacies.
Also known as the ‘abode of clouds’, Meghalaya is a hidden gem nestled in the lap of pine-covered Khasi and Garo Hills in the Eastern Himalayas. One of the most picturesque states of North East India with its lush terraced slopes, gushing waterfalls, mystic caves, dense forests and sparkling lakes and rivers; Meghalaya is an ideal holiday destination in India for trekkers, cavers and nature enthusiasts. It is only in Meghalaya where you will come across unique man-made living root bridges that are grown and not built. Yes! You heard it right the ‘bridges which are grown’. The people of Khasi tribe in Meghalaya have been growing these bridges since ages by directing the intermingled roots of rubber trees over hollowed beetle nut trunks to make them run over streams and rivers. The roots mature over a span of 10-15 years and gain strength with each passing year. Fully mature bridges can take a load of dozens of people. The ‘double-decker living root bridge’ in Cherrapunjee is one such artistic splendour that has been standing strong for over 200 years.
The awe-inspiring and claustrophobic caves of ‘Krem Mawsmai’ is another tourist attraction in Meghalaya that leaves you spellbound with its impressive shapes of stalactites and stalagmites formed over hundreds of years. You will also be amazed to know that ‘Mawlynnong’, the cleanest village in India is also a part of this beautiful state.
Offering some of nature’s finest and incredible vistas, man-made artistic splendours and an experience of a rustic village life, all topped up with a dollop of delicious local food; Meghalaya for sure makes it to the list of must-see places in India.