Some Amazing Destinations to Visit This Year

It’s truly amazing to think that India has an incredible amount of diversity. From the snow-capped mountains in Himachal Pradesh to the incredible backwaters of Kerala; from the Great Indian Desert in the West to the mysterious and quaint North-East which has retained its charm over the years. Spoilt for choice, many ardent travelers ask the question – where do I go on a holiday?We pick out some of the best places for you to visit this year and we know you’d like to see some great attractions there, so we’ve chosen the must-visit attractions. The best part, they’re located pretty close to the luxurious Club Mahindra resorts at these destinations!
Dharamshala
Himachal Pradesh is one of India’s most popular tourist destinations; and for good reason. Breathtaking mountains greet visitors at all over. Lying in the Kangra Valley, at the foothills of the Dhauladhar Range, Dharamshala is a small town that is bustling with activity. There are many things to do here, including a visit to the market and the famous Tibetan Monasteries. This little hamlet offers visitors peace and tranquility and a rejuvenating vacation.
Dharamshala Things to do in Dharamshala:
Dharamshala has many amazing sights. Being the Tibetan Capital in exile, it’s home to lot of things native to Tibet. Be sure to visit the McLeodganj Monastery – a true delight for travelers. The St. John’s Church is a throwback to the Victorian Age and ardent fans of cinema might recognize this iconic structure – it served as the backdrop in many movies. Triund and Ilaka Trek and the Aghanjar Mahadev Temple Trek would satisfy the adventure junkies out there and offer amazing views of snow-capped peaks.
Binsar Valley:
India has such a rich history that it seems to shine through the blaze of modernity that surrounds us these days. Take the Binsar Valley for example, ruled by the great Guptas – one of India’s greatest dynasties. Their signature architectural style is still present in the buildings here, including the Club Mahindra Resort. Soak in the rich history and head out for a marvelous journey at Binsar – it’s sure not to disappoint you.
Things to do in Binsar Valley:
Many famous temples are located in and around Binsar. These include the Patal Bhuvaneshwar Cave Complex, Bageshwar Baijnath Kausani and Gananath Temples among others. For nature lovers, it just keeps on getting better. If the breathtaking views aren’t enough, head over to the Binsar Bird Sanctuary where you get to see some truly exotic birds. Binsar
Kanatal
For the majority of India’s population, snowfall is something they’ll never experience in their home town or cities. Fortunately, there are some places in India that are surrounded by snowy peaks and where we can experience snowfall. Kanatal is one such place. The Club Mahindra resort in Kanatal is simply put, amazing! Mesmerizing snow covered hills; thick foliage, forget-me-not skies and pure air surround you during your stay here. It truly is a magical experience. Kanatal
Things to do in Kanatal:
The Kodia Jungle trek takes you through dense forests on to a vast expanse of undulating hills and valleys. Tiny, gurgling natural springs pepper the way, and if you are lucky, a few wild animals will grace you with their presence. The Tehri Dam and the adjoining Pant Research Institute make for a great visit too. And if you’re feeling adventurous, head over to Shivpuri where you can enjoy some river rafting!
Cherai: Cherai Kerala is called God’s Own Country – and for good reason. The sights and sounds of this State are like no other. Cherai is a town that is unique in its locations – it is located between a lagoon and the beach. Hence, you get to enjoy two of Kerala’s most iconic things – the beaches, and the lagoons that are home to the world famous houseboats.  The attractive landscape is peppered with palms and tropical plants.
Things to do in Cherai:
In addition to the amazing beach, Kerala’s very own backwaters and the lake beside the beach, there’s so much more to do in Cherai.  If you have the time, do visit the Portuguese, Kottapuram and Pallipuram forts; they’re a throwback to Kerala’s rich history.
Yercaud: Yercaud Nature awakens nostalgia at the rustic hill station of Yercaud. This quaint town is located in Tamil Nadu is a true hidden gem. Gorgeous Botanical Gardens, horticultural farms, a spectacular lake and a heritage that speaks for itself make Yercaud a must-visit destination for any serious traveler. The town has many coffee estates and has a history going back to the 18th Century. Also, this town was a favorite of the British to vacation in.
Things to do in Yercaud: Yercaud is a nature lover’s delight – the Botanical Garden & Horticultural farms are amazing to visit post-monsoon, with some exotic and native flowers. Yercaud Lake is the center of the town and the Killyur Falls that supply water to this lake are always a must-visit attraction.
Gangtok: Gangtok The gateway to India’s North-East, Gangtok possesses that mystique that makes it dear to almost all travelers. The Capital of Sikkim is rooted in tradition and the sights and sounds of the town are truly breathtaking. Sikkim’s hospitality touches everyone who visits Gangtok. With views as majestic as the Chola Range and as lush as the green valleys, one enjoys the brew of old world charm and modernity at the resort, leading to a very pleasant vacation. Check out some amazing moments at Gangtok Here. Things to do in Gangtok: Where do we start! There’s so much to do in Gangtok! The ropeway that takes you on a slow tour and offers breath-taking aerial views of the city is one of the first things you should do. The Do-Drul Chorten (Stupa), Enchey Monastery and the Rumtek Monastery are places of great history and offer a glimpse into Sikkim’s heritage and culture. If you’re willing to travel a bit, Tashi Viewpoint offers a stunning view of Mt. Kanchenjunga and the Tsomgo Lake is sure to take your breath away. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can visit Nathula, the historic border crossing between India and China where trade has flourished for centuries and is now a popular tourist spot.

