Short Road Trips from Bangalore

Despite February being the shortest month in the year, you can make every weekend count when it comes to your travel goals. This month, we’re recommending gorgeous getaways a few hours’ drive from your city. This means you can have a mini vacation and head back to the city within a day! Think time constraints are throwing in the spanner for your travel plans? Think again! If you’re in Bangalore, rent a car and head to Bandipur National Park, Shivanasamudra waterfall, go rock climbing in Ramanagara or visit the temple in Lepakshi.

Bandipur National Park

Bandipur plays host to over 30 tigers, 3,000 asian elephants and has an area of over 874 square kilometers. Having cities like Bangalore (215km), Ooty (70km) and Mysore (80km) in its proximity, Bandipur National Park is one of the most well preserved and efficiently run natural reserves in the country. Situated between the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, this reserve is separated by Nagarhole national park near the Kabini Reservoir. The most picturesque way to travel to this region and this world-famous national park is by either hiring cabs from Mysore to Bandipur or finding some car rentals that allow for a more leisure journey. The best time to visit the park is around the months of November to February, this ensures the monsoons have passed and the weather clears up during the winter months which allow for a better opportunity to catch a glimpse of the local wildlife.

Shivanasamudra

A scenic region located slightly off the Mysore Highway, Shivanasamudra is teeming with trekking trails and waterfalls. The main attraction here is the Shivanasamudra Falls, which is said to have a detoxing effect not only on your body, but also on your soul. The waterfalls have been included among the 100 best waterfalls in the world, and are surrounded by the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary. Water cascades from a height of around 200 feet on to the islands of Shivanasamudra. It around 130km from the city, but the easy availability of cabs from Bangalore to Shivanasamudra have made things very convenient.

Ramanagara

If you’re looking for one-day trips near Bangalore with a bit of relaxation, adventure and sport, head to Ramanagara near Bangalore for a quick weekend getaway. If you’re looking for a longer visit, the town has some nice resorts you can stay at too!

With adventure sport like rock climbing, rappelling and chimney climbing. If you’re looking for a quiet time in the outdoors, there are a number of places you can go to camp overnight, kayak and trek in the wilderness. And since Ramanagara is a short distance from Bangalore, you can easily make it a pit stop before heading off to Mysore, Coorg and other destinations on the route.

If you’re planning on staying in Ramanagara for the night, you could book a room at Shilhaandara Resort. If you’re looking for a quick visit or organised group activities, you can book an activity with Adventure Nest and Skydream Adventure Services.

Lepakshi

Situated about 120 kilometres from Bangalore, Lepakshi is home to a temple built between the 12th and 15th century. The temple is known for its hanging pillar, gorgeous murals on the ceiling and intricate carvings on its walls and pillars. The nearby monolithic Nandi is considered the biggest Nandi carved from a single stone in India. Though the temple is not a live one anymore, it continues to draw crowds of tourists and history buffs alike.

Pristine Beaches in India: Murudeshwar

From architecture and culture to dramatic landscapes, Murudeshwar, a coastal town in Northern Karnataka, blesses its visitors with a wholesome experience. A trip here would treat you to many visual delights and much more.

The Journey to Murudeshwar

Murudeshwar is located in the northern part of Karnataka. You can book a cab service in Bangalore and enjoy an epic journey across the arid horizons of Karnataka and the majestic verdant heights of the state’s Western Ghats. Some of the stops here are worth spending some time, too. Besides beautiful river valley views accompanying your drive, old forts and palaces, and quaint hill towns are part of the experience and add a majestic feel.

An Untouched Seaside Getaway

The warm azure waters of the Arabian Sea provide an endless backdrop as you explore the town of Murudeshwar. The Murudeshwar beach is known for its silky sands and provides a great shore-side picnic experience. Sit back and unwind with a book or take a long walk along the sea. Murudeshwar beach is not as crowded a hub as some of the other beach towns in the region and this relative seclusion is what attracts the visitors who come here. You can step into the waters and play with the waves, while the two highlights of the town, the Shiva statue and the Murudeshwar temple, loom behind.

Netrani Island is one of the main off-shore attractions. You can indulge in scuba diving and snorkeling here which is, by the way, a great way to see the beautiful underwater terrain up close!

