Celebrate your love for travel this Valentine’s Day

The pristine Pangong Lake in Ladakh is a must visit.
Image courtesy: ©Sanminder Kaur

As soon as February approaches, there are vibes of love in the air. It’s a special month for lovers, couples and honeymooners. But those celebrating it solo should also do it in style with a vacation to spend time with self. We have listed a few places that you can pick from.

Leh

Majestically rugged, the greatest attraction of this mountain-hemmed Buddhist valley is simply getting there, preferably on a road trip. Soak in the breath-taking surroundings all around you. The main sights, apart from the landscapes are Pangong Lake, Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa and the timeless monasteries.

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Kasol

 

Image courtesy: ©Mansi Nikam/Lonely Planet

Stretched along the lovely Parvati River with mountains rising all around, Kasol is the main traveller hang-out in the valley. It’s a small village but heavily dotted with reggae bars, bakeries and guesthouses catering to a, largely, backpacker crowd. Experience the versatile nature as you trek against the beautiful and varying landscape.

Alappuzha

Image courtesy: ©DEBA PRASAD ROY/Lonely Planet

Alappuzha (Alleppey) is the hub of Kerala’s backwaters, home to a vast network of waterways and more than a thousand houseboats. Heading from the city’s centre, towards the backwaters, Alleppey becomes graceful and greenery-fringed, disappearing into a watery world of villages, punted canoes, and houseboats. Float along and gaze over paddy fields of succulent green, curvaceous rice barges and village life along the banks.

Sikkim

The biggest attraction of this tiny state is the pristine Gurudongmar Lake, one of the highest lakes in the world at an altitude of 17,100m above sea level. Located towards North Sikkim and approximately 5km from China border, it is accessible via Lachen, a small but panoramic village at the foothills of Himalayan range. The lake is situated in the middle of a cold desert with minimum or no vegetation at all. Once you are here the serenity and calmness engulf you.

Bir-Billing

Image courtesy: ©Shutterstock/Nitish Waila

Just about 8-10 hours of drive from Delhi will take you to a beautiful hill town in Himachal Pradesh. The village of Bir is internationally famous as the base for some of the best paragliding in the world. The take-off point at Billing, 14km up a winding road hosts major competitive flying events. Book a bonfire camp overnight at Billing, and fly 1000 metres down to Bir next morning.

Lahaul & Spiti

Image courtesy: ©Arun Bhat/500px

The desolate northern and eastern tracts of Himachal Pradesh are among the most spectacular and sparsely populated regions on Earth. Crossing the Rohtang La from Manali, you arrive first in Lahaul’s relatively green Chandra Valley. Travelling east, up the Chandra Valley and over the Kunzum La into Spiti, you pass into the rain shadow of the Great Himalayan Range. Spiti is 7000 sq km of snow-topped mountains and high-altitude desert, punctuated by tiny patches of greenery and villages of whitewashed houses clinging to the sides of rivers and meltwater streams.