When people want to do a fun yet relaxed holiday the most popular choice is Goa. Our very own sunshine state is the one stop destination for parties, beaches, relaxation, good food and complete rejuvenation. However for many Goa is now done to death. For many regular travellers every inch on the state from north to south has been covered and it's time to find alternatives to this cheerfully relaxed destination. Many feel the answer is in catching a flight to Thailand or Bali or even the smaller islands in Malaysia but are all unaware that there are some beautiful locations apart from Goa in our own country.
With its colonial buildings, statues, churches, temples and its French styled avenues, Pondicherry is a beautiful place to enjoy a relaxing vacation and a very popular one at that. Beaches like Serenity beach, Paradise beach and even Auroville beach are extremely popular for tourists. The city has a slight cosmopolitan air and a clam spiritual aura which enhances the relaxing experience. There are botanical gardens and ashrams to visit and due to its French influence some extremely delicious cuisine available as well.
It used to be the capital of the Vijaynagar Empire and is actually a UNESCO world heritage site. Hampi is one of those places that is just drowning in culture and history. You can't help but feel a deep sense of pride and awe when you visit the many ruins and temples. A great time to visit hampi would be during any of the festivals celebrated there. The hampi festival is a government organised cultural extravaganza and is officially the largest festival in Hampi. Diwali is also a great time to visit as it is celebrated with great pomp and fanfare. There are special ceremonies at the Virupaksha temple including a procession with elephants. For the musically inclined there is the beautiful Purandaradasa Aradhana classical music festival in honour of the ancient poet Purandaradasa who lived in Hampi. There is a lot to experience in this culturally rich town and its one place you must visit.
This some Konkan coastal town in Maharashtra is located about 375 kms away from Mumbai. Ganpatipule is a small village which is serene unspoiled and beautiful. The beach is pristine and clean, the sunset and sunrise is marvellous and there is ample greenery to make this one of the most relaxing vacation spots. It's such a small town that has about 100 houses along with a few resorts and hotels for tourists making this a peace lover's paradise. The temple of Swayambhu (self originated) Ganesh is visited by thousands and is the main attraction here. However for the adventurous folk this is a great venue for Paragliding.
ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR ISLANDS
Andaman and Nicobar Islands is popularly referred to as India's best kept secret. Geographically closer to South east Asia these Islands are beyond breathtakingly beautiful, with crystal clear blue water, white capped sand with immense flora and fauna. It is the ideal getaway for some sun sand and relaxation. Popular spots are Port Blair, Havelock islands; Neil islands and each have plenty of things to do. For all the snorkelling and scuba diving fans this is the ideal location for it!
By - Roxanne Bamboat
Roxanne is a pint sized girl who enjoys reading, movies, travel and is obsessed with food. She expresses her love for all things edible in her food blog - www.thetinytaster.com A freelancer in her profession, she is able to spend most of her time sampling the city's food offerings and reviews them as well as shares a few of her favourite recipes. More often known as The Tiny Taster, she's decided to take the world by storm - one plate a a time!
Twitter - @roxannebamboat