Between Christmas to New Year is generally when people take time out to holiday. Well, our kind of holiday involves cars and road trips. This year, we bring to you five places you can make travel plans to in India or abroad. The places are indeed beautiful but we chose the below because they are off-beat and not the places where the party people would be found in every corner.
1. Benaras, UP
Benaras is the spiritual capital of India. Located on the banks of the holy Ganges, the ghats of Benaras are considered to be the gateway to heavens. Certainly a good place to ring in New Year amidst the chants of the mantras. Living in the ashrams with the yogis and sadhus, eating ascetic food and waking up early to the foggy mornings would certainly set a positive precedent for the year to come.
2. Pench Tiger Reserve, MP
We all know Rudyard Kipling and his creation – Mowgli. The jungle that has been so vividly described in the Jungle Book is none other than the forest in Pench which is now a tiger reserve. Situated in Madhya Pradesh, the Pench Tiger Reserve is in the centre of the tiger-belt that stretches from Uttar Pradesh to Andhra Pradesh. And it is not only about spotting the king of the Jungle, Sher Khan. From different breeds of deer to wolves and scores of birds, Pench tiger reserve will ensure you usher in the New Year in the nature’s lap.
3. Ramchandi beach, Orissa
Well, we all make resolutions for the New Year. So if surfing is anywhere on your list, you would want to head to Ramchandi Beach in Orissa. It is just seven kilometres off Konark where you have the famous Sun temple – an architectural gem. The Ramchandi beach also hosts the India Surfing Festival and if you need professional training, you will have trainers in every gully.
4. Istanbul, Turkey
There are a few places on Earth that you have to see in your lifetime and one of them is Istanbul. The capital of Turkey has 2500 years of history dating back to almost 600 years before Christ. Located on the strategic silk route, Istanbul is a mix of ancient Roman, Latin and medieval Islamic architecture after the Ottomans conquered it in the 1400s.
5. Havana, Cuba
The restrictions on Cuba have been lifted recently after the Castros buried their hatchet with America. The years of restriction though have kept Cuba in a time-wrap and it still feels more like a 19th century hamlet. The island nation is the world capital of cigars, classic American cars and old Spanish revelry. You can travel across the country in less than a week and enjoy the medieval Spanish architecture, wine and salsa.