The New Year’s Eve party is over, and everybody is back to work…and perhaps, already daydreaming about their next holiday. Wondering how to ask your boss for taking time off this year? Or worried how much work you’d have to miss if your kid insists on taking a non-summer mini vacation this year? Unfurrow your eyebrows as we have a list of long weekends of 2017 and the places near Mumbai or New Delhi that you could visit during the time, without feeling guilty about missing work or studies:
1. January: 26th-29th
Our favourite beach state doesn’t really have a ‘best time to visit’ as such, but January is as good as it can get. Hit the beaches in North Goa and the Portuguese Baroque styled churches in South Goa. Grab a beer and chill with your friends at any of the cosy shacks along the beach and indulge in some delectable seafood while you enjoy some local music.
Hop onto the Gatimaan Express and head to the city with the most beautiful mausoleum. Visit the Taj Mahal on Thursday or the weekend (it is closed on Fridays) along with the nearby Agra Fort and one of the largest mosques in India, Jama Masjid. Lose yourself in the Mughal architecture of Fatehpur Sikri on the other day. A walk at Paliwal Park and some shopping at the market is enough before you head back home on the Gatimaan.
This trip will require you to miss work on the 27th i.e. Friday. Alternatively, you could cut your trip short to 2 days and head out on Saturday.
2. February: 24th-26th
If your friend’s bachelor’s or bachelorette falls during this time, look no further than Alibaug for options. With beautiful beaches, adventure sports, and stunningly themed restaurants, Alibaug is the perfect place for an extended weekend getaway.
Just a three- hour drive from New Delhi, Alwar in Rajasthan is home to the world-renowned dessert, kalakand. Feel like Scooby & the Gang as you head to Bhangarh Fort, a structure that even the Archaeological Survey of India thinks you shouldn’t wander into post sunset and before sunrise! Enjoy a day at Sariska Tiger Reserve and see for yourself why we need to save this majestic endangered species.
3. March: 11th-13th; 25th-28th
If celebrating Holi in Mumbai is not what’s on your mind, then head for a wine tour of Nashik. For trekkers, there is Ramsej, Harihar, and Tringalwadi Forts, and for those with a religious heart, there are more temples than can be named here.
Be it meditation or birdwatching, you can do it all in Lansdowne. Situated in the picturesque Garhwal region, the tranquil hill station of Lansdowne is perfect for a quiet weekend getaway from the maddening crowds of Delhi. Trek, boat, or simply curl up with a coffee mug, as you gaze into the horizon answering existential questions.
You will need to take a holiday on the 27th (Monday) if you want a month-end trip.
4. April: 1st-4th; 13th-16th
Vanilla ice cream adorned with luscious strawberries. Need we say more? (In case we do need to say more, the hill station is the perfect escape from the Mumbai heat)
Free yourself from the corporate chains of Delhi and head to this small hilly town for an adventure of a lifetime. Give metaphorical wings to your dreams of flying as you hitch yourself to the harness and go paragliding! Fishing, boating, taking leisurely walks are some of the other options in this quaint little town.
5. June: 24th-26th
A few hours’ drive from the city on a picturesque road, visiting Daman is a good way of welcoming the monsoons (which are usually late in this part of the country). Take in some Maharashtrian & Gujarati good as you while away your time on the virgin beaches.
Delhiites can make their way to Orchha…
Built just as the 16th century took form (1501, in other words!), Orchha still stands as grand as it used to. The billowing winds of monsoon, the darkening clouds provide the perfect backdrop for the rising mountains that surround the land of Orchha.
6. August: 12th-20th; 25th-27th
Undoubtedly, one of the most stunning visuals you’ll ever see is at Kaas plateau. Flowers of every colour, every fragrance makes its way to the land of Kaas to prove that heaven can be found on earth. Do your research on permissions required, places to stay before you head for what will certainly be an exotic experience.
Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur… Let the Rajasthani cuisine mesmerise your food buds while the magnificent forts regale your visual senses. The Mahals of yore combine well with the rustic vibe of the state to give you a royal feel, a welcome change from the hectic & polluting environment of Delhi.
7. September-October: 30th September- 2nd October; 14th-22nd
Walk amongst the ruins of one of the most industrious cities of ancient India and be awed by the architectural significance of the era. Missing a couple of days of work is completely worth it when you backpack across Hampi, take a bike tour, and soak in a culture of the past.
Imagine yourself walking to the edge of the platform, nerves tingling, as you wait to jump off from a height of 90m. Welcome to Rishikesh, the adventure capital of India. Bungee jumping, flying fox, swinging, and river rafting awaits you as leave fear behind. Once your adrenaline is flowing normally again, head to the peaceful cities of Dehradun and Mussoorie. Shop near the Kempty Falls market for wooden toys and other keepsakes.
8. December: 1st-3rd; 23rd-25th
Every self-respecting Mumbaikar has spent at least one holiday at Lonavala. Adventure sports, striking views from Tiger Point while you gorge on deliciously hot pakoras & tea is enough to make the last month of the year memorable.
Always wanted to try your hand at skiing but considered Switzerland too far? You can spend your Christmas closer to where Santa’s sleigh flies- on the freezing slopes of Auli. Get started on your skiing lessons as soon as you reach here on a ski lift. If you’re feeling ambitious enough, simply external your holiday and head back to Delhi post New Year’s!
If you are considering taking a holiday, better hurry up and apply for those coveted holidays before the rest of your colleagues do!