It is no surprise that when it comes to wanderlust, India has a treasure trove of enchanting landscapes to offer. Mountains, beaches, valleys, waterfalls – our country boasts of an exquisite collection of awe-inspiring views. Some of these places are so mesmerizing, that the lines between dream and reality blur when you visit them. These exquisite getaways are perfect for ringing in the New Year with your family and friends.
We have curated five such exquisite getaways in India that remind you of the pages of a fairytale:
The first place on our list of exquisite getaways is the idyllic village of Dawki. Located in the West Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya, about 85 kms from Shillong, it should be on the bucket list of every nature lover. Sandwiched between India and Bangladesh, it is famous for the emerald green Umngot River that separates the Khasi and Jaintia Hills. A boat race is held every year in March-April on this river. One can spend hours looking into this transparent river meandering through the hills, dotted with fishermen’s boats.
Places to see: Ungmot River, Bangladesh Border, Mawlynnong
Best time to visit: Throughout the year
Gurudongmar Lake, Sikkim
Located at a height of 17000 ft above sea level in North Sikkim, it is one of the highest lakes in the world. A special permit is required to visit the lake as it is close to the Indo-Tibet border.
While reaching this place from Gangtok, via Lachen, you will cover many waterfalls and snow capped peaks. The beautiful clear blue water of the lake, reflecting the lofty peaks of Kanchenjunga presents an ethereal sight.
Places to see: Lachen, Thangu, Chopta Valley
Best time to visit: November t o June
Valley Of Flowers, Uttarakhand
A picturesque national park on the Western Himalayas, this place is gifted with vibrant meadows (called bugyals) of endemic alpine flowers. British traveler Frank Smith chanced upon this colourful paradise in 1931. It has been declared as a world heritage site. According to legends, Hanuman had collected the famous Sanjeevani Booti from this place itself.
The last motor able point to reach this place is Govindghat, from where you have to embark on a trek via Ghangaria, the base camp. Upon reaching the captivating meadows, laze around and soak in the overwhelming beauty of the valley surrounded by sky-high mountains and waterfalls. Wildlife lovers must visit the adjoining Nanda Devi National Park to spot rare animal species like the Himalayan snow leopard, the Asiatic black deer and much more.
Places to see: Nanda Devi National Park, Hemkund Sahib
Best time to vist: July to November (when the flowers are in full bloom)
Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
The cold mountain desert of Spiti is the less famous neighbor of Ladakh. Offering a jaw dropping view of barren Himalayas, crystal clear glaciers, picturesque monasteries and postcard hamlets, it is the perfect destination for offbeat travelers . Monks clad in bright red robes and prayer flags fluttering in the wind have earned this place its nickname, Little Tibet.
Owing to its remote location and harsh weather conditions, Spiti is only accessible during summer. One has to take a cab after reaching Shimla. If you want to experience the local culture and cuisine of the valley, chuck the luxury of a hotel and spend your holiday with a Spitian family in the comfort of their home.
Places to see: Key Monastery, Tabo Monastery, Lhalung Monastery, Chandratal, Dhankar Lake, Kunzum Pass, Baralacha Pass, Kibber, Losar, Pin Valley National Park
Best time to visit: June to September
This land of stunning beauty is the perfect getaway for those who seek isolation from the cacophony of city life. It is located 300 km off the coast of Kerala and comprises of 36 coral islands dotted with palm trees. Only 10 of these islands are inhabited, mostly by fishermen, and only five are accessible to visitors.
The gateway to this tranquil paradise is Agatti, which is accessible from Kochi. Indulge in snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, kayaking, water skiing and a bunch of other water sports. The arresting beauty of the bright hued coral reefs and the rich marine life is unforgettable. Enjoy a stroll along the virgin beaches, build sand castles and let the gentle roar of the ocean lull you into a blissful slumber.
Places to see: Agatti Island, Minicoy Island, Bangaram Island, Kadmat Island, Kalpeni Island, Kavaratti Island Lagoons, Pitti Bird Sanctuary
Best time to visit: October to mid-May
This list is only a glimpse of the astonishing beauty of India. Every land has its own story; every corner has a surprise in store for you. If you are still pondering about when to apply for that leave from work, now is the time to one of these exquisite getaways.