The terrain around the beach is mainly hilly. Another captivating sight on the coastline is the flock of fishing boats which throng and leave the shores daily. When exploring the settlements near the beach, make sure you dig into the local cuisine. Coconut-based desserts are very popular here. Of course, when you are near the sea, expect the freshest of seafood. Some of the other crops grown here in abundance include cashew nuts, jackfruits and mangoes.

Shiva Statue

One of the many structures that would take your breath away as you explore Murudeshwar would be the giant statue dedicated to Sri Anantadrishti, or Lord Shiva. This immaculately-sculpted statue looms over the town and is visible from the sea and the nearby surrounding areas. It is believed to be the second largest statue of Shiva in the world! The 123-foot tall statue is fast becoming the most popular attraction of Murudeshwar and also provides a sensational backdrop for photographers documenting the place.

Murudeshwar Temple

The Murudeshwar temple features a 20-storey tall gopuram, or tower, a quintessential element in South Indian temple architecture. You can climb up to the top of the gopuram and enjoy arresting views of the statue and beyond. The hill-top temple complex of Murudeshwar is surrounded by ocean on three sides and other highlights here include two giant concrete elephants.

Flanked by sea and mountain, Murudeshwar is a destination that will leave you with unforgettable memories. You can find a reliable car on rent in Mangalore and discover the natural and cultural wealth of coastal Western India.

Explore National Parks around Mysore

Mysore City is the former capital and a vibrant cultural hub of the state of Karnataka. Popularly known as the city of kings during its prime, Mysore or Mysuru is a popular region full of history and tradition. The city is also situated close to some of the most bio-diverse regions of the nation. This includes numerous breathtaking national parks that can be accessed in numerous ways including the renting of outstation cabs in Mysore.

Bandipur National Park

The world famous Bandipur national park and tiger reserve is one of the most visited regions in Southern India, known for being a center involved in the efforts for rehabilitation and repopulation of tigers, Bandipur also hosts numerous endangered forms of habitation other than tigers which include:

  • Sloth Bears
  • Leopards
  • Asian Elephants
  • Dhole
  • Gaur

This national park plays host to over 30 Tigers, 3,000 Asian elephants and has an area of over 874 square kilometers. Having cities like Bangalore (215km), Ooty (70km) and Mysore (80km) Bandipur national park is one of the most well preserved and efficiently run natural reserves in the country. Situated between the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, this reserve is separated by Nagarhole national park near the Kabini Reservoir. The most picturesque manner to travel to this region and this world-famous national park is by either hiring cabs from Mysore to Bandipur or finding some car rentals that allow for a more leisure journey. The best time to visit Bandipur National Park is around the months of November to February, this ensures the monsoons have passed and the weather clears up during the winter months which allow for a better opportunity to catch a glimpse of the local wildlife.

Nagarhole National Park

Nagarhole National Park used to be the official hunting grounds of the Maharaja of Mysore before it was converted into a sanctuary in 1955. It later got the official status of a national park in 1988. It is situated in the north-west region of Bandipur at a distance of 88km from Mysore that can be easily covered in less than half a day with a Mysore car rental. The national park has many serpentine streams along with a rich forest cover, hills, valleys and even waterfalls.

Masinagudi

Masinagudi is a part of the Mudumalai National Park which is the Tamil Nadu side of the Western Ghats’ Nilgiri Sub-Cluster which covers an area of 6,000 square kilometers. Masinagudi is located in the foothills of Ooty and is a very popular destination for tourists who want to immerse themselves in nature. Masinagudi has many stay options from farmhouses to large resorts.

Kabini Reservoir

The Kabini reservoir is the backwaters formed due to the construction of a dam on the Kabini River. The reservoir is rich in bio-life and is a popular watering hole for the wildlife in the National Parks surrounding it. The Kabini reservoir separates Bandipur and Nagarhole.

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is just under 20 kilometers from Mysore and the nearest town is Srirangapatna. The sanctuary is under a square kilometer but has a high density bird population. The birds stay on small islands on the water which you can get to via the boats available at the sanctuary.

Discover Udupi’s temples, beaches and food

Udupi is a coastal town in the Karnataka state of southern India. While the Udupi restaurants are famous around the globe, particularly with the Indian diaspora for the dosa, idli and other south Indian fare they serve, the town itself is a must-visit tourist destination. Udupi is renowned for its historical Krishna temple and a monastery established by one of the greatest Hindu saints, Madhavacharya.

