That place you couldn't visit last year because you didn't have enough leaves? The national park you've been meaning to go to for a couple of years but the dates never worked out? That road trip that the gang has been planning on but just can't seem to get everyone together at the same time?
The year 2017 is a blessing for all your unfulfilled travel plans. Long weekends are lined up one after the other. But everything takes planning, so we are here to help you with some trip suggestions.
Here are some great long-weekend trips that you could take this year:
1. Fagu, Himachal Pradesh
If you want to escape the city, Fagu is the perfect corner to head to. This quaint town is tucked away between luscious green fields and rain-soaked mountains. Enjoy a warm cuppa, delicious Himachali food and expect to hear the leopard roar in the oak forests nearby.
How To Reach: You could drive to Fagu, which is 45 minutes away from Shimla. The Shatabdi train from Delhi to Kalka is also a good option; Kalka to Fagu is 3 hours by road.
Where To Stay: There's a range of home-stays.
2. Thekkekadu, Kasaragod, Kerala
If you are unwilling to navigate the crowded backwaters of Kerala, then Thekkekadu is the perfect little haven for you. A fishing boat would slowly pass by, while you relax on the tranquil palm fringed banks close near sleepy villages. This is the perfect Kerala-countryside experience, unmatched by few other places.
How To Reach: The Kanhagad railway station is 22 km away and the Calicut International Airport is 167 km.
Where To Stay: There are a couple of retreats and resorts here.
3. Little Rann of Kutch and Banni Grasslands, Gujarat
The only place where the barren, cracked earth looks stunning is Kutch. Depending on when you go, you could be greeted by flamingoes or Asiatic wild asses, or by a meteor shower. There is no way one cannot fall in love with the white, salty earth here.
If this is not enough, then go deep into the Banni Grasslands. You could experience the most stunning of sunsets and the mesmerising landscape, while listening to tales of Banni camel herders.
How To Reach: Kutch is around 400 km from Ahmedabad. You could drive or hop on a bus.
Where To Stay: There are budget and luxury stay options in Kutch.
4. Peora, Uttarakhand
If you like forest trails, then Peora is the place for you. Away from the city and even from popular destinations such as Mukteshwar, this small town is the perfect introduction to the idyllic pahari life.
How To Reach: The Shatabdi train from Delhi to Kathgodam is a good option. It is a 2.5-hour drive to Peora from there.
Where To Stay: Several colonial bungalows have been converted into home-stays.
5. Mandu, Madhya Pradesh
If you are a history buff, then there are few options better than Mandu. A veritable mine of historical anecdotes and stories of love and war, the ruins of Mandu are situated in the Dhar district. From tombs and gateways to forts and mosques, this medieval city is like a history lesson come to life.
How To Reach: The Indore airport is 95 km from here, and at 124 km is the Ratlam rail-head. One can also reach Mandu from Indore by road.
Where To Stay: There are budget and luxury stay options in Mandu.
6. Dhanachuli, Uttarakhand
If the pitter-patter of raindrops has the same effect on you as the sound of waves on others, then Dhanachuli is your perfect getaway. If doing nothing makes your holiday perfect, then Dhanachuli is perfect for you. Take a stroll on the meandering roads, explore the apple orchards, and while away your time taking in the tranquil mountain air.
How To Reach: The Shatabdi from Delhi to Kalka is a good option. It is a 3 hour drive from there to Dhanachuli.
Where To Stay: There are good hotel and home-stay options.
7. Gangtok, Sikkim
If you have a couple of days in hand then look no further than Gangtok. The Gangtok air will soothe you while you visit monasteries, gorge on delicious Sikkimese food, pick handicraft souvenirs, explore tea plantations, enjoy the unparalleled view of the majestic Kanchenjunga, go to the Kanchenjunga National Park, or simply nurse a warm cuppa in one of the many cafes in what is one of the least-polluted cities in India.
How To Reach: Gangtok is a 5-hour drive from the Siliguri airport in West Bengal.
Where To Stay: There are many accommodation options in Gangtok.
8. Nameri National Park, Assam
This is another trip that will require just a couple of days. Ditch the very popular Kaziranga National Park for the little-known Nameri National Park. Drive into the heart of the tiger country, take one of the many forest walks it has to offer, go on an angling expedition, spend quiet nights around a bonfire and have yourself a true-blue jungle experience. Vehicles are not allowed inside the park so one would have to take a dinghy to cross the tributary of Jia Bharali.
How To Reach: The Tezpur airport is 37 km from Nameri. One could drive from the Guwahati airport as well, which is 5 hours away.
Where To Stay: One could stay at the Nameri Eco Camp or at the Jia Bhorelli Wild Resort. Booking well ahead in advance is recommended.
9. Ranakpur, Rajasthan
Located in the Aravali Range, Ranakpur's rich culture and architecture make it a haven for travellers. The many Jain temples, including the largest Jain temple complex in India, make it a special place. Take a horse ride, take a wildlife tour, explore Ranakpur in a jeep and even undertake a trek in the beautiful Rajasthani town.
How To Reach: Ranakpur is connected by road and rail from Jodhpur. The nearest airport is also at Jodhpur.
Where To Stay: There are many hotels and cottages in Ranakpur.