Best Destinations In India For A Relaxing Holiday
Holidays are mostly all about fun, excitement, adventure, trying out new things and relaxing the mind and body. But in many cases, several people in high pressure, tension oriented job profiles and businesses prefer opting for just the last bit of relaxing mind and body over all the other adrenalin pumping activities and chaos. Pampering one’s body and senses is important for all at least once in a while, though some like to indulge themselves frequently. And while one can visit the myriad spas and salons to do so, during their hectic work and city lives, there is nothing better than treating yourself to new surroundings, relaxing amidst pure nature and tranquility and letting the mind and senses feast on the sounds and sights of the outdoors.
Listed below are a few of several such destinations in India, where one can cut off from the noise, bustle and pandemonium of urban life and relax with delight in the serene, natural environment of the destination and enjoy whatever it has to offer.
Majuli Island, Assam :
Recognized as the world’s largest river island, Majuli Island is a landform in the Brahmaputra River in Assam. This quiet, peaceful haven in the middle of the river abounds with monasteries or Satras and represents the colourful Assamese culture. A wetland, the island thrives with plenty of flora and fauna and is home to many rare and endangered avifauna species, including migratory birds which arrive in the winter. Owing to the continuing and intermittent rain and lack of pollution producing factories and industries, the island flourishes with pure, fresh and practically unpolluted air. The Molai forest created to tackle soil erosion on the island, is a lush forest and great habitat for deers, tigers, elephants and vultures. The southern part of the island is ideal for bird lovers and wildlife photographers who can have the time of their lives and best view during winters.
Best time to visit: October to March
How to reach Majuli Island :
By air – Jorhat, which is only 20 km from Majuli, has daily flights coming in from Guwahati and four flights a week from Kolkata. From here one can either take taxis which can be ferried across and then be driven through or take the ferry and then bus to the island.
By bus – Jorhat is a 7 hour bus ride from Guwahati. The buses are available early mornings and at night. Thereafter one can travel by ferry and bus to reach Majuli.
Varkala, Kerala :
Varkala is a laid-back, peaceful coastal city in Kerala with shimmering beaches and the only place in the southern part of this state where one can find cliffs adjacent to the sea. The sides of the cliffs are dotted with numerous water spouts and spas which are a big draw in itself. A lesser known destination, Varkala still retains its tranquil charm and is also known for its famous Vaishnavaite shrine, Janardana Swami Temple, also known as Dakshin Kashi. The beaches are a wonderful place to just chill and do practically nothing. And the promenade is scattered with plenty of ayurvedic massage parlours that one can happily indulge in .
Best time to visit: During winters, from October to March.
How to reach Varkala :
By air – The nearest airport to Varkala is at Trivandrum which is well connected to many other cities with regular flights.
By train – The Varkala Sivagiri Station is the only railway station in this town which has regular trains to Trivandrum. Trivandrum in turn has a good railway network with several other cities across the country.
By bus – The state-run KSRTC buses as well as buses from several Private companies have excellent services across Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka enabling one to travel to Trivandrum easily. From here one can travel by the local buses, taxis or autorickshaws to Varkala.
Puducherry, a union territory of India, is located in the southern part of the Indian Peninsula and is one of the best destinations to just laze around, introspect and meditate. Heavily influenced by the French, due to their presence there for a long time, Puducherry has a charming layout with the city divided into the French quarter, where all the buildings and houses are in typical French colonial style and the Indian section, where the houses have huge verandas and large doors and grills. This quaint little city with its dreamy coastline, impressive monuments and structures, beautiful parks, several places of worship lending it a spiritual edge along with the unique experimental city of Auroville, at its outskirts, is an ideal place to release all your urban lifestyle frustrations and stress and learn to slacken one’s hectic pace of life and just enjoy some peaceful time.
Best time to visit : October to February, when the weather is cool and inviting.
How to reach Puducherry :
By air – The Puducherry airport can only accommodate small airplanes from Bangalore and Hyderabad. The next airport which is close to Puducherry is at Chennai which is very well connected both domestically as well as internationally.
By train – The nearest railway station is at Villupuram, which has a good railway connectivity to several major cities across India.