The city offers some very nice beaches, lush greenery, a series of temples, and the quaint charm, typical of a small coastal town. Unlike the beaches of Goa that lies about 200 miles away, Udupi beaches are less crowded and relatively more serene.

The Sri Krishna Temple and the adjoining monastery (Mutt) top the list of attractions in Udupi. History of the temple dates back to the 13th century and has several local mythological stories attached to it. The architecture of the temple follows the typical Kerala style of temple architecture and presents several layers surrounding the sanctum sanctorum. Free lunch is offered to devotees every day, and the dining halls have only Indian style dining arrangements. According to Hindu tradition, food must always be consumed while seated on the floor so that you connect with the Earth.

The Anantheshwar Temple is another significant religious place in Udupi. It is believed that the temple was built over thousand years ago. Alternatively known as Manjula Kshetra, this is one of the most visited places in Udupi. Kapu Beach is located on NH 66 while driving south off Udupi. The timings to visit the beach keep changing in tune with the season and local conditions. Late evenings are unlikely to be a great bet throughout the year. This beautiful beach is also home to a lighthouse about 100 feet tall.

Malpe Beach is on SH 65 abutting Stella Mary’s Church. The beach is known for its fantastic sunset views. You can book a Savaari cab to head to the beach. This is a clean and nice beach with fewer tourists visiting. Manipal End-point Park is also on SH 65 and represents a small cliff overlooking the Swarna River. This point offers an alluring view of the Arabian Sea on the west and the Western Ghats on the East. Check accessibility when you draw up your itinerary.

St. Mary’s Island lies off the Malpe Beach, and visitors can take a boat ride from the fishing harbour at Malpe. You can witness the rock formations from waves and volcanic lava. Historians link the island to Vasco Da Gama, the Portuguese explorer. Boat services to the island are not available after 6 pm, and at least 30 people fare-paying passengers are needed for the boat to take off. This service may not operate in inclement weather or rough sea conditions. This island is best visited in the forenoon hours.

A visit to Udipi is never complete without tasting the widely acknowledged Udupi vegetarian food. While you can explore many restaurants here, we recommend Mavalli Tiffin Room or MTR whose popularity is growing with each passing day in Southern India, albeit for Vegetarians.

The ideal time to visit Udupi is in the winters between the months of October to February. You can also visit during the monsoons to enjoy the lush green covers and the ambient atmosphere. Udupi does not have an airport, so you have to fly till Mangalore which is about 60 km away, and then book a taxi to reach Udupi. The city is well-connected to other cities via both roads and rail network. You can take a train from Mumbai, Bangalore, Mysore, etc. to reach the Udupi Railway Junction. Private and state transport buses are available from the nearby cities, and so are the private taxis. Local autorickshaws are available to commute within the city. Happy Vacationing!

Pro-tip:

From Udupi, you drive down the gorgeous Malpe Padukar – Pangala Road and see the Pithrody Udyavar Beach. From Malpe, take a ferry out to St Mary’s Island and see the Columnar Basaltic Lava formation on the northern tip of the island.

A tour around quirky Hampi

Hampi has stood as one of the finest capitals of the erstwhile Vijayanagara dynasty. Looking at the ruins, it is hard to imagine that at one point in time Hampi was the second largest city in the world. Today, Hampi is a UNESCO world heritage site with governments making continuous efforts to restore of whatever is left. Situated on the banks of Tungabhadra, Hampi is renowned for its beautifully carved temples. The town offers a peek into history with its palace ruins, markets, buildings, etc. The serenity and scenic beauty of this place will take you back in time.

According to Ramayana, Hindus believe that Hampi was earlier the Kingdom of Vanars (monkeys) then named Kishkinda dating back to around 1 CE, even before the rise of the Vijayanagara Kingdom. The Vijayanagara rulers were known for their absolute devotion to Lord Vishnu and their impeccable taste in art & architecture. The heritage sites and monuments in Hampi stand as a testament to this glorious vision of the Vijayanagara Kings.

Zenana Enclosure

Lotus Mahal in the Zenana Enclosure. Image source: Wikipedia

Like an oasis amidst lawns and arid surroundings, the Zenana enclosure served as a dedicated place for the royal women. The enclosure has four structures, largest of which was meant for the Queen. The Zenana enclosure is situated on the northeastern side of the Royal Center which has two towers in the north and southeast.

