5 Places that impressed foreigners

Winnie Karnik, April 29, 2015

Book by the beach, holidays with family, oodles of selfies with friends – these are what I am thinking of as summer looms over. Am I crazy? No! Living in India has its perks. If it’s raining cats and dogs in Mumbai, I rejoice my way to Lonavala, if it’s blazing fire in Delhi, I escape to Shimla. If it’s snowing ice-balls in Kashmir, I might get away to Nainital. India alone is so diverse, that I almost lost and found myself at the same time here. Regions and seasons, India offers you a place for every reason.

Look what some famous personalities said about India when they were on their summer break.

1. Kashmir

Kashmir

"If there is a paradise on earth, It is this, it is this, it is this." -Amit Khusrow on Kashmir

Snow galore, splendour unbound and valleys as unfathomable as its beauty, Kashmir clings with you even as you slip to your mundane life. From green valleys, saffron-filled streets, apple farms, houseboat stays to snow activities, Kashmir is truly the crown of India. You seldom visit places that leave you wondered and keep calling you back, time and again.

2. Ladakh

Ladakh

"If you're really listening, if you're awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold evermore wonders." -Andrew Harvey, author of A Journey in Ladakh

He isn’t wrong about this. Ladakh is beautiful in an unconventional way with deserted moonscapes, sprinkles of wildflowers, rugged mountains and undying pursuit of the Indus river. Ladakh has served as an inspiration for so many filmmakers, that its exotic location has served as a set for many films, the most famous being the ‘3 Idiots’.

3. Rishikesh

Rishikesh

"Oh yeah, alright Are you gonna be in my dreams, tonight? Love you, love you, love you, love you And in the end, the love you take Is equal to the love you make" -The Beatles during their stay in Rishikesh

While ‘The Beatles’ wrote most songs from ‘White Album’ during their stay in Rishikesh, they learnt advanced Transcendental Meditation here. This ‘yoga capital of the world’ fosters spirituality and is evidently considered a holy pilgrimage spot. Boasting of the highest bungee jump in India, Rishikesh is a haven for adventure junkies. Kayaking, white water rafting, cliff jumping and camping are just a few of the adventurous activities that you can indulge in when you are here. Once in Rishikesh, the opportunities are ceaseless.

4. Darjeeling

Darjeeling

"I would love to go to the Himalayas and cross over into Nepal to do the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway." -Natalie Dormer

I love the way this country smells. I'll never forget it. It's kind of spicy. Adrien Brody in The Darjeeling Limited Amidst the lush Himalayan foothills, Darjeeling is a mountainous hill station that leaves a whiff of natural tea in the air, as you stroll by. With a colonial feel of the British Raj, Darjeeling is bestowed with subtle nuances of nature. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is unassumingly the nation’s darling.

5. Mussoorie

Mussoorie

"The blackest cloud I've ever seen squatted over Mussoorie, and then it hailed marbles for half an hour. Nothing like a hailstorm to clear the sky. Even as I write, I see a rainbow forming." -Ruskin Bond

Ruskin Bond’s literature often trace his childhood memories and contemporary wanderings from the hills of Mussorie. Whistling woods, rolling plains, incorrigible Himalayan views and green misty dews make Mussoorie the ‘Queen of Hills’. Uncannily romantic and endearing, Mussoorie is a small town that delves into ones heart for good.