August Long Weekends Special.

Have you always rued the pace at which weekends turn into Monday, even before you’ve got into the groove for a weekend? More of a metaphorical expression, the clock needles always seem to fasten their pace between Friday evenings and Sunday nights. And then, it’s time again for office, colleges or whatever spells ‘monotonous’ for you. The tragedy is all the more aggravated for travellers, for they have little time to explore more than the neighbourhoods.

 

Thankfully, August brings a reprieve, for it has two extended weekends. So, just brush off the dust from your backpacks, check the fuel level in your vehicles and head off towards the highway. Celebrate weekend as it should rightly be.

 

ixigo pitches in with some help and has come up with this comprehensive list of places around almost all the major cities in India. Spoilt for choice, aren’t you?

 

Weekend delights for Delhites

 

BIKANER

Photo Courtesy: Nagarjun Kandukuru

While Jaipur is always the first place that comes into mind of Delhi people when it’s time to steer towards Rajasthan, try Bikaner. For one, you’ll know something more than the Amber Fort. Plus, there’s quite a lot of time that you can spend there without rushing back to Delhi. Dal, baati, choorma, lal maas are anyway a big lure. You can also have the ixigo itinerary for Bikaner.

 

SHIMLA

Photo Courtesy: NJ..

Okay. You might have been to Shimla for some ten times. Still, such is the magic of this place that you think of it every time you think of hills. Perhaps, it’s those silver lamps that come flickering in the evening on the Mall Road, or the cloud fluffs that hit you right in the face, or the thousands of colourful umbrellas that pop out of nowhere when it rains there. Eh.. few things never change.

 

Take a look at the itinerary for Shimla to have it all planned.

 

CORBETT NATIONAL PARK

Photo Courtesy: Vijaymp

Part a hill station, part wilderness. Mix both and you’ll have Corbett National Park. While river Kosi seems inviting enough for a walk when the water is just knee deep, there’s a good chance of that fleeting second when your heart skips a beat or two. What else can happen when a tiger looks you right in the eye?

 

Weekend delights for the Bengaluru techies

 

MYSORE

Photo Courtesy: Ananth BS

While Mysore City Palace will have your gaze fixed at it for quite some time, you must venture off towards the markets here. You’ll know what direction to take, for a heady scent will guide you to the market site. Sandalwood oils, handicrafts, ittar, and of course the never enough Mysore Pak.

 

Your itinerary for Mysore is right here too.

 

OOTY

Photo Courtesy: seeveeaar

You might have gorged over Ooty’s homemade chocolates for quite a many times. But you still crave for it, right? So while you pop in those dark chocolate balls, drive off on the misty roads that meander from between pine trees, and waterfalls that come gurgling down to the roadside from the tea plantations up on the hill.

 

Here’s your itinerary for Ooty.

 

KANYAKUMARI

Photo Courtesy: Gopinath Sivanesan

While people coming to Kanyakumari for a trip usually hit the panic button in a bid to soak it all, a lazy weekend is what I vouch for. Sit at the beach across the Kanyakumari Temple at sunset or sunrise and watch the horizon change colours. It’s one hell of a riot set loose by nature.

 

Check out the best way to get the best out of Kanyakumari here.

 

Weekend delights for the Mumbaikars

 

MAHABALESHWAR

Photo Courtesy: Rishabh Tatiraju

When I say Mahabaleshwar, it’s more than just the temples of this place. When you’ve an entire weekend, a longer one at that, to spend, explore the more natural side of this place. The Needle Hole Point (in the picture) is just a introduction to it. Trekking trails and more, there’s quite a lot for wanderers here.

 

Get the best of this place with this 3 day Mahabaleshwar itinerary.

 

SAPUTARA

Photo Courtesy: JB Kalola (patel)

One of the least explored hill stations in the vicinity, it’s perfect for a break up. By “break up” I meant an estrangement between you and the chaos of city life. Go for a splash in the gurgling waterfalls here, or take photographs to your hearts’ content. You’ll have your hands full.

 

Click on the link to check out the exclusive 3 day itinerary for Saputara.

 

AURANGABAD

Photo Courtesy: Aakash.gautam

Aurangabad is where the pull of Ajanta and Ellora is at its strongest. The breathtaking views from the fort ruins and the hillside will let you know why Mughal king Aurangzab fell in love with this place. It has history that goes back to 2nd century BCE. Need we say more?

 

Check out some more interesting to do options at Aurangabad here.

 

Weekend delights for the Ahmedabad folks

 

UDAIPUR

Photo Courtesy: myfoodforu.com

This is one city that even James Bond fell in love with. Remember Octopussy? Of course, you do. Apart from the majestic architecture that is so so royal, pick up a lot of bandhini work, those typical Rajput daggers, kilos of that ever delicious sweet ghevar and more.