Bellary Fort

Bellary Fort. Image source: Wikipedia

The Bellary Gudda hill houses both the upper and the lower part of the Bellary fort. Hanumappa Nayaka built the upper fort during the time of the Vijayanagar rule. Later, a French architect under Hyder Ali’s rule built the lower fort and renovated the upper fort as well. The Kumbara Gudda, which is at a higher elevation to the Bellary Gudda, was seen as the biggest flaw in the construction of the Bellary fort as it gave away the secrets of Hyder Ali’s Royal Command. For this reason, it is said that Hyder Ali executed the French engineer and his grave is located in the fort’s eastern gate.

Virupaksha Temple

Virupaksha Temple at Hampi. Image source: Wikipedia

The Virupaksha Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located on the banks of the Tunga River and is considered as one of the greatest architectural endeavours in Hampi. The temple has been designated by UNESCO as a world heritage site and the inscriptions inside the temple date back to 10th-12th century BC. Although most of the city’s fine monuments and temples have become ruins, the Virupaksha temple has not lost its grandeur and is fully intact. Hence, it is considered as one of the most important pilgrimage sites. The temple festival takes place every year in the month of December and February.

Vijaya Vittala Temple

Vijaya Vittala Temple at Hampi. Image source: Wikipedia

Another magnificent monument in Hampi is the Vijaya Vittala temple of Lord Vishnu constructed by the Vijayanagar Empire. There is a stone chariot in the front of the temple and a shrine dedicated to the eagle god – Garuda. Some of the pillars in the temple are in ruins post the British era. Still, the temple stands as a perfect place to indulge in an artistic trance. Some of the other historically significant places to visit in Hampi include the King’s Balance, the Achyuta Raya Temple, the Archeological Museum, the Queen’s Bath, the Elephant Stables, the Hazara Ram Temple, and the Lakshmi Narasimha Temple.

Explore Hampi through the eyes of a hippie

Virupapura Gadde is across the Tungabadhra river in Hampi. This relaxed settlement has a number of shacks and makeshift hotels where you can relax. Image source: Robert Helvie

Other than the historically significant sites, the hippie island is another famous tourist attraction in the city of Hampi. Virupapura Gadde is a small village along the banks of the Tungabhadra River where several foreign nationals visit, trek, relax and meet other people. A small motorboat ride will take you on the other side of the river and amidst a whole new experience. The locals in the village are fluent in English, and the stay is also pretty affordable. The guesthouses are not at par with their service, but the view is all that will matter.

Happy Vacationing!

Pro-tip:

If you’re looking to go on a road trip to Hampi, we recommend you book a Bangalore to Hampi cab. The shacks across the Tungabadhra river are extremely affordable, and some of them have nice gardens and space to lounge. If you’re looking for a nice lunch by the river, head to The Laughing Buddha. We recommend staying at Sunny’s – they offer clean rooms, good food and also have a solar water heater. On the temple side of Hampi, we highly recommend eating at Mango Tree Restaurant.

Experience Mysore like a local

Mysore is a city known for its palaces, diversity, and royal heritage. Every year people from across the world visit this great city to experience the bygone royal era. Have you ever wondered if you could see the city beyond the clichéd touristy places? Well, there are some exceptional activities that you can undertake to experience Mysore like a true local.

 Go on a walkabout around the vibrant and lively Devaraja Market

Image source: Wikipedia

Named as one of the cleanest cities in India, Mysore is a peaceful retreat with its wide clean roads and lush green boulevards. One fun activity in Mysore that will not only set you in awe but also leave you with a sense of fulfillment is a leisure walk through Devaraja Market.

As you enter the market square and look around, you will be awe-struck by the sheer diversity of people present in the vicinity. With the city’s heritage buildings in the backdrop, the entire scene is an artistic masterpiece and perhaps, the reason why celebrated artists like T.S. Satyan and R.K. Laxman have drawn inspiration from the Devaraja market.

Another breath-taking sight to witness in the market is the arrangement of vibrant Rangoli colours, the meticulously arranged fruits, and the endless array of flowers and garlands that can be spotted throughout the market. The Devaraja market is a great place to get some of your favourite and unique floral perfumes.  

