4 Exciting Weekend Getaways For 2012 #MustVisit

Posted on December 29, 2011 in Specials, Travel

By Shweta Kulshreshtha:

Ever since we were kids there was this one word that always lightened up our face- Holiday. Holiday is that time of the year where you can do whatever you want. Many people choose to spend it in the lap of laziness, many sleep through their holidays, many get exclusive holiday packages some dreadful souls catch up on studies or work and then there are those who venture out to discover the world. Call them tourists, litterers or whatever colourful name you have for them in your own local language but these travellers get out of their cocoon, their busy hectic cocoon to go out into the world they haven’t discovered.

Now every tourist has an agent who gets them the hotel they want, the luxury they want and to the spot they want. But the entire idea with which tourism came up was to discover. I present to you a list of the five most beautiful and undiscovered, off-beat holiday spots in India where you can spend a relaxing weekend amidst your busy schedule.

1) Saputara:

Hill stations today have lost their charm to commercialization. And in this day and age Saputara stands as a beautiful, untouched and undiscovered hill station. It is a simple hill station, with a lake and hills. Yet the magic lies in the rawness and the freshness of the place. Saputara is also called as the ‘Adobe of Serpents’. It is the only hill station in Gujarat.

Location: Situated in the Dang district, at the southern tip of Gujarat. It is situated on the Maharashtra- Gujarat border.

Lodging: There are six major hotels in Saputara. The best two resorts in town are Chitrakoot Hill Resort and Savshanti Lake resort. Aakar Lords Inn is also popular followed by Shilpi Hill Resort and Vaity Ropeway Resort. Uday Hill Resort is another small hotel which is relatively less crowded.

Top Spots: Artists Village is a community of local timber and pick up bamboo made artefacts craftsmen and artists. It displays handicrafts made by locals like jewellery, key chains, paintings, pen stands etc.

Boating Club: There is a tranquil lake at the heart of Saputara, which is called the Saputara lake. About 21 m deep, it is encircled by beautiful hills. You can hire rowing and paddling boats here.

Some other places include the Echo point, Forest Nursery, Hatigadh Fort, Honey Bee Centre, Lake View Garden, Saputara Museum.

2) Kasauli:

Kasauli is a small and quiet hill station located in Himachal Pradesh. The beauty of Kasauli lies in the fact that it is untouched and peaceful. This small place has beautiful hills, a clear sky and fresh air to offer. You are in the lap of nature, closest to nature and most importantly at peace with everything. Perfect place to inspire love, art and music.

Location: Kasauli is 20 km from Barog and 60 km from Chandigarh. It is located in the Solan district in Himachal Pradesh

Lodging: There are three major hotels in the area. The best is Hill’s Pride Resort. Though outside the town, it has excellent services and provides a good combination of luxury and nature. The other two are Dream Land Home Stay and Parsonage Heritage. They do not match up to Hill’s pride in terms of luxury but offer decent lodging.

Top Spots: Kasauli has several unexplored natural spots like waterfalls, vantage points and green hills. There is a famous vantage point called Monkey point. It is the highest point in Kasauli. The Monkey point offers a breath-taking view of the river Satluj and the plains of the Chandigarh region. There is a temple dedicated to lord Hanuman, which is situated on top of this hill. It is believed by some, that when Lord Hanuman was returning with the ‘sanjeevani herb’ for Laxman, Lord Ram’s brother, Hanuman’s foot touched the hill and this is why the top of the hill resembles the shape of a foot.

There is a Nahari Devi temple located in Sanawar which is close to Kasauli. There is a beautiful waterfall behind the temple. Plus there is a very old and famous school names Lawrence school started by Sir Henry Lawrence.

There is the Anglican Church which is a major landmark in Kasauli. It is famous for its Gothic architecture and is deemed as an artists delight.

3) Daman and Diu:

Though two entirely different union territories located in Gujarat, both Daman and Diu are excellent locations to relax near a beach with a chilled beer in your hand. The idea of a beer so close to a dry state adds to the charm of both these locations (Any Gujarati resident drink enthusiast would agree!) The effects of the Portuguese who ruled over these territories is still evident in the ambience and architecture of the places. Excellent locations minus the commerciality of Goa.

Location: Situated on the Southern border of Gujarat along the coast of Saurashtra. It shares its borders with Junagadh district. Daman is close to the town of Vapi in Southern Guajarat.

Lodging: The top three hotels in Diu include Azzaro Resorts and Spa, Radhika Beach resort and Hoka resort. The top three resorts in Daman include Hotel Sovereign, Hotel Gurukripa and Cidade De Daman Devka Resort.

Top Spots: The Devka Beach in Daman is one of the most famous beaches with its own amusement park and colourful fountains. The Moti Daman Fort dates back into the 16th Century. It boasts of Portuguese heritage in India. Nani Daman is another part of Daman where one would find an old Church, a beautiful fort and a fishing dock. A lighthouse adorns this beach giving it an elegance.

The Fort of Diu is one of the prominent locations in Diu. It is surrounded by sea on three sides and provides a great view of the town and the ocean. The Hilsa Aquarium, Jampore Beach and the Church of Bom Jesus are some other tourist spots worth a visit. The Nagoa Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Diu.

4) Mahabaleshwar:

To experience Monsoon at its peak one must visit Mahabaleshwar during peak monsoon. This beautiful hill station located in Maharashtra comes to life during the monsoon. Say goodbye to any water world experience you had. The drive alone is exciting and fun filled. The water literally leaks out and you find mini waterfalls along the way. Inspiring, exciting and sheer fun is what Mahabaleshwar is to the average traveller in search of something different.

Location: Situated in the Matheran range of Sahyadri at a height of 2516 feet, average elevations rise to 2224 feet in the resort town that is about 100 km from Mumbai and 120 km from Pune.

Lodging: The top three hotels in Mahabaleshwar are Hotel Panorama, Aaram Lodging and Boarding and Grand Resort. Panorama offers value for money services while Grand resort is located in a prime area.

Top Spots: Mahabaleshwar is Asia’s only pedestrian hill station. It’s easy reaching the points with signboards all around. Just follow the trails to the huge array of vantage points available wherefrom you can view the natural majesty of Mahabaleshwar.

Echo Point is central to Matheran offering a panoramic view of the whole place. Charlotte or Sharlott Lake is a picturesque spot having the ancient Pisarnath Temple located by it.

Louisa Point located on a plateau is a lookout point offering a spectacular view of the ruined forts of Prabal and Vishalgarh. The famous “Lion’s Head” rock is located close to it. Alexander Point is famous and popular with tourists providing splendid views of Garbut Point, Chowk valley and Ulhas River.

Other places worth visiting are King George Point, Sunset/Porcupine Point and Monkey Point. Other points that can be explored are Heart Point, Malang Point, Honeymoon Hill, Lords Point, One-tree Hill, Olympia, Paymasters Park, Artists Park, Mount Barry, etc. Since there is no vehicular traffic at all the town makes for a quiet peaceful sojourn.

Share with us some more exciting weekend getaway tourist spots which you have visited or want to visit in 2012. Do comment!