The beginning of the new year brings with it the promise of a fresh start. New promises, new resolutions and an urge to do something different. It's time to take the road less taken and set off on a journey to discover a new 'you'. Allow the Musafir in you to take charge and let the year 2016 change the game. Here are some of the interesting destinations you can visit in the month of January. Remember, you can spend all your life making a bucket list, but there will always be other things waiting to be attended to. You would never be able to fulfill your dreams, if you just sit and browse around. So, just book an air ticket to the land of your dreams and set off to create your own story.
Landlocked by Myanmar, China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, Laos promises to deliver all the experiences of South-East Asia in one place. This country might be small in size, but entertainment it offers, is huge. Bursting at the seams with eastern culture, flavour, spices and rich in history, there’s never a dull moment in Laos. Ragged limestone cliffs, with the Mekong river meandering in and out and dense green forests transports you to a land where time stands still. To understand the true essence of a place you must always do what the locals do. A village home stay at a local Laos community will tell you a lot more about a place than any guided tour ever could. Simple, traditional, and beautiful, three adjectives that are synonymous with Laos. Pleasant mornings, and cool chilly nights makes Laos perfect in January.
The capital of Uttar Pradesh, multi-culture is what describes Lucknow best. The streets are filled with an energy that you won’t find anywhere else. A walk through the streets of this city will transport you back in time. The monuments are reflective of Persian architecture and the royalty of the Nawabs that once made this city their home can be felt in every nook and cranny. While in this vibrant city, you just have to try the local food, there’s no way around it. Trust me, its spices and flavours that you’ve never had before, leaving you wanting for more. You can enjoy the sights of Lucknow better when you don’t have the hot sun glaring down on you and sweat dripping from every pore. That’s why January is the best month to visit, during the nippy and cold winter.
14th - 17th January: Makar Sankranti & Pongal
This island country located to the South east of India is perfect for a weekend getaway. When four days are all you have for a vacation, you want to visit a country that is small and beautiful, and Sri Lanka fits this bill perfectly. Beaches are the main attraction of this island country. Since it's an island you can be rest assured that there are plenty of beaches to choose from. Apart from sandy shores and swaying palm trees, beaches come with a promise of entertaining activities. Snorkelling, deep sea diving, you name it and you can find it here. When you work up an appetite with these adventure packed activities, mouth-watering Sri Lankan cuisine of fish fry and curries will be awaiting. What more is needed for a perfect weekend getaway?
Not the fruit but the country. Jokes aside, located in the western part of South America, this is a country everyone needs to visit more often. Apart from the breathtakingly beautiful streets and architecture, Peru is known for its mystical aura. Mystery envelops Machu Picchu like a shroud. An ancient Incan citadel, it’s situated high in the Andes mountains. Built in 1450, the city was mysteriously abandoned 100 years later. There are many speculations as to how the civilization became extinct all of a sudden, each tale as intriguing as the other, but the actual truth remains a mystery. Apart from that Peru has giant sand dunes, mountain peaks and the Pacific Ocean adding colour to the brown landscape. A place where honeymooners can celebrate their love.
Bikaner is a city located in the north-west state of Rajasthan. You might think that a barren desert is not capable of life and beauty, but it’s an opinion you’ll definitely change when you set foot in Bikaner. The fifth largest city of Rajasthan, it has a rich royal history. Once the capital of the princely state of Bikaner, this city was founded by Rao Bika, a descendent of the royal Rajput family. The Junagarh Fort will give you a glimpse into the riches of the royals, while the Laxmi Niwas Palace showcases exquisite British architecture. A place beautiful enough to match the beauty of love.
Chadar Trek - Ladakh
If you’re an adventure junkie, more specifically a trekker, and hardcore trekking is what you live for then the Chadar trek is definitely something you need to experience. Mind you, don’t get fooled by its comforting name, it is one of the most hardcore treks. It takes place between January and February, in the middle of winter, when the Zanskar river is frozen over. In the Zanskar region of Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, the lake is covered with a sheet of ice, hence the name. With rugged mountains surrounding all over, it’s both chilling and thrilling.
Events / Festivals
- Republic Day: 26th Jan
- Makar Sankranti: 14th Jan
- Pongal: 15th Jan