rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Getahead » The 3 places you should absolutely visit this year

The 3 places you should absolutely visit this year

Last updated on: February 23, 2014 11:40 IST

The 3 places you should absolutely visit this year

     Next

Next
Prasad NP

Wondering where to head to this summer? Prasad NP has three suggestions

When you travel with family you are looking for destinations that everybody in the family from the grandma to the kids can enjoy together.

As I regularly travel with my family and write about my travels on my Indian family travel blog Desi Traveler, here are my top 3 family travel destinations in 2014.
I have chosen the places that I have personally visited and where whole family can enjoy together on beach, heritage circuit, adventure and nature.

Pondicherry

Now renamed Puducherry, it is a small footprint of the French from Colonial era.

Every street in Pondicherry has a story to tell and every corner offers culinary delights that range from Indian to French and everything in-between.

While your kids can enjoy some of the best beaches on Coromandel coast, you can take out your camera and click some of the most beautiful buildings from Colonial France's flirtation with coastal India.

You can shop till you drop in the flea markets as well as the designer boutiques, and when you suffer from guilt pangs from gluttony and shopping visit Matrimandir in Auroville and spend some quite me time meditating under the golden orb.

The path to Matrimandir goes through a dense forest that was planted one tree at a time by residents and volunteers of Auroville.

Today that labour of love on barren land has bloomed into a dense jungle under a canopy of bougainvillea that showers you with purple flowers, tropical sun plays hide and seek with you.

Go to Pondicherry a bygone era where cultures and cuisines come to connect and discover the joys of togetherness.

You will be spoilt for choice for food, places to stay and look, all at a leisurely pace so hard to find in now days.

Prasad NP is a corporate executive most of the week. He pretends to be a photographer and writer at his India Travel blog desi Traveler to fuel his twin passions of photography and travel.


Image: A beach in Pondicherry
Photographs: Prasad NP

     Next

The 3 places you should absolutely visit this year

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

How to reach: Nearest airport is Chennai and Pondicherry has its own railway station.

Where to stay: My first recommendations will be to try get booking in one of the Auroville guest house to get the authentic Auroville experience.

Those looking for luxury beach experience can look at Le Ponde and Kailash beach resort (starting from Rs 4000 per night).

If you are keener to stay in the French town you can look at the The Promenade for comfort and for coziness check into Villa Bayoud.

Eating out: You have to try Le Cafe on the beach road for the snacks, have a authentic wood fired pizzas at Au Feu de Bois on Lal Bahadur Shastry marg, and go to Satsanga for a Continental or Indian meal made with a European touch.


Image: Beach cricket at Pondicherry
Photographs: Prasad NP

Prev     Next

The 3 places you should absolutely visit this year

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Hampi has one of the oldest continuously worshipped temples in India the Virupaksha Temple, but it also has a lot more to offer for the whole family.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, you have some of the most challenging boulders to conquer if you are the outdoor types. Or climb the hill in Anegundi to reach the top of birth place of Hanuman and have a panoramic view for miles around, stay late to see one of the most magical sunsets you will ever see.

Go with the whole family to the water park managed by Karnataka Tourism, where you can enjoy the slides that take water directly from Tungabhadra.

Or take a carocle ride where the water is calm.

You can also take a side trip to the Daroji Sloth Bear sanctuary nearby and see one of the rarest animals to sight in wild.

For photographers Hampi is a dream comes true, from magnificent ruins, desi bazaars, to lush green fields and colourful birds you will be spoilt for choice to click.


Image: Virupaksha temple, Hampi
Photographs: Prasad NP

Prev     Next

The 3 places you should absolutely visit this year

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

How to Reach: Nearest town is Hospet, and major airports to reach Hampi would be Bangalore and Mangalore, though technically  Bellary and Hubli are closer but flights to them are not very frequent.

Where to Stay: Try Kishkindha resort for family, for backpacking type experience you can cross the river towards Anegundi and stay at Shanti Guest house. If you are keen on wildlife stay in Sloth Bear Resort.

Eating out: Your best bet would be the hotel you stay as Hampi is very spread out.

One place you should not miss is Under the Mango Tree, overlooking Tungabhadra River serving authentic Kannada Food.


Image: Sunset at Hampi
Photographs: Prasad NP

Prev     Next

Tadoba Tiger Reserve

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

One of the best managed Tiger Reserves; Tadoba came into limelight when a family of six tigers was regularly clicked by wildlife photographers, near the Telia Lake.

Tadoba has unique geography one of its major watering hole the Telia Lake has small grasses on banks, where tigers love to hide and swim in water in summers, giving you perfect viewing points.

This year more litters have been reported which should make your sightings even better.

You need to make your safari booking well in advance as the forest department allows only limited number of jeeps in forest per day.

Best time to visit with the aim to see tigers is during March to June as temperatures soar and big cats love to take a dip in lakes.

Besides tigers you will spot deer, sambhars, crocodiles, wild boar, sloth bear, bisons, and numerous birds.


Image: Tadoba
Photographs: Prasad NP

Prev     Next

Tadoba Tiger Reserve

Prev     More
Prev

More

The nearest airport is Nagpur and railway station is Chandrapur where you can also visit some temples and ruins from the era when Gond Tribals ruled the area.

Where to Stay: For the budget traveler stay with MTDC hotel or Tadoba Tiger resort at the Moharli gate.

For those looking for luxury go to Svasara Jungle Resort.

Eating out: Your best bet will be the hotel you are staying as you are in the middle of Tiger Country and you don't want to go out after dark

So dear readers these are my top three suggestions for family vacation in 2014, each one of them is easy to reach and offers a slice of India that still retains the true flavors of the magical mystical Incredible India.


Image: Tadoba
Photographs: Prasad NP

Prev     More