This Independence Day, as we gear up to pay homage to our brave freedom fighters, who gave their ‘all’ to ensure that the generations to come breathed free air, there’s one thing that we need to learn from them. And, that is to ‘not to’ hesitate from questioning the usual order of things. Because, only when we do so, we will be able to break free from the shackles of orthodoxy, and bring a change or a revolution. That’s what our freedom fighters did, and that’s how we got independence. Right?
And, guys questioning the usual order of things doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be something as big as fighting for independence. It could be anything that affects our day-to-day life, or a thing that we can control. For instance, this Independence Day, if you are planning August weekend getaways, then break free from the run-of-the-mill trips that you have been taking to the same-old tourist destinations every year. Instead, plan a trip to some offbeat destination that is not spoilt by commercialisation.
To help, in this post, we list some of the offbeat destinations near your city that you can visit, to make the most of this long Independence Day weekend
Independence Day Weekend Getaways near Delhi
Lansdowne – The Land of Surreal Serenity
There are very few untouched and unspoilt beautiful places left in India, and Lansdowne is one of those. Situated on Pauri-Kotdwar Road, Lansdowne is fast becoming a summer retreat for Delhiites. Surrounded by mighty peaks and covered with lush vegetation, Lansdowne looks like a place straight out of a fairytale. And, the best part is that it is not buzzing with people, which means you get a lot of lone time to reflect on life, gazing at the peaks. The calmness enveloping the area is sure to transport you to a different world, a world where you are no longer a prisoner of your own mind. As the serenity of the area sinks in, you will feel lighter, rising above the burden of expectations in life. Quick Tip – When in Lansdowne you must visit Mall Road, St. Mary’s Church, Bhulla Tal and Tip n Top.
Distance From Delhi – 268 km
Travel Time – Around 6 hours 40 minutes NH 34 and NH 534
Bir, Himachal Pradesh – A Paragliders’ Paradise
Far from the polluted city life, Bir is not just a place to get some fresh oxygen, but it is also one of the most popular places for paragliding in India. Bir is the landing site for paragliding, located an altitude of 1525 metres above sea level. The take-off site, Billing, is located at an altitude of 2400 metres above sea level, making it one of the highest paragliding take-off points around the globe. It is considered one of the best take-off points in the world. No wonder Billing was chosen as the destination for the world’s first Paragliding World Cup.
Besides paragliding, Bir is also a perfect tourist destination for those looking for a memorable camping experience with friends and family. And, though the option for a hotel stay is also available in the region, we advise you to ditch the regular hotel stay and opt for a camp to take back memories of a lifetime.
Distance From Delhi – 516 km
Travel Time – Around 10-11 hours via NH 44
Independence Day Weekend Getaways near Mumbai
Sandhan Valley – An Adventurer’s Abode
Sometimes not saying anything is worth a thousand words. So, if, after reaching Sandhan Valley, you are lost for words, there’s nothing to worry about. You are absolutely hale and hearty, and like other visitors, the awe-inspiring sights of nature have swept you off your feet. Located less than 200 km from Mumbai, Sandhan Valley boasts lush vegetation and mesmerising landscapes. Witness clouds playing hide and seek with the sky-high peaks and experience the rush of feeling offbeat paths under your feet, as you go on a trek to the Sandhan Valley. The sights that you come across on your August weekend getaway trek are sure to reinvigorate your senses.
Distance From Mumbai – 183.2 km
Travel Time – 4 hours via SH 44 and NH 160, and 6 hours 40 minutes via NH61
Kamshet – A Gift from Mother Nature
Located in Pune district of Maharashtra, Kamshet is a beautiful hill station that is home to ancient temples, artificially created lakes and medieval caves. And, though the place does not have towering buildings that are symbolic of modern India, it exudes a unique charm because of its quaint, cute little mud thatched huts. Some of the popular tourist attractions in Kamshet are the Karla Caves, Bedse Caves, Wadeshwar Temple, Kondeshwar Temple and Vadivali Lake.
