Nine travel recommendations to spruce up your long weekend of 26th January

So, the first long weekend of 2023 is just around the corner. You got plans? If yes, well done! And if not, how about you let me pitch a few recommendations to you?! Give it a thought, let it brew and decide whether you would like to spend the long weekend in the comfort of your quilt or out in the open, amidst nature.

Three travel recommendations (by air):

1. Konark, Odisha: wherever you are in the country, you can take a flight to Bhubaneshwar and spend 2 days exploring the capital, Konark temple in Konark, and Raghurajpur (the heritage village of India) on your way to Konark. By the way, the route to Konark is so gorgeous that it would totally take your mind off the mundane (or whatever rubbish occupies your mind). 😀 Architecture, Heritage, Stories, Handloom and Good Food is what a trip to Odisha promises. By the way, if you would like to get in touch with the spiritual side of yours, plan a trip to Puri, some 5 hours away from Bhubhaneshwar. A quick darshan of Lord Krishna would be enough to fuel you for a year.

Also read: 4 days and 3 nights in Odisha: a travel itinerary

2. Hampi & Badami, Karnataka: One of the greatest finds on the travel circuit down south is the ruins of Vijaynagra empire in Hampi, and caves temples of Badami- simply exquisite and extraordinary. Hampi doesn’t have an airport in the district but can be either accessed by Belgaum airport or Bangalore airport. In case you decide to visit Hampi via Bangalore, start early mornings to cover the 6 hours of distance between Bangalore & Hampi. You can stay for a couple of days in Hampi and then another in Badami, or more. 🙂 🙂 Hampi is another 4 hours from Badami by the way. But you won’t feel it since the route is beautiful and flanked by fields on both side. Gorgeous fields!

Also read: The tales of a bygone era – Hampi Diaries, II

Also read: Where History Sings & the Gods dance – Badami Caves, Karnataka

The elephant stable in Hampi

3. Allepey, Kerala: January is a really good month for a trip to the backwaters of Alleppey. Book a houseboat and spend some time away from the mainland amidst the calm of still waters. By the way, when I travelled to Allepey, I got bored pretty soon, clicked hundreds of selfies from all possible angles of the boat, bored the man driving the houseboat with my questions and scrolled through my social media feed only to decide that I was hungry. That’s what most people do – resort to food to fill the void inside.

Also read: The touch of love: Allepey Backwaters, Kerala

Alleppey backwaters, Kerala
Alleppey backwaters, Kerala

Three travel recommendations from Delhi NCR (by road):

4. Rishikesh, Uttarakhand: If you are in Delhi NCR, one of the best options to explore over the weekend is Rishikesh: find a spot near a river, go for a Yoga retreat, or indulge the spirit of adventure inside. Did you ask how?! Well, there’s bungee jumping, zip lining and river rafting. Take your pick.

Also read: Where the 70s come alive: Beatle’s Cafe in Rishikesh!

Also read: How I had a narrow escape while white water rafting at Rishikesh

My raft

5. Orchha, Madhya Pradesh: This is one of my favourites. Orchha, located at a distance of 9 hours, is a gem. True to its name (Orchha meaning ‘hidden’), the place is popular for its palaces, temples and stories. You can go for a walk, spend some time on the bank of Betwa river, experience the cenotaphs, or visit the Jehangir palace. And when you visit the palace, do not forget to ask about its story.

Also read: Orchha: the erstwhile capital of Bundelkhand

Also read: By the river Betwa, I sat down and smiled.

Chhatris, Orchha @Life on Weekends
Chhatris, Orchha @Life on Weekends
Orchha: the erstwhile capital of Bundelkhand @Life on Weekends
Orchha: the erstwhile capital of Bundelkhand @Life on Weekends

6. Jaipur & Udaipur, Rajasthan: Jaipur is a traveller’s paradise – good food, insta-reel worthy places, amazing shopping avenues and tourist destinations everywhere. Be it the simulated experience at Chowki Dhani, or a visit to yesteryear’s life at Amer Palace, every nook and corner of Jaipur is so beautiful that I am in love with this place. 🥰🥰 If you can manage a day or two more over this long weekend, consider clubbing Udaipur. And treat yourself like a royalty with back-to-back tours of palaces, delicious food, and bags full of shopping.

Also read: The Golden Sunset from the old Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur

Also read: The flamboyant & the cinematic City Palace of Udaipur

Also read: Royal Rajasthan presents Dharohar Dance Show in Bagore ki Haveli, Udaipur

Chauki Dhani, Jaipur @Life on Weekends
Chauki Dhani, Jaipur @Life on Weekends
Jaipur – Nov. 2017

Three travel recommendations from Delhi NCR (by train):

7. Ranthambore, Rajasthan: This is a new favourite of mine. Ranthambore, popular for its generous Tiger Safaris and not-so-shy Tigers, also houses amazing resorts where you can easily plan a staycation. You can also go for a day-long trip to Ranthambore fort, talk to locals (or just observe them), visit the Ganesha temple inside the fort premises and fantasize that you would meet a Tiger on the way back to parking lot. And the best part is that the train takes under 5 hours from Delhi to Sawai Madhopur, Ranthambore 😉

Also read: From NDLS to Sawai Madhopur, a train journey of 5 hours but of a hundred old memories

Also read: Live a piece of history and the unwavering faith in Gods, inside Ranthambore Fort, Rajasthan

Ranthambore Retreats 🙂
Ranthambore 🙂

8. Amritsar, Punjab: An overnight journey from Delhi NCR will drop you to a foodie’s paradise. You can eat divine Kulchas (yes, I am perfectly aware that I used the word ‘divine’ for Kulchas). But you got to taste them to know why those taste divine. And if you are a lassi fan, you have just hit the jackpot by arriving in Amritsar. And not just food, Amritsar is a shopper’s delight too with their Phulkari work, papads, pickles and juttis. 😉

Also read: The Golden Temple of God: Harminder Sahib, Amritsar

Also read: Cast aside your diet plans & relish the exclusive flavours of Amritsari Kulcha

9. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh: If you want to know what’s the best time to visit Khajuraho, it is this time. This weather when the mercury is bearable, plan a trip to the old temples of Khajuraho where they pray, worship and believe in God. Get charmed by the architecture and design of these temples that shine brilliantly when the Sun casts its rays on them. Oh, by the way, Khajuraho is famous for its erotic wall carvings too. 😉 Bonus, I guess!

Also read: Shhhh! The pursuit of Erotica in Khajuraho

I have purposely avoided giving options of mountains and hill stations. Why? Come on, do I even need to tell you? The chill this season was enough to shiver us to our bones this time. We don’t need to vacation in the cold too. Hence, a change of scene and a change of weather for you, with these nine travel recommendations.

Hope it gives you enough inspiration. And if not, maybe bookmark the location for the next long weekend, which is not too far away.

Happy travelling! See you next week.

Oh, you want to know if I am travelling this long weekend or not? Yes, yes, I am. To a Tiger Reserve. Excited and Thrilled. Will share more stories with you soon!


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