View snow- laden skycrapers of the Himalayas from this lake district of Kumaon Hills
The lake district of Nainital is nestled at an altitude of 1938 mts ASL, in the Kumaon Hills of Uttarakhand. The thick forests of rhododendron, deodar and Cypress are dotted with numerous lakes.
Nainital gets its name from the eye shaped Naina Lake that nestles amidst seven mountains, right in the centre of this town. Naina Peak, which is about 6 kms from the town, offers 360 degree view of the snow laden Himalayas. The sheer beauty of the bowl shaped Nainital town with its emerald eye of a lake can be best appreciated from this peak. Also, we can see the beautiful snow-capped Nanda Devi Parbat from this point. Nainital being a trekker’s paradise, one could explore the region’s bio-diversity along Kilbury’s Road, Land’s End, Snow view Point, Dorothy’s Seat, to name a few. Most of these places are also accessible on horseback.
Nainital is reachable from Delhi by train. The nearest station is Kathgodam
Best Time : March to June; November to February
A full day excursion to Bhimtal, the largest lake in this region offers the most tranquil mountain vistas. Notable is the little island on the lake that is reachable by boat. Those who have more time and a penchant to explore more remote parts of the Kumaon hills can take in the beauty of Ranikhet, Almora, and the quaint region of Kausani and be rewarded with a truly “away from it all” holiday.
Camp on the sand dunes of the Thar desert, listening to Manganiyar music
The golden desert sands give Jaisalmer a unique atmosphere. A living fort, havelis with intricate art work, deeply traditional people create an old world charm for the visitor. In addition to the cultural attractions, the Thar Desert offers ample adventure through camel safaris and desert camps. During these safaris we see the survival techniques of the desert people in such arid land. The depth of folk culture seen here is very unique. Join us in a cultural adventure of the Thar Desert.
Jaisalmer is accessible by train & road from Jodhpur. By Air from Delhi, Jaipur
Best Time : November to February
Drive to a valley of rhodendrons amidst towering eastern Himalayas
The Himalayan state of Sikkim is spread below Mount Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world. Based in Gangtok, one could visit the beautiful Tsangu Lake which remains frozen during the winter. Further on is Nathu La Pass, the famous Silk Route of ancient times connecting Bengal to Tibet. The pleasant town of Pelling offers matchless vistas of the Kanchenchunga. The sacred Khechepalrilake in this region, remains under forest cover, but the birds ensure that no leaves float on the lake. In the more remote parts of Northern Sikkim, the traveler is spoilt for choice of Natural scenery. Every turn on those winding mountain roads reveal spell binding landscapes that are better than the previous one. Chopta Valley draws adventurous trekkers as well as those seeking relaxation in Nature’s bountiful lap. Summer paints the valley with colourful flowers and during winter, one could actually walk on frozen rivers! The sacred Gurudongmar Lake, one of the highest lakes in the world, is encircled by snowy mountains.
Yumthang, the valley of flowers is draped with Rhodendron and primula flowers during the summer months. In this extremely cold place, the numerous medicinal hot water sulphur springs are a contrast indeed! Driving further north of Yumthang, on rugged roads, one is greeted with the heady fragrance of Azalea and indescribably beautiful landscapes at Yumesamdong.
The exhaustive beauty of Sikkim is naturally reflected in its people and rich cultural heritage. With Buddhism being entwined with Sikkimese culture, the numerous monasteries that dot this region are repositories of artistic treasures like bronze images and wall paintings. This tiny state of Sikkim has boundless appeal for all travelers.
Badgogra which is the nearest airport to Sikkim is well connected to major cities. New Jalpaiguri is the nearest railhead.
Best time: March to May
Scuba in the clear waters of Havelock Island, walk around amazing marine life in Neil island and revisit the freedom struggle in Port Blair.
For those who enjoy the beach, Havelock and Neil Islands in the Andamans are a great gift of Nature. Accessible by ferry service from Port Blair, these islands have serene beaches and crystal clear waters. Snorkelling, Scuba, Sea Walking, jet ski and other water sports activities are possible here during the right season.
In Port Blair the Cellular Jail and Ross Island bring alive the freedom struggle so graphically that we will value our country’s Independence much more.
Port Blair airport has regular flights from Kolkatta and Chennai.
Best time: October to March
Watch flocks of birds taking off from the immersed paddy fields as the sunsets in the backwaters. The orange red hue encompassing the tranquil Vembanad lake will be etched in your senses forever.
Gliding on a houseboat across the massive VembanadLake,one wonders if Nature has been partial to this part of Earth. Mellow orange sunrays at dusk playing hide and seek behind the coconut palms and the entire scene reflected on the backwaters is a moment of a lifetime. Endowed with distinctly beautiful green vistas, this part of Kerala offers unique holiday experiences. The tea-laden mountains of Munnar, the wildlife sanctuary in Thekkady, the waterfalls at Athirapally, the backwater villages of Alleppey and the heritage of Kochi make a heady cocktail of holiday destinations.
Cochin is the nearest airport and also is a well connected railhead.
Best time: October to March
Choose from a farm stay at the foothills, an homestay in Kotagiri, a resort in remote Avalanchi, or jungle lodge at the fringe of the Mudumalai sanctuary
This region is reachable from Bangalore through Mysore and on to Mudumalai. From Coimbatore, one drives through Mettupalayam and Coonoor to reach Ooty. A Heritage train plying between Mettupalayam and Ooty offers the most breathtaking visuals ever!
Best time: March-May; December to February if you like chilly winters
The Nilgiris have always held promise of a relaxing, laid-back atmosphere. And also unending scope for adventure! As we drive up the winding roads, the towering mountains seem to enfold us into its enormous arms.
Apart from the usual picnic spots close to the towns of Ooty and Coonoor, one should take time to explore the outer reaches of these Blue Mountains. As we drive towards the Avalanchi region, the sheer beauty of the winding lakes and undulating mountain ranges fills one’s senses.
The clear waters of the Upper Bhavani Lake reflect the changing colours of the sky. The evergreen rainforests with its abundant bio-diversity beckon trekkers, nature enthusiasts, photographers and anthropologists. The Nilgiris is home to the Thodas, Irulas, Kurumbas. People from whom we city-dwellers have a lot to learn – the most important lesson being that of respecting, understanding and co-existing with Nature.
North of Ooty lies Elephant country – Mudumalai. Home to a large variety of wildlife, the most sighted are elephants, peacocks, bison, deer, sloth bear and the langurs! The bathing and feeding of domestic elephants are not to be missed by all visitors to this jungle.