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Travel: 5 great places to take a break

Last updated on: August 04, 2013 13:08 IST

Travel: 5 great places to take a break

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Courtesy YouthIncMag.com

For those seeking refuge from the clock-work schedules of the city, here are five secluded retreats which break the monotony of routine life, and go easy on the pockets of the ‘usually broke’ crowd

1. Kurumgad Island, Karnataka (Rs 7,000)

Reverie on a deserted island

Starting point: Bangalore

Getting there: Bus: Bangalore to Karwar (Rs 480-Rs 550); 20 minute ferry from Karwar to the island.

Accommodation: Tents and cottages would cost between Rs 2500 and Rs 3000 per person per night, including all meals.

Activities:

Embark on dolphin spotting trips in the sea

Aqua sports – kayaking (Rs 200); water surfing (Rs 400); power boat riding (Rs 300); snorkeling (Rs 600)

Explore Mystery Creek infested with otters

Boat rides to the NarsimhaTemple, nearby islands and forts.

“Catch and cook!”– fish caught by you and cooked in redolent spices by the chef

Travel tip: There are no ATMs on Kurumgad Island so be sure to carry all your money with you. Also, bus timings from Bangalore are not strictly maintained so one should be prepared for a delayed departure.


Image: Kurumgad Island, Karnataka
Photographs: A J Benson/Creative Commons

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2. Ranikhet, Uttarakhand  (Rs 7,000)

Trekker’s paradise

Starting point: New Delhi

Getting there: Bus: Delhi to Ranikhet (Rs 300). All buses drop off at the UP Roadways Bus Stand.

Accommodation: Ranikhet Club, still reeking of the Raj nostalgia, offers rooms for Rs 1,800 per night. Machan, Milan and Mayur offer cheap meals for Rs 50-Rs 100.

Activities

1 km walk to JhulaDeviTemple, festooned with bells

Picnics at the viewpoint café at Chaubhatia Orchards, surrounded by snowcovered peaks

Picturesque treks from Majkhali and back; enthusiasts can go up to Kausani

A 9-hole golf course for golf lovers, the second largest in India

Getting around: Sharing jeeps (between Rs 12 and Rs 15). Taxis: Rs 50–Rs 100.

Travel tip: The two peak seasons are mid-April to mid-July and October to mid-November. Always try for a discount if you’re travelling outside the two seasons. Carry sturdy shoes and footwear; Ranikhet demands exhausting walks.


Image: Ranikhet, Uttarakhand
Photographs: Parth Joshi/Creative Commons

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3. Gokarna, Karnataka (Rs 6,000)

For the beach aficionados

Starting point: Mumbai

Getting there: Train: Mumbai to Gokarna (Rs 360 – Rs 800)

Accomodation: Spanish Place on KudleBeach and Namaste Café on Om Beach have rooms for Rs 250-Rs 300. Guesthouses like Shastri’s, Vaibhav Nivas and Nimmu House offer rooms below Rs 200.

Activities

KudleBeach, backed by foothills of the Western Ghats, tops the list

Twenty minutes further is Om Beach, with a handful of shacks. Namaste Café bountiful with foreigners is a must visit

Half Moon Beach and ParadiseBeach offer adventure sports

Mahabaleshwara temple is home to a revered lingam

Travel tip: Gokarna is mainly a sacred site for Hindus, even if it attracts beach lovers. Modesty is probably the best policy here – keep your knees and shoulders covered and take your parties to the beach.


Image: Gokarna, Karnataka
Photographs: Roopesh Chander/Creative Commons

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4. Manas National Park, Guwahati (Rs 10,000)

Call of the wild

Starting Point: Kolkata

Getting there: Train: Kolkata to Barpeta Road (Rs 11,44 (2nd ac).

Accommodation: Government run resort, at Mathanguri, 22 km inside Manas. Tent accommodation is available at Bansbari Lodge outside the park (Rs 2,000 per night)

Activities

Jeep Safaris watching the golden langurs, elephants, rhinos, guars and some elusive tigers

Bumpy elephants rides to denser parts of the forest are a great way to explore Manas

1 night-2 day safaris are organized (starting Rs 3,500)

A quiet boat ride through the Manas river in the late afternoons

Travel tip: Bodo-separatists operate here, so confirm if it is safe to visit before you travel.


Image: Manas National Park, Guwahati
Photographs: Pankaj Kaushal /Creative Commons

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5. Saputara, Gujarat (Rs 7,000)

A hushed hill-station

Starting point: Ahmedabad

Getting there: Train: Ahmedabad to Bilimora (Rs 250 or more) Bus: Bilimora to Saputara (Rs 100)

Accommodation: Manas Cottage and Surti Cottage offer rooms (Rs 1,000-Rs 1,500) including all meals.

Activities

Bordered by thick forests is Saputara Lake, a major tourist attraction

VansdaNational Park is home to tigers, leopards, antelopes, spotted cats

Pushpak ropeway offers beautiful aerial views of the town

Paragliding, parasailing, ziplining, zorbing, water rolling, high roping can be undertaken

Getting around: Jeeps: Rs 15 or more Taxis: Rs 50 or more.

Travel tip: Carry raincoats or other water-proof gear since Saputara is prone to sporadic showers.


Image: Saputara
Photographs: Andy De/Creative Commons

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