Celebrate Diwali at Club Mahindra Corbett Park

Diwali is amazing time of the year. It’s the only festival that the entire country celebrates. This year, Diwali starts-off on October 23rd, a Thursday which makes for a really nice long weekend. This is the perfect time for you to relax, unwind and let go of all troubles and spend some time with family. The four day retreat that you can go is bound to be amazing.
What’s more is that Diwali falls right on the cusp of winter. It’s that time of the year when the monsoon starts disappearing and the cool breeze that defined winters is just starting to flow across the land. Hence, visiting a place where you can spend some time quality time with your loved ones is bound to make this holiday really special. The other great thing about visiting a place like this is that you’ll be away from the Diwali fanfare that grips nearly every city in the country. While it’s amazing to see so many people celebrate together, it can get overbearing. Hence, many folks prefer a quiet relaxing holiday. During this time, one of the best places to visit is the Corbett Park in North India.

Corbett Park:
For long, this beautiful, serene National Park has attracted visitors from all over the world. The reasons, plenty to say the least! This is one of the last remaining bastions of true open air wilderness in India. It’s also a fantastic place to visit and explore. Also, because of the way the park is run, wild animals are given their due space and hence, you get an amazing opportunity to catch a glimpse of these animals in their natural element. With so many of nature’s finest creations in close proximity, this truly sets the scene for some magical moments with your loved ones.
Corbett
Magical Moments at Corbett Park:
You don’t really need a truck full of fire crackers to celebrate Diwali. Staying in the heart of the jungle, you’ll be surrounded by the kind of beauty you rarely experience in the urban landscape. Plush cottages surrounded by trees that have many stories to tell, the sound of a river running through the forest and birds that chirp away during the day, there no place like Corbett Park. Think about breakfast overlooking a river watching elephants and gazelle is something that can only be experienced here. There truly is no place this.

Activities at Corbett Park:
Venture deep into the forest on an open-top jeep and get a never-before seen view of wildlife. From the wild buffaloes, to gazelle that sprint like the wind and if you’re lucky, you might spot some really magnificent beasts that truly capture the magnificence of Mother Nature.
Corbett Resort
Amazing places have their own special charm. Corbett Park has a history that stretches back many decades. This place has been carefully preserved and still retains that old-world charm and transports you to a different era. Even the resorts here, like Club Mahindra’s fabulous retreat carry a unique vibe that transports you to another place. There really is no place like Corbett and if you haven’t visited it yet, this Diwali is the perfect occasion to do so!

