Weekend getaways in March

Chembra Peak in Wayanad
Image courtesy: ©Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala

A new month has landed with abundant travel opportunities. Escape the city hustle on any weekend and land in the lap of nature, not far from your reach.

Wayanad

The elevated Wayanad region in Kerala is often seen as the most beautiful part of the state. Encompassing part of a remote forest reserve that spills into Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, Wayanad’s landscape combines mountain scenery, lush green rice paddies, bamboo and rubber, cardamom and coffee plantations. It’s also an excellent place to spot wild elephants.

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Ki Monastery in Spiti Valley
Ki Monastery in Spiti Valley
Image courtesy: ©Arun Bhat/500px

Lahaul & Spiti

These desolate tracts of Himachal Pradesh are among the most spectacular and sparsely populated regions. Crossing the Rohtang La from Manali, you arrive first in Lahaul’s relatively green Chandra Valley. Travel eastwards, up the valley and over the Kunzum La to land into Spiti, which is 7000 sq km of snow-topped mountains and high-altitude desert.

Dilwara Temple in Mount Abu
Dilwara Temple in Mount Abu
Image courtesy: ©Rajasthan Tourism Board

Mount Abu

Rajasthan’s only hill station, Mount Abu, nestles among green forests on the southwestern end of the Aravalli Hills. Quite unlike anywhere else in Rajasthan, Mt Abu provides travellers with respite from scorching temperatures and arid terrain elsewhere. The town is dotted with temples, which makes it a good pilgrimage site too.

Colourful landscape of Tawang
Colourful landscape of Tawang
Image courtesy: ©Lonely Planet/Priyanka via India Unexplored

Tawang

A mighty gash in the earth fringed by hulking mountains, Tawang valley works a special magic on the minds of travellers. The valley is a gorgeous patchwork of mountain ridges, vast fields and clusters of Buddhist monasteries and Monpa villages. The setting is more beautiful than the town itself, but murals of auspicious Buddhist emblems and colourful prayer wheels add interest to the central Old Market area.

Pykara falls in Ooty
Pykara falls in Ooty
Image courtesy: ©TamilNadu Tourism Development

Ooty

Immortalised by Bollywood, Ooty is rightly recognised as ‘Queen of the Hills’. 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. Go tea tasting at several factories open to public and relish the home-made chocolates popularly available in local markets.