Here’s How You Should Spend Your 15 Long Weekends in 2018
2018 is the year we have all been waiting for. This is the year we hope to see all our half-baked travel plans come to life. For this is the year that comes with 15 glorious long weekends. Yes! You heard that right.
Fifteen. Long. Weekends.
If you ever fancied going across the globe or the country (for starters), this is your year. 2018 has taken cognisance of the innumerable travel quotes we read and eulogise, the endless travel plans we make with our BFFs (almost daily) and the memes we tag each other on tirelessly.
Time to latch on to the real deal, folks. Don’t just keep making plans but see them to fruition. Here’s some help from us.
20-22 January: Rann Utsav
The pristine white sands of Kutch come alive with a riot of colours during the Rann of Kutch festival. Try staying there on a full moon night for a surreal experience.
Plan your vacation now! The alluring folk dances, breathtaking handicrafts and delectable dishes summon you.
26-28 January: Kalimpong, West Bengal
The quaint little town of Kalimpong makes for an ideal weekend getaway in the month of January. The journey to Kalimpong (from Siliguri), in itself, is a sight to behold with lush green forests, floral meadows and the mighty Teesta river flowing in full glory along the way.
The town has a number of eateries you must absolutely drop by – One Cup, King Thai, Cafe Refuel – to name a few.
10-13 February: Chindi, Himachal Pradesh
Chindi is brimming with natural beauty – snow capped mountain peaks, apple orchards, pine and deodar trees, vast valley, low-roofed houses and an enchanting calm.
There isn’t much to do in Chindi other than sightseeing and relaxing. But that’s pretty cool too for a weekend getaway, isn’t it?
The place is easily accessible by road, train and air. You can choose to travel either via Shimla or Chandigarh.
Also Read: 7 Unusual Weekend Getaways Near Delhi/NCR
1-4 March: Mathura-Vrindavan-Barsana in Uttar Pradesh
This Holi weekend, travel to Uttar Pradesh for a hatke experience. Famous for their week-long Holi celebrations, these towns in Uttar Pradesh come alive with the spirit of the colourful festival taking over. There are myriad ways in which Holi is celebrated in this belt – Lath Maar Holi in Barsana and Nandagaon, Phoolon Ki Holi and Widows’ Holi in Vrindavan, Huranga at Dauji Temple.
Of course, there’s also delicious food and some intoxicating bhang waiting for you.
Also Read: 7 Things About Braj Ki Holi You Must Know
29 March-1 April: Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
Make sure you head to Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh for a laid back vacation.
The breathtaking architecture of the small town and some very bold engravings on the rocks are glorious remnants of our past. There is much to see and appreciate in Khajuraho – especially its innumerable temples, most of which date back to Chandela dynasty.
The Khajuraho Group of Monuments – which includes both Hindu and Jain temples – is also one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India.
28 April-1 May: Lakshadweep
A trip to Lakshadweep will be an ideal retreat to escape to, during the scorching summer months of April and May.
The Agatti Islands are ideal for peace lovers. Sit by the sea (with a book, perhaps) and soak in the natural beauty, accentuated by fluttering palm trees around.
Do go around local markets in Kavaratti to pick fish pickles, ornaments made from seashells, beads jewellery and more.
15-17 June: Gurez Valley, High Himalayas
Located in the High Himalayas (and approximately 133 kms from Srinagar), Gurez Valley makes for a fascinating weekend getaway. It is an 86 km drive from the sensitive region of Bandipura in Kashmir.
Camping, fishing, talking to the locals and rock climbing are some of the activities which can keep you busy in the Valley. Ideal for solo travellers and adventure junkies, Gurez Valley most certainly will go down as one of your most memorable trips ever.
15-19 August: Majuli, Assam
Fancy a ferry ride in the world’s largest river island? Head straight to Majuli, situated on the banks of the Brahmaputra this August.
Swollen with the first few showers of rain, the river island is a sight to behold at the onset of monsoon.
Bamboo huts, dewy grass, sunset on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra, fresh unadulterated air and delicious Assamese food make it an ideal getaway from city life. Weavers in Mishing Village, who weave beautiful traditional gamchas and Assamese sarees, are sure to give a lot of fodder to photography aficionados.