Masinagudi – A Return to Nature

As the rains draw to a close, there’s calmness in the air. The rain gods have departed the skies for now and yet, the cool breeze they bring with them remains in the air, the lush green surroundings that were borne out of the rainfall that’s become part of India’s folklore, are present all around us. Traveling during such an amazing time is always a treat.

Masinagudi:

When it’s time to decide on a holiday destination during such an amazing time, there are quite a few places that can serve as the backdrop for the magical moments that you cherish on your travels. One of the best things about India’s amazing diversity is that there’s a plethora of such destinations. Masinagudi is one of them. Nestled in Tamil Nadu, a State rich in heritage, culture and one that holds many amazing places within her boundaries, Masinagudi offers something unique to every visitor.

Head back to Nature:

Living in big cities, surrounded by technology and being in a race to beat deadlines in every possible juncture sums up the lives of most people. The perfect antidote to the stress induces by all this? Head back into the heart of Mother Nature. It’s truly amazing how much being surrounded by the raw force that we call nature on all sides can rejuvenate us. Masinagudi in located in the Nilgiris; perhaps the last remaining abode of evergreen forests. This bastion of ecological diversity is truly a sight to behold and lie within it many secrets of nature that can only be discovered upon exploring.

Exploring Masinagudi – An Experience of a Lifetime:

Every destination has something unique to offer. When you visit Masinagudi, the first thing you’ll realize is how close you are to each and every aspect of nature. From the trees and grasslands that have seen the seasons change for Centuries, to the shrubs that lie at the foot of these trees silently observing all around them. And that’s not all, the wildlife here is sure to take your breath away. Elephants and gazelle stroll along pathways, deep thoughts in their minds or wary of a silent predator. This is what being close to nature is all about.

If you want to visit a serene destination that is the picture of tranquility, look no further than River Pykara. The river flows through Murkurti, Pykara and Glen Morgan dams, and forms part of an important hydro-electric power project. On your visit here, you may come across well-protected and fenced sholas, Toda settlements, verdant meadows and a variety of flora and fauna.

Tea Gardens seem to be an omnipresent feature of some of the most scenic places in South India; Masinagudi is no different. Sample the signature Nilgiri brew on your visit to the many tea estates and tea factories here.

Click Here to read about similar holiday destinations.

 

Unforgettable Monsoon Holidays in Thekkady

The timeless and undulating appeal of the Western Ghats during the monsoon is what draws innumerable people towards the picturesque towns along India’s western coast. Nestled in the heart of one of the India’s great forests, this region takes on a new avatar during the rains. Just look at the contrast between the region during the summer & during the rains!

The Western Ghats during summer:

Thekkady 4

 

The Western Ghats during the rains:

Thekkady 3

God’s Own Country:

Rains bring with them something special. The aura of the monsoon brings an optimism and joy that has such a deep connect with us that it’s almost impossible to describe in words. For us though, the rains bring with them a calm and peaceful environment that we need so badly after a hot grueling summer. It’s a chance for us to go out and leave all our worries behind, experience nature and reclaim the magical moments with our loved ones.

One of the best places to experience this is Thekkady in Kerala. Unlike other tourist destinations, Thekkady is different. It transports you to a special place and the beauty of the surroundings alienates all the stress you’ve picked up in your daily routine. It’s truly a place filled with wonderment and awe amongst undulating hills and spice scented plantations.

Thekkady 1

Sights and Sounds:

The Periyar Tiger Reserve is one of the most fascinating wildlife reserves left. The total area of the reserve is 777 sq. kilometres, of which 360 sq. kilometres is thick evergreen forest. The best thing about this reserve is that you can get real close to the wildlife and observe them at close quarters. This once-in-a-lifetime experience is sure to leave a mark on you.

