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5 quick getaways to make the most of your long weekends!

Last updated on: August 08, 2014 21:59 IST

5 quick getaways to make the most of your long weekends!

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Harnoor Channi-Tiwary

Rather than vegetating before the television, make the most of your long weekend! Harnoor Channi Tiwary has these suggestions!

The holiday calendar this year is a sight for sore eyes.

With long weekends galore, it is wise to plan your vacations in advance so that you are not stuck at the last moment.

And while you may have missed the Independence Day weekend (try getting a hotel booking now), there are a lot more you can make the most of!

Here is a list of quick weekend getaways for you to consider whichever part of India you live in!


Coorg

About 5-8 hours drive from Bangalore (depending on what town in Coorg you plan to visit) this is the perfect place to head to if you like to be in the midst of nature.

Coffee and tea plantations are the USP of this area.

Get thrown back into time and experience life as it was for the privileged during the reign of the British.

Century-old bungalows surrounded by endless plantations with butlers on hand and food that nourishes the soul, what else could you ask for?

Tata Plantations offer this experience and more at reasonable prices.

You can book a room in one of their many bungalows set amongst their plantations and enjoy additional facilities like golf etc.

If you prefer a more luxurious stay, try the plush Orange County Resort.

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Image: Coorg, Karnataka
Photographs: Harnoor Channi-Tiwary

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Malshej Ghat

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Harnoor Channi-Tiwary

A short 2.5 hour drive from Mumbai and you find yourself in the lap of the Western Ghats.

Picture a plateau with a 360-degree view of the ghats, wind blowing through your hair, green hills all around and absolute silence.

Malshej Ghat may not have many activities or things to do but that is the beauty of the place.

Monsoons are the perfect time to visit as the numerous waterfalls are a delight to see.

MTDC is the only property here and the only place you can eat.

Book a room facing the cliff and enjoy nature, as unspoilt as it gets.

The food served is non-fussy and delicious.

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Image: Malshej Ghat, Maharashtra
Photographs: Rashu Khanna
Tags: MTDC , Mumbai

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Thekkady

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If you've visited tea and coffee plantations and are in the mood to try something different, head to Thekkady.

Set amongst Spice Plantations, the Shalimar Spice Resort is one of its kinds.

Bordering the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, the rooms of this resort merge seamlessly into the cardamom and coffee plantations around them.

Undisturbed, the butterflies flitter by, the birds chirp and the scented breeze gently blows. You can choose to drive up here from Trivandrum, Cochin or Madurai.

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Image: Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Thekkady, Kerala
Photographs: Ben John/Wikimedia Creative Commons

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Palampur

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Palampur is arguably the most under-rated hill station in Northern India.

Easily connected via train (take a taxi from Pathankot), Palampur is one of the few places still off the tourist map.

Tea plantations dot the sides of the road as you drive through this sleepy town.

Two hours away from Dharamsala and Dalhousie, there are lots of things to fill into your itinerary if you wish.

But if you just want to relax, book an Ayurvedic massage at Kaya Kalp (a naturopathy healing centre), read a book and enjoy the beauty of nature. The flowers bloom bright and the views of the Dauladhar range are stunning.

Accommodation options are aplenty.

Stay in a tea plantation like Country Cottage or a homestay like Norwood Green or Seclude. A vacation in Palampur is all about the welcome silence and the lush greenery.

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Image: A view of Palampur, Himachal Pradesh
Photographs: Harnoor Channi-Tiwary

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Mandu

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About two hours southwest of Indore, Mandu is rightly called Central India's Hampi.

Strategically set atop a hill and surrounded by a wall that stretches for 45km, Mandu's glory days go back to the 10th century when it was founded as the capital of the Parmar Rulers of Malwa.

The Mughals and Marathas had their reign here subsequently and it eventually fell into ruins. If you are enchanted by history and believe that every stone tells a tale, a weekend in Mandu is the perfect getaway for you.

The 10-day Ganesh festival draws great crowds here.

MPTDC's Malwa Resort is the best option to stay in Mandu. With cottages overlooking the lake, its location is unbeatable.


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Image: The arches of Hindola Mahal, Mandu, Madhya Pradesh
Photographs: Bernard Gagnon/Wikimedia Creative Commons

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