5 Must-Visit Offbeat Getaways for Book Lovers

Are you a bibliophile trying to find a few offbeat getaways for book lovers? Well, your search has ended. Read on to know how you can live the stories in real life!

That’s the thing about books, they let you travel without moving your feet”

Jhumpa Lahiri

A cosy corner, a warm blanket on a winter afternoon with a hot cup of coffee or chai in one hand and a book in another. Turning the pages, reading through chapters and transporting to a different world. This is what paradise seems like to book lovers. 

But what if you could live through the backdrop of these stories? What if you could live your imagination by visiting the places the stories are set in? Shouldn’t the end of 2020 also end your long break from vacations? 

[Also read: A curated list of Bangalore’s best bookstores]

As people reboot their travel plans after a year of being at home, it is essential to identify locations that keep you safe while you hit the road again!

We have curated a list of five handpicked offbeat getaways for book lovers that can make this wish of yours come true. If you are a book lover, then read on to add these destinations to your next travel plan! 

1. The land of Ruskin Bond – Landour 

You have read about this place in his stories – the leopards, pine trees, the snow and of course, the mountains. Landour, a British India era cantonment town, is home to the legendary Ruskin Bond. A 30-minute drive from Mussoorie, every part of the town will appear to be straight out of a Ruskin Bond story. You can find glimpses from his famous stories. You can relive the short stories of “The Night Train at Deoli”, “Roads to Mussoorie” or the beautifully described mountains in “The Blue Umbrella”

Watching the sun go down is an experience of a lifetime. Away from the popular tourist locations, you can find yourself lost in the scenic beauty. Explore two of the old churches – St Paul’s Church (1839) and Kellogg Memorial Church (1909) at your leisure. Give your sweet tooth a treat from Landour Bakehouse.

Book a Savaari can from Dehradun to visit this magical place. You can stay at a cottage close to Ruskin Bond’s house. Keep an eye on the bookings as they are full during the peak season. 

2. The birthplace of George Orwell – Motihari

Long before the world witnessed the brilliance of 1984 and Animal Farm, George Orwell spent his earliest day in Motihari, Bihar. In 1903, the birth year of Orwell, his father, Richard W Blair, was working for the opium department in this remote town. Ida Blair, Orwell’s mother, along with Orwell moved to Oxfordshire a year after he was born.

For a long time, his birthplace was nothing but a dilapidated structure. Even many locals didn’t know about him. His bungalow and a nearby cottage have now been restored and turned into a museum.

If history and literature move you, book a cab with Savaari to Motihari on your next visit. 118 km from the state capital, Patna, Motihari is a part of East Champaran district and holds a historic significance. Mahatma Gandhi started the civil disobedience movement in 1917 from Champaran. While you are here, visit the Kesariya Stupa that dates back to the time of Gupta dynasty.

3. Where the magic happens – Manipal Printing Press

This one is for the Potterheads! Manipal Technologies Ltd. holds the pride of being the only one to print the most anticipated book in the Harry Potter series –  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The book witnessed the highest number of pre-orders in the history of India. 

The printing press had to keep its operations under heavy security and secrecy before the book release. The premises were under 24×7 surveillance and workers could not use any electronic devices within the area.

Carry your favourite copy to visit the End Point or sit by the Manipal Lake and relive the story of the boy who lived again. In fact, you can book a Savaari cab to Agumbe, located just 45kms from Manipal. Agumbe is the place where the televised version of ‘Malgudi Days’, by RK Narayan was shot. The mesmerising waterfalls and the sunset point will make you fall in love with nature all over again!

4. Cherish the small things at Aymanam, Kerala 

Aymanam, situated in Kottayam district, Kerala is where the Booker prize-winning masterpiece, “The God of Small Things” is set. The lyrical description of Kerala as the backdrop of the story is enough to make anyone fall in love with it.

85 km from Cochin Airport, Aymanam is a scenic beauty away from the crowded tourist locations. Various homestays, hotels and resorts have made it the ideal getaway place for most. If you are someone who cherishes the serenity of nature, then this is the place to be! 

Kerala is known for its beauty but if you want to explore someplace offbeat, Aymanam is the place to be! Visit the local churches, temples and don’t miss out the boat ride through the backwaters. 

[Also read: Why Kerala can be the most trusted destination after COVID]

5. The home of Mowgli – Kanha National Park

Adding to the list of offbeat getaways for book lovers, next we bring you a story from the jungle.

Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay in 1865. His most famous work, The Jungle Book was inspired from his time in India and Kanha National Park. Based in Madhya Pradesh, this national park is home to the tigers that inspired the character ‘Shere Khan’.

It is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. A jungle safari will give you a peek in the lives of the wildlife. There is a museum in the centre of the park with the famous ‘antler gate’. It is made from the shed antlers of animals in the national park. 

Immersing yourself into the wild and visiting such offbeat places can be self-discovering in many ways. Away from the general tourist crowd, these quaint and picturesque locations give you a chance to pause and relax. These were our five offbeat recommendations for book lovers. Know any more of such places? Let us know in the comments. Until then, happy exploring!

About the author

Reading between lines - the ones that rhyme, on a journey with no stop sign.

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