The rain gods may be playing spoilsport this monsoon, but that’s no reason to skip a trip this season. This August, Rakhi, Janamashtami, Independence Day and Eid holidays present the perfect opportunity for travellers to plan a long weekend break or a short vacation. TripAdvisor® - the world’s largest travel site, shares some escapes recommended by its community of millions of travellers from around the world.
These destinations are all easily accessible during the monsoons and within 500 kms driving distance from Delhi. In these places, travellers can bask in the serenity of hills or the beauty of forests or even experience wildlife spotting; and if that’s not enough TripAdvisor also suggests some popular things to do during your visit.
The Tree House Resort - If you are seeking an escape in the lap of nature with a twist of adventure, this is a great getaway for you. Embark on a 6 hour road journey from Delhi to find yourself at The Tree House Resort (Approximately 30 mins from the pink city). All fifteen rooms offer nature at its best along with great food and warm hospitality. Monsoons are a perfect time to pay a visit. According to a TripAdvisor traveller, “Gar Firdaus rue zameen ast, Hami asto, hami asto, hami ast. That’s what Shajahan said about Kashmir, translated - ‘If there is heaven on earth, this is where it is’. This place is no less than that.”
Things to do: Nature walks, cycling, romantic candle lit dinners organised on request by the resort, swimming, outdoor sports such as badminton, camel ride, a visit to the local village.
Room tips from TripAdvisor travellers: 1) “In case you are a family of 4 with little kids, I recommend you choose the luxury nest as it is spacious to accommodate all of you well” 2) “If you are a couple, then take single room “nest", preferably The Woodpecker Suite, or the Last one in the corner of the property.”
Jilling estate - “A pastoral nirvana”, according to a TripAdvisor traveller, Jilling located in Nainital is a home stay easily accessible via road from Delhi. Excellent home cooked food and warm hospitality make Jilling Estate an ideal home away from home. Monsoons make the locale splendid with greenery, mist and low clouds. With dense forest cover, rich flora & fauna and a breathtaking view of Nanda Devi (the 2nd highest mountain in India), the place offers a good retreat for trekking lovers.
Things to do: Indulge in nature treks and photography, catch up on your reading at the in-house library, go wildlife viewing or fishing.
Room tip from TripAdvisor Travellers: “The family cottage is very spacious with excellent views”
Park woods Shoghi – In a TripAdvisor travellers words “A Hidden Gem”, Park woods located in Shoghi is ranked as the number two specialty lodging in Shimla on TripAdvisor. It is an offbeat rustic hill resort amidst the forest with tents and cottages where travellers can bask in the glory of Mother Nature. Shutter bugs can indulge in nature photography to capture some of the most spectacular views in this part of the country.
Things to do: Enjoy jungle treks, rock climbing and rappelling as well as commando course and valley crossing with the help of trained professionals.
Room tips from TripAdvisor travellers: 1) “Go for the Pinewood cottages, they are spacious with good quality bathrooms and closer the dining too” 2) “Choose a walled hut and avoid using a gas burner for heating at night. The gas can cause claustrophobia and give you headaches in the morning”
Vishranti - A Doon Valley Resort and Spa - Imagine travelling to a place away from the hustle bustle of the city, deep in the woods. The resort has a route through the forest which is beautifully hypnotic. Spread across 23 acres of land, the resort is ideal to soak in relaxation to soothe your frayed city nerves .Vishranti also has in-house organic farming and a wonderful spa to indulge in. The resort is great for family travel as well, with numerous indoor and outdoor activities for kids. For all the cricket fans, our very own Indian captain M.S. Dhoni got married here. A 7 hour drive from Delhi, Vishranti is an excellent weekend escape!
Things to do: Experience farm fresh meals from their in-house organic farms. . Go cycling around the huge property and request to organise family picnics from several beautiful spots within the property. Room tips from TripAdvisor travellers: 1) “If you are a family wanting two rooms then choose Vishranti suite, it has two rooms but a common bath. If you are a couple and enjoy exotic living then choose Shanti suite as it has a separate living area. If you want a spacious bath with a Jacuzzi that fits two then choose Aram, the bathroom is bigger than the room.” 2) “Be sure of your directions to get here. Only 8 rooms, all differently furnished.”
Palampur- Quietly nestled in the Kangra Valley, surrounded by tea gardens and pine forests, is the fascinating hill station of Palampur. Though a small place, Palampur has some beautiful old temples and tea gardens and is even close to world famous paragliding areas. If you tire of reveling in nature’s bounty in this picturesque town, Palampur offers ample attractions nearby to keep you on your toes. Travellers can also choose to forge further to visit the popular Dharamsala & McLeod Ganj which are merely 40 kms from Palampur.
Things to do: Visit 5th century Bundlamata temple, world famous artist Shobha Singh's Art Gallery, the Tashi Jong Buddhist Monastery or the Andretta Artists' Village, where travellers can try their hand at pottery. The adventurous can head out for paragliding for gorgeous aerial views of the valley or settle for trekking.