When was the last time you went for a holiday and didn’t go through your Facebook newsfeed or upload a selfie to show your friends what a brilliant time you’re having? In this world of hashtags, Instagram pictures and Facebook likes and check-ins, technology addiction is becoming a huge problem.
If you don’t want to fall in the trap, try and get away from all this by going for at least one digital detox vacation in a year. Choose a place with no network and leave your laptops and iPads at home, spend time connecting with nature, reading a book (not on Kindle), playing with your kids or doing nothing at all.
Take your pick from these insanely beautiful places that are ideal for digital detox.
The stunning capital of Spiti, Kaza is located at the height of 11,980 feet. There’s plenty to do at this charming place, but getting here is such a task that you’ll need a day to unwind and relax. Ki Monastery, 14km away, is the largest in the state so a visit here is mandatory, to soak in the vistas of those rugged peaks.
Kibber, Langcha and Komic villages have their own charm. In fact, at the height of 13,943 feet, Langcha happens to be one of the highest villages in Asia, and Komic village has just 114 people. What you do here is chat with locals, enjoy the peace and quiet and soak in the stunning scenery. Mobile network? Consider yourself lucky if you don’t get it.
Getting there: The closest airport is at Bhuntar in Kullu, about 250km away. There are two ways of reaching Kaza – from Manali (212km) and Shimla (451km).
Asia’s cleanest village, tucked away in the north-eastern state of Meghalaya, is absolutely gorgeous. Combine it with a trip to Shillong and you can easily spend a night here. No fancy hotels or a resort, but a basic guesthouse takes care of all your needs.
Nearly a century old, the village has thatched Khasi huts, picturesque gardens full of flowers and bamboo baskets outside each home to keep the village clean. A 15-minute walk takes you to one of the legendary living root bridges – a natural bridge made by twisting the roots of a huge rubber tree. The roots make a pathway across a stream, making it easy for villagers to commute. These bridges are unique to Meghalaya.
Getting there: The closest airport is in Guwahati (195km); from Shillong it is 100km.
Far away from the crowd in Srinagar, Leh and Gulmarg is this quaint valley that was a part of the ancient Silk route and is connected to Gilgit in Pakistan. It’s 130km from Srinagar and it can easily take you about six hours to reach here, but the journey with snow-capped peaks in the distance and driving past pretty lakes, is so scenic that you won’t even realise how time has gone by.
With the Kishanganga River flowing through the valley, beautiful hamlets, shepherd grazing on the meadows, it’s a place that seems lost in time. Dawar is the main town here. The main attraction is the Habba Khatoon peak, named after the famous Kashmiri poet. Interestingly, the locals, a tribe called Dards, believe that they are descendants of Alexander and speak a different language.
Getting there: The nearest airport is in Srinagar, 130km away.
Spotting birds, going on treks to see animals and gazing at Himalayan peaks like Trishul, Nanda Devi, Panchachuli – this is Binsar for you. Located in scenic Kumaon, the hilly sanctuary, surrounded by oak, cedar and pine trees, has more than 200 species of birds.
It’s a lovely hamlet tucked away in the hills and an ideal location for those who want to switch off and be one with nature. Many upscale resorts are located here, but getting network is tough and they don’t have television sets either. Zero Point, also call Jhandidhar, is the highest point of the sanctuary at 7900 feet. You’ll be lucky if you spot a leopard.
Getting there: Pantnagar (140km) is the nearest airport and Kathgodam (122km) is the closest railway station.
A village lost in the Garhwal Himalayan region, is home to 500 people and 3000 sheep. Kalap, about 200km from Dehradun, is a gorgeous village, surrounded by pine and deodar trees, where you can go back in time because the villagers claim that they are descendants of Pandavas and Kauravas.
Getting here is one challenge, as no car goes there so you’ll has to trek for at least 4 hours, but the effort will be worth it. There’s nothing much to do here expect enjoy the natural beauty, meet the locals and listen to their stories. It’s an experience of a lifetime that you wouldn’t want to miss.
Getting there: The closest railway station is in Dehradun (200km away). The closest town to Kalap is Netwar. There are two trekking routes to the village. The summer trek is 8km and the winter trek is 5km.