Travel might not possible right now, but we’re hoping we can explore and enjoy the beauty of India again soon. When travel opens up again, we’ve rounded up a list of places to travel to within India, for your future domestic holiday from home – whatever type of holiday you’re after.
1. The best place to get back to nature: Dzukou Valley, Nagaland
Dzukou Valley is a high-altitude, natural oasis, sitting amongst the clouds at 2,452 metres above sea level. It’s a great all-year destination, but a visit in the summer means you can catch the famous Dzukou lily in bloom. If you’re planning a winter adventure, be prepared for a colder climate – and maybe some snow! Whatever the weather, you’ll be sure to enjoy taking in the great outdoors on one of the many treks the Dzukou Valley has on offer.
2. The best place for a beach holiday: Gokarna, Karnataka
There’s no shortage of great beaches in India, but if you’re looking for tranquility on a budget, Gokarna is a great option. It might be best known for its ancient temples, but the beaches here deliver stunning coastal views and a quieter, more laid-back alternative to the crowds and partygoers of Goa.
Read more: The top 5 beaches in Karnataka
3. The best destination for an adventure: Manali, Himachal Pradesh
Manali is a high-altitude town packed with activities perfect for adrenaline junkies, and one of the top places to visit in north India. Enjoy white water rafting, hiking, climbing and skiing (in the colder months). Although it can get busy here during peak seasons, there are plenty of trails to explore – so it won’t be hard to find a slice of calm if you need to recuperate after an activity-packed day in the hills.
Read more: Where to go paragliding in India
4. Where to go for history and culture: Delhi
If you’re planning a trip to Delhi, you’ll want to prepare to live on the wild side, taking in the vibrant chaos the city is known for. You can also expect many historic sites, such as the Red Fort, Qutab Minar, India Gate and Humayun’s tomb. Be sure to grab a guidebook, or read up ahead of time, to gain an appreciation for the stories behind the city and these famous, must-see sites.
5. The best place for a spot of relaxation: Hampi, Karnataka
If you’re looking for a spiritual retreat in a stunning setting, you’ll want to consider a visit to Hampi. Here you’ll find beautiful temples, the historic site of Sule Bazaar and an expanse of ruins to explore. The area also hosts several festivals, including the Hampi Festival (usually in January) and the Virupaksha Car Festival (March/April) – and makes a great spot to celebrate Holi.
Read more: The must-visit hill stations in Karnataka
6. The best foodie break destination: The temple towns of Tamil Nadu
If you’re looking to enjoy street food favourites, a trip to the temple towns of Tamil Nadu should be at the top of your list – including Mamallapuram, Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Madurai, Avudaiyarkoil, Puducherry and Chettinad. The popular South Indian dishes of masala dosa and idli originate from Tamil Nadu. Eat your way through the veggie thalis at the street stall cafes, enjoy some spicy meatballs in Chettinad and be sure to get a taste of French-style cuisine with fusion food available in Puducherry while you’re here.
Read more: 11 unique foods from India
7. The best place to party the night away: Goa
With UNESCO-listed churches, golden beaches and plenty of activities to keep you busy (bungee jumping, anyone?), there might be more to Goa than its party-scene – but it’s definitely a draw. The eclectic music scene, beach parties that run into the night and variety of pubs and clubs has made Goa a partygoers’ paradise. Top picks for first time visitors include Club Cubana, LPK Waterfront and Thalassa.
Read more: The best clubs in Goa to match your party type
8. The best destination for snowy slopes: Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir
If you’re looking to hit the slopes and enjoy an alpine escape, a trip to Gulmarg will tick all the boxes. With ski runs to suit both first-time and advanced skiers, as well as treks and scenic fishing spots, there are activities for every type of visitor. You can also enjoy visits to the famous religious sites nearby, or tee up on the 18-hole golf course – which is among the highest in India!
Read more: The 5 Best Places To See Snow In India
9. The best place to enjoy a romantic escape: the Andaman Islands
This popular honeymoon destination is the perfect spot to enjoy with your special someone – whether you’ve popped the question or not. This string of islands is known for white-sand beaches with jungle back-drops, and you could easily spend days simply relaxing on any one of the stunning beaches. If you’re more of an active traveller though, there’s plenty to keep you occupied across the islands; from historical tours covering the islands’ colonial history, to snorkelling, kayaking and jungle trekking.
10. The best destination to trek: Singalila National Park, West Bengal
Situated along the India-Nepal border and offering views across the Himalayas, you will find some of India’s best trekking in Singalila National Park. One of the most popular treks, the Sandakphu trek, takes two to five days – depending largely on the route and weather. If you want to see the views but aren’t up for a multi-day hike, you can also arrange a ride to take you some of the way. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled – and your camera at the ready – as this area has plenty of wildlife. You’ll be rewarded with views of Lhotse, Makalu and Everest along the hike.
11. The best place for camping: Kodagu (Coorg)
Dubbed the ‘Scotland of India’, this hill station is great for a camping trip when you’re looking to get away from it all. While the entire area is great for camping, Madikeri, Virajpet and Gonikoppal are top spots to pitch a tent. As well as adventure activities – such as trekking and hiking – you can also enjoy a taste of the local wine and coffee while you’re here. If you don’t want to bring your own tent, or want a more luxurious experience, ‘glamping’ can also be arranged at several sites.
Read more: 8 lesser-known hill stations to visit