The month of January kicks off with new inspirations and incessant enthusiasm, but this time, if you plan an exciting weekend escapade with your family, friends or the loved one, it can have a kickass ending too. The republic day extended weekend is your chance to plan a pleasant mini vacation and motivate yourself to keep exploring new places in the coming months. To ensure that you don’t waste much time and effort in finalising your destination, we are giving you wonderful travel inspirations to make the most of your first long weekend of 2017.
Indulge in skiing amidst the perfect snowy setting of Auli this long weekend and we vouch that you will label it an experience of a lifetime. Considered India’s major ski resort, Auli offers state-of-the-art cable car experience. This is India’s longest cable car tour, offering mesmerising views of Nanda Devi, India’s second highest peak.
Gulmarg is a perfect destination to enjoy a short escapade in the month of January. Even though Gulmarg can be visited any time of the year, January is an ideal month for sports enthusiasts. It’s another beautiful destination to indulge in skiing and soak the beauty of scenic surroundings. While experts can head to Aparwahat Peak for a challenging skiing experience, Kongdori peak is recommended for the beginners.
Yes! You can even plan an international trip during this long weekend. Dubai is not one of those places that require you to make an elaborative plan and itinerary. Just a catch a two and half hours flight and get straight to an action. The city of extravagance hosts the most extravagant shopping festival that makes shoppers go bonkers. Shop to your heart’s content at Dubai Shopping Festival just before the bonanza ends.
This is something unique and a must-do if you like indulging in thrilling experiences. Jawai’s Leopard Hill is one of the few places in India where you can sight leopard roaming free and wild in their natural habitat. Located in the picturesque Pali district of Rajasthan, Leopard Hill is surrounded by Jawai Bandh, grasslands, riverbed and grazing ground.
Kalimpong, West Bengal
Overlooking the beautiful Teesta River, Kalimpong boasts colonial architecture, Buddhist monasteries, Himalayan views, and a fascinating nursery industry. It will be extremely chilly in January but stunning views of snow-capped mountains are totally worth a visit. It is one of the best romantic getaways for couples.
Since January is among the peak months to visit Udaipur, you can marvel at the beautiful landscapes of Udaipur without bearing the brunt of a scorching heat. If you are looking for a romantic getaway, Udaipur is one of the best weekend getaways in India. The shimmering lake of Pichola, the beautiful Aravali Hills along with fantastic palaces, havelis and temples are sure to take your breath away.
Havelock Island, Andaman
Known as a couple’s paradise, Havelock is one of the most beautiful islands in India. Frequented by a lot of honeymooners every year, Havelock is blessed with divine beauty, shimmering waters and vibrant marine life. January is the best time to indulge in snorkelling, scuba diving, mangrove safari and fishing in Havelock Island.
Rann of Kutch, Gujarat
Rann Utsav is the best opportunity for culture vultures to spend their extended weekend at the most vibrant cultural festivals of India. Experience the great traditions and hospitality of Kutch people and indulge in a plethora of festivities including Modhera Dance Festival, International Kite Flying Festival, Navratri festival and Tanariri Festival. Acquainting yourself with the heritage of Gujarat in a desert swathed in white sand and salty marshes is one the unique cultural experiences in India.
Corbett National Park, Uttrakhand
Surrender yourself to the wilderness of Corbett National Park, home to endangered species and diverse flora and fauna. Since October to February is the right season to plan your visit, you can use your first long weekend of the year to enjoy the pleasant weather and tranquillity of Jim Corbett. It is also an ideal time to watch an exotic variety of birds and the majestic Bengal tigers.
Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan
Ranthambore Tiger Reserve is an ideal weekend destination in North India. It’s a haven for wildlife lovers and photographers, for they can capture the majestic predators in their natural habitat. With more than 300 species of dry deciduous vegetation and a wide variety of bird species and wild animals, Ranthambore is a delightful treat for nature lovers.
Khajuraho Group of Monuments, Madhya Pradesh
A perfect retreat for art, history and cultural enthusiasts, Khajuraho is a UNESCO World heritage site, renowned for its intricate erotic carvings on the walls of unified temple complexes. January is the perfect time to plan a visit, as you can soak in the winter sun while exploring the unique craftsmanship of Khajuraho temples. While you get amused by impressive temple architecture in the day time, save the night for the colourful spectacle backed by a musical show in the evening on the temple grounds.
Alleppey is another beautiful destination in Kerala you can consider for your long weekend. It’s an ideal time to imbibe the tranquility of Alleppey’s backwaters on a houseboat ride. The idyllic surrounding of the Alleppey Beach and the Marari Beach makes for a perfect setting to unwind your mind, body and soul.
Depending on your mood, geographical location and taste, you can pick any of the above destinations to make the most of your extended weekend in January. All these destinations are the best weekend escapes for this month. So, let us know in the comments below where would you like to spend your long weekend.
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About the Author
Ratna Sehgal is an ardent reader, who loves weaving magic with her words. She is a content specialist and strives to be a digital marketing evangelist. Sci-fi gives her escapism and food brings her back to life, which she thinks is a beautiful roller coaster ride. Apart from her work, she aspires to be a nomad and touch people’s life with her experiences.