Because there are so many wonderful things all around you, it doesn’t really make sense to leave these picturesque surroundings. As a result, the places you want to stay at are the ones that capture the vibe of this exquisite location. Resorts which exude the history and culture of Kerala, which have colorful umbrellas all over the house, lush greenery all around that greets you, the reflections of the coconut trees in the paddy fields, and most importantly, built with traditional machan style, are the best places to stay.

Thekkady 2

Magical Moments:

No journey is complete without experiencing the unique facets of a locality. When you’re on a holiday here in Thekkady, you must take a boat ride in Lake Periyar which is smack in the middle of the wildlife reserve. Seeing the colourful flora & fauna up close will leave you mesmerized; and if you’re lucky you might spot elephants playing along the shore of the lake.  You can’t afford to miss the famous elephant rides which provide you with the best view to check out the amazing wilderness around you.

There are a number of places in Kerala you should check out if you have the time – Chellarkovil, a hamlet with a view to die for and an incredible waterfall, Vandiperiyar, where you can check out some of Kerala’s best tea plantations and Idukki Dam, the only Arch Dam in India.

Himachal in May

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Ah, May – the time of the summer holidays. Don’t you wish you could just whisk away your family away for a nice, relaxing holiday away from all the heat? With temperatures soaring and the summer holidays right around the corner, Himachal Pradesh is a destination you simply cannot overlook in your plans! As the state is nestled in the shadows of the Himalayas, the evergreen and picturesque locations resonate with a magnificence reserved for some of nature’s greatest creations. Naturally, the place is known as the “Devbhumi” – “Land of the Gods.”

Visiting Himachal Pradesh is an experience that will stick with your forever. The lush greenery, the incredible sights and sounds and the truly awe-inspiring rivers are few of the many reasons why the North Indian State is one of the popular tourist destinations in India. 

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The best part about Himachal Pradesh is that there’s so much for you to see and do here. Nestled in the north-west part of India, the States of Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab along with the Tibetan Plateau surround Himachal. The breathtaking diversity, natural beauty and incredible topographic will leave you spellbound.

In spite of its small size, there are a number of places to visit in this man made heaven.

Shimla

The Capital & largest city in Himachal Pradesh is a popular tourist destination. While staying in Shimla City itself is a phenomenal experience, a large number of people are exploring resorts on the outskirts of the Capital. One of the best things about these resorts is that they’re amidst nature away and are the perfect picture of peace & tranquility. Mashobra is one such place, which has been a host to the British Raj. Mashobra gives our guests a taste of our history and scenic beauty. A stay here will make you relive the aura and history of the British Raj. That along with scenic beauty, awe-inspiring sights, churches, temples, rivers, a forest sanctuary, a gorgeous gold course and a pleasant, peaceful resort offer visitors a lovely holiday. This whole experience is best captured when staying at a resort that exudes these vibes and resonates with the town’s history. One of the most popular ones is Club Mahindra Mashobra.

Shimla has an interesting history, check out these facts -

  • The town of Shimla rose in the nineteenth century when the Gurkha Wars came to an end in 1815-16 and the victorious British decided to stay here.
  • In 1864 the Viceroy, John Lawrence anointed Shimla – then spelt Simla, as the summer capital of British India.
  • The influence of the British on this town’s architecture and ambience still exists.

Things to Do:

  • Go skiing at Kufi and pay a visit to to the apple orchards at Fagu.
  • Enjoy trekking at the Shimla Reserve Forest Sanctuary.
  • Visit famous landmarks such as Christ Church, Jakhu Temple and the Himachal State Museum. 

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Dharamshala

Lying on the spur of the Dhauladhar range in the Kangra Valley, this picturesque destination is surrounded by oak and conifer trees.  Snowcapped mountains enfold three sides of the town and the Himalayan Peaks are best seen from Dharamshala. Naturally, trekking to a snow-point is popular and takes only a day if you have an early start. Lying in the vicinity of the town is McLeodganj. The Tibetan Government in exile calls this town their home and there are a number of Monasteries for you to visit. 

