On 11 March 2020, WHO declared Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak as a pandemic and reiterated the call for countries to take immediate actions and scale up the response to treat, detect and reduce transmission to save people’s lives. With lockdown remained imposed in most of the cities and towns, a huge number of the population is missing spending time outdoors with friends, family, and loved ones.
With domestic tourism slowly picking its pace, read here to know the four best places where the government has lifted the travel ban.
1. Hampi, Karnataka
Hampi is an ancient village in the south Indian state of Karnataka. It’s dotted with numerous ruined temple complexes from the Vijayanagara Empire. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-visit if you are someone who delights in historical architectural marvels. Hampi was the capital of the erstwhile capital of the Vijayanagar Empire.
The dry lands of eastern Karnataka present an unimaginable amalgamation of history, culture and nature. These drylands form an excellent dry deciduous habitat for a number of dwindling populations of unique wild animals and birds.
The nearest airport to Hampi is the Hubli Airport, you can also make use of Karnataka State Road Transportation Corporation’s several buses that connect from various states located in South India. The ideal time to visit Hampi would be between October to February.
2. Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Maharashtra
About 107 km from the metropolis of Aurangabad in Maharashtra, are the rock-cut caves of Ajanta nestled in a panoramic gorge, in the shape of an enormous horseshoe. A set of 29 caves, Ajanta is amongst the best examples of some of the earliest Buddhist architecture, cave artwork and sculptures. These caves incorporate Chaitya halls or shrines, committed to Lord Buddha and Viharas or monasteries, used through Buddhist monks for meditation and the find out about Buddhist teachings.
Historians believe that these caves were occupied by monks and merchants as a stoppage. The wall painting present here is believed to be the oldest ancient wall paintings to exist in India.
The best time to visit Ajanta and Ellora caves is June to March and remember when you are in Ajanta Ellora, don’t miss visiting Bibi Ka Makbara. It is called Taj of the Deccan (Dakhani Taj), and situation 5 km away from Aurangabad. It was build in 1661 in the memory of Emperor Aurangzeb’s wife Rabia-Ul-Daurani alias Dilras Banu Begum.
3. Skyview Patnitop by Empyrean, J&K
The exemplary natural beauty and adventure are some of the many reasons that make Skyview by Empyrean the best holiday destination in India. From Jammu airport to Skyview by Empyrean – a distance of 95 kilometres is covered in approximately two hours, passing through the four-lane highway and several small tunnels.
The major attraction of this location is that the place has the highest ropeways in India in terms of ground clearance and has one of the longest zig-zag ziplines in Asia. Besides the magic carpet, tube sledge, and hiking trails. As per global COVID protocols standards, only 4 pax are allowed to travel in each cable car, against 8pax.
During the lockdown due to the pandemic, the site was comprehensively audited for COVID-19 preparedness by SGS – the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing, and certification company. A COVID-ready compliance certificate of safety was issued by them just before the reopening making Skyview by Empyrean a safe destination for all visitors and employees with stringent SOP’s like face masks, online bookings, thermal screening, social distancing, sanitization routines, and digital menus, etc.
4. Kaas Plateau, Maharashtra:
Kaas plateau, also known as Valley of Flowers is situated 25 km from Satara city in Maharashtra. Spread over 1000 acres, Kaas is a protected biodiversity reserve and has been designated as a World Heritage Nature Site by UNESCO. The entire grassland turns into a valley of flowers during the monsoon season. The cool hill station of Mahabaleshwar is only about 70 km/ or 2 hours away, so for those who prefer staying at the hill station, it is possible to stay there and drive to Kaas Plateau early morning.
The e-pass rule to travel in different districts has been relaxed by Maharashtra state Government. Many Hotels have started operating enroute to Kaas Pathar Satara. We would strongly recommend that you check before making the hotel booking to avoid the frustration of not being to visit the Valley of flowers Maharashtra.
5. Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh:
This hill station is one of the most popular weekend getaways from Delhi. Nestled amidst picturesque forests of cedar trees, herbs, and pines. Popular among the British officials post 1947, the Victorian legacy is still evident in the buildings of Kasauli.
Kasauli is famous for its many attractions like the Central Research Institute, Christ Church, Kasauli Brewery, and Sunset Point as well as various activities like trekking, shopping, and even paragliding.
6. Sundarbans National Park:
Sundarbans National Park is a large coastal mangrove forest, shared by India and Bangladesh. The area is home to the Royal Bengal tiger, plus other endangered species such as the estuarine crocodile and Ganges River dolphin. Additionally, it also includes reptiles, birds, and invertebrates.
The Sundarbans covers 10,000 sq. km of land and water, in the Ganges delta. It contains the world’s largest area of mangrove forests. The best time to visit the national park is from November to March as the weather is pleasant in these months. The safari time is from 8.30 AM to 4:00 PM so remember to plan your trip accordingly to ensure that you don’t miss out on making the most out of this natural wonder.
These are challenging times and we are sure you must be eagerly waiting to revisit some of your favorite places with your family. So here it is, a list of best family holiday destinations in India to revisit after the lockdown period is over.