Let’s add another dimension to “going out this weekend”, Banglorites! Scroll down and take your pick from this varied list which caters to everyone from the easy going to the adventure junkies.
1. Pondicherry : The Beach
Travel time: 6 hours for 310 km via NH 77
Best for: Anyone looking for a laid back vacation, Architecture enthusiasts
When to go: October to February
Rent a two-wheeler to experience this entirely different realm of peace and serenity. The awe-inspiring French and Tamil architecture will take you to the bygone era. Spend your day checking out some of the popular cafes like Baker street, Le Maison Rose, Le Cafe and Cafe Des Arts, take a customary walk around Promenade Beach relishing the local seafood flavours and of course, go shopping. And to add an unforgettable twist to this mellow ride, dive head first into the bay for Scuba Diving with Temple Adventures. Just 19 km away from the city centre lies Auroville, the experimental township, which exhibits a completely different style of architecture and civilisation as we know it.
Where to stay: Charming Villa Raja Nagar
2. Coorg: The Hill Station
Travel time: 5 hours for 263 km via NH 75
Best for: Couples, Small families
When to go: November to April
Surrounded by picturesque coffee plantations, Coorg is a paradise. It is the perfect assortment of startling natural beauty, delectable cuisines, coffee, Buddhist monasteries and adventure sports. Gorge on the local delicacies like Pandi curry, Nellaki, Akki roti, Kadambettu along with a variety of other aromatic and compelling dishes. Apart from the famous sights of Namdroling Monastery, Abby Falls and Raja’s Seat, you can challenge your senses to trekking, whitewater rafting and paragliding.
Where to stay: Luxurious Resort amid Coffee Plantation
3. Hampi: UNESCO World Heritage Site
Travel time: 6 hours for 343 km via NH 48 and NH 50
Best for: Backpackers, Architecture and History enthusiasts
When to go: October to November
Once thrice the size of Paris, Hampi now stands in its ruins as a ghost township. Around 1500 AD, it used to be one of the largest cities in the rich Vijayanagara Empire. Perfect for backpackers, one can explore its splendid beauty by bicycle, then take a ferry ride across the river or head to Sanapur Lake, if you have adventure on your mind. The lake is perfect for cliff diving but there are no professionals to guide you through it, so basically…you’re on your own. On the other side of the river exists a completely contrasting island of Virupapuragaddi, engulfed in its hippie culture, where you can mingle with fellow travellers. Read a first-hand experience here.
Where to stay: Heritage Resort and Village
4. Bandipur National Park: Eco-tourism
Travel time: 4.5 hours for 223 km via NH 275
Best for: Couples, Small families, Nature and Wildlife lovers
When to go: March to May
Once a hunting ground for the Maharajas of Mysore, this national park was mainly created as a tiger reserve. Savour this expanse of raw wilderness where you can spot vervet monkeys, spotted deer, sambar, Indian rock python, flying lizards and many more interesting species on a jungle safari. Stay in the lodges here and listen to the rustling trees and the sounds of the wild singing you a lullaby.
Where to stay: Cosy Guesthouse in Mavanalla
5. Bandaje Arbi Falls, Charmadi Ghat: Trekking
Travel time: 5.5 hours for 310 km
Best for: Adventure lovers
When to go: June to September
If you are an avid nature lover and also an adventure seeker, trek to the Bandaje Arbi Falls will satisfy you in both respects. The nearest town from the starting point of the trek is Ujire from where you go to Bandaje village. From here, the climb is a mix of many ups and downs through different kinds of terrain. Read a first-hand account of the trek here.
Where to stay: carry your pitching tent