Mysore sandalwood articles and artisan houses

Image source: Wikipedia

Speaking of fragrances, Mysore is one of the best places to get pure sandalwood items like sandalwood vials, oils, perfumes, soaps, etc. You can head to the Government Sandalwood Factory to buy some souvenirs. Mysore city is blessed with some of the finest stone and sand sculptors. The Mysore Sand Sculpture Museum houses over 150 sculptures in over 16 varied themes. These sculptures are something unique that you may have never seen, at least not on such a large scale. Another important place to visit in Mysore will be the Karnataka Silk Industries Corporation (KSIC) factory on Mananthavady Road, where you can see how weavers artistically create the famous Mysore Silk Saree.

 Go on a heritage walk to know the story of kings

Image source: Wikipedia

Even though you might want to see the city like a local, it is recommended that you explore the picturesque palaces. You can become a part of heritage walk that covers popular Palaces such as Great Mysuru Palace, the Jaganmohan Palace, and Lalitha Mahal. Knowing the real stories of the past kings of Mysore will make you wish to be reborn in the bygone royal era, well of course only as a king.

 Spend a day exploring Mysore’s hidden gems like a local

Image source: Wikipedia

There are several things that locals do, but tourists never try. You can try Ashtanga Yoga session, ride on a Tonga, Witness a horse race, play Golf in the Palace grounds, and visit the Karanji Lake Butterfly Park. Behold the city glow like a shining star at night from the top of Chamundi hills. No trip can ever feel complete without munching on the local cuisine. In Mysore, try the Mysore Paks, Mylari Dosas, Butter Masala Dosas and the famous Banana Leaf Meal. One of the best times to visit Mysore to relish the city’s true spirit is during the months of September-October amidst Mysuru Dasara celebrations.

When you’re done exploring what the city of Mysore has to offer, you can head out of town to relax at some of the gorgeous national parks and wildlife sanctuaries nearby.

Happy Vacationing!

Offbeat getaways in India: Gokarna

Gokarna is a town situated along the west coast of India in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. It is a renowned Hindu pilgrimage centre, but over the past few years has quickly grown as a tourist destination, especially for those seeking calm and serenity. If, you are searching for some personal space with just the sun, sea and sand, then Gokarna is the perfect destination for you.

 

Best time to visit
Plan your trips to Gokarna between September and April

How to get there

163kms from Panaji, 502kms from Bangalore

Things to do

Go on a beachside trek along the coast near Gokarna
Do early morning yoga by the beach
Hire bikes and head out to Honey Beach in Ankola
Go graffiti spotting around town

Where to eat

Ganga Cafe on Kudle Beach
Namaste Cafe on Om Beach
Chez Cristophe on Gokarna Beach

Gokarna is a vastly different experience from other famous beach towns such as Goa or Karwar. Interestingly, the Mahabaleshwar Temple which is home to Lord Shiva put this place on the tourist map. The idol here is over 1,500 years old, and visiting it will give you a deep serene feeling. Needless to say, Shivaratri is celebrated here with great enthusiasm.

Gokarna is a mix of temples and beaches with legendary stories attached to them. Even though it is a small town, there are several sight-seeing options to keep you busy. The most famous beach is the Om beach, named so because it is shaped like the Hindu symbol of Om. You can engage yourself in some water sports that are available at the beach and later indulge in delicious food available at the many shacks and restaurants present at Om beach. Namaste Café is the one that should not be missed. Other top beaches include Gokarna beach, Kudle beach, Half Moon beach, and Paradise beach. If you love trekking, you can also trek to all five beaches one after the other.

Apart from temples and beaches, Gokarna additionally offers a few other activities that are worth your time. You can indulge yourself in some relaxing massage provided by several resorts, hotels, and even some inns. With a wide variety of options available from foot to a full-body massage, this soothing experience is a must try activity. Gokarna is a centre for yoga too, and you will discover many classes around the town. Don’t be surprised, if you see a foreigner doing yoga on the beach. Shopping at the little shops in Gokarna is something that you can include while in Gokarna. You can discover jewellery, gems, garments, and more.

Barely 75 km from Gokarna is Murudeshwar. One can witness the second largest Shiva statue in the country at Murudeshwar. The large statue in the backdrop of Arabian Sea is a sight to behold. You can also visit Kumta, a small town on the road to Murudeshwar. Kumta is famous for its banana, coconut, fisheries, betelnut and cashew plantations. The long Kumta shoreline is a great sight, and in addition to that, several seabirds add to its beauty.