The nearest town from Majuli is Jorhat and the nearest airport is in Dibrugarh.
22-26 August: Mawlynnong, Meghalaya
Having won the title of the cleanest village in Asia in 2003, Mawlynnong, situated 90 km away from Shillong, most definitely needs to be on your travel bucket list. This spick and span village is dotted with thatched Khasi huts and colourful flowers blooming all around. Bamboo dustbins are mandatorily instalments outside every house in the village.
A meal of rice, dal and plain potatoes served with spicy tomato chutney is one of the specialities of Mawlynnong you cannot miss.
1-3 September: Kumarakom, Kerala
Head to the backwaters of Kumarakom for an unworldly and truly exotic getaway. Kumarakom is basically a cluster of islands surrounding the picturesque Vembanad Lake with many a bounty of nature adding to the charm.
Spend some time gazing at the beauty of the Aruvikkuzhi waterfalls and lazying and sun-bathing on the Kumarakom Beach.
Before leaving, make sure to rest your body by booking a rejuvenating Ayurveda massage – something that Kerala has gained indisputable mastery over.
13-16 September: Chikaldhara, Maharashtra
Brimming with natural beauty, Chikaldhara is a lesser known hill station in Maharashtra. The drive from Nagpur to Chikaldhara is a breathtaking experience in itself. The serpentine roads set the mood for a perfect vacation in the lap of nature. If you're lucky, you might just be rewarded with the sight of a fleeing bear along the way!
Any trip to Chikaldhara is incomplete without a visit to one of the many coffee plantations that the place is home to.
29 September-2 October: Jodhpur
No matter how many times you've been to Jodhpur, you can never really have enough of it. Whether it is the majestic forts, regal palaces, breathtaking lakes or the characteristic blue houses, every place spins a story which draws you in.
A desert safari in the rural hinterland of Rajasthan from Jodhpur might be a good way to discover small towns. You can also pick up traditional handicrafts and savour sumptuous Rajasthani food.
If you still manage to save some time, head straight to the Sardar Bazaar to pick up some Jodhpuris, silk scarves and bandhinis – and feast on mirchi ke pakode, kulhad chai and pyaaz ki kachori, among other delectable delicacies.
18-21 October: Rajgir, Bihar
Bihar is a state that boasts of beauty in every nook and corner. One such city in Bihar is Rajgir – a place of historical and religious significance. The vestiges of a glorious history – Ajatshatru’s Fort, Venuvana, Jivaka’s Mango Garden, Bimbisara’s Jail, Griddhakuta, Swarna Bhandar – summon you to Rajgir.
Visit the local markets, pick up traditional handicrafts and don’t forget to enjoy traditional Bihari cuisine – especially litti choka.
3-11 November: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Varanasi comes alive around Diwali. Although Dev Diwali is celebrated 15 days after Diwali, you can feel the festivity in the air much before.
Stroll though the ghats of Banaras, take a boat ride on the Ganges, participate in the Ganga Aarti. Go to the Manikarnika ghat, where several funeral pyres are lit at all times, to pay your respects to the finality of death.
There’s more to the city than temples and ghats, such as the Ramgarh Fort, the Banaras Hindu University and the world famous Banarasi saree.
Go looking for traditional weavers and artisans who reside in the streets of Banaras. See them spinning magic with their needles. Enjoy the local delicacies, the mouth-watering street food and the oh-so-famous paan banaras wala!
And if you can, extend your stay for the mystical Dev Diwali celebrations. You will cherish it for a lifetime.
22-25 December: Touphema Village, Nagaland
Built on a tiny hilltop, surrounded with lush greenery, the Touphema village in Nagaland is a state-sponsored tourism project aimed at giving tourists an experience akin to staying in traditional Naga tribal houses.
Touphema village is ideal for a laid back and unique Christmas experience. Take a stroll along the sprays of wildflowers and cherry blossoms that adorn the pathway to the village, indulge yourself in delicious local food – rice beer, chicken stew with bamboo shoot, dried pork, and more.
The village is easily accessible from Dimapur.