By bus – Private as well as state-owned buses operate from Chennai, Coimbatore, Trichy, Bangalore, Madurai and Thanjaur to Puducherry.
Kasol, Himachal Pradesh :
Kasol is a little settlement in Kullu district in Himachal Pradesh. Situated on the banks of the Parvati River in Parvati Valley, Kasol enjoys excellent weather throughout the year and a decent amount of snowfall from end-December till February. This picturesque village gives one a wonderful escape from reality and lets you rejuvenate in the luxurious lap of nature. The picture-perfect misty hills with bright greenery, the exciting trekking paths, the gushing riverside, charming village houses and the spectacular waterfalls all create wonderful magic and relax the body and soul. Owing to its prevalent cannabis culture, this pristine village has been frequented by many foreigners and especially Israelis over the years, so one can also find plenty of sumptuous Israeli cuisine options too.
Best time to visit : Can be visited through the year, but the summer months of May and June allow you to enjoy the outdoors freely.
How to reach Kasol :
By air – The Bhuntar Airport in Kullu district is the nearest airport to Kasol and has regular flights to and from Delhi.
By train – Kasol does not have its own railway station but the nearest one at Joginder Nagar is 144 kms away and one can hire a taxi from here to take you to your destination.
By bus – There is excellent road facility here which makes it convenient and enjoyable to travel by bus. One can take any of the easily available semi-sleeper Volvos from Kashmiri Gate ISBT in Delhi and change over to another bus at Bhuntar, which takes you to Manikaran.
For the longest time, Goa has always been a place that pops up instantly and repeatedly when one talks of taking a relaxing, chilled out, lazy trip. Goa, in its very nature, is a very laid back destination, where its inhabitants believe in going through life at an enjoyable, relaxed pace with plenty of rest in between. Located on the west coast of India, this tiny little state is blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches, groves of green, inviting palm trees and other greenery, plenty of historic churches, temples and monuments and some amazing coastal cuisine. One can just enjoy long walks on the beach or laze around under the shade of the swaying palms, enjoy the sight of the sun going down in the sea and indulge in some merry making with good food, good wine, live music and great company. Blessed with more than 25 beaches, one can choose their little corner of heaven in any of the quiet, secluded ones like Benaulim, Palolem, Anjuna, Candolim, Morjim, Sinquerim and many more.
Best time to visit: All through the year.
How to reach Goa :
By bus – One can travel to Goa from several cities including Mumbai, Pune, Chennai etc. through a fabulous network of private as well as public bus operators. Some of the government undertakings that operate from Panjim, Madgaon and Vasco Da Gama are KSRTC, MSRTC and KTC (Kadamba Transport Corporation).
By air – The Dabolim Airport, 29 kms away from Panjim, has regular flights coming in from several cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Cochin.
By train – The main railway stations in Goa are at Madgaon and Thivim which are very well connected with the rest of the country.
Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh :
Ziro is a beautiful location in Arunachal Pradesh, one of it’s oldest towns, just 115 km from the state capital Itanagar. Situated at an altitude of 5,538 feet, it has a wonderful climate right through and its very cool weather in summer is a big attraction. Home to the Apatani tribe, this breathtaking destination is famed for its scenic gentle hills, scattered with plenty of pine trees and rice fields all over. Its lush green backdrop, winding rivulets and rustic little houses make one just want to throw themselves flat in the open fields and dream on endlessly. What better way to let go of your fears, troubles and inhibitions !
Best time to visit : During summer, from April to June, when the weather is very pleasant and one can enjoy the scenic outdoors.
How to reach Ziro :
By air – The airport at Jorhat, Assam is the nearest to Ziro, at 98 kms.
By train – The railway stations for Ziro are at Naharalagun which is at a distance of 100 km and North Lakhimpur at 117 kms. The trains connect with Guwahati and Delhi occasionally.
By bus – The Arunachal Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation offers bus services at night from Guwahati to Ziro, four days a week.
Picture Credits : Majuli Island – wikimedia commons, Varkala – varkkala.com, Puducherry – tripadvisor.co.uk, Kasol – travel trikon, Goa – bestplacestovisit.in, Ziro – tripadvisor