Naturally, given the two locations, wouldn’t it be great to have access to both? That’s why resorts such as Club Mahindra Dharamasala are fast gaining popularity. Here’s some more information about Dharamsala -

Quick Facts:

  • In 1905, tragedy struck Dharamshala when an earthquake levelled it completely. After its reconstruction, Dharamshala flourished as a quiet health resort.
  • Called, ‘Little Lhasa,’ the town has been home to the Tibetan Government in exile and since 1960 is the home of the Dalai Lama.
  • It’s also the home of the world’s highest cricket stadium.

Things to Do:

  • Go on some of the most exquisite treks at Triund and Ilaka, Aghanjar Mahadev Temple, Tea Garden and, Indru Nag Temple.
  • Visit monasteries in McLeodganj and soak in the vibe of Buddhist Culture. 

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Manali

One of the most popular destinations in India is situated near the end of the valley on the National Highway leading to Leh. The landscape here is breath taking and the grandeur of the Himalayas grabs the attention of every visitor. Since Manali is on the ‘must visit’ list of pretty much everyone, there are a host of options to pick from here. Many of them are of course top of the line hotels and resorts. But among the crowd, one resort stands out. The Club Mahindra Resort at Manali is unique because it’s settled in the heart of rosy apple orchards. The spacious resort affords guests foot-stopping sights of the hillsides dotted with the occasional herd and abundant fields. In short, it’s the perfect place to unwind and have a laidback holiday.

Things to Do:

  • Visit Prashar Lake, Hadimba Temple, Manikaran and Naggar Castle.
  • Enjoy the snowy Himalayas at Rohtang Pass where you can enjoy a gorgeous view of sentinel-like mountains rising far above the clouds.
  • Enjoy the Buddhist Monastery and pay a visit to the Solang Valley. 

Amazing Experiences at Club Mahindra – Member Feedback

For many people, a vacation is a time to unwind, relax and have a great time. The idea of going to a distant place amidst nature’s beauty and soaking in the atmosphere appeals to many people. For most people, the effort of going to a comfortable place is well worth it. Like the old adage says, the journey is sometimes as beautiful as the destination. The journey of a couple from Mumbai to Coorg through the Western Ghats was the perfect way to start a holiday. When they reached Coorg, they chose one of the best properties in the erstwhile British-Raj’s retreat town – Club Mahindra Coorg. Being amidst the greenery of nature, hearing the birds chirp, they experienced something they’d never envisaged.

Club Mahindra - Family Enjoying camel Ride _CLB4045 _CLB7572 _CLB7645

Being in an environment that offers peace, quiet and relaxed the body and soul is exactly what many urban professionals seek during the vacations. With work taking up your energy for months at a time, you need time for yourself. As a way to unwind, an increasing number of people have started going on vacations and, planning them well in advance. If your heart is set on your dream holiday and you plan it judiciously, it’ll be nothing short of incredible. A common feedback received by Club Mahindra staff is of members loving the idea of going to a place that offers peace and tranquility that de-stresses them. During a stay at a resort like the Kodagu valley resort at Coorg, many are mesmerized by the beauty of the surroundings, the luxurious appointments of the resort and most of all the amazing service by the staff.

Family Time:

Traveling with your family is one of the most special moments in life. It embodies the memorable, joyous, inspiring and unfathomable moments of life that you’re going to cherish forever. Each trip will serve to strengthen your family bonds and make the world much more beautiful, fun and generous than you could’ve ever envisioned from the confines of your house, workplace or computer.

