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PICS: 10 summer getaways to escape the crowds

Last updated on: May 9, 2013 14:32 IST

PICS: 10 summer getaways to escape the crowds

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Aditi Bose

Skip the regular hill stations and go for these pristine lesser-known ones instead.

Summers are here and it is time to go on a holiday. This time dare to be a little different. Skip the regular getaways and explore the lesser-known ones. When I began my research I was amazed at the number of hill stations India has which I have never heard of before. I definitely have a lot of places to cover this holiday season. Here are 10 little-known destinations for those who want to escape the crowds.

1. Chikhaldara, Maharashtra

Legend has it that this where the evil Keechaka was killed and thrown into the valley by Bhima. Thus the name Keechakadara, which later became Chikhaldara.

Situated at an altitude of over 1000m it is not only the only hill resort in the Vidarbha region but also the sole coffee growing region in Maharashtra. It is known for its diverse wildlife and is close to the Melghat Tiger Project which has around 80 tigers.

Enjoy the beauty of the hills from points like Hurricane Prospect and Devi. Other attractions include a lake, a tribal museum, a botanical garden and the Narnala Fort.

Chikhaldara is over 700 km from Mumbai. The nearest airport is at Nagpur.

Staying options include a resort run by MTDC or the Harshawardhan Resort.

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Image: ake in Gavilgad Fort near Chikhaldara.
Photographs: Hrishikesh Mahajan/ Creative Commons

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2. Reckong Peo, Himachal Pradesh

About 260 km away from Shimla is Reckong Peo in Kinnaur District of Himachal Pradesh located at an altitude of 2290 metres.

Besides trekking trips, one can enjoy stunning views of the Kinnaur Kailash peak that has a 79 feet tall rock formation which resembles a Shiv Linga. It is a popular pilgrimage spot.

For wildlife enthusiasts there are sanctuaries like Lipa Asrang, Rakchham Chhitkul and Rupi Bhaba Sanctuary which are home to ibex, blue sheep, red fox etc.

The temple dedicated to Goddess Chandika is located 3 km away.

Accommodation options include the Tourist Complex and the Kinnaur Kailash Hotel.


Image: Reckong Peo
Photographs: Steve Bennett/ Creative Commons

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3. Iritty, Kerala

Iritty is a pretty little town in Kannur district of Kerala surrounded by green hills and valleys and located on the banks of the Valapattanam river.

One of the popular attractions here is the Pazhassi Dam which has a garden, a children's park and boating facilities.

The Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary spread over 55 sq km is home to a huge variety of flora and fauna. The Katti Betta peak at 1145 metres is ideal for trekking.

For accommodation, one can stay at the Falcon Plaza.



Image: The Iritty Bridge was built by the British in 1933.
Photographs: Vinayaraj/ Creative Commons

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4. Chopta, Uttarakhand

Situated on the Gopeshwar-Ukhimath road in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, is the pretty hill station of Chopta.

Situated at an altitude of 2600 metres above sea level Chopta offers views of 41 prominent peaks and stunning views of the snow-capped Himalayan range. It is also popular with trekkers.

Sightseeing attractions are the Tungnath Mandir, the famous Kanchula Korak Musk Deer Sanctuary and the Tals (lakes) of Ukhimath and Deoria.

Chopta is about 450 km from Delhi. The nearest railhead is Rishikesh. 209 km away.

Staying options include the Mayadeep Herbal Resort and the Magpie Resort.


Image: Chopta, Uttarakhand
Photographs: Henry Hoffman/ Creative Commons

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5. Rinchenpong, Sikkim

Rinchenpong (5576 feet) in Sikkim is a hamlet located 130 km from Siliguri. Gangtok the capital is about 133 km away.

The 5-hour drive from Siliguri up the winding road offers some lovely views of the Teesta and Rangit rivers.

Once you reach your destination, relax and idle away your time taking in the breathtaking views of the enormous Kanchenjunga mountain range.

The more adventurous can take a stroll to the market area, go further up and visit the old monasteries, traditional Lepcha houses, the Poison Pokhri, the Rabindra Smriti Van and the Rhododendron sanctuary.

The closest airport is at Bagdogra and the closest railhead is New Jalpaiguri.

Staying options here include the Rinchenpong Village Resort, Yangsum Heritage Farm, Hotel Mt View, Hotel Norlha, and Rinchenpong Nest.


Image: Rinchenpong Monastery
Photographs: Alakananda.s/ Creative Commons

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6. Javadi Hills, Tamil Nadu

The Javadi Hills in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu are a range of hills located 75 km from Thiruvannamalai.

Besides being a trekkers' delight, places of attraction include the Beemanmadavu waterfalls, the Kavalur Observatory and the Komutteri Lake that offers boat rides.

This hill station has a number of staying options like Hotel Sparsa, Hotel Darling Residency and Hills Hotel.


Image: Javadi Hills, Tamil Nadu
Photographs: Shyamal/ Creative Commons

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7. Kudremukh, Karnataka

Part of the Kudremukh range in Kudremukh National Park in Karnataka, the word Kudremukh means horse-faced and is named after the shape of the peak.

Located about 100 km from Chikmagalur and 350 km from Bangalore, Kudremukh peak, at 1892 metres above sea level, is a trekker's paradise.

Attractions include the 100 feet Hanumana Gundi waterfall, the forested Gangamoola where a temple of Goddess Bhagavathi is located and the fort of Jamalabad bulit by Tipu Sultan.

Accommodation options are Hotel Chandan, Silent Valley Resort and the Seethanadi Nature Camp.


Image: Hanumana Gundi Falls, Kudremukh
Photographs: Vinay/Creative Commons

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8. Reiek, Mizoram

Want to experience typical Mizo village life? Head to Reiek, 12 km from Aizwal, where the Mizoram tourism department has created a heritage village.

The scenic drive up the winding road takes one through lush green hills and cascading waterfalls.

Reiek is located at 1546 metres, where the hills appear to be gentle slopes on the eastern side while the western and southern sides have spectacular rocky cliffs with caves and caverns making it a must-visit for adventure lovers.

One can stay at the Reiek Tourist Resort that is maintained by the tourism department.


Image: Reiek, Mizoram
Photographs: Rintei/ Photobucket

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9. Ananthagiri Hills, Andhra Pradesh

Located 90 km from Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh, Ananthagiri Hills is a densely forested hilly region and a favourite with trekkers.

The first trail begins from the Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple and the other goes from near the temple towards Kerelli.

Other attractions here are the 400 year old Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple and the clear and picturesque Nagasamudram Lake located 20 km from Ananthagiri Hills.

Staying options include the Haritha Valley Resort run by the department of Andhra Pradesh Tourism and Deccan Trails, a camping site nestled in the hills near the Reserve Forest.


Image: Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Ananthagiri Hills
Photographs: Nagaraju Raveender/ Creative Commons

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10. Jowai, Meghalaya

Jowai at an altitude of 1380 metres is located in the Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya and is 64 km away from the capital, Shillong. Besides scenic views, this hill town offers plenty of trekking, angling, caving and sightseeing opportunities.

The Thadlaskein Lake, the Tyrshi Falls, the Ialong Park, the Jarain Pitcher Plant Lake, the Stone Bridge at Thlumuwi, the Syntu Ksiar valley, the Nartiang Monoliths and the Iawmusiang market are some of the interesting places to visit.

One can stay at the Orchid Inn in Jowai.

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Post a description of your photo (where it was taken, when etc.) in less than 140 characters and we will publish your pictures right here on Rediff.com and in India Abroad.


Image: Ialong Park, Jowai
Photographs: Psihrishi/ Creative Commons

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