It’s time to say farewell to 2017. 2018 is almost knocking on the doors and its better we plan for our holidays, unwinding in the lap of hills, staring at the meadows, brushing our feet on the sandy beach water and going for a much deserved stress free trip. Here’s our wish list of the top places for an incredible wellness holiday in India that you should visit in 2018.
Meghalaya – Abode of Clouds: Did we say more about this exotic and gorgeous northeastern state? Meghalaya is one of the most gifted natural beauties that can be found anywhere on earth. It has many natural wonders right from the double-decker root bridge, crystal clear River Dawki (that is hailed as one of the most transparent rivers in India), the amazing and mystical Eco-Park, unending caves, river rafting, scuba diving, Elephants Fall and the wettest place called Cherrapunji.
The list of nature’s bounties in Meghalaya is endless. The rock capital of India - Shillong will never fail to charm you with its weather or fashion. During the spring or autumn, it comes alive with many fests and the cuisine is just the perfect setting to a quiet, wellness getaway. It also boasts of having Asia’s cleanest village. One of the 7 sisters states in the northeast, Meghalaya lives up to its expectations and is truly the “abode of clouds”.
Beautiful Kashmir Valley – Paradise is Here: The Kashmir valley is blessed to have places such as Srinagar, Pahalgam, Gulmarg and Sonmarg which are truly one of the most mesmerizing places on earth. They all get covered with snow during winters. The Dal Lake gets frozen and Gulmarg gets all the best snow cover in December and January. It is popular for skiing and snowboarding.
However, during the summer and later months of the year, the green, lush, meadows presents an unbelievable spectacular sight to behold. Plan a trip to these heavenly places in the summer months to create a memory of a lifetime. A week’s trip to the Kashmir valley is sure to wean you away from all your stress. What better way to unwind than by marveling at the great snow capped Himalayas? Such magnificent bounties makes Kashmir a must visit as a wellness destination in 2018.
Go Goa – Ultimate stress reliever destination:: Goa – Not been to Goa yet? For those who have been there, we need no reason to visit Goa time and again. Goa as an ultimate wellness destination will never go out of fashion.
Goa is magical with its wide, long, curvy roads, coconut plantations, earthy smell and is blessed with some really awesome offbeat beaches. Choose to beat the touristy path and explore Goa like a local. There’s enough to keep you hooked at in Goa. There is never a dull moment in Goa.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands – Unwind, dive into a connectivity less zone: Aha! The mystical and relatively unexplored Andaman Islands is here and chances are you have not thought of it as a wellness destination. Visit Andaman’s hidden islands such as Ross and Smith, Wandoor beach, Little Andaman to have the most of your wellness trip in 2018.
Take a bike or bicycle in one of these islands and experience slow travel. If you are a water enthusiast, there’s high chances you will eternally fall in love with this archipelago for its huge vistas of diving spots. Explore kayaking in Havelock Islands, go for snorkeling in North Bay and Elephanta Beach and take a deep dive with scuba diving in Havelock’s Elephanta Beach. Andaman Islands should be in your bucket list as one of the top wellness getaways.
Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu – UNESCO heritage getaway: Mahabalipuram is an ancient town built by the Pallava dynasty and its ancient temples such as Shore Temple, Five Rathas, Arjuna’s Penance will take you back to the Mahabarata’s era. This small historical place, lies just 55 km from the Chennai airport. If you plan to visit Puducherry from Chennai, go for a 2/3 days stop over at this heritage town.
The charm of the ancient era will be an immense stress reliever. Marvel at the old, intricate drawings of that era. You can also climb on the Lighthouse and have a birds eye view of the entire beach town. For the uninitiated, Mahabalipuram is also famed for its spectacular surfing waves. Visit the fishermen colony and if you are the one who loves surfing, then you are in the right place.
Chikmagalur – Unwind in the Western Ghats: Remember you are ensconced in one of the offbeat destinations in Western Ghats of India. Would you like to miss the opportunity to explore the breathtaking outdoors of the hills? You can spunk up your stay at Chikmagalur by picking up any activities such as Coffee Walk or just some lazy cycling in the hills of Western Ghats around the resort. There are scenic trekking trails (ask your resort for more guidance and customise one for you) in the region which are not to be missed to bring that slight adventure in your stay.
However, the smell and aroma of coffee plantations heightens the wellness quotient of a stay in Chikmagalur. In this coffee town, you can try signature therapies such as Coffee Cure spa at your resort. You must have heard of Beer Spa, Chocolate Spa but here you go with their Coffee Spa. Wake up early and take a leisurely stroll, practice Yoga at your Villa or near the pool. These make Chikamagalur as one of the most compelling wellness and healing destination in India to visit in 2018.
Within a close distance, you can explore the historical remains of Hoysala dynasty and gaze at their charming temple architecture that dates back to 12th to 14th century – a period when they ruled this region. Alternatively, Baba Budangiri in the Western Ghats are also an option. Simply drive down to the place or request the resort to organise your trip. Baba Budan was believed to the saint who first brought in coffee beans from Yemen to this region.
Ooty, Tamil Nadu – A romantic wellness escape: Ootacamund – the romantic getaway nestles in an amphitheater created by four hills -Club Hill, Elk Hill, Snowdon Hill and Doddabetta Hills. Ooty attracts tourists by its charming flowers, lofty mountains, dense forest, acres and acres of green tea estates. Botanical gardens, lamb’s rock, Dobabetta peak, cross-shrine, kalhatty fallskandal, rose garden – there’s so much to explore in Ooty. Stay together at the heart of Nilgiri; enjoy the pleasant weather.
Enjoy the panoramic surroundings, listen to the whisper of the birds, walk along the streets or take a slow boat ride in the Ooty Lake. Fill your love life with unforgettable romantic memories in the evergreen tea gardens or take a bite to the very local Ooty chocolates. Beautiful sights and rejuvenating breeze all together makes Ooty a good choice to celebrate the festival of love.
Amit Sengupta is a travel writer and you tuber. He blogs at www.black-board.in and his you tube channel is www.youtube.com/blackboarddiscover. His instagram profile is www.instagram.com/traveller_amit...