Club Mahindra - Family Time

Family vacations are that time when everyone gets together and have a great time. At Club Mahindra, reviews from parents, kids, in-laws and other relatives connecting and feel right at home affirm this. Right from the moment you set foot in the resort, the warm welcome you receive paves the way for a wonderful holiday. With activities catering to everyone, these resorts are the perfect place for generations of family members to vacation together.

The Experience:

What would a holiday be without some magical experiences? Spending time with your loved one? Or perhaps doing things you’ve never done before? The new experiences you gain, the new things you see and do are all going to stay with you forever and will be those magical moments that you cherish. That’s what most people seem to like the most. When you decide to go on a vacation and spend time with your family, you’re forging the bonds of love, friendship that will stay with you forever. The magical moments, the unforgettable rush of going to a picturesque location; that’s what a holiday is all about. And when you have someone to take care of you, ensure everything’s right, it can’t not be awesome!

Holi – A Great Time to Visit Rajasthan

Holi in India is celebrated with vigor and great pomp all over the country. However, there are certain places that see something special during this festival. Rajasthan and specifically Jaipur are among them.

Holi is called ‘The Festival of Colours.’ This festival comes on the full moon day of ‘phagun’ – a Hindu month. This festival brings new hope for all the people as it marks the end of chilled winter days and the beginning of the summer. People forget their enmity and throw away their worries. Every nook and corner presents a colourful sight.

Everywhere, people – young or old are drenched with different colours and water. There are balloons of coloured water bursting and long ‘pichkaris’ squirting coloured water. People in small groups are seen singing, dancing and throwing colours on each other.

Holi in Rajasthan:

Holi Bonfire in Udaipur,Rajasthan

As with the various festivals in India, there is a lot of history associated with the festival of Holi, especially in Rajasthan. Historically, Holi has enjoyed the kind of reverence perhaps only seen in Mathura. The night before the full moon, people gather and light huge bonfires. This symbolizes the victory of good over evil, of Prahlada over the demon Hiranyakashipu.  Singing, dancing and the traditional beats of dhol add to the gaiety of the occasion. The day after the bonfire is celebrated as Holi where people drench others in water and colour.

Even the aristocratic Rajasthani Royals participate in the celebrations. Festivals such as Holi have been used by the royal courts to showcase many things. Rajput warriors of the Rajasthani courts used to show off their equestrian skills during the festival. Even today, Rajput men would ride their steeds through the white and pink clouds of colour, throwing colour powders on each other. Even the members of the royal families are not immune from being drenched by colour.

Braj Mahotsav:

Mythology too has a part in this famous festival. The Braj Festival is held in honour of Lord Krishna some days before Holi. Villagers here, can be seen singing and performing the raslila depicting the immortal love-story of Radha and Krishna.

Traditions in Rajathan:

The ‘Mali’ community (The community of gardeners) celebrates Holi in a rather unique fashion. Men splash women with water and women retaliate by hitting the men with sticks or long pieces of cloth.

Bikaner sees a lot of Holi celebrations too, particularly from the ‘Harsh’ and ‘Vyas’ communities. These communities have been celebrating this festival for many centuries now. They use a specially designed vessel called ‘Dolchi’ which is made from camel skin to throw water with force. However, they only throw water on the back of the individual.

Even after Holi, men from over 12 villages collect at Godaji village near Ajmer in Rajasthan to play gair.  Each village brings his own drummer and gair troupes. The picturesque location for it is a valley surrounded by hills on all sides. Thousands of onlookers and close to hundred players make a wonderful sight and a fond memory.

Sights and Sounds of Rajasthan:

Rajasthan is one of those places that take you back in time. The harmonious architectural splendor, the royal palaces of old, sand dunes, the colours, sights and sounds all add to the picturesque and serene vibe of one of India’s most popular tourist destinations.  A treat for the eyes lies in the synergy between Rajput and European architecture. Rajasthan has to be experienced at least once, and visiting this abode full of culture, history and charm during Holi is an unforgettable experience.

Club Mahindra has four magnificent resorts in Rajasthan. You can know more about them here.