September to April is the best time to visit Gokarna. Regular buses from Bangalore and Mangalore are easily available apart from a few trains. The nearest airport is the Dabolim airport in Goa which is around 140kms from Gokarna. The roads from Bangalore to Gokarna are relatively good, so if you are in a mood for a long drive, take a cab from Bangalore to Gokarna. To travel within Gokarna, bikes and cars are available for rent. However, if you prefer walking, you can easily cover the entire town on foot. Perhaps, that is the best way to explore the place.                                                                                                      

Go on a walkabout to Bangalore’s best book stores

Bibliophiles often go to great lengths to scour the globe for a copy of the literature they’ve been craving for. If you’re in Bangalore though, you are in for a big treat! Although the city is primarily known for its party scene, a closer look will reveal some absolute gems of bookstores.

Let us take a look through some of the best bookstores in the Garden City.

Goobe’s Book Republic

Image credit: The Hindu

This quaint little bookstore on Church Street is easy to miss, if you’re not actively searching for it. Passers-by are alerted to its presence only via a small chalkboard sign on the street, pointing towards a flight of stairs.

Descend those stairs and you’ll encounter a quaint, beautifully arranged space crammed with all kinds of books. The shop sells a combination of new and second-hand books from all genres. Goobe’s Book Republic gives out a feeling of intimacy, not just because it’s small, but because of the relationship between the seller and the customer.

The employees of the store give you recommendations based on your reading history, and also make sure to get your input on what they should be stocking next. The prices start as low as Rs. 25, so what are you waiting for? Book a cab in Bangalore and get to Church Street!

Blossom Book House

Image credit: amreading.com

Another gem situated in Church Street, Blossom is one of the city’s more famous bookshops. It is an odd, yet innovative combination of a bookstore and a library, and the result is a complex setup teeming with promise. And there’s good news for bibliophiles! They’ve recently opened another branch on Church Street – this means even more books!

The store consists of high shelves stacked close to each other and stocked with titles from every genre imaginable. The store has over 50,000 books available, most of them with heavy discounts. The first floor of the store is stacked ceiling to floor with fiction and graphic novels from around the world. On the second floor, you’ll find a large collection of non-fiction spanning art, history, psychology, math and even health.

Atta Galatta

Image credit: attagalatta.com

This bookstore in Bangalore is special, and not just because of the five oaks that stand guard outside the building. Atta Galatta promotes Indian authors actively, and the only books by foreign authors in the store are in the children’s section.

It has an amazing collection of Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam and English books written by Indian authors. The store regularly organizes book reading sessions and interactive events with Indian writers.

The store also has an in-house bakery so you can munch on your favourite baked goodies while you browse. Located in 5th Block, Koramangala, you can just book a taxi in Bangalore and get here.

The Bookworm

Image credit: knowyourstar.com

The Bookworm is known for its unique credit system, whereby users can borrow a book for half the book’s price and swap it for another after reading it. The store boasts of eminent clientele like Ramchandra Guha and Anita Nair, but the owner Krishna wears it lightly on his sleeve.

He started this store back in 2002, and promotes Indian authors and books by giving large discounts. Known among the bookworms of Bangalore as the perfect place to find the ultimate steal. And just like Blossom, Bookworm has also opened up a new branch on Church Street!

Gangaram’s Book Bureau

More than half a century old, Gangaram’s is one of the most loved bookstores in the city. The store moved to its current location in Church Street around five years ago, and its sprawling interiors are stacked with all kinds of books- both academic and fiction.

The store has been associated with International publishers Penguin for the best part of four decades, and has a separate rack for the renowned publishing company.

These are only some of the more famous joints for books in the Bangalore; the city is teeming with many other treasure troves for book lovers. All it takes is the ever curious mind of the bookworm to discover them all and, now that cab booking in Bangalore has become so convenient, they are even easier to access!

 

Five Beaches South of the Vindhyas You Should Visit as Soon as Summer Ends

Come June, summer will start to make way for cooler temperatures, gloomy weather and rains. And many of us will want to head to the only place where we get the sun, sand and surf – the beach! But what happens when everyone else is there as well? Do you want to enjoy your sliver of the sun and some quiet moments with that special someone? Or a quiet, relaxing getaway with your friends without having to jostle for space with a hundred others? Here is a list of some less known beaches you are sure to enjoy in south India!

