Thursday, Dec 14, 2017 | Last Update : 07:39 AM IST
The year 2018 has close to 16 long weekends. We got the city’s avid travellers to share their favourite places for a quick getaway.
Ever imagined taking a vacay almost every other month and not worrying about taking leave from work? This coming year, 2018 brings us about 16 long weekends and gives us enough time to travel across the country, from South to North, and East to the West.
Many travel companies have come up with a list, recommending where to go on these long weekends. But, we spoke to some travel enthusiasts and asked them one place they would recommend for the long weekends and why? They share some incredible experiences with us.
Varanasi, Sarnath, and Bodhgaya
Raghuveer Das, a documentary filmmaker talks about Varanasi and says, “The first time when I went there, I didn’t know if I would have a good time in a place so chaotic. But, the energy there is so vibrant that you will not feel like leaving. Every day is a new day in Varanasi, there’s always so much to explore. Surprisingly, there were so many Asians from Japan and Korea because Bodhgaya is just a few hours away. In fact, the first Buddhist shrine is in Sarnath, a few kilometres’ from Varanasi where Buddha came to preach his message,” says Raghuveer.
Travel tip: Visit Lalita Ghat and Dungeshwari Cave. There is a two hour direct flight to Varanasi from Bengaluru.
Ooty via Bandipur
Moeedul Hussain, who is a passionate biker, recommends riders to explore the scenic locales of Ooty. “But then, don’t just simply ride there. Try to take the longer route that comprises of those 36-enthralling hair-pin bends,” he says, adding, “The route will also take you through some of the core areas of Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary and Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary as well. Riding through these rugged trails has its own fun and excitement; hit the roads, kick-start your mean machine, and feel the ride!”
Travel tip: You must visit- Upper Bhavani Lake. It’s a mere 88 km away, three hours from Coimbatore Airport and a seven hour journey by road.
Silvana Corbani, an expat who has been living in India for 20 years strongly recommends people travelling to Kerala, the land of sea, sun, coconuts, mangoes, and papayas. She says, “For me, Kerala is the best place to visit during long weekends. It’s a simple place, the weather is always good, the air is clean and people are relaxed. What more would you need in a vacay? I love to sit by the beach near the coconut plantation and enjoy the ocean. Or go with windsurfing in Edava. You can also get Ayurvedic treatment and do some yoga while there,” Silvana adds.
Travel tip: A visit to the Kappil Beach is a must, it is a 12-hour journey by road and the nearest airport is Trivandrum Airport.
UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hampi
Deborah Manzoori, who moved to Bengaluru from the UK a couple of years ago says, “It is an awesome collection of ancient temples, royal palaces, stables and other ruins rivalling Angkor Wat. The Royal Elephant Stables were truly magnificent. There is so much to see. It’s well worth more than a visit, to take it all in.”
Travel tip: Plan a visit to Tungabhadra River. It is seven hours by road from the city.
Roadtrip to Kailash Mansarovar, Tibet
Varun Bhoopalam, a real estate developer says he fell in love with the place instantly, “It’s such a serene and surreal place filled with amazing natural beauty and peace. A place which is absolute peace personified and the trek is so beautiful that I would love to go again and again. I recommend it to all trekkers and nature lovers. This place is not only of religious importance but also for avid trekkers,” he adds.
Travel tip: Kailash Parikrama is a must-visit. The nearest airport is Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport in Lucknow, 437 km from Kailash Mansarovar.
Lahaul, Spiti, and Leh Ladakh
Freddie Jazz, who travels around the globe taking pictures for his job, finds Lahaul, Spiti Valley and Ladakh one of his most memorable trips.
He says, “I’ll recommend a Leh and Ladakh road trip any day, as it’s a different experience altogether. A trip worth taking! The drive on these treacherous roads is risky and dangerous but it teaches one so much more about life, and the struggles people face in the mountains. I’d suggest camping throughout the journey to connect with nature and interact with locals. My most memorable moments were the first view of the Indus River, driving on the magnetic roads, through the stark Kargil towards Kashmir, the panoramic views of the mountains and Leh would definitely pull me back.”
Travel TIP: You must visit Indus Valley. It is a five-hour journey from Kullu-Manali Airport.