12 offbeat places for long weekends in 2015

Binsar, Almora, Uttarakhand
Image courtesy: Kunjal Karaniya

If 2014 left you aching for some days off work, 2015 is your year. The upside – the year has plenty of three- and four-day weekends to help you recover from routine. The flipside – you need to get planning now. With seven three-day weekends to offer, the year is already off to a good start.

While you’re hatching plans to make your boss sweat consider our list of 12 offbeat destinations – a compilation like no other – straight from our readers who experienced the not-so-known places in the country, and lived to tell the tale during our recent campaign, India Unexplored. Besides, there’s something here for everyone. Take your pick, and get a-packin’.


Friday                  Saturday              Sunday                   Monday

23                        24                        25                           26*

*Republic Day

Binsar, Almora, Uttarakhand: A slice of heaven in Kumaon, Binsar invites you to its pristine forests of pine, oak and cedar, which are a paradise for birdwatchers and hikers. Easy picturesque walks to local villages or up hills that offer breathtaking views are part of Binsar’s delights.


Osian, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Image courtesy: Ayan Adak


Saturday              Sunday                 Monday               Tuesday

14                           15                           16                           17*

*Maha Shivratri

Osian, Jodhpur, Rajasthan: Located just 66km north of Jodhpur, Osian, once an important and prosperous town on the silk route, is today a dusty little place with many Hindu and Jain temples. The town is known for its Sachiya Mata Temple (6am–8pm), a 9th-century Hindu temple built by a Parmar Dynasty king. Built from sandstone, it has intricate carvings on its outer walls and on the wooden ceiling that are reminiscent of the Jain temples in Ranakpur and Dilwara.

Mhasurli, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
Image courtesy: Arvind Athalye


Thursday             Friday                    Saturday              Sunday

 5                             6*                           7                              8


Mhasurli, Kolhapur, Maharashtra: Mhasurli is a quaint little village in Radhanagari Taluka in Kolhapur district in Maharashtra. The population here barely touches 3500. Visit here to sample some simple village living.


Kewzing, south Sikkim
Image courtesy: Sarita Santoshini


Thursday             Friday                    Saturday              Sunday

2                              3*                           4                              5

*Good Friday

Kewzing, South Sikkim: Kewzing is inhabited by the Bhutia community of Sikkim and the village – complete with traditional houses that stand out for their colourful tinned roofs, green backyards and breathtaking views of the Himalayas – has been hosting travellers in order to propagate the culture of the place. The locals speak very little Hindi but are friendly, curious and very hospitable.

Kadamane Tea Estate, Karnataka
Image courtesy: Safoora Ali


Friday                    Saturday              Sunday                 Monday

1*                           2                              3                              4

*Labour Day

Kadamane Tea Estate, Karnataka: The Kadumane Estate in Sakleshpur, and the Sinna Dorai bungalow are spread over hundreds of acres and are a delight to see. There is lots that can be done here – including trekking – if you’re up for it.


Any Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Tola, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand:  At the base of Nanda Devi Mountain, in the land of legends, stories, Gods and kings, lies Tola, the 9th village among 14 villages of Malla Johar a collection of villages established by the ancient Shaukas. The place is so off the beaten track that even hotels and resorts haven’t reached here.

Igatpuri, Nashik, Maharashtra
Image courtesy: Ayan Adak


Any Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Igatpuri, Nashik, Maharashtra: Igatpuri is at its greenest best during the monsoon season. It is said to receive the highest rainfall in all of Maharashtra. There are numerous hills and valleys here; if you do go for a hike in these, don’t bother carrying an umbrella if a wholesome experience is what you seek.

Rasikbil, Cooch Behar, West Bengal
Image courtesy: Ayan Adak


Saturday              Sunday                 Monday                              

15*                         16                           17

*Independence Day

Rasikbil, Cooch Behar, West Bengal: Rasikbil has a large lake at its centre, one which attracts flocks of waterbirds, along with a host of migratory birds in winter. It’s a bird watcher’s haven and one can easily spot cormorants, herons, storks and other species. The wildlife centre at Rasikbil also has a deer park with scores of spotted deer, a crocodile centre and, most interestingly, a Leopard rehabilitation centre where you can spot a number of leopards ambling away in large, green, open enclosures.

Sangti valley, Dirang, Arunachal Pradesh
Image courtesy: Jit Roy Chowdhury


Thursday             Friday                    Saturday              Sunday

17*                         18                           19                           20

*Ganesh Chaturthi

Sangti valley, Dirang, Arunachal Pradesh: A quiet, serene valley, the most activity it sees is with the sheep grazing in ones and twos on the rough grass slopes. A few cottages that line the slopes, add to the charm.


Thursday             Friday                    Saturday              Sunday

1                              2*                           3                              4

*Gandhi Jayanti

Vashist, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh: When most Indian Tourists opt for Manali, they forget Vashisht, a small village, that offers more peace and calm. Vashisht is about 5km from Manali and is named after a Hindu sage with the same name. The Vashist temple here is considered to be as old as 4000 years and is made up of wood, and covered with intricate carvings.


Wednesday        Thursday             Friday                    Saturday              Sunday

11 *                        12                           13                           14                           15


Nurpur fort, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh: The beautiful fort built in the 10th century in the Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh is named after Queen Noorjahan, wife of Mughal Emperor Jahangir. The Nurpur fort now lies in ruins but is resplendent in history.

Samiti Lake, Khangchendzonga National Park, west Sikkim
Image courtesy: Shishir Desai


Thursday             Friday                    Saturday              Sunday

23                           24                           25*                         26


Samiti Lake, Khangchendzonga National Park, west Sikkim: For an unhindered view of Mt.Pandim head to Samiti Lake in West Sikkim that lies at the height of 15000 feet.

This article has been compiled using the entries received during our campaign India Unexplored.