Dhanushkodi, Rameshwaram

Dhanushkodi

Number one on our list is the ethereal Dhanushkodi beach located in the state of Tamil Nadu. It was declared a ghost town by the Government of Tamil Nadu after a massive cyclone hit in 1964. But it remains a tourist’s paradise with many attractions!

The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park offers a breath-taking visual of the myriad of flora and fauna. Pamban island which is barely 20km away, can keep you occupied with many activities. And one cannot miss the awe-inspiring Adam’s Bridge which is a naturally formed bridge between India and Srilanka!

How to get there: If one is looking for a cheaper option, many Govt and Private buses ply from Rameshwaram to Dhanushkodi. One can also get down at Rameswaram railway station and take a cab. Multiple cabs ply, even directly from Chennai. Flying in? Madurai Airport is the nearest.

Mahe beach, Puducherry

Mahe

Mahe was originally a French colony and now forms a municipality in Mahe district (which forms part of the union territory of Puducherry). It is surrounded by the state of Kerala on all sides.

The pristine waters and palm fringed shorelines offer an enchanting getaway for all those wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Enjoy a quiet stroll along the beach while taking in the quaint fishing hamlets dotted along the shore. Or what about a glorious sunset while taking a dip?

How to get there: As few trains stop at Mahe railway station, the best option is to drive down. Roads from major destinations like Bangalore and Kochi are well-maintained and many buses ply from all nearby towns. The Calicut International airport is the nearest airport with many flights operating from different parts of the country.

Mararikulam beach, Mararikulam

Mararikulam

The fishing village of Mararikulam is situated in Alappuzha district in Kerala. This is a must visit for adventure seekers with a ton of activities like parasailing, water skiing and sea surfing. There is much in store for nature lovers as well. One can contact a naturalist to take you on a guided tour and fall in love with nature at its best. With swaying coconut trees and beautiful skies, this is a haven for a stress-free holiday.

Oh, and dare we mention the amazing resorts and food?

How to get there: Easily accessible by road, with cabs readily available from Cochin. Cochin International airport is also nearby from where one can take a cab and Mararikulam has its own railway station, but better check since only few trains stop.

Malpe beach, Karnataka

Malpe

Just 6km from Udupi, this idyllic, neat beach is irresistible for busy city dwellers. Many attractions are dotted around or near the beach. Few of them being St Mary’s island, the Fort of Daria-Bahadurgad and the temple of Balarama. But, a hit with beach lovers has been the Free WiFi!

How to get there: The best way to get there is by road, as the route from Mangalore to Malpe is considered one of the most beautiful. One can get down at Udupi railway station if traveling by rail or fly into Bajpe Airport.

Yarada Beach, Andhra Pradesh

Yarada Beach

Located around 15km from the busy city of Visakhapatnam, this hidden treasure is located on the west coast of the Bay of Bengal. It offers panoramic views of the skyline and crystal clear waters. A favourite with lovers wanting some quality time, the beach provides peace and quiet. Want a stress-free weekend? Head to Yarada!

How to get there: Availability of cabs is many from Hyderabad to Yarada beach with some operators offering a full day cab in Visakhapatnam as well. Both the nearest railway station and airport are located in Visakhapatnam.

 Did we miss out on your favourite beach in south India? Tell us in the comments below!

#60DaysOfSummer – Kids’ Day Out to Wonderla Bangalore

Wonderla Bangalore

If you’re looking for a break from the heat and a place where the kids in your family can have fun, look no further. Head to WonderLa near Bangalore to spend an entire day on fun rides, play at the water park and just relax. This is the perfect summer retreat near home.

The amusement park offers a number of restaurants, some great amenities for those worried about safety and even an evening entry ticket if you want to finish your day out at WonderLa. They even have an annual pass if you’re planning to make a trip more than once.

The water park portion of WonderLa has wave pools, a lazy river and rain disco. For younger kids, the park recommends specific rides that are safe for children. There’s a lot to choose from at WonderLa any time of the year, but the water park here is a great way to beat the heat.

HOW TO GET THERE

Book a cab from Bangalore to Wonderla.