 

Know more about the food of Udaipur here.

 

JAMNAGAR

Mark Walz

Yes, I know you thought that Jamnagar is passe for somebody from Ahmedabad. But trust me, it is not. For I’m not telling you to stick just to the lanes of the city, but also to hold a starfish or two in hand. Yes. for the city is home to India’s first marine park. You can walk in to gaze at some of the most fascinating sea life that you would’ve ever imagined.

 

Here’s one ideal itinerary for Jamnagar.

 

DWARKA

Photo Courtesy: Unlisted Sightings

No, that’s not a broom, Harry Potter or whatever you might owe your imagination to. That’s the brush of an archaeologist, who might have wandered off to unearth more mysteries at Dwarka. While a visit to the Dwarkadhish temple is a must here, I recommend that you drive off towards the Gulf of Khambat. Supposedly, this is where the ruins of the largely sunken city of Dwarka were found.

 

Here’s one of the most favoured itineraries for Dwarka.

 

Weekend delights for the disarming smiling people of Chennai

 

MAHABALIPURAM

Photo Courtesy: Mpradeep

There’s more to Mahabalipuram than just water and sand. I say that because right across the shore are wonders like the Shore Temple (in the picture). Brilliant examples of architecture, these places have their own sagas, rich in history.

 

BENGALURU

Photo Courtesy: Gafoor

The brass lamps of Malleswaram, Death by Chocolate (it’s a hot cake, with ice cream topped by chocolate sauce) at Corner House, some of best classics ever at Blossoms Book Corner and more. Bengaluru is a very different urban getaway. Explore the outskirts of the city and you’ll have acres and acres of rolling greens.

 

To avoid the planning hassles, you can check out this itinerary for Bengaluru.

 

PONDICHERRY

Photo Courtesy: NJ..

A strong sense of nostalgia will sweep over you as you walk the vintage lanes of Pondicherry. It feels like a walk in the French colony that was established here long, long back. Hop aboard a cycle, gather the whole lot of history that’s just strewn around the place.

 

Weekend delights for the arty Kolkata travellers

 

DARJEELING

Photo Courtesy: geographic.org

When they say that the whole of Darjeeling can pass for a picture postcard, I feel like adding the word ‘perfect’ between picture and postcard. On days when it rains at Darjeeling, it looks like a painting that’ll smudge if you touch it, even with a feather brush. That says it all, doesn’t it? And that, in the picture, is one train ride that you just can’t miss.

 

Check out a three in one itinerary for Darjeeling and around here.

 

BODH GAYA

 

Photo Courtesy: Tarabagani

Atheist or not, this place will have you feel an enlightenment of sorts. While the Buddha statue seems to have the calmest face you might have ever seen, a hundred prayer lamps glower and flicker in a harmony that’s strange yet believable.

 

KALIMPONG

Photo Courtesy: touristplacespl.blogspot.in

The roads at Kalimpong will leave you asking for more. So much so that once you reach the place, you’ll stay out of the hotel room till as late as the wee hours of morning. Stars seem nearer at Kalimpong, while every turn in the roads offers you views like this (see picture).

 

Here’s a perfect 3 day itinerary for Kalimpong.

 

Weekend delights for the simpletons of Guwahati

 

SHILLONG

spo0nman

Have you ever imagined the world turning topsy turvy? Come to Shillong to turn it real, for there are instances when you are up over there, seemingly walking the clouds. Then, at other times, you’ll have a waterfall gushing downwards with a ferociousness that might scare you off. Trek up the hill and it’ll be a turn again, for you’ll be atop the waterfall now.

 

Check out the 3 day itinerary for Shillong here to cut out on more planning.

 

GANGTOK

Photo Courtesy: ramkrsna

No, no, no, that’s not Tibet or Ladakh. That’s the dear, old Gangtok. A place that overwhelms you with sheer beauty of it. Rumtek Monastery is just one of the awe-inspiring faces of it. Hop on the ropeway to watch this charming little nugget of life from, well, a height.

 

Check out all that you can do here with this itinerary for Gangtok.

 

MOREH

Photo Courtesy: RadioFreeBarton

If there’s one thing more beautiful and engaging than the nature at Moreh, it’s the people. With grins that often stretch from ear to ear, these people are a welcoming lot. Have fun hobnobbing in the local markets, which offer quite a loot. I say that because Moreh is India’s link to Myanamar, and a lot of goods land here. Pretty low prices assured.

 

While you pack your bags and pick that hand compass and hit the roads, don’t forget to share your experiences here. We’ll love to listen from you.

 

About the author

 

Shikha Gautam loves to play with steering wheels, roads, words, flute and guitar among other things. Not necessarily in that order! You can contact her on twitter @Shikha Gautam