Are you are looking to take a break from the routine and the daily grind? But you don’t have too many days off at your disposal. Fret not, we have 7 handpicked weekend ideas just for you!
By Mandavi Jaiswal
If you could not take that dream vacation during the festive season, don’t lose heart! You can still make the most of your weekend breaks with some short getaways.
For the kids, school has reopened and studies and classes take precedence again. But that doesn't mean you cannot go for two-day breaks with your family. Travelling together is, after all, a great way to bond and to recharge. And yes, we know that working professionals may not have too much of time off, but relax! We have put together a list of places close to three big cities so that you can be hassle-free and completely happy. No need for budgeting or advance planning.
So here are our top picks:
Tiny Tharangambadi (formerly Tranquebar) is virtually untouched by time. Located along the coast of the Bay of Bengal, this former Danish colony was established in 1620. The town’s Danish connection began when Admiral Ove Gjedde, landed on the coast and fell in love with its tranquility — hence, the name Tranquebar. The Danes built majestic churches, Colonial-era buildings, a fort and the town gate. They then handed over control to the British as they could no longer afford to maintain overseas colonies. Today, Tharangambadi sits as a beautiful beach town on the Coromandel Coast in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu.
Distance: 270 km
Top Attractions: New Jerusalem Church, Fort Dansborg, Ziegenbalg Landing Plaque, Ziegenbalg Printing Press and Tharangambadi Maritime Museum.
Packing list: A travel journal, hats, shorts, quick dry towel, sunscreen and flip flops/ comfort sports shoes.
Yelagiri is a quiet hill station surrounded by orchids, rose gardens and lush green valleys. Once the private property of the Yelagiri Zamindar family, the beautiful hamlets in the hills are now bustling spots for tourism, with options for adventure sports like paragliding and rock climbing. The highest point, Swamimalai hill, located at 4300 ft is a favourite destination for the trekking community in India. There are many trekking trails through dense reserved forests. You and your family can explore those with a moderate difficulty level.
Distance: 230 km
Top Attractions: Punganur lake, paragliding, Jalagamparai waterfalls and nature park.
Packing list: Light jackets or shrugs, trekking gear, bottled water, energy bars, mosquito patches and battery pack.
Popularly known as the French Riviera of the East, Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry) truly lives up to its image with Mediterranean-style, mustard-coloured houses and bakeries in the Old Quarters. Beautifully tiled roofs, wooden shutters and French-style balconies will ensure a characteristically wonderful experience. French is still understood and spoken here, and Puducherry is therefore, a city with a dual personality. Crossing over from east to west banks of the canal reveals two sections of the town with very different characters. The eternally-famous landmarks, Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville, draw a large number of spiritually-conscious visitors from around the world.
Distance: 160 km
Top attractions: Paradise Beach, Promenade and the French Quarters, Church of Sacred Heart of Jesus, water sports, old lighthouse, Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville.
Packing list: Beachwear, portable speakers, loose breathable fabric outfits and a huge appetite.
One of the tallest masonry dams in the world, Nagarjuna Sagar is a massive marvel of architecture and engineering. Nestled in the Nagarjuna Sagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve, this landmark dam over the Krishna River is also famous for Nagarjunakonda Island. Situated right in the middle of the lake, this island contains historical remnants of a Buddhist settlement that was relocated here during the construction of the dam.
Distance: 150 km
Top attractions: Nagarjuna Sagar dam and museum, quiet boat rides, Amaravathi Buddhist stupas, Ethipothala waterfalls and Srisailam Wildlife Reserve.
Packing list: Slip-resistant footwear, large hats, sunglasses, sickness medicines and quick-dry towels.
Adorned with temples dating back to the 12th century, this historical town in Telangana is a perfect weekend getaway for you and your children to discover Indian heritage, culture and architectural masterpieces. Blessed with picturesque lakes, waterfalls and the Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary which is home to the spotted deer, nilgai bull and blackbuck, Warangal stands out as an all-in-one package for a memorable weekend outing.
Distance: 145 km
Top Attractions: Thousand pillar temple, Ramappa temple, Bhadrakali temple, Warangal fort, Khush Mahal, Pakhal lake and the Kolanupaka Jain temple.
Packing list: Indian clothes for religious places, energy bars, comfortable walking shoes and hats.
Just two hours’ drive from Bangalore, there is a place steeped in history — Lepakshi. Situated in the Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh, this is the site for many historical temples, the most majestic being the Virabhadra temple built in the 15th century by the Vijayanagara kings. The intricate stone-cut sculptures inside the temples are awe-inspiring and a photographer's delight. Once a prosperous place, Lepakshi today attracts tourists from Bangalore and other places as it houses the largest monolith of Nandi. A huge statue of the Nagalinga inside the sprawling temple premises is yet another attraction. The whole temple complex takes you back in time with their intricate carving and magnificent architecture.
Distance: 122 km
Top attractions: Virabhadra temple, gigantic Nandi and Nagalinga statues
Packing list: Indian attire for temple visit, comfortable shoes, hats and sunglasses.
Are you looking for a hill station experience but do not have the time to travel to faraway places? If you are bored of touristy destinations, then, head straight to Horsley Hills, located just a short drive from Bangalore city. This little-known hill station near Madnapalle taluk, Chittoor district, is blessed with evergreen hills and sometimes referred to as the 'Ooty of Andhra Pradesh'. The place is named after W D Horsley, a former British collector of the area. If you are worried about finding a place to stay, look no further than the state government-run resort but you need to book in advance. Keep in mind that Horsley Hills is best for a do-nothing kind of break.
Distance: 150 km
Top attractions: Gali Banda, or windy rocks, 150-year-old eucalyptus tree, Horsley Hills zoo.
Packing list: Raincoats, slip-resistant footwear, walking shoes, light jackets or shrugs.
From hill stations to temple towns and nature reserves, our list covers it all. So, if you want to head out for some memorable family time, read through it and pick a place which ticks your interest. The entire family can have some weekend fun and come back rejuvenated. Instead of idling away the weekend in front of the TV or mall-hopping, pack your bags to create some memories.
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