It was a Friday evening of humid April this year. Around 4 pm of that fateful evening, I found myself battling for breath. My life jacket was intact, but I could not come above the surface. Water started to get better of me. I was telling myself that nothing would happen. At best, I would go unconscious, but they would rescue me in time. Nothing could happen to me because that coming Monday, I had to work on revising the communication templates & present them in the review. I am not sure whether it was my resolve to stay alive or the embarrassment that had to ensue in the review, something worked and I came above the water surface the next second. I was capsized for 15 seconds when our raft overturned in an L3 rapid. The incident did instill a fear of adventure activities in me & everyone at home banished me from any kind of ‘adventure travel’ in future.
After 20 days, I got the chance to break away from my fear and fly high in the sky after jumping from the second highest site of paragliding in the world. Life couldn’t have been more beautiful
2016 was blissful. I got the chance to discover the popular and not-so-popular places of Incredible India. I added many beautiful and bitter travel stories in my memory treasure-chest. After travelling to so many phenomenal places of India, my love for travel and for India has only increased. Here’s a list of places that work wonders when you visit them in the recommended season:
January brings dreams, resolutions and aspirations for it marks the beginning of a new year and new goals. January calls for a place with finger-licking, calorie-laden, fried food that goes best with kulhad chai. Experience the colors of Rajasthan in January – the delicious food, the lyrical folk music, the garangutan forts & the vast Thar desert.
February begins with a blast and with one or two long weekends. Do not let go of these weekends so easily. Steal some moments from the craziness at work and the mundane during weekdays. And celebrate life on weekends in the utmost cosmopolitan city of India – the capital, Delhi. Eat your heart out in the posh cafes of Hauz Khas and Khan market & indulge in the street food in Chandni Chowk. Shop for handicraft and ethnic items from Delhi Haat. Plan a couple of days for the heritage walk and visit the beautiful monuments that adorn Delhi.
Note: All the Indian states and a few neighboring countries put together a great show at Surajkund mela in Faridabad every year in February. For 2017, the dates are: 1st to 15th Feb.
The gorgeous Mughal Garden also opens for Public from mid. Feb to mid. March. So, February happens to be the best time to visit Delhi.
March has always come with an impending loom: the dreaded annual exams then & contentious appraisals now. Take a break from this madness & plan a trip to the land of the deity who’s most popular for flouting the rules and breaking the conventions. Plan a trip to the mystical Vrindavan and mischievous Mathura.
Witness the grand celebration of Holi with colors, rose petals and batons. 😉 Who knows, a glimpse of Lord Krishna might help in turning around the results?!
April is the best time to go for a rafting and camping trip to Rishikesh. Club it with Haridwar. Witness the majestic ‘Gangaa Aarti’ at the banks of ‘Maa Gangaa’ and camp in Rishikesh. Spend a day in rafting and other adventure activities. Do not miss the interesting cafes of Rishikesh. My favorites is the Beatles’ cafe.
It’s officially Summers in May. The Sun gets harsher day by day & the wind doesn’t leave any chance of slapping your face. You skin starts to lose its glow and your shiny hair may fully transform to a broom any day. In this month, you need the love of a hill station, the compassion of mountains and the warmth of momos and thupka. Himachal Pradesh is the best deal for the month of May.
If you are a fan of Dauladhar mountains, go to the side of Mcleod and Dalhousie. If ‘substances’ interest you more, go to Kasol. And if you wish to enjoy nostalgia, Shimla is the best place.
June calls for hill stations and nothing else. The misty mornings, afternoons spent in savoring ‘hill-station delights’ & long walks on the mall roads – hill stations have so much to offer. India is home to many gorgeous hill stations.
If in North India, you could spend your time in Nainital. In South India, you could spend your holidays eating chocolates and enjoying splendid views in Kodai Kanal.
July is confusing. In some places, monsoon has come already while some burn under the scorching Sun continuously wishing for a downpour earnestly. You may visit both extremes of Spectrum in July and that’s the beauty of it.
If you love monsoons and want to get drenched, plan for this magical waterfalls in Karnataka – Jog falls.
If you are not much of a ‘rainy’ person but don’t wish to go to a hill station or a beach, come to Uttar Pradesh and pay a visit to the most ancient city of the world – Varanasi. Eat to your heart’s contents in the morning & go for a boat ride in the evening. Experience the wise vibes in the atmosphere in Sarnath (10kms. away from Varanasi) where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon.
August is the time to try something new. So, let’s ditch beaches and hill stations in August and do something new. I recommend you to plan a trip to the ruins of Hampi, caves of Badami & temples of Aihole.
This year, I visited the city of Nizams in the month of September & was happily shocked after visiting the Golconda fort in Hyderabad. This fort must not be missed for anything. The acoustics and architecture is brilliant. You can plan a trip to Hyderabad just for the Golconda fort.
Tip: When in Hyderabad, atleast one meal of the day must be ‘Hyderabadi Biryani’.
October comes with many options to choose. You could plan an early trip to Goa. Or you could visit the forests. All wild reserves and forests begin their Safari tours beginning October.
November is my favorite month. I was born in November. My husband was born in November. And we got married in November. It’s a wonderful month. Winters are just around the corner and Summers are gone already.
The best place to visit in November is Munnar – the most romantic hill station of India!
Above 5, 200 ft. above sea level, Munnar sits like a jewel in the top of the crown of Western Ghats range of mountains. Munnar, meaning three rivers, is the confluence of Mudhirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly rivers. For me, however, Munnar is a medley of tea, mountains and romance.
December is a reminder of a fantastic end and a promising start. Don a red cap, put on your best dress and get in the spirit of Christmas. While the entire country flocks to Goa to party, you could choose a different circuit if you are tight on budget and running short on your leave balance. Go for: the Taj in Agra, Buland Darwaza in Fatehpur Sikri & Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur. The trip doesn’t cost much & you get to experience one of the seven wonders, an erstwhile capital of the emperor Akbar and a natural habitat of chirpy birds and a lazy cobra.
Tip: Try to plan your trip so that you get to visit the Taj on a full moon night.
Disclaimer: This list can be done in more than one way. And I am sure, you may add/ edit many places here. I have compiled this post from my travel experiences.