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Get drenched! 5 exciting monsoon destinations

Last updated on: July 13, 2011 16:59 IST

Get drenched! 5 exciting monsoon destinations

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Harnoor Channi-Tiwary

There's nothing quite like a monsoon vacation, is there?

Waterfalls, mist-covered mountains, lush greenery, cool weather, hot meals...aah, you almost feel like you could make it last forever.

If you're looking for an enchanted rainy wonderland to enjoy a weekend or two at, we've got just the thing for you! With the much-awaited season upon us, it's time to take the path less trodden and plan your quick getaway.

In the following pages, we bring you five places to enjoy the rains to the fullest!

Want to to recommend your favourite monsoon weekend getaway to others? Tell us where you go, how you go, how far it is from your city, where accommodation is available, what there is to do -- the works.

Simply write an email (with the subject line: 'My fav monsoon getaway') and send it to getahead@rediff.co.in! Also send us pictures of the place you're writing about. We will publish the best ones right here on rediff.com!



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Punjab

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The state can get incredibly hot in the summer and very cold in the winters. Monsoons are when the fields are lush and sway to the winds, the perfect time to visit.

Punjab has much to offer, be it monuments, gardens, forts or temples.

However, a must-do is a visit to the Golden Temple. The peace and calm one finds here is unquestionable.

Another must-do is a visit to the Wagah Border to witness the Beating the Retreat ceremony. Wagah, the international borderline between India and Pakistan, is located 28 km from Amritsar.

While in Amritsar, also visit the Jallianwala Bagh over 1570 unarmed people were killed by British Indian Army soldiers.

Do not forget to include Chandigarh, the perfectly planned city which is a great base station to head into the hills.

Want to to recommend your favourite monsoon weekend getaway to others? Tell us where you go, how you go, how far it is from your city, where accommodation is available, what there is to do -- the works. Simply write an email (with the subject line: 'My fav monsoon getaway') and send it to getahead@rediff.co.in! Also send us pictures of the place you're writing about. We will publish the best ones right here on rediff.com!



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Wine tourism

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There is a new trend in young India of experiential travel. The youth want to do more than just see a place. A 'wine tour' offers just that.

A visit to a vineyard includes wine tasting tours, so wine lovers can enjoy exploring India's wine regions. You get to know all about how wine is produced, what equipment is used, at what temperature the wine is stored etc.

Wine tasting sessions include lessons in wine etiquette where you get to learn about the different types of wine and what food to pair it with.

What's more, you can enrich the experience by actually staying at the vineyard.

Most of these are located in the Nashik region in Maharashtra and near Bangalore in Karnataka, the popular ones are:.

1. Sula Vineyards near Nasik offers accommodation.

Phones: (0253) 2230141, 2230142, 07875555725
E-mail: beyond@sulawines.com
Website: www.sulawines.com

2. Chateau Indage is located in Narayangaon about 85 km from pune.
Website: www.chateauindage.com

3. Grover Vineyards is located at the foot of the Nandi Hills north of Bangalore.

E-mail: visit@grovervineyards.in
Phone: 080 23538691
Website: grovervineyards.in/index.html

4. Chateau d'Ori is located 22 km from Nashik on the Nashik-Dindori Road.

Website: http://chateaudori.com/estate.html
E-mail: winery@chateaudori.com

Want to to recommend your favourite monsoon weekend getaway to others? Tell us where you go, how you go, how far it is from your city, where accommodation is available, what there is to do -- the works. Simply write an email (with the subject line: 'My fav monsoon getaway') and send it to getahead@rediff.co.in! Also send us pictures of the place you're writing about. We will publish the best ones right here on rediff.com!



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Landsdowne

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This quaint hill station in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand is about 250 km away from Delhi.

Surrounded by oak and pine forests, this little hamlet nestled in the hills is located at around 5600 feet and is the headquarters of the Garhwal Rifles division of the Indian Army.

The beauty of Landsdowne is that it is usually covered in a blanket of clouds and you can see the clouds enter your room if you leave the windows open.

Want to to recommend your favourite monsoon weekend getaway to others? Tell us where you go, how you go, how far it is from your city, where accommodation is available, what there is to do -- the works. Simply write an email (with the subject line: 'My fav monsoon getaway') and send it to getahead@rediff.co.in! Also send us pictures of the place you're writing about. We will publish the best ones right here on rediff.com!



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Kerala

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Avoid the thunderous monsoons of Cochin and head to the gorgeous Periyar National Park which becomes even more beautiful in the rains.

A calm oasis, safaris in this unique park are not on jeeps like elsewhere but in boats on the lake. You can also head to one of the Ayurvedic spas and book yourself in for a few days of rejuvenation and relaxation.

Want to to recommend your favourite monsoon weekend getaway to others? Tell us where you go, how you go, how far it is from your city, where accommodation is available, what there is to do -- the works. Simply write an email (with the subject line: 'My fav monsoon getaway') and send it to getahead@rediff.co.in! Also send us pictures of the place you're writing about. We will publish the best ones right here on rediff.com!



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Leh

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Don't hesitate to head here this season as the roads are clear of snow and make travelling easier.

Nestled in the mighty Himalayas, it is the unlikely location for a desert, albeit a cold one. The breathtaking landscape which is as barren as the Valley of Kings in Egypt, is dotted with historic Buddhist monasteries.

Leh is accessible by road only between May and October from Manali (473 km) and Srinagar (434 km), as it is blocked by snow the rest of the year. An easier option is to fly to Leh with flights operating from Jammu, Delhi and Srinagar.

Want to to recommend your favourite monsoon weekend getaway to others? Tell us where you go, how you go, how far it is from your city, where accommodation is available, what there is to do -- the works. Simply write an email (with the subject line: 'My fav monsoon getaway') and send it to getahead@rediff.co.in! Also send us pictures of the place you're writing about. We will publish the best ones right here on rediff.com!



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Tips for travel in the monsoons

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1. Select your destination only after careful research on whether the route is safe and not prone to landslides etc.

2. Pack monsoon essentials -- umbrella, windcheater, raincoats, extra towels etc.

3. Carry monsoon footwear that will take you through the rains.

4. Enjoy the rains by stopping at small dhaabas enroute and sipping on hot chai with pakoras

5. The humidity can wreck havoc on your hair, make sure to pack your hair gels and conditioners.

6. If travelling by train, this is the one time of the year that you can consider a pleasurable journey on second class with aircondition. The breeze and rain make it worthwhile.

7. Carry a first-aid kit that includes antiseptics and light medicines for common cold and fever.

8. Avoid water from unknown sources and order mineral water everywhere to avoid the risk of water bourne infection.

9. Mosquitoes may be a menace in monsoons. Carry a mosquito repellent.

10. Stick to light clothes that dry fast.

Harnoor Channi-Tiwary is the founder of Journey My Way, a personalised travel advisory firm journeymyway.com.

Want to to recommend your favourite monsoon weekend getaway to others? Tell us where you go, how you go, how far it is from your city, where accommodation is available, what there is to do -- the works. Simply write an email (with the subject line: 'My fav monsoon getaway') and send it to getahead@rediff.co.in! Also send us pictures of the place you're writing about. We will publish the best ones right here on rediff.com!



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