Travel is one of the things listed on everyone’s New Year resolution plan, ALWAYS! So, how about working towards the goal of travelling to new places in 2015? We bring you a list of places in India which are must-see destinations on budget as well as for luxury! So pack your bags, hit the roads and visit these must-see destinations in India in 2015.
Sprawling tea plantations surrounded with serene hills; Munnar is a picture-perfect gateway for couples, honeymooners, families and even adventure lovers for trekking. Top attractions like Rajamalai (Eravikulam) National Park, Kolukkumalai Tea Estate and a stone Christ Church built in 1910 keeps the tourists engaged in Munnar.
Best time to visit Munnar: Round the year for winter holiday, summer break or monsoon gateway!
Rocky landscape, dotted with ancient temple ruins makes Hampi a unique attraction for travellers looking to visit a exceptional destination in 2015. The architectural ruins of Hampi are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Being the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire, Hampi, till date, remains an essential religious hub, housing the Virupaksha, Lakshmi Narasimha, Hemakuta Hill, Vithala temples and Big Shivlinga.
Best time to visit Hampi: From October till March
According to Hinduism, King Manu was said to have survived a great flood that destroyed the rest of the world. He then recreated mankind in this Kullu Valley town. No wonder the verdant terrain and towering peaks in Manali attracts adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers. One must visit the Hidimba Devi Temple located in the middle of a nearby deciduous forest of Manali. One can also visit Manikaran Gurudwara for experiencing inner-peace. After mental relaxation, one can also soak in the hot springs burbling from the ground at Vashist Hot Springs located across Beas River.
Best time to visit Manali: February to June for summer breaks, September till November for winters!
Despite being the most popular and one of the most visited beach destinations in India, Goa still makes it to the list of must-visit destinations in 2015! This is because there is something new in Goa every year. Slowly the crowd is moving from beaches to the interiors of Goa exploring the temples, churches, waterfalls, wildlife sanctuaries and even heritage circuits. East meets West in this sun-soaked state, where the Portuguese influences intertwines with Indian culture resulting in an excellent local lifestyle. North Goa is all about nightlife, shopping and hip culture. Move to the south for stretches of unspoiled sand and an escape from large resorts and crowd.
Best time to visit Goa: Round the year, however, October till April is preferable
Reflecting a unique ambiance which derives from its happy blend of tradition and modernity; Gangtok is an attractive tourist destination in Sikkim. Along with featuring stupas and monasteries; Gangtok also bustles like any other thriving town in North East India. Top attractions in Gangtok include Deer Park, Nathula Pass, Phutchachu Hot Springs, Tashi View Point, Enchey Monastery, Rumtek Monastery, Lal Bazaar and even Do-Drul Chorten.
Best time to visit Gangtok: From February till June; from October till mid-December
Tagged as the ‘Venice of the East’, Udaipur boasts several sparkling lakes against a backdrop of the Aravali mountain range. Home to few of the finest hotels & resorts, it is a perfect destination to say ‘I do!’ Few of the royal havelis are now converted into lavish five star properties showcasing the traditional Rajasthani architecture with epic courtyards and stunning paintings in every corner.
Top attractions in this lake town are Ranakpur Jain Temple, City Palace of Udaipur, Shilpgram, Jag Niwas, islands in Fateh Sagar Lake, Nehru Garden and even Jag Mandir.
Best time to visit Udaipur: From October till March
Yet another royal corner of India featuring the Rajasthani royalty, Jaipur is tagged as the ‘Pink City’ due to the glorious stucco buildings that line the city’s wide streets. Historic monuments like Amber Fort, Jaigarh Fort, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, City Palace are the top tourist attractions in Jaipur. And if you are looking for some unique souvenirs to take back home, head to the local bazaars and get endless options of colourful authentic local gifts.
Best time to visit Jaipur: From October till March
Home to the largest Tibetan temple outside of Tibet, Dharamshala is a serenely spiritual destination. Known for its religious iconography, it also houses the Dalai Lama monastery. So head to this tranquil destination to restore your spiritual energy and enjoy a picturesque stroll around Bhagsu Waterfall. You can also bask in some stunning views of the Himalayas or climb the hill to Trinud. Top attractions in Dharamshala included Tsuglag Khang and Kangra Valley.
Best time to visit Dharamshala: March to mid-July to beat the heat; July till September for monsoon gateway; September till November is best for sightseeing and November till February is best for winter holidays!
9. Havelock Islands
Popular for serene beaches, Andaman Islands comprises of some of the most exotic beaches in India; one of them being Havelock Islands. Do try the glass-bottomed boat trips to have up-close experience with the marine life. Top activities in Havelock Islands include jungle treks, camping, premium scuba diving and snorkelling. Apart from the beaches, it is also famous for Barren Island Volcano and Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park.
Best time to visit Havelock Islands: From March till May and from October till February
Located near the eastern parts of Jammu & Kashmir, on the crossroads of the historic ‘Silk Route’, Leh is the capital of Ladakh. The humbling monasteries of Alchi, Shey, Hermis, Thikse and Lamayuru will nurture your spiritual needs. Must-see attractions in Leh include Phyang Monastery, Tibetan Market and Leh Royal Palace while the top activities include white-water rafting, trekking along the Markha Valley and mountaineering.
Best time to visit Leh: From April till October
Brimming with healing Ayurvedic spas; Wayanad is a perfect destination for restoring your pleasantly exhausted body and mind. The emerald landscape is ideal for intense outdoor adventure activities and also calming the inner-self. Top attractions in Wayanad include Chembra Peak, Thirunelli Temple, Meenmutty Falls, Edakkal Caves and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.
Best time to visit Wayanad: From October till February
Perched on the woodsy southern crest of the Palani Hills, Kodaikanal is a lakeside resort town located nearly 7,000 feet above the sea-level. One can wander the peaceful slopes, keeping an eye out for striking birds, exotic flowers and even grizzled giant squirrels. Yes! Kodaikanal is home to the endangered animal called grizzled giant squirrel. The top attractions in this lake town include Berijam Lake, Coakers Walk and Kodaikanal Lake.
Best time to visit Kodaikanal: From April till June and from October till March
Author : Rishika Karra