India is heaven on earth for a traveller.
It has more variety in topography, biomes and weather zones than most entire continents. To that, add the wealth of monuments and religious sites.
Every kind of tourist, can find his groove in our land, be she/he a nature lover, photo bug, adventure enthusiast or just a wanderer. India has surprises for all.
Now let’s get down to business: Winter is one of the best seasons to criss-cross India. If you can’t make it before the year ends, the first weeks are as good a time as any — actually maybe a better period because the rush is less
Planning your dream vacation requires a lot of work so it unfolds perfectly.
To ease the choosing part, online travel agency Booking.com released its latest data trends that tell you about the most popular and preferred destinations people searched for on its site.
They are all locations known for their beauty, local colour, cuisine and climate.
Here’s the list and also info on what makes these places ideal for your next trip:
Once known as Pondicherry, and endearingly referred to as simply Pondy, Puducherry is a picturesque beach spot near Tamil Nadu.
A former French settlement, it’s a bustling, lively town brimming with French architecture, historical landmarks, and eateries serving authentic French cuisine as well as other international cuisines.
A few more important draws — the lively nightlife, its beach parties, Auroville and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.
Another less-known attraction of Puducherry is the dense Pichavaram Mangrove forest. It’s less than three hours away by road and offers a chance to take in one-of-a-kind natural wonders by boat.
Mumbai-ites and Punewallahs know how charming Lonavala in western India is with its surrounding lush green valleys. Hence the number of searches for it.
But it needs a berth on India’s map for its misty ravines and waterfalls, lakes, caves. Lonavla is also the gateway to many wonderful treks in the Sahyadris.
And remember, you haven’t been to Lonavala till you come home with a whole lot of chikki! The famed brittle bar has become synonymous with the place.
Nestled in the Beas River valley and swathed by tall cedars, fir, and oaks, Manali is truly the gift of the Himalayas.
A gorgeous hill station, it is known for its ancient Himachali-style temples, scenery, snow, shopping and trout and has something for all budgets. Backpackers or luxury travellers, and all stripes of tourists in between, will feel at home.
And then there’s the Solang Valley too. Just 13 km away from Manali, it’s a place for skiing, snowboarding, ropeway rides, and paragliding!
Trek options from Manali: Lamadugh Meadows, Jogini Falls and the Koshla-Tree-line trek in December and January for mesmerising panoramas of the snow-draped landscape.
Udaipur is a city of beautiful lakes, splendid havelis, temples and bazaars, and food.
The people of Rajasthan have always been good at living in grandeur and the rich local cuisine is reflective of their lifestyle.
Dal-Baati-Churma (a sweet wheat preparation), Pyaaz Ki Kachori (an onion-stuffed deep fried snack), Laal Maas (a yoghurt red chilly meat curry), Kheema Bati (mince served with a local unleavened bread) and Malai Ghevar(a creamy sweet) will satiate the foodie in you.
Yup, the City of Dreams, is on the most searched places list.
Mumbai offers history, antiques, foooooood, art, spiritual experiences, shop-till-you-drop time and so much josh.
Like Udaipur, the Pink City is very royal. The regal allure of the bygone era, its palaces and forts, exists, cheek by jowl, with malls, shiny residential towers and the newness of the present.
The capital city of Rajasthan has a fascinating, mind-boggling melange of attractions.
Don’t forget to have lassi at the main chowk in the old city.
Or plan to see the light and sound show at the Amber Fort.
Goa is not just a place, it’s a MOOD. It also provides a peek into a perfect blend of Indian and Portuguese cultures.
Beach-hop, tuck into delicious seafood and experience pulsating beach parties. Sunbathe. Drink feni.
Bengaluru is a tourist magnet for its pubs, nightlife, eateries, clubs, temples and heaps of leisure activities.
The unending expanse of tea plantations and low-hanging clouds make Munnar look prettier than a postcard.
Perched in the high hills of Kerala, the tea country will lure you for its boating ops, wildlife safaris, paragliding, trekking, and camping.
A trip to Anamudi peak, the tallest peak in the Western Ghats, is a must.
Home to the highest tea plantation in the world, no trip to Munnar is complete without popping in at the Kolukkumalai tea estate.
Unwind in nature’s godi (lap) in scintillating Shimla, which the British built as a summer holiday spot, to get away from the sweltering heat of Delhi.
Sample the Victorian-style architecture. Roam the Mall. Have a meal at any of the grand hotels. Avoid the monkeys.
Snow-covered Shimla is twice as memorable.
Do definitely chug up, through the hills like scores of Britishers did every summer, on the iconic toy train, which is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
VOTE and tell us which is your fave holiday destinations in India.
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