Visit these serene places in India for a moment of zen
2020 was the year when the stakes were high. The last nine months were marked by feelings of great anxiety, uncertainty and stress and left us all pining for stability. So, as we warily step out to travel again in 2021, we’ll be seeking out remote places that guarantee a laid-back vibe and an immeasurable sense of peace to escape not only the year that was but also the hyper-connected and over-stimulated nature of our modern lives today.
Here are five places we can’t wait to travel to for a moment of calm:
Neil Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Cerulean waves lapping on a secluded white shore, lanky coconut trees swaying gently in the breeze, and a slow pace of life – Neil Island is a picture of calm. This small island in the Andamans is less crowded than its touristy cousin Havelock and an ideal place at which to set your worries aside, lie back, and spend your days in a drowsy dream. The phone network can be hard to find in this remote island, which is a blessing in disguise. Go off the grid and enjoy the languid life through leisurely bike rides and ample sunbathing on the scenic beaches. Give prior notice at the restaurants here if you want something special and you’ll be rewarded with scrumptious seafood fresh from the source. The friendly island folk and the balmy weather add to the charm!
There’s no place like the mountains for a tranquil vacation to escape the stress of everyday life. A whiff of the crisp mountain air and a sweeping view of lush valleys is enough to transport us to a calm and meditative state. Peora is a charming hamlet nestled in the picturesque Kumaon valley and flanked by lofty deodars and pines. One is greeted by a panoramic view of the verdant mountains and tiny tile-roofed cottages straight out of a fairytale that dot the village. Playful mountain puppies are also more than happy to welcome you to their abode. Bask under the canopy of the thick forests, and feast on local and fresh produce straight off the trees (after taking permission, of course!). The only sound you are likely to hear around these parts is the excited chirping of birds.
Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
Most well-known for being home to a 4,000-year-old Tibetan Buddhist monastery, Tawang is a small town in Arunachal Pradesh offering its visitors restoration and peace. Colourful prayer flags fluttering in the cold breeze and endless plates of hot Maggi are Tawang staples.The town presents a beautiful juxtaposition of abundant forest and snow-capped mountain peaks that play peekaboo with the clouds. The region is teeming with crystal-clear lakes as well, whose shimmering turquoise waters will put you at ease. Don’t forget to visit the many monasteries in Tawang, to allow a wave of calm to wash over you.
Image: a_r photography /Pixabay
Skip the buzzing crowds of Alleppey for a far more peaceful Kerala getaway in Kollam. The experience of staying on a houseboat as it floats lazily down the backwater canals of the serene Ashtamudi lake is unmatched. Chat with the houseboat staff for the best insider tips, gorge on the tempting food prepared on demand, and catch up on your vacation reading with a scenic view of the backwaters fringed with coconut trees and expansive paddy fields. If you are feeling up to it, visit nearby Munroe Island, which is another unexplored destination offering peace and solitude aplenty. There’s nothing to do in Kollam, except relax.
There will be pin-drop silence as the whole safari group watches with bated breath. It’s so early on a winter morning that the fog is yet to lift and the sunlight barely penetrates the thick vegetation. Yet, the sight of a tiger in its natural habitat is one to behold. While spotting a tiger is down to luck, there is a plethora of other wildlife one can see. A visit to Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan is sure to reward you with calmness and moments to remember. Gawk at sprightly deer enjoying their morning drink, or try to identify the many species of birds that call the sanctuary home. Surrounded by forest and miles away from the hustle and bustle of cities, a stay amid nature in Ranthambore promises plentiful peace and quiet. You’ll come back from the trip refreshed and rejuvenated!