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Romantic escapes from Bengaluru

Stunning sea view in Gokarna
Image courtesy: ©Peetam Bose/Lonely Planet

It is not difficult to avoid the busy crowds of Bengaluru this Valentine’s Day. Escape into these beautiful places which are not more than a few hours’ drive away.


When you witness the sunset romancing with the hills, casting an orange spell on its submerged rocks in the Arabian Sea, it means you have arrived at Gokarna. A temple town that now has become a popular yoga beach retreat has a shoreline that is enclosed by several hills. This is what makes beach trekking a unique activity here. Treat yourself to Ayurvedic massages or take up water sports like banana boat rides and jet skiing.

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Nestled amid evergreen hills that line the southernmost edge of Karnataka is the luscious Kodagu (Coorg) region, gifted with emerald landscapes and hectares of plantations. The uneven terrain and cool climate make it a fantastic area for trekking, birdwatching or lazily ambling down little-trodden paths winding around carpeted hills. All in all, Kodagu is rejuvenation guaranteed.

Lush green Ooty
Lush green Ooty
Image courtesy: ©TamilNadu Tourism Development


Immortalised by Bollywood, Ooty is rightly recognized as ‘Queen of hill stations’. With many ‘tick off the list’ things to do, it’s an engaging destination with the toy train, botanical gardens, boat house and many more tourist attractions. Stay on the outer fringes to get a taste of old-world charm, still lingering in refurbished colonial bungalows.

Explore the ruins in Hampi
Explore the ruins in Hampi
Image courtesy: ©Waj/Shutterstock


Hampi remains a favourite destination for tourists from Bengaluru because of its quietude. This Unesco world heritage site can rightly be called as the ‘Rome of India’ because no matter where you turn, you are bound to stumble upon some ruins with their own story. Hampi is a haven for shutterbugs as all views are perfect to click.

Serene setting of Kotagiri
Serene setting of Kotagiri
Image courtesy: ©Anil S.K/Lonely Planet


People visit (and come back to) quaint Kotagiri for three reasons – its largely undiscovered biodiversity; its nostalgic colonial ambience; and its charming weather year-round. Add some fantastic trekking options to that list, and a distinctly non-touristy air, and you have the perfect mountain getaway.

Spot elephants in Wayanad
Spot elephants in Wayanad
Image courtesy: ©Paddy Photography/Getty Images


Wayanad invites you to explore the great outdoors with its intensely green cover. Here, all you need is a sturdy umbrella and a taste for wildlife. Spot wild elephants here amid spectacular mountain scenery and spice fields.

Pondicherry is dotted with churches
Pondicherry is dotted with churches
Image courtesy: ©Martchan/Shutterstock


Visit the nearby mini-French territory of Pondicherry, where crashing waves and music from the clubs are in complete harmony. Take a heritage tour as the place is dotted with churches; take a stroll by the seaside, explore nature or go shopping on any of the street markets.


Tranquil Coonoor, which is off the beaten tourist track, offers memorable experiences. This tea country is an olfactory paradise for lovers of the cup that cheers. For views of the Coimbatore plains, tea terraces and nearby mountains, choose from a number of superb vantage points around. The locomotive buff will surely enjoy a ride in the heritage Nilgiri Toy Train.