Kamshet is also popular among adventure sports enthusiasts owing to its paragliding opportunities. And, therefore, when in Kamshet, trying your hand at paragliding is a rule carved in stone. Besides paragliding, Kamshet is also a popular destination for trekking. If you have just been introduced to trekking, you can undertake the trek from Jamboli to Kondeshwar Temple. However, if you are an experienced hiker and want to test your limits, consider to the Western Ghats on foot. On your way, you will also get to explore caves, dating from between 2nd century BC and 5th century AD.
Distance From Mumbai – 102 km
Travel Time – Around 2 hours via Mumbai-Pune Highway
Independence Day Weekend Getaways near Bangalore
Dandeli – The Best of All Worlds
Dandeli, in North Karnataka, is an ideal tourist destination that has something to offer to everyone. For instance, if you have a penchant for adventure sports and you live to feel the adrenaline rush through your veins, you can partake in watersports such as kayaking, and white water rafting on the Kali River. And in case watersports do not excite you, you can visit Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary (part of Anshi Dandeli Tiger Reserve along with Anshi National Park), where you will find diverse flora and fauna thriving in their natural habitat. Similarly, if you are on a quest to trace your spiritual roots, head straight to Sri Mallikarjuna Temple.
Love spending time by waterfalls, doing nothing but listening to the sound of water gushing against the rocks? You are in luck as Dandeli is home to a number of picturesque waterfalls where you can do exactly this.
Distance From Bangalore – 461 km
Travel Time – Around 8 hours via NH 48
Honnemaradu – The Nectar of Life
Situated on the banks of the Linganamakki Dam reservoir along the Sharavathi River, Honnemardu is a small village tucked away in the Western Ghats. The place is a haven for people who wish to break free from the mundane city life and re-establish their connection with nature. Here, you won’t find even the dimmest traces of modern civilisation, while what you will get in abundance is peace and tranquillity. Hop aboard a coracle, a traditional boat made of bamboo, to reach the small island, which is a popular camping spot in the Honnemardu Reservoir. If you love spending time in the water, indulge in watersports such as swimming and kayaking. Honnemardu is the place to plan August weekend getaways even if you get thrilled watching birds reach for the sky. Every year, a number of migratory bird species visit the village, painting it with their vivid colours.
Distance From Bangalore – 425 km
Travel Time – 7 hours 25 minutes via NH 48
Independence Day Weekend Getaways near Hyderabad
Warangal – A Slice of India’s Rich Heritage
If you are a history buff with an insatiable appetite for discovering the stories behind monuments, the Warangal is a must-visit place. Warangal, with its ancient temples and forts, will transport you back to the eras gone by. If you are a student of Indian art and architecture forms, head to Thousand Pillars Temple that features elaborate rock carvings and decorated pillars. The next stop on your list must be Warangal Fort, home to a number of scriptures. If you want to take a break from city rush, Pakhal Lake, with its dense forests, is the place to be.
Distance From Hyderabad – 144.9 km
Travel Time – 3 hours 18 minutes via NH163
Kurnool – A Story Untold
Kurnool is a small town where life moves at an easy pace. Kurnool is a treasure house of elaborate rock paintings and rock arts, some of which are 35000 to 40000 years old. The places to visit in the city include Konda Reddy Fort, Venkanna Bavi Temple and Nallamala Forest. Kurnool Fort and Venkanna Bavi Temple are favourites among people who like walking to higher grounds to get a bird’s eye view of the city. Nallamala Forest, on the other hand, has been charming generations of travellers, whose idea of an ideal holiday is to sit amidst nature’s creation and appreciate the symphony of wind.
Distance From Hyderabad – 218.8 km
Travel Time – 3 hours 42 minutes via NH 44
Independence Day Weekend Getaways Near Pune
Panshet – A Nature’s Retreat
Nestled in the Sahyadri Ranges, Panshet has enigmatic landscapes that look like straight out of a nature documentary. One look at the surreal landscape and you will feel that Mother Nature herself has used all her colours to paint a vivid picture. Panshet is home to a number of waterfalls, and the sound of water falling on the rocks will be music to the ears. The hills in the area not only challenge avid trekkers to test their limits, but also mesmerise them with their remarkable beauty. In Panshet, you can try a number of adventure activities, such as camping and kayaking.
Distance From Pune – 41.6 km
Travel Time – 1 hour 32 minutes via Sinhagad Road
Bhandardara – A Blooming Hill Spot
Bhandardara is a beautiful hill station adorned with pristine waterfalls, lush greenery and steep peaks. The place is ideal for people, who wish to spend some quality time with loved ones, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. While on your August weekend getaway here, experience the thrill of camping in the middle of nowhere. Here, you get to relish visual delights, with clouds moving between the peaks and water gushing down cliffs with full force. The must-visit attractions in Bhandardara include Arthur Lake, Umbrella Falls and Wilson Dam.
Distance From Pune – 172.4 km
Travel Time – 4 hours 48 minutes via NH 60
Independence Day Weekend Getaways near Chennai
Tranquebar – The Land of Diversity
Thank heavens Tranquebar is still not too commercialised and receives a limited number of tourists, making it an ideal destination to unwind and relax. Despite its small size, Tranquebar has something for every traveller. For history buffs, not visiting the various monuments in the region, such as The Town Gate and Fort Dansborg, would be a cardinal sin. Those who love exploring local culture must visit Zion Church and Masilamani Nathar Temple. You must also visit the Arts and Craft Centre.
Distance From Chennai – 285 km
Travel Time – 6 hours 32 minutes via NH32
Yelagiri – A Land of Vivid Colours
Located deep in the Eastern Ghats, Yelagiri is famous for its natural beauty. Yelagiri is surrounded by varied vistas that include colourful orchards, awe inspiring rose gardens and verdant valleys, the beauty of which has left generations of travellers awestruck. In this hill town, you can try a number of adventure activities, such as trekking, paragliding and boating. The places worth visiting in the hill town include Swamimalai Hills, Jalagamparai Waterfalls and Velavan Temple.
Distance From Chennai – 228 km
Travel Time – 4 hours 50 minutes via NH48
Independence Day Weekend Getaways near Kolkata
Frasergunj – An Awe-inspiring Experience
Frasergunj is a beautiful beach town named after Andrew Fraser, who served as the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal during the British Raj. The reason we suggest that you plan a weekend getaway to this destination is because you get to visit three destinations. Frasergunj Beach is located close to Bakkhali and Henry islands, two more picturesque beach destinations in the region. The sun setting in the west in the horizon is a sight to behold in Bakkhali. If you have a spiritual bend of mind, don’t forget visiting the small temple located off the beach. Cycling around at the beach will offer you picturesque sights and unprecedented refreshment.
Distance From Kolkata – 126 km
Travel Time – 4 hours 44 minutes via NH12
Duarsini – The Quaint and Serene Destination
Located on the borders of West Bengal and Jharkhand, this quaint and serene town is nothing like your run-of-the-mill getaway destination. The region is surrounded by sal, segun, and piyal forests. Duarsini is inhabited by tribals who lead a simple life. Interact with the locals and participate in their rituals that are focused on cherishing the gifts of life. The region is home to a number of flora and fauna species. Seeing these species is an experience that you are sure to cherish for your lifetime. If, however, your idea of a perfect holiday is spending some time in solitude, head straight to the banks of river Satgudum, where birds will welcome you with their constant chirping.
Distance From Kolkata – 261.7 km
Travel Time – 6 hours 09 minutes via NH16
Those were some of the lesser-known marvels that you can consider exploring during your upcoming August weekend getaway. While all of these places promise to give the same feeling of liberation that drove the leaders of our freedom struggle, a lot depends on how well you plan your trip. With the Independence Day being on Wednesday, you can either plan a trip from Wed to Sunday or take off on Monday and Tuesday, and club the three days with the weekend